Soccer Definitions - L PDF Print E-mail

(aka "Instep"). Refers to the top of the foot where the shoelaces are. A front volley would be struck "with the laces". Long shots, long passes & power kicks are also struck with the laces. (See "Lofted Drive").

Last Defender
The defender (not counting the goalkeeper) who is closest to the goal you are attacking. (The goalkeeper is usually the actual last defender, but it is easier to teach this concept by referring to the last field player as the "Last Defender").This is an important concept to teach because you may want your center forward to play within 2 steps of the Last Defender. The "Last Defender" is usually as far as a forward can "push up" without the ball & still be "onside". You want your forwards to stay 2 steps behind the last Defender so they won't be as likely to be called offside. It is hard to dribble past the Last Defenders. The best way to break through them is by "through balls", "give & go's" or "passing to yourself".

Late Tackle
A tackle (usually a slide tackle) that makes contact with the ballhandler just after he has played the ball. (See "Played").

Laws of the Game
The official soccer rules are called the "Laws of the Game" and are published annually by FIFA. (Go to "Laws of the Game" at for more information and a complete list of the latest rules. Rules may be modified for women, players with disabilities and for players under 16 and over 35 years of age.

Left Defensive Midfielder. (See "Formations"). Left is as you face the other team's goal.

Leading Pass
A pass into open space that "leads" the receiver (i.e., is played to space in front of the receiver). (See "Through Ball", which is a similar concepts and "Pass to Space").

Left Forward. Left is as you face the other team's goal. (See "Positions" and "Forwards").

Left Fullback. (See "Positions" and "Fullbacks").

The Italian term for "free player". Usually refers to the "Sweeper", but also can refer to a star player who is allowed to roam and play in the rear or front as he sees fit. (See "Sweeper").

Lifted Ball
An "Air Ball".

Line of the Ball
Path of the ball.

a. The general rule is that the lines on the field are part of the area they define & as long as any part of the ball is on the line it is considered to be within the area.
b. The ball must totally cross the side line or end line to be out-of-bounds.
c. The ball must totally cross the imaginary plane of the goal line (inside the goal of course) in order for a goal to be scored.
d. The thrower on a throw-in may step on the side line & is only considered to have crossed the line if one or both feet entirely cross the line. (This seems to contradict the other rule, but it is true).
e. On a goal kick, corner kick or kick off, the ball may be placed on the line. (It is considered to be on the line if any part of it is touching the line).
f. On the kick off, a player may be standing on the line.

What the Assistant Referees used to be called.

(aka Midfielders). See "Midfielders".

Left Midfielder. Left is as you face the other team's goal. (See "Positions" and "Midfielder").

Lofted Drive
A pass or shot that is made by striking the lower part of the ball with the inside or outside of the foot near the laces, or with the top of the foot, so the ball rises into the air (i.e., so it is "lofted"). It is a "drive" because there is a full follow-thru. A good analogy is a drive in golf; here you are going for distance. This is different from a "chip" which is struck with a downward, jabbing motion & little follow-through. A drive is more powerful than a chip & at older ages is more likely to score from long distance. In youth leagues, however, where there is a short goalkeeper in a tall goal, a chip can be very effective. (See "Drive", "Chip", "Hopped Pass" & "Air Ball").

Left Offensive Midfielder. Left is as you face the other team's goal. (See "Formations").

Long Ball
A ball that is kicked "long". This usually refers to a long ball from the FB's to open space down the side line or to an air ball that is sent between the FB's & the goalkeeper. (e.g., "send a long ball"). (See "Through Ball", "Sweeper", "Over The Top", & "Push Up").

Long - Ball Game
(aka Long Game or Direct Attack). A style of offensive play where the objective of the attacking team is to send "long balls" thru or over the defense which they hope their forwards will occasionally beat the defenders to. This style keeps pressure on the defense but it is much more effective if the attackers can also use short passes when near the other teams goal as a way to finish the attack. (See "Short Game", "Over The Top", & "Direct Attack").

Long Corner
A corner kick that is kicked to the front of the goal in hopes an attacker will kick or head it in, as opposed to a "short corner" which is passed in. A Long Corner is a type of "Cross" to "Center The Ball". (See "Short Corner").

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