Meade County Youth Soccer Alliance
MCYSA Contact Us
MCYSA Pictures1

About Soccer

The following section was adapted by the overview of soccer provided by the Coppell Youth Soccer Association, Coppell, TX.

What is Soccer?

At first glance, the game of soccer may seem a bit confusing. In actuality, soccer is a very simple free-flowing game of two teams on a rectangular field, with boundaries, trying to maneuver a ball into the goal (over the line between the posts and below the crossbar) of their opponents. When one team has possession of the ball the object is to keep it by dribbling or passing it to a teammate (attacking) until they can score a goal. When a team loses possession of the ball they are attempting to get the ball back (defending) and to keep their opponents from scoring. Defending and attacking can happen anywhere on the playing field by players in all positions. This is all performed predominantly with your feet but you can use any part of the body except the hands and arms. This primary rule (see laws below) does not apply to the position of goalkeeper, one on each team, who may use their hands and arms in a designated area (see fields below). The team that has scored more goals at the end of a predetermined duration of time is the winner.


As a volunteer soccer coach you can assure your kids a great time by letting them pick two teams, throwing the ball out and just enough supervision to promote a safe environment. The only other requirement would be to add a few words of encouragement!

Making an additional effort to educate yourself by watching the game, reading books, playing the game, attending clinics and courses you can become an even better coach.


Soccer is played in accordance with a set of rules known as the Laws of the Game.  There are 17 laws to the game of soccer. These laws apply to all age groups, however, in accordance with USYSA and KYSA, the laws are modified for different age groups. Some of the laws that are modified are field dimensions and markings, ball sizes, duration of the game, number of players, size of goal, substitutions and distance from the ball on free kicks and corners. You can get the variances of each age group by visiting KYSA Laws. The following is a list of the 17 Laws of the Game.


  • Field of Play
  • The Ball
  • The Number of Players
  • The Player's Equipment
  • The Referee
  • The Assistant Referees
  • The Duration of the Match (Game)
  • The Start and Restart of Play
  • The Ball In and Out of Play
  • The Method of Scoring
  • Offside
  • Fouls and Misconduct
  • Free Kicks
  • The Penalty Kick
  • The Throw-in
  • The Goal Kick
  • The Corner Kick

The Field of Play

Match numbers of field descriptions to the diagram below. These line markings apply to U9 and above. The line markings are modified for age groups U8 and below. The dimensions of these markings will vary depending on the age group. Review KYSA Laws for modifications.


1. Touchline (sideline)

2. Goal

3. Goal lines (endline and byline)

4. Goal area

5. Penalty area

6. Penalty spot

7. Penalty arc

8. Corner arc

9. Center circle

10. Center spot

11. Halfway line


Soccer Field Diagram












Player Positions

Player positions can be divided into four rows or categories. First, there is the goalkeeper. Directly in front of him/her, we have the fullbacks (defenders), followed by the halfbacks (midfielders) and then the forwards (strikers, wingers). Each position is designated to perform a specific task in a specific area of the playing field. Although players perform these tasks in specific areas of the field they are not limited or restricted to these areas. The important thing to remember is that when your team has the ball everyone attacks and when you team doesn't have the ball everyone is defending. Your team's first line of attack could be a goalkeeper and your first line of defense could be a forward.


The amount of players in each one of these rows or categories is called the "system of play" or formation. For example, 4 defenders (fullbacks), 3 midfielders (halfbacks) and 3 forwards would be a 4-3-3 system of play or formation when playing with 11 players (U11 and above). It is important to note that systems of play should be introduced but should not be given high priority with U4-U10 at the expense of basic and fundamental technical skills of passing, receiving, dribbling, heading and shooting.


MCYSA Soccer