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The Laws of Soccer 101: The Field

According to FIFA Law of Soccer No. 1,  a soccer pitch – to be “official” – must meet certain specifications. However, the vast varieties of fields that can meet the criteria to be deemed “official” are actually infinite.

Here is your first Pop Quiz Question: Which of the following fields would be considered “official” according to FIFA Law of Soccer No. 1 for a standard league match?

A. A natural grass 100 yd x 50 yd field with a rectangular wooden goal.  

B. An artificial turf 150 yd x 100 yd pitch  with a square metal goal.

C. A grass-turf hybrid pitch measuring 120 yd x 70 yd with an elliptical aluminum goal. 

D. Any green surface meeting FIFA’s ambiguous standards that is somewhat rectangular and non-dangerous.

E. All of the Above.

It’s (E), of course (my quizzes are easy). Yet, look at the vast differences between the four pitches I described. That is why it is fitting that FIFA Law of Soccer #1 is “The Field”. It is probably the most ambiguous and wide-ranging rule in the book, just like the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution is the most analyzed provision in legal history. In fact…

Pop Quiz Question #2: Our 1st Amendment rights prohibit Congress from:

A. Establishing a Religion or Impeding the Free Exercise of Religion.

B. Abridging the Freedom of Speech or the Press.

C. Denying People the Right to Peacefully Assemble.

D. Preventing People from Petitioning the Government for a Redress of Grievances.

E. All of the Above.

It’s (E) again (just assume “All of the Above” will always be the correct answer… I’m a lazy teacher). The lesson here is both the 1st Amendment and the 1st Law of Soccer encompass far more than almost any other rule. They set forth the most important principles of the game and they determine how level the playing field will be. Literally in soccer’s case.

So, come back in a few days to learn about the 2nd Law of Soccer according to the Holy FIFA Laws of the Beautiful Game. Although it is not as hotly debated as the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution (The Right to Bare Arms and Then Kill Bears and Display Stuffed Bear Arms), it does involve an equally dangerous attacking weapon: The Ball.