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The Rule Book: FIFA Laws of the Game


The rules for soccer are contained in the seventeen “Laws of the Game” published by the organization responsible for the sport world-wide. This governing body, commonly referred to by its initials, FIFA (fee-fuh), is the “Federation Internationale de Football Association” (in French) or the International Federation of Association Football (in English). (For U.S. soccer, it’s the United States Soccer Federation or USSF.) The “Laws of the Game” contains much more than just the rules. It also includes explanatory material, examples, and pictures. The “Laws of the Game” may be found at the FIFA website:

The “Laws of the Game” is updated annually, covering a fall and spring year, by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).  See “Annual Amendments to FIFA Law.”  Every coach should look for the appearance of these updates starting June 1 of each year.

While most of the world refers to soccer as “football” (as opposed to American football), it has been speculated that the word “soccer” was derived from the “soc” portion of “Association” as used in the FIFA title. “Association Football” apparently distinguished soccer from Rugby Football at the time of its origins. Historical material may found at the Wikipedia website:

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