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Football is a game quite similar to hockey. The only difference is that you don't need sticks and you hit the ball with your legs. The setup is not too different from hockey. 2 teams will go one-on-one and try to shoot the ball with their legs into the other teams goal which is protected by a goalie. The ball is tactfully dribbled and passed between the team members while the other team tries and grabs the ball with their feet. Kicking the opponent team is not allowed, nor is pushing and speaking. It is a fast moving game and has very few rules.

You need to concentrate on 3 areas before playing football. Equipment, Players and Location.

Equipment :
Fortunately the main thing you need to play football is a football. You can also have shin pads to protect your shins and your shoes need to have a good grip. Shoes with studs on the soles are preferable and you should take care that they do not come above your ankles. Long socks are advisable since football can be quite a mucky sport and is best enjoyed in the monsoons. Make your child wear shorts and a t-shirt. He must be comfortable since the sport requires a lot of running and dribbling.

The soccer ball is easily available at any sports store. It is generally cased in leather with an inflated tubing inside. An average circumference size of 28 inches and it's light weight with spotted black and white or coloured hexagons on the surface mark the distinct personality of this ball.

Football Equipment

Approximate Prices*


Rs. 150 - 350


Rs. 240 - 1100

Shin Guards

Rs. 75 - 250
* The above prices are indicative prices and may vary according to the quality / brand of equipment.

Players :
To play football you need 11 players on each team and a few substitutes. The players are divided into attackers and defenders. One generally demarcates them as 3 defenders, 5 mid-fielders and 2 forwards along with the goalie.

Location :
Football merely requires an open field with 2 goals on either end. Choose one that is rectangular and preferably with short cropped grass to avoid injury. Make sure that the earth is not rocky and is free of ditches since the players are required to run a lot and most of their concentration lies on the ball.


The game is timed for 90 minutes with a half time at 45 minutes. The 2 sides toss a coin to decide who gets possession of the ball at the center of the field and then the side which wins kicks off. The players need to dribble and pass the ball constantly from one to another, making their way towards their opponent's goal. The attackers go forward with the ball while the midfielders keep on trying to get the ball into the opponent's half of the field. The defenders make sure that the ball does not come near the goalie. In case one of the players gets injured, he can quickly be substituted by a reserve player.

There are a few terms in soccer that your child may need to remember :

Corners : When the defending team's player touches the ball just before it passes over the boundary of the goal line, the opponents are allowed a kick from the corner of the defender's goal. This is called a corner.

Foul : Though football has very few rules it does tend to get a bit too free at times. Players lose their tempers and sometimes even hurt each other physically and verbally. Such actions lead to the referee declaring a foul. For example one cannot trip another player while trying to get the ball from him. That would constitute a foul.

Dropped Ball : If the game stops for any reason which is not related to any of the players the referee can restart the game by dropping the ball in the center of the field.

Marking : In this technique the players 'mark' the opponent's individual players and allow them very little room for action. That way they are not allowed to intercept passes and one has a check on the opponents.

Tackling : This is the art of whisking away the ball from the opponent while he is dribbling towards your goal.

Free Kick : These are given to the opposite team when a member of a team fouls for any reason.

Throw-in : If the ball crosses the touch line then the game is restarted by a member of the team which has not made the error. He picks up the ball and throws it in towards his team member and the game goes on.

Wall : When a free kick is awarded, the members of the defending team line up beside each other and create a barrier for the ball so that it does not get through. This is called a wall.