50/50 BALL - A loose ball, or a badly placed pass, that is as near to a player of one team as it is to a player of the opposing team, allowing both an equal chance of controlling it. Bad soccer, in which players lack the technique to control the ball properly, is often a succession of ugly little tackling battles for possession of fifty-fifty balls.
1v1 - An Attacker vs. Defender situation.
Accelerate - The ability of a player to increase speed with or without the ball.
Advantage law - A clause in the law that directs the referee to refrain from stopping play for a foul if a stoppage would benefit the team that committed the violation.
Advantages - Situations where a team has possession of the ball and outnumbers the opposition near the opposing goal.
Angle of run - The angle at which a player runs, sometimes applied in relation to the ball and sometimes in relation to the goal.
Angle, narrowing - Applied to defenders, especially the goalkeeper, moving nearer to the ball in order to reduce passing or shooting angles.
Angle, passing - Applied to the line of the pass, i.e. angling the ball to the right or left of a player.
Angle, widening - Usually applied to supporting players moving into a position where the point of attack can be changed, thereby creating a better angle for a forward pass.
Assist - When a players passes to another player that leads to a goal.
Attacker - Any player on the team that has possession of the ball. 2. All players on the team are attackers / attacker.
Attacking team - The team that has possession of the ball.
Back header - A player’s use of his head to direct the ball backwards.
Balance - Positioning defenders away from the ball to protect the vital space behind the defense.
Ball carrier - A player that has possession of the ball.
Ball watching - Player focuses solely on the ball and loses sight of the opponent he or she is supposed to mark.
Beat - To get the ball through or around an opponent by dribbling or shooting.
Bicycle kick or scissors kick - When a player kicks the ball in mid-air backwards and over his/her own head, usually making contact above waist level; an acrobatic shot.
Box - The box means the penalty area. Sometimes called the 18-yard box, to distinguish it from the goal area, which is the 6-yard box (for those with a metric turn of mind, the corresponding measurements are 16.5 meters and 5.5 meters).
Break - When a team quickly advances the ball down the field in an attempt to get its players near the opponent’s goal before the defenders have a chance to retreat.
Breakaway - When an attacker with the ball approaches the goal undefended; this exciting play pits a sole attacker against the goalkeeper in a one-on-one.
Carrying the ball - A foul called on a goalkeeper when he takes more than 7 seconds while holding or bouncing the ball.
Center circle - A circular marking with a 10-yard radius in the center of the field from which kickoffs are taken to start or restart the game.
Center pass - A pass from a player located near the sideline towards the middle of the field; used to get the ball closer to the front of the goal.
Center spot - A small circular mark inside the center circle that denotes the center of the field from which kickoffs are taken to start or restart the game.
Checking - Making a movement in one direction, stopping, and then moving off in the opposite direction.
Chest trap - When a player uses his chest to slow down and control a ball in the air.
Chip pass - A pass lofted into the air from a player to a teammate.
Chip shot - A kick lofted into the air to try to sail the ball over the goalkeeper’s head and still make it under the crossbar into the goal.
Clearing - The act of moving the ball out from within scoring range. A defensive measure.
Cleats - The metal, plastic or rubber points in the bottom of a soccer/football shoe used to provide a player with traction.
Control, cushion - Control of the ball by withdrawing the surface in contact with the ball on impact, e.g. the thigh.
Control, wedge - Control of the ball with the use of a rigid surface, e.g. the sole of the boot.
Controlling surface - The surface of the body in contact with the ball to bring the ball under control.
Cool down - The portion of practice devoted to stretching muscles and returning body functions to their normal state.
Corner arc - A quarter-circle with a radius of 1 yard located at each of the 4 corners of the field.
Corner flag - The flag located at each of the 4 corners of the field.
Corner kick - A direct free kick taken by the attacking team from the one yard arc at the corner of field.
Counter attack - An attack launched by a defending team soon after it regains possession of the ball.
Cover - 1. Defensive support. 2. To take a position close to your opponent so as to challenge his/her efforts.
Cross, diagonal - Usually applied in the attacking third of the field to a pass played well infield from the touch-line and diagonally forward from right to left or left to right.
Cross, far-post - A pass made to the area, usually beyond the post, farthest from the point from which the ball was kicked.
Cross, flank (wing) - A pass made from near to a touch-line, in the attacking third of the field, to an area near to the goal.
Cross, headers - 64% of all goals from crosses are scored by headers.
Cross, mid-goal - A pass made to the area directly in front of the goal and some six to twelve yards from the goal-line.
Cross, near-post - A pass made to the area four to six yards infield from the post nearest to the point from which the ball was kicked.
Crossbar - The horizontal beam that forms the top of a goal and sits on top of the two posts; it is 24 feet long and supported 8 feet above the ground.
Crosses, prime target area - 4 out 5 goals are scored from crosses into the prime target area.
Cut down the angle - When the goalie comes out of the goal several feet to make himself closer and larger to an attacker, leaving the attacker less net to shoot at.
Dangerous play - When a player attempts a play that the referee considers dangerous to that player or others, such as trying to kick the ball out of the goalie’s hands, even if no contact is made.
Defender, committing the - Attracting the exclusive attention of a defender by moving towards him with or without the ball.
Defenders - 1. The players on the team that does not have possession of the ball. 2. All players on the team are defenders / defender.
Defending team - The team that does not have possession of the ball.
Defense, back of the - The space between the goalkeeper and the defender nearest to him.
Defense - A team’s function of preventing the opposition from scoring.
Defensive pressure - When one or more defenders closely mark a ball carrier to harass him into losing the ball.
Deflection - The ricochet of a ball after it hits a player.
Direct free kick - A restart situation that can be scored directly by the shooter.
Dive header - Acrobatic skill used to score goals off low crosses in the goal area.
Draw - A game that ends with a tied score.
Dribble - Applied to an attacker taking the ball past an opponent.
Dribbler - A player who advances the ball while controlling it with his feet.
Dribbling - A way of moving the ball along the ground by using the feet while keeping the ball under player’s control.
Drop ball - A method of restarting a game where the referee drops the ball. The ball must hit the ground.
Drop kick - When a goalie drops the ball from his hands and kicks it before it hits the ground.
Dummy - Stepping over the ball and letting it roll past you to a teammate, or applied in dribbling to feinting to move in one direction, to unbalancing an opponent, before moving away in a different direction.
Extra Time - Time added on after normal time has completed. Usually as a result of a tied game (competition).
Far post - The goalpost more distant from the ball position.
Feints - Body movements designed to unbalance an opponent, or a deceptive movement which can be applied with or without the ball, e.g. feinting to kick the ball, or feinting to move in one direction.
Field - The rectangular area where football/soccer matches are played.
FIFA - Federation Internationale de Football Association – the official governing body of international football since 1904 which established the World Cup tournament; helps set and revise laws of the game.
Flat front - Players attacking or defending in straight line across the field.
Flick header - A player’s use of his head to deflect the ball.
Foot trap - A player’s use of the bottom or sides of his/her shoe to control a rolling or low-bouncing ball.
Football - Name for soccer everywhere in the world.
Foul - A violation of the laws for which an official assesses a free kick.
Free kick - A kick awarded to a players team for a foul committed by the opposition; the player kicks a stationary ball without any opposing players within 10 yards of the ball.
Goal area - The rectangular area 20 yards wide by 6 yards deep in front of each goal.
Goal kick - A type of restart where the ball is kicked from inside the goal area; awarded to the defending team when a ball that crossed the goal line was last touched by a player on the attacking team.
Goal line - The field boundary running along its width at each end; also called the end line; runs right across the front of the goal.
Goal side of the ball - A position between the ball and the goal one is defending.
Goal side position - Correct position of a defender when marking an opponent (defender is between opponent and the goal).
Goal, mid-goal area - An area in front of the goal and six to twelve yards out from the goal-line.
Goal - When the ball passes completely over the goal line and under cross bar, one point is scored per goal.
Goalkeeper, one-on-one - 5% of all goals are one-on-one against the goalkeeper.
Half volley - 1. Striking a dropping ball at the moment it hits ground. 2. To kick the ball the instant after it touches the ground. 3. Kicking the ball on the short hop.
Halftime - The intermission between the 2 periods or halves of a game.
Hand ball - A foul where a player touches the ball with his hand or arm; the opposing team is awarded a direct free kick.
Hat trick - 3 or more goals scored in a game by a single player.
Header - The striking of a ball in the air by a player’s head.
Headers - 22% of all goals are from headers.
Heading - An act of directing the ball with any part of your forehead.
In-bounds - When a ball is within the boundaries of the field, having not completely crossed a sideline or goal line.
In-play - When a ball is within the boundaries of the field and play has not been stopped by the referee.
Indirect free kick - A restart situation which will not score a goal unless touched or played by one other player before going into the goal.
Injury time - Time added to the end of any period according to the referee’s judgment of time lost due to player injuries or intentional stalling by a team.
Inside Foot - Players’ ability to open hip and use medial side of foot to pass or shoot.
Kick-off - The method of starting a game or restarting it after each goal.
Lead Pass - A pass played into space a player can run onto to receive.
Line of recovery - The path a defender takes when running back towards his/her goal to get on the goal side of the ball.
Line of retreat - The path a defender takes when moving back towards his/her goal from a position on the goal side of the ball.
Lofted drive - A powerful kick with the instep through the bottom half of the ball.
Long power shots (outside the penalty-area) - The shot may score direct or be deflected by a player into the goal. The goalkeeper may not see the shot through a crowd of players. Even if the goalkeeper makes a save, the goalkeeper may not be able to hold on to the ball or push it out for a corner, and the attacker may have a simple tap-in.
Mark - Adopt a position, in relation to an opponent, which enables a player either to prevent the opponent from receiving the ball or, at least, to challenge for the ball.
Marking, man-to-man - Marking a particular opponent in all the important defensive areas of the field.
Match - A soccer/football game.
Midfield line or center line - A line that divides the field in half along its width.
Midfielder - A player who links the defenders with the attackers and contributes to both attack and defense.
Near post - The goal post closer to the ball position.
Nutmeg - When a player passes the ball thru anther players leg either to themselves, or to another player.
Obstruction - When a defensive player, instead of going after the ball, uses his body to prevent an offensive player from playing it.
Officials - The referee and 2 assistant referees who work together to make sure the game is played according to the laws of game; responsible for stopping and restarting play, keeping track of the score and the time remaining and citing violations of the laws, called fouls; they wear uniforms that distinguish them from the players on both teams.
Off-side - A situation in which an attacker positioned in the opponents’ half of the field does not have two opponents between him or herself and the goal at the moment the ball is played to him or her.
One Touch - Interpassing among teammates without stopping the ball.- 72% of all goals are from one touch.
Out of bounds - When a ball is outside the boundaries of the field, having completely crossed a sideline or goal line.
Out of play - When a ball is outside the boundaries of the field (pitch) or play has been stopped by the referee.
Outside penalty area - 16% of all goals are from outside the penalty area.
Overlap - A tactic used to move defenders and midfielders into attacking positions.
Pass, chip - A pass made by a stabbing action of the kicking foot to the bottom part of the ball to achieve a steep trajectory and vicious back spin on the ball.
Pass, flick - A pass made by an outward rotation of the kicking foot, contact on the ball being made with the outside of the foot.
Pass, half-volley - A pass made by the kicking foot making contact with the ball at the moment the ball touches the ground.
Pass, push - A pass made with the inside of the kicking foot.
Pass, swerve - A pass made by imparting spin to the ball, thereby causing it to swerve from either right to left or left to right. Which way the ball swerves depends on whether contact with the ball is made with the outside or the inside of the kicking foot.
Pass, volley - A pass made before the ball touches the ground.
Passing - When a player kicks the ball to his teammate.
Penalty arc - A circular arc whose center is the penalty spot and extends from the top of the penalty area; designates an area that opposing players are not allowed to enter prior to a penalty kick.
Penalty area - At each end of the soccer field two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, 18 yards from each goal post. Lines also extend into the field of play for a distance of 18 yards and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal post.
Penalty shot - The result of a direct foul committed by a defender within his or her penalty area.
Penalty spot - The small circular spot located 12 yards in front of the center of the goal line from which all penalty kicks are taken; positioned at the center of the penalty arc.
Pitch - Soccer games are played on the pitch (field).
Play-on - A term used by referees to indicate that no foul or stoppage is to be called; used by referees when applying the Advantage Law.
Pressure - When team not in possession applies higher numbers and a faster man-marking in order to regain possession of the ball.
Position - A player/s role while on the field. Specific positions consist of; Goalkeeper, Center-back/s, Left or Right Back, Defensive CenterMidfield, Holding Center-Midfield, Attacking Center-Midfield, Left or Right Wing
Possession - Player or team having/in control of the ball.
Punt - When the Goalkeeper has possession of the ball they can decide to play the ball to their own feet, throw/roll to an open player, or punt the ball from the goal box towards, or over, halfway. Punting the ball is when the GK hold ball in hand/s and delivers a self-serving volley in efforts to target player/s higher up on the pitch.
Red card - A playing card-sized card that a referee holds up to signal a player’s removal from the game; the player’s team must play the rest of the game shorthanded; presented for violent behavior or multiple law infractions (two yellow cards = one red card).
Referee - The chief official makes all final decisions, acts as timekeeper, calls all fouls and starts and stops play.
Restarts (of the game) - Are from , corner kicks, drop balls, free kicks, goal kicks, penalty kick, place kick, and throw-in.
Run with the ball - Movement with the ball without dribbling past an opponent.
Run, blind-side - A run by an attacker on the opposite side of a defender from the ball.
Run, cross-field - A run made side-to-side as opposed to end-to-end or diagonally.
Run, diagonal, inside-to-outside - A run made by an attacker, diagonally, from a central position towards a touchline.
Run, diagonal, outside-to-inside - A run made by an attacker, diagonally, from a flank (wing) position towards a central position.
Runs, split - Runs made usually by central forward players in opposite directions in order to create space in central attacking positions.
Save - The act of a goalkeeper in blocking or stopping a shot that would have gone into the goal without his intervention.
Score - To put the ball into the net for a goal; also, the tally of goals for each team playing in a game.
Scoring opportunity - A situation where a team stands a good chance of scoring a goal.
Set play - A planned strategy that a team uses when a game is restarted with a free kick, penalty kick, corner kick, goal kick, throw-in or kickoff.
Shielding - Positioning between the ball and an opponent attempting to gain possession.
Shin-guards - Pads that strap onto a player’s lower leg to protect the shins should he or she be kicked there.
Shooting - When a player kicks the ball at the opponent’s net in an attempt to score a goal.
Shot - A ball kicked or headed by a player at the opponent’s net in an attempt to score a goal.
Shoulder charge - Minimal shoulder-to-shoulder contact by a defender against a ball carrier; the only contact allowed by the law unless a defender touches the ball first.
Skill - The application of the correct technique on demand.
Slide tackle - An attempt by a defender to take the ball away from a ball carrier by sliding on the ground feet-first into the ball.
Soccer games are won by taking advantage of space - Before a team can take advantage of space, it must first create the space. Space is created either by a single player or by coordinated team plays. Space can be given away by mistakes of the defending team. Attacker must always plan on the basis that the defender will give away nothing.
Space, creating - Increasing the distance between, to the side, in front of, or behind opponents.
Space, exploiting - Utilizing effectively in attack the space already created.
Square pass - A pass made by a player to a teammate running alongside him.
Steal - When a player takes the ball away from an opposing player.
Striker - A front-running central attacker.
Substitution - Replacement of one player on the field with another player not on the field.
Support, wide-angled - Support at a sufficiently wide angle to give the greatest possibility for passing the ball forward.
Swerve, in-swerve - A ball curling in towards the target, e.g. an in-swerve corner swerving towards the goal.
Swerve, out-swerve - A ball curling away from the target, e.g. an out-swerve corner swerving away from the goal.
Tackle - A challenge using the feet, to win the ball from an opponent.
Tackling - Taking the ball from your opponent by using the feet.
Take-over - A term sometimes used to describe a cross-over movement where the player without the ball takes the ball from the dribbling player.
Taking players on - Applied to dribbling past opponents.
Technique - A single player performance, e.g. a good push pass, chest trap, turning, jumping, etc.
Territory - The half of the field which a team defends.
Thigh trap - When a player uses his thigh to slow down and control a ball in the air.
Thirds of the field - Areas roughly 35 yards in length signifying the defending, the middle, and the attacking thirds of the field.
Through pass - A pass sent to a teammate to get him/her the ball behind his defender; used to penetrate a line of defenders.
Throw-in - A type of restart where a player throws the ball from behind his head with two hands while standing with both feet on the ground behind a sideline; taken by a player opposite the team that last touched the ball before it went out of bounds across a sideline.
Tie game - When two teams have scored the same number of goals in a match; if the game ends tied, it is a draw.
Timekeeper - The job of the referee, who keeps track of the official time.
Touchline - 1. Side boundary of the field. 2. The side lines of the field.
Trailing - Running behind another player.
Trap - When a player uses his body to slow down and control a moving ball, most often using his chest, thighs or feet.
Tripping - 1. One of nine offenses warranting a direct foul. 2. The act of stopping a ball and bringing the ball under your control.
Turning one’s opponent - Causing an opponent to turn, usually by playing the ball past him, or by moving past him, or by both.
Turning with the ball - The act of receiving the ball when facing one’s goal and turning, with the ball under control, to face the opponent’s goal.
Turnover - The loss of possession of the ball.
Unsportsmanlike conduct - Rude behavior.
Upper 90 - The 90 degree angle on each top corner of the goal.
Volley, hook - A hooking or circular movement by the kicking leg where the leg is parallel with the ground when contact is made on the ball.
Volley - Any ball kicked by a player when it is off the ground.- 17% of all goals are from volleys.
W Position - Position of the goalkeeper’s hands when fielding a chest-high ball.
Wall pass - Give and go pass, or inter-passing between two attacking players, where the player acting as the wall plays the ball first time and off at a similar angle at which the ball was received. The pass is usually made behind an opponent.
Wall player - The player acting as the wall in a wall pass.
Wall - A line of 2 to 5 defending players pressed together shoulder-to-shoulder to protect their goal against a close free kick; creates a more difficult shot by reducing the amount of open goal area the kicker has to shoot at.
Warm up - Exercises that warm the muscles and prepare the body for vigorous activity.
Weight of the pass - A term quite frequently used to describe the pace of a pass.
Wings or Wingers - The outside forwards who play to the sides of the strikers and whose primary task is to provide them with accurate crossing passes so they can shoot at the goal; often the fastest players and best dribblers on a team.
World Cup - The international soccer competition held by FIFA every 4 years between the top professional teams in the world, pitting nation against nation; the most watched event in the world, attracting a television audience of over 3 billion viewers.
Yellow card - A playing card-sized card that a referee holds up to warn a player for dangerous or unsportsmanlike behavior; also called a caution; 2 yellow cards in one game earns a player an automatic red card, signaling his removal from the game.
Zone - A type of defense that assigns each defender to a particular area in front of or around his team’s goal in which he is responsible for marking any attacker that enters.
Zig-zag - A type of dribbling pattern set-up to help players work on change of direction with and without the ball.