Empire Fields Sunday Rules
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some modifications to soccer rules have been mandated at this time. Click here to see a list of these modifications. Note that these modifications will take precedence over any rules listed below.
- Scheduling: Teams will play 1 game each week. Some teams MAY be scheduled into double headers as per the Double Header Policy. The schedule will be as balanced as possible with regards to early and late games.
- Reseeding: Teams may be reseeded for competitive balance requirements throughout the season as warranted at Urban Rec’s sole discretion.
- Urban Rec Uniform Policy: All participants will be required to wear a number on the back of their jersey that is easily visible from the sideline (minimum size 6-8” in height). Each player on a team must wear a unique number for that game (players are not required to wear the same number each game). Teams must bring a light and dark coloured shirt (with a number) in case there are any jersey colour conflicts so that they have an alternate to wear if necessary. If there is a colour conflict that teams cannot resolve, then home shall wear light-coloured shirts and the visiting team shall wear dark. Please click the following link to read the full Uniform Policy.
- Format: Play is 6-on-6 plus a goalie. A full starting lineup must consist of a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 members of either gender on the field not including the goalie. If a team is playing with only 1 member of either gender, they must play down 1 player on the field as a result.
- Sliding/Slide Tackling: Absolutely NO sliding or slide tackling is permitted in Urban Rec soccer. At no time may a player leave their feet to play or challenge for a ball. Goalies are permitted to dive headfirst in an attempt to make a save, but not to tackle an opponent.
Urban Rec Coed Soccer Rules, Expectations and Roles
- Have fun and play with good sportsmanship! Players are required to know the rules and manage their own actions on the field. Sportsmanship, fun and being social are number one at Urban Rec and we expect to see that exhibited by all of our participants!
- Team captains are responsible for adding all players to their Urban Rec online team roster and ensuring that every player on the roster has indicated they have read the online waiver. Any players who do not complete this step are NOT eligible to participate. All players must be on the roster and indicate they have read the online waiver, even if they are subs. Teams with incomplete rosters may be left off the schedule until their roster is in compliance.
- Playoffs Eligibility – all players must have played a minimum of 2 games (on two different nights) over the regular season to be eligible to play in the playoffs as per the Urban Rec Playoff Roster Policy. A team using an ineligible player will automatically forfeit the playoff game if the game has begun and that player has played in the game at that point. If the captain claims that a player in question had previously played or subbed during the regular season but the captain forgot to add them to the roster, that player will NOT be permitted to play. See rule above- captains are responsible for adding all players to the roster prior to them participating.
- On-site Urban Rec staff may do a random ID check of players at any time at their discretion. If a team is found to be using an ineligible player, then that player’s team will forfeit the game if it has already begun. If the ID check is done prior to the game starting, then there is no forfeit, but that player is not permitted to participate until they have indicated they have read the online waiver (they can do this via their smartphone).
- Prior to your game, please double-check the online league schedule for your game times. If your team is late and not ready to go when the whistle blows to start the match, then you will lose playing time. A match will consist of two 25-minute halves (but may be less if teams are not ready to play).
- Teams have a 10-minute grace period from their scheduled start time as tracked by the Event Coordinator to field a starting lineup
- full starting lineup- 7 players– 6 on the field and 1 goalkeeper including a minimum of 2/maximum of 4 of each gender not including the goalie.
- minimum starting lineup- If a team is short of players, they may avoid defaulting by starting the game with at least 5 players – 4 on the field and 1 goalkeeper – with at least 1 of each gender on the field (while still adhering to a maximum of 4 of either gender on the field).
- If a team does not have enough players to field the minimum starting lineup by the end of this 10-minute grace period, that team defaults the game and is subject to the associated default compensation bond used to reimburse their opponent. In this situation, the teams are encouraged to mix up players and play for fun during their time slot. Any team defaulting more than 2 games in a season may be expelled from the league without refund.
- Teams may avoid defaulting in the regular season games by utilizing players from other teams that play in the league (you cannot borrow players from your opposing team) without penalty and the game result will count. However, if a team does this for a playoff match, the game will be considered a forfeit loss (but not a default).
- Tiebreaker – standings are determined by in-division winning percentage. If two or more teams are tied in the standings at season’s end, the tiebreakers will be as follows:
1st tiebreaker – higher in-division wins
2nd tiebreaker – higher UR fun point average
3rd tiebreaker – head to head winner
4th tiebreaker- goals for/against in head to head games
5th tiebreaker – coin flip
Equipment & Uniforms
- Urban Rec will provide goals and nets (where not already provided) and on-site staff. Match balls will be available, but teams may use their own balls at their own risk provided both teams agree.
- Teams/players are required to come to each match with both a light and dark coloured shirt. If both teams want to wear similar colours and are unable to resolve the conflict, our rule is that the home team will wear light-coloured shirts and the visiting team will wear dark-coloured shirts. All jerseys must have a visible number on them in line with the Soccer Uniform Policy. Goalkeepers must wear a different coloured jersey than the rest of their team as well as being different from the opposing team’s jerseys. As some teams have team jerseys in a certain colour, team captains are encouraged to find out ahead of each match if unknown what colour their opponent may be wearing if they have team jerseys to avoid an issue at the game.
Important: Teams that have a team jersey in a certain colour in particular MUST be aware if they are the home team or away team and ensure their team is prepared with an appropriate jersey colour (again, “light” for home and “dark for away).
- Metal cleats ARE NOT ALLOWED.
- Shin pads are not required, but strongly recommended. If worn, shin pads must be totally covered by socks.
- Captains will rock-paper-scissors to determine who will start with the ball. The game will start with a kick-off at the center spot.
- Teams will change ends at halftime and the team who did not kick off the start of the game will kick-off the second half.
- A kick-off will also restart the game after a goal is scored.
- Kick-offs may have the ball going in any direction, but the ball must roll at least one full rotation and may not be touched by the kicker again until the ball has been contacted by another player.
- A goal cannot be scored directly from a kick-off; however, it may be scored if the ball has made at least one full rotation and has been touched by a second player.
- The opposing team must be at least 6 yards away from the ball in any direction on a kick-off, until the ball has been put into play per Point # 4.
- Balls are out of play when the entire ball has crossed the side-line - this will result in a throw-in. A throw-in must be done with both hands, with both feet on the ground and from behind the head; the thrower cannot play the ball again until it has been touched by another player. A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in.
- Balls are out of play when the entire ball has crossed the end line (but not into the net) – this will result in a corner kick if a defending player was last to touch the ball, or a goal kick if an offensive player was the last to touch the ball. Opposing players must stand at least 6 yards away until the kick is taken.
- Goalies are not allowed to handle the ball with their hands when the ball is thrown or kicked to them with intent by their own team. They ARE permitted to use their hands inside the accepted goal crease when the opposing team throws or kicks the ball towards the goalie or if their own teammate heads the ball back to them. If a goalie uses his/her hands to play the ball in when it was thrown/passed by his/her own team then the opposing team is awarded an indirect free kick at the spot of the handling – see the free kick/penalty kick section below for further details.
General Game-Play Rules
- There is absolutely NO sliding or slide tackling. Stay on your FEET
For additional clarity if you leave your feet you must land on your feet – for example bicycle kicks, slide tackles, sliding to kick a ball, or jumping to kick a ball and not landing back on your feet are not allowed.
- Slide tackling includes any player, including the goalie, who leaves the ground in a foot or feet-forward motion regardless if there is an opposing player in the area or not. There is to be NO sliding to prevent a ball from going out of play, or to make any play on the ball regardless of whether another player is in the vicinity or not.
- The goalie may dive headfirst to make a save on a shot; however, the goalie may NOT dive headfirst when challenging an opposing player for a loose or dribbled ball (due to the potential of injury to either the goalie, the player, or both).
- Any player who slides for any reason will have a foul called for the slide either by themselves or by an opposing player on the field. If a player “forgets”, then it is the responsibility of his/her team captain to call the foul. If there is a disagreement, then the respective team captains are expected to maturely discuss the situation and come to a resolution.
- Any attempt at a slide tackle will result in an indirect free kick for the opposing team (unless the foul occurs in the penalty box area, in which case a penalty kick is awarded). If a player attempts a second slide tackle they are to be removed from the game and not eligible to play again that week. Repeat offenders will be subject to supplemental discipline from league management which may include suspension.
- Play the Ball – Not the Body. If you are using your body (arms, shoulders, etc.) against an opponent to gain possession or position you are not playing the ball and thus are committing a foul.
- Handballs – Hand to Ball not Ball to Hand
“Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm. When determining if a handball occurred, players must take the following into consideration:
- movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)
- distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)
- position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an infringement
Below are common scenarios where a handball should be called:
- a player’s hand or arm (from the shoulder to the fingertips) is in motion towards the ball
- a deliberate attempt is made to make a play on the ball with the hand
- the player whose hand is hit by the ball gains possession of the ball (or his/her team gains possession)
If the opposing team has a clear advantage after the hand ball, they may choose to continue to play the advantage and forgo making the foul call. Handballs will result in an indirect free kick except for a handball that occurs in the defensive goalie box which will result in a penalty kick for the opposing team.
- Substitutions can be made “on-the-fly” and substitutions must be done with the player coming in entering the field at the same spot, or within arms-length of the player subbing out – EXCEPT for the goalie, who can only be substituted for at a stoppage in play.
- Games are self-officiated, and players are encouraged to call their own fouls. Team Captains are responsible for informing their team of the rules and for enforcing them if their team is negligent in this regard.
- Please remember to be sportsmanlike and call your own fouls. If a foul has been committed against you, raise your hand, and make a clear vocalization of a foul call. When a foul is called, regardless if you believe it is right or wrong, respect the call and your opponent making the call.
- Fouls must only be called by the players on the field and involved in the play– under no circumstances are players off the field or on the sidelines allowed to make any foul calls.
- Only those players involved in the play should be self-officiating and making a call. The players on the field of play should handle what happens on the field of play - save for involvement by Urban Rec on-site staff if necessary.
- If you feel that a team is not calling their own fouls or is playing in an unsportsmanlike manner, at the next stoppage in play the team captains and ONLY the team captains, are expected to discuss the issue and attempt to resolve it with on-site staff assisting. Captains and participants are expected to respect the staff and their decisions and abide by them in these instances.
Important Note: This is a recreational league and there is a Code of Conduct which you all agreed to abide by. Aggressive play will not be tolerated and will result in a player being temporarily or permanently removed from the game, or face further supplementary discipline after review by Urban Rec Management.
- If at any time in the season a team is consistently showing poor sportsmanship (at the sole discretion of Urban Rec staff), the team captain will be contacted by Urban Rec staff and given the opportunity to respond to these claims. It is Urban Rec's goal to give all players and teams the benefit of the doubt, and the opportunity to explain themselves should any unsportsmanlike conduct be reported. Working together we hope to resolve any issue at that point.
Indirect Free Kicks vs Penalty Kicks
- Fouls result in an indirect free kick to the opposing team from where infringement occurred unless the foul occurs in the goalie’s box (see PENALTY KICKS).
- Indirect means that the ball must touch at least one other player before going into net.
- If a player taking the indirect kick scores and the ball does not touch any other player (offensive or defensive including the goalie) the goal does NOT count. Possession will now be a goal kick.
- In the spirit of Urban Rec, if a player is deemed to have intentionally shot a ball on goal that goes off the goalkeeper or deflects off a defender, the on-site staff may disallow the goal.
- If a foul is committed outside the box, but it directly prevents a clear-cut scoring opportunity (i.e. player is pushed from behind on a breakaway), a penalty shot may be awarded but only at the sole discretion of Urban Rec on-site staff.
- Defending players must be at least six yards away from the spot of an indirect free kickl, except when the ball is being kicked from a point closer than six yards from the goal line - in which case the defending players may stand on their goal line.
- Penalty kicks occur when a defender (or goalkeeper) commits/is called for a foul of any type while inside their penalty area.
- all players, except the goalkeeper and the player taking the kick, must remain outside of the goalie box until the ball is kicked
- the goalkeeper must stand on their own goal-line between the goal posts without moving forward until the ball is kicked
- the kick must go forward, and the kicker cannot touch the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player
- As many of the fields we use do not have creases or penalty kick hashes marked, these will be taken from twelve yards (full-size nets) or eight yards (smaller nets) away from the center of the goal line.
Role and Expectations of Team Captains
- We strongly encourage team captains to meet each other before the start of the game so that they can discuss any potential issues before they become problems during the game.
- Captains may also consult with the Urban Rec on-site staff for clarification on rules, etc. Team captains should ensure that ALL players on the team have read and understand the rules prior to playing. It is imperative that ALL players, not just the team captains, understand the rules; if the rules are not followed and applied correctly by teams in matches in the spirit of self-officiating, on-site staff will arbitrarily step in and apply the rules at their discretion for the equality and integrity of the match for all players involved.
- A team captain’s role and responsibility is more than registering a team- a team captain is accountable for not only their actions but also their players’ actions. It is the team captains' responsibility to keep their players in check and to ensure that everyone on the team knows and understands the rules. Your on-site staff are empowered to hold team captains responsible for the actions of their team and address them on behalf of their team as necessary if issues arise that require disciplinary action.
- Urban Rec on-site staff are empowered to hold team captains responsible for the actions of their team and address them on behalf of their team as necessary if issues arise that require disciplinary action.
Playoff Tiebreak Format
Any playoff game that results in a tie after full-time will be decided by penalty kicks.
Teams must select 3 shooters each. Shooters for each team must alternate guy/girl/guy or vice versa.
Teams alternate shooters. The home team for that match chooses whether to shoot first or second. If teams are tied after 3 shooters each, then it is one round sudden-death shots until a winner is determined.
- Teams select 1 more shooter. Players who have already shot are not eligible until everyone else of their gender on their team has shot.
- Teams must continue to alternate shooters in the same order as before (if the home team shot first in each round, they continue to shoot first in the sudden-death rounds).
- If a team went guy/girl/guy in their first 3 shooters, then their first sudden-death shooter is a girl (or vice versa).
Role of On-site League Staff
If the rules are not followed and applied correctly by teams in matches in the spirit of self-officiating, on-site staff will step in and apply the rules at their discretion for the equality and integrity of the match and for all players involved.
Urban Rec Staff are not referees, and their primary purpose is to facilitate league play. It is not to call teams’ fouls for them- teams have the responsibility to play with good sportsmanship and call their own fouls. However, the exception to this is that the Urban Rec staff are empowered to make referee-based calls under the following conditions:
- Players on the field are unable to determine the correct call due to not understanding the rules, and play is not continuing as a result
- There is heated disagreement/impasse over what the correct call should be
- The on-site staff are asked directly by the players on the field to make a ruling
- The on-site staff determines that a player, multiple players or a team as a whole are playing in an unsafe or unsportsmanlike manner
Urban Rec staff reserve the right to remove players temporarily or permanently from games. Our staff’s decisions are to be respected by participants. Any abuse or disrespect of the staff will result in supplemental discipline from league management.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT URBAN REC SOCCER IS A FUN AND SOCIAL SPORT!!!!
We expect our Urban Rec participants to have a “Fun First” attitude about this unique sporting opportunity. There is an emphasis on the players knowing the rules and managing their own actions on the field. Sportsmanship, fun and being social are number one at Urban Rec and we hope to see that carry over to our co-ed soccer leagues!