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. The schedule will be as balanced as possible with regards to early and late games.
- Reseeding: Teams may be reseeded as a result of competitive balance requirements throughout the season as warranted at Urban Rec’s sole discretion.
- Uniforms: Bring light- and dark-coloured shirts- default is home team wears light and away wears dark. All uniforms must have a visible number on the back unique from other players on the same team.
- Format: Play is 6-on-6 plus a goalie- at least 2 members of each gender on the field at all times
- Slide Tackling- absolutely NO slide tackling permitted in Urban Rec soccer. If challenging for a ball, players may not leave their feet (including goalies, who may dive headfirst).
Urban Rec Coed Soccer Rules
- Have fun and play with good sportsmanship! We expect all of 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 exhibited by all of our participants!
- To be eligible to play in the league, all participants must have signed an online waiver with Urban Rec. Players that do not sign an online waiver will not be issued membership keytags and are not permitted to participate. Team captains that do not fill out the online team roster will have their team removed from the schedule until they do so, and all players have signed the waiver. Team captains are responsible for ensuring that all participants for their team are eligible to participate.
- Playoffs Eligibility – all players must have played a minimum of 2 games over the regular season to be eligible to play in the playoffs. 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 a player shows up that is not on the team roster, they will not be allowed to play regardless if they played or subbed during the regular season. All players must be on the roster and indicate they have read the online waiver, even if they are subs.
- The on-site volunteer Event Coordinator (EC) may do a random ID check of players at any time at their discretion to ensure they are eligible to participate. 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 that player is simply 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.
- Teams have a 10-minute grace period from their scheduled start time as tracked by the Event Coordinator to field the minimum starting lineup (for soccer, a full starting lineup consists of 7 players – 6 on the field and 1 goalkeeper - including at least 2 of each gender on the field (goalkeeper’s gender does not count). The minimum starting lineup a team must provide is 5 players – 4 on the field and 1 goalkeeper – with at least 1 of each gender on the field (goalkeeper’s gender does not count).
Note that each player MUST have a number on his/her jersey that is unique from the rest of his/her team as per the Uniform Policy outlined in the next section below.
- If a team does not have enough players to field the minimum starting lineup (including the minimum of each gender) by the end of this 10-minute grace period, then that team defaults the game and is subject to the associated default fee 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 asked to leave the league, with no 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. However, in playoffs, this can only be done to avoid being subject to the default policy – the game will be considered an automatic loss (but not a default) if a team utilizes players not on their roster to field a lineup.
Tiebreaker - If two or more teams are tied in the standings at season’s end, the tiebreaker will be as follows:
1st tiebreaker – head to head winner
2nd tiebreaker – higher UR fun point average
3rd tiebreaker – most “in division” wins
4th tiebreaker – coin flip
- All players should bring a dark shirt and a light shirt to all games. No grey. By default, the visiting team will be required to change their shirts if both teams show up wearing a similar colour. Each player must have a unique number (for his/her team) on the back of their jersey(s) as per the Uniform Policy as mentioned below.
Equipment & Uniforms
- Urban Rec will provide regulation goals and nets (where not already provided) and an on- site event coordinator (EC). A match ball must be provided by one team prior to kick off.
- 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). Please click on the link to the Uniform Policy for more details. Note- individuals’ teams will have numbered pinnies provided by Urban Rec.
- Teams/players are required to come to each match with both a light and dark coloured shirt- if there is a conflict (i.e. both teams have similar colours), the home team is always light-coloured. 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 must do 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 may be scored after one player from your team has touched the ball forward and it has made one full rotation.
- The opposing team must be at least 8 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. Offside rules do not apply on 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.
- 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 allowed 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 below for description.
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 are not allowed.
- Slide tackling includes any player, including the goalie, who leaves the ground in a foot or feet-forward motion This is 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 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. In the event that there is a disagreement, then the team captains of the respective teams should 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, including 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 making a call players must take the following into consideration:
• the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)
• the distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)
• the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an infringement
Handballs should only be called if a player’s hand or arm (from the shoulder to the fingertips) is in motion towards the ball, OR a deliberate attempt to make a play on the ball with the hand, OR if the player who’s 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. Any deliberate handball that occurs in the defensive goalie box will result in a penalty kick for the opposing team.
Other items of note regarding rules and game play
- The player starting the play (kick or throw-in) is not allowed to touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player.
- Opposing players from the team that is kicking the ball on a free kick must stay six yards away from ball until it is in play.
- Substitutions can be made “on-the-fly” – EXCEPT for the goalie, who can only be substituted for at a stoppage in play. 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.
- Players are encouraged to call their own fouls. Team Captains are responsible for informing their team of the rules and also for enforcing them if their team is negligent in this regard.
- The goalkeeper is not allowed to pick up the ball if it has been passed or thrown (via throw-in) to him from a person on his team, unless it is headed back to them.
- All free kicks are to be indirect (except penalty shots), meaning the ball must touch at least one other player before going into net.
- Fouls: kicking, tripping, jumping at, charging, holding, pushing, yelling at, slide tackling, striking or spitting at an opponent, or ‘handling' the ball; all 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)
- Penalty kicks are to be taken from twelve yards (UBC) or eight yards (all other locations) into field away from center of goal; occurs when a defender (or goalkeeper) commits/is called for a foul of any type while inside penalty area or when game winner has to be decided if it is still a tie after full-time in a play-off game.
- Handballs – should only be called if a player’s hand or arm (from the shoulder to the fingertips) is in motion towards the ball, OR a deliberate attempt to make a play on the ball with the hand, OR if the player who’s 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. Any handball that occurs in the defensive goalie box will result in a penalty kick for the opposing team.
1. CALLING FOULS
- 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, right or wrong, respect the call and your opponent making the call.
- Fouls should 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 or offside calls. Only those involved in the play should be self-officiating. The players on the field of play should handle what happens on the field of play - save for involvement by your EC 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, should have a discussion about the issue and attempt to resolve it. In the event that a situation cannot be resolved by the captains, team captains are encouraged to involve the on-site Event Coordinators (EC's) to assist in resolution. EC's are empowered by Urban Rec to step in independently and affect resolution if they deem it necessary, and teams are asked to show due respect to these decisions and to respect the EC's and abide by them in these instances. Important note: This is a recreational league an 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 league play during the season at any point results in teams consistently showing poor sportsmanship, 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 and resolve any issue at that point.
2. OFFSIDE CALLS (*Note- designated leagues playing without offisdes can disregard the rule below)
- Only the defender closest to the offside player should call offside and raise their arm while calling it - this means that players on the sidelines should NOT be calling offside. Offsides are only to be called when there is significant separation (1 or more yards) between the closest defender and the offside player. If you are unsure if the player is offside or there is not a distinct gap between the last defender and the player in question, do not call offside.
- Offside ONLY occurs when all of the following conditions are met at the time the kicker releases the ball:
- the offensive player receiving the pass is closer to his/her opponents’ goal line than all members of the opposing team excluding the goalie, AND
- he/she is in the offensive half of the field, AND
- he/she is closer to the opponents’ goal line than the ball, AND
- his/her teammate kicks the ball forward to him/her, OR shoots the ball on net so that a rebound comes out to the player in the offside position.
3. A player is not considered offside when:
- they are in an offside position and the ball is not passed forward (the player in the offside position is not part of the play)
- he/she receives the ball direct from a corner-kick or a throw-in. The player IS considered offside if they are in an offside position on a goal kick.
- he/she is in his/her own half of the field of play as the ball is released and runs forward into the offensive half to possess a ball.
4. offside should be called when the kicker has released the ball and it is obviously intended for the offside player.
5. You are considered offside if you are in an offside position when the ball is played, even if you are in the process of coming back onside to receive the ball. You must be onside when the ball is played.
6. If a player is considered offside, the opposing team shall take an indirect free kick from the place where the infraction occurred (where the player was called offside).
In a situation where there are two players, one with the ball, and the other is in an offside position, the following will apply: If the player with the ball takes a shot on net and the offside player was running at the net, and therefore in a position to get a goal or receive a pass, they are part of the play, and therefore offside. If they were running towards their own goal, and trying to get onside when their team-mate took the shot, then they were NOT part of the play, and were NOT offside.
Foul or Offside calls result in - INDIRECT FREE KICK
- When an opposing player intentionally commits any of the following offences: kicks or attempts to kick an opponent; trips an opponent; jumps at an opponent; charges an opponent in a violent or dangerous manner; strikes or attempts to strike an opponent or spits at him/her; holds an opponent; pushes an opponent; handles the ball, i.e., carries, strikes or propels the ball with his/her hand or arm (this does not apply to the goalkeeper within his/her own penalty-area); slide-tackles an opponent; if a player yells at an opponent to distract him/her; or when a goalkeeper picks up the ball after it has been passed or thrown to him/her from someone on their own team. Profanity is not permitted in any situation.
- All free kicks are to be indirect and are to be taken from the ‘SPOT OF THE FOUL’. - This includes when the goalkeeper illegally plays the ball with their hands.
- An indirect free-kick is defined as:
The ball must touch at least 1 additional player after the kicker before it goes into the goal for the goal to count.
CLARIFICATION: This means 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. If the indirect kick makes contact with any other player (offensive or defensive including the goalie) the goal will count.
- All opposing players (defence) of the team taking the free kick must be at least six yards away from the ball, 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.
Unfortunately, most of the fields we use do not have goal creases or penalty kick hashes marked (and we are not permitted to paint them on since we are a rental group). If there are any fouls that occur inside the goalie’s box, a direct penalty kick should be the result from a spot paced off from the goal line:
- 12 yards from the centre of the goal line at all fields
- 8 yards from the centre of the goal line applies at Andy Livingstone Field
A penalty kick (which is a direct free kick) will be awarded anytime a foul (major or minor) of any type is committed and called within the accepted goal crease; it will be taken from the penalty-mark on the field with all players, except the goalkeeper and the player taking the kick, outside of the goalie box; the goalkeeper must stand on their own goal-line without moving forward, between the goal posts, 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.
If a foul is committed outside the box but it directly prevents a clear cut scoring opportunity (ie player is pushed from behind on a breakaway), a penalty shot may be awarded but only at the sole discretion of the EC.
When the entire ball passes over the end line and was last touched by a member of the defending team, a member of the attacking team will take a corner-kick; the ball is placed within a one yard radius from the corner closest to where the ball went out of play; a goal may be scored from such a kick; the defending team must stand at least ten yards away from the ball until it is in play; the kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player.
When the entire ball passes over the end line and was last touched by a member of the attacking team, it will result in a goal kick. The goal kick may be taken by any player on the defending team. The ball may be placed anywhere insides the goalie’s box. The ball must be at a standstill before the kick can be taken. The ball must leave the goalie’s box before it can be touched by another player and be in play again. A goalkeeper shall not receive or distribute the ball into his/her hands from a goal-kick. The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player (outside the goalie’s box).
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 EC 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, the EC’s 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 a lot more than registering a team- a team captain is accountable for not only themselves 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 EC’s 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 requires disciplinary action.
7. TIE-BREAK FORMAT - PLAYOFFS
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 sudden-death:
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.
8. ROLE OF THE EC
As you are all aware, the EC is not the referee and is not there primarily 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 EC is 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 EC is asked directly by the players on the field to make a ruling; the EC determines that a player, multiple players or a team as a whole are playing in an unsafe or unsportsmanlike manner.
EC's reserve the right to remove players temporarily or permanently from games. The EC’s decision is final. Any abuse or disrespect of the EC will result in supplemental discipline from league management.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT SOCCER IS A FUN AND SOCIAL SPORT!!!!
We are expecting all of 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!
Note that the above details are generic Soccer rules. The rules for each specific league may differ.