Soccer Definitions - G PDF Print E-mail

Give and Go
(aka "one-two pass") A "wall pass" where the initial passer passes & then breaks (often making a "blind side run") to get open for a return pass. (See "Wall Pass" & "Blind Side Run").

Abbreviation for Goalkeeper. (See "Goalkeeper").

Go to Goal
What you might yell to your supporting attackers (i.e., F's or MF's) if a teammate is making a breakaway or a run which will result in a crossing pass & you want several players to "go to goal" to take the cross or for rebounds.

There are two definitions: The metal or wooden structure which is at the center of each end line & for adult play is 8 yards wide & 8 feet high; also, a "goal" is scored when the ball totally crosses the end line inside the goal.

Goal Area
(aka "Goal Box" or "Six"). See "Goal Box".

Goal Box
(aka "Goal Area" or "Six"). The small box in front of the goal within which the ball must be placed to take a goal kick. (The ball can also be placed on the line). Size will vary by age group & your soccer club's rules. On adult sized fields the Goal Box extends six yards from the Goal and Goal Line into the field and for this reason it is sometimes referred to as the "Six". For dimensions go to "Laws of the Game" at

Goal Kick
When the ball goes out of bounds over the end line & was last touched by the attacking team, it is put back into play by the defending team, who may place it anywhere within their Goal Box (including on the line) & then kick it. The kicked ball may not be touched again by anyone on either team until it clears the Penalty Box and the other team must stay outside the Penalty Box until the ball clears the Penalty Box. A goal kick is kind of like having the ball on your own 5-yard line in American football, you're glad to have the ball but if you turn it over you can be in trouble. If your goalkeeper has a strong leg, have him take your goal kicks. Otherwise, you may want to have another player take the kick while the goalkeeper stays in front of the goal. If you have an advanced team and don't have someone who can kick the ball to the halfway line, consider "Spreading The Field" in order to "Stretch The Defense". You can do this by spreading out your players and taking the kick from the middle of the Goal Box line, directly in front of the goal. This way the Defenders won't know which side of the field you will kick to and they are forced to spread out. The rules give the kicking team an advantage by requiring the Defenders to stay out of the Penalty Box until the ball clears the Box (if the Defenders run into the Box the kick is retaken). The kicking team can be in the Box or can run across it, but cannot touch the ball until it clears the Box (i.e., your team can make runs across the Box but the other team can't). If you aren't able to kick it deep or spread the field, the Defenders will cluster within kicking distance, mark up behind your players & step in front to steal the ball. (This is how you should teach your players to defend goal kicks). I like spreading the field because it teaches the concept of controlling the ball, rather than just booming it, and teaches the attackers how to spread the field, take the ball wide & how to "build an attack from the back". However, spreading the field is probably not practical for a recreational team because of the practice time required. For recreational teams, the best approach is to have the strongest kicker take the kick (even if it is a forward) and to teach the MF's and F's that they must fight to "win the ball".

Goal Lines
(aka "End Lines"). (See "End Lines").

(aka Goalie, Keeper or GK). Except in small-sided play, each team must have a designated goalkeeper. He is the only player on the field who can legally use his hands and then only inside the Penalty Box. Once he picks up the ball he has six seconds to punt it or release it. He is allowed to pick up the ball, run with it and then punt it, throw it, or drop it and dribble or kick it. (However, he cannot touch it with his hands outside the "Penalty Box" and once he drops it he can't touch it again with his hands until an opponent has touched it). The goalkeeper has special protections inside the Penalty Box; the ball may not be kicked if he is touching it with his hand or arm and the referee will call a foul if the goalkeeper is endangered. He must wear a shirt or jersey that is recognizably different from all other players (goalkeepers often wear special jerseys with padded elbows). Note: In hot weather, do not put a goalkeeper jersey on a player. They can get too overheated & become sick. Instead, have them wear a different-colored shirt (one shirt only) or a mesh training vest over their shirt. If your goalkeeper has a strong leg, let him take goal kicks. Encourage him to play aggressively & if you push up on the attack, to come out to the edge of the Penalty Box or beyond to play like a "Second Sweeper". If he picks up the ball & no opponents are close, encourage him to drop the ball & dribble it out & then kick it. (Once he drops it or when out of the Penalty Box, he can play like a field player but can't touch the ball with his hands). Encourage him to play aggressively & to take chances, everyone will have much more fun if you do & more kids will want to play goal. Goalkeepers tend to get blamed for goals when most of the time it isn't their fault (if the other defenders are doing a great job there won't be any shots on goal). You should tell your goalkeeper before the game that the other team is expected to score goals & that it isn't his fault if they score. Do not let anyone else (players or parents) blame the goalkeeper. In fact, after the game you should have the rest of the team thank the goalkeeper, even if he or she did make mistakes. You should encourage everyone who wants to to take a try at playing goalkeeper. You will be surprised who is good & you really can't tell until they actually play the position. At the very least, it will give all the players respect for how tough the position is & they will be less likely to blame the goalkeeper when goals are scored. However, do not make a child play goalkeeper if he or she doesn't want to.

Refers to getting between an attacker & the goal he is trying to score in (e.g., "John, get goalside").

Good Ball
A great pass, often a "leading pass", or a "through ball", a pass that "Switches The Play" or an accurate pass through defenders.

Ground Ball
In my research I haven't found a commonly used term for balls kicked on the ground, but "ground ball" seems as good as any & is a term American kid's should understand. (See "Air Ball").

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