Here are some soccer terms that you should know!
The game is regulated by one head official, called the referee, who operates in the center of the field. He or she is assisted by two linesmen, whose job it is to monitor whether the ball has left the field by crossing over the sidelines or the goal lines. Since the entire ball must cross the plane of the field, either in the air or on the ground, it can often be difficult for the referee to determine whether and where precisely the ball has gone out, so the linesmen use flags to indicate the fact of the ball's departure and the direction of which team now has possession.
When a player commits a foul (kicks another player, touches the ball with his hands, or breaks any other rule), the referee will either award the other team a free kick or call for advantage. For instance, if Team A's forward is dribbling with a ball toward goal, but just before he gets a shot off, he is kicked in the knee by a Team B defender, the referee has a two choices:
CHOICE 1: His first choice is to blow the play dead with his whistle, bring the ball back to where the foul occurred, and let Team A have a free kick. (see below)
CHOICE 2: His second choice is to take a quick second to determine whether Team A's forward is unimpaired by the foul and still is in good position to shoot. If he is, the referee will call out "advantage," which lets the players know he saw a foul occur but that in his view, the victim of the foul would actually be harmed by having the play stopped. If the Team A forward goes ahead and shoots but misses, that's too bad -- he doesn't then get the free kick. The window for calling the foul is just a second or two, and if advantage is called, the foul evaporates. Of course, if the foul was egregious, the referee can still upbraid the Team B defender after the ball has left play.
OK, free kicks are kinda tricky, so we will make extensive use of analogy. Now, when a player breaks a rule in basketball, the opposing team sometimes gets a free-throw. Similarly, when a player breaks a rule in soccer, a member from the opposing team gets to kick the ball from a stationary position with no opposing player closer than 10 yards from the ball — a free kick. Free kicks are awarded from the position of the infraction, and anyone on the victim's team can take the kick. To perceive how this arrangement impacts the flow of the game, imagine if the same were true in basketball: if someone on the Victim Team (VT) was fouled at midcourt, it would be unlikely that the VT would try to score on a transcontinental free throw; instead, they'd either pass the ball quickly to get the game started again, or they'd run a set play to get the ball to one of their good players in scoring position. This is how soccer works. The majority of free kicks are short passes, made quickly just to get the game going again — with about as much excitement as the average in-bounds pass in basketball. But when the free kick is from a dangerous position (that is, near the goal), you start to see set plays develop. These set plays usually involve someone who is an accurate passer taking the free kick and crossing the ball in the air to a few teammates who are running into a position where they call volley the ball with their head or foot into the goal.
Learn more ...