Association Football (known as Soccer in North America) is a sport played between two teams (usually of 11 players each) with a circular ball on a rectangular field. Players are usually not permitted to touch the ball with their hands or arms. Instead, the ball is (usually) kicked with one's feet.
The worldwide governing body of Association Football is the International Federation of Association Football (French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association) (FIFA), although the rules are maintained by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), an separate but associated body.
Association football is sometimes called the world's most popular sport.
The field & the ball Edit
The game is played on a field that is (for international adult matches) roughly 100 meter long and 70 meters wide. The object is to get the ball into the goal, a structure made of an upright rectangular frame of bars with netting behind it. In amateur matches, any large enough roughly rectangular field can be used, and any appropriate area can be marked as a goal.
Modern balls are made of an inflatable rubber "bladder" with panels attached. The panels often form the shape of a Truncated Icosahedron with 12 (usually black) pentagons and 20 (usually white) hexagons, but some newer balls use different patterns.
By the standard rules, each team has 11 players, although amateur games may use smaller teams or even a 1-on-1. One player on each team is the goalkeeper (or "goalie"), who is able to handle the ball with his or her hands inside the penalty area on their side. No other positions are given by the rules, but various designated positions may be given to players designating their position in the game.
Substitute players may also be included on a team to replace players who are tired or injured.
Another important person is the referee, who, although he or she does not directly participate in the sport, is responsible for enforcing the laws of the game. The referee may also be assisted by two assistant referees. At high levels of play, there may also be a "fourth official" who supervises the technical aspects. In "on-the-spot" games, the referee is sometimes omitted, with the players themselves seeing to that the rules are not broken.