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More than 240 million people around the world play soccer regularly according to
the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The game has
evolved from the sport of kicking a rudimentary animal-hide ball around into the
World Cup sport it is today.

Records trace the history of soccer back more than 2,000 years ago to ancient
China. Greece, Rome, and parts of Central America also claim to have started the
sport; but it was England that transitioned soccer, or what the British and many
other people around the world call football, into the game we know today. The
English are credited with recording the first uniform rules for the sport, including
forbidding tripping opponents and touching the ball with hands.
As the sport developed, more rules were implemented and more historical
landmarks were set. For example, the penalty kick was introduced in 1891. FIFA
became a member of the International Football Association Board of Great Britain
in 1913. Red and yellow cards were introduced during the 1970 World Cup finals.
More recent major changes include goalkeepers being banned from handling
deliberate back passes in 1992 and tackles from behind becoming red-card
penalties in 1998.

Some of the top players throughout history include Pele (Edson Arantes Do
Nascimento) from Brazil, who scored six goals in the 1958 World Cup and helped
Brazil claim its first title; Lev Yashin from Russia, who claimed to have saved more
than 150 penalty shots during his outstanding goal-tending career; and Marco
Van Basten from Holland, who won several very prestigious soccer awards during
one year alone. There are many debates over who the greatest soccer players are
of all time; but players like Zinedine Zidane, Diego Maradona, Michel Platini,
Lionel Messi, and Roberto Baggio make almost every list.


Some suggest that the history of soccer dates back as far as 2500 B.C. During this
time, the Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese all appear to have partaken in games
involving a ball and feet.

Most of these games included the use of hands, feet, and even sticks to control a
ball. The Roman game of Harpastum was a possession-based ball game in which
each side would attempt to retain possession of a small ball for as long as
possible. The Ancient Greeks competed in a similar game entitled Episkyros. Both
of these pursuits reflected rules closer to rugby than modern day soccer.

The most relevant of these ancient games to our modern day "Association
Football" is the Chinese game of Tsu'Chu (Tsu-Chu or Cuju, meaning "kicking the
ball"). Records of the game began during the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.220 A.D.) and
it may have been a training exercise for soldiers.

Tsu'Chu involved kicking a small leather ball into a net strung between two
bamboo poles. The use of hands was not permitted, but a player could use his
feet and other parts of his body. The main difference between Tsu'Chu and soccer
was the height of the goal, which hung about 30 feet from the ground.

From the introduction of Tsu'Chu onwards, soccer-like games spread throughout

the world. Many cultures had activities that centered on the use of their feet,
including Japan's Kemari which is still played today. The Native Americans
had Pahsaherman, the Indigenous Australians played Marn Grook, and the
Moaris had Ki-o-rahi, to name a few.


Soccer began to evolve in modern Europe from the medieval period onwards.
Somewhere around the 9th century, entire towns in England would kick a pigs
bladder from one landmark to another. The game was often seen as a nuisance
and was even banned during some periods of Britains history.
Various forms of what is now known as "folk football" were played. Some of the
British games pitted two massive and rather mob-like teams against one another.
These could stretch from one end of a town to the other, with both teams trying
to get the ball into their opponent's goal.

It's said that the games were often low scoring. Standard rules were not enforced,
so almost anything was allowed and play often became quite violent. Tuesday
often saw the biggest games of the year and most matches were a big social

As the country industrialized, the space limitations of the cities and less leisure
time for workers saw a decline in folk football. This was partially attributed to
legal concerns over the violence, as well.

Versions of folk football were also played in Germany, Italy, France, and other
European countries.


The codification of soccer began in the public schools of Britain at the beginning
of the 19th century.

Within the private school system "football" was a game in which the hands were
used during periods of play and grappling allowed, but otherwise, the modern
shape of soccer was being formed.
Two barless goals were placed at each end, goalkeepers and tactics were
introduced, and high tackles outlawed. Yet, the rules varied greatly: some
resembled the play of rugby, while others preferred kicking and dribbling. Space
restraints did cool the game down from its violent origins, however.

The rules and regulations continued to evolve in Britain and by the 1800s
dedicated soccer clubs at schools began to emerge. Again, even in its semi-
organized form, the rules stretched from rugby to modern soccer. Players often
tripped each other and kicking an opponent in the shins was only frowned upon
when he was being held.

Over the years, schools began playing matches against one another. During this
time players were still allowed to use their hands and were only permitted to pass
the ball backward, as in rugby.

In 1848, the "Cambridge Rules" were established at Cambridge University. While

this allowed students to move up in the ranks as they graduated and adult
football clubs became more common, players could continue to handle the ball.
There was still quite some way to go in producing the modern game of soccer we
see today.


Soccer players should play in turf shoes or cleats, special footwear

made exclusively for soccer (make sure you dont purchase baseball or football

These shoes provide better traction on grass, which increases players ability to
stay on their feet.

The footwear material makes kicking a ball painless and provides some protection
against getting stepped on.

Younger kids are usually limited to turf shoes (for safety reasons), but when a
player gets older, he or she is allowed to wear cleats.

Soccer socks are extremely long. They cover shin-guards.

Most teams provide these with your uniform, but some require players to
purchase them separately.


Shin-guards protect players shins, a vulnerable part of a players body that often
gets kicked.

You should purchase one at a reasonable size and thickness. The shin guards
should efficiently protect the players shins and fit securely in their soccer socks.

Some coaches provide soccer balls, but purchasing one is highly recommended.

Soccer balls allow players to train and play individually or with friends outside of

Soccer balls come in sizes, 3, 4 and 5. Each age group requires a different size.
Check with your local league to see which size you need.

Every player needs to drink water during games and practices.

Purchase a fairly large water bottle that you can fill up before every practice and

Alternatively, you can purchase bottled water or sports drinks. Multiple drinks are
required for practices and games.



You might even say the goalkeeper is the distinguished member of the team. His
or her shirt is going to look different from that of teammates. Usually it's a
different color, and is long-sleeved to prevent injury.


Goalkeeper shorts are generally longer and padded compared to those of

teammates in order to prevent injury. Often Goalkeepers wear long, padded

Training Equipment

Soccer training equipment for the serious team is a must. Training equipment can
include the soccer ball machine, corner flags, cones, hurdles, balls, and nets
designed to improve speed and agility.

Corner flags come in many choices and styles, such as stakes, spring loaded bases,
hollow plastic bases, or a weighted base for fields that cannot take stakes. Know
your team's need. They all have one thing in common: their height is 5 feet, 60
inches, or 1.42 meters. Whichever the case for your team, it's important that
corner flags are well-maintained. And best to find a style that will meet all
weather and field conditions.

Marker Cones

Marker cones are important as they designate outlying areas of the field.

Other recommended items of training equipment can include spiked pole bases,
and passing arcs, which improve passing techniques, and agility ladders, and
slalom poles to improve a player's flexibility and speed.

Football Kit Bag

Soccer equipment includes the football kit bag. They're inexpensive, and handy
for organizing and toting soccer equipment. So it is a must for professional teams.
Nike offers a popular design at a reasonable price.

Referee Equipment

What would a soccer game be without the referee? There was a time when
soccer was played without a referee, or rules for that matter, other than a set of
common rules teams would agree on. The referee was added to the game to
make sure rules and order are followed. A referee's main duty is to enforce the
Laws of the Game. Soccer referee equipment includes a whistle, watch, and of
course a uniform.
The Whistle

Before the whistle, referees waved a handkerchief in the air to communicate with
players. It wasn't until the 1870s with the production of the pea whistle by the
ACME Whistle Company that soccer referees began to signal players using a high-
pitched device. It is thought that the first whistle was used in a match between
Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Norfolk, in 1878.

And only recently added to the Laws of the Game, whistles today are used to
signal the start, stop, or delay of play. That, and verbal and body communication,
are important tools of any good soccer referee.

The Uniform

During soccer's earliest days, a person donning black and white from head to heal
would have most likely been a referee, simply known as "man in black". Prior to
mid-20th century, the referee often wore a black blazer, or an otherwise bright or
eye-catching color, like red, that distinguished him from his team. The referee
uniform has changed little. Today, refs and their assistants sport a uniform
consisting simply of jersey, socks and shorts. FIFA allows jerseys to come in five
colors: black, yellow, red, green and blue. Besides the jersey, refs in most cases
must wear black shorts, black socks, with black shoes.

Indoor Soccer Equipment

Indoor and outdoor soccer equipment share similarities. The main difference is
that indoor soccer is played in an enclosed space, as opposed to a field. Among
other differences, such as goals and boundaries, generally indoor soccer is faster-
paced, has fewer players, and can be more exciting to watch. Indoor soccer
generally uses five to six players, while the outdoor uses about 11 players per
team, depending on the league. As for the indoor arena; it's smaller, about 200
feet long by 85 feet wide, whereas the size of the outdoor field varies but can be
no larger than 120 meters (394 feet) long by 90 (295 feet) meters wide, as
allowed by the U.S. Soccer Federation.


The men's and women's soccer teams have the luxury of three irrigated practice
fields, a 100-by-100 grid area, and a separate irrigated game field with lights.

The game field is equipped with dugouts, stadium seating with a capacity of 500,
wireless scoreboard, wind screen on the perimeter fencing, and lighting for night
matches. When the Norse Nation surrounds the playing field, there is not a facility
better to play or watch a collegiate soccer match.

Soccer Field Dimensions & Markings

Identify the different parts of a football pitch, their measurements, & what their
markings are for.
The dimensions are specified in Law 1 of the official. According to FIFA rules, the
standard length of a football pitch should be between 90-120 meters (100-131
yards) while its width is from 45-90 meters (49-100 yards).

Football fields used in international matches have similar measurement to the

league pitches. The minimum dimensions are 100 by 64 meters (110 by 70 yards)
while the maximum dimensions are 110 by 75 meters (120 by 80 yards).

To help you understand better the markings on a football pitch, let us name them
one by one and enumerate their uses.
The touchline
The touchline is the line at the side of the football field, hence, it is also called the
sideline. The length of the touchline is also the length of the football field. If the
ball goes out in this part of the pitch, the game will be restarted with a throw-in.

Goal line
The goal or end line is the line at the end of the pitch, which defines its width. If
the ball goes out of the end line and an attacking player is the last to touch it, the
game will be restarted with goal. If a defending player is the last to touch the ball
before it crosses the goal line, the game with be restarted with a corner kick.
Halfway line
The line that crosses the football field in the middle is called the halfway line. This
has no technical use but only serves to divide the playing field into two equal

Centre circle
the centre circle is the big, round demarcation on the middle of the playing area.
Its radius measures 9.15 meters or 10 yards. During the kickoff, only two players
can be inside this area, the one doing the kickoff and the teammate receiving it.

Centre spot
Also called centre mark, this is the bold line in the middle of the center circle,
where the ball is placed during kickoff.

Penalty box
Also called the penalty area or the 18-yard box, this is the big box located at each
end of the playing field. It measures 16.5 by 40.32 meters (18 by 44 yards). A foul
against an attacking player committed inside the penalty box is punishable with
a penalty kick.

Penalty spot

The penalty spot is the bold circle inside the 18-yard box where the ball is placed
during penalty kicks. Its distance from the goal line is 11 meters (12 yards).
Penalty arc
The penalty arc is the half circle on top of the penalty box. During a penalty kick,
no player is allowed to be inside it.

Goal box
The small box inside the penalty area is known as the goal box. Also called the six-
yard box, goal kicks are taken from anywhere in this part of the football field.

Corner arc
The semi-circles at each corner of the playing pitch are called corner arc. The ball
is placed anywhere in this area during a corner kick

Technical area
A box is drawn in front of each teams dugout. It is called the technical area and
one person at a time is allowed to shout instruction from there.

When the ball is in play the rules of soccer are fairly simple. You cannot touch the
ball with your hands or arms intentionally unless you are the goalie. You cannot
foul another player or be offside (these soccer rules are described below). Other
than that, the main rules of soccer are around the starting and stopping of play.
The Starting and Stopping of Soccer Play At the start of a soccer period or after a
goal, there is a kick-off from the center circle. At the kick-off all of the soccer
players must be on their side of the field (the side they are defending). Only the
player kicking the kick-off is allowed inside the center circle. After the kick-off the
ball will be in play until the ball goes out of bounds or the referee calls a penalty.
Other ways of restarting soccer include: Throw-in: When the soccer ball has gone
out of bounds, the team that last touched the ball loses possession and the
opposing team gets to throw-in the ball from the point where the ball crossed out
of bounds. Corner kick: When the defending team last touches the ball and it
crosses the goal line (and not scoring a goal), the opposing team gets to kick the
ball from the corner of the field. Goal kick: When the offensive team last touches
the ball before it crosses the goal line, the goalie gets to kick the ball from the
goal box. Penalty kick: When a foul occurs in the penalty area, the fouled team is
awarded a penalty kick.

Soccer Fouls Soccer fouls can be any number of unfair advantages taken by a
player that are called by the referee. These can include tripping, pushing, and
touching the ball with the hands. Free kicks or penalty kicks may be awarded to
the opposing soccer team. Very unsportsmanlike behavior may result in a yellow
card or a red card. Players that get red cards are ejected from the game. Offside
Rule The offensive player is offside if they are nearer to the opponent's goal line
than both the second and last opponent and the soccer ball. Out of Bounds Out of
bounds occurs when the ball completely crosses over the boundary line. Throw-in
When throwing the ball in at throw-in, the ball must be thrown from behind and
over the head using both hands. When the ball leaves the thrower's hands, both
of his/her feet must be touching the ground.


In order to allow players to play the game in a fair manner, the referee can call
fouls. The penalty from a foul can vary depending on the type and severity of the
foul. Minor offenses - The opposing team is awarded an indirect free kick. More
serious offenses - The opposing team is awarded a direct free kick. This will be a
penalty kick if it occurs within the penalty box. Caution - A yellow card can be
given for repeated fouls. A second yellow results in a red and expulsion from the
game. Expulsion - The player must leave the game and cannot be substituted for.
Penalties for the most part are up to the discretion of the referee and what they
determine to be unfair play. The referee always has the final say. Any arguing with
the referee could result in a yellow or red card. Types of Fouls The following
actions are not allowed in soccer and will result in a foul call: Kicking an opponent
Tripping Jumping into an opponent (like when you are going for a header)
Charging into an opponent Pushing Tackling from behind Tackling an opponent
and you make contact with the player prior to making contact with the ball.
Holding Touching the ball with your hands (if you are not the goalkeeper) The free
kick is awarded from the spot of the foul, except in the case where it took place in
the opponent's penalty box. In that case a penalty kick can be awarded. Caution
(Yellow Card) The referee can choose to give a caution or yellow card to a player
for the following actions: Unsportsmanlike behavior (note that this includes trying
to trick the referee) Arguing with the referee Fouling a lot Delaying the game
Entering or leaving the game without informing the referee Expulsion (Red Card)
When the referee shows a red card, this means the player has been kicked out of
the game. A red card can be given for the following actions: A serious foul Violent
actions against the referee or other players Using their hands to stop a goal (when
not the goalkeeper) Using bad language Receiving a second caution The
Goalkeeper There are also special rules and fouls regarding the goalkeeper. The
goalkeeper can be called for a foul for the following actions: Holding the ball for
more than 6 seconds Touching the ball again with his hands after a teammate has
kicked the ball to him Touching the ball with his hands directly after a throw-in by
a teammate.
Soccer: Strategy

Although soccer may seem like a relatively simple sport, soccer is only simple in
the rules and the basic game play. The strategy of the game can be quite complex
especially at high levels of play like professional and World Cup. Soccer Strategy
for the Offense The team that has possession of the soccer ball is on the offense.
When on offense a soccer team may take a number of different tactics or
strategies depending on which players are in the game at the time and on the skill
level and type of the players. One general strategy of offensive play that all soccer
players should employ is Passing and Moving. This means that you should never
just stand still on offense. Whenever a player has the ball, they need to either
pass the ball or dribble. Just standing still is a sure way to lose possession. This
also applies to any offensive player near the player with the ball. They should
always be moving and looking for an opening and providing passing lanes for their
teammate. Another good strategy is to pass the ball and then move quickly to
another open space closer to the goal. By continuing to move and create passing
lanes, the defense can be put at a disadvantage. Another good offensive soccer
strategy is to Switch the Attack. This is a long pass to another area of the field that
has less defenders. It may be backwards towards ones own goal or all the way
across the field. This gives the offense a chance to re-group and form a new attack
on goal. Some offensive soccer teams will play Possession Ball. This is when the
team tries to keep possession of the ball for a long period of time. They may pass
the ball backwards side-to-side with no real apparent attack. This can be a good
strategy at periods over a long soccer game. Passing the ball takes much less
effort than dribbling or chasing the ball. The defensive soccer team will use much
more energy to try and chase the ball down than the offensive team will passing
the ball around. This can also be a good soccer strategy when the offensive team
has a good lead and wants to take some time off the clock. When playing on
offense, there are certain other key skills and times during the game that any
team should be ready for and have a strategy. These include: Throw-ins: Throw-
ins seem like a small part of the game. You just pick up the ball and throw it back
in. However, there are lots of throw-ins during a game and they should not be
taken too lightly. Consistently getting a good throw-in to set up the next play can
be key in keeping possession of the ball. Players that can throw the ball far can be
valuable in certain areas of the field and can even set up goal scoring plays. Goal
kicks: Similar to throw-ins, goal kicks don't seem that important to many soccer
players, but since there are many during a game, the coach should have a few
different strategies on how and where to place the kick depending on the game
situation. Corner kicks: Most teams practice corner kicks and have a couple of
defined plays. Corner's are one of the best scoring opportunities in a soccer game.
There is usually a player that kicks the corner best from the left side and another
from the right side. Depending on the defense, kicking the ball high and long or
short can be the best play. Often goals are scored via headers off the kick, so
there should be some tall players that can jump and head the ball well charging
toward the kick. However, rebounds off defenders or the goalie is another great
scoring chance, so a player or two that comes in late looking for the rebound is
also a good strategy. Soccer Strategy for the Defense The team that does not have
possession of the ball is the defense. Good team defense is essential to winning
any soccer game. Defense is not just the goalie's job, but the job off all eleven
players. A good defensive soccer team will learn to communicate and form walls
of defense against the offense. A player or two should always remain between
the ball and the goal. Other players should be covering the other offensive players
to make sure that they can't get open for a short goal shot. This is often called
"marking". It is a good idea for defenders to force the player with the ball towards
the sidelines. By playing the right angle and turning the body, the defensive player
can guide or channel the offensive player to the sidelines. This makes it hard for
the offense to get off a good shot or get a good angle for a pass. It can also cause
them to lose the soccer ball over the sideline and, therefore, get the possession
back. Some teams have a player they call the sweeper. This is a defensive player
that positions in the center of the soccer field usually a bit deeper than the rest of
the defence. The sweeper roams the backfield looking to steal or "sweep" any
balls that get through the defense. Defences can also trap the player with the ball
with two players preventing them from getting off a pass and stealing the ball.
This can be a risky but rewarding play. Defences should take advantage of the
soccer offside rule. By coordinating the last line of defense and keeping track of
the offensive player's locations, a defense can trap a player offsides and cause a
turnover of the ball.
What Are the Fundamental Skills in Soccer?

Soccer is a sport unlike almost all others, as the feet are needed for technical skills
more than the hands. A number of fundamental skills are needed to play soccer,
with advanced players able to build on the fundamental skills for more complex
and precise dribbling, passing and shooting. The skills of a soccer player also vary
from one position to another, with a goalkeeper needing much different skills
than a field player.


Passing is one of the most fundamental skills in soccer, as it is how you move the
ball from yourself to another teammate. For a short basic pass, you will turn your
foot 90 degrees to the outside and swing your leg so that the inside of your leg
makes contact. If you want to send the ball farther, you will swing your leg with
more power and aim for the lower half of the ball, to pop it into the air and use
the inside of your toes.

Receiving a Pass

Whether you are receiving a pass that is on the ground or traveling through the
air, you will want to square your shoulders to the direction the ball is coming
from. If it is on the ground, turn your foot toward the outside as if you were
passing, and with your knees bent, cushion the ball so it stops right at your feet.
For a ball traveling through the air, you will most likely want to receive the ball
with your chest. Stand with your back arched slightly backwards so when the ball
hits your chest, it will pop gently into the air and then land at your feet, rather
than bounce off out of your control.


There are a number of unconventional ways to score a goal, but the fundamental
way to try to score is by taking a shot. When shooting, your plant foot, follow
through and where you contact the ball are all important. You will want to place
your non-shooting foot just outside the ball, with your toe pointing at the
direction you are aiming to shoot. Swing your leg through the ball, aiming higher
on the ball if you want to keep it low or lower on the ball if you want to send it
through the air. Follow through with your shooting leg, in a hopping motion that
brings your plant foot off the ground, and land on the foot you shot with for the
most power.

Outside of passing, dribbling is the primary method of moving the ball up the
field. This works best when you have open field in front of you without pressing
defenders. Most players find success using the top of their foot to push the ball
along the ground when passing, and the more advanced you get the more parts of
your foot you will be able to use when dribbling. The goal of dribbling is to move
the ball quickly while keeping the ball close to your body, so that you can make a
quick decision to pass, shoot or change direction whenever needed.


The goalkeeper is the last line of defense, in charge of doing whatever possible to
keep the ball out of the net. As goalie, you can use your entire body, including
your hands and arms, to stop the ball. The best way for a goalie to catch the ball is
to form a "W" with your thumbs and index fingers, with your hands open and
palms facing away from you. This will help you catch a ball traveling at a high
speed without it going through your hands. The other fundamental skill for
goalies is punting, which is how you distribute the ball upfield after making a save.
Hold the ball over your dominant foot, and then drop the ball as you swing your
foot, making contact and sending the ball through the air. Land on your
"shooting" foot on your follow through like you are taking a shot.

Football officials enforce the rules of the game and, as such, are usually the
people who draw the most ire from coaches, players and fans. Without these rule
keepers monitoring the progress of a football game, the game might not progress
with a set structure.

There are seven officials in football and they each have very important roles.
Officials keep the game rolling along by monitoring the game clock and play clock.

They also call a penalty when a rule is broken, record all rule infractions and make
sure the athletes do not unnecessarily hurt each other.

Officials are usually referred to by the general term of referees, but actually, there
is only one referee on the field during a game. Each official has his own title and
assigned responsibilities: referee, umpire, head linesman, line judge, back judge,
field judge and side judge. A referee is the only official wearing a white hat, all
other officials wear black hats.


The referee is the lead official that has control of the game and is generally the
final authority in all decisions.

It is the role of the referee to announce all penalties. The referee explains
penalties to the offending team's captain and coach and says which player is
responsible for the penalty. The referee is positioned in the backfield,
approximately 10 yards behind the quarterback before the start of the play.
The referee monitors illegal hits on the quarterback, watches for illegal blocks
near the quarterback and determines if the yardage chains are needed on the
field for a measurement.


The umpire is the official that lines up approximately five yards off the line of
scrimmage on the defensive side of the ball.

The umpire assists the referee on decisions involving possession of the ball. The
umpire monitors the legality of play on the line of scrimmage with a special
emphasis on offensive holding and illegal linemen down field. The umpire makes
sure that the offense has no more than 11 players on the field and checks the
legality of player's equipment. The umpire records all scores, timeouts, records
the winner of the coin toss and wipes the ball dry between plays during inclement


The head linesman is the official on the sideline that straddles the line of
scrimmage looking for scrimmage violations like offsides or encroachment and
penalties likeillegal motion, illegal shifts, illegal use of hands and illegal men

The head linesman rules on all out-of-bounds plays along the sideline where
positioned. The head linesman keeps tabs on the chain crew and marks the chain
to a yard marker on the field as a reference point for a measurement on the field.
Also, the head linesman keeps track of all eligible receivers and marks the forward
progress of the ball.


The line judge is the official who lines up on the opposite side of the field from the
head linesman.

The line judge assists the head linesman on making calls of illegal motion, illegal
shifts, offsides or encroachment. The line judge assists the umpire with illegal use
of the hands and holding calls and assists the referee on false start calls.

The line judge makes sure the quarterback does not cross the line of scrimmage
before throwing the ball, watches for offensive lineman going downfield too early
on punts, supervises the timing of the game and supervises substitutions by the
team on the side of the field where positioned.


The back judge is the official who sets up 20 yards deep in the defensive backfield
on the wide receiver side of the field. One of the roles of the back judge is to
make sure the defensive team has no more than 11 players on the field. The back
judge watches all eligible receivers on the wide receiver side of the field.

The back judge is responsible for monitoring the area between the umpire and
the field judge. The back judge rules on the legality of catches and pass
interference penalties and has the final say regarding the legality of kicks during
kickoffs. During field goals, the back judge is positioned under the goalpost and
rules whether the field goal attempt was successful.

The field judge is the official that lines up 25 yards deep in the defensive backfield
on the tight end side of the field. The field judge is responsible for keeping track
of the play clock and calling a delay of game if the clock expires. Like the back
judge, the field judge makes sure the defensive team has no more than 11 players
on the field. The field judge rules on plays that cross the defense's goal line, rules
on the legality of catches and pass interference penalties and monitors all eligible
receivers on the tight end side of the field. Also, if a play goes out of bounds on
the tight end side of the field, the field judge marks the spot.


The side judge is the official positioned 20 yards deep in the defensive backfield
near the same sideline as the head linesman. Side judge duties are essentially the
same as the back judge. The side judge makes sure the defensive team has no
more than 11 players on the field and watches all eligible receivers from that side
of the field. The side judge is responsible for monitoring the area between the
umpire and the field judge, assists on calling the legality of kicks during kickoffs
and rules on the legality of catches and pass interference penalties.