How Many Soccer Players are on the Field? 

How many soccer players are on the field? The simple answer is that there are 11 soccer players from each team on the field at a time. However, understanding the positioning of these players is key to comprehending the game’s dynamics. 

Each player has a specific role, whether they’re defenders, midfielders, or forwards. grasping their positions and movements adds a layer of excitement to watching and appreciating the game. It’s like a strategic puzzle where every piece (player) plays a crucial part in achieving victory. 

So, let’s learn to resolve this puzzle deeply to guide the starters precisely for their competitive games! 

How Many Soccer Players are on the Field? – Rules and Regulations Explained

In soccer games, precision and teamwork reign supreme. On a standard soccer field, you’ll find a total of 22 players—11 for each team. This includes outfield players and goalkeepers. However, there’s a vital stipulation: a soccer game cannot commence if a team has fewer than 7 players.

Key Takeaways:

  • A standard soccer field has 22 players, with 11 players on each team, including outfield players and goalkeepers.
  • Understanding player positions and their roles adds depth and excitement to the game.
  • The game cannot start if a team has fewer than 7 players.
  • There are different categories of individuals on a soccer field, including substitutes, officials, fans, and media.
  • Youth soccer varies in player count based on age groups.
  • Substitutions are crucial for tactical adjustments and managing player fatigue, with the number of substitutions allowed varying by competition.
  • Unauthorized individuals on the field can lead to stoppages and disciplinary actions.
  • Goals scored with extra people on the field are subject to specific rules. For those eager to delve deeper into soccer regulations, here’s a comprehensive article on Soccer Foul Rules.
  • Squad sizes for various leagues vary, ensuring teams have enough players for matches.
  • Goalkeeper substitutions have specific procedures to follow.
  • Youth soccer encourages frequent substitutions to promote player development.
  • High school soccer typically fields 11 players in the starting lineup and maintains rosters of 18 to 22 players.

Soccer, at its core, is a collective effort that relies on players working cohesively as a unit. When a team fields less than 11 players, it demands unwavering dedication, unity, and tactical prowess to secure any positive outcome.

But hold on, the story doesn’t end here. Soccer fields can host various individuals, each with a distinct role to play:

  • On-Field Players
  • Substitutes
  • Extra Players
  • Squad Players
  • Officials
  • Fans
  • Media

For youth teams, especially in the early stages, there are fewer players on the field, as we’ll explore further when we delve into the player count for various age groups.

Minimum Number Of Players On A Soccer Team

In soccer, adversity on the field can strike in the form of injuries or players exiting the game. If a team’s player count drops below 7 during a match due to such circumstances, the game continues until a stoppage. To restart the match, both teams must have a minimum of 7 players on the field.

Before the commencement of a soccer match, it’s imperative that both teams provide their player lists to the officials. This includes the starting 11 and the substitutes. If the players aren’t listed beforehand, they are ineligible to participate. These regulations are governed by IFAB, a body under FIFA.

Number Of Soccer Players Per Team For Each Age Group

The number of players on the field isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario in soccer. It adapts to the age group, ensuring that the game remains enjoyable and age-appropriate for young talents.

Competition LevelNumber of Players
Over 1211
Under 129
Under 107
Under 84
Under 63

Number Of Soccer Substitutions

In the ever-evolving game of soccer, substitutions play a pivotal role in strategic adjustments and managing player fatigue. The number of substitutions a team can make is guided by the rules set out by FIFA. Teams have the flexibility to name a varying number of substitutes per game, ranging from 3 to 12, depending on the competition.

However, it’s essential to note that the specific rules governing substitutions can differ based on the association that oversees the league. 

Number Of Soccer Substitutes For Each Competition

Competition Substitutions
Major League Soccer (MLC)7
English Premier League (EPL)7
La Liga (LL)7
UEFA Champions League/EL  7 (12 during finals)
UEFA Europa League7 (12 during final)
World Cup12

Note: While the number of substitutes in many leagues stands at 7, there are intriguing exceptions in European competitions, where the allowance increases to 12 during the finals. 

What If There Are Too Many People On A Soccer Field?

Soccer is a game of precision and strategy, and it’s crucial to maintain the integrity of the match by ensuring that only the designated players are on the field at any given time. Before a match kicks off, the referee undertakes the responsibility of counting the number of players on the field to prevent any confusion or irregularities.

  • Stoppage of Play: The game is immediately halted if an unauthorized person, such as a squad member, coaching staff, or any other non-player, becomes involved in the game. 
  • Player Removal: Once the play stops, the referee instructs the unauthorized person to leave the field. Disciplinary actions may be taken if deemed necessary.
  • Disciplinary Action: In cases where discipline is warranted, it can include cautions or even sending off, depending on the nature of the interference.
  • Ball Possession: When the game stops due to an excess number of players, the ball is returned to the team with possession. They may receive a direct free kick or penalty, depending on the circumstances. If neither team has possession, a dropped ball will be used to restart play.

What If A Goal Is Scored But There is An Extra Person On The Field?

Scoring a goal in soccer is an exhilarating moment, but what occurs when there’s an additional person on the field, and a goal is netted? This situation demands a clear understanding of the rules to determine the legitimacy of the goal.

The outcome hinges on the identity of the extra person:

Scenario 1: Squad Player or Coaching Staff Member

If the additional person on the field is a squad player or a member of the coaching staff, and a goal is scored, the following action is taken: 

  • A direct free-kick is awarded against the team with the unauthorized person.

Scenario 2: Another Unauthorized Person (Not Involved in the Game)

If an unrelated person, such as a fan or someone unaffiliated with the game, enters the field, and a goal is scored, the following occurs:

  • The goal is allowed. 

In this case, if the goal is scored despite the interference of the extra person, it stands as a valid goal. The distinction lies in whether the unauthorized person is part of the team that conceded the goal or not.

credit: Soccerspective

Number Of Players Per Squad For Each League

Squad sizes in soccer are crucial for team management, ensuring that there are enough players available for matches and substitutions. Each league, depending on its level and regulations, has specific guidelines for the number of players allowed in a squad.

Let’s take a closer look at the number of players per squad for some prominent leagues:

1. Major League Soccer (MLS):

MLS teams typically have a squad size of 28 players. This allows for a pool of players to cover various positions and provide depth throughout the season.

2. English Premier League (EPL):

In the English Premier League, squads consist of 25 players. This limit ensures that teams have a reasonable number of players at their disposal.

3. La Liga:

La Liga, Spain’s top division, also adheres to a squad size of 25 players. This regulation helps maintain a competitive balance among the teams.

4. UEFA Champions League / Europa League:

In European competitions like the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, squads can have up to 25 players. However, during the finals of these competitions, teams are allowed to include 12 players on the bench. This expanded bench provides more options for managers and opportunities for players.

5. FIFA World Cup:

During the FIFA World Cup, national teams have a squad size of 23 players. This limited number ensures that each player selected is of high quality and ready to represent their country on the world stage.

How To Substitute A Soccer Player?

Substitutions are a fundamental aspect of soccer, allowing teams to make strategic changes during a match. It’s important to note that the rules governing substitutions may vary slightly depending on the competition and league. Let’s explore how substitutions work in soccer:

1. Referee’s Permission

Before making a substitution, the team wishing to make the change must obtain the referee’s permission. This typically occurs during a stoppage in play, such as when the ball goes out of bounds or when there’s a break in the game.

2. During a Stoppage or Interval

Substitutions can only be made during a stoppage in play or during specific intervals, like halftime. Players can’t be substituted while the game is in progress.

3. The Player Coming On

The player who is set to enter the field must wait at the halfway line, near the fourth official or an appointed area. This ensures that the substitution process is orderly and efficient.

4. Leaving the Field

The player who is being substituted must leave the field of play. Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action. Players should leave the field at the nearest boundary line unless the referee instructs them otherwise.

5. Continuation of Play

Play can continue while the substituted player is leaving the field. If the player takes an excessive amount of time or disrupts the game by not leaving promptly, the referee may take action.

6. Technical Area

The substituted player should proceed to the technical area or dressing area as directed by the competition’s rules. This ensures that players not actively participating in the game are in designated areas.

Goalkeeper Substitutions

Substituting goalkeepers in soccer follows a similar process to outfield player substitutions but with some specific considerations. Here’s what you need to know about goalkeeper substitutions:

1. Referee’s Awareness

Just like outfield player substitutions, the referee must be made aware of a goalkeeper substitution. This ensures that the match officials are informed and can manage the change appropriately.

2. Player Exchange

When an outfield player is designated to switch places with the goalkeeper, this exchange should be communicated clearly to the referee. Both players involved in the exchange must understand their roles.

3. Caution for Uninformed Changes

If a goalkeeper substitution takes place without the referee’s knowledge or approval, both the outfield player and the goalkeeper involved may receive cautions (yellow cards). It’s crucial for teams to follow the proper procedure to avoid disciplinary actions.

4. Player Starting as a Substitute

In some cases, a player initially named as a substitute may start the game. When this happens, the player originally in the starting lineup can take a place on the substitute bench without sanctions. However, the referee will report this to the relevant authorities for documentation.

Youth Game Substitutions

Substituting players in youth soccer games may have some variations compared to adult matches. Youth games often have unique rules to promote player development, provide equal playing time, and introduce youngsters to the sport. Here’s what you need to know about substitutions in youth soccer:

  • More Frequent Substitutions: Youth leagues encourage frequent substitutions to ensure equal playing time.
  • Temporary Substitute System: Some leagues allow temporary substitutions for coaching feedback or minor injuries.
  • Re-Entry Rules: Youth players can re-enter the game with specific rules, often with limits on the number of returns.
  • Coaches’ Strategy: Coaches use substitutions strategically, rotating players to gain experience.
  • Balancing Changes: Coaches aim for a balance between giving playing time and team competitiveness to avoid disruption.

How Many Players On A High School Soccer Team?

High school soccer teams typically follow a standardized roster size, adhering to regulations set by their respective governing bodies. Here’s what you need to know about the number of players on a high school soccer team:

  • Starting Lineup: High school soccer fields 11 players at the beginning of a match, comprising ten outfield players and one goalkeeper.
  • Roster Size: Teams typically maintain a roster of approximately 18 to 22 players, allowing for substitutes and depth.
  • Substitute Players: Substitutes are strategically used during matches for fresh legs and tactical adjustments.
  • Varsity and Junior Varsity: Larger high schools may have both varsity and junior varsity (JV) teams, with varsity teams competing at a higher level.
  • Tryouts and Squad Selection: Teams hold tryouts before the season to assess players’ skills, fitness, and commitment, with not all trying out guaranteed a spot.
  • Regulations and Guidelines: High school soccer follows regulations and guidelines established by state high school athletic associations or governing bodies.


In the world of soccer, the field is a stage for 22 players (11 for each team), each with a distinct role in the beautiful game. Beyond this number, unauthorized participants disrupt the flow. Age groups have their player quotas, substitutions bring strategy, and high schools follow regulated rosters. For those with youngsters eager to practice, it might be worth considering the Best Kids Backyard Soccer Goals. The game’s precision and passion thrive in understanding these player dynamics, making soccer a mesmerizing puzzle of teamwork and tactics.


Are there 22 players in soccer?

There are typically 22 players on a soccer field, with 11 players on each team. This includes 10 outfield players and one goalkeeper for each side.

How many positions are there in soccer?

Soccer has various positions, and the number of positions can vary depending on the formation a team chooses to play. Common positions include forwards, midfielders, defenders, and goalkeepers. Each position has specific responsibilities and roles within the team’s tactical setup.

What is 7 in soccer?

In soccer, “7” is often associated with the position of the “winger” or “right winger.” The number 7 jersey is traditionally worn by an attacking player who operates on the wings, providing width to the team’s attack and delivering crosses into the box. However, it’s essential to note that jersey numbers can vary from team to team, and the specific roles of players may differ based on tactics and strategies.