Total Soccer Noob: Rules & Halp

Hey. I was a really active, fit, and athletic type when I was younger until semi-recently. Now I’m disgusted with myself and am desperately looking for an activity to play. Any activity will do. A buddy of mine plays some soccer, although I don’t know how serious they are.

Being an athletic, competitive asshole type, an for this being the first time I’ve ever played soccer in my life, what can I get away with What are the rules? Also, bonus points for shoes. I presume I’m playing indoors, but what kind of shoes might be best?

The rules are put the ball in the other people’s net but don’t ever use your arms or your hands. Shoulders are ok though.

If you’re playing indoors then you want really, really good tread because it involves a lot of suddenly turning on one foot to try and get round the other player. So you might slide around a lot indoors.

Excellent. So my plan is to run until I throw up, and then run some more.

Going from zero exercise to a stop-start game like indoor soccer is asking for injury trouble.

(From someone who tore an achilles tendon a few years ago in a touch-rugby game as part of a plan to get back into playing proper sport after five years at a desk).

Indoor Soccer is great for fitness, but yes, you will be struggling for a while until your fitness gets up. Rule wise, I have played two kinds of indoor soccer with varying rules, but both were pretty easy to pick-up in a short space of time.

For your shoes, some places might stipulate non-marking soles, but generally speaking you’ll get away with a pair of sneakers. If you start playing and want to get something more suitable, you can buy shoes specifically made for indoor soccer or otherwise any hardwood floor type sport shoe will suffice.

It’s best to check with the people you are playing with but it is common when playing indoor football to have a ‘head-height’ rule, i.e. you can’t kick the ball above head height.

Also, it is common for opposing outfield players not to be allowed in the keeper’s area, i.e. you must shoot from outside the area.

If you’ve never have played it before, you’d probably be better of outdoors. Indoor football requires a lot of technique and touch, something that you probably don’t have (yet). In outdoor (normal) football you can get away with a lot less technique; hell you can even make it to world cup, just look at the England side :smiley:

Indoor football is completely different to normal football. The trick to indoor football is to always keep moving and pass the ball quickly. Also, are you playing with walls? Bouncing the ball off the wall is pretty essential if you’re playing proper 5-a-side. On rules: if it’s indoor, it’s likely you won’t be allowed to enter the goalkeeper’s area to score, and if you enter your own while defending (and not the goalkeeper), it will be a penalty. There may also be a “no ball over head height rule”, too.

Some indoor fields have turf that require cleats. Some are hard surfaces. Ask the guys on the team if you need flats or spikes.

Okay, now for the “What Can I Get Away With” segment.
If I have the ball, can I stiffarm someone away from me? Anything else? If I don’t have the ball, what can I do to get it back from them?

No. And the less competitive the league, the less physical play you will get away with (esp. in indoor soccer).

Probably the most popular indoor soccer shoes are Adidas Sambas, but you might want to go to a store to try on shoes to see what fits you best.

To clarify my last post. What you will be able to get away with is shielding. That basically means placing yourself between an opponent and the ball for tactical reasons. You are allowed to use a normal amount of arm and elbow room, but you cannot extend your arms beyond that range. The competitiveness of the league will determine how strictly that is enforced. Also, the vast majority of leagues do not allow sliding or slide tackling, so that is out.

You can’t hand somebody off, is that’s what stiffarming means. You can use your shoulder to knock somebody off the ball and lean into a player if you’re both running for the same ball.

Okay, good to know I can’t give someone a handjob in the middle of the game. That be a yellow card or some shit.

Fitness counts for more in 11 a side, outdoor football, especially junior football, but even so skill and ball practice is primary. A bunch of unfit, elderly ex-footballers will humiliate a super-fit bunch of newbies every time - I speak from personal humiliation.

The fittest players usually go into midfield, because they have to support the attack and come back to defend, and they have to be able to pass. Strikers need speed, guile and ball control. Defenders need height, strength and tackling ability.

If a ball is knocked off the side of an outdoor pitch, it is thrown in by the oppossing team. If it is knocked off the ends then either the goalkeeper kicks it out, or the opposing team gets a corner. A corner is kicked from the corner, normally straight into the goalbox, and normally most people there jump up to try and head it into or away from the goal.

As for the rules, bear in mind the rules are something enforced by the referee and two assistants, and are not something players live by. The only rule in life is don’t get caught. It used to be common that as players were about to jump in the box, an opposing player would grab their scrotum, so as to make jumping ill-advised. You would be red-carded (sent off) for that offence, but it is difficult to spot in a mellee, as is an elbow to the face when players are running side by side.

A dangerous tackle, where you raise your boots or obviously try to damage someone will always be red-carded, but less dangerous behaviour gets a warning ‘yellow card’, two of which equate to a red card. However, when a tackle successfully makes contact with the ball before making contact with another player, the followup collision is generally ignored, no matter how damaging or deliberate.

When a striker breaks away from the defence and heads to score, a defender will often pole-axe the striker in wht is called a ‘professional foul’. If they are the last defender, they will be red-carded. If any foul is committed in a teams penalty box by that team then the other team will get a penalty kick, which usually produces a goal.

The rest of the rules you will pick up in your first match, except the offside rule which you will find tens of thousands of explanations of when you play a full 90 minute match.

For outdoors, grass but especially astroturf, buy a cheap pair of trainers with molded studs. If you keep playing, you will buy better boots but they are good enough for six months to see how good you are and how committed. You get similarly cheap indoor boots, anything that sticks your to the floor and a bit of padding for when - not if - someone kicks your foot. My best friend has been on crutches twice in the last six months with different broken foot bones. Also buy shin pads that go under your sock, it’s the soccer equivalent of wearing helmets in American Football.

Indoor football is not really the type of game where you can go round planting people. As mentioned it tends to be a very fast, possession-orientated game that depends on constant movement. There are often rules about not leaving your feet in the tackle, so you can’t go through people if that’s your style.

Eleven a side on a full size pitch is where you can start laying down the law, but you need to know what you’re doing. It’s very difficult to play a physical game if you don’t have the basic techniques of tackling, shielding the ball, contesting the aerial battle etc. You can try rushing into the 50:50s, but if you don’t have the technique you’ll just end up on your back, whilst the other guy takes the ball off you and legs it up the park.

Or at least a phone number.