How does a Soccer Game Start?

You might have seen a lot of soccer players running towards the ball in order to steal it and score a goal during a soccer match, but you might wonder, how does it all start? What’s the first action that happens when a soccer match begins?

A soccer match begins with a kick off. Before the game starts, each of the 2 soccer teams take their side of the field, the ball is then placed exactly in the middle of the rectangular soccer field. One team takes the kick off. Once one of the selected team players touches the ball after the referee’s whistle, the game starts.

How does the kick off work in soccer?

As mentioned above, each of the two teams will take their side of the field. The players will spread across their part of the field in a way that reflects the formation that they will be using during the whole soccer match.

If team A is taking the kick off, then all of team B’s players must be 10 yards (9.15 meters) away from the ball and on their side of the field.

The radius of the circle in the middle of the soccer field is 10 yards, which means that the opponent shouldn’t be standing inside the circle when the other team is taking the kick off.

The player chosen to take the kick off should not touch the ball until the referee blows their whistle to indicate that the game can start.

Once the player who’s taking the kick off touches the ball, the game starts and the players will be able to move freely on the soccer field.

One thing to note is that the player taking the kick off can literally score a goal by kicking the ball towards the opponent’s net. It is usually extremely hard to score from such a long distance, but it has happened several times in the history of soccer.

If you want to learn more about the soccer rules, then check out this detailed article here.

Which team starts the soccer match?

Alright so now you know how a soccer game starts, but who decides which team starts the game?

The answer is a coin-flip.

Before the soccer match starts, each of the team captains stand next to the referee of the game in order to do a coin-flip. Each captain picks a side of the coin, and the coin-flip determines what team will start the first half of the game.

If team A takes the kick off at the first half of the game, then team B will start the game in the second half.

The same thing happens if the game goes to extra time. The referee will toss a coin again to determine who starts the game in the first extra time half and the second one.

Learn more about soccer halves and durations in this article.

When does the kick off take place during a soccer match?

Obviously, the kick off takes place at the beginning of each half as stated above. However, the kick off also takes place whenever one of the 2 competing teams scores a goal.

If team A scores a goal against team B, then team B will get to re-start the game with a kick off, and vice versa.

So the number of kickoffs that takes place during a soccer match depends on how many goals the competing teams score and whether or not an extra time has been given. 

To Summarize

One of the competing teams gets to start the game by taking the kick off. The game starts when one of the players of the selected team touches the ball. Kick offs are used to start each of the soccer halves, and is also used to restart the game once a goal is scored by each of the competing teams.