Rules – Soccer

Soccer Rules

Game Time/Default:

  • Please arrive 15 minutes early to set up fields and start your games on time. Games are 1 hour (unless otherwise indicated ie. double headers) with a 5-minute half time taken midway through game
  • Please agree on one person to act as timekeeper. Teams are comprised of six (6) players with a minimum of two (2) of each gender. A default will occur if any team cannot field a squad by 15 minutes after the official start time. A team can play with a minimum of 5 people, as long as two (2) of the players are women and two (2) are men. Women may play any position on the field. Captains may agree to waive the rules regarding minimum players but this should be decided before the game starts. IF IT IS AGREED THAT THE GAME COUNTS, IT COUNTS!

General Rules:

In general, standard soccer rules apply. Notable exceptions are listed below:

  1. Teams are comprised of 6 players (including goalie).
  2. Each half and after each goal starts with one team initiating play by making a forward pass from the centre of the field.
  3. If a ball is kicked out of bounds along the sidelines, a throw-in is awarded to the opposite team.
  4. If a ball is kicked out of bounds along the goal line by the offence, a goal kick is awarded to the defending team
  5. If a ball is kicked out of bounds along the goal line by the defense, a corner kick is awarded to the attacking team. Offensive players, please be in control of your bodies when going for balls on corner kicks. Crashing the goalie can result in a dangerous play.
  6. Substitutions should be made only when a stoppage in play has occurred i.e. no changing on the fly
  7. A handball infraction occurs when the ball hits a player’s arm from the ELBOW down (as opposed to the shoulder). In addition players may use their arms to block the ball from hitting their groin area, and women can also use their arms to block the ball from hitting their chest. This rule will reduce the number of stoppages in play. Please don’t abuse this rule.
  8. All free kicks are indirect. To score off an indirect kick, the ball must be touched by another player (offense or defense, but not the goalie).
  9. Defensive players cannot be within 8 feet of the ball when an indirect kick is being taken.
  10. The offending player should call their own infractions, however any players involved with the incident can also make a call.
  11. When a foul is called, play must stop as there is no “advantage”.
  12. Teams may call a one (1) minute time-out per half if needed
  13. Each team should bring both light and dark coloured shirts to each and every game.
  14. A game can end in a tie during the regular season. In the playoffs, a game that is tied at the end of regulation time is decided by a five-minute sudden death overtime period. If still tied, a shoot-out will commence. This is for the safety of goalies as shooters are encouraged to aim the ball, rather then blast it as hard as they can. Also shots will be taken at a distance of 12 paces (approx. 25 feet).
  15. Each of the five players on the field takes one shot each
  16. Only the players on the field at the end of the game can participate and the goalie that finished the game remains the goalie for the shoot-out. After five shots, if still tied, teams continue taking single shots until one team has scored (and the other team does not). The order of shooters must be maintained.
  17. Metal cleats are not allowed.

Off-sides: There are NO off-sides. However, a strategy of consistently “cherry-picking” is considered to be unsportsmanlike. No players (with the exception of the goalie) can slide to block a shot or pass at any time.

Goalies: Goalies can use their hands ONLY when they are within a “reasonable” distance from their goal (approx 10 foot semi-circle around the net). Due to the format of the field, there will not likely be a lined goal crease – please use your best judgment.

  • A goalie CANNOT pick up a ball with his/her hands if the ball has been played back on purpose to the goalie by a player on his/her team. This includes all forms of passing and kick-ins. The only exceptions are if a player directs the ball back to their goalie with their head or if it deflects off a teammate – in this case the goalie CAN pick the ball up with his/her hands. A violation of this rule results in an indirect free kick for the other team at the spot where the goalie inappropriately used their hands.
  • A goalie can “roam” as far from their goal as they want, but once outside of their “crease”, the goalie CANNOT use their hands at any time.
  • If a goalie makes a save by catching the ball with their hands, they can do one of three things; (a) throw the ball out, (b) kick the ball (out of their hands), or (c) put the ball down on the ground (at which point it becomes a live ball). Please note that if a goalie elects to put the ball on the ground, the goalie cannot choose to immediately pick the ball up again.


Slide Tackling: Even if contact is made with the ball first, slide tackling is not allowed under any circumstances (even if an opponent is not in the vicinity). It is recognized that incidental contact between players is inevitable – however, all players should go out of their way to avoid creating an unsafe play. This rule supersedes all others


  • If an infraction is disputed, a kick-in from the sideline is awarded to the offensive team.
  • If a goal is disputed, an indirect kick is awarded to the offensive team from where the original shot was taken.

Please remember that you are playing in a self-officiated, co-ed, social league, so any arguments or disputes should be kept to a minimum.