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The Field of Play


Soccer Field of Play Diagram


There is no drill configuration for this video. 

Understanding the field markings on the soccer field will help you use the correct terms when coaching your team. The field of play in soccer is fairly simple. Since every soccer game begins in the very center of the field, let’s begin there. The field of play is divided by a marking called the “halfway line” which marks each team’s side. Connected to the halfway line in the middle of the field is the center circle. The significance of the center circle is that during kickoffs, the team who is not kicking off must be outside the center circle and on their own half of the field. Inside the center circle is a marking called the center mark, which is where kickoffs take place.

The field boundaries are formed by 4 lines called the touch lines and goal lines. The 2 long lines on each side where the coaches and substitute players stand are called the touch lines. And the lines that each goal sits on are called the goal lines.

At each goal, there are 2 boxes - a big one and a small one. The big one is called the Penalty Area, which is also known as “The 18” if you’ve ever watched a soccer game on TV. The reason they call it “The 18” is because on a professional field, the box is 18 yards away from the goal. But for youth soccer, it will likely be less than 18 yards deep so we will just refer to it by it’s name - the penalty area.

The small box near each goal is called the “goal area.” On TV, you might hear them refer to this box as “The 6” as this box is 6 yards away from the goal.

Just above the Penalty Area is an arc shaped marking, that kind of looks like the letter D. This is called the Penalty Arc. The significance of this line is the when a player takes a penalty kick, all players from both teams must be outside the Penalty Arc.

Finally, at each corner of the field are corner arcs, which marks the boundaries of where the ball can be placed when taking a corner kick. That sums up the markings on the soccer field. If you’re new to soccer or want to learn more about the markings and rules, I recommend you watch the video called “Basic Rules of the Game” which will give you an idea of how these field markings relate to the rules.