Common Soccer Terms

There are hundreds of unique terms that are related to soccer. The following is two part article that is designed to help introduce some of the most sport specific terms. These can help those interested in the game to better understand what player and seasoned fans may be referring to in conversation.

Terms Used For Field and Equipment

Every sport tends to have different slang associated with the items for the sport. The following are some common terms and equipment used in the sport of soccer, which is internationally referred to as football.

Kit: This is a general term used to refer to a player’s uniform. The uniform at its hear is comprised of a color coded shirt and shorts. Beyond that, players also wear shinguards, specialized socks, and cleats. Sweatbands and long sleeve undershirts are also common on the field as well.

Boots: Predominately English in nature, this is a frequent term used to refer to a player’s cleats or shoes. Depending on the field and style of game, some players may wear athletic shoes instead of cleats.

Pitch: The grassy areas that comprises the playing field is generally referred to as the pitch.

Box: On both sides of the pitch there are two sets of boxes, one is set at 18 yards, and is used for penalties, and one is set at 6 yards to make a goal area.

Touch Line: It is a phrase used to refer to the sideline of the field.


Referees and Penalties 

Linesman: A type of referee whose job it is to monitor the plays and the ball to ensure both are kept in the play. He does not monitor other aspects of the players and should not be confused with the referee who is referred to as the referee.

Referee: Unlike the linesman, the referee for the match is the main figure in charge of ruling on plays, handing out penalties and determining the amount of time the game will be played.

Red Card: One of two penalty types in the game. It is handed out by the referee and results in the player being kicked from the game for serious fouls regarding misconduct. Fighting, cheating, or seriously poor sportsmanship are exampled of common red card offenses.

Yellow Card: The less serious of penalties handed out by referees in a soccer match. They are given as a formal caution that a player may be facing ejection from the game if they continue to misbehave. Two yellow cards in a single game results in removal.