While not every player is expected to know all 17 laws of soccer, there are some basics rules of the game that every player should know. The rules and regulations of the sport are maintained by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and are updated annually. Here are some of the rules that players should keep in mind:
Law 1 – At the midpoint of the halfway line is a marked center point surrounded by a lined center circle with a radius of 10 yards. Opposing players are not allowed to enter this circle during the possessing team’s kick-off.
Law 3 – Matches are generally played by two teams of 11 to a side. The goalkeeper is included in the 11-player total. If a team cannot field at least seven players at match time, the game is a forfeit.
Law 4 – All players are required to wear a jersey, shorts, shin guards, socks, and cleats. The socks must cover the shin guards entirely. If the referee deems a player’s equipment unsatisfactory, the player can be sent off until the issue is remedied.
Law 5 – The referee is the authority on the field, and his word is law. If you question a referee’s decision, you can be disciplined further simply for dissent.
Law 9 – The ball is out of play when it fully crosses either the goal line or the touch line. It is also out of play if the referee stops play for any reason. If for any reason, the ball strikes the frame of the goal or the referee and remains within the goal and touch lines, it is still in play.
There are 17 laws in total that govern play, but the above are the most important to know from a players perspective. There is an entire section on fouls and misconduct that players should examine carefully.