Soccer Rules Official Soccer Rules

(modified from Syosset Soccer Club Laws of the Game) Web:


It is assumed that no player will intentionally violate the rules; thus, there are no harsh penalties for inadvertent infractions, but rather a method to resume play. In Cambridge Athletics soccer, an intentional infraction is considered cheating and an offense against the spirit of sportsmanship. A player may be in a position to gain an advantage by committing an infraction, but that player is morally bound to abide by the rules. Each player is responsible for upholding the Spirit of the Game (see below), and this responsibility should remain paramount.

Law 1: The Number of Players

Matches are played by two teams of 6 to a side with a maximum of 4 men per team. The goalkeeper is included in the 6-player total. An unlimited number of substitutions are allowed and players may substitute in and out of the match during play as long as there is no advantage gained by making the substitution. Substitutions may only enter after the player being subbed out has left the pitch. The goalkeeper may be substituted with anyone on the pitch or any eligible substitute on the bench during a game stoppage or during play if the team announces the substitution, it is clear to the opposing team that the team has changed goalkeepers and there is absolutely no advantage gained by doing so.

Law 2: The Players’ Equipment

All players are required to wear a jersey of the correct team colour. It is HIGHLY suggested that each player wear shin guards, socks and cleats (NO METAL CLEATS). The socks must cover the shin guards entirely. Each team is also responsible for setting up the net on time for the match and taking it down after the last game of the day. Please take care of the nets and please set them up properly so that they do not break or get bent out of shape. The poles of the net connect using small metal tabs. If those tabs are not in properly, the net will often bend out of shape and break. To keep registration fees low, please always set up the nets with care. *Note: The net does not go AROUND the poles. The net simply hangs from the top of the poles.

Law 3: The Referee

Since there are no referees in this league, sportsmanship is paramount. If an infraction is committed, it is everyone's responsibility to call it whether the infraction was on your own team or your opponent's. Do not let an infraction go uncalled because you feel it is the responsibility of another to call it. If an infraction is called by a player, the call stands regardless of whether or not other players agree with the call.

Law 4: Game Time and the Duration of the Match

All matches will start on time. It is the responsibility of both teams to ensure they begin the match at the correct start time. If a team is not ready to play, a goal will be awarded to the opposing team after the first 3 minutes that the team must wait and for every 3 minutes after that (assuming the opposing team was ready to go for the full time). When the game begins, the team that was waiting MUST make it clear to the opposing team that they plan on accepting bonus goals for lateness. If nothing is said then it's understood that both teams were on time. If a team is not ready to play after 15 minutes, the match will be declared a forfeit. A team may elect to play the game short players but they may not have more than 4 men on the field even if they have an extra man but no women to play.
A soccer match is comprised of two halves. The halves are separated by a half-time period not to exceed 5 minutes. When the 1st or 2nd half ends, teams may finish the play if there is a scoring opportunity. The half ends once the scoring opportunity is broken up. If the team with the scoring opportunity gets a corner kick, they can take the corner kick to finish the play. (It's the responsibility of the offensive team to take the corner kick in a timely fashion or the match will end before the kick. The defensive team must give the offensive team a reasonable amount of time to retrieve the ball and take the corner kick.)

Law 5: The Ball In and Out of Play

The ball is out of play when it fully crosses either the goal line or the touchline. If, for any reason, the ball strikes the frame of the goal and remains within the goal and touchlines, it is still in play. If the ball crosses the touchline, the team that touched it last loses possession. The team that gains possession must KICK the ball back into play from the touchline where the ball crossed. A goal MAY NOT be scored from a sideline kick-in. Players are all considered ONSIDE for a kick-in. If the ball crosses the goal line (but not in the goal), the team that touched it last loses possession. If the offensive team gains possession, they will take a corner kick. A team MAY score directly from a corner kick. If the defensive team gains possession, they will take a goal kick. (On a goal kick, the goalkeeper MAY NOT pick up the ball to drop kick it. **Goalkeepers can only drop kick the ball when the ball is still in play. For example, the goalkeeper makes a save and picks up the ball that is still in bounds.) The ball must be kicked to another player from the ground inside the goal crease. A goal MAY be scored directly off of a goal kick.

Law 6: Offside

Players are considered ONSIDE if they satisfy any of the following conditions: 1. They are on their own side of half. 2. They are level or behind the second to last defender (the last typically being the goaltkeeper). 3. They are level or behind the ball. 4. The ball is being put back into play with a kick-in from the sideline (This is our league's equivalent to a throw-in.) or a goal kick.
Any player who does not satisfy those 4 conditions is considered OFFSIDE. If a player ATTEMPTS to pass the ball to a player who is offside, the play stops and the opposing team takes possession of the ball. An offside player is out of the play and may not take part in the play in any way. Everyone on the field is responsible for calling offsides even (especially) if the call is against your own team. It's important to call offside on yourself if you are offside since it is very difficult for a defender to make that call while he is trying to play defense. (Although, it is completely acceptable for the defence to call an offside too.) When in doubt, your opponent gets the benefit of the doubt.

Law 7: Fouls and Misconduct
Cambridge Athletics has special rules concerning fouls. There is no contact allowed between players on the field or it is considered a foul. Players should always call a foul on themselves if they accidentally (players should NEVER purposely touch another player) touch another player. Although each foul should always be called by the player who commits the foul to show sportsmanship, any player can call a foul on the field at any time. Although many soccer leagues allow certain types of contact between players trying to gain position, this is not the case with Cambridge Athletics. Players may NOT use their arms, shoulders or any part of their bodies to make room for themselves or to gain position on their opponent. If this happens, a foul should be called immediately. When there is any kind of stoppage in play, play resumes with an indirect kick (regardless of the location on the field).
Any type of misconduct including foul language, cheating, purposely fouling, disrespect to others, etc. will not be tolerated in this league. The league reserves the right to ban any player for misconduct with no refund. Misconduct by a player may also result in a forfeit of the match. Please, immediately, report any misconduct to Cambridge Athletics by email at . If you see any misconduct, it would be extra helpful if you could take out your cell phones and record the incident as well.
Law 8: Substitute Players
Each team is responsible for showing up to every game with a full roster every week. In order to facilitate this, we have included a webpage where each player marks whether or not they will be at the game each week. Every player should have filled in 'Coming' or 'Not Coming' on the schedule page. If a player is not able to make a game, he or she is responsible for ensuring that the team is not short players because of his or her absence. There are several players who are registered as substitute players and any team is welcome to invite them to play. Please give several days notice if possible to increase the likelihood of getting a sub for your team.
If a friend of yours would like to come and play for your team, have them register online either as a substitute player or as a member of your team.
Law 9: Playoff Eligibility
In order to qualify for the playoffs, each player must play a minimum of 3 games for a given team. (If a player isn't OFFICIALLY registered online for a team, any game played for that team will NOT count for them.) Players may not play for more than one team in the playoffs. If an ineligible player plays for your team during the playoffs, your team must forfeit the game. If you suspect the opposing team has ineligible players, you MUST let them know in advance and give them the opportunity to rectify the problem and avoid a forfeit. The convenor will consider whether or not the team was given a warning by their opponents before declaring a forfeit. If your team has any extenuating circumstances, please contact James Porto at to discuss. The league convenor may grant special permission to have otherwise ineligible players play for their team during the playoffs. The convenor's decision is final.
Law 10: Scoring
Each team is responsible for keeping track of the final score of the match as well as its own team statistics including the goal scorers, the assists (only 1 assist per goal), the minutes played in net by each goalkeeper and the number of goals scored against each goal keeper. Immediately after the match, each team must go online to enter the scores and statistics. If a team neglects to enter the results, it may result in a forfeit for the team.