Football is the most popular sport in the world. Football is played in 195 countries of the world. Not every country participates at the international level. But no country is excluded from playing football on the field or on the road in the desert. Every time there is a football World Cup, there is a wave of excitement all over the world. And even if we don’t talk about Bangladesh, it will work. Seeing the insanity of Bengalis in the procession of flags of different colors, it seems as if the World Cup is taking place in Bangladesh. All in all, whether the game is the World Cup or the Copa America or the Euro Cup. I want to watch live football matches by chatting with my parents, friends and acquaintances . But if you don’t understand the rules of football, you may feel like a laughing stock in that chat. So today’s article contains details about the rules and regulations of the game of football.

According to the International Football Association, there are currently 18 rules and regulations in the game of football. Let’s find out about them


1) Playground 

The football field is rectangular in shape. The ground floor has to be completely natural or completely artificial. If it is an artificial field, its color must be green.  

Field spots 

  • Playground spots must be made of safe material. 
  • Two of the 4 long lines indicating the boundary of a rectangular field are called touchlines. The other two lines are called goal lines.  
  • The whole field is divided by a midline. A circle is drawn in the center of the space along the center of the meridian. The name of the circle is the middle circle. Its radius is 9.15 meters.  
  • The width of each line must be equal. And no line can be more than 5 inches wide. 
  • No player can change a spot in any way. 

The size of the field

Length: 90-120 meters in general sport. 100-110 meters in international sport. 

Width: 45-90 meters in general sport. 74-75 meters in international games. 

Round area 

From the two goalposts, two lines 5.5 meters long should be drawn along the goal line. Then two lines 5.5 meters long should be drawn from the goal line inside the field. Those two lines have to be connected with another line. As a result, the rectangle that will be created is the round area.




Penalty area

Just like determining the goal area, two lines have to be drawn on both sides from the goal post. The length of each line will be 18.5 meters. From the end of each line, two more 18.5 m long lines have to be drawn inside the field. If the two lines are connected, the rectangle that will be created is the penalty area. A penalty mark must be drawn inside the penalty area. Its location is 11 meters away from the middle of the two goalposts. A circle with a radius of 9.15 m should be drawn around the center of the penalty mark. The arc will only be visible outside the penalty area.


Corner area 

There will be four corner areas in the four corners of the field. Draw a corner area inside the field with a radius of 1 meter around each corner. 





  • The rectangular shape with two goalposts and a crossbar is called a ‘goal’. Players put the ball inside the ‘goal’.  
  • The goal position will be right in the middle of the two goal lines. 
  • The distance between the two goalposts is 6.32 meters. The height of the crossbar from the ground will be 2.44 meters. 
  • The color of the goalposts and crossbars must be white. Each bar must be the same width.

2) Tell

The most important thing in football is the ball. Football is not possible without the ball. However, there are some rules about that ball.

Size and volume

  • The ball must be completely round. 
  • The circumference of the ball will be 6-80 cm. 
  • Weight 410-450 grams. 
  • The air pressure inside the ball will be 0.6-1.1 atmosphere. 

Change the ball

It is not possible to change the football ball if you want it. Only the referee can decide to change the ball. If the referee deems the ball unfit for play, a new ball is used instead. 

If the ball is lost during kick-off, goal-kick, corner kick, free kick, penalty kick and throw-in, the shots are fired again. If the ball is lost during the penalty-kick and does not touch the goalkeeper or goalpost / crossbar before the loss, the penalty-kick is allowed again. 

3) Players

Players are the lifeblood of the game. The game of football is so lively and exciting because of their skill. Every player has to follow all the rules of playing football. There are even some rules about the player himself. 


Number of players 

  • There will be two teams in the game. Each team can have a maximum of 11 players. 
  • Each team must have a goalkeeper. 
  • If there are less than 6 players in a team, the game cannot be started. 
  • The referee is not obliged to stop the game even if the total number of players in his team falls below 7 as a player leaves the field completely intentionally during the game. 
  • The names of each player and substitute must be announced before the start of the game. 

Team Leader

The football team leader has one. The team leader is responsible for the overall management of the team on the field. However, the team leader has no separate executive power.


Extra players

The number of additional players in different types of matches can vary.

  •  A maximum of 12 players can be kept as substitutes in international matches. Players can be changed a maximum of 3 times. However, due to Corona, now there is an opportunity to change 5 times. 
  • National level ‘A’ teams have the opportunity to have a maximum of 12 extra players. In this case, players can be changed a maximum of 6 times.
  • In other domestic matches, the number of additional players and their transfers can be decided on the basis of consensus between the two teams and the referee.

4) Player equipment

Players can’t carry too much in a football game. Gloves, bats or other equipment like cricket are missing in the game. But there are some things every international football player must have. 

  • Shirt with sleeves (jersey).
  • Shorts.
  • Socks Note that if the tape is read on the socks, its color must match the color of the socks. 
  • Shingard.
  • Shoes.

However, if the goalkeeper wants, he can read the tracksuit. And if a player loses his shoes or shingard during the game, he should read it again as soon as possible. However, even if the goal is scored barefoot, it will be considered as a goal.

In addition, each player must wear a jersey of the same color. But the goalkeeper must wear a different colored jersey so that he can be separated from the team. If a player wears a headcover, it must be the color of the jersey. Also no player can carry anything dangerous in the game. If he does, the referee will kick him out and he will not be able to enter the game again without the referee’s permission. The use of any device other than EPTS is also strictly prohibited.

5) Referee

The referee is the overall controller of any football game. The referee’s decision on any matter during the game will be final. He has the responsibility to manage the whole game according to the rules. And he has the power to punish any player in accordance with the rules. He uses red and yellow cards in this regard. With the help of yellow card he can warn any player. And with the help of red card you can cancel any player from that game. Again, if a player receives two yellow cards, it is considered a red card.

In addition to defending the rules in the game of football, the referee made other decisions. Such goals did not happen. The foul did not happen. He also decides whether the game will continue or be temporarily suspended if any player is injured. He also mediates when players get into an argument and stops or resumes the game. If there is a problem in the game due to any external reason, he can decide to stop or continue the game. During the game he controls the game with the help of various signals. You can understand the signals better by looking at the image below.


Referee equipment 

A referee should have several tools. It is necessary to keep some tools in it. Those are:

  • Whistle
  • The clock
  • Red and yellow cards
  • A notebook or any other object with which he can keep a record of the game. 

If the referees want, they can keep some things with them

  • Market / blip flags or headsets to communicate with other match officials. 
  • EPTS ( Electronic Performance & Tracking Systems) or any other monitoring device. 

However, no referee can use jewelery or any electrical device in the field in any way. Not even the camera. And at the end of the game the referee has to submit a description of the whole game to the match authorities. 

6) Authority without referee

The game of football is not as long as the time, but the range of the field is quite large. It is not possible for a referee to keep an eye on all sides in such a big field. And so some more people work to alleviate the referee’s hard work. They are field authorities without referees. This remains as authority

  • Two assistant referees.
  • A Fourth Official.
  • Two additional assistant referees.
  • Reserved Assistant Referee.

There is also a video assistant referee in front of the TV screen outside the field and at least one assistant to the video assistant referee.

Assistant Referee

In terms of authority, the place of the assistant referee is after the referee. What the assistant referee takes care of to manage the game smoothly:

  • Notice if the ball is completely off the field. Determining which team will get corner kick, free kick, goal kick.
  • Determining whether it has been offside.
  • Signaling when players need to change.
  • During a penalty kick, the goalkeeper is actually ahead of the goal line before the player touches the ball.

Apart from these tasks, the fourth officers also do the work of changing the players, inspecting the equipment of the players, changing the ball etc. In addition, additional assistant referees mainly assist the assistant referees in their work. 

Video Assistant Referee (VAR)

Video assistant referee can be called a modern addition to football. This referee is not on the field but in front of the TV. With the help of a zoomed in camera, he constantly observes the ball and its surroundings. As a result, if an incident escapes the eyes of the referee or assistant referee, he can make a decision. Video assistant referees are currently required when making decisions regarding goals, penalties or free kicks. However, this video assistant referee never acts alone. At least one of his assistants looks at the TV all the time while reviewing a decision.

6) Play time

Many people may know that the football game lasts for 90 minutes. This 90 minute game is divided into two parts of 45 minutes. After the end of the first part a break is taken which is called half time. The duration of this half time can be a maximum of 15 minutes. During this time the players rest or decide the next strategy.

Increase in time

The referee can extend the time in both parts of the game. Usually the referee increases the time for whatever reasons. 

  • Player change. 
  • Observe or remove injured players. 
  • Waste of time.
  • Chaos in the match.
  • Medical break.
  • Video Review by Assistant Referee.

The referee can also extend the time for other urgent reasons. However, he will not be able to extend the time in the second half of the game for the first half. Note that if you want to kick a penalty, it can be done even if the time is up.

6) The process of starting the game

Playing football usually starts in two processes. One is kick off, the other is dropped ball. Usually the first half and the second half of the game starts with a kick off. The extra time game also starts with the help of kick off. On the other hand, if the referee stops the game for any reason, the game starts with the drop ball. 

Kick off

  • The team that wins the toss decides whether they want to kick off or decide which part of the field will be theirs. 
  • If the team that wins the toss wants to kick off, the opposing team gets a chance to decide which part of the field they will be on. 
  • If the team that wins the toss decides which part of the field will be theirs, then the opposing team gets a chance to kick off. 
  • The players of each team must be on their part during the kick off.
  • The ball is stationary at the center mark of the field. The kick is off after the referee signals. 
  • All players of the opposing team must be at least 9.15 meters away from the ball when kicking off. 
  • The game starts when the ball starts moving due to kick off. If a player can score a goal directly from the kick off, it is considered a goal.
  • If the player who is kicking off touches the ball again before any other player touches it, then the opposing team gets an indirect free kick. 

Dropped ball

If the referee stops the game then the game starts again by giving the ball a drop. This is called dropped ball.

  • If the ball is inside a team’s penalty area at stopping time, the ball is dropped inside the penalty area for the goalkeeper. 
  • If the game stops on any other part of the field, the game starts with a drop right where the game stops. 
  • Only the player who touched the ball last while dropping the ball can stay close to the ball. All other players have to stay in their respective places (at least 4 meters away from the ball). 
  • The game starts as soon as the ball touches the ground. 
  • The ball is dropped again if a player touches the ball before it touches the ground or if the ball rolls out of the field before a player touches it. 

9) Ball play in and out 

When playing football, the ball often goes out of play. Then you have to start the game again according to the proper rules.

If the ball will be considered out of play

  • The ball goes off the field. 
  • The game was stopped by the referee.
  • The ball hits someone in the match authority and that is why either team gets a great attack on the opposing team or the ball goes straight to the goal or the opposing team gets the ball by losing the team that had the ball. 

In all these cases the ball will be considered out of play and the game will start with the help of a dropped ball. The rest of the time the ball will be counted inside the game. The match will continue even if any of the above incidents do not occur even after a match has been imposed on the authorities. Go home at the goal post, crossbar or corner post and return to the field, but the game will continue. 

10) Determining the outcome of the game

The outcome of a football game is determined by the number of goals scored. Simply put, the team with the highest number of goals is the winner. However, there are some conditions to score a goal. 


  • A goal is when the ball enters a team’s goalposts and crossbars. In this case the whole ball has to cross the goal line. If any part of the ball is above the line, it will not be considered a goal. 
  • If the referee signals a goal before the ball has crossed the goal line, the game will start again with the dropped ball.


If both teams score an equal number of goals, the match will be drawn. In that case tiebreaker method is resorted to to draw or break the tie.

In this case two methods are adopted.

  • Away goal.
  • Penalty kick.

Penalty kick

  • Each team can take an equal number of penalty kicks. 
  • The maximum time for penalty will be 15 minutes. 
  • The referee will decide which goal kick will be penalized through a toss. 
  • The team that wins the toss decides whether to take the first kick or the second kick. 
  • Each team must determine an equal number of players who will kick the penalty. However, any player who has already left the game will not be able to take part in the penalty. 
  • If the goalkeeper is unable to perform his duties, any other player of the team can take his duties. 
  • The goalkeeper of the opposing team must stand in the goal line just outside the penalty area. So that he can reach the goal post quickly later. 
  • If a player other than the goalkeeper is unable to play, no one else can take his place. 
  • Each player can take a penalty kick only once. All designated players will be able to kick again after at least one penalty kick. 
  • The team that scores the most goals in the first 5 rounds will be the winner. If both teams score an equal number of goals, the number of penalty kicks will increase. The one with the most goals in an equal number of penalty kicks will win. 

11) Offside

Although offside is a well-known word in football, many people do not know its meaning. If a player is considered offside

  • Players are part of the opposing team and there are no players of the opposing team. 
  • The player stays close to the goal line of the opposing team but the players of his opposing team are more in front of him.
  • However, if the player of the opposing team is on the side or behind, it will not be offside. 

Note that scoring a goal by an offside player is not considered a goal and the opposing team receives a goal kick. 

12) Foul and misconduct

Foul is a very familiar word in the game of football. Foul is the act of unjustly hitting or obstructing a player on the opposite side. Foul has been around since the birth of football . In the beginning, many players lost their lives due to fouls in football. So there are many rules and disciplinary measures to limit any kind of foul or misconduct in the game. Especially yellow and red cards have been introduced to prevent fouls. Also, if a player commits a foul, his opponent is often awarded a direct or indirect free kick and a penalty kick.

Direct free kick

A team will be given a direct free kick if any player of their opposing team commits the following fouls. 

  • One player jumps aggressively towards the other. 
  • Pushes. 
  • Jumped.
  • Kicks or tries to kick.
  • Hits or tries to hit. 
  • Deliberately throws someone or tries to throw.
  • Holds the player of the opposite team.
  • Handball means putting the ball in the hand or in any way.
  • If you bite or spit on someone.
  • If you throw something at a ball or a person.


Not to mention the rules of handball in the game of football. Only when football touches a player’s hand will it be considered handball. However, if the ball touches the part of the hand from shoulder to armpit, it will not be considered as handball. If you touch it, it will be a handball. But not every handball is a crime. If the ball touches the hand unintentionally, the player will not be punished. Handball will be considered a crime when 

  • The player raises his hand for the purpose of touching the ball and touches the ball. 
  • Deliberately keep the hand in an abnormal position so that there is a risk of the ball getting caught and touching the ball. 
  • If the goal is in the hands of the player. 


For all these reasons, handball is a punishable offense. The same rule applies to goalkeepers even outside the penalty area. 


Indirect free kick 

  • If a player plays in a very dangerous way.
  • If you obstruct the opponent’s player without touching.
  • If you swear or insult. 
  • If the goalkeeper obstructs the ball on the field or tries to kick it before it is released. 
  • If you do something that is not mentioned in the rules, then the game is interrupted. 
  • If the goalkeeper holds the ball in the penalty area for more than 6 seconds before releasing it. 
  • The goalkeeper throws the ball once and then grabs it again with his hand before touching the other player.  
  • A player from the same team intentionally passes the ball to the goalkeeper inside the penalty area. 
  • If a player of your team throws in, he catches it directly with his hand.

The referee may also take disciplinary action against the player if he deems it appropriate for any other reason.

13) Free kick 

As I said before, free kick is an integral part of football. You already know why direct and indirect free kicks are done. In this part of writing we will learn exactly how to kick free. 

Free kicks are usually taken at the exact spot where the foul took place. However, there are some exceptions. E.g. 

  • If the attacking team gets an indirect free kick inside the opponent’s goal area, it kicks a free kick from the goal line. 
  • If the defending team gets an indirect free kick inside their own goal area, it can be done from anywhere in the goal area. 
  • If a player breaks the rules when entering and leaving the field, his opponent receives an indirect free kick. In that case the game starts from where the last ball was. 
  • If a player commits an offense off the field, the ball is kept inside the field and an indirect free kick is given as close to the spot as possible. If a foul occurs near the penalty area (off the field) such as a direct free kick, the opposing team is awarded a penalty shot. 

Ball and player position

  • The ball will remain stationary on the ground. 
  • Each player of the opposing team will be at least 9.15 meters away from the ball. However, players can take position in the goal line inside their own goal post. 
  • If the foul is inside the penalty area, each player of the opposing team must be outside his own penalty area. However, at that time 3 players will be able to create an obstacle in front of the ball. Which is called “Wall”.

Keep in mind that it is only possible to score a goal directly from a direct free kick. A goal from an indirect free kick will not be considered a goal. 

14) Penalty 

If a player of the attacking team is caught inside the defensive team’s penalty area for a foul that resulted in a direct free kick, the attacking team receives a penalty. 

Rules for penalty shots

  • The ball must remain stable at the penalty mark. 
  • The name of the player who will take the penalty shot must be clearly announced. 
  • All other players must be outside the penalty area and at least 9.15 meters away from the ball when making a penalty shot. 
  • The referee has to kick after giving the signal. The ball cannot be kicked backwards. 
  • The goalkeeper must stay in the goal line until the ball is kicked. 
  • If the ball is scored, the movement stops or the goal cannot be scored, it can only be concluded that the penalty is over.

15) Throw in

When the ball goes out of the field, it is thrown into the field from that place and dies. Throw in the same. Goals are never scored directly from the throw-in. A goal kick is given when the ball somehow enters the opponent’s goal. And when the ball enters his own goal, a corner kick is given. 

Rules of throw-in

  • The player who throws in must look at the field. 
  • Both feet should be on the field mark. 
  • You have to throw the ball with both hands over your head. 
  • The player who is throwing in cannot touch the ball again before any other player touches the ball.
  • No player can be within 2 meters from where the ball will be thrown. 
  • If the ball touches the ground before it enters the field, you have to throw it in again.

16) Goal kick 

The defensive team receives a goal kick when the ball hits the foot of an attacking player and crosses the goal line. Goals can be scored directly with the help of goal kicks. Although it is almost impossible. 

Round kick rules

  • Any player on that team can kick a goal from anywhere in the goal area. 
  • Opposing players must be out of the penalty area when kicking a goal. 
  • The game will start as soon as the ball starts kicking and moving. 
  • If the player touches the ball again before the ball touches another player, the opposing team will receive a direct free kick. If this happens inside the penalty area, the opposing team will get a penalty. However, if the goal kicker is the goalkeeper himself, he will get an indirect free kick, not a penalty.

16) Corner kick 

If the defending team sends the ball out with their own goal line, the opposing team gets a corner kick. It has a lot in common with the name. Two circles are drawn on the inside of the field at the two corners of the round line. The opposing team kicks the ball from here, which is called corner kick. 

Corner kick rules

  • The side of the goal post on which the ball went out of the field has to be kicked from the corner. 
  • The ball must remain stationary and a player from the attacking team will kick the ball. 
  • Opposing players must be at least 9.15 meters away from the corner. 
  • The flagpole of the corner cannot be moved. 
  • If the same player touches the ball again before the ball touches another player after a corner kick, the defending team receives a direct free kick.

The last word

Football is an exciting sport. But you will feel the thrill of watching a football game only when you know its rules. The fun of understanding and enjoying this thrilling game properly is different. I hope you have read this article and got a clear idea about the rules of football.


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