Soccer Definitions - A PDF Print E-mail

Advantage Clause
A clause in the rules that gives the Referee the discretion to allow play to continue even after a foul has been committed if stopping play would unfairly punish the fouled team (e.g., if the fouled team had a breakaway & might score even after having been fouled). The idea is that the team which committed the foul should not gain an advantage as a result of the foul. (See "Fouls).

Air Ball
(aka "Lifted Ball" or "Lofted Ball"). A ball that is in the air. A "chip" pass is an "air ball". A pass should stay on the ground unless the passer intends it to be an "air ball".

This term most frequently refers to the "Penalty Box Arc", which is the arc at the top of the Penalty Box. There is also a "corner arc.

Refers to a pass that results in a goal (e.g., "He had 2 assists in the game"). It is very important to encourage assists. One way to do so is by congratulating the player who made the assist in front of the team. Also, the player who scored the goal should always thank his teammate who made the assist. Teach your players to do this & ask the scorer if he thanked his teammate for the assist.

Assistant Referee
(aka "Linesman"). There are 2 per game, one on each side line, who mainly "call the lines" & offside, but can also report fouls & advise the Referee. On throw-ins, they indicate when the ball is out-of-bounds by pointing the flag in the direction in which the attackers will advance (i.e., toward the goal of the team it is out on).

(aka "Offense"). When a team has the ball they are generally referred to as "attacking", no matter where the ball is on the field. There are 2 different styles of attacking: a "direct attack" and an "indirect attack". A direct attack tries to move the ball quickly into scoring range by using mostly forward passes, through balls and breakaways. An indirect attack is slower and uses a lot of sideways or backward passes while searching for a weakness in the defense. Unless your team is very skilled and has excellent passing ability a direct attack will work best. (See "Styles of Play" for more details). Creating space is a very important part of attacking. There are 2 different ways to create space. One relies on the ballhandler (i.e., the player "onball") to create opportunities. The other way to create space is by "movement off-the-ball" & relies on movement by players other than the ballhandler (i.e., players "off-the-ball") to create space & to create opportunities. (See "Attacking Plan", "Attacking Third", "Create", "Dribbling", "Go To Goal", "Kick-Off", "Pass To Space", "Shift & Sag", "Strength On The Ball", "Through Ball", "Push Up", "Build An Attack From The Back", "Center The Ball", "Coaching Rules", "Commit The Defender", "Counterattack", "Creating Space", "Cross The Ball", "Defending to Win", "Direct Attack", "Finish", "First Attacker", "Formations", "Goal Kick", "Movement Off-The-Ball", "Possession Style", "Rebound", "Release", "Spread The Field", "Styles of Play", "Support", "Switch The Play", "When to Dribble/When to Pass", "Width In Attack", "Win The Ball".

Attacking Plan
For recreational teams ages 10 and older, it is very important to have a simple and realistic attacking plan that players clearly understand & can execute. For example, a simple attacking plan could be to "clear" the ball away from your "Defending Third", have your forwards be positioned to win the ball, and launch a quick attack. This is not as easy as it sounds.

Attacking Third
(aka "Final Third"). The 1/3 of the field that contains the other team's goal. This is a term used when discussing tactics & strategy. For example, I don't want my players to dribble a lot in the "Defending Third", but it is okay for them to dribble in the Attacking Third. (However, they should still be looking for a pass or a "Give & Go"). Also, our forwards should aggressively pressure the ball & try to steal it if the other team has it in our "Attacking Third". (See "Defending Third", & "Middle Third" & "When To Dribble/When To Pass").

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