4D Soccer is a new sport created by Iwu Lawrence Udochukwu from Nigeria in 2019. 4D Soccer is a football game involving two teams played on a square pitch. Each team fields 12 players including two goalkeepers. Every side of the pitch has a goalpost and every team has the task of attacking two goals and defending two goals. The games duration is 90 minutes and is officiated by one referee and four assistant referees.
Equipment Required: a jersey, shorts, shin guards, stockens, and cleats.
1: The field of play
4D Soccer can be played on a grass field or artificial turf, the color of which should be green. The field must be square in shape and well marked. The field should be divided into four equal parts by two perpendicular lines which intersects at the center point of the pitch and ends at the 17yard penalty-area line. Acenter circle with a radius of 10 yards is drawn at the center of the pitch where the two perpendicular lines intersect. During kick off (by the possessing team) opposing players are not allowed to enter the circle. Regulation lengths and markings are:
- Pitch Size: The four sides of the pitch are equal and should have a
minimum length of 82meters and a maximum of 99meters.
- At the center of each side of the field is an eight-yard-wide
goalpost. The goalpost is 8 feet high.
- A rectangular area with length, 20 yards centered along the goal
line and width, 6 yards out into the field is the goal box.
- A rectangular area with length, 40 yards centered along the goal
line and width, 17 yards out into the field is the penalty box.
- A penalty spot is marked 10 yards from the goal line inside the
- Extending 32 yards from each goalpost (along the goal line) is
the corner kick spot. A five-foot-tall flag is placed at the corner cick spot.
- 22 meters from the goal line out into the field is the offside line. (the offside rule applies to an offensive player only when he crosses the offside line closest to the goalpost being attacked).
2: The ball
A 4D soccer ball must be spherical in shape, made of leather or any similar material. The ball must have a circumference range of 27 to 28 inches. The rule is only applicable to standard matches or competitions. Smaller balls suitable for teenagers or children can be used for youth games for either training or competition as the case may be.
3: The number of players
Matches consists of two teams. Each team consists of 12 players; 2 goalkeepers and 10 on field players. Each team is expected to field at least nine players before the game can proceed. Only 5 substitutions is allowed in an official 4D soccer match, with the exception of friendly matches. Youth and friendly matches that requires unlimited substitutions must agree before the start of the match or competition as the case may be. The player to replace the subbed counterpart must not enter the pitch until the subbed player leaves the pitch entirely. Substitutions are made only when the ball is out of play and the game restarts after the subbed player has left the pitch. Goalkeepers, like any other player can be substituted by any player from the bench or from the pitch.
4: The players' equipment
Each player must put on a jersey, shorts, shin guards, stockens and cleats. The referee can send out any player whose dressing does not appear satisfactory to go and prepare well before coming back to the pitch.
5: The referee
The referee is the officiator of the game, his/her decision is final, and his word is law. The referee may discipline anyone who questions his actions in the course of the game (both players and coaches) even after the final whistle using the yellow or red card as
6: The assistant referees
Assistant referees work together with the referee to achieve a desired result. They will signal the referee (by raising a flag) when the ball goes out of play, a player is in offside position and when a foul is committed. Assistant referees are four in number (one on each side of the field).
7: The duration of the match
A 4D soccer match comprises of two 45-minute halves (extra time is added at the end of each half at the referee's discretion). Between the two halves is a 15-minute half-time period. A five minutes cool-off break may be added to either or both halves (beginning from the 21st minute to the end of 25th minute) upon agreement by the organisers before the start of the game. The extra time added after every 45-minute period is determined by the referee who considers time wasted during substitutions and injuries. Extra time should be displayed at the end of each 45- minute period of an official match. The illustration below shows the time structure of a 4D soccer match.
8: Goal post distribution
The teams are assigned two goalposts each. The two goalposts of one team must be directly opposite each other (4D soccer type A). Each team must defend their two goalposts and attack opponents two goalposts to score a goal.
9: Start and restart of play
Before the first kick off, the referee tosses a coin after the two captains of each team must have chosen a side of the coin each. The winner of the coin toss takes the kick off and also chooses the two goalposts his team will defend in the first half. Kick off at the beginning of the second half is taken by the team that lost the coin toss. Kick off is taken at the beginning of each 45-minute half and after a goal is scored. Any team that concedes a goal restarts the game with a kick off at the center of the pitch. Players of each team on both sides of the pitch must be equal at every start or restart of the game except there is imbalance created by player(s) haven been sent off earlier in the game (the centre lines will be a determinant). In a case where the players of a team is reduced to 9, 7 or 5 (goalie not included) due to red cards or any other reason, then the affected team/teams must not have above one player more on one side of the pitch compared to its opposite side at every kick off. Players can move to wherever they want after kick off. At kick off, the ball is placed at the midpoint of the field in the centre circle and only the players of the team taking the kick off are allowed to enter the centre circle.
10: Ball in and out of play
The ball goes out of play if it either crosses any of the four goal lines or a goal is scored. If the ball hits the goalpost, bounces back into the field without crossing any of the goal lines, it is still in play.
11: Scoring method
A goal is scored when the whole body of the ball crosses the goal line within or inside the goalpost. If a goalkeeper scores from open play it is counted as 3 goals in favour of his team. Open play includes scoring from set pieces but not including the first kick of the set piece. If a goalkeeper is the last player to pass the ball to the goal scorer, the said goal is counted as 2 goals in favour of his team. At the final whistle, the team with the highest goals scored wins the match and is awarded 3 points just as in a normal soccer game. If the game ends in a stalemate, each team is awarded one point each.
12: Offside rule
At the very time the ball is passed to an attacking player by his team mate, (the attacker having crossed the offside line nearest to the goal under attack), he must be level or behind the last defender of the opposition team (who is not the goalkeeper). However, if a player in offside position is not involved with the play and does not in anyway interrupt the play, the offside rule does not apply. When an attacking player receives the ball from the opponent, offside rule does not apply. When an attacking player receives the ball from his teammate who is level or in front of him, he is onside (not offside).
13: Fouls and misconduct
A direct free kick is awarded to the opposition team when a
* Pushes an opponent
* Holds and/or drags an opponent
* Deliberately handles the ball
* Spits at an opponent or any other person
* Dangerously charges an opponent
* Jumps at an opponent
* Trips an opponent
* Strikes an opponent
* Dangerously tackles an opponent
* Plays in any dangerous manner intentionally or not.
Any of the above fouls may attract a Red or Yellow card depending on the gravity of the offense. The opposition team is awarded a Penalty Kick if any of these fouls is committed within the penalty area in a manner that denies goal An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposition team when a player:
* Hinders the movement of an opponent with the ball or going
for the ball
* Plays in a dangerous manner
* Charges the goalkeeper and prevents him/her from releasing the ball
* Commits any other offense not mentioned.
*Challenging the referees decision and authority
*Persistent flouting of the rules of the game.
*Intentionally delaying the restart of play
*Not keeping the required distance when set-pieces are taken.
*Leaving or entering the field of play without the referee's permission.
*Refusing to leave the field after being subbed.
Players and coaches can be shown Red cards and sent off for the following offenses:
*Very Serious foul play.
*Spitting at an opponent, referee or any other person.
*A player (not a goalkeeper) denying the opponent a clear goal-scoring opportunity by handling the ball intentionally.
*Receiving a second yellow card in the same match.
*Any of the last 2 or 3 defenders including the goalkeeper denying the opponent a goal scoring opportunity by intentionally fouling an attacker with the ball in a goal scoring position or situation.
*Using offensive, racial, abusive, derogatory languages or gestures at an opponent.
14: Direct and indirect free kicks
There are two types of free kicks, direct and indirect. The referee must raise up his hand to signal an indirect free kick before it is taken, otherwise, it is a direct free kick. Adirect free kick can be shot directly into the opponents goal without needing to touch any other player in the pitch. The first kick of an indirect free kick is not enough to score a goal. The ball is required to touch one or more players before entering the opponents goal in the case of indirect free kick. If the ball goes straight into the goal after an indirect kick is taken without touching anyone, a goal kick is awarded to the opponent.
15: The penalty kick
A penalty kick is awarded to a team when the opponent commits a foul in their penalty area in a way that may deny goal scoring opportunity . The foul can be handling the ball intentionally, kicking, pulling or bringing down an opponent within the penalty area. The ball is placed at the penalty spot, and every player except the player to take the kick and the goalkeeper to keep the shot must stay outside the penalty area before the penalty kick is taken. Players can enter the penalty area immediately after the shot is taken just as done in normal football games. Passing a penalty kick to ones team mate amounts to a foul. If the shot hits the post or the goalkeeper and bounces back to the field (having not crossed the goal line), it is still in play. The goalkeeper should be on the goal line and should not make more than one step towards the ball before it is struck. If he does, the referee may cancel the kick and demand a retake of the kick.
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