Friday, September 25, 2009

Soccer Rules-Fouls- Handling

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Most fouls on a soccer field are fouls only by degree. Actions during the run of play are, in large measure, harmless in themselves. They become fouls only if done in an unfair manner.

A few acts, however, are deemed fouls whenever they take place?regardless of how or why they occur. One kind of act is the foul of deliberately handling the ball?commonly known as a ?handball.?

Deliberately handling the ball
Among all fouls arising during the course of the game, handballs?or deliberately handling the ball, in the terminology of the Laws?may well cause the most disagreements, misunderstandings, and trouble for the referee.

Handling is the only foul not committed against an opposing player. It is, instead, committed against the opposing team. But it is also the only penal foul requiring a deliberate intent by the player committing the foul. The foul is not, after all, ?letting the ball touch the hand? but rather ?deliberately handling the ball.? Consequently, it is often said that if the ball plays the hand it is not a foul, but if the hand plays the ball, then it is.

This rule of thumb is, however, much more easily said than put into practice. In addition, it also conflicts with the far more conventional rule, which is loudly proclaimed by players, coaches, and spectators around the world: If it hits the hand of an opposing player, it is a handball. But given the fact that most players are blessed with at least two arms?which must be placed somewhere during the course of a match, if only to be available for throw-ins?it would be unfair to penalize players for accidental touches which are neither intended nor avoidable. A few moments of thought should be enough for us to understand the basic concepts:

Above all else, handling fouls require deliberate contact between the ball and a player?s hand or arm. This means that the player either chose not to avoid touching the ball or placed his arms in an unnatural playing position to make it likely that he would touch the ball. And there are many aspects of hand-to-ball contact for the referee to consider when deciding whether a handball is deliberate. An uneven playing surfaces can cause the ball to deflect at odd angles, making it hard for players to know how it will bounce. Players who are unchallenged in the open field have no incentive to handle the ball, since it will be easily detected?which often suggests an unintentional handling, especially on the fields where the playing surface itself not quite putting-green smooth. On the other hand, because players intending to commit a foul often try to hide their actions from the officials, many intentional handballs will occur just out of sight of the referee, a factor which makes cooperation between the officials all-the-more essential.

But rather than trying to devise an intricate formula, we can best understand the principles by cases of what handling is not:

What Handling is NOT:
A player who moves the arms instinctively to protect a sensitive area of the body from the sudden approach of the ball does not commit a foul.

A ball that deflects off a player?s hand or arm from a shot or pass taken a few feet away is not a foul?unless the player has deliberately placed the arm in an unnatural position, hoping to block the pass. (However, placing the arms or hands over a sensitive area of the body?particularly while standing in the wall at a free kick?is not, by any stretch of the imagination, unnatural).

A player who is looking the other way when the ball strikes his arm has not committed a foul.

A ball that has innocently struck the arm of a player does not magically turn become a foul merely by falling in a place that happens to benefit that player.

On the other hand....the player who using his arm after an initial, innocent touch to keep control over the ball is committing a handling foul.

And the referee will probably start wondering just how innocent a hand-ball contact is if the ball is constantly dropping in a convenient place for the same player in the same game.

Jeffrey Caminsky, a veteran public prosecutor in Michigan, specializes in the appellate practice of criminal law and writes on a wide range of topics. Both his science fiction adventure novel The Star Dancers, the first volume in the Guardians of Peace (tm) science fiction adventure series, and The Referee?s Survival Guide, a book on soccer officiating, are published by New Alexandria Press,

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Soccer Rules-Fouls - Charging

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Most actions on a soccer field are fouls only by degree, and become fouls only if done in an unfair manner. Players often bump into each other while running, or push past each while each is trying to avoid a collision. These actions are just part of the game, and most bodily contact is quite incidental to the players? attempts to win the ball.

Sometimes, though, players will exceed the bounds of fair play, either through enthusiasm or frustration, or simply by overestimating their body?s ability to do what their brains are telling them to do. It is up to the referee to decide when those actions will exceed the bounds of fair play.

Soccer is a contact sport. This means that the players can use their bodies and muscles to try to win the ball. On the other hand, soccer is not ice hockey; and unlike some other sports, soccer players are not supposed to crash into each other, or body-check their opponents. For the referee trying to keep things under control, the important thing will be the force of the contact, as well as the targeted area of the opponent?s body. Also, once the goalkeeper collects the ball, opposing players may not lawfully try to play it.

Fans and players often hear about ?shoulder-to-shoulder? charges, and these are the charges that most coaches try to teach. Unless undertaken with a running start, most shoulder charges will be allowed, but this is not, strictly speaking, a requirement of a fair charge. Owing to human anatomy, though, most fair charges will come in the general direction of the shoulder area, not by use of the hips?and never directed toward back or the spine. If performed with clearly undue force, particularly toward the small of the back, a charge may be deemed reckless or worse, and punished with a caution and a yellow card?or, in extreme cases, with a red card and send-off.

Jeffrey Caminsky, a veteran public prosecutor in Michigan, specializes in the appellate practice of criminal law and writes on a wide range of topics. Both his science fiction adventure novel The Star Dancers, the first volume in the Guardians of Peace (tm) science fiction adventure series, and The Referee?s Survival Guide, a book on soccer officiating, are published by New Alexandria Press,

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Getting Started with Autographed Soccer Memorabilia

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Having a collection of autographed soccer memorabilia has long been a way of proving your loyalty and passion to the sport. If you?re interested in starting your own collection, here are several tips to ensure that you?ll not only have an easy time collecting.

How to Obtain Autographed Soccer Memorabilia There are two ways for you to obtain autographed soccer memorabilia: you can have the soccer gear or equipment signed by the athlete with your own effort, or you can purchase one that has already been autographed.

It?s certainly more affordable to work for your own autographed soccer memorabilia by yourself, but your main problem would be finding ample opportunity to approach your favorite soccer player and get his autograph. You will also have to work on getting a certificate of authenticity for your memorabilia in the event that you?d wish to sell it for a profit.

Purchasing autographed soccer memorabilia is easier, naturally, but more expensive as well. You also run the risk of buying from fraudulent sellers selling fake autographed soccer memorabilia.

Types of Autographed Soccer Memorabilia

Photographs ? These can be photographs of the athlete himself or a scene from a particular soccer game containing the necessary signature. Photographs may be something you?ve taken by yourself, purchased, or won. If it?s a group photo, consider having it enlarged so that all the signatures of the members making up your favorite soccer team can easily fit its surface.

Soccer Ball ? These can be either purchased or obtained at your own effort as well. If you?re going to have a soccer ball signed by your favorite players, invest in the best soccer ball you can purchase: one that has the words ?FIFA approved? or ?official size or weight? imprinted on them. Make sure to have a dark-colored soft tip marker ready for the signatures because it writes well on soccer balls and is easily visible. When you have completed the signatures, place it inside a glass or see-through container for safekeeping.

Soccer Shoes ? Many sports brands nowadays produce clothing, gear, and equipment under the name of famous players; the same thing applies to soccer as well. If your favorite soccer player has his own line of shoes then it would be ideal to have him affix his signature on his own product. Since shoes don?t have much writing space in them, they are usually good for a maximum of three signatures.

Soccer Wear ? These are what make up a complete soccer outfit: soccer top, shorts, and socks. A soccer shirt or uniform serves as one of the best types of autographed soccer memorabilia because it allows the players and coaches to write as long as they want.

Gloves ? These are worn only by goalkeepers, so you can generally expect only signatures from popular goalkeepers to appear on gloves. Again, autographed soccer memorabilia of this type can be purchased or obtained through personal effort.

Shin Guards ? While shoes, uniforms, and soccer balls make up the bulk of autographed soccer memorabilia, it?s very rare that you?ll find a famous signature written on shin guards. Thus, this type of memorabilia is usually obtained by personal effort.

As a last warning: make sure that you are truly purchasing from a trusted and reliable source especially if the transaction will be processed online. Be careful about using your credit card, and never allow payments to be handled by any website you haven?t checked the Better Business Bureau with.

For more information about authentic autographed sports memorabilia and collectibles, visit . Read articles from contributing writers in our blog site at

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Soccer Balls For Every Use

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As long as there have been children, someone in every corner of the world has been kicking a ball, or some semblance of one, around the ground, at or through a target. Soccer balls have been improvised from every conceivable source, including animal skulls and bladders, coconuts, and even human skulls.

Over the decades every type of animal skin, including the obvious leather, was used as a means to keep the ball more closely rounded. In 1836, Charles Goodyear developed and patented vulcanized rubber, and by 1855, he had translated his discoveries into the designing of rubber soccer balls.

Fast forwarding through the years, we now have exceptional balls, sanctioned by FIFA, The Federation of International Football Associations. In a statement regarding the importance of a good ball to a good game, the February 28, 1988 of FIFA Magazine states, "The football is more than just stitched leather.There can be no game of football without a ball and the better the ball, the better the game."

The FIFA mark on a soccer ball is an assurance of rigorous testing towards a ball of proven quality standards and performance. Today's players depend on the FIFA mark of excellence in all levels of play, both recreationally and in the competitive arena.

Another recognized mark for choosing a soccer ball that will stand up to long field time and weather extremes is the NFHS, which is the National Federation for High School Associations, a sanctioning body for all high school sports, including soccer.

Soccer balls come in both leather, widely recognized as the best ball for numerous reasons, such as shape retention and weather resistance, and also in synthetic leather, which can be a viable choice for the beginning recreational player. Once the player has come to recognize the difference in ball handling though between the natural and synthetic leather ball, it will be time to make the move up to one of the many available to choose from in every color and necessary size.

The top three sellers, and most readily available in sporting stores as well on from online retailers, are Adidas, Bremen and Nike. Among those, it is Adidas that offers the public the opportunity to play with the same ball used in Major League Soccer games, the +Teamgeist. It retails for 130.00, so although, it may not be the first ball you buy, it is sure to be one you will find delightful to work with once you have tried it. It offers superior reaction, spherical retention, and it may be the most accurate football ever produced. Proponents of this ball claim no other ball can compare with the +Teamgeist in flawless performance, both on the ground and in the air.

Many of the high end balls are only available in size 5, the adult size, with a few expanding their repertoire to include the smaller size 4 ball. To get the youth starter ball in the requisite size 3, the consumer can expect to pay only 10.00 to 20.00 for a great beginner ball, in many choices of colors. Puma and Lotto have long been good choices in the entry level range of ball, offering fine performance and durability for the money.

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Barcelona Soccer Team Facts

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Barcelona is a city long in love with sports, especially the Barcelona Soccer Team.

In addition to hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics, Barcelona hosted parts of the 1982 Football World Cup and has hosted the X FINA World Championship and Eurobasket. The city has two UEFA 5-star rated football stadiums: FC Barcelona's Nou Camp and the Estadi Ol?mpic Llu?s Companys.

FC Barcelona's soccer team is almost a way of life in Barcelona. The rivalry with Madrid rises almost to the point where Barcelona can be considered the Catalonia national team. FC Barca was founded on 29 November 1899 by Joan Gamper, who created the team colors of blue and claret from the Swiss canton in which he lived. Barcelona lost its first ever match with some English expatriates 0-1, but within ten years began a string of Catalan and Spanish championships lasting decades. FC Barcelona went though tough times in the rise to the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, but was able to recover and by the mid 1940s resumed its championship ways.

FC Barcelona is a sports club containing basketball, handball, hockey, ice-hockey, figure skating, indoor football, rugby, baseball, volleyball and women's football, but the jewel in the crown has always been association football, or the Barcelona Soccer Team. The Barcelona team has qualified every year for the European competition since it was founded in 1955.

The club motto is "M?s que un club" and they refer to their stadium as "Camp Nou." In English these are "More than a club" and "Our Ground." Despite a slump at the turn of the century, FC Barcelona has assembled a talented team and once again resumed winning ways. The club currently has a five-year deal with UNICEF, wearing the emblem on their jerseys and paying $1.9 million a year for the privilege.

Among the many claims to fame of the Barca team are that it has more victories than any other Association Football team in the world. They also have more wins in the Copa del Rey, the Spanish tournament, than any other team with 24 victories. There are 18 La Liga Championships, 7 Supercopa de Espana, 2 EUFA Champions League, 4 EUFA Winner's Cups, 3 Inter-Cities Fairs Cups, 1 Inter-City Fairs Cup Trophy Play-off, 2 European Super Cups, 2 Copa Latina, 4 Copa de Oro Argentina, 22 Catalan Championships, 2 Copa Martina Rossi, 4 Coupe de Pyrenees, 1 Mediteranean League, 2 Copa de Ligua, 1 Copa Barcelona, 1 Lligua Catalana, 5 Copa Catalana and one Little World Cup. It is little wonder Barcelona has embraced the Barcelona Soccer Team and reveres it as a symbol of Catalonia.

Luca Robi is the owner and co-editor of
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Soccer Cleats - To Stud Or Not To Stud

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Soccer boots, only correctly called cleats when they have the ground gripping teeth on the bottom of the shoe, have always been fodder for debate, among those who believe the screw in stud to be better than the molded teeth for traction or reliability. Many of the modern changes to soccer boots has come more from concerned parents, demanding the safest footwear for their young players, than it has from professional players, as might be believed.

There are basically three different types of soccer boots available, those being molded cleats, screw in studs, and these called 'astros' which are designed especially for use on astro turf. A good molded cleat is probably the best beginner boot, if play is to be on grass. They are easy to care for, and hitting them against each other or a wall will knock off most muddy, grassy build-up. Other than that, a rinse with warm water, and allowing them to thoroughly dry before wearing again will provide for about all the care these durable cleats will need.

If finances allow, it is wise to have two pairs of these soccer cleats for your young player, to insure one is thoroughly dry before re-wearing it. In the case of tournaments, where 3 or more games are played in a singe weekend, it is a great relief for those hard working feet to have fresh boots to put on. It is wise to note here that soccer slides, or sandals, are a very important item in the soccer bag. If the cleats are worn on hard surfaces for any length, the cleats will wear or break off much quicker than normal field use would cause.

When your player is ready to try screw in studs make certain they are fully prepared for the additional maintenance these boots will typically require. The simple cleaning of them is much the same as other molded boots, however, the screw in studs, or cleats, is where the care of these soccer boots makes a real difference in the performance they will afford the player.

The studs are available in plastic or metal, and it may be wise to determine which is allowed on your field, particularly if it is for youth play, prior to making your choice. It is possible that the sanctioning body at your playing fields may not allow screw in studs at all.

After you have made the decision to purchase soccer cleats with screw in studs, and have determined that the playing fields in your area do allow them, go to a sporting goods store that knows soccer, and has sales associates who will take the time to ensure your player gets a good, snug fit. This would be true even in the molded cleats, of course. Make certain the studs are screwed in tightly, and always carry extra studs in the soccer bag.

Inspecting the studs as the cleats are cleaned and put away after a match will prove wise, and help prevent a lost stud during a game. Never continue to play with a missing stud, it is harmful to the overall stability of the player, and can easily distort the hole so a new stud may not fit properly when replacing it is finally attempted. At first break in the game, replace the missing stud.

Astros are easy to care for, and can be used on grassy or hard surfaces. Basic cleaning is similar to the molded cleats.

Get all the latest in Soccer know how from the one and only true source at Be sure to check our soccer cleats page.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Many Avenues to Studying Abroad in Spain for Young Soccer Players

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Studying abroad opens educational doors for young people like nothing else can. World travel fosters independence and responsibility, while developing a sense of global unity in the next generation.

Whether your child is an up and coming elite player, or a soccer lover who wishes to fully-immerse themselves in Spanish language studies, Spain offers a wide variety of Spanish Summer Soccer Camps and Year Long Academic Soccer Boarding Schools to choose from. With soccer being the most popular participatory sport in the U.S., Canada and the rest of the world, and Spanish being the second most spoken language in America and one of the world?s most important languages, many students can benefit from Spain?s travel abroad soccer programs.

Spanish Soccer and Language Camps

Spanish soccer camps can be a good first step to learning abroad for children and young adults. Many of these programs accept children as young as 12 years old and last from a couple of weeks to nine months (boarding schools). Children can visit Spain for these camps with just a current passport. However, for the year long soccer boarding schools players without an European passport must attain a ?Student Visa?. Full-immersion language and soccer camps offer the best opportunity for youngsters to gain Spanish fluency and advance soccer their skills in a short period of time.

Special Training for Elite Youth Players

For soccer players 14 and up who exhibit outstanding potential you should consider one of the ?elite? soccer training programs available in Madrid, Spain. Spain has long loved the sport of soccer and their professional league is considered one of the worlds finest! With the intensity of international competition, professional coaches in Spain can offer a level of soccer training that is just not available in the United States. Spanish programs that combine full-immersion language studies, along with elite soccer training, groom players for careers in the exciting world of University or even professional soccer.

Spanish Soccer Boarding Schools

If your teenager or college student is looking for more than a soccer and language vacation, consider a soccer and Spanish boarding school in Spain. While it might seem frightening to allow your child to live in a foreign country for a year or more, there are wonderful boarding schools in Spain with caring teachers and coaches ready to guide, supervise and teach your son or daughter.

Year round high school and university programs do require educational ?student visas? and, of course, are more expensive than the summer camps. Being separated is also challenging for young players and their families but it?s that ?independence? away from the parents and international travel that promotes growth and maturity in young people. However, the level of soccer training and cultural learning your child can receive makes all the challenges worthwhile. If you are considering such a program, be sure and plan a visit to Spain before or during your child?s school year. You?ll enjoy an unforgettable vacation and be able to visit your son or daughter?s campus, cementing your decision.

How to Choose the Right Soccer & Spanish Program for your Child

When choosing which type of soccer and language training abroad is best for your child consider the student?s maturity as well as Spanish language and soccer skill level. Cost and travel requirements are also important, so be sure and research the necessities for Spain?s different programs. Last but not least, consider the experience and expertise of the program directors and staff.

Studying Abroad in Spain Helps Kids make Life-Long Goals

A Spanish language and Soccer program that provides bilingual, professional staff and well rounded, cultural learning opportunities for students will enrich your child and build skills that will help them achieve all their goals in life.

Enroll today or visit our website to learn more about EduKick study abroad soccer programs and sign up for their International Soccer training newsletter.

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Youth Soccer Drill Video - How Well You Are At Kicking The Ball

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Your success as a soccer player depends on the very fact that how well you are at kicking the ball. Moreover, this is where youth soccer drill video comes into play. These videos will let you know how to make the ball do what you want it to do.

There is in fact a very long list of skills and techniques that the coaches must help their players acquire. Well, it is not very practical to get perfection in all the skills, but at the same time, it is very important for a player to develop each of them so that they could use them when there is a need.

  • Turning Up The Ball
  • The coach must teach the players how to spin around with the ball using the inside of their foot. It is a very effective technique because it helps the players have better control of the ball and to pull the same around to open up into the direction where they want to take the ball.

    Again, when you find that the defender is very close to you and is trying to steal the ball from you, the first thing you have to do is to play the ball at right pace. Have the ball run through your legs and instantly turn the ball to beat your opponent.

  • Get The Ball In The Goal Box
  • If the coach wants their players to score goals, he must have the players of his team accustomed to crossing the ball whenever they get a chance. This way, the players can manipulate the thought process of the defenders of the opponent team.

    The defenders will start thinking that you are going to cross the ball every time. You have to utilize this opportunity while going down the line to cut the ball back or take a shot yourself.

    You all know how important it is to get the ball inside the goal box of the opponent team to win matches for your team, and this is where drill videos come into action.

    These videos will not only teach you how to develop all the soccer skills but it will also pave the path for you to have perfection in a particular skill by watching these videos again and again. Obviously, you will have to practice, practice and practice and not just keep watching the youth soccer drill video.

    Andre Botelho is a recognized authority on the subject of youth soccer drill video. His web site, Youth Soccer Drills, provides a wealth of informative soccer articles, resources and tips for soccer coaches, parents and players.

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    Friday, September 4, 2009

    Youth Soccer Coaching - How to Prevent Injuries

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    Injury prevention is a very important component in youth soccer coaching. The coaches must understand the famous saying as it goes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  • How To Prevent Injuries
  • The coaches have to use every possible way to prevent injuries. For this, they must take certain steps. For example, they must have their focus on proper skill development. What is more, before you start the training session, you must inspect the entire field in order to make sure that there are no holes, sprinkler heads, etc.

  • Plan It Safe
  • It is very important for the coaches to have a well thought out plan regarding how they have to deal with the injuries. There must also be a written response plan for emergencies that include the following points.

    ? Make sure that a first aid kit is available.

    ? Do not forget to collect the medical consent forms from all the players.

    ? Have emergency contacts all the times.

    ? You must have access to phone.

    ? It is always a great idea to have an assistant that is knowledgeable regarding the first aid.

  • Reducing The Injury Risks
  • Well, you cannot prevent injuries completely from occurring. It is not in your hand, but there are certain steps that you can take in order to reduce the injury risks. Incorporate the following things with the training session and it will possibly keep your players away from injuries.

    ? Make sure that you incorporate a conditioning program with every training session. The conditioning program should focus on building muscle strength for the young players.

    ? Stretching exercises are also very important. Therefore, you must have your players do some stretching exercises on a daily basis.

    ? You must instruct your players that all of them have to wear properly fitting shoes.

    ? Suggest a well-balanced diet to the young players, which could nourish their muscles.

    ? Whether it is a practice session or a game, you must have your players go for a warm up session.

    Always remember that your task as an expert coach also includes recognizing an injury when it happens, stabilizing the same as best you can, and summoning medical assistance if required. When it comes to youth soccer coaching, it is very crucial for the coaches be well prepared beforehand for any emergencies as and when it appears.

    Andre Botelho is a recognized authority on the subject of youth soccer coaching. His web site, Youth Soccer Drills, provides a wealth of informative soccer articles, resources and tips for soccer coaches, parents and players.

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