The Laws of Football


Football is played on a field. A standard game is played with two teams, consisting of eleven to eighteen players. The playing area is approximately fifty-three yards long by ninety-three feet wide. Players attempt to kick the ball into the opposing team’s goal by dribbling it, passing it to teammates, or taking a shot. Although physical contact is common, it is limited. Football plays are free-flowing and stop only when the ball leaves the field of play or a referee signals a stop. After the specified restart, the game resumes.

A touchdown is scored when an offensive player crosses the goal line and gains at least 10 yards. If an offensive team fails to make this gain, the defense is awarded possession of the ball. A safety is scored when the opponent reaches the end zone and is tackled or steps out of bounds in the endzone. Once the winning team has scored a touchdown, the game is won. One rule of football is that players wear a jersey number that falls within a certain range.

The laws of football apply to all levels of the game. Each team is allowed three substitutions during a match. The rules of football are also subject to change from time to time. The Laws of the Game are generally written in broad terms to allow flexibility in application. IFAB also publishes numerous decisions and directives that contribute to regulating the game. These can be viewed at the official FIFA website. So if you’d like to learn more about the rules of the game, this article will be of interest.