Football Guide

Football Glossary, Letter H

Football terms alphabetical index


The act of kicking an opponent’s legs; a serious offense punishable by a yellow or red card


Any of the two 45-minute playing period of a football match


Alternate term for “midfielder”, any of the players positioned between the forwards and the defenders

Half volley

To kick a soccer ball in mid-air after it bounces off the ground


The period between the first and second halves, typically 15 minutes long; it is a time for players to recuperate and for coaches to give motivational or tactical speeches; also called, interval or break

Halfway line

The bold line in the middle of the football pitch which divides its length into two equal parts

Hand Ball

A contact with the ball with the hands; a handball is punishable by a booking if the referee deems it deliberate but play may go on without an infraction called if the referee thinks it is accidental; also called hands

Hand of God

The famous goal made by Argentinean football legend Diego Maradona against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter final is called Hand of God : Maradona scored it with his hand but the referee thought it was a legitimate header

Hard man

A player who has the reputation for playing a very physical and, often, injury-inflicting defense


A rugby-like game played in Ancient Rome, often cited as one of the origins of soccer


Scoring three goals in a single match by one player


To strike the ball with the head; heading skills in football are very crucial when the game is played near the goal

Head coach

The person in charged of running a team or club; a soccer coach’s duties include selecting the lineup & strategies in matches, buying or selling players, and scouting for new talents; he is found on a teams bench during a game, shouting instruction to players; in British terminology, the head coach is called the “manager”


The act of striking the ball with one’s head

High press

A defensive tactic in soccer where a team applies pressure to the opponents in their (the opponent’s) half

"Hits the post"

An expression made when the ball hits either of the goalposts and does not go inside

Holding the line

A defensive tactic where defenders position parallel to each other (in an imaginary line) to catch an opponent offside

Holding midfielder

A midfield player whose primary task is to break up the opponent’s attack; also called defensive midfielder, anchorman, midfield anchor

Home International Championship 

A former annual competition played among the four national teams of United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; it was founded in 1884 and abolished in 1984

Homelesss World Cup

An international football tournament, held annually, among national teams made up of players who are homeless


A ball that travels in a bent path in the air; also called curved ball


A football fanatic, often connotes one who is violent, aggressive, and destructive behavior; hooligans in football are often involved in crimes

Hopped pass

A pass made high enough so it goes over the outstretched legs of an opponent

Horseshoe formation

The 4-5-1 formation, called such because its shape on the blackboard resembles a horseshoe

Hospital ball

A lazy pass that gets a teammate in danger of being tackled heavily once he receives it


In World Cup sense, the nation or country where the tournament is held

Hug the post

A command given to a defender, especially during corner kicks, to closely mark the area near the post where a goal is likely to be score