How Much Do You Know About FIFA Rules?

By: Kale Havervold

What is the required height for corner flagposts?

Corner flagposts are used when a team takes a corner kick and to mark each corner of the field. These must be at least 5 feet tall, and cannot be sharp on the top. They are compulsory for all FIFA-official fields.

How heavy is the ball required to be before a game?

There are many rules about the soccer ball and how large and heavy it might be. The ball must have a circumference of between 68-70 cm and weigh between 14-16 oz at the start of a match. The ball may deflate a bit during the game, which is why they measure at the start.

What occurs if a ball explodes or becomes defective during a game?

While it is relatively uncommon, there are some times during FIFA games where the ball might explode or become defective. If that is the case, a replacement ball is used and is dropped at the spot where the last one was destroyed.

How many players are on the field during a game per team?

A soccer game takes place between two teams, each with 11 players on the field (including goalies). The other 10 players on each team are made up of forwards, midfielders and a defense.

When does a goal kick happen?

Goal kicks normally happen when the attacking team misses a shot and kicks the ball over the defensive teams' goal line. The goalie can then go retrieve the ball and place the ball on the first line of the goal area and kick it back into play.

Which of these is something referees shouldn't use body language for?

Body language is very important for refs in all types of sports. You need to remain in control of the game and show the players that you are not going to be pushed around or walked all over.

Is there a limit to how much stoppage time can be added to the end of a half/game?

There is no official rule for how much stoppage time can be added by a referee at the end of a half. Generally, it is around 3-5 minutes or so, depending how many stoppages take place during the half.

The minimum amount of players that a team needs to be able to play is ...

While a full team of players would be 11, it is actually possible for a team to play with as little as 7. While most teams will have enough substitutes to never have to play with 7, it is possible.

How many substitutions (per team) can be made during an official competition match?

While many teams may elect to keep the same 11 players on the pitch for the duration of a game, there is the option to make a total of three substitutions. If the game is not in official competition, the number is six.

Which colors can official FIFA soccer goals (goal posts and crossbar) be?

Goals must be white in color, no matter where your field or stadium is located. Some fields will, of course, have different colored posts, but they will not be able to host official FIFA matches.

When does a ref not use their whistle?

While the whistle is incredibly important most of the time during a FIFA soccer game, they are actually not needed when a goal is scored. If a whistle is used too much when it doesn't need to be, it can have less impact during the actual important moments.

What surfaces can games be played on?

Official FIFA games must be played on either natural grass or artificial turf. The choice depends on things like how much maintenance a stadium wants to perform, costs and weather.

How large is the radius of the center circle on the field?

The halfway line on a soccer field features a center circle that has a radius of 10 yards. This circle is where each half of a game starts, and it indicates how far back opposing players must stand at kick off.

What happens if the ball hits a ref or assistant ref during game play?

If a player kicks a ball that accidentally hits a ref, the play continues on as normal. The refs are considered part of the match, so hitting them with the ball is just like hitting another player with the ball.

When was goal-line technology first introduced and used in games?

Goal-line technology has been used in games since 2012. This technology helps refs to determine if a goal has been scored or not. It will let refs know if a ball has completely crossed the goal line or not.

Can any player on the bench be substituted into a FIFA game?

Before any game, a team must provide the ref with a list of players who may potentially enter the game as subs. This list can be as short as three people, but can be up to twelve. These are the only players that will be available to sub in.

How does an assistant referee signify a play that is offside?

When a play is offside, the assistant ref will hold up their arm with a flag in hand. This signifies to everyone that an offside has occurred. After that, an indirect free kick is awarded to the defending team.

Which is not a basic requirement for a foul?

There are a wide range of things that can be counted as fouls such as sliding, tripping, unsportsmanlike behavior and diving. An injury isn't required for a foul to be called, as it is the action, not the result, that is penalized.

How long can a goalkeeper hold the ball in their hands during play?

While goalies are allowed to use their hands, they are only allowed to hold and control the ball for a period of less than six seconds. If they exceed that, the opposing team will be awarded an indirect free kick.

Officially, how wide is a goal?

Soccer goalies have a tough job, as they have to protect a goal that is 8 yards wide from post to post. In addition to that, there is 8 feet from the ground to the bottom of the crossbar.

What type of jewelry are players allowed to wear during FIFA games?

While many players may usually wear jewelry, it is not allowed during the game. This is for safety reasons as the jewelry could potentially hurt others or the individual wearing it.

How many assistant referees are there during a FIFA game?

In addition to the main referee, most games also include two assistant referees. These people are responsible for controlling and monitoring the game, and making sure everyone abides by the rules.

How many languages are the laws of the game published in by FIFA?

The laws of the game are written in four different languages, which are English, French, German and Spanish. If there is any bit of divergent wording, the English text is authoritative.

What are the rules about the color of the field?

While natural grass is, of course, green, games are allowed to be played on artificial turf. This turf can technically be made any color, but FIFA requires all field surfaces to be green.

Each half of an official FIFA match is ...

Each half during a soccer game is 45 minutes, with potentially a few minutes of stoppage time depending on the events of the game. Games can be shorter if the teams and officials agree to alter their durations.

What is a red card?

If a player is shown the red card by a ref, they have been ejected from a game. This is usually because of a serious offense (usually violent or deliberate), or if they got two yellow cards in the same game.

A ball touches the out of bounds line, but doesn't fully cross, what happens?

Every sport is different in their out of bounds rule, and in FIFA soccer games, the ball must be completely over the line. Even if it is 95% over the line, it is still technically a live ball and the game will not stop.

When is a corner kick awarded?

If a ball is kicked past the goal line by the defending team, without a goal being scored, the attacking team is given a corner kick. These are generally better than throw-ins as they go much faster and travel a longer distance.

What is the difference between a direct and indirect free kick?

In order for a player to score directly from a free kick, it must be a direct free kick. If an indirect free kick hits another player and then goes in, it too will count as a goal. The ref will make the distinction so players know which type of kick they have.

What happens if a player is injured during a game?

If an injury is considered minor, play will continue until it is stopped for another reason such as a foul, goal or the ball is out of bounds. However, if the ref believes a player is badly injured or a foul occurred on the play, it can be stopped.

How much "extra time" is given in a tie game if a winner is needed?

While most of the time soccer games can end in a tie, there are some games that need a decisive winner. If the game is tied after the 90 minutes, two periods of 15 minutes will be played. If that doesn't settle anything, a shootout of penalty kicks will occur.

The goal area extends into play ...

The goal area extends six yards into play and is also a little bit wider than the goal posts themselves. The first line signifies the start of the goal area and is the line where the ball is placed during a goal kick.

Which is not a rule about shinguards?

The shinguards are the only type of basic protective equipment that all players in FIFA games are required to wear. They must be completely covered by your socks and must be made of a suitable material.

When a player is substituted into a game, where do they enter the field of play?

If a player is to enter the game as a sub, they need to do it at the halfway line. In addition to that, the player must not enter the field until the player he is replacing has left and signaled to the ref.

How wide are the various lines on a soccer field?

A soccer field is made up of a variety of different lines including touch lines, goal lines a center line and more. These lines can be no wider than 5 inches (or 12 cm) or the field doesn't abide by the rules.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: Wiki Commons by Marcello Casal Jr/Agência Brasil

About This Quiz

While its popularity in the USA is still behind sports like football and basketball, there is no doubting that soccer is the most popular sport on the planet. There are billions of soccer fans all over the world, each passionate and invested in their respective teams or countries. 

And if you are talking about soccer around the world, you have to mention FIFA. FIFA (which stands for the International Federation of Association Football) is the governing body of association football/soccer. It is responsible for most of the major tournaments in the sport including the World Cup, which is arguably the most popular and loved sports event on the planet.

While everyone has their favorite team, country or player to cheer for, how much do you actually know about the rules of FIFA? Do you know the dimensions of the field? How about how many substitutions a team is allowed? Knowing the rules of the game is something that many people pride themselves on, but few actually know about. With that in mind, we have decided to craft a quiz all about FIFA rules.

This quiz will test your knowledge on FIFA and soccer, and there will be a wide range of different types of questions to answer. Without any further ado, get ready to test your knowledge on the rules of FIFA. How many do you think you can get right?

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!