Soccer used to be nothing like it is now. The ball game has undergone a long evolution, and the days when the field for a soccer match was an ordinary street or market square are over. A couple of hundred years ago, there was no limit on the number of players on a team. The ball was chased by two crowds, one could have fewer people, the other more. Only around the middle of the XIX century, it was officially established that each side should be a certain number of players. This rule is unchanged to this day.
How many people make up a soccer team now?
In a match played by two teams, each team consists of a maximum of eleven players (10 field players + 1 goalkeeper). It turns out that there are 22 people involved in a soccer match at the same time.
Under the current rules, the match can not start or continue if at least one team has fewer than 7 players. There are rare cases when the referee removes for the match as many as 5 players on one side, in this situation it is forbidden to continue, as with 6 players can not play by the rules. This situation is more relevant to amateur soccer, at the professional level in the leading tournaments in Europe and the world you do not see such cases.
If the rules of the competition state that before the match the entry form must contain the main players and substitutes, and a particular team takes to the field with less than 11 players, the latecomers can come in during the match. This situation is also more relevant to amateur soccer.
Now you know that a soccer team has 11 players, now let’s go over the positions a little bit. The composition of the team is:
- Goalkeeper. One of the most important positions on the team. It is the goalkeeper who is in charge of saving the goal from scoring. His work is very intense and responsible, he can not make any mistakes, as only the goal cage and the net remain behind. Unlike field players, goalkeepers don’t travel long distances during a game, they don’t need to. The main thing for the goalkeeper is to have excellent reaction time, and in today’s soccer are still very valuable frame players who can play well with their feet.
- Defenders. Divided into central and edge (flank). The main task of the defender – to defend the gate from the enemy, using all possible means. Often coaches choose a tactical scheme with two central defenders and two wingers). The central defenders should be tall and strong in one-on-one tackling, while wingers should have good speed and stamina to perform well in defense and attack.
- Midfielders. They are midfielders, their number varies depending on the tactical scheme of the team. There may be two, three, four, or even five and six midfielders on the pitch simultaneously. The classification of midfielders is very rich. There are: supporting, flanking, wingers, playmakers. Functions of each variety: supporting players are more trained to intercept, tackle and help the defense, wingers, and wingers are involved in both attacks and defense, playmakers are more close to the attack, they turn the attacks and often complete them themselves with strikes from outside the penalty area. It should be noted that all midfielders must be very tough because they have the most mileage in a game.
- Attackers. How many forwards should there be on a soccer team? It also depends on the tactics, the clubs go to the match with one, two, or even three forwards. The attackers are closest to the opponent’s goal and their main goal is to score a goal. Attacking players are divided into central and central positions. The center ones are usually tall and have a good shot and good instinct for goals. They will play in the penalty area trying to score when their partners pass. They usually are technical players with a good shot and good speed, they can shoot on goal themselves or they can load the passes of the center-forward.
With the number of players and positions we have figured out, now let’s move on to substitutions.
Number of substitutions and substitutes in soccer
In any match of an official tournament held under the auspices of FIFA or a national federation, each team is allowed no more than 3 substitutions during regular time and 1 substitution is allowed in extra time. In national league matches, the number of substitutions can be increased to 6 (this mainly concerns lower national leagues).
The number of substitutes on the bench also depends on the tournament. There are occasions when there are 12 players on the bench (e.g. FIFA World Cup), but there are also tournaments where the regulations allow only 7 players on the bench.
How should substitutions be made in soccer?
Substitution in soccer is carried out as follows:
- The match referee is informed of the substitution.
- The substitute must stand at the center sideline waiting for the player to come to him.
- As soon as the substituted player has completely left the field, the substitute can safely leave, he automatically becomes a base player.
In soccer, it is most common for coaches to use substitutions to strengthen their team’s play by releasing midfielders or forwards. It is also not uncommon to see a situation where a team is leading with a minimum score, and in order not to lose the advantage, the coach puts in an extra defender and removes the forward, for example.