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The national sport is an invasion game, traditionally played between two teams of eleven players, but can also be played in other formats such as 5v5, 7v7 and 9v9. The game was born in England but has since become the most played sport in the world.

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The Basics

  • A game which involves kicking a ball into a rectangular goal with a net. Players will generally score with their feet, but can actually use any part of their body apart from their hands and arms. The game always starts with a kick off from the centre mark of the pitch
  • Each team has a designated goalkeeper, who is permitted to use their hands and arms within a marked area, to try and prevent the opposition team from scoring. 
  • Various other rules are in place to prevent foul play or unsportsmanlike conduct, e.g. the offside rule (in 9v9 and 11v11), which prevents attacking players from waiting by the opposition’s goal, so they are best placed to shoot when the ball comes to them.


The FA have created their own purpose-built 'at home' site full of resources to keep you busy. This includes colouring challenges, maths games, virtual classroom resources and more. Specifically for primary-aged pupils, there's also the Superkicks app, which offers more challenges for young ones directly from FA coaches. Find out more about how it works here.

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