Soccer Terminology: H-O

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  • Handball: In the game of soccer a player may use any part of their body except their hands and arms, so when players break this rule the referee will call a handball, stop the game, and reward the opposing team a penalty kick from where the infraction occurred.
  • Hat Trick: When a player scores three goals in one game they are said to have scored a hat trick.
  • Header: A header occurs when a player uses their head to hit the ball.
  • High Kick: A referee may stop play if they believe a player has committed a dangerous play like a high kick. A high kick occurs when one player kicks above the waist of the other, endangering his opponent.


  • Indirect kick: A type of free kick. Indirect free kicks are for less severe offenses and must be touched by another player before entering the goal.
  • Juggling: When a player is able to keep the ball in the air using any part of their body except their hands and arms.
  • Keeper: Also known as the goalkeeper, there is only one keeper on each team and their main responsibility is to keep the ball from entering the goal. Although opposing teams must wear contrasting uniforms, the keeper must wear a uniform that distinguishes them from all players and officials.
  • Kickoff: Kickoffs occur at the beginning of each half. The team that wins the coin toss before the game decides which side they want to defend, and the opposing team takes the first half kickoff from the center spot. In addition, whenever a goal is scored, the team who has been scored upon restarts the game with a kickoff.
  • Kit: Another way to refer to a player’s uniform, consisting of a shirt, shorts, socks, shin guards, and cleats.


  • Linesman: The Linesman is an assistant referee. Assistant referees roam the sidelines and usually remain in line with the last defender so that they are better able to see when a player is offsides.
  • Line-up: The line-up lists the names and positions of players that will start the game for each team.

  • Man-to-man: A type of defense in which each defensive player is given a specific player to mark from the other team.
  • Mark: A defensive player marks another player when they stay near that player to prevent them from attacking the goal, passing to teammates, or advancing up the field.
  • Official: All referees and linesman can also be referred to as officials.
  • Offside: A player is considered offside if there is less than two players from the opposing team between them and the opponent’s goal at the time a ball is kicked to them. A player cannot be offside on their own half of the field or if they receive the ball from a throw-in.
  • Own goal: When a player scores a goal on his or her own team.
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