I was a serious athlete growing up, but I never played soccer. Not even as a little kid. Soccer is the one sport I don’t understand. It’s also, ironically, the first sport my daughter wanted to try. I want to feel useful, like I can answer questions or help her practice. But when she asks me a question about soccer, what she doesn’t understand is that everything I know about soccer, I actually learned from watching her play.
So if you ask me, here are the complete rules to soccer, which I have gleaned from watching a preschool soccer class:
1. No hands.
This rule is actually extremely optional.
2. Soccer is mainly about running in circles with a swarm of your friends and screaming.
The ball is also optional.
3. Soccer is more about the concept of “scoring” or “passing” than it is about actually “scoring” or “passing.”
It’s a very intellectual pursuit. Again, to be clear: No one in the history of soccer has successfully passed or scored.
4. If you insist on scoring, you must do it in the opponent’s goal.
5. An important soccer move everyone should learn is the one where you discover that there’s a trampoline behind all of the soccer equipment in the gym and you go jump on that instead of actually playing soccer, the thing your parents are paying for you to do.
6. One of the best power moves in soccer is called the “sit on your ball and pick your nose while Coach Amy is talking.”
It’s pretty self-explanatory.
7. The biggest prize in soccer is not nailing an assist, scoring a goal, or even winning the game. It’s about knowing that you did your best.
Just kidding! The biggest prize in soccer is getting a sticker on your hand at the end.