Terminology: Soccer


Photo by April Pekary

Girls soccer plays against Western Albemarle at home.

Arianna Taylor, Feature Editor/Multi-media Editor

Key terms to know:

Fouls- A foul is an act that a referee believes goes against soccer rules. 

Penalties- A penalty occurs when an offensive player is fouled in the goal box. 

Cards- There are two cards that can be pulled after a foul. A yellow card is a warning and red results in ejection from the game.

18-yard box- The 18-yard box is the area of the field where the goalie can use his or her hands, otherwise known as the goal box.

Offside- An offside occurs when an offensive player moves past the last defender on the other team before the ball comes off the offensive teammate’s foot.

Dribbling- Dribbling is the way a player moves the ball to get past an opponent.  

Goal- A goal is the term used when the ball crosses the line inside the goal. 


A soccer game is 80 minutes long, with two 40 minute halves and a ten-minute halftime. 11 players from each team are on the field at a time. Speed and ball skills are key components in soccer. Defensive players typically stay on their side, while offensive players play towards their designated goal. The midfielders are the most conditioned because they play offense and defense, depending on the situation. The goalie is the only player on the team who can touch the ball with their hands. They have to be in the 18-yard box surrounding the goal otherwise they have to use their feet. Every time the ball goes into the team’s goal, the team that kicked it gets one goal. The slaughter rule occurs when a team is winning by eight goals after 60 minutes. If one team gets to slaughter rule after 60 minutes, the game will immediately end. 

Thank you to Ashlynn Harding, Madison Corral, and Patrick Miller for helping contribute to this article!