The Laws of the Game of the Association of ball games in Berlin of 1900

A decade after the laws of the game of the Association of German Football Players of 1890/1892 the Association of ball games in Berlin published its football laws, which obtained for the complete association. They are much more comprehensive than the rules of the Association of German Football Players and clearly resemble the DFB rules of 1903 and thus the Laws of the Game. Exceptions are the tossing of a drop ball and the annotation that a penalty kick can only be given if the opposing team claims it.

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The laws

1 [The field]

The maximum length and width of the field shall be 180 metres and 90 metres respectively (the minimum shall be 90 metres by 45 metres) and the four corners of the field shall be marked by flags (corner flags). The goals each consist of two vertical posts, 2.40 metres high, which are separated by two 7¼ metres and which are connected by a crossbar or by a tight string. These goals are located in the middle of the short ends. A line should be marked 11 meters in front of each of the goals, parallel with the goal lines (the easiest way to do this is to put up flags on the long sides), also the center of the field must be marked and a circle of 18 meters in diameter around it must be drawn.

2 [Choice of sides and kick-off]

The two game leaders (captains) draw lots, and whoever wins can choose for his club either the kick-off or the own side, which his club should has first. The game is opened by a kick to the ball on the ground, at the above-mentioned center of the field. This thrust must be in the direction of the opposing goal. Until the kick has been taken and the ball has turned at least once, none of the opponent’s sides may come closer than 10 yards or pass the middle of the field in the direction of the opponent’s goal.

3 [Half time and restart of game]

When half of the agreed playing time has expired, a short break (5 to 10 minutes) is made, the sides are changed, and the club that did not have the kick-off at the beginning of the game has now to kick-off and opening the second half of the game.
If a goal is obtained, the club that lost the goal gets the kick-off for restarting the game.

4 [How a goal is obtained]

A goal is obtained, when the ball, without being carried or thrown by the opposing player, or without being touched by hands or arms, has been driven fully between the two vertical posts and under the cross bar through the goal. If the ball falls back into the playing field from any of the goal- or crossbars or border flags, it is out of play.

5 [Throw-in]

If the ball passes over the touch line, it shall be thrown back into the field by a player of that club which has not kicked it out. This must be done from the position of the touch line at which it left the field. The „thrower“ must face the field and throw the ball with both hands over his head in any direction, and must not kick the ball until it has been touched by another player.

6 [Offside]

If a player kicks the ball or throws it in from the touch line, each player of his own club who is currently closer to the opponent’s goal than the first named player is „offside“ (and so out of play) unless at least three of his opponents are closer to their goal line than he is at the moment of the kick or throw. The „out-of-game“ player may not kick the ball until it has been touched by an opponent, nor may he in any way prevent an opponent from approaching the ball.
No one is out of play in case of a corner kick or goal kick, or if the ball was last kicked by an opponent.

7 [Goal kick and corner kick]

If the ball has been kicked over the goal line by a player of the attacking club, it must be kicked-off again by one of the players behind whose goal it was kicked, within 6 yards from one of the goal posts.
However, if a player plays the ball behind his own goal line, he has forfeited a corner kick for the opposing team. This is done by a player of the opposing club kicking the ball one yards away from the nearest corner flag.
In both cases, the opponents must remain 6 yards away from the ball until it has been kicked.

8 [Permitted and unauthorized handball]

No player except the goalkeeper may touch, carry, or handle the ball with hands or arms. The goalkeeper is allowed to use his hands in defence of his goal in his half of the field. The same is allowed to kick and throw the ball, but not to carry it more than 2 steps. During game, the goalkeeper may be changed, but not two players may act as goalkeepers at the same time, and no second player may represent the goalkeeper if he leaves his goal temporarily.

9 [Free kick]

A „free kick“ is a kick after the ball lying on the ground in any direction, and opponents must remain 6 yards away from the ball, except they have to stand behind the goal line. In this case, they have to stand on the goal line. The ball must turn at least once before it is in play. No goal can be obtained by free kick without contact by a second player (with the exception of law 13a [penalty kick]). The goal kick and the corner kick are part to this law (No. 9).

10 [Unfair Play]

It is not allowed to deliberately kick the opponent, jump on him, trip him, hold him with the hands or push him. No player may attack an opponent from behind unless such opponent has his face turned towards his own goal line and, according to the opinion of the umpires [means: linesmen] or referee, is deliberately obstructing his opponent.

11 [Referee and linesmen]

One referee and two linesmen are elected. It is the referee’s duty to make a final decision on all points of dispute and to maintain the laws. He has the duty to caution a player who is guilty of any infringement of the laws, to punish his club or, if necessary, to send the player off the field. He can also abandon the game at any time.

The linesmen have the duty to indicate when and where the ball is out of play, which club has the throw-in, corner kick or penalty kick. Nevertheless, the referee’s opinion always takes precedence.

12 [Game is in progress until referee decides]

In the event of an infringement of the laws, the game shall continue until a decision has been made by the referee.

13 [Drop ball]

If, for any reason whatsoever, the ball temporarily stops in a match where it has not crossed the touch or goal line, the game shall be restarted by the referee tossing the ball at the point where game was stopped. No player may kick the ball until it has touched the ground.

13a [Penalty kick]

If a player deliberately trips, holds an opponent with his hands or arms or touches the ball with his hand or arms within 11 metres of his goal line, the referee must grant the opponent a free kick in the event of a claim, which must be taken 11 metres in front of the goal line under the following conditions: All players of both clubs, except for the kicker and the opposing goalkeeper, must stand at least 5½ metres behind the ball and the opposing goalkeeper must not proceed more than 5½ metres from his goal line. The ball is in play when it is kicked and a goal can be obtained directly by this free kick.

14 [When a free kick is to be given]

In the event of any infringement of the laws 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 or 13, the club who is not at fault shall be entitled to a free kick which shall take place at the place where it was forfeited.


Source and quotes from: NN: From old documents. In: Deutsche Schiedsrichter-Zeitung 4 (16.02.1937). p. 48.

Kategorie: English


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