How to Read a Soccer Field

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The soccer field has an assortment of lines and arcs that most of us do not know the names and purposes of. The basics to the game of soccer are easy to understand, but reading the soccer field is a higher pursuit for the avid soccer fan.

Things You'll Need

  • Soccer field

Read the Soccer Field

  • Notice the two long sidelines that make up the borders of the field's length. These lines are called the touch lines. They are the boundaries of the field that mark where a player throws the ball back into play when the soccer ball has been kicked out.

  • Find the end lines that make up the other two sides of the rectangle. These are the ends of the field where the goals are found. These lines are called the goal lines. When the ball crosses one of these lines but misses the goal, there will be a goal kick or a corner kick, depending on who kicked the ball out of bounds.

  • Take a look at the middle of the field. There is a line across the center of the field called the halfway line. This separates the two sides of the field in half. At the center of this line is the center circle, where all kick offs take place.

  • Notice that there is a quarter-circle at every corner of the field. These are called the c orner arcs. These areas are marked off for when the advancing team is awarded a corner kick. The ball will be placed within this quarter-circle for the kicker.

Read the Penalty Box

  • Find the goals. The most complicated part of the soccer field is the series of boxes that surround the soccer goal, however the goals themselves are simple. If the ball goes into the net, the other team scores.

  • Notice the goal box. This is the smallest box directly surrounding the area of the goal. The goal keeper generally stands in this area. The main purpose of this box is to mark off the area where a team can kick a goal kick.

  • Take a look at the whole penalty box. The penalty box consists of the bigger area around the goal and goal box, plus the penalty box arc in the middle. This area marks off where the goalie is allowed to use his hands to touch the ball. It also marks the area that all other players must stay clear of during a penalty kick.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider picking up a good introductory book to soccer, such as "Soccer for Dummies" by Michael Lewis and Alexi Lalas. Even if you already know a thing or two about soccer, it never hurts to have a good review of the basics.

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