Soccer is played with two teams of equal number of players, usually from 5 to 11 players. The object for each team is to control a ball and place it into the opposing team’s net. The team that scores the most of goals wins. Players may control the ball with any part of their body except hands and arms, with the exception of the goalkeeper, who may handle the ball with hands or arms within a certain penalty area in front of the net that he is guarding.
Contact between opposing players with the intent of causing harm to a player or disrupting his team’s strategy is not allowed. A referee observes the game and stops play for any fouls, and will order a free kick of the ball from the spot where the foul is committed.
A foul committed by a player in his own penalty area results in a penalty kick from a designated spot in front of the goalkeeper and the goal. Fouls may also be given for unsportsmanlike conduct. A referee may also “book” a player for a malicious foul by awarding a yellow card (a caution), or a red card for more serious offenses or two yellow cards A red card results in the player’s expulsion from the game, in which case the ejected player cannot be replaced.
Free kicks may be awarded if a player or players is found to be offside (when offenders place themselves ahead of the ball as well as the last opposing field player. The offside rule is to prevent players from camping out in front of an opponent’s net. A throw-in will occur when a ball has traveled past the sideline of the playing field. It is thrown back into play by the team whose opponent last touched the ball.
Goal kicks to put a ball back into play by the goalie will occur when a ball has traveled beyond the end line of the field and the opposing team is the last to touch it and corner kicks, where a ball that has traveled beyond the end line is kicked back into play from the nearest corner flag by a field player whose opponent last touched it