Soccer Definitions that Begin with the Letter A or B

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Advantage Clause - A clause in the soccer rules that gives the Referee the discretion to allow play to continue even after a foul has been committed if stopping play would unfairly punish the fouled team (e.g., if the fouled team had a breakaway & might score even after having been fouled). The idea is that the team which committed the foul should not gain an advantage as a result of the foul. (See "Fouls"). Soccer Advantage Clause

Age - A player's soccer age is usually determined by how old he or she was on the last July 31. Soccer Age

Aggressive Receiving - For young teams and most Rec teams it is very important to teach "Passing to Space" and "Aggressive Receiving". What I mean is that you should use the Dribble Around a Cone & Pass Relay Race Practice Game to teach receivers that they MUST stay alert, on their toes, and stop the pass, no matter how bad it is.... they MUST assume that every pass will be bad, get in front of it, and NOT let it get past them.

Many players seem to believe that a pass is supposed to hit them in the feet, and they will just stand there flat-footed waiting for the ball, and if it doesn't come to them perfectly, they just let it go by and say - "It's not my fault - it was a bad pass". That is the wrong attitude. One of the most important things you can do is teach your players that a pass is NOT supposed to be perfect and that they must stay alert, on their toes, and go to the pass, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, do NOT let the pass get past them - they MUST do their very best to stop the ball. Teach your players that most passes are to "Space" and that the pass is NOT supposed to be perfect.

The reason to teach this is that it is unrealistic to expect most Rec players to be able to make a perfect pass when under pressure... SO, teach your receivers to NOT expect a perfect pass. In fact, teach them to expect a BAD pass and that they MUST be alert and do their very best to stop bad passes. Imagine the benefits of teaching "Aggressive Receiving"!

I suggest you give a special patch to encourage and reward this (pick a color or use a Star or Lightning Bolt). If you can teach this it will make a huge impact on your team's play.

Ideally, your players should be able to both pass to feet and pass to space. But the reality is that young players will have a hard time making accurate passes when under pressure, and so will Rec players. That is a big advantage of teaching this approach and of teaching them to "Pass to Space" - it makes it clear that they shouldn't expect "passes to their feet". The Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race practice game is the best way to teach Aggressive Receiving. Soccer Aggressive Receiving

Air Ball - (aka "Lifted Ball" or "Lofted Ball"). A ball that is in the air. A "chip" pass is an "air ball". A pass should stay on the ground unless the passer intends it to be an "air ball". (See "Chip", "Lofted Drive" & "Hopped Pass"). Soccer Air Ball

Arc - This term most frequently refers to the "Penalty Box Arc", which is the arc at the top of the Penalty Box (see "Penalty Box Arc" and the Field Diagram). There is also a "corner arc" (see the Field Diagram). Soccer Arc

Assist* - Refers to a pass that results in a goal (e.g., "He had 2 assists in the game"). It is very important to encourage assists. One way to do so is by congratulating the player who made the assist in front of the team. Also, the player who scored the goal should always thank his teammate who made the assist. Teach your players to do this & ask the scorer if he thanked his teammate for the assist. (See "Create" & "Deliver The Ball"). Soccer Assist

Assistant Referee - (aka "Linesman"). There are 2 per game, one on each side line, who mainly "call the lines" & offside, but can also report fouls & advise the Referee. On throw-ins, they indicate when the ball is out-of-bounds by pointing the flag in the direction in which the attackers will advance (i.e., toward the goal of the team it is out on). Soccer Assistant Referee

Attack Staller - An attacker who unnecessarily slows down or stalls the attack by making a bad, lazy or selfish decision. Examples include not moving off the ball, holding the ball too long instead of passing it, taking away the opportunity for a fast break by dribbling the ball too long or by passing backwards or sideways instead of forward, and the thoughtless player who too often calls for the ball to be passed backward to him or her when opportunities exist to pass the ball forward. Soccer Attack Staller

Attacking (Key Concept) - (aka "Offense"). When a team has the ball they are generally referred to as "attacking", no matter where the ball is on the field. There are 2 different styles of attacking: a "direct attack" and an "indirect attack". A direct attack tries to move the ball quickly into scoring range by using mostly forward passes, through balls and breakaways. An indirect attack is slower and uses a lot of sideways or backward passes while searching for a weakness in the defense. Unless your team is very skilled and has excellent passing ability a direct attack will work best. (See "Styles of Play" for more details). Creating space is a very important part of attacking. There are 2 different ways to create space. One relies on the ballhandler (i.e., the player "onball") to create opportunities. The other way to create space is by "movement off-the-ball" & relies on movement by players other than the ballhandler (i.e., players "off-the-ball") to create space & to create opportunities. (See "Attacking Plan", "Attacking Third", "Create", "Dribbling", "Go To Goal", "Kick-Off", "Pass To Space", "Shift & Sag", "Strength On The Ball", "Through Ball", "Push Up", "Build An Attack From The Back", "Center The Ball", "Coaching Rules", "Commit The Defender", "Counterattack", "Creating Space", "Cross The Ball", "Defending to Win", "Direct Attack", "Finish", "First Attacker", "Formations", "Goal Kick", "Movement Off-The-Ball", "Possession Style", "Rebound", "Release", "Spread The Field", "Styles of Play", "Support", "Switch The Play", "When to Dribble/When to Pass", "Width In Attack", "Win The Ball".) Soccer Attacking

Attacking Half - The half of the field that contains the other team's goal (the other team's goal is the goal their Goalkeeper defends). See Defensive Half. Soccer Attacking Half

Attacking Plan* - For recreational teams ages 10 and older, it is very important to have a simple and realistic attacking plan that players clearly understand & can execute. For example, a simple attacking plan could be to "clear" the ball away from your "Defending Third", have your forwards be positioned to win the ball, and launch a quick attack. This is not as easy as it sounds. How to achieve this is described at SoccerHelp Premium.

(See "Attacking", "Center The Ball", "Clear", "Counterattack", "Defending Deep", "Finish", "First Attacker", "Formations", "Pass To Space", "Push Up", "Rebound", "Shift & Sag", "Styles of Play", "Support" and "Win The Ball"). Soccer Attacking Plan

Attacking Third - (aka "Final Third"). The 1/3 of the field that contains the other team's goal. This is a term used when discussing tactics & strategy. For example, I don't want my players to dribble a lot in the "Defending Third", but it is okay for them to dribble in the Attacking Third. (However, they should still be looking for a pass or a "Give & Go"). Also, our forwards should aggressively pressure the ball & try to steal it if the other team has it in our "Attacking Third". (See "Defending Third", & "Middle Third" & "When To Dribble/When To Pass"). Soccer Attacking Third

Attacking Tips - See SoccerHelp Premium. Soccer Attacking Tips


Back - (aka "Fullback"). See "Fullbacks". In Britain, they sometimes refer to center backs and use the term full-back to mean the right and left backs in soccer. Soccer Back

Back Door - (aka "Back Side" or "Weak Side"). See "Back Side" & "Far Post". Soccer Back Door

Back Heel - Striking the ball with the heel to kick it backward. Soccer Back Heel

Back Pass - Passing the ball backward instead of forward. (See "Reverse Pass"). Soccer Back Pass

Back Post - (aka "Far Post"). See "Far Post". Soccer Back Post

Back Side - (aka Back Door & "Weak Side"). The side of the goal or the side of the Danger Zone that is away from the ball. Attackers will try to quickly "switch the play" to the back side because it is often poorly protected & defenders will have to turn around & reposition in order to defend. Soccer Back Side

Ball - Soccer balls come in 3 different sizes: 3, 4, & 5. The ball size is shown on the ball. Also, look for a stamp that says either "official size & weight" or "FIFA Approved". Even if a ball is the official weight, some balls are heavier & harder than others. Don't get a ball that is too heavy or hard (some seamless balls are especially hard). Some balls are so hard that it is painful to kick them. If you have a choice, a shiny, waterproof surface is best because it won't absorb water & will last longer. Test the ball to see if it's round & will fly straight by tossing it into the air with a lot of spin on it to see if it wobbles. U-6 & U-8 use a size 3; U-10 & U-12 use a size 4; and U-13 & older use a size 5 ball. Soccer Ball

Ballside* - Refers to getting between an opponent & the ball (e.g., "John, get ballside"). (See "Goalside"). Soccer Ballside

Ball Watching - Refers to players who only watch the ball & don't know where nearby opponents are. Players must know where nearby opponents are, particularly when defending their own goal, on goal kicks & on corner kicks. Players should know where the ball is, but also where nearby opponents are. For example, in a World Cup match between Argentina and Nigeria, Argentina scored because the Nigerian defender was watching the Corner Kick instead of watching the attacker he was supposed to be marking. When the ball was kicked, the attacker simply ran around the defender and scored on a header because the defender was "ball watching" instead of watching his "mark" and staying between his mark and the goal. Soccer Ball Watching

Banana Kick - (aka Bending the Ball, Inswinger & Outswinger). A shot kicked into the air that curves like a "banana". The ball curves because of sidespin. If it curves in, it is called an "inswinger"; if out, it is called an "outswinger". This kick is used a lot on corner kicks, to curve into or away from the goal and to curve around defenders, such as to curve around a wall on a free kick. Soccer Banana Kick

Basic Info - Basic Soccer Information

Behind The Defense - When an attacker is fast enough to get past the defenders (i.e., except for the goalkeeper) to have a clean shot on goal, he has gotten "behind the defense". Soccer Behind The Defense

Bend The Ball - See "Banana Kick".

Bent Run - A Forward runs across the face of a "Flat Back Line" of Fullbacks and quickly turns into a gap between the defenders as the ball is served. Obviously, the Forward must stay onside. Soccer Bent Run

BFS - Short for "Better, Faster, Stronger". If you lose, ask yourself whether the opposing team was BFS. If it was, don't feel bad about losing. You aren't supposed to beat a BFS team. If you do, you have either gotten lucky or you out-coached the opposing coach. Soccer BFS

Bicycle Kick - (aka "Scissors Kick"). The spectacular kick you see in photographs where the kicker leaps into the air, falls backward & kicks the ball over his head. Do not teach this. If any other players are near, it is considered dangerous play & a foul can be called. Soccer Bicycle Kick

Blind Side - An area outside the defender's field of vision (e.g., a "Blind Side Run" behind a defender). See "Blind Side Run". Soccer Blind Side

Blind Side Run - When an attacker without the ball (i.e., "off the ball") runs outside a defender's field of vision in order to get open to receive a pass. On a "give & go" the receiver often makes a "blind side run" behind the defender. (See "Give & Go"). Soccer Blind Side Run

Block Tackle - A standing "tackle" made with the inside of the foot. (In soccer, you don't tackle the player, you "tackle" the ball). This is the most basic tackle. It is made head on, using the inside of the foot. It is important to keep the tackling foot low, the ankle firm & the leg stiff. If the tackling foot is too high, the ball may be forced under it; but if it is low, you may be able to pop it over the opponent's foot & thus win the "tackle". (See "Tackle"). Soccer Block Tackle

Booking - When a yellow or red card is given the Referee takes out his "notebook" (actually a match record card) & writes down the player's name & number. When he does this he "books" a player & the player has been "booked". (See "Cards"). Soccer Booking

Boom Ball - A slang derogatory term referring to when the ball is frequently kicked in the air toward the other teams goal. This occurs by youth teams who have no attacking plan but it can also be an intentional and effective tactic with forwards stationed in position to win long "over-the-top" balls. You see a certain amount of "Boom Ball" in most professional leagues and it is used extensively by some successful professional teams. For example, in 2001 this long over-the-top tactic was used by Celtic, which had a secure lead at year end in the Scottish Premier League. It is easy to criticize teams for playing Boom Ball, when in fact most professional and select teams "boom" their goal kicks and long corners and punt their goalie distributions rather than controlling the ball and building from the back, and many teams FB's "boom" the ball to clear it when they are under pressure. I think it is fair to define "Boom Ball" as when the ball is kicked long without any real purpose or strategy and when the kicker's team has only a 50/50 chance or less to win the ball. However, if you send the ball forward as part of an attacking strategy, or when under pressure in the Defending Third, or when your team has a better than 50/50 chance of winning the ball, is isn't "Boom Ball". "Boom Ball" is very different from "Kick & Run". (See "Styles of Play", "Kick & Run", and "Attacking"). Soccer Boom Ball

Boot - Two meanings:
1st    The British term for a soccer shoe.
2nd   To kick the ball (i.e., to "boot" the ball). Soccer

Box - "In the Box" usually refers to the Penalty Box. The "18" also refers to being inside the Penalty Box (e.g., "inside the 18"). (See "Penalty Box"). Soccer Box

Box Out - Box out is a basketball term that can be used as a soccer soccer it means to turn around so you're between the opponent and the ball and to then beat the opponent to the ball. Note that in soccer a player can't "screen" an opponent from the ball unless he's within 3 feet of the ball (See "Obstruction" and "Impeding"). Soccer Box Out

Breakaway - A fast break where one or more attackers get behind the defenders so that only the other team's goalkeeper is between them & the goal. Breakaway's often happen because a defense is "pushed up" & "flat" (i.e., has no "depth"), which makes it vulnerable to "through balls". The "Sweepers" job (if you use a Sweeper) is to stop breakaways by kicking the ball out of bounds. In recreational soccer, a good strategy for stopping the other team's fast break is to teach your FB's to kick the ball out of bounds. This will give your FB's & MF's time to "sag" back to defend their goal. A "sagging" defense with "depth" prevents breakaways by having multiple layers of defenders in position to slow down the attack. On 1 vs. 1 breakaways, the defending goalkeeper should come out of the goal toward the ball in order to reduce the shooting angle. He should do this when the shooter gets within shooting range & once he starts he must run quickly toward the shooter & cannot stop or turn back; if he does, the shooter will probably score. (See "Counterattack", "Formations" (3-2-2-3), "Push Up", "Styles of Play", "Through Ball", "Sweeper", "Last Defender", "Zone Defense" & "Goalkeeper"). Soccer Breakaway

Build An Attack
From The Back Soccer
- A controlled attack starting with the FB's who pass to the MF's, who pass to the F's. The phrase is also used in a more general way to refer to FB's being involved in the attack. This is very difficult and unrealistic for most youth recreational teams. It only works if your FB's have very good ball skills. If the other team's forwards are better than your FB's, it will probably not work. If you turn over the ball near your goal the other team may score. If your FB's are under pressure, it is advisable for them to "clear" the ball away from your goal. (See "Attacking", "Attacking Plan" and "Clear"). Soccer Build An Attack From The Back

Build Up of Attack - How the play develops when attacking. All the passing, support, movement off the ball and dribbling involved in an attack on goal. Soccer Build Up of Attack

Bunker Defense - See Packed In Bunker Soccer Defense

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