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Soccer Parents KICK, April 2004 -- A Passing Game
March 25, 2004

Here's the latest and greatest for soccer parents at large.


Table of Contents

1. Editor’s Corner Kick
2. The Laws of The Game – Law 9
3. Soccer Game: 5 v 1 Passing
4. About Us

1. Editor’s Corner Kick

The Spring soccer season is in full swing in my neck of the woods and the weekends are packed with activity.

Due to a referee shortage I have the dubious honor of being the center referee for my son’s U-12 game on Saturday. No way to win that one. Kim, my wife, is having second thoughts about even watching the game since I will likely catch “you-know-what” from the parents and she hasn’t grown a thick skin like I have.

Have I mentioned before that kids learn how to dissent from their parents? Yes, I thought so.

Finally, to broaden your horizons (and to appeal to a wider audience) I have started a section of the website on world soccer. It IS the most popular sport in the world after all.

I also have a website survey started on people’s favorite national team. Vote for your favorite team now!

2. The Laws of The Game – Law 9

Law 9 is titled “The Ball In and Out of Play”.

This is important for parents to understand.

Soccer is unlike basketball or football. The ball is NOT out of play when it touches either the goal line or the touch line (a.k.a. sideline).

The ball is out of play when:

  • it has wholly crossed the goal line or touch line whether on the ground or in the air.
  • or if
  • play has been stopped by the referee.
  • Think of the soccer field as a three-dimensional box with the sides extending up into the sky. The “whole” ball must be outside the box before it is out of play. Even if the ball is across the line and not touching it, the ball is in play if the side of the ball is above any part of the line.

    This is important to understand as it applies to scoring a goal as well (Law 10). Again, a goal is only scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line between the goal posts.

    In some ways Law 9 and Law 10 stress the importance of the assistant referee (AR). The angle of view is critical in correctly calling the ball in or out. Essentially, these laws can only be accurately applied if one is looking down the line.

    When in doubt, trust the AR.

    For a more complete discussion of soccer rules (the FIFA version) visit the Soccer Rule Page.

    If you really want to learn the rules yourself you should try the two-hour audio download of youth soccer expert Karl Dewazien explaining the Laws of The Game. Check out my review and you will see why I can recommend this without qualification!

    3. Soccer Game: 5 v 1 Passing

    Here is a good game for working on passing and receiving, space (the final frontier), and the evil passing shadow.

    Five Against One in a Square

    This drill can be found on Page 49 of Organizing Your Youth Soccer Team.

    Equipment: 1 ball, 4 cones
    Area Size: 10 x 10 meters


    Five players move around the area. The one in the middle chases five. The five pass to each other and keep the ball away from the player in the middle.

    Let one player try for one minute to get the ball away. Count the number of times he or she touches and/or takes away the ball within that minute. Let all six players play in the middle position. The winner is the player who scores the highest.


    In this practice you should introduce the concept of the passing shadow.

    Place a player in front of player A. Then let A explain to the group who is inside and who is outside the passing shadow. Place one player in the shadow and ask what he or she should do to be an effective receiver. Then let everyone stand in the shadow and move out of it to receive a pass. To simplify this exercise in the beginning, you can have the shadowed player walk instead of run.

    Soccer game courtesy of
    Organizing Your Youth Soccer Team
    Online Soccer Drill and Coaching Ebook

    Help for Parents – Learn Soccer the Easy Way
    Are you still struggling to learn the game?

    Still don’t understand the basic rules?

    Are you guessing about the proper techniques for passing and shooting a soccer ball?

    Don’t know how to teach the kids to play in different areas of the field?

    I have a godsend for you - The Clueless Parents 3-Pack. It will cover all of these basics and much, much more. Do yourself a favor and CHECK IT OUT!

    4. About Us

    A final note.

    Yes, believe it our not I finally got around to building an “about us” page. Like most everything else it is a work in progress but you’re welcome to check it out.

    As you can see I’m not very photogenic.

    Until next time.


    Pass It On - Feel free to KICK the newsletter downfield to any friends, parents, or coaches who could use the information.

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