Small Side Soccer Rules
In all leagues we want to stress the importance of safety and fair play. It is far more important that play be safe than the team wins. We will instruct referees to make a call that enforces safety even if it costs a goal or penalizes the offended team by stopping play. Advantage should be used judiciously by the referee for the more experienced players. Red cards for fouls/abusive language (even aimed at own team members), taunting, and serious foul play will be used. Red card offenses will be filed in writing and may be enforced by a possible disqualification for one or more subsequent game.
# of Players(coed m/f)
Min to start(coed m/f)
Approx Field Size
80 yd x45 yd
70 yd x 40 yd
65-70 yd x 35 yd
50-55 yd x 35 yd
Size of Goals
Full size (24’ x 8’)
Full size (24’ x 8’)
Small size (12’x6’)
Small size (12’x6’)
Women goals worth
Direct & Indirect
Direct & Indirect
Max roster size
- Shin guards are required. If you are found playing without them you are subject to be carded.
- League issued Club Sport shirts. Any deviation from the league supplied shirts must be made in a manner that all shirts remain similar, be the color assigned to the team, and distinctly different than those of other teams.
- No jewelry is allowed (wedding bands and stud earrings are ok).
- The ball will be regulation size 5, properly inflated, without loose flaps/panels. The league does NOT provide balls.
- All goal and field sizes are listed above depending on format.
- At Skyway Park: ANYONE HANGING, DUNKING, SLAPPING, ETC OF THE GOAL POSTS WILL BE PUNISHED AT THE DISCRETION OF THE LEAGUE COORDINATOR.
- Cleats are allowed however, no metal spikes or studs are allowed.
- Cleats are allowed on all turf fields.
1.8. All upper extremity braces & casts must be padded or covered to use on the field.
1.9. Any knee or other braces that may be an issue can be banned per the coordinator's judgment.
- PLAYER CONDUCT
- Club Sport issues yellow cards as a warning and "cooling" off for players. If a yellow card is issued, the player (even the keeper) is sent off and cannot return for 2 minutes. The team must play a man down, no matter if a goal is scored during the 2 minutes.
- Should a player off the field receive a yellow, the team must play down a player for 2 minutes.
- If the referee deems a player's repeated misconduct to warrant a red card, it will be issued. If a red card is issued the team has to play a man down for the remainder of the game (in coed the team must play down a player of the same gender that was red carded).
- Depending on the circumstances involving the red card (including actions after the card is issued) the player may be asked to leave the facility. Refusal to leave the facility may result in the game being ended and/or forfeited, regardless of time remaining.
- Players receiving straight red cards for any action deemed aggressive, violent, or racist, or red cards issued for cursing, dissent, or physical or verbal threats of violence will receive a minimum one game suspension.
- Depending on the severity of the foul and the player’s history (e.g., prior red cards, other issues) a suspension longer than one game may be issued.
- If a player receives a suspension, they are ineligible to play the entire match day. This includes any doubleheaders or picking up for other teams.
- Excessive red cards or dangerous play may result in expulsion from the league.
- Soft red cards (i.e., a “double yellow”) and straight red cards not encompassed above will be reviewed by CS staff and a suspension may be given.
- Should a player off the field receive a red card, the team will still have to play down a player of that sex for the remainder of the game.
- Any player or fan is encouraged to root for their own team but rooting against teams or use of disparaging language is discouraged and could result in penalties towards teams or dismissal of fans.
- Any fans of teams may be asked to leave by Club Sport staff. Refusal to leave could result in forfeiture of games.
- ROSTER/ELIGIBLE PLAYERS
- All players must be at least 18 and signed onto a roster for that night and location. Failure to do so, even if discovered after the fact, could result in a forfeit. A forfeit win is counted as 5-0.
- Women are allowed to play in men’s leagues. No special coed rules will apply.
- Minimum players to start is listed above. Anything less is up to the opposing captain and/or staff member as to what will be allowable.
- There is no maximum limit to the amount of females which can be on the field.
- Teams may pick up up to one player at no penalty in order to field a minimum team number.
- Any pickups in addition to this will result in a 1 goal penalty per player if brought to the officials attention before the game.
- AT NO TIME CAN A TEAM PICK UP PLAYERS OF A CERTAIN SEX TO ALLOW FOR SUBS IN THAT SEX.
- If a team has the correct number of players to play in either sex, no pickups are allowed.
- If an existing pickup player is found to be used DURING the game, a 2 goal penalty will be assessed.
- If more players from your team show up to allow subs in that sex, the pickup player must be removed.
- All players, including added players, must sign their team's roster/waiver BEFORE the end of their team's final regular season game in order to be eligible to play in the tournament.
- If a player is not signed in on the roster by then, they are not eligible for the tournament.
- Playing with ineligible players may result in a forfeit. This call will be made by CS staff.
- It is the responsibility of the team captains to make sure all players in their line-up are eligible players for all games.
- Players may not appear on more than 2 official rosters per league unless approved by the Club Sport office.
- Players on multiple teams can only play for one team per time slot (i.e. if any conflicts exist they cannot only play for one, no jumping back and forth).
- Roster Checks: Players have the right to ask for a roster check of the opposing team after the start of the game and before the end of the game. These requests must be made with the coordinator during game play, and if it is found that the opposing team is playing with an “illegal player” (i.e. not on that team’s roster or not signed) then staff reserves the right to remove the player and/or forfeit the game. Club Sport staff decisions are final and roster checks may not be made by players once the game has finished.
- Adding to your team: If you do not have a team paid team, Club Sport has the right to add to your team until you reach the advertised maximum number of players. If you wish to have less you may buy extra roster spots. If you wish to have more you may as long as free agents have not been added to your team.
If you have made a team payment, you can have up to 16 players (11v11), 12 players (8v8 and 7v7), or 10 players (6v6) on your team roster. Any additions above this number must pay $10 BEFORE playing or the team may forfeit their game. Teams registering individually will pay a pro-rated amount depending on when the player signs on. Players that have already signed the roster may not be replaced: once they have signed, they are locked into that roster spot for the entire season. Any team that has registered as individuals must get permission from TBCS office staff to add more than the roster maximum.
- GAME PLAY/KICKOFF
- COIN FLIP/BEGINNING OF GAME
- The team that wins the coin toss at the start of the game will have first choice to kick-off or choose a goal to defend.
- Consists of the ball being placed at midfield. At the start of the game the ball does not have to travel forward.
- Play will be divided into (2) 25-minute halves separated by a brief 5 minute halftime. There will be a running clock maintained by a referee. The clock will stop only during prolonged injury time-outs. Any delay tactics, (kicking the ball out of bounds on purpose) will allow the referee (at his/her discretion) to stop the clock. If for any reason the game should be cancelled with more than half of the game played (i.e. 2nd half has started), the game and the score is considered final. If half or less of the game is played, the entire game will replayed from the beginning. In certain instances the official has the power to shorten game times should games be running behind.
- THE GAME/SCORING
- Regular season games ending in a tie score will be recorded as tie games.
- The maximum goal differential for a single game will be capped at +5.
- SLIDE TACKLING
- There IS slide tackling in MEN's or WOMEN's ONLY - not in coed. The only time sliding is permitted in COED is to save or stop the ball but only when another player is not (in the eyes of the referee) in “harm's way” of the slide. In coed, CS defines a slide as going down with one or both legs to the ground to get the ball - it does not have to be a slide “tackle” and the ball does not have to be in possession of an opponent. If a slide is near a player, intentional or not, a foul will be called. The result will be a direct kick if outside the penalty area, and a penalty kick inside the area. If the referee calls you for a slide "tackle" and issues a yellow card you may receive a 2 minute yellow card. The goalie in goal at the time of the foul must face the kick. The ball is to be placed at the point of the infraction and to be put in play by any player on the affected team. Slide tackles do apply to Goalkeepers. Coed goalies must lead with the hands or body when going for the ball near another player.
- Substitutions may occur at ANY TIME (on the fly)… They must be made near mid field and cannot result in an advantageous play on the ball. If it results in an advantage the play can be whistled dead and a free kick will be called for the other team.
- FREE KICKS
- Any CS soccer leagues played on Full Size (24'x8') goals will have both direct kicks and indirect kicks. This is usually for the 8v8 and "Super 7" leagues. All leagues on small size goals (i.e. 12'x6' goals) will ONLY HAVE INDIRECT FREE KICKS unless it's a penalty kick (Kickins, corner kicks, and kickoffs are indirect on 12’x6’ goals).
- DIRECT KICKS (for games on full size goals only)
- The ball is to be placed at the point of the infraction and to be put in play by any player on the affected team. No opposing player is allowed to be within 8 paces of ball prior to kick. Goals may be scored on direct kicks. A direct kick is to follow these infractions: (1) Charging (2) Roughness (3) Handball (4) Slide-tackles. Penalties incurred inside the goal box by the defense will result in a penalty kick 12 paces/yards out. Penalties incurred outside but within close proximity to the goal box will be kicked from the point of infraction. The defense must stand 8 paces/yards away from the point of infraction (where the ball is being kicked from).
- INDIRECT KICKS (for games on small size goals all kicks are indirect)
- Indirect kicks will occur when: 1.) the goalkeeper touches the ball with his/her hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him/her by a teammate 2.) drop kicks/punts 3.) Dangerous play/kick. The indirect kick will be taken by the opposing team from the place where the infringement occurred.
- PENALTY KICKS
- PK's will be awarded at the referee's discretion on whether the foul stopped a goal or a scoring chance. Due to the small field sizes and possible congestion of players, the goal box may have no bearing on whether the foul warrants a penalty kick. Anyone can take the penalty kick. The goalie in goal at the time of the foul must face the kick. In leagues where female goals are worth 2 goals, penalty kicks by women are also worth 2 points (but not in a shootout).
- GOAL KICKS
- GOAL KICKS are taken from within the penalty area and must leave the area before being touched by another player. The opposing players do not have to give any room off the ball as long as they are outside of the box - it is up to the goalie to back the ball off any required distance.
- There are no offsides rules in this competition.
- GOALKEEPERS MAY NOT DIRECTLY CATCH A THROW-IN or KICK-IN FROM THEIR OWN TEAM…
- GOALKEEPERS MAY NOT PUNT OR DROP KICK THE BALL… Keepers must throw the ball or play it to the ground.
- GOALKEEPERS MAY NOT HOLD THE BALL FOR LONGER THAN 6 SECONDS.
- OUT OF BOUNDS
- Anytime the ball goes over either sideline it is out of bounds. Games on full size goals will have throw-in's. Games on small size goals will have kick-in's. Re-starts should be from the field of play within 1 yard of the point where the ball left the field.
- There should be a five yard buffer from where the ball is to the opposing team on a kick in.
- On small size goals, If the ball never comes into play, it is a kick from the same spot going the opposite direction.
- Normal rules and penalties of the NCAA apply unless exceptions have been made herein.
- Referees enforce the rules and maintain safety. They will have the last word along with the league coordinator.
- Excessive arguing will result in a yellow card being issued. Cursing at or disparaging the official can result in a red card.
- All teams make a single elimination tournament with seeding based on regular season standings. (If a team plays an 8th game to ensure another team has 7 games, that game will count in the standings for both teams)
- Tournament seeding is based on the following criteria: 1) most total points (with 3 for win and 1 for tie), 2) highest goal differential (The maximum goal differential for a single game will be capped at +5) 3) fewest goals allowed, 4) most goals scored, 5) head-to-head play (if any), 6) coin toss.
- During playoffs, a game tied after regulation will go into overtime. Overtime will consist of (2) 5-minute sudden death periods. If neither team scores after the overtime periods, teams will go into a shootout.
- SHOOTOUT SPECIFICS (playoffs only)
- Each team selects 5 players (coed: 3 males, 2 females) - players don’t have to have been playing at the end of regulation. A coin toss will decide which team shoots first. The referee will decide which goal to shoot at. Shots will be placed and not dribbled. All goals in a shootout are worth 1 point.
- Teams will alternate taking direct penalty shots from the spot. (No guy/ girl shooting order is necessary)
- The 2nd round is SUDDEN DEATH i.e. 1st player from Team A scores & 1st player from Team B misses - Team A wins. In the sudden death teams will alternate guy/girl first using every eligible player once before repeating any players.
- TBCS is not responsible for any refunds at any time during the season
- If a party cannot continue the season, is the responsibility of that party to replace themselves on the roster if they so choose. They must also notify the CS office of the change.