Laws of the Game

FIFA are the sole arbiters of the laws of the game and they've issued a publication which you can download from the bottom of this page to explain these in great details.

There are 17 laws of the game, including: the field of play; the ball; the number of players; the players’ equipment; the referee; the assistant referees; the duration of the match; the start and restart of play; the ball in and out of play; the method of scoring; offside; fouls and misconduct; free kicks; the penalty kick; the throw-in; the goal kick; the corner kick; procedures to determine the winner of a match; the technical area; the fourth official and the reserve assistant referee; interpretation of the Laws of the Game and guidelines for referees; rules of the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

Today's version continues to be based upon the rules that were first ratified by the IFAB when it was founded in 1886. Changes have occurred in accordance with the specific evolution and demands of modern day football. But the key element remains of football being seen as essentially a simple game, with laws that can be applied in the same way at any level, from the World Cup final to a friendly game on a local park.

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