how does a soccer game start?

How to Start A Soccer Game? The most played sport in the world. It is followed by millions of people all around the world. There are certain rules that you have to abide by when you are playing soccer. Soccer provides its users the opportunity to showcase their talent and their creativity. The rules of the soccer game are very quiet simple. This factor alone makes it one of the most interesting games all over the world. A soccer game has a lot of quirks that no other game has.

This guide is how to start a soccer game at center of the Field. In Which you will learn about Kick Offs, Plays Strategy & Restarting Rules.

How to Start A Soccer Game (Know the Official Rules)


Have you ever seen or played rugby and American football.  You have noticed that these games are most relatable to the soccer sport. These are the both game which resemble most to the soccer. All of these games start with a kickoff. There is a little difference between soccer, football, and other sports. You must know all the rules of soccer to enjoy it.

But particularly, soccer kickoff has its own charm.

Does a Soccer Game Begin With a Kickoff at the Center of the Field?

Many of us think that the soccer and the American football are the two name of the same game. Although American football resemble much more like any of the other game but it’s not actually the truth. Soccer game is begin at the center of the field with a kickoff.

In general if someone ask from you “How do you start a soccer game?”

Then you can simple answer that with a start of kickoff.

The Big Difference between Soccer and Other Games

A soccer game differs from that a American football game in that the game starts from the center of the soccer field. In short, it starts from the time when a kickoff takes place from the center of the field.

Difference between soccer and football (American Football)

If we go into depth then soccer and the American football is totally a different game. In the soccer you can either kickoff or headed a ball. On the other hand, in the American football you can either passed or throw the ball. Second major difference in these both sport is the type of the ball. In the soccer spherical ball is used and in the American football oval shaped ball is used.

Difference between soccer and rugby

Let’s talk about the soccer and the rugby, although they look same but there is a huge difference between them. The major difference between both of them is the ball and the number of the player. In the soccer, per team contain 11 player .on the other hand, rugby it contain 13 to 15 player per team. Moreover rugby game use elongated ball while in soccer spherical ball is use.

How to start a soccer game

There are multiple prerequisites that you can take before kicking off a tournament. It could range from flipping the coin or singing the national anthem. Before the match starts, there is a preamble that takes place before the match. The players head straight towards the playing field as soon as the coin is tossed. The lead referee usually takes the coin flip.

In the international national anthems, the singing of the national anthems takes place. Players usually walk out with children beside them. There are also many mascots accompanying them. The players usually keep themselves disciplined throughout the journey. They stand in a straight line.

Coin Toss:

First of all the coin toss takes place. When the coin toss starts the match referee, as well as the two captains, go into the center of the field. They make their mutual agreement to toss the coin. One of the teams makes a decision either the wants ahead and the other team decides they want a tail. According to the rules of the game, the team that will win will decide which side it will attack. The team that loses the toss takes the kick-off and starts the game.

Change in Position:

After the toss, the players usually change their position. This is often done strategically to benefit them while playing the game. The opponents of the team must be at least 10 yards away from the ball. However, you must notice that the 10-yard circle is often made to ensure that the opposing players don’t enter the area before the kickoff takes place.


The ball is often placed in the center of the field within the 10-yard circle. As soon as the referee blows the whistle, the team can initiate the play and then kick the ball. The players that are kicking the ball cannot touch the ball until the other players touch it. Most of the time the referee also whistles to let the players know the initial play has started.


Over the past years, many players have caused infringements during the play. Infringement occurs when a player touches the ball twice. A free-kick is often to the other player when an infringement occurs. If there is a disturbance in the kick-off then the kickoff has to take place again.

The Clock:

Moreover, the clock starts as soon as the kick-off takes place. The total time of the game is over 90 minutes. The game is divided into two halves, 45- minutes each. The clock is often aided with the stoppage time. The stoppage time is the time that is added in case of the pauses that take place. The referee often decided how much should be added to make up for the pauses that have taken place. The referee often extends the 90 minutes play extend to 94 minutes overall. In soccer, the players keep on playing until the play is stopped by the referee who blows the whistles.

The referee:

There is a referee who usually controls the play of the game. The referee always has the utmost power over everything. The referee often controls the whistle and the cards. Yes, you heard it right. These are not your playing cards. These are the cards that are used by the referees. The punishment is often given in the form of cards. These cards are often red or yellow. A person is often informed about these cards if he/she makes a mistake. This is often called foul. If a player is given a red card then it means he/she has to leave the play. On further If a team loses the player then it is called ”playing with a man down”. If a player is given two yellow cards then it means a red card. A team often can’t play with 7 players.

Often if a foul takes place in the 18-yard box then the referee can often give a penalty. If a penalty occurs then the team’s opponent team can shoot at the goalkeeper from a 12-yard spot to score a goal.

Ball of the game:

There are many sizes of balls that can be used in the game. The size of the ball ranges from 3 to 4 and then 5. These balls are specifically designed for each game or tournament that is being played. The balls that are made are very light and can reach great distances.

Can a Goal Be Scored Directly From the Kickoff?

Read this Law 8 of the FIFA Laws of the Game handbook. This law clearly states that that the goal which will happened by the kickoff, will be count as a scored.

However the league has authority to disallow this rule. This is because there are many youth soccer and soccer league which are played in a small ground where the ground center not much away from the goal is.

A goalkeeper can’t stop a direct hit from a kickoff in a smaller field.

But here we are talking about the official rule so in that rule you can easily score a goal from a direct kick off from the center. You are allowed to score a goal from direct kick off.

Kickoff Procedures: (Re) Start of a Soccer Game

The kickoff you see nowadays is not much easy in the past. There were several restriction on it till 2016. And you were to follow these restriction for the sake of your team.

In the past you had to move the ball forward by the kick off. If you were failed in doing this then you were given foul for this act.

But as the time passed these rules were changed completely. Now it’s up to you wherever you want to kick the ball. You can kick off the ball in any direction according to your team planning.

Now you can kick off the ball

  • sideways,
  • forwards
  • backwards
  • or according to your decided planning

How to Properly Take a Kickoff on Offense

In this section we will discuss how offensively you can kick off. Nowadays rule have changed completely which has made the kick off very easy. In my opinion you wouldn’t get any mess up with the kickoff in these days.

One thing you have to give it in mind that if you if you are doing kickoff then you have to must hit the soccer ball. Meanwhile you can’t touch the ball twice certainly after the kickoff. if you  do this then it will  give  free kicks to the other team or ball will be handed to other team.

In simple term that you can’t do dribbling certainly at the time of the kickoff. However you can hit the ball to all direction. Moreover if you are on the offensive type and doing kick off then your team member will not cross the midfield unless the ball move.

How to Defend on a Kickoff

In this section we will discuss the perspective that how defensively you defend the kickoff. It’s up to your team that which type of presses position you form. However you can full-on collapses, it is allowed and legal in the soccer.

When your team is defending the kick off then your player can’t into the center, unless the ball move.

Frequency of Kickoffs

Kickoff occur at

  • at the start of the soccer match
  • beginning of the each half start with kickoff
  • In the second half the team which played as a defensive role in the first half, take a soccer ball for kickoff.
  • After each goal is scored, the team which against which goal is score given a kickoff.

Extra Time Protocol

Extra time is basically given to decide the winner. However it does not cause any impact on the rule of the kickoff. Their rules are remain same throughout the match. Extra time is also divided into two half.

Overtime period is also divided into two half. First overtime half start with a coin toss. The team which win the toss, will receive the kickoff. On the second overtime half the other team will receive the kickoff.


In this we have learned How to start a soccer game. Where we have discussed Kick Offs, Plays Strategy & Restarting Rules. Now we can conclude that how do you start a soccer game, it simply just start with a kickoff.

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