Soccer coaching laws of the game Law 8 the start and re-start of play

These soccer coaching tips are designed to help coaches and players understand the laws of the game. This article looks at Law 8 and the rules regarding the start of play and re-starts.

Applies to: 11-a-side, 7-a-side, minis.

Who does what?

  • A coin is tossed and the team that wins the toss decides which goal it will attack in the first half of the match.
  • The other team takes the kick-off to start the match.
  • The team that wins the toss takes the kick-off to start the second half of the match.
  • In the second half of the match, the teams change ends.

Laws of the kick-off

  • All players must be in their own half of the field.
  • The team that is not taking the kick-off must be outside the centre circle, 10 yds from the ball, until it is in play. The team taking kick-off can have any number of players in the centre circle on their side of the half-way line.
  • The ball is stationary on the centre mark.
  • Upon the referee’s signal, the first kick must be forward of the half-way line into the opposition’s half.
  • The kicker cannot touch the ball a second time until it has touched another player.
  • A goal may be scored directly from the kick-off.
  • After a team scores a goal, a kick-off is taken by the other team.


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Click the link to see Law 9, the rules covering when the ball is in and out of play.

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