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The Rule Book: Laws of the Game


The rules for soccer are contained in the seventeen “Laws of the Game” published by the organization responsible for the rules world-wide, the International Football Association Board (IFAB).  The Laws of the Game are published in multiple languages and may be found at the IFAB website:

Implementation of the rules is then the responsibility of the “Federation Internationale de Football Association” (in French) or the International Federation of Association Football (in English), commonly referred to by its initials, FIFA (fee-fuh). (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, pictures and advice to referees. The “Laws of the Game” may also be found via a link at the FIFA website:

The “Laws of the Game” is updated annually, covering a fall and spring year, by the International Football Association Board.  See “Annual Amendments to the Laws of the Game.”  Every coach should look for the appearance of these updates starting at least by 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 “A Brief History of the Sport of Soccer” or at the Wikipedia website:

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John Harves

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