The basic objective of the game is for one team to force
the ball -- by kicking it or propelling it with the
chest or head -- into the opponent's goal. The goal
mouth is 24 feet wide and eight feet high, spanned
by a crossbar and backed by netting. One point is awarded
for each goal scored. The winning team is the one with
the highest number of points.
The game is played in two 45-minute halves.
Only two substitutions are permitted, per side,
per game. If the two substitutions are used
and a player is later injured, the team must
If regulation time ends in a tie, an overtime
period may be played. If the teams remain tied
at the conclusion of overtime, the game may
be decided by a kicking contest in which each
team has up to five unobstructed (except for
the goalkeeper) attempts to put the ball in
the opponent's goal.
The goalkeeper is the only player on the team
who may use his hands or arms to touch the
ball. The other 10 may kick it with their feet,
block it with their torsos, or strike it with
their head, but no hands.
and Fast Facts
General Sports Links
Olympians will compete in dozens of sports this summer. Even though Gateway
to the Summer Games can't feature them all, you can learn about each and
every one by visiting the sites listed below.