This game is popular across the globe. It was initially developed in Great Britain during the mid-19th century. In 1900, it was designated as an official competition of the Olympic games. By the 21st century, more than 250 million players from more than 200 countries were competing, making it the most popular sport in the world.
This full-contact competition is played against two teams, each with 11 players on the field. Both males and females engage in this fierce and dynamic sport. However, their games are segregated by gender.
Official competitions are governed by the international Laws of the Game. They were initially compiled in 1863. The current regulations consist of 17 laws, which are published in a simple, easy-to-read, 50-page pamphlet. They are enforced by official referees.
The Laws of the Game include the field of play, the ball, the players' equipment, the number of players per team, the referees, the assistant referees, and the duration of matches. Also, the scoring method, borders for the ball to be out of and in play, the start and restart of a match, misconduct and fouls, offside penalties, penalty kicks, goal kicks, corner kicks, and free kicks (indirect and direct) are regulated.
This popular sport is played on a grass or artificial grass surface. While there are some variations on the size, the fields of many professional stadiums measure 115 yards (105 meters) in length, and 74 yards (68 meters) in width. The boundaries of the field are designated by lines. The shorter ends of the field are known as the goal lines, and the longer ones are called the touchlines.
Each goal is centered along a goal line. The equipment consists of two upright posts which are connected by a top crossbar. The distance between the posts must be eight feet, and the distance from the base of the crossbar to the ground must also be eight feet. Regulations require the posts and crossbars to be painted white, and constructed from an approved material, such as metal or wood.
The objective of the competition is for a team to out-score its opponent. A point is scored when the ball crosses into the opposing team's goal. It must pass completely across the goal line to be counted as a point. The goalkeeper attempts to keep the ball from crossing into her or his goal. This player is the only player who is allowed to touch the ball with her or his arms or hands. The other 10 players on the team may use their feet, heads, or torsos to propel or block the ball.
Fans who wish to watch soccer games live online can access competitions around the globe. The Satellite Direct TV service provides its users with the ability to watch more than 3,500 high-definition channels. The service requires a simple software download, and can be set-up in less than a minute. I personally use a satellite TV on PC software that allows me to watch more than 3,000 international television channels online and highly recommend it.
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