Football, as every other game, has its own set of rules and regulations to ensure one team does not exploit the other and the game proceeds in a disciplined manner and prevents physical assaults and injuries.
The materials needed to play in a football match are the team shirt, shorts, shin guards, socks and studded boots or trainers as the surface demands. The goalkeeper alone uses gloves and a distinct colored jersey for purposes of identification.
Football is played on either a natural or an artificial surface such as astro-turf. But whatever the surface, the field should be rectangular in shape, 90-120 meters long and 45-90 meters wide. However, the universally accepted football ground is 120 yards long and 53 ? yards wide.
At either end of the playing field separated by 100 yards are the two goal lines. The additional 10 yards at either end is called the end zone. Further, the entire playing field is segregated every 5 yards with a marked yard line.
Format of the game
Football is a game played between two opposing teams of eleven players each and the duration of play is 90 minutes. This 90-minutes period is split into two halves of 45 minute each. However, the referee will permit extra time at the end of each half of play, to compensate for any time loss due to stoppage of play, on account of disturbances.
The teams swap their positions at the commencement of the second 45-minutes of play. The winner of the game has to score more goals than the opponents when the game ends.
Teams are allowed to change/substitute their players without restrictions when the play is in progress. However to do this, each team must have adequate bench strength.
The foremost rule of the game is no player except the goalkeeper can touch the ball with his hands during the play. The players need to make use of their feet to hit the ball and any other part of their body to play the ball.
Role of referee
The football match is played with an impartial referee who is fully conversant with the rules of the game. The referee, assisted two linesmen, enforces the rules of the game and ensures there is no foul play. These assistants or linesmen can not enter the field, but only guide the referee by remaining alongside the pitch.
The referee, in his discretion, can permit extra time at the end of each half of play to compensate for any time loss due to stoppage of play due to disturbances. The referee's responsibilities include keeping the time while the match is in progress, awarding free kicks as well as penalties.
Punishment for misconduct
Misconduct of players on the field during the match will be viewed seriously by the referee and the referee can punish the delinquent player by issuing a yellow card as a caution. If two yellow cards are shown to the same player, it is deemed as a red card.
A red card means the concerned player is expelled and cannot participate in the remaining part of the game. A red card can also be shown straightaway for any major offences by a player - such as a serious foul, violent behavior, spitting in the ground, deliberately handling the ball and using abusive language.