Soccer Fouls, Offenses, and Misconduct
FIFA Law 12: Soccer Fouls
In reality, soccer fouls are mostly about common sense. Law 12 covers plays that are prohibited and when committed will result in either a free kick (Law 13) or a penalty kick if the infraction is in the penalty area (Law 14).
These fouls can be divided into major offenses, other offenses, and misconduct.
9 Major Soccer Offenses
Nine offenses are outlined in the rules manual that, when committed, are considered soccer fouls and will result in a direct free kick. In no particular order:
- Kicking (or trying to kick) an opponent
- Tripping an opponent
- Jumping at an opponent
- Charging an opponent in particularly dangerous or violent way
- Charging an opponent from behind in a violent way
- Striking or attempting to strike an opponent
- Holding an opponent
- Pushing an opponent
- Touching the ball with your hands (handling the ball)
These offenses will result in an indirect free kick being awarded to the other team:
- Dangerous play
- Charging an opponent cleanly, but with no intention of playing the ball
- Interference or Obstruction
- Charging the goalkeeper
- Goalkeeper not releasing the ball into play correctly
- Time wasting or delay of game by the goalkeeper
- Goalkeeper using his hands to play the ball after its been kicked to him by a teammate
Committing any of the following will result in a yellow card and indirect free kick:
Red cards will be shown when a player:
- You must have the referees permission to either enter or exit the field of play
- Showing dissent with the referee, either verbally or through your actions
- "Ungentlemanly" or unsportsmanlike conduct
- Continuously breaking the other rules
- Commits a particularly violent or serious foul
- Uses foul language (either against your opponent or your own team!)
- Receives a second yellow card
Things to keep in mind...
- Stopping a goal using your hand will result in an immediate red card, and a penalty kick for the opposing team
- Taking a player down on a breakaway when you're the last man back will also result in a red card
- Calling "my ball" when trying to win a ball is considered ungentlemanly conduct and will result in a foul....instead its expected you say a player's name like for example: "John's ball!" or "Keeper's ball"
- When receiving a red card, you must leave the field of play and are not able to sit on the players bench...usually this means an early trip to the showers!
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