Soccer Myths and Misunderstood Facts

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From Skokie Region 568, American Youth Soccer Organization

This page contains some common misconceptions about what is and is not permitted under the Laws of the Game which are the official rules which govern
soccer throughout the world. It is intended to help parents and others with limited exposure to the game to better understand the Laws.


Handball!! Handball!!

Myth:
With the exception of the goalkeeper inside the penalty area, any contact between the ball and a player's hand/arm is a hand-ball
foul.
Fact:
The foul is called handling the ball and requires intentional contact. During youth soccer games there are many instances of
accidental contact between hand and ball which do not constitute a foul.


Did You Know?

A player may be out-of-bounds when he or she plays the ball.


The Ball Was On The Line!!!

Myth:
If the ball is on the goal line, or any part of the ball is over the goal line, a goal has been scored.
Fact:
The entire ball must be completely across the entire width of the goal line for a goal to be scored. If any portion of the ball
remains over any portion of the goal line, a goal has not been scored and the ball is still in play. Similarly, the ball is still in play if
any portion of it remains over any portion of the touchline (side-line).


Did You Know?

The first player to receive the ball directly from a throw-in, drop-ball, corner kick or goal kick cannot be offside.


Hey - He's Offside!!

Myth:
It is illegal for a player to be standing in an offside position.
Fact:
An offside violation only occurs if, at the moment the ball is played by a teammate, a player is in an offside position and, in the
opinion of the referee, the player participates in the play, interferes with play, or otherwise gains an advantage from his/her
position. Offside position is a matter of fact. Offside is a judgment made by the referee.


Did You Know?

The player who puts the ball into play on a throw-in, corner kick, goal kick, direct/indirect free kick, penalty shot, or kick-off may not touch the ball a
second time until it has been played by another player of either team.


He Didn't Put the Ball on the Corner!!

Myth:
A goal kick must be taken from the corner of the goal area
line.
Fact:
The ball may be placed anywhere within the goal area.


Did You Know?

Unless told otherwise by the referee, players need not wait for a signal from the referee to put the ball back in play on a goal kick, corner kick, throw-in, or
direct/indirect free kick. Teams can catch their opponents off-guard by quickly putting the ball into play.


His Foot Was On The Line!!

Myth:
On a throw-in, the thrower's feet must be behind the touchline (out-of-bounds).
Fact:
A throw-in may be legal as long as some portion of each of the thrower's feet is either behind or on the touchline. This means the
thrower's heels may be on the touchline with his/her toes on the field.


Did You Know?

On a throw-in, an opponent may not intentionally impede or distract the thrower.


That Ref Must Be Blind!!

Myth:
If a referee sees a player commit a foul, he must stop play and award the appropriate free kick.
Fact:
Under the Laws of the Game, the referee may decide to refrain from penalizing in a situation where stopping play would give an
advantage to the offending team. This is referred to as applying advantage, and once the referee decides to allow play to continue,
he may not go back and award the foul if the play does not develop. (He may, however, subsequently issue a misconduct at the
next stoppage of play.)


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