Home
 
My my My my
 
 
 
 
 
 

Rules of Play

 

LAW II: The Ball

  • An adult futsal low-bounce soccer ball will be used for all adult games as well as Under 16 boys and girls.
  • Size 5 balls will be used for all youth games Under 14 
  • Size 4 balls will be used for all youth games Under 10 and Under 12.
  • Size 3 balls will be used for all youth games Under 6 and Under 8

LAW III: The Players

  • A game is played by two teams of five players, one of whom shall be a goalkeeper (there must be a goalkeeper at all times).
  • Minimum of FOUR players needed to start and continue a game.
  • For U12 and below, no fewer than 4 or more than 7 players from each team shall occupy the field during each Half. For above U14, no fewer than 3 or more than 7 are allowed
  • Unlimited substitutions allowed as listed under Substitutions below. 
  • Any player may change places with the goalkeeper, provided that the referee is informed before the change is made, and provided also that the change is made during a stoppage of the game.
  • Substitute players are to remain outside the field.
  • For Youth and Adult matches, if a team trails by 4 or more goals then they may add a player and thus play with 6 players (5 + goalie) until they reduce the deficit to 2 goals, at which point a player must come off returning the team to 5 players. If they trail by 8 or more goals then they may add a second player (6 + goalie) until they reduce the deficit to 4 goals, at which point one player must come off, returning them to 6 players.
  • For challenge matches (defined as an inter-divisional game), if a team trails by 3 or more goals then they may add a player and thus play with 6 players (5 + goalie) until they reduce the deficit to 1 goals, at which point a player must come off returning the team to 5 players. If they trail by 6 or more goals then they may add a second player (6 + goalie) until they reduce the deficit to 3 goals, at which point one player must come off, returning them to 6 players.
  • Mercy Rule: a team which goes ahead by 10 goals shall be immediately declared the winner and the match ended.
  • Substitutions
    • During Play
      • Each team may substitute players freely. Players must substitute off the field of play within the Touch Line in the area of their Team Bench. For substitutions within the Touch Line, neither the player entering the field nor the player being substituted may play the ball while the other is on the field. 
    • When Play has Stopped
      • After a goal is scored.
      • On an injury time out.
      • When the ball leaves the field of play.

LAW IV: Player Equipment

  • Players must dress in matching jerseys.
  • Shin guards are required for youth leagues and recommended for adult leagues and must be totally covered by stockings/socks.
  • Shoes must be worn on the field at all times. NO CLEATS of any kind.  Only official artificial indoor turf soccer shoes or flat-sole style shoes are permitted on the playing surface. No open toe shoes (flip flops, sandals, etc.) are allowed.
  • Goalkeepers must wear colors which distinguish them from all other players and referees.
  • Dangerous Equipment: A player may not wear any jewelry or other accessory. If a player is unable to remove a necklace or ring, it must be taped to his chest or finger. Casts, splints, or body braces made of a hard substance must be padded to the satisfaction of the Referee.  

LAW V: Referees

  1. Referees: One (1) Referee officiates each game. The Referee may be assisted by a second floor Referee, an Assistant Referee, and a Timekeeper. So long as a Referee is on the facility compound of an assigned game, he shall execute, or delegate to other Game Officials the execution of, these Rules.
  2. Decisions of Fact and Rule: The decisions of the Referee regarding facts connected with play and interpretation of Rules are final. The Referee may change any decision prior to a Restart upon his own reconsideration.
  3. Powers: The Referee’s power to assess penalties, and otherwise assure fair play and maintain control of a game, extends to violations of these Rules committed during play, during stoppages, and as players and other team personnel proceed to and from the field of play. This includes the power to:
    • Award or Disallow a Goal: The Referee determines whether or not a goal is scored.
    • Suspend or Terminate the Game: The Referee stops, suspends, or terminates the game at his discretion by reason of the elements, interference by spectators, an unsafe condition, or other justifiable cause.
    • Stop the Clock: The Referee stops the Game Clock due to an unusual delay (subject to administrative policy.)
    • Prohibit Field Entry: The Referee ensures that no unauthorized person enters the field of play during a game.
    • Summon Security: The Referee asks facility security guards to prevent any spectator, including team personnel, from interfering with the play of the game for:
      • Violent conduct, including tossing objects onto the field of play;
      • Foul or abusive language or behavior; or
      • Persistent unseemly behavior. 

LAW VI: Duration of Game

  • A game shall be played in two equal halves of 18-25 minutes. (Depending on the age group)
  • A half time interval shall be 5 minutes.
  • Overtime Period and Tiebreaker: If, in a tournament or playoff, the game is tied at the end of regulation, a 10-minute “sudden-death” Overtime Period follows. If still tied at the end of the Overtime Period, a Tiebreaker takes place, as set forth in Rule 12.
  • Running Clock: Except in the case of an unusual delay, as determined by the Referee, the Game Clock counts down continuously through each Half or Overtime Period
  • Extension of Play: Play may be extended to permit a Penalty Kick or Shootout required under Rule 10


LAW VII: Start and Restart of Play

  • Unless otherwise stated in these rules, all starts and restarts are direct kicks. (For all youth leagues, Kickoffs are indirect kicks)
  • Start of Play: A “Kickoff” from the Center Mark starts play at the beginning of each Half, after every goal, and at the beginning of any Overtime Period. Immediately prior to the Kickoff, all players remain in their respective defensive halves, and all defending players are outside of the Center Circle. Once the Referee signals the Kickoff, a player of the team having the Kickoff has 5 seconds to play the ball. The same player may not again play the ball until it touches another player.
    • The opening kick-off team will be the Away team per the schedule. The second half will be kicked off by the Home team.
    • A kick-off may go forward or back. 
  • Start of Second Half: For the Start of the Second Half, the teams change defensive ends, and the Kickoff is taken by the Home team per the schedule.
  • Restarts: A “Restart” is the manner of resuming play after a goal or other stoppage. Restarts take place by either a Kickoff, Free Kick, Goalkeeper Throw-In, or Dropped Ball, as set forth elsewhere in these Rules. The team opposing that which is responsible for the stoppage takes the Restart. Except for a Dropped Ball, the same player who takes a Restart may not again make contact with the ball until touched by another player. Other than for Kickoffs or as provided below,  restarts occur within three feet (3') from the spot of the ball at the moment of stoppage. 
  • Free Kick: A team receives a Free Kick after stoppages other than when a Dropped Ball or Goalkeeper Throw-In is required. Before the team takes the Free Kick, the ball must be stationary. All opposing players are at least 10 feet from the spot of the Free Kick (or, if within 10 feet of the opponent’s Goal, along the Goal Line) until after the Restart. The Referee whistles the Restart for all Free Kicks taken from any circle Mark and after stoppages due to an injury, Time Penalty, or other incident within the Referee’s discretion. In the instance of a Time Penalty or ejection, the Referee whistles the Restart after the player serving the Time Penalty has sat down in the Penalty Area or the ejected person has left the area visible to the field of play. The spot of the Free Kick is that provided in Rule 7, except as follows:
    • Within Own Penalty Arch: A Free Kick within a player’s defensive Penalty Arch may be taken from any spot therein. All opposing players remain outside the Arch and at least 10 feet away until the ball is in play beyond the Arch. If, after the Free Kick, any player touches the ball before it has left the Penalty Arch, the Free Kick is retaken.
    • Within Opponent’s Penalty Arch: When a team is awarded a Free Kick within its opponent’s Penalty Arch, the Free Kick takes place at the opponent’s Free Kick Mark (“Top of the Arch”).
    • Illegal Pass Back to Goalkeeper: A Free Kick occurring after an illegal pass back to the Goalkeeper (Rule 10) is taken at the Goalkeeper’s Free Kick Mark.
    • Delayed Penalty: After a Delayed Penalty (Rule11), the Restart is taken (i) according to the ensuing stoppage, as normally administered, or (ii) in case the defending team obtains possession of the ball during play, at the spot of the original offense. If the original offense would have resulted in a Penalty Shootout, but for the Delayed Penalty, the Restart is a Shootout, except when the attacking team scores or commits a Foul or Carded Offense, in which cases (i) applies.
    • Penalty Shootout: The Restart for a Penalty Shootout is taken in accordance with Rule 12.
    • Kick-In: If the ball crosses over a length of the Perimeter Wall, a Free Kick (i.e., Kick-In) is taken from the point on the Touch Line nearest where the ball crossed over. If the ball goes out of play after touching a player substitute or other Bench personnel, who is inadvertently extending into the playing field, or if the ball exits the field through an open door of a Team Bench, the Kick-In is taken by the other team.
    • Corner Kick: When the whole of the ball, having last touched a defending player, crosses an end of the Perimeter Wall between the Corner Flags, the opposing team takes a Free Kick from the Corner Mark, nearest to where the ball exited play.
    • Goalkeeper Throw-In: See below
    • Superstructure Violation: For Superstructure Violations, the Restart is taken from the nearer Restart Mark. 
  • Dropped Ball Restart: If neither team has clear possession of the ball at a stoppage, the Referee restarts play with a Dropped Ball. A Dropped Ball caused while the ball is inside a Penalty Arch takes place at the nearer Free Kick Mark; otherwise at the spot of stoppage. The ball is “in play”once the ball contacts the ground untouched. 

  • Goalkeeper Throw-In: Play restarts with a Goalkeeper Throw-in after an attacking player has last touched the ball before crossing an end perimeter wall between the Corner Flags. The Restart is taken from any point within the Penalty Arch. Opposing players are at least 10 feet beyond the Penalty Arch until the ball is “in play.” The provisions otherwise apply as to Free Kicks and Restarts. 


LAW VIII: Play of Ball

  • Ball In Play: The ball is “in play” once each Kickoff or Restart legally begins and the ball makes any discernable movement. The ball remains “in play” until a stoppage, recognized by the Referee

  • Ball Out Of Play: The ball is “out of play” once any stoppage occurs which the Referee acknowledges or orders, whether for goals, Fouls, Time Penalties, injuries, out of bounds, or Superstructure Violations

  • Dropped Ball Restart: If neither team has clear possession of the ball at a stoppage, the Referee restarts play with a Dropped Ball. A Dropped Ball caused while the ball is inside a Penalty Arch takes place at the nearer Free Kick Mark; otherwise at the spot of stoppage. The ball is “in play”once the ball contacts the ground untouched.

  • Superstructure Violation: A “Superstructure Violation” occurs when the ball contacts any part of the net above the field of play. 


LAW IX: Method of Scoring

  • A goal is scored when the whole ball has passed over the goal line, between the goal posts and under the crossbar, provided it has not been thrown, carried, or intentionally propelled by hand or arm by a player of the attacking side, including the goalkeeper.  A goal may be scored directly from a Restart but not a Kickoff.
  • The team scoring the greater number of goals during the game shall be the winner.
  • Interference: No goal is allowed if an outside agent alters the path of the ball on its way over the Goal Line. In such instance, Rule 7 dictates the manner of Restart, except for a Penalty Shootout, in which case it is retaken. 

LAW X: Fouls & Misconduct

  • Penal Fouls: A Foul, resulting in a Free Kick, is assessed to a player who commits any of the following offenses in a manner that the Referee considers careless, serious, reckless, or involving excessive force:
    • Kicking an opponent;
    • Tripping an opponent;
    • Jumping at an opponent;
    • Charging an opponent;
    • Striking or elbowing an opponent;
    • Pushing an opponent.
    • Holding an opponent;
    • Handling the ball (except by the Goalkeeper within his Penalty Arch);
    • Playing in a dangerous manner;
    • Slide tackling;
    • Impeding the progress of an opponent (“Obstruction”);
    • Preventing the Goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands
    • Charging (Checking) an opponent into the perimeter wall
    • Double Teaming an opponent at the perimeter wall
    • Bracing - using the perimeter wall to support oneself or for leverage against an opposing player
  • Unsporting Behavior: The Referee stops play for Unsporting Behavior, resulting in a Free Kick, for the following offenses:
    • Illegal Substitution After Injury: Attempting to enter play without the required Referee
    • Equipment Violation: Entering play without an ordered uniform adjustment;
    • Leverage: Using the body of a teammate to propel oneself to head the ball;
    • Encroachment: Entering the protected area of an opposing player taking a Free Kick (after initial Warning);
    • Trickery: Passing the ball back to a Goalkeeper by trickery (see below);
    • Dissent: Committing any of the following offenses, whether before, during, or after the game:
      • Referee Abuse: Words or actions directed by any player or team personnel at an official in dissent; 
      • Breach of Penalty Area Decorum: Delay in entering the Penalty Area; failure to sit and remain seated in the Penalty Area after a Warning; or premature or unpermitted exit from the Penalty Area;
      • Other: Behavior which, in the Referee’s discretion, does not warrant another category of penalty
  • Goalkeeper Violations: For the following violations by a Goalkeeper, the opposing team receives a Free Kick:
    • Illegal Handling: Bringing the ball from outside of the Penalty Arch to his hand within it having been touched last by a member of his/her own team, or receiving the ball again after a Goalkeeper Throw-In without the ball’s having first touched another player;
    • Pass Back: Handling the ball, having been passed deliberately and directly to him from a teammate; except that he may handle a ball which a teammate passes to him by the head, chest, or knee and without “trickery” (the use of a wall or foot to flick the ball to a head, chest, or knee before making the pass); 
    • 5-Second Limit: controlling the ball with the hands inside of his Penalty Arch for over five seconds.
  • Team Violations: The Referee issues a Team Penalty for the following violations by a team or unidentified person:
    • Leaving Team Bench: Players leave a Team Bench to join a fracas, melee, or confrontation with the opposition or a Game Official
    • Bench Dissent: After an initial “Warning” issued to the Team Captain, one or more unidentified players from a Team Bench verbally abuse the Referee. 
    • Persistent Team Foul: Every 5th Team Foul during a Half or 4th Team Foul during an Overtime Period, will result in a Penalty Shootout (see Law 12)
  • Advantage Rule: The Referee allows play to continue, notwithstanding the commission of an offense, when the team against which it has been committed will benefit from an existing offensive advantage. In the case of a Carded Offense, Law 11 applies. 
  • Flagrant Fouls: A Penalty Shootout is awarded for the following Fouls committed by a defender in his defensive half of the field: 
    • A Foul within the Penalty Arch or Goal for which he receives a Time Penalty; 
    • A Foul from behind against an attacking player, having control of the ball and one or no defensive players between himself and the Goal; and 
    • Any Foul where he is the last player on his team between the attacking player with the ball and the Goal. 
  • Cautionable Offenses: The Referee issues a Yellow Card for serious or reckless violations of Penal Fouls and for the following:
    • Deliberate Handball: Handling the ball deliberately by a player or by a Goalkeeper outside of his Penalty Arch;
    • Goalkeeper Endangerment: Endangering a Goalkeeper within his Penalty Arch by sliding or charging into him, regardless whether he is in control of the ball;
    • Boarding: Propelling an opponent into the perimeter wall, whether or not intentionally;  
    • Unsporting Behavior;
    • Provoking Altercation: Making physical contact with an opponent (e.g., pushing or poking), short of fighting, or using the ball in so doing, particularly in the case of a Goalkeeper.
  • Ejectionable Offenses: A person receives a Red Card for violations which the Referee considers violent or use of excessive force, and for:
    • Second Yellow Card: Receiving a second Yellow Card;
    • Elbowing: Intentionally elbowing an opponent above the shoulder;
    • Vicious Slide Tackling: A tackle from the side or from behind directly into one or both legs of an opponent, seriously endangering him;
    • Fighting: Striking or attempting to strike an opponent with intent to injure;
    • Leaving Team Bench: Leaving a Team Bench or Penalty Area to join a fracas, melee, or confrontation with the opposition or a Game Official;
    • Extreme Unsporting Behavior: Committing particularly despicable behavior, including:
      • Spitting at an opponent or any other person;
      • Use of extremely abusive language or behavior toward a Game Official;
      • Bodily contact with a Game Official in dissent; and
      • Leaving the Penalty Area to engage in dissent. 

Law XI: Time Penalties

  • Penalties for Carded Offenses: The following penalties apply to offenses for which a Card is issued (subject to further action by the Administrative Authority):
    • Yellow Card: 2-minutes;
    • Red Card (for accumulation of Cards by player): 2-minutes (provided that the accumulation of penalties recorded at any one time may not exceed 5 minutes), plus ejection;
    • Other Red Card: 5-minutes, plus ejection.
  • Service of Penalties: Except as provided under Rule 11, a person who commits a carded offense serves the penalty. A person who receives a Red Card after the game has started may not return to the area visible to the facility, until subsequently allowed. Players serving Time Penalties proceed swiftly to their team’s Penalty Area, have their Time Penalties posted and counted down in unison with the Game Clock, and serve their Time Penalties, seated, until their expiration or the conclusion of the game, except that, if a player’s release from the Penalty Area would cause too many players to be on the field from his team (as could occur in the case of the expiration of multiple, simultaneous Time Penalties, or Time Penalties to three or more players from the same team), he is released upon the earlier of: (i) the expiration of a teammate’s Time Penalty resulting in fewer than two teammates in the Penalty Area with penalty time remaining, (ii) a stoppage, when permitted by the Referee, or (iii) the next occasion that the ball goes over the perimeter wall.
  • Designation of Penalty Servers: Active players are designated by their teams to serve Time Penalties of their team, their Goalkeeper, non-player personnel, and of teammates who receive Red Cards. In each instance, the designated player may not already be serving a Time Penalty. Time Penalties served by designated players do not count against their personal records, but of those responsible.
  • Short-Handed Play: For each Time Penalty being served by a player, his team shall play with one fewer field player until its expiration; provided that a team may not have fewer than the minimum under Rule 3, regardless of the number serving Time Penalties. Should a player receive a Time Penalty, while two or more teammates are already in the Penalty Area, his team continues to play with the minimum while he joins his teammates in the Area.
  • Exceptions to Penalty Time: Under the following circumstances, Time Penalties either expire prior to their completed countdown, or have the beginning of their countdowns delayed:  
    • Powerplay Goal: If a team is scored upon having fewer players on the field of play, due to one or more players serving Time Penalties, a player from the team is released from the Penalty Area into the field of play, unless prohibited under Rule 11, and the player’s Penalty or Penalties are wiped out. If the team has two players in the Penalty Area, only the player whose Time Penalty or Penalties are recorded earlier is affected.
    • Delayed Penalty: See Rule 11
    • Multiple Penalties: If two teammates are serving Time Penalties when another teammate is penalized, his Time Penalty does not begin to count down until at least one of the teammates’ Time Penalties has expired and his Time Penalty is next to begin.
    • Release of Teammates Serving Simultaneous Time Penalties: When two or more teammates’ Time Penalties expire simultaneously, the order in which they are recorded dictates the order of their release.
    • Simultaneous Ejections: When two simultaneous Red Cards carrying the same Time Penalties are assessed to opposing players, their Time Penalties are not served.
    • Maximum Time Penalty: No player may receive more than 5 minutes for penalties arising at the same time on the Game Clock, irrespective of the number or nature of accumulated offenses or the fact that one or more teammates may be designated to serve such time.
    • End of Regulation. All Time Penalties expire at the end of the Second Half.
  • Delayed Penalty: In instances where the Referee would issue a Yellow Card, but for the “Advantage Rule” (Rule 10), he acknowledges the offense by holding the Card above his head until the earlier to occur of the following:
    • Opponent’s Possession: The team of the offending player gains control of the ball;
    • Stoppage: The Referee stops play for any reason.
  • Once play is stopped, the offense is recorded and assessed, as customary. In the event of a powerplay goal, Rule 11.5(a), regarding the release of a player from the Penalty Area, remains applicable. 


LAW XII: Penalty Shootouts

  • Shootout: For a Penalty Kick, other than in a Tiebreaker:
    • All players serving Time Penalties sit in their appropriate Penalty Area.
    • All players of both teams stand behind the Halfway Line and outside of the Center Circle.
    • The ball is placed at the Center Mark
    • The Goalkeeper has at least one foot on his Goal Line and may not move off of it until after the Referee whistles the Penalty Shootout to begin and the ball is in play;
    • Once the Referee whistles the Shootout to begin, the ball is “in play” and the player taking the Shootout plays the ball forward using any legal manner to score. The player has 4 seconds within which to score.  After the 4 seconds (which the referee counts out loud) or once the goalie possess the ball, all players from both teams may move to any area of the field and play continues as normal.
    • Except when a goal is scored, any Foul committed by the Goalkeeper results in a Penalty Kick, to be taken by any player on the shooting team, from the restart mark nearest the goal;
  • Tiebreaker: In a Tournament (Playoff) if the game ends in a tie then the game will be decided by a 10-min Golden Goal playoff. Thus the first team to score wins the game. If no one scores in the 10 mins then a penalty shootout will occur. subject to the following:
    • The Referee designates the Goal at which both teams shoot and the team which shoots first;
    • All players, other than the player taking the shot and the defending Goalkeeper, remain within their Team Bench areas;
    • Both teams may have 3 shots, with players from each team kicking alternately;
    • If, at any time, a team obtains a 2-goal advantage, the Tiebreaker ceases and the winner is declared;
    • If, after both teams have taken 3 shots, neither has an advantage, the Tiebreaker continues, alternating one player at a time, until both teams have taken an equal number of shots and one team has scored when the other has not;
    • During a Tiebreaker, no player may take more than 1 shot for every set of five 5 of his team;
    • In the case of Shootouts:
      • The player has 4 seconds to score after the Referee’s whistle;
      • Except when a goal is scored, any Foul committed by the Goalkeeper results in a Penalty Kick, to be taken by any player on the shooting team, from the restart mark nearest the goal