Soccer Terms & Soccer Rule Definitions

Soccer Terms, soccer glossary, soccer definitions
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Questions and answers 
on the 
Laws of the Game


© 1998 jointly in the following individuals: Jim Geissman, 
David Graham, Jim MacQueen, Connie Matthies, Jim Meinhold, 
Chris Mohr, Gary Rue, Ken Smith, Dave Teetz, Ron Tremper, 
who are together known pseudonymously as the SOCCER-COACH-L 

Glossary of Soccer Terms
50/50 ball: A loose ball contested by a player from each 
team and which may be won by either one of them (a frequent 
cause of injury as players collide in attempting to be first 
to the ball). 
Abandon the game: Occasionally the referee will stop the 
game with no chance of resuming it; in that case, the game 
is said to have been abandoned. Seriously inclement weather 
or bench-clearing brawls are typical reasons. 
Advantage: A discretionary judgement which allows an 
official to permit play to continue rather than stopping 
play to administer a foul. The is because the foul did not 
put the offended team at a disadvantage, or the foul, should 
it have been called, may take away a favorable opportunity 
for the offended team. (Law 5)  
Assist: One player passes the ball to a second player, who 
scores as a result of the pass. 
Assistant referee: One of two assistants to the center 
referee. Their duties include: Calling the ball out of play, 
determining the team that is awarded a corner kick, goal 
kick or throw-in, calling offside, notifying the referee of 
a pending situation, monitoring for misconduct and a ny duty 
that the referee deems necessary. Formerly called 
"linesman". (Law 6) 
Association football: The original name of soccer.
Attacking half: Generally considered the offensive half. The 
half of the field where one particular team is trying to 
Attacking third: Some coaches prefer to divide the fields 
into thirds in setting tactical goals for their team. The 
attacking third is the third of the field where one 
particular team is trying to score. The other two thirds are 
called the defensive third and middle third. 
Away: Instruction issued by a goal keeper to teammates to 
tell them to clear the ball without attempting to control 
Away strip: See strip. (Law 4) 
AYSO: American Youth Soccer Organization. A recreational 
youth soccer program whose motto is "Everyone plays". 
Back: 1. Movement by players towards their own goal; 2. 
Communication to a teammate, who is carrying the ball, for a 



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