The Laws of Football


A football game is played on a field where teams are allowed to move the ball forward in a series of plays. The teams have four downs, or chances to gain 10 yards, and if they fail to gain that yardage by the end of the fourth down, the ball is turned over to the defense. A player on each team is called an “off-field player”, which can be either a quarterback or a running back. During the game, players run back and forth, and the offense and defense make adjustments to the play if necessary.

The main objective of the game is to advance the ball to the goal. Players dribble the ball toward one another, pass to teammates, and take shots at the opposing team’s goal. During the game, players may make contact with each other to gain control of the ball, but physical contact between players is relatively limited. Play is fast-paced and free-flowing, and ends only when the ball reaches the opposing team’s goal line or when the referee calls for a restart.

The Laws of the Game dictate the rules of the game. There are seventeen laws that govern the game. Each law applies to all levels of the game, with exceptions for certain groups. Many of these laws are formulated in general terms to make it easier for players to interpret and apply them. In addition, numerous IFAB decisions and directives have regulated the sport. The laws of the game are posted on the official FIFA website. The rules and regulations of football are constantly updated and refined.