Rule 1: The Field of Play

Field Markings

The field of play must be rectangular and marked with lines or cones. The two longer boundary lines are called side lines, and the two shorter lines are called goal lines. Cones (or other markers, when necessary) will be placed at the four corners of the field where the side and goal lines meet. The field of play is divided into two halves, with one goal on either side.

Dimensions

The length of the side line must be greater than the length of the goal line.

Length (side line): minimum 60 yards [ideal 70 yards, but no more than a maximum of 80 yards]

Width (goal line): minimum 30 yards [ideal 35 yards, but no more than a maximum of 40 yards]

The Penalty Area

The penalty area is designated as the space 5 yards from each goal post along the goal line, and approximately 7 yards into the field of play. The markers for the penalty area will vary based on the field, and will be made clear to all players and officials at the start of the league.

Rule 2: The Ball

All balls will be provided by Volo City for each league. The game ball will be determined at the beginning of the game, with replacement balls designated at each field.

Replacement of a defective ball

If the ball bursts or becomes defective during the course of a match:

  • The match is stopped
  • The match is restarted by dropping the replacement ball at the place where the original ball became defective, unless play was stopped inside the penalty area. In this case, the team who had possession of the ball will be awarded either a goal kick (defensive team) or a corner kick (offensive team). If possession was not clearly defined, the referee will drop the ball on the penalty area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the original ball was located when play was stopped.

Rule 3: The Number of Players

The number of players allowed on each team (including gender rules) will be established prior to the start of the season. See the following for rules based on league-type:

7 v 7 Coed

  • Maximum of 7 players on the field, one of whom is the goalkeeper.
  • Minimum of 2 players on the field must be female. If a team only has one female, they must play down a player.
  • Minimum of 4 players per team is required to start, 1 of which must be female. Any team that cannot field the minimum number of players will forfeit their win to the opposing team.

6 v 6 Coed

  • Maximum of 6 players on the field, one of whom is the goalkeeper.
  • Minimum of 2 players on the field must be female. If a team only has one female, they must play down a player.
  • Minimum of 4 players per team is required to start, 1 of which must be female. Any team that cannot field the minimum number of players will forfeit their win to the opposing team.

7 v 7 Mens

  • Maximum of 7 players on the field, one of whom is the goalkeeper.  
  • Minimum of 4 players per team is required to start. Any team that cannot field the minimum number of players will forfeit their win to the opposing team.

If a team has too many players on the field, or is found to not be abiding by the gender rules, a yellow card will be issued to the team captain.

Substitutions

Substitutions will take place on a dead ball. The referee should be made aware of the substitution, but the match does not need to be stopped.

There is no limit to the number of substitutions teams may use or to the number of times substitutes return to the field.

Any player may change places with the goalkeeper, provided that:

  • The referee is informed before the change is made
  • The change is made during a stoppage in the match

Rule 4: The Players’ Equipment

Basic Equipment

Players must wear matching uniforms throughout the duration of the game. If a team does not have matching uniforms, as determined by the referee and hosts, that team must wear pinnies throughout the game.

The goalkeeper must wear a color that distinguishes him or herself from the other players and referee. If the goalkeeper does not have a seperate jersey, they will be required to wear a pinnie provided by Volo City.  

All players must wear shinguards.

Infringements and sanctions

In the event of any infringement of this rule:

  • Play need not be stopped
  • The player at fault is instructed by the referee to leave the field of play to correct his or her equipment
  • The player leaves the field of play when the ball next ceases to be in play, unless he or she has already corrected the equipment
  • Any player required to leave the field of play to correct his or her equipment must not re-enter without the referee’s permission

If play is stopped by the referee to administer a caution, the match will be restarted by an indirect free kick taken by a player of the opposing team from the place where the ball was located when the referee stopped the match.

Rule 5: The Referee

Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the rules of the game in connection with the match to which he or she has been appointed.

Powers and duties

The referee:

  • Enforces the rules of the game
  • Ensures that the players equipment meets the requirements of rule 4
  • Acts as timekeeper and keeps a record of the match
  • Stops the match, at his or her discretion, for any infringements of the rules. The referee has the authority to abandon the match if, under his or her discretion, the game is out of control and/or putting players in danger
  • Stops the match if, in his or her opinion, a player is seriously injured and ensures that he or she is removed from the field of play
  • Allows play to continue until the ball is out of play if a player is, in his or her opinion, only slightly injured
  • Allows play to continue when the team against which an offence has been committed will benefit from an advantage and penalises the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time
  • Punishes the more serious offence when a player commits more than one offence at the same time
  • Takes disciplinary action against players guilty of cautionable and sending-off offences. See rule 9
  • Indicates the restart of the match after it has been stopped.

Decisions of the referee

The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final.

The referee may only change a decision on realizing that it is incorrect or on the advice of a host or other Volo City staff member.

Rule 6: The Duration of the Match

Periods of play

The match lasts two equal periods of 20 minutes. Players are entitled to an interval at half-time, not to be exceeded by 5 minutes. The duration of half-time may be altered only with the consent of the referee.

The clock will not be stopped for any reason, including injuries, replacement of the ball, or anything else. The only exception is if a penalty kick occurs at the very end of a half or game; in this case, the penalty kick should be taken before the conclusion of the half or game.

Rule 7: The Start and Restart of Play

A kick-off is a way of starting or restarting play:

  • At the start of the match
  • After a goal has been scored
  • At the start of the second half of the match

A goal may not be scored directly from the kick-off (the ball must touch another player on either team first).

Procedure

Before a kick-off at the start of the match or extra time

  • A coin is tossed (if no coin is available, both captains will play rock paper scissors) and the team that wins the toss will decide which goal it will attack in the first half of the match.
  • The other team takes the kick-off to start the match.
  • The team that wins the toss will take the kick-off to start the second half of the match.
  • In the second half of the match, the teams change ends and attack opposite goals.

Kick-off

  • After a team scores a goal, the kick-off is taken by the other team.
  • All players must be in their own half of the field of play.
  • The ball must be stationary at the center of the field.
  • The referee gives a signal, and the ball is in play when it is kicked.
  • The kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player.

Infringements and sanctions

If the player taking the kick-off touches the ball again before it has touched another player:

  • An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team to be taken from the position of the ball when the infringement occurred.

In the event of any other infringement of the kick-off procedure, the kick-off is retaken

Definition of a dropped ball

A dropped ball is a method of restarting play when, while the fall is still in play, the referee is required to stop play temporarily for any of the following reasons:

  • Two players fouling one another simultaneously
  • An injury not as a result of a foul or penalty
  • Any rule not mentioned elsewhere in the rules of the game.

Procedure

The referee drops the ball at the place where it was located when play was stopped, unless play was stopped inside the penalty area, in which case the referee drops the ball on the penalty line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located when play was stopped. Up to two players, one from each team, can stand next to the referee in an attempt to play the ball.

Play restarts when the ball touches the ground.

Infringements and sanctions

The ball is dropped again if:

  • It is touched by a player before it makes contact with the ground.
  • The ball leaves the field of play after it makes contact with the ground, without a player touching it.

If the ball enters the goal:

  • If a dropped ball is kicked directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal kick is awarded.
  • If a dropped ball is kicked directly into the team’s own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team.

Rule 8: The Ball In and Out of Play

Ball out of play

The ball is out of play when:

  • It has wholly crossed the goal line or side line whether on the ground or in the air.
  • Play has been stopped by the referee.

Ball in play

The ball is in play at all other times, including when:

  • It rebounds off a goal post, crossbar, or corner cone and remains in the field of play.
  • It rebounds off of the referee when they are on the field of play.

Goal scored

A goal is scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line between the goal posts and under the crossbar, provided that no infringement of the rules of the game have been committed previously by the team scoring the goal.

Winning Team

The team scoring the greater number of goals during a match is the winner. If both teams score an equal number of goals, or if no goals are scored, the match is drawn.

Playoff rules

If a match ends in a draw during playoffs, the game will proceed immediately into penalty kicks. All aspects of rule 11 apply, in addition to the following:

  • 5 players from each team will be selected to shoot, two of which must be female.
    • Players can shoot in any order, regardless of gender.
    • If a team only has one female present, that team is only allotted four of the five penalty kicks.
  • Teams will alternate taking penalty kicks until there is a winner, or all 5 players from the teams have completed their kick.
  • If all 5 players complete the kick and it is still a tie, the penalty kicks move to sudden death.
  • All players on the team with the smaller roster must shoot before either team can have a player take a second shot. The team with the larger roster must cycle through new players until the smaller team has had all players shoot (including goalkeepers).

Rule 9: Offsides

There is no offsides in any Volo City soccer league.

Rule 10: Fouls and Misconduct

All free kicks, excluding penalty kicks, are indirect. See rule 11 for placement of the indirect kick

An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if, in the opinion of the referee, a player:

  • Plays in a dangerous manner
  • Impedes the progress of an opponent
  • Prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his or her hands
  • Commits any other offense for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player

An indirect free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his or her own penalty area, commits any of the following four offenses:

  • Controls the ball with his or her hands for more than six seconds before releasing it from his or her possession
  • Touches the ball again with his or her hands after he has released from his or her possession and before it has touched another player
  • Touches the ball with his or her hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a teammate
  • Touches the ball with his or her hands after he or she has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a teammate.

Disciplinary sanctions

The yellow card is used to communicate that a player has been cautioned. The red card is used to communicate that a player has been sent off the field of play. The referee has the authority to take disciplinary sanctions from the moment he or she enters the field of play until the final whistle.

A player who commits a cautionable or sending-off offence (yellow or red card, respectively), either on or off the field of play, whether directed towards an opponent, a teammate, the referee, a host, or any other person, is disciplined according to the nature of the offence committed.

Cautionable offenses

A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he or she commits any of the following offenses:

  • Unsporting behavior (including flagrant slide tackles)
  • Dissent by word or action
  • Persistent infringement of the rules of the game
  • Delaying the restart of play
  • Failure to respect the required distance when the play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick, or throw-in

A player who has been cautioned with a yellow card must step off the field for a minimum of 3 minutes.

Sending off offenses

A player is sent off and shown the red card if he or she commits any of the following offenses:

  • Serious foul play
  • Violent conduct
  • Spitting at an opponent for any other person
  • Denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball with his or her hands (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his or her own penalty area).
  • Denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick.
  • Using offensive, insulting, or abusive language and/or gestures
  • Receiving a second yellow card caution in the same match.

A player who has been sent off with a red card must leave the field but can remain on the sideline. The player can be replaced with another player on the team, so long as gender rules are still followed.

Rule 11: The Indirect Kick

All free kicks, excluding penalty kicks, are indirect.

The indirect kick

The referee signals an indirect kick by blowing the whistle. A goal can be scored only if the ball subsequently touches another player (on either team) before it enters the goal.

If an indirect kick is kicked directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal kick is awarded. If an indirect kick is kicked directly into the team’s own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team.

Procedure

The ball must be stationary when the kick is taken and the kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player. The ball must make one full rotation before being shot directly at the goal. If a shot on goal is taken before the ball makes one full rotation, the team will be awarded one reattempt. After the first reattempt, the defending team will be awarded an indirect kick.

Position of the indirect kick: inside the penalty area

If a defending team is awarded a free kick inside the penalty area:

  • All opponents must remain at least 5 yards from the ball
  • All opponents must remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play.
  • The ball is in play when it is kicked outside of the penalty area.
  • An indirect kick awarded in the goal area may be taken from any point inside that area.

If an attacking team is awarded an indirect kick inside the penalty area:

  • All opponents must be at least 5 yards from the ball until the ball is in play, unless they are on their own goal line between the goal posts.
  • The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves. It must make one full rotation before a shot on goal is taken.
  • An indirect kick awarded inside the goal area must be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.

Position of the indirect kick: outside the penalty area

  • All opponents must be at least 5 yards from the ball until it is in play.
  • The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves. The ball must make one full rotation before a shot on goal is taken.
  • The free kick is taken from the place where the infringement occurred or from the position of the ball when the infringement occurred (according to the infringement).

Infringements and sanctions

If an opponent is closer to the ball than the required distance at the time an indirect kick is taken, the kick is retaken.

If, after the ball is in play, the kicker touches the ball again (except with his hands) before it has touched another player:

  • An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.

If, after the ball is in play, the kicker deliberately handles the ball with his or her hands before it has touched another player:

  • An indirect kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.
  • If the infringment occurred in the penalty box and the player is not the goalkeeper, the attacking team is awarded a penalty kick.
  • If the infringement occurred in the penalty box and the player is the goalkeeper, the attacking team is awarded an indirect kick on the penalty line parallel to where the infringement occurred.

Rule 12: The Penalty Kick

A penalty kick is awarded against a team that commits an offense (see goalkeeper exclusions in rule 10) inside its own penalty area and while the ball is in play.

A goal may be scored directly from a penalty kick without touching another player.

Additional time is allowed for a penalty kick to be taken at the end of each half, if necessary.

Position of the ball and players

The ball:

  • Must be placed 10 yards from the goal line to be measured by the referee (unless otherwise noted based on field set-up, as determined by the referee).
  • Must be centered between both goal posts.

The player taking the penalty kick:

  • Must be properly identified.

The defending goalkeeper:

  • Must remain on his goal line, facing the kicker, between the goal posts until the ball has been kicked.

The players other than the kickers must be located:

  • Inside the field of play
  • 5 yards behind the penalty mark, as determined by the referee.

Procedure

  • After the players have taken positions in accordance with this rule, the referee signals for the penalty kick to be taken.
  • The player taking the penalty kick must kick the ball forward.

During the normal course of play:

  • The player who took the penalty kick must not play the ball again until it has touched another player.
  • The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward.

During overtime:

  • After the ball has been shot, the play is over and either results in a goal or a miss.

When a penalty kick is taken, either during the normal course of play or during overtime, a goal is awarded if, before passing between the goalposts and under the crossbar:

  • The ball touches either or both of the goalposts and/or the crossbar and/or the goalkeeper.

The referee decides when a penalty kick has been completed.

Infringements and sanctions

If the referee gives the signal for a penalty kick to be taken and, before the ball is in play, one of the following occurs:

  1. The player taking the penalty kick infringes upon the rules of the game:
  • If the ball has not yet been shot, the referee restarts the play.
  • If the ball enters the goal, the kick is retaken.
  • If the ball does not enter the goal, the referee stops play and the match is restarted with an indirect free kick to the defending team from the place where the infringement occurred.
  1. The goalkeeper infringes upon the rules of the game:
  • If the ball has not yet been shot, the referee restarts the play.
  • If the ball enters the goal, a goal is awarded.
  • If the ball does not enter the goal, the kick is retaken.
  1. A teammate of the player taking the kick infringes upon the rules of the game:
  • If the ball has not yet been shot, the referee restarts the play.
  • If the ball enters the goal, the kick is retaken.
  • If the ball does not enter the goal, the referee stops play and the match is restarted with an indirect free kick to the defending team from the place where the infringement occurred.
  1. A teammate of the goalkeeper infringes upon the rules of the game:
  • If the ball has not yet been shot, the referee restarts the play.
  • If the ball enters the goal, a goal is awarded.
  • If the ball does not enter the goal, the kick is retaken.
  1. A player of both the defending and attacking team infringe upon the rules of the game:
  • The kick is retaken.

If, after the penalty kick has been taken:

  1. The kicker touches the ball again before it has touched another player:
  • An indirect kick is awarded to the opposing team, the kick to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.
  1. The ball is touched by an outside agent as it moves forward.
  • The kick is retaken.
  1. The ball rebounds into the field of play from a goalkeeper, the crossbar or the goalposts and then is touched by an outside agent:
  • The referee stops play.
  • During the course of play, the game is restarted with a dropped ball at the place where it touched the outside agent, unless it touched the outside agent inside the penalty area, in which case the referee drops the ball on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located when the play was stopped.
  • During overtime, the penalty kick is counted as a miss.

Rule 13: The Throw-In

A throw-in is a method of restarting play.

A throw-in is awarded to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball when the whole of the ball crosses the sideline, either on the ground or in the air.

A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in.

Procedure

At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower:

  • Faces the field of play.
  • Has part of each foot either on the touch line or on the ground outside of the sideline.
  • Holds the ball with both hands.
  • Delivers the ball from behind and over his or her head.
  • Delivers the ball from the point where it left the field of play.

All opponents must stand no less than 2 yards from the point at which the throw-in is taken.

The ball is in play when it enters the field of play.

After delivering the ball, the thrower must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player.

Infringements and sanctions

Throw-in taken by a player other than the goalkeeper:

  • If, after the ball is in play, the thrower touches the ball again before it has touched another player, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.
  • A penalty kick is awarded if the player deliberately handles the ball with his or her hands inside the thrower’s penalty area.

Throw-in taken by the goalkeeper:

  • If, after the ball is in play, the thrower touches the ball again before it has touched another player, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.
  • An indirect kick is awarded if the goalkeeper deliberately handles the ball with his or her hands inside the thrower’s penalty area to be taken on the penalty line parallel to the location of the infringement.

If an opponent unfairly and intentionally distracts or impedes the thrower:

  • He or she is cautioned for unsporting behavior.

For any other infringement of this law:

  • The team is allowed one re-throw for the duration of the game. If any player on the team makes a second violation at any point in the game, the throw-in is taken by a player of the opposing team.

Rule 14: The Goal Kick

A goal kick is a method of restarting play. A goal kick is awarded when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, either on the ground or in the air, having last touched a player of the attacking team, and a goal is not scored. A goal may be scored directly from a goal kick, but only against the opposing team.

Procedure

  • The ball is kicked from any point within the penalty area by a player of the defending team.
  • Opponents remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play.
  • The kicker must not play the ball again until it has touched another player.
  • The ball is in play when it is kicked directly out of the penalty area.

Infringements and Sanctions

If the ball is not kicked directly out of the penalty area from a goal kick:

  • The kick is retaken.

Goal kick taken by a player other than the goalkeeper:

  • If, after the ball is in play, the kicker touches the ball again before it has touched another player, an indirect kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.
  • A penalty kick is awarded if the player deliberately handles the ball with his or her hands inside the kicker’s penalty area.

Goal kick taken by the goalkeeper:

  • If, after the ball is in play, the kicker touches the ball again before it has touched another player, an indirect kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.
  • An indirect kick is awarded if the goalkeeper deliberately handles the ball with his or her hands inside the kicker’s penalty area to be taken on the penalty line parallel to the location of the infringement.

In the event of any other infringement of this rule:

  • The kick is retaken

Rule 15: The Corner Kick

A corner kick is a method of restarting play. A corner kick is awarded when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, either on the ground or in the air, having last touched a player of the defending team, and a goal is not scored. A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick, but only against the opposing team.

Procedure

  • The ball must be placed at the corner of the field nearest to the point where the ball crossed the goal line (at the referee’s discretion).
  • The corner cone can be moved.
  • The opponents must remain at least 10 yards from the corner until the ball is in play.
  • The ball must be kicked by a player of the attacking team.
  • The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves.
  • The kicker must not play the ball again until it has touched another player.

Infringements and sanctions

Corner kick taken by a player other than the goalkeeper:

  • If, after the ball is in play, the kicker touches the ball again before it has touched another player, an indirect kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.
  • A penalty kick is awarded if the player deliberately handles the ball with his or her hands inside the kicker’s penalty area.

Goal kick taken by the goalkeeper:

  • If, after the ball is in play, the kicker touches the ball again before it has touched another player, an indirect kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.
  • An indirect kick is awarded if the goalkeeper deliberately handles the ball with his or her hands inside the kicker’s penalty area to be taken on the penalty line parallel to the location of the infringement.