In the Laws Of The Game, FIFA permits the following changes due to mutual consent of parties concerned, usually for friendlies, youth or women football;
1. The size of the field of Play.
2. The Size, Weight and Material of The Ball.
3. The Width between the Goal Posts and Height of the Cross Bar from the Ground.
4. The Duration of Periods of Play
Law 1: The Field of Play.
This describes the that the field of play must be rectangular marked with lines and measuring 90-120 m in length and 45-90 m width. You would expect FIFA to give maximum measurements for standard international matches for spaces so teams can express themselves. They insist on 100-110 x 64-75 m. All lines are part of the area which they represent. e.g a any penalty area line is a part of the penalty area.
There is a lengthy description of the field surfaces, markings, goal area, penalty area, flag posts, corner arcs and the like.
Law 2: The Ball.
This describe what qualities an official ball should have. It should be spherical and made of suitable material. The weight, circumference and pressure are given here. More importantly, is that if a ball is defective and cannot be played anymore during a match, it is replaced by a new one as a drop ball from where the old one was when it became unplayable.
Law 3: The Number Of Players.
This lists the requirements of 11 players per team of which one must be a goalkeeper, the 3 allowed substitutes except for special arrangements and the procedures to make these. It explains that anyone can be a goalkeeper as long as the referee is informed. Players will get cautioned if they frequently request to swap as this wastes time. You will remember how it is said China changed the whole team at half time due to likeness of their faces.
In the South Africa FIFA World Cup, the Korea DPR coach was asked to provide a list of 20 players and 3 goalkeepers like every one else. He listed an extra striker as a goalkeeper. FIFA found out and told him he can only play as a goalkeeper.
Law 4: The Player’s Equipment.
The law requires players to wear items not dangerous to themselves and others. It specifies the requirement to use shin guards besides the basic coloured uniforms. Goalkeepers and match official clothing should be different.
Any tournament is preceded with a pre match meeting, in which teams bring their kit samples, including the goalkeeper kit.
Law 5: The Referee.
This dwells on the authority of the middle man: his duties and powers. Most of the time, his “opinion” goes no matter what you think. His authority extends when he enters up to the time he leaves the pitch. This guy can send his assistants and even you off.
Law 6: The Assistant Referee.
Quite a straight forward list of duties we all know.
Law 7: Periods of Play.
This describes the game being played in 2 equal halves and a 10-15 minute half time. The referee adds optional time depending on stoppages, in his OPINION.
Law 8: Start and Restart of Play.
This is a whole lot of issues about how to Kick-off and Drop Balls. What is important is that the ball has to move forward at any dead ball situation and that the second player must touch the ball before it can be played by the first again. This can be a referee or Assistant. A goal can be scored from kick-off.
Law 9: Ball In and Out Of Play.
This is also obvious. Note that the ball is out of the field of play only if the WHOLE OF THE BALL has crossed the line.
Law 10: Method of Scoring.
The WHOLE OF THE BALL must cross the goal-line in between the 2 posts but below the cross bar in the air or on the ground. What can be the decisions is a punctured ball rolls over the goal line?
Law 11: Offside.
By far the most controversial in implementation and interpretation. It first emphasises the innocence of the player in an offside position. It is not an offence to be offside.
A player is in an offside position IF HE IS NEARER THE OPPONENT’S GOAL LINE THAN BOTH THE BALL AND THE 2ND LAST OPPONENT.
H e is penalised at the point the ball touches or is played to him by a team-mate and the referee, IN HIS OPINION, is;
interfering with play, interfering with an opponent or is gaining advantage being in that position. There is no offside from goal kick, throw-in or corner kick.
Law 12: Fouls and Misconducts.
This explains when a direct kick, a penalty and indirect kick are awarded and the results of committing these offences. There are 7 offences that lead to a direct kick if the referee considers them careless, reckless or use of excessive force. He will award a direct free kick for holding an opponent, spitting at an opponent or deliberately handling the ball. A direct free kick in the penalty area is a penalty kick.
This section explains what punishment the perpetrator gets, like which offences get you a yellow card or a sending off.
Law 13: Free Kicks.
Free-kicks can either be direct or indirect. A direct free-kick means a ball can be kicked directly by one player into goals. An indirect free-kick, the ball must touch a second player – friend, foe or referee/assistant referee. At this moment, the referee keeps his hand up until the ball touches the 2nd player, then he brings his hand down.
Law 14: Penalty Kick.
A goal MAY be scored direct from a penalty kick. So this is actually one of the options available. What else do you think do here?
Law 15: Throw-In.
This states that you can not score direct by throwing. The basic principle here is that, both hands must be on the ball, the ball must come over the head and both feet must be on the ground.
Law 16: Goal kick.
This is straight forward.
Law 17: Corner Kick.
This spells the reason for this to be awarded. It can be taken anywhere inside the arc. Remember the lines form the corner kick spot.