A first time footballer

As a first time footballer, there are countless things about the game that I know absolutely zero about. I played netball and hockey in my P.E. lessons at school and therefore, I never had to learn the rules of football. I am actually a little bit afraid to ask questions because football enthusiasts often take for granted their knowledge of the sport and so, for fear of sounding stupid, I tend to sit quietly and figure out what is going on by myself. . Over my years of watching games (a total of which I could probably count on my two hands and one foot) I have built my own teeny tiny questionable football rulebook – undoubtedly full of mistakes. So, here we go…

Handball.

I’m fairly confident that I know what this rule means and how to spot if someone has broken it. DON’T TOUCH THE BALL WITH YOUR HANDS!!! (Are all other body parts allowed…?)

The offside rule.

The only thing I know about the offside rule is that Juliet’s Dad tries to explain it in Bend it Like Beckham using French Mustard, teriyaki sauce and sea salt. I had a similar conversation a few nights ago involving some wine bottles and some stilettos…

–       The wine is the striker – he’s on the wine team. Then, the shoe team are the defenders – you’ve got defender one and defender two and the goal is this chair. Say the wine was here, and this wine bottle kicks the ball, at the moment it’s okay because he’s behind the two other shoes.

–       So, if he’s infront of both of the shoes he’s offside?

–       Yeah, so the wine has to be behind both the shoes when the ball is kicked?

To be perfectly honest, this discussion has done very little to further my knowledge of this confusing rule. Not only is it slightly blurred in my memory by the wine fog of the evening, but also I just don’t get it.

Tackling.

Whenever I watch football games, I struggle to follow the do’s and don’t’s of tackling. From what I’ve seen, people get blown up for an assortment of reasons ranging from coming into the tackle too quickly to barging into someone from behind. It must be such a difficult thing to get right because in such a fast paced game it’s almost impossible not to knock someone over or get a touch to them if you’re trying to get the ball off them, right? I’m intrigued to know the correct tackling rules – maybe the football savvy writers at @0riginalfooty can help me out…?

Scoring a goal.

Now, up until last night, I thought this was fairly self-explanatory – the ball lands in the goal and a point is scored. Having watched France play Honduras, where the Frenchmen’s second goal was debated for a few minutes, it turns out that the ball doesn’t have to actually land in the goal as long as it goes behind the line. Who knew?

I’m aware that there is a range of other rules and regulations that will never have even crossed my mind, but even the above few have left me baffled. It’s a good job I don’t actually play football…

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