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The Laws of Soccer 101: Preview Edition

Ladies and Gentlemen, quiet down! Get out your notepads and your #2 pencils and prepare to learn! It is time to study the laws of soccer. Sounds easy enough, right? You can’t use your hands, and you try and kick it or head it or even chest it into the net, right? It’s so easy a Caveman can do it. Actually, no. It is not.

The laws of soccer are complex.

In fact, they are damn near incomprehensible. I should know. After all, I recently sat down and read through the entire FIFA Official Laws of Soccer. And you thought War and Peace was long? The Laws of the Game are longer than most penal codes, and the rules of soccer are as open to interpretation as the rules which guide our democracy.

This is precisely why rules – in both soccer and government – are so easy to bend and even sometimes break. They are so technical that they are actually utterly ambiguous. So, I will spend the next month or so filling you in on the official FIFA laws of soccer, and along the way I will show you how these flexible rules ensure no 2 games are the same.

Rules – as they say – are made to be broken. Over the next few weeks, I will show you how to break the rules and not get caught, but I will also provide you future refs out there with the intelligence to diagnose a violation quickly and correctly. I will cover the entire FIFA Book O’ Laws, so every facet of the game will be legally dissected.

During the series, we will have some pop quizzes, and at the conclusion of the series, I will provide a Final Exam for your pleasure (or displeasure). Attendance will not be taken, but it is encouraged. Just make sure you have your scantron sheets ready, your #2 pencils sharpened, and your soccer wits about you as we learn the Laws of Soccer.