Thursday, 25 Jul 2024

Laws of the Game and FA Rules

Football is a beautiful game with a set of rules that govern its proceedings. Understanding these rules is essential for both players and fans alike. In this article, we will delve into the Laws of the Game and FA Rules.

Goal scored in football

Goal scored

A goal is scored when the entire ball crosses over the goal line, between the goalposts, and under the crossbar, without any infringements committed by the scoring team. If the goalkeeper throws the ball directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal kick is awarded. However, if a referee signals a goal before the ball fully crosses the goal line, play resumes with a dropped ball.

Winning team

The team that scores the most goals is declared the winner. In the event of a draw, where both teams score an equal number of goals or no goals at all, the match ends in a draw. However, certain competitions require a definitive winner. In such cases, the following procedures may be used:

  • Away goals rule: If the teams are still level after both legs of a tie, the team that has scored more goals away from home advances.
  • Extra time: If the away goals rule does not break the tie, two additional periods of 15 minutes each are played.
  • Penalty shoot-out: If the match remains unresolved after extra time, a penalty shoot-out takes place.
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Penalties (penalty shoot-out)

A penalty shoot-out occurs after the match has ended, and the Laws of the Game apply unless stated otherwise. Players who have been sent off during the match are not allowed to participate in the shoot-out. Warnings and cautions issued during the match do not carry over into the shoot-out.

Procedure before penalties (penalty shoot-out) start

  • The referee tosses a coin to decide the goal where the kicks will be taken.
  • The team that wins the toss chooses whether to take the first or second kick.
  • Only players on the field at the end of the match are eligible for kicks.
  • Each team selects the order of their kickers without informing the referee.
  • If a team has more players than its opponent, it must reduce its numbers, informing the referee of the excluded players.
  • A goalkeeper who is unable to continue may be replaced by an excluded player or a named substitute.

During penalties (penalty shoot-out)

  • Only eligible players and match officials can remain on the field.
  • All non-kicking players must stay within the center circle.
  • The goalkeeper of the kicker must stay on the field, outside the penalty area, on the goal line.
  • An eligible player may switch places with the goalkeeper.
  • The kick is completed once the ball stops moving, goes out of play, or the referee stops play.
  • The referee keeps a record of the kicks, cautioning players for offenses.
  • If the goalkeeper commits an offense and the kick is retaken, the goalkeeper is warned for the first offense and cautioned for subsequent offenses.
  • If the kicker commits an offense after the referee signals the kick, the kick is recorded as missed, and the kicker is cautioned.
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Both teams take five kicks

  • The teams alternate taking kicks, with each kick taken by a different player.
  • All eligible players must take a kick before anyone can take a second kick.
  • If, after five kicks, one team has scored more goals than the other team could achieve, no more kicks are taken.
  • If the scores are still level after both teams have taken five kicks, the shoot-out continues until one team scores more goals from the same number of kicks.
  • A team can change the order of kickers in subsequent sequences.
  • Penalties must not be delayed if a player leaves the field; their kick will be forfeited if they fail to return in time.

Substitutions and sending-offs during penalties (penalty shoot-out)

  • Players, substitutes, substituted players, or team officials may be cautioned or sent off.
  • A sent-off goalkeeper must be replaced by an eligible player.
  • A player other than the goalkeeper who cannot continue cannot be replaced.
  • The referee must not abandon the match if a team is reduced to fewer than seven players.


  • Q: What happens if the ball hits the goalpost or crossbar and bounces out?
    A: If the ball does not fully cross the goal line, it is not considered a goal.

  • Q: Can the goalkeeper score a goal?
    A: Yes, the goalkeeper can score a goal by taking a shot and successfully crossing the goal line.

  • Q: How many players are allowed to take penalty kicks?
    A: All eligible players must take a kick before any player can take a second kick.


Understanding the Laws of the Game and FA Rules is crucial for every football enthusiast. Whether you’re a player, coach, or fan, knowing the rules enhances your experience and allows you to appreciate the game at a deeper level. So, next time you watch a match, keep these rules in mind and enjoy the beautiful game of football!

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For more information about football rules, tactics, and player statistics, visit Pesstatsdatabase.