UK Rules for Football

Written by jerry garner
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UK Rules for Football
In the United Kingdom, football is the term commonly used for the game of soccer. (soccer ball image by John Steel from

UK football is the home to the original sport itself. Considered to be the Holy Grounds of Football, the UK has set the standard by which many countries compete. UK football, unlike its American counterpart, is actually soccer. Although both sports require the same number of players on the field, the rules about contact, ball shape and size, and uniforms are different in UK football than in the American version.

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The field of play can be made of either natural grass or artificial turf. The field shape must be that of a rectangle, measuring 90 to 120 meters long by 45 to 90 meters wide. The goal areas on each end of the field must be 5.5 meters from each goalpost and extend outward another 5.5 meters. The penalty box area is 16.5 meters from each goalpost and extends outward another 16.5 meters.


UK football is 90 minutes long, divided into two 45-minute halves. Each half can have extended play time added in case of player injuries. The length of time added is determined by the referees on the field. If a player commits a hard foul, he is given a yellow card. If a player receives two yellow cards in a match, he is then given a red card and must miss the team's next game in competition. If a player is fouled within the penalty box area while attempting a score, then a free kick is awarded to that player. If the ball goes out of bounds after crossing the goal line of the opposition, and was last touched by an opposing player, the team then places the ball in the corner of the field and kicks it toward the goal. This is known as a corner kick. A goal is scored once the ball crosses the opponent's line and ends up in the net.

Ball and Uniforms

The ball has a circumference of 27 to 28 inches round. The ball can have various colours on it as long as the base colour is white. The ball shall weigh no more than 414 to 473ml. Team players will wear the basic uniform, which consists of a team jersey, shorts, shin guards and cleats. The goalkeeper usually wears a large set of gloves and a bright coloured jersey different from his teammates to stand out for identification purposes.


There are 11 players on the field for each team. Replacement players, usually three to seven, are chosen from a predetermined list.

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