Tag Archives: Football

Law 1 – The Field of Play

According to the Laws of the Game for Association Football (Soccer), Law 1 deals with the field of play.  

Field Surface

FIFA and the IFAB specify that the field of play must be a natural, or where the competition rules allow a synthetic, surface.


The field is to be rectangular and marked with continuous lines, the lines belong to the area they mark. The longer boundary lines are touchlines and the shorter ones are the goal lines. The field is divided in two halves by the halfway line. The midpoint of the halfway line is where the centre mark is placed and it is surrounded by a circle with a radius of 10 yards (9.15 m) around it. All lines must be the same colour and width. The width of the lines should be no wider than 5 inches (12 cm).  The goal lines must be the same width of the goalposts and crossbar. Other lines off the field of play can be made.  The purpose of these lines is to mark 10 yards from the corner arc.


For normal competitions the field should have a length along the touchline (sideline) between 100 yards (90 m) and 130 yards (120 m). The width of the field along the goal line should be between 50 yards (45 m) and 100 yards (90 m).  

For international mathes the dimensions should be between 110 yards (100 m) and 120 yards (110 m) along the touchline.  The maximum width (measured along the goal line) is 80 yards (75 m) with a minimum width of 70 yards (64 m).

The Goal Area

For the goal area two lines perpendicular to the goal line 6 yards (5.5 m) from the inside of the goalposts for a length of 6 yards. These lines are joined by a line parallel to the goal line.

The Penalty Area

The penalty area is the area bounded by two lines that are perpendicular to the goal line 18 yards (16.5 m) from the inside of the goal post.  These lines are 18 yards in length and are joined by a line parallel to the goal line.

A penalty spot is to be placed 12 yards (11 m) from the mid point between the goal posts. An arc 10 yards from the penalty spot is drawn outside the penalty area.

The Corner Area

The corner area is defined as a quarter circle drawn 1 yard (1 m) from each corner flagpost. A flagpost is required in each corner.

The Technical Area

The technical area only realtes to stadiums that have a designated seating area for team officials, substitutes and substituted players. The area extends 1 yard from the sides of the seating area and upto 1 yard from the touchline.


A goal must be placed on the centre of each goal line. A goal consists of 2 vertical posts, joined at the top by a crossbar. The posts are placed an equal distance from the corner flagposts. The goals should be 8 feet (2.44 m) from the lower edge to the ground and be 8 yards (7.32 m) apart from the inner posts.

Other aspects of Law 1 deal with goal line technology, commercial advertising, logos and video assistant referees.

This post is a the scond in a series I am writing on the laws of the game. The first post originally written on October 4, 2016 on Law 2 – The Ball can be viewed read here.

Law 2 – The Ball

Originally published October 4, 2016.
When I was younger and much more in shape I was a soccer (football) referee.  On top of being great exercise and fun, there was the memorization of the 17 laws of the game.
This blog post will focus on Law 2 – The Ball.
Law 2 states that the ball must be:
  • spherical
  • made of leather or another suitable material
  • have a circumference of not more than 70 cm and not less than 68cm
  • At the start of the match, it cannot weigh more than 450 g and not less than 410 g
  • have a pressure of not more than 0.6 – 1.1 atmospheres.
Other considerations on Law 2 are that should the ball become defective during a match, the match will be restarted by a drop ball at the location where the original ball became defective.  If it became defective at a penalty or kicks from the mark, the penalty will be retaken.  If the ball becomes defective during a restart the ball is replaced and the game restarted accordingly.
I have to say in my 16+ years as a referee I have never had to replace a defective ball, many that were lost on roads and highways, but none as a result of becoming defective during the game.
From a topical perspective, there are plenty of stamps that have been issued with soccer balls appearing on them. Below are some more.

The Grey Cup – The Game

Originally published August 28, 2012.

Following my post last week on the Grey Cup Trophy, today I will detail some of the histories on the Game.
The first Grey Cup Game was played on December 4, 1909, between the University of Toronto Blues and the Parkdale Canoe Club,  the Varsity Blues won the game 26 – 6.  Since then 99 Games have been held with the 100th being played November 24, 2012.


I will detail a brief history of the current CFL Teams Grey Cup history below.
The BC Lions have made 10 appearances in the Grey Cup and have walked away with the trophy on 6 occasions.  Depicted on the Stamp above is a shot from the 82nd Grey Cup, where BC’s Lui Passaglia kicked the winning field goal keeping the Grey Cup in Canada.  Pictured on the foreground of the stamp is Geroy Simon.
Calgary Stampeders

The Calgary Stampeders have played in 12 Grey Cup games and have brought the trophy home on 6 occasions.  Represented on the stamp above is a picture from their 1948 Grey Cup win.  What was notable about this Grey Cup game, was not only Calgary’s perfect season but their fans that turned the game into a festival.  The foreground features “Thumper” Wayne Harris.
Edmonton Eskimos
Bringing home the cup on 13 of their 22 appearances, the Edmonton Eskimos have the longest consecutive Grey Cup winning streak of 5 in a row.  Between 1978 and 1982, the Eski’s under the leadership of Tom Wilkinson and Warren Moon were the CFL’s dynasty team.  Their 5 in a row record has yet to be broken and it seems that it will stand the test of time.  Featured in the foreground of the stamp is Tom Wilkinson.
Saskatchewan Roughriders
The Roughriders have won 3 of their 15 Grey Cup appearances.  Their 1989 winning performance is referred to as a ‘true classic’.  With the game tied at 40 points each, Saskatchewan’s kicker Dave Ridgway was successful on his 35-yard field goal attempt.  Pictured in the foreground is George Reed.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Winnipeg has travelled to the Grey Cup game 24 times.  On 10 occasions they have won the Grey Cup.  During the 50th Grey Cup game, played at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, the fog began to roll in and with 9 minutes left, the game was suspended due to poor visibility with score 28-27 for Winnipeg over Hamilton.  The next afternoon the game resumed and with neither team scoring Winnipeg won the “Fog Bowl”.  Ken Ploen is featured on the foreground of the stamp.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Winning 8 of their Grey Cup appearances, the Tiger-Cats call Hamilton home.  Playing in the 60th Grey Cup game at home, with the game tied 19-year-old Ian Sunter Kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Tiger-Cats over Saskatchewan to win the cup.  Danny McManus is pictured in the foreground.
Toronto Argonauts
The Argo’s are the Grey Cup’s most winning team notching 15 wins out of their 21 appearances.  One of their most famous wins is the 1950 win over Blue Bombers.  Played at Varsity Stadium in Toronto the game was completely rain-soaked and the game was immediately referred to as the “Mud Bowl”.  Micheal ‘Pinball’ Clemons is pictured in the foreground.
Montreal Alouettes
Winning 7 of their 18 Grey Cup appearances on the Alouettes’ most memorable games was the 1977 game played at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.  Dubbed the “Ice Bowl” after attempts to melt the snow on the field failed and the resultant water turned to into a sheet of ice.  Montreal defensive back, Tony Proudfoot, used staples on the bottom of his and his teammates shoes to gain traction resulting in Montreal’s victory.  Pictured in the foreground is Anthony Calvillo.
Below is a list of all the Grey Cup winners and the number of times they have won the cup.
Toronto Argonauts 15
Edmonton Eskimos 13
Winnipeg ‘Pegs / Blue Bombers 10
Ottawa Rough Riders 9
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 8
Montreal Alouettes 7
Calgary Stampeders 6
BC Lions 6
Hamilton Tigers 5
University of Toronto Varsity Blues 4
Queen’s University 3
Regina / Saskatchewan Roughriders 3
Toronto Balmy Beach 2
Sarnia Imperials 2
Baltimore Stallions 1
Hamilton Flying Wildcats 1
Hamilton Alerts 1
Montreal AAA Winged Wheelers 1
St. Hyacinthe-Donnacona Navy 1
Toronto RCAF Hurricanes 1

The Grey Cup – The Trophy

Originally published August 21, 2012.

In 1909 Earl Grey, the Governor General of Canada donated the Grey Cup for Canada’s National Football Championship.

2012 sees the 100th Grey Cup game (no games were held between 1916-1919) and this is being commemorated by Canada Post in their 2012 stamp program.

Commisioned in 1909 and costing $48.00, the Grey Cup is made of sterling silver and is 13 inches tall.  The base was originally made of wood, with silver shields engraved with the winnings team name.
In 1947 it was almost destroyed in a fire at the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club’s clubhouse but escaped with only minor damage after catching on a nail after the shelf it was sitting on collapsed.  It has been broken 4 other times.  In 1978 it was dropped by the celebrating Edmonton players; in 1987 and Edmonton player sat on it; 1993 saw Edmonton player Blake Dermott head-butted it and in 2006 when it broke away from its base during as the BC Lions celebrated their Grey Cup victory.
On two occasions the Grey Cup has been stolen.  In 1967 as a prank, it was taken from the Hamilton Tiger Cats for 3 days.  In 1969 it was stolen from the Ottawa Rough Riders and the thieves tried to ransom the trophy to the CFL.  The CFL refused to pay and planned to create a duplicate trophy to replace it.  2 months later the trophy was recovered from a locker at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto after an anonymous phone call led to it.
The Grey Cup Trophy is a Canadian Icon.  Next week another post will discuss the Grey Cup Game and the current teams who are vying to play in the 100th Grey Cup.