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Football is not only about the eleven-a-side game, with many forms recently developed to make the sport more accessible. Along with 5-a-side competitions taking place across the country, football can also be adapted to incorporate blind/deaf/amputee football, allowing those with disabilities to enjoy the game. Other versions of the sport include beach soccer and futsal, a primarily indoor sport where the focus is placed upon skill and flair by using a smaller sized ball.
Football is as healthy and successful as it has ever been. The game has more spectators, participants, revenues and media interest than at any time in its history.
Football is the nation’s game in more than the spectator sense; the scope and reach of the game across various levels of participation is considerable:
- 7 million participants, plus 5 million in schools
- 500,000 volunteers
- 37,500 clubs, including 9,000 youth clubs
- 2,000 competitions
- 32,000 schools (17,000 primary)
- 30,000 FA-qualified coaches
- 27,000 FA-qualified referees
- 45,000 pitches (21,000 facilities)
The aim of football, to score more goals than the opposition, is simple and widely known. Teams of 11 players compete across two 45-minute halves, with extra time and penalty shootouts used to decide drawn matches during the knockout stages of the competition.
Football is a fast and physically demanding game. Players need to have speed, strength and stamina, as well as excellent ball skills and the ability to play tactically as a team.
Rules at a glance
The football pitches are not exactly the same size in all the venues, but vary between 100m–110m long and 64m–75m wide. The penalty spot at either end is 11m from the goal.
The referee will be looking out for rule infringements. Fouls may result in a yellow card, with a second yellow card resulting in a red card and instant dismissal. Players receive straight red cards for serious fouls, leaving the other team with an extra-player advantage. When a team commits an infringement, the opposition team is awarded a free kick. If a player is fouled inside the penalty area, his/her team is awarded a penalty kick.
It is an offence for a player to be in contact with the ball when they are closer to the opponents' goal than both the ball and the second-last opponent. The offside rule exists to ensure there are always opponents (generally the goal keeper and a defender) between a player receiving the ball and the goal. Without the offside rule, play can become boring with repeated long balls being kicked to a player stood next to the goalkeeper for an easy goal.
To read more about the rules of the game, click here http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/footballdevelopment/technicalsupport/refereeing/laws-of-the-game/index.html
The Football Association:
**Seperated into counties – local contact information can be found here**
Josie Clifford – County Development Manager :
firstname.lastname@example.org / Telephone: 0870 774 3010
Carol Isherwood – London Regional Manager FA
Darren Smith – Football Development Officer (London)
email@example.com / Telephone: 0207 6108360
Caroline McRoyall - County Development Manager (Surrey) :
Oliver Selfe – Football Development Officer (Surrey)
firstname.lastname@example.org / Telephone: 01372 373543
Jon Burr - Women and Girls Football Development Officer :
Cassie Bridger - Get into Football Officer (Croydon)
Darryl Haden - County Development Manager
Liz Symons - Football Development Officer / Women and Girls