How to Play Football – Football Basics

Football Basics

What is Football?

Football is a kind of sport played between two teams, either a club or international team. Football games are played in either a league or a cup (tournament) format.

Club teams play in leagues and depending on their performance in those leagues and the country they are from can play in cups too. International teams play for Cups but have to go through qualifying games to reach the main cup event.

How to play football?

  • A Football team has 11 players on the pitch at the start of the match.
  • The team who scores the most goals wins.
  • If the teams score the same number of goals this is a draw.


Football Rules

Essential factor to the question how to play football is learning the rules of Football. A Football game lasts for 90 minutes and is split into two halves, at the end of the first half there is a 15 minute break and the teams then swop ends and play the second 45 minutes. In Football if the game is stopped for any reason (for example a player is injured) this time is added onto the end of the half. So for example if there is 3 minutes in the first half where play was stopped for one reason or another then the 3 minutes is played at the end and the half will effectively last for 48 not 45 minutes.

Included in the football basics is the objective of the game. As we know the objective is to win any football game is by scoring goals, in the process of doing so players are only allowed to use their feet head and bodies to control or win the ball from their opponents. If a player uses their hands or arms to control the ball this is a “hand ball.” The possession of the ball is given to the other team and they have a “free kick.”

A free kick is where the ball is returned to the scene of the violation of the rules. The team who has been given the ball possession then may take a spot kick without fear of their opponents trying to tackle them until they take their free kick.

Tackling is when players try to win the ball from the opposing team, when tackling it is important that the ball is the target, if the player trying to win the ball makes contact with the other player first and not the ball this will be a “foul” and a free kick will be awarded. If the referee (the person controlling the match) judges that there was intent (in other words the player had never meant to get the ball only the other player) they may give the offending player a “yellow card” this is a warning. If a player receives a second yellow card a “red card” is shown to the player this means they are dismissed from the pitch and cannot return for the whole match. Their team cannot replace them so that team must play with 10 not 11 players.

If an offence is deemed to be very serious then the referee may show an immediate red card (without the 2 yellow cards) and dismiss the player from the pitch.

If a violation that would be a free kick is committed inside the penalty box then instead of a free kick a penalty kick is awarded. A penalty is where the team with the penalty has a shot at goal from the penalty spot, the only person who can try to stop the shot is the defending team’s goalkeeper.
If the ball goes off the pitch by the sidelines* then the last player to touch the ball (intentionally or not) has given the ball possession to the other team and a “throw in” is awarded to that team.

If in any football game, the ball goes off the pitch by the goal line*if it was an attacking player that touched the ball last a “goal kick” is awarded to the defending team. If it was a defender who touched the ball last a “corner kick” is awarded to the attacking team, the ball is placed by the corner flag* and may be “crossed” into the box or passed to a team mate.

The “offside” rule basically means you can only pass the ball to your team mate/s if they are further away from your opponent’s goal than the defender closest to it.


Football Leagues

Football Leagues are based on the idea that a team plays all the other teams in their league twice as a “Home” and “Away” fixture. This means the other team has to come to your home stadium and play once and you must visit their stadium and play once.

In a league points are awarded as follows –

  • Win – 3 points Draw – 1 point Loss – 0 points

At the end of the season once all the teams have played each other twice the team with the most points wins the league.

Each country has different football leagues and teams in the top places are “promoted” to a higher league or if in the top league and in the top places will qualify to play in special club cups. Teams in the bottom places in the league will be relegated (so replaced by the promoted teams from the league below.)



Here at dafabetsports, we will not only give you an idea on how to play football but we will provide you with the Football Basics. Important to getting the complete and detailed answer to the question what is Football – is learning about the cups/tournaments of Football. Football Cups or Football Tournaments need to be qualified for either by playing qualifying games in the region of the World they are in e.g. Europe for international tournaments or by finishing high enough in their club league. Some countries also have cups that all league teams qualify to play in (in England for example there is the FA Cup).

Before knockout stages, the teams play in group stages of four teams, similar to a mini league where they each play each other (but only once each.) The winner of each group plays the runner up of another with the other teams eliminated.

Teams have goalkeepers, defenders, who are dedicated to stopping the other team scoring, midfielders who can help defend and attack and attackers dedicated to trying to score goals against the other team.

You may have as many defenders, midfielders and attackers as you wish (but you’ll always have a goalkeeper!)


Popular Football Leagues and Cups

  • English Football