Law 8 - The Start of Play

  1. At the beginning of the game, choice of ends and the kick-off shall be decided by the toss of a coin. The team winning the toss shall have the option of choice of ends or the kick-off. The referee having given a signal, the game shall be started by a player taking a place-kick (i.e. a kick at the ball while it is stationary on the ground in the center of the field of play) into his opponents' half of the field of play. every player shall be in his own half of the field and every player of the team opposing that of the kicker shall remain not less than 10 yards from the ball until it is kicked-off; it shall not be deemed in play until it has traveled the distance of its own circumference. The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player.

  2. After a goal has been scored, the game shall be restarted in like manner by a player of the team losing the goal.

  3. After half-time; when restarting after half-time, ends shall be changed and the kick-off shall be taken by a player of the opposite team to that of the player who started the game.


    For any infringement of this Law, the kick-off shall be retaken, except in the case of the kicker playing the ball again before it has been touched or played by another player; for this offense an IFK shall be taken by a player of the opposing team from the place where the infringement occurred, subject to the overriding conditions imposed in Law 13.

    A goal shall not be scored direct from a kick-off.

  4. After any other temporary suspension; when restarting the game after a temporary suspension of play from any cause not mentioned elsewhere in these Laws, provided that immediately prior to the suspension the ball has not passed over the touch- or goal-lines, the referee shall drop the ball at the place where it was when play was suspended, unless it was within the goal- area at that time, in which case it shall be dropped on that part of the goal-area line which runs parallel to the goal-line, at the point nearest to where the ball was when play was stopped. It shall be deemed in play when it has touched the ground; if, however, it goes over the touch- or goal-lines after it has been dropped by the referee, but before it is touched by a player, the referee shall again drop it. A player shall not play the ball until it has touched the ground. If this section of the Laws is not complied with, the referee shall again drop the ball.

Decisions of the International F.A. Board

  1. If, when the referee drops the ball, a player infringes any of the Laws before the ball has touched the ground the player concerned shall be cautioned or sent off the field according to the seriousness of the offense, but a free-kick cannot be awarded to the opposing team because the ball was not in play at the time of the offense. The ball shall therefore be again dropped by the referee.

  2. Kicking-off by persons other than the players competing in a match is prohibited.

[Rules.] [Law 7: The Duration of the Game.] [Law 9: The Ball in and out of Play.]