The Federation Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA for short, is one of the largest soccer leagues in the world. The league was founded in 1904 and is currently comprised of more than 208 member football clubs. FIFA rules and regulations are commonly known as the “Laws of the Game.”
According to FIFA rules and regulations, the soccer field must be green, rectangular, and between 90 to 120 meters long; it must be between 45 to 90 meters wide and marked with the proper boundary lines. It must also have two goals, each 7.32 meters wide and 2.44 meters tall with one placed at either end of the playing area.
The soccer ball used for a FIFA match must be spherical and made of leather or an approved similar material. It must also have a circumference of 68 to 70 centimeters and weight between 410 to 450 grams. If the ball bursts during the course of a match, play is stopped, and the referee must introduce a new one.
Each team may have no more than 11 players (the goalkeeper and 10 others), and it may have no fewer than seven. Up to three substitutions may be made during the course of an official competition, and the players who will serve as the subs must be designated before the start of the game. Participating players must be wearing legal uniforms, including protective shin guards.
Length of the Match
Except on rare occasions, regulations call for a 90-minute match, evenly divided into two 45-minute halves. Like in most sports, there is a halftime break that lasts no longer than 15 minutes, and extra time may be added to make up for substitutions and injuries.
Coin Toss, Kickoff and Switching Sides
According to FIFA rules and regulations, each match starts with a coin toss. The team that wins the toss chooses which goal to attack, while the other will take the start with the ball. In the second half, the team that won the coin toss will have the ball, and the two clubs will switch sides.
Anytime a ball goes over one team’s goal line, whether it goes fully into the net, it counts as a goal for the opposing team. The team that scores the most goals wins. If both teams wind up scoring the same number of goals–even if that number is zero–then the result of the match is a draw.
More on FIFA Rules & Regulations
Obviously, we’ve only been able to touch on the very basics here. If you are interested in learning more about FIFA rules and regulations, visit the official Website located in our Resources section.