Association football
What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


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What is it?

  • Soccer or association football is one of the world's most popular sports.  

  • The formal game is normally outdoors, between two teams of eleven people using a large ball which they aim to kick into the opposition's goal.  

  • There are also variants of the game for small numbers (seven or five a side), both of which are also played indoors.  

  • Competitions are an important part of local as well as national football.  But informal football games may take place with variable numbers and little in the way of equipment.

Find out more


Football Association



Team Talk 
The Football Referee 

Getting started

  • Find a local football group or club (see organisations above).

  • See if there are introductory sessions at your local club or sports centre.

  • Consult books or magazines on different aspects of football.

  • Check in your local library/paper or sports centre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • Soccer is played by people of all ages and abilities, as well as by both sexes (though teams are usually single sex). 

  • You can practice footballing skills on your own, but you need a group of people with whom to play.  

  • Most players join a local group or club which organises fixtures;  the social aspect of a football group can be important.  

  • It is better if the people you play with are of roughly the same standard as yourself.  They will usually be of the same sex and approximately the same age .

Equipment or clothing
  • For anything other than the very informal games, sports shorts and top and special football boots are usually required.  

  • Even in local competitions, teams will usually wear special strip of some kind.  These shirts are generally provided by the group or club.

A place or facilities
  • There are facilities attached to many schools and village and community halls, as well as most sports centres.  

  • The bigger clubs may have their own pitches. 

  • Sports centres generally have areas for indoor football marked out in their main hall.

Have a go - get started now


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