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Soccer Rules No One Knows (Surprising, Weird, and Dumb)

Millions of people all over the world enjoy soccer, which is a well-liked sport. While many are familiar with the basic rules, there are some lesser-known rules that even the most avid fans may not be aware of.

In this article, we will explore some surprising, weird, and dumb soccer rules that you may have never heard of.

Soccer Rules No One Knows

1. No corner flags, no game

minimalist photo of soccer field

One of the most peculiar rules in soccer is that a game cannot be played without corner flags. These flags, which are positioned at each corner of the field, serve as markers for the boundaries. If any of the corner flags are missing or removed during the game, the match cannot continue until they are replaced.

2. You can’t score a goal directly from a throw-in.

Unlike free kicks or corner kicks, a goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in. When a player takes a throw-in, the ball must touch another player before a goal can be scored. This rule prevents players from gaining an unfair advantage by throwing the ball directly into the net.

3. A goal kick doesn’t have to leave the 18-yard box to be in play.

When a goalkeeper takes a goal kick, the ball does not have to leave the 18-yard box to be considered in play. In other words, as long as the ball is kicked and moves, it can be touched by another player, including an opponent, without requiring the ball to leave the penalty area.

4. Goalkeepers can only hold the ball for 6 seconds.

Goalkeepers have a limited amount of time to hold onto the ball. According to the rules, they can only hold the ball for a maximum of six seconds before releasing it. This rule is in place to prevent time-wasting tactics and keep the game flowing smoothly.

5. When goalies release the ball, they can’t lift it again.

After a goalkeeper releases the ball by throwing or kicking it, they are not allowed to touch it again with their hands until another player has touched it. If the goalkeeper lifts the ball into the air after releasing it, they will be penalized for a foul.

6. You can pass from a penalty.

During a penalty kick, the player taking the shot is allowed to pass the ball to a teammate instead of shooting it directly into the goal. This can create opportunities for more strategic plays and unexpected tactics.

7. You can’t touch the ball twice from a penalty.

While it is legal to pass from a penalty, the player who passes the ball cannot touch it again until another player has touched it. This rule prevents players from taking advantage of their own passes and attempting to score directly from the penalty kick.

8. You can’t set up your own back pass.

Players are not allowed to intentionally set up their own backpass. This means that if a player deliberately passes the ball to their own goalkeeper using their feet, the goalkeeper is not allowed to pick it up with their hands. This rule prevents teams from time-wasting and excessively relying on their goalkeeper.

9. Foreign objects touching the ball are deemed interference.

If any foreign object, such as a piece of equipment or a spectator, touches the ball while it is in play, it is considered interference. In such cases, the game is stopped, and the opposing team is awarded a free kick or a throw-in, depending on the location of the incident.

10. Celebrations can still be penalized even if a goal is ruled out.

Even if a goal is ruled out by the referee due to offside or a foul, excessive celebrations can still result in a yellow card. Players should be cautious not to provoke the opposing team or engage in excessive celebrations to avoid unnecessary penalties.

Weird Soccer Rules

1. You can’t score an own goal from a free-kick.

One weird rule in soccer is that you cannot score an own goal directly from a free kick. If a player accidentally kicks the ball into their own net from a free kick taken by the opposing team, the goal will not count, and a corner kick or a goal kick will be awarded instead.

2. You can’t score an own goal from a throw-in.

Similar to the rule for free kicks, you cannot score an own goal directly from a throw-in. If a player throws the ball into their own net, the opposing team will be awarded a corner kick or a goal kick, depending on the circumstances.

3. If a player refuses to be substituted, the game will continue.

When a player is injured or is requested to be substituted by the coach, they are required to leave the field. However, if the player refuses to leave and continues to play, the game will continue without them. This rule ensures that the flow of the game is not disrupted due to a player’s refusal to come off the pitch.

4. Undershorts must be the same color as the kit shorts.

According to the rules, a player’s undershorts, which are worn underneath their shorts, must be the same color as their kit shorts. This rule ensures uniformity among players and prevents any potential distractions or advantages based on the color of an individual’s undershorts.

5. You can be sent off before the game even starts.

Although rare, it is possible for a player to be sent off before the game has even started. This can occur if a player engages in misconduct or violates the rules during the pre-match warm-up or during the national anthem. Players should always conduct themselves in a respectful manner to avoid unnecessary disciplinary actions.

Dumb Soccer Rules

1. The offside rule is dumb.

Many soccer fans find the offside rule complex and unnecessary. The offside rule is intended to prevent players from gaining an unfair advantage by being in an offside position and gaining possession of the ball. However, the interpretation and enforcement of the rule can often lead to confusion and contentious decisions.

2. Throw-ins are dumb.

Some people consider throw-ins to be a strange and archaic aspect of soccer. While they serve as a method of restarting play when the ball goes out of bounds, they can be relatively inconsequential compared to other set-piece situations. Some argue that alternative methods of restarting play could be introduced to make the game more dynamic.

3. Away goals are dumb.

In certain competitions, such as the UEFA Champions League, away goals hold more weight than goals scored at home. This rule has been subject to criticism, as it can lead to more defensive and cautious tactics in away matches, ultimately affecting the excitement and attacking nature of the game.

Soccer Rules FAQ

Q: How many players are allowed on the field in soccer?

A: In soccer, each team is allowed to have a maximum of 11 players on the field, including the goalkeeper.

Q: Can a player touch the ball twice in a row?

A: No, according to the rules, a player cannot touch the ball twice in a row. This rule is in place to prevent players from gaining an unfair advantage by repeatedly touching the ball with their hands or feet.

Q: What is a back pass in soccer?

A: A back pass in soccer refers to a pass made by a player to their own goalkeeper using their feet. However, the goalkeeper is not allowed to pick up the ball with their hands if the back pass was made intentionally by their own teammate.

Q: Why was Patrice Evra penalized for his celebration?

A: Patrice Evra, a former professional soccer player, received a yellow card for celebrating excessively after a goal was ruled out. Excessive celebrations can result in penalties, even if the goal is disallowed by the referee.

Q: How many football rules are there?

A: The laws of soccer, as defined by FIFA, include 17 basic rules. However, there are numerous additional rules and regulations that govern the sport at different levels and competitions.

Q: Why do we think we know all the soccer rules?

A: Soccer is a widely popular sport, and many people believe they are familiar with all the rules. However, there are often obscure rules and interpretations that even the most knowledgeable fans may not be aware of, adding to the mystery and intrigue of the world of soccer.


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