A compilation of ten things we’ve just come to accept in our game:
1. If you play the ball past an opponent and run into them, they will get a yellow card irrespective of whether they moved to block your path, or simply stood their ground, as they are permitted to do.
2. Once added on time has been announced, it can only be increased by serious injuries. Any goals (which should add an additional minute) or substitutions (which should add thirty seconds) after the announcements will not increase the total.
3. Speaking of injury time, there can only be whole minutes of it. ‘There will be a minimum of three minutes’ does not mean there could be 3:15, 3:40 or even 3:59 of added time, it means precisely three minutes.
4. The ‘Sensible Soccer’ rule: The full time whistle can only be blown when the ball is in the middle third of the pitch, preferably after a defensive clearance.
5. If the ball strikes you on the hand anywhere on the pitch, it is always a free kick. But if you are inside your own penalty area, it has to have been deliberate, otherwise the award of a penalty is deemed ‘harsh’.
6. You cannot be booked twice in the same incident. You can use this to your advantage if you have committed a foul you know you’ll be booked for, by riling the other player into reacting. Even if your reactions are equal, they will receive a yellow card for it and you will only get the yellow for the initial foul.
7. For the first 85 minutes of the game, you can take twenty seconds preparing to take a throw in, and if losing or drawing, that continues. But if you are winning by a single goal and in the final five minutes, make sure you take the throw in within five seconds or you’ll be booked for timewasting. This is especially the case if you are the underdog and under the cosh away from home.
8. You may be penalised for raising your foot too high if you take the ball above waist height. But overhead kicks are fine, even if the ball is an inch from the defender’s nose when you strike it.
9. And on the topic of being penalised for a raised foot, if two players go for the same high ball, the one who wins the ball will always be the one who gives away the free kick.
10. To get a free kick for a shirt pull while chasing after the ball, all you have to do is stop running and shrug in frustration towards the referee. This works even if it was you doing the shirt pulling.
Feel free to add your own…