The field of play is to be rectangular and marked with lines. These lines belong to the areas of which they are boundaries.
Goals must be anchored securely to the ground.
The ball is to be spherical, made of leather or other suitable material, properly inflated, and the proper size. The referee approves the ball before the start of the game and may not be changed during the match without the authority of the referee.
A soccer match is played with two teams. One player must be a goalkeeper.
Youth leagues have specific rules for number of players. Please refer to League rules.
A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewelry).
The mandatory equipment of a player consists of: a jersey, shorts, socks, shinguards, and shoes. Socks must cover the shinguards. A player may not wear anything dangerous to another player. All jewelry must be removed. The goalkeeper must wear a color that distinguishes him/her from the other players and referee.
Note: If a player decides to put padding over a cast on his/her arm. It is the referee's decision to allow him/her to participate in the game. Padding a cast does not guarantee that you may be able to play.
A referee has the authority to enforce the Laws of the Game. The referee's decisions are final.
A referee may refrain from calling a foul, if by doing so he/she would be giving an advantage to the team that committed the foul. At this time the referee may hold out both of his hands straight forward. This is a "Play On" or "Advantage" situation.
The referee may stop the game if he/she feels that a player has become seriously injured. If a player is slightly injured the play will stop when the ball goes out of play. The referee shall stop the game if the conditions become necessary to do so.
The referee takes disciplinary action against players guilty of cautionable and sending-off offences. He is not obliged to take this action immediately but must do so when the ball next goes out of play.
Assistant referees, or linesmen, signal when the whole ball leaves the field of play, which team is entitled to a corner kick, goal kick or throw-in, call offside, indicate when a substitution is requested, and indicate when a foul has been committed out of the view of the referee.
The game is played in two equal halves: U10 - 50 minutes; U12 - 60 minutes; U14 - 70 minutes; U16 - 80 minutes; U17 - 90 minutes; U19 - 90 minutes.
Youth Leagues may have varying game lengths. Please refer to League rules.
All players must be in their half of the field before the start of the game. The game is started on the referees signal, after a player kicks the ball forward into the opposing half of the field. The ball is in play as soon as it is kicked and moves forward, even if it moves slightly forward.
The ball is out of play when it has wholly crossed the goal-line or touch-line, whether on the ground or in the air. On a throw-in, if any part of the ball passes over the touch-line, the ball is in play. In this case, the whole ball does not need to cross the touch-line completely.
A goal is scored when the whole ball has passed over the goal-line, between the goal-posts and under the cross-bar.
It is not an offence in itself to be in an offside position.
A player is in an offside position if he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent
A player is not in an offside position if:
• he is in his own half of the field of play or
• he is level with the second-last opponent or
• he is level with the last two opponents
A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:
• interfering with play or
• interfering with an opponent or
• gaining an advantage by being in that position
There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:
• a goal kick
• a throw-in
• a corner kick
The restart for offside is an indirect free kick.
A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any
of the following seven offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:
• kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
• trips or attempts to trip an opponent
• jumps at an opponent
• charges an opponent
• strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
• pushes an opponent
• tackles an opponent
A direct free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following three offences:
• holds an opponent
• spits at an opponent
• handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own
An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following four offences:
• controls the ball with his hands for more than six seconds before releasing it from his possession
• touches the ball again with his hands after he has released it from his possession and before it has touched another player
• touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate
• touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate
An indirect free kick is also 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 hands
The yellow card is used to communicate that a player, substitute or substituted player has been cautioned. A yellow card is typically issued for reckless fouls and misconducts.
The red card is used to communicate that a player, substitute or substituted player has been sent off. A red card is typically issued for excessive fouls and one player earning a second yellow card in the same game.
Free kicks are either direct or indirect. A player may score directly, from a Direct Free-Kick. A goal cannot be scored from an Indirect Free-Kick unless another player touches it before it goes through the goal.
A penalty kick is awarded against a team that commits one of the ten offences for which a direct free kick is awarded, inside its own penalty area and while the ball is in play
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 the touch line
• holds the ball with both hands
• delivers the ball from behind and over his head
• delivers the ball from the point where it left the field of play
A goal may not be scored directly from a throw-in.
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 in accordance with Law 10.
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 in accordance with Law 10.