Getting to Know How Many Players are there in a Soccer Team

Everything you should know regarding how many players are there on a soccer team

Whether it’s a friendly game of football or a professional match, you should know some of the basic soccer rules.

A common rondo drill may not have a limit to the number of players in the field but when it comes to a proper football match, there is a fixed number of players from each side.

How many players are on a soccer team?

No matter the type of match or competition, as per the laws of soccer, a team should have 11 players on the field including the goalkeeper. This doesn’t include the substitutes on the bench.

Here’s how the numbers may change in different types of matches in competitions: 

How many players are on a soccer team
Soccer Tournament Concept with Modern Soccer Ball and Player Cleats Shoes.

Official Soccer Matches

In a professional football or soccer game, there are 11 players from each team on the field. Furthermore, the team can substitute three players at most in a single game of 90 minutes.

The number of subs can vary depending on the rules of a particular competition. Most of the FIFA international cups allow a maximum of three subs. A bench usually has around 7 nominated subs for the manager to choose from.

Other Matches

In the case of friendlies or warmup matches, a team can have six substitutions in a single match. Some of the rules state that the subs list has to be given to the match referee before the game starts. The International Champions Cup is a good example of such competitions that can allow more than 3 substitutions in a game of soccer.

Another thing to note is that the referee has to be informed before a particular substitution is being made. The particular player can only enter the field from the halfway line on the referee’s signal only when the replaced player has exited the pitch.

You should know that any player from the team squad isn’t allowed to enter the field without an official signal from the referee. If a player partakes in such an act, he/she is cautioned as per FIFA rules.

Sending Offs / Cautioning

In a soccer game, if the referees spot any kind of unsporting behavior, they can caution the responsible player depending on the severity of the act. Sometimes the ref just gives a simple warning to not disturb the game flow. In case of further activity, he/she can award a yellow card. If the player still doesn’t comply with the rules, the ref has the authority to dismiss the particular player. This is done by showing a red card.

The red-carded player can have no further part in the match and is also punished further depending on his/her behavior and conduct. In this case, the team can be limited to 10 players.

You should know that more than one player can be sent off if the referee spots any further activity that goes against the laws of a game of football.

Extra Time/ Stoppage time conditions

Some professional leagues have adopted new rules when it comes to substitutions made in extra time in football matches.

A football game is supposed to last for 90 minutes plus stoppage time, which is around 5 minutes at most. In the case of knockout competitions, if there is no result in the standard time, the referee can extend the game by 30 minutes.

The extended time is divided into two further halves of 15 minutes each. The substitution rules are almost the same in such conditions. A manager can use his/her leftover subs in the extra time as well.

Some competitions such as the UEFA Champions league allow an additional substitution. This means that if a soccer team has used all subs in the standard time, they can use one more sub in stoppage time. However, the number of players from each team remains the same if there are no player dismissals.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, soccer is a very straightforward sport. The rules are fairly easy to follow. 11 people on each team kick a ball around a roughly 80-yard pitch until one team outscores the other in the intended time.

To put it simply, a soccer team has 11 players on the field and a minimum of 7 subs to start a game. The number of players in the matchday squad should be at least 20 to go with the regulations of the game.

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