Association football, also commonly called simply football, is an organized team sport played between two teams of eleven players each. It is the most popular sport in the world, with an estimated total of 250 million players nationwide and over 200 different countries and dependencies. Many people choose to play football because of its reputation as a contact sport, played by men of steel. The image of a hard, fast, tackling machine appeals to many, especially men who have seen their fair share of football.
However, football can be played and enjoyed by everyone, even women. A game that started off with men has gradually become an equal partner to women’s football. Both these sports involve two teams that race and score against each other using designated areas on the field; either using the center circle or the half or full circle. The object of the game is to score the most points or goals and win the game.
A standard football game begins with a throw-in attempt from both teams. The throw-in is then launched through the goal lines, and the ball is kept in play until it is touched or blocked by another player. After that, another kick is made using the same throw-in goal. If the ball is touched by a player within the goal area or any part of the field (including the goal line), a foul is charged and the teams are moving to another part of the field to continue the play. Goals are scored when a team scores more points than the other team.
In modern football, the goal includes a ball and three different types of goals: corner kick, goal post kick and throw-in kick. A corner kick is a two yards forward kick along the side of the goal. A goal post kick is a 20 yard-line kick from the corner or halfway of the field. A throw-in kick is made by catching the ball with a single hand, or with two hands, and then placing the ball into the goal. The object of the game is to be the first team to have the ball touch the goal line at the end of the field. Points are scored when a team has the ball in the net.
In international tournaments, football rules are modified slightly to allow for eleven players on each team. This is to reduce the number of players who can catch the ball during the course of the game. Each team starts with ten players, including two goal keepers. The team leaders designate three players as holding or central defenders, two wingers and one goalkeeper. Midfielders and forwards are also chosen based on their skills. A point system is used to determine standings.