Soccer Definitions that Begin with the Letter G or H

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Give & Go - (aka "one-two pass") A "wall pass" where the initial soccer passer passes & then breaks (often making a "blind side run") to get open for a return pass. (See "Wall Pass" & "Blind Side Run"). Soccer Give & Go

GK - Abbreviation for Goalkeeper. (See "Goalkeeper"). Soccer Goalkeeper

Go To Goal * (Key Concept) - What you might yell to your supporting attackers (i.e., F's or MF's) if a teammate is making a breakaway or a run which will result in a crossing pass & you want several players to "go to goal" to take the cross or for rebounds. Soccer Go To Goal

Goal - There are two definitions: The metal or wooden structure which is at the center of each end line & for adult play is 8 yards wide & 8 feet high; also, a "goal" is scored when the ball totally crosses the end line inside the goal. Soccer Goal. Building & Buying Soccer Goals & Soccer Nets

Goal Area - (aka "Goal Box" or "Six"). See "Goal Box". Soccer Goal Area

Goal Box - (aka "Goal Area" or "Six"). The small box in front of the goal within which the ball must be placed to take a goal kick. (The ball can also be placed on the line). Size will vary by age group & your soccer club's rules. On adult sized fields the Goal Box extends six yards from the Goal and Goal Line into the field and for this reason it is sometimes referred to as the "Six". For dimensions go to "Laws of the Game" at (See "Field Diagram"). Soccer Goal Box

Goal Kick * - This is a type of "Set Play."  See the review of "Coaching Set Plays" for Set Play Tactics. When the ball goes out of bounds over the end line & was last touched by the attacking team, it is put back into play by the defending team, who may place it anywhere within their Goal Box (including on the line) & then kick it. The kicked ball may not be touched again by anyone on either team until it clears the Penalty Box and the other team must stay outside the Penalty Box until the ball clears the Penalty Box. A goal kick is kind of like having the ball on your own 5-yard line in American football, you're glad to have the ball but if you turn it over you can be in trouble. If your goalkeeper has a strong leg, have him take your goal kicks. Otherwise, you may want to have another player take the kick while the goalkeeper stays in front of the goal. If you have an advanced team and don't have someone who can kick the ball to the halfway line, consider "Spreading The Field" in order to "Stretch The Defense". You can do this by spreading out your players and taking the kick from the middle of the Goal Box line, directly in front of the goal. This way the Defenders won't know which side of the field you will kick to and they are forced to spread out. The rules give the kicking team an advantage by requiring the Defenders to stay out of the Penalty Box until the ball clears the Box (if the Defenders run into the Box the kick is retaken). The kicking team can be in the Box or can run across it, but cannot touch the ball until it clears the Box (i.e., your team can make runs across the Box but the other team can't). If you aren't able to kick it deep or spread the field, the Defenders will cluster within kicking distance, mark up behind your players & step in front to steal the ball. (This is how you should teach your players to defend goal kicks). I like spreading the field because it teaches the concept of controlling the ball, rather than just booming it, and teaches the attackers how to spread the field, take the ball wide & how to "build an attack from the back". However, spreading the field is probably not practical for a recreational team because of the practice time required. For recreational teams, the best approach is to have the strongest kicker take the kick (even if it is a forward) and to teach the MF's and F's that they must fight to "win the ball". (See the diagram titled "Spread The Field Goal Kick Set-Up". Soccer Goal Kick

Goal Lines - (aka "End Lines"). (See "End Lines"). Soccer Goal Lines

Goalkeeper - (aka Goalie, Keeper or GK). Except in small-sided play, each team must have a designated goalkeeper. He is the only player on the field who can legally use his hands and then only inside the Penalty Box. (Note that the Goalie cannot pick up the ball if it was deliberately kicked to him by a teammate... he can only pick it up if it was last touched by an opponent or if it was accidentally kicked to him by a teammate, or was passed from a teammate using the head, chest, knee, etc. instead of the feet.) Once he picks up the ball he has six seconds to punt it or release it. He is allowed to pick up the ball, run with it and then punt it, throw it, or drop it and dribble or kick it. (However, he cannot touch it with his hands outside the "Penalty Box" and once he drops it he can't touch it again with his hands until an opponent has touched it. The Goalkeeper IS allowed to go outside the Penalty Box and dribble or kick the ball back inside the Penalty Box and THEN pick it up with his hands. The line that defines the Penalty Box is part of the Penalty Box, so if the ball is touching the line it is defined as being inside the Penalty Box). The goalkeeper has special protections inside the Penalty Box; the ball may not be kicked if he is touching it with his hand or arm and the referee will call a foul if the goalkeeper is endangered. He must wear a shirt or jersey that is recognizably different from all other players (goalkeepers often wear special jerseys with padded elbows). Note: In hot weather, do not put a goalkeeper jersey on a player. They can get too overheated & become sick. Instead, have them wear a different-colored shirt (one shirt only) or a mesh training vest over their shirt. If your goalkeeper has a strong leg, let him take goal kicks. Encourage him to play aggressively & if you push up on the attack, to come out to the edge of the Penalty Box or beyond to play like a "Second Sweeper". If he picks up the ball & no opponents are close, encourage him to drop the ball & dribble it out & then kick it. (Once he drops it or when out of the Penalty Box, he can play like a field player but can't touch the ball with his hands). Encourage him to play aggressively & to take chances, everyone will have much more fun if you do & more kids will want to play goal. Goalkeepers tend to get blamed for goals when most of the time it isn't their fault (if the other defenders are doing a great job there won't be any shots on goal). You should tell your goalkeeper before the game that the other team is expected to score goals & that it isn't his fault if they score. Do not let anyone else (players or parents) blame the goalkeeper. In fact, after the game you should have the rest of the team thank the goalkeeper, even if he or she did make mistakes. You should encourage everyone who wants to to take a try at playing goalkeeper. You will be surprised who is good & you really can't tell until they actually play the position. At the very least, it will give all the players respect for how tough the position is & they will be less likely to blame the goalkeeper when goals are scored. However, do not make a child play goalkeeper if he or she doesn't want to. (See "Second Sweeper", "Breakaway", "Goal Kick", "Fouls, Indirect Kick", "Dangerous Play", "Distribute", "Penalty Box", "Punting", "Overarm Throw" & "Worrying The Goalkeeper").

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(NOTE: If the Goalkeeper "possesses" the ball and "releases" it, then he can only handle it again after an opponent touches it, or if it is accidentally kicked back or headed or chested back by a teammate. He can't pick it up if a teammate has intentionally kicked or thrown it to him. Notice that this rule only applies if he actually has "possession" of the ball, and not, for example, if he blocks touches a shot with his hands and then picks up the ball to "control" it. So, the important words here are "possession" and "released" -- under this rule just touching the ball isn't the same thing as having "possession" of the ball. However, in terms of protecting the Goalkeeper's safety, some referees will consider the Goalkeeper to have the ball under his control if he even has one finger on it -- this is to discourage attackers from trying to kick the ball out of the Keeper's hands. Se. 2.b. at Fouls for clarification of this.) Soccer Goalkeeper.

Goalside * (Key Concept) - Refers to getting between an attacker & the goal he is trying to score in (e.g., "John, get goalside"). Soccer Goalside

Good Ball - A great pass, often a "leading pass", or a "through ball", a pass that "Switches The Play" or an accurate pass through defenders. Soccer Good Ball

Ground Ball * - In my research I haven't found a commonly used term for balls kicked on the ground, but "ground ball" seems as good as any & is a term American kid's should understand. (See "Air Ball"). Soccer Ground Ball


Halfback - Another term for "Midfielder". Midfielder is more commonly used in soccer today. Soccer Halfback

Half-Volley - Kicking the ball the instant it starts to bounce up after it hits the ground. (See "Drop Kick"). Soccer Half-Volley

Halfway Line - The line across the middle of the length of the field that splits it into two halves. (See "Field Diagram"). Soccer Halfway Line

Hand Ball * - Strangely, the term "Hand Ball" is commonly used, but is not defined in the official FIFA rules. It is a "direct kick foul" if a player (other than the goalkeeper inside his own penalty area) deliberately handles the ball (meaning to deliberately touch the ball with any part of the arm from the finger tips to the top of the shoulder). If the player handles it for the purpose of preventing an opponent from gaining possession, it is a "cautionable offense" and a yellow card should be given. If a player deliberately handles the ball to deny an obvious goal scoring opportunity (e.g., to prevent a breakaway or to deliberately stop a shot), a red card should be given and the player "sent off". However, a hand ball foul should not be called if: (1) a player is instinctively trying to protect himself from injury or (2) the player did not deliberately touch the ball but the ball hit his arm & he did not move the arm toward the ball (however, if the player's arms were in an unnatural position such as above his shoulders or sticking out to the sides, then he should be called for a handball). (See "Fouls"). Soccer Hand Ball

Header - NOTE: Medical studies have found that extensive headers can cause brain damage; some parents oppose practicing them.

As players get older, they use their head more often to pass, receive, shoot or "redirect" the ball. There are two types of headers: a) a directional header where the player wants to control the ball (i.e., a pass, shoot or receive) & which is struck with the forehead (just below or at the hairline, where the player can see the ball; teach this by having them hold the ball on the forehead & asking them if they can see it) or with the side of the head; and, b) a clearing header (where the objective is just to send it as far as possible) which is struck with the forehead at the hairline or with the top of the head & where the defender often leaps to get more power. Don't even try to teach headers until U-10 & don't stress them until U-11. If you play a lot of small sided, by U-10 or U-11 they will be learning on their own. Don't use a heavy or hard ball to teach headers; use a soft or underinflated ball. A header that is aimed at the ground near the goal line (so it will bounce) is particularly difficult for the goalie to save. (See "Flick Header"). Soccer Header

High Line - (aka "Pushed Up"). A "high line" is when the Fullbacks push up toward the halfway line. They may do this to support their team's attack, in which case they are vulnerable to a fast "counterattack" by their opponent. Fullbacks may also push up and play a "high line" when they are on defense in order to create an "offside trap", but they are vulnerable to "through balls" played into the open space between them and their Goalkeeper that the opposing fast forwards can run onto. In the 2006 World Cup, Ghana played a "high line" and lost to Brazil 3:0 by giving up 2 goals on "breakaways" to Ronaldo and Ze Roberto. Brazil left their great forwards pushed up so they were even with the high line and passed balls through the Fullbacks that the forwards ran onto. (See "Push Up") Soccer High Line

High School - High School Soccer

Home Team - Usually listed first on the schedule & should provide the ball unless the League provides it. Soccer Home Team

Hook Turn - (aka "Cut" or "Cutback"). A technique for reversing direction by using the inside or outside of the foot to "cut", "chop" or "hook" the ball. This is done by turning the foot and pulling the toes up so the laces can hook or chop the ball & cause it reverse direction. Keep in mind that people in different parts of the world use different terms. This can be confusing, and sometimes people use terms for similar but slightly different things. For example, some people use the term "hook" to mean using the inside or outside of the foot to reverse the direction of the ball (a 180 degree turn), and might use the term "cut" to mean using the inside or outside of the foot to chop the ball so it goes to the left or right (a 90 degree turn). (See "Outside-of-Foot Reverse" game and "Outside-of-Foot"). Soccer Hook Turn

Hooking Run - (aka Pull-Series). When a receiver runs toward the ballhandler & then quickly reverses & runs away from the ballhandler. The reverse of "checking off". (See "Checking Off", "Dummy Run" & "Show"). Soccer Hooking Run

Hooking The Ball - (aka "Hook Turn"). Using the outside-of-foot to reverse the direction of the ball, an alternative to a pullback. (See "Outside-Of-Foot"). Soccer Hooking The Ball

Hook Run - A potential receiver moves toward the ball in order to pull a back line defender with him (which causes the defender to move forward away from the goal he is defending and creates more space behind that defender) and the potential receiver then quickly reverses and spins around the defender as the ball is played into the space behind the defender. Soccer Hook Run

Hopped Pass - A short "chip" or "flick pass" that is kicked into the air high enough to go over outstretched legs. This can be effective near the goal or when "passing to yourself" to beat a defender. (See "Pass To Yourself", "Flick Pass", "Chip" & "Air Ball"). Soccer Hopped Pass

Hydration - Hydration and energy replacement are 2 different issues, but both can affect how soccer players perform, and hydration is a health issue. Soccer Hydration

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