Tournament & League Rules

Soccer Centers uses the official Fifa rules with the following exceptions


Soccer Centers Rules

On this page you can find the official Laws & Rules for all tournaments held at Soccer Centers. You can find the general rules below.

All the leagues, tournaments and games will be played with the official Fifa soccer rules.

General rules for all our Tournaments and League:

 Player uniforms, jerseys, protective casts & jewelry:

All players must wear shin guards, or will not be allowed to play.

All players must wear jerseys/shirts during play. If both teams are wearing the same color, the home team must change.

Players wearing protective casts must receive written approval by the League & Tournament director. If the referee on the field of play deems a player’s protective cast is unsafe in any way, the player will not be allowed to play until the Tournament director allows the player to play.

No jewelry will be allowed, including earrings of any type, rope necklaces and bracelets. The only exception will be players wearing medical bracelets.

Substitution: Substitutions can be made on the fly.


Kick Offs / Kick Ins / Direct and Indirect Kicks / Goal Kicks / Penalty Kicks:

Kick Offs

May be kicked in any direction. You cannot score directly from a kick off (ball must be 100% over the mid-line to be considered on the offensive half of the field). The kick off is an indirect kick.


The ball shall be kicked into play from the sideline, rather than thrown in. The ball is considered in play when the ball is touched and changes position. This is an indirect kick, and a goal cannot be scored from this kick.

Direct and in-direct kicks

All dead-ball kicks (kick-ins, kick-offs, free kicks) are indirect with the exception of corner kicks, hand balls, and penalty kicks. Indirect kicks must only change position before the ball will be considered in play. If a free kick is awarded within five yards of the opposing goal line, the ball will be moved back to five yards from the line. It is the referee’s discretion where the ball will be placed.

Goal kicks

May be taken from any point of the goal box. All Goal Kicks are indirect kicks.

Penalty kicks

Shall be awarded if, in the referee’s opinion, a scoring opportunity was nullified by an infraction (the infraction does not automatically result in a red card). Penalty kicks are DIRECT kicks taken from 3 yards outside the box in the center of the goal.

Five-Yard Rule

In all dead-ball situations, defending players must stand at least five yards away from the ball. If the defensive player’s goal is closer than five yards, the ball shall be played five yards from the goal line in line with the direction of play prior to the penalty.

Goal Scoring

A goal may only be scored from a touch (offensive or defensive) within the team’s offensive half on the field. The ball must be completely on the offensive half of the field, and cannot be touching the mid-line (Example: kick-off). If a player in their defensive half kicks the ball across the midline and the ball hits another player (offensive or defensive) in their offensive half, and the ball goes in the goal, a goal will be awarded. If a ball is kicked from the defensive half and is not touched before the ball rests in the goal, a goal kick is awarded to the defensive team. A goal cannot be scored from an indirect kick, such as a kick-in from out-of-bounds. See below for “Plane of the Goal / Net Interference.”

Goal Keepers / Off-sides / Slide Tackling / Hand Ball Clarification:

Goal keepers are restricted to using their hands only inside the penalty box and no slide tackling is allowed. If a player is sliding for the ball, contact with any player(s) from the other team is NOT ALLOWED. If a player slides and contact is initiated, a free kick shall be awarded. This does not prevent players from sliding to stop/intercept a ball where contact is not initiated during the slide. Example: a player may slide to save a ball from going out-of-bounds.

Hand Ball Clarification

Deliberate handling of the ball that denies a team of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity will result in the following: (1) A penalty kick (at the discretion of the referee) (2) A yellow or red card given to the player committing the hand ball (at the discretion of the referee).

Field Dimensions

The playing field is about 165 by 95 feet. The goals are approximately seven feet high and fourteen feet wide.

Plane of the Goal / Net Interference

A goal will be awarded if the ball strikes the netting portion of the goal, even if the ball is then returned back into the field of play without completely crossing the goal line. If the ball strikes the cross bar or goal posts, and simultaneously strikes the netting portion of the goal, the referee’s judgment will determine whether the netting prohibited the ball from crossing the goal line (which should be awarded a goal); or whether the bar or post prohibited the ball from crossing the goal line (which should NOT be awarded a goal). The referee’s judgment call and ruling on the field will not be overturned. In simple terms, the net should not be the source that will prohibit a shot from scoring as a goal.

Delay of games / forfeits / overtime

Delay of Game

The referee has the official time on the field and holds the right to take necessary action if he/she feels that a team is delaying the game. Any player may be cautioned with a yellow card if it is deemed by the referee that the player is intentionally wasting time, such as if a player intentionally kicks the ball long distances away from the playing field in order to waste time. The referee has the official time on the field.


Teams are given five minutes from scheduled game time, or from delayed start time due to unforeseen circumstances, before the referee issues a forfeit. The Soccer Tournament Director must approve all forfeits before the game is considered an official forfeit. The Tournament Director has the option to replay a forfeited game if deemed necessary. Any team forfeiting three games during pool play may be removed from the tournament. Any team forfeiting one game during the playoffs may be removed from the tournament.

Play-off Penalty Kick’s

If there’s no winner after the official game time the game will go to shout-outs. A coin toss will decide team-kicking order. The 7 or 8  players from each team remaining on the field at the end of the game will be the only players to kick for their team. The remaining 3 field players after overtime regulation will rotate, alternating teams with each kick. The first round of shootouts will consist of each player kicking once (round of 3 players shooting per team). The team with the most goals after the first round will be considered the winner. If the score remains tied after the first round of penalty kicks, the other players will alternate in a sudden death penalty kick format until one-team scores unanswered. If one team has received a red card during the game and finishes with 6 or 7 players on the field, a remaining roster player (other than the red carded player) must be chosen to kick in the rotation of penalty kicks. If the red-carded player is the last remaining roster player, one of the two field players must kick twice.

For U8, U9, & U10 – There are no Penalty kick shootouts in the playoff game. If the score is tied at the end of regulation, co-champs are called.

Game Balls / Sizes:

Teams are responsible for providing game balls. The ball size for each group is as following:

– U8-U12 = Size 4

– U13 & up = Size 5

For post-season events, such as Summer 3v3 or Summer 5v5, where the ball-size has increased for certain age groups during league play (U12), the increased size should be used. Any disputations over ball size must be settled prior to the start of the game.

Tiebreakers all Tournaments and Leagues:

The following tiebreakers will decide who the winner is:

–       Points
–       Head-to-head
–       Goal differential
–       Goals against
–       Goals scored
–       Shout-out

When there are 3 teams with the same amount of points (3-way tie) the goal differential, goals scored or goals against will decide who wins.

Every team has to hand in a roster with all the player names and their Date of Birth

Tournament Rules:

1. Duration of the game – 25 or 40 minute running clock depending on the type of tournament
2. Free/ unlimited substitutions are made on “the fly”
3. Kick off – may be taken in any direction.
4. Balls crossing the touch-line on the ground or in the air will be put in play via kick-in. Defending players must provide a 5 yard distance from the point of occurrence.
5. No corner kicks. Balls crossing the goal line will be put into play accordingly from that spot.
6. Goal may be scored ONLY from offensive half of the field.
7. NO GOAL may be scored from kick off (start of game)
8. Restart after goal scored will be from half way mark. No off sides.
9. No slide tackling.
10. Free Kicks- defending players may set up a wall 5 yards from the point of infraction.
11. Referees- There will be no abuse of the referees tolerate, verbal or otherwise. Any indication of such behavior by a coach or parent will result in immediate removal from the tournament site. No verbal abuse of any player, coach or referee will be tolerated. Please keep all comments (cheering) positive.
12. Teams must be ready to enter the field at least 5 minutes prior to their scheduled game.
13. Keepers are NOT allowed to punt

7v7 and 8v8 rules

–       U10 and down will play 8v8
–       U11 and up play 7v7.

–       Kick-ins no throw-ins
–       Keepers are not allowed to punt
–       No off-sides
–       No slide-tackling
–       Keeper can’t kick the ball over the half-way line with a goal kick
–       Keeper can’t throw the ball over the half way line when the ball is in play
–       No scoring allowed from own half
–       5 yards distance by every restart
–       Substitutions on the fly
–       Teams don’t need official uniforms