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Soccer 7’s Rules

Except where other provisions in these Rules are made, the Laws of Association Football apply. Each Rule is numbered to correspond with the appropriate Law of the Game. These Rules are mandatory.

1.Playing Area

(a) Centre Mark

This mark is in the exact centre of the playing area onto which the ball is placed to commence a game. The halfway line will run directly through the centre mark.

(b) Penalty Area

A semi-circle of fifteen approximately 15ft radius is marked from the centre of each goal line.

(c) Penalty Mark

The penalty mark is placed on the penalty area line opposite to the centre of each goal.

(d) Goal

The goals are 16 ft long by 4 ft high.

(e) Substitution area

On pitches 1 and 3 substitutions must be made from the (line marked side) halfway line. On pitch 2 substitutions must be made from the corner of the team’s goal line.

2. The Ball

The ball used will be a size 5.

3. Number of players

(a) The match shall be played by two (2) teams of 7 players each. One (1) player of each team shall be the goalkeeper, who must wear distinguishing colours.

(b) A maximum of five (5) substitutes per team shall be nominated prior to the game.

(c) The rules of the competition allow for rolling substitutions to be used. The number of rolling substitutions is unlimited except in the case of the goalkeeper (see clause d) A player who has been replaced may return to the playing area as a substitute for another player. A rolling substitution is made when the ball is still in play and is subject to the following conditions: –

(i) The player leaving the playing area shall do so from the sideline crossing over at the substitution area.

(ii) The player entering the playing area shall do so from the substitution area but not until the player leaving the playing area has passed completely over the sideline.

(d) Any of the other players may change places with the goalkeeper, provided that the referee is informed before the change is made, and provided also that the change is made during a stoppage in the game.

(e) A match must not be considered valid if the playing strength of either team is reduced by more than two players.

(f) If a team is short of players they may draft in a maximum of 1 unregistered player with the following restrictions:

(i) Both team captains agree on the additional player playing;

(ii) The player must play in their non-preferred position ie. Outfield players must play as a goalkeeper and vice versa.

(iii) The player must not be banned

(iv) The player must register his name on the referee’s sheet prior to kick off.

Players found to not be on referees sheets prior to kick off will be asked to leave the field of play and be automatically banned for 1 match. Any player found to give a false name will be banned for 2 matches and their club deducted 1 point

4. Players equipment

(a) Players must wear Astro boots or trainers. Grass football boots, moulds or blades are not allowed.

(b) The wearing of shin guards, which must be covered by stockings, in accordance with the laws of the game is compulsory.

(c) All jewellery must be covered up by tape or be removed.

5.Referees

A referee shall be appointed to officiate in each game. He shall have the same powers and duties as laid down in Laws of the Game.

6. Timekeeper/Scorer

The referee is the appointed timekeeper/scorer.

This official shall:

(a) Record goals scored; goal scorers; and man of the match;

(b) Act as timekeeper and signify half-time and full-time by an agreed signal;

(c) Suspend time on referee’s instructions for all stoppages and add that time to the end of each half.

(d) Supervise the use of “rolling” substitutes.

(e) The above duties are the responsibility of the referee.

7. Duration of the game

The duration of the game shall be between 25-45 minutes with no break subject to the following:

(a) The allowance shall be made in either period for time lost through stoppages as decided by the referee and recorded by the timekeeper if appointed;

(b) The duration of either half shall be extended to enable a penalty kick to be taken. At half time the interval shall not exceed 1 minute except by consent of the referee.

8. Start of play

(a) At the beginning of a game, the choice of ends shall be decided by the toss of a coin.

(b) Play shall be started by players kicking off by a pass back from the centre spot.

(c) The game shall be re-started in like manner after a goal has been scored.

(d) After any other stoppage the game shall be re-started by the referee dropping the ball at a point nearest to where it was when play was suspended, unless it was in the goalkeeper’s possession, when the player shall, at the referee’s signal roll or kick the ball out, if a height restriction is in operation, to re-start the game.

The referee shall not drop the ball within 6’(1.82metres) of the lines marking the goal areas or within 6’(1.82metres) of surrounding sidelines or netting.

9. Ball out of play

The ball shall be in play at all times from the start of the game unless:

(a) The ball rises above 5’(1.51metres) i.e. Over shoulder height

(b) The ball has crossed the goal-line, side-lines or netting surrounding the playing area.

(c) The timekeeper, if appointed, has given the signal for half or full-time.

(d) The referee has stopped the game.

For a breach of the height restriction the penalty will be a direct free-kick at the place where the ball was last played (unless the ball was last played by the defending goalkeeper in the penalty area, in which case the direct free-kick shall be taken from a point not less than 6’(1.82metres) outside the penalty area nearest to where the offence occurred).

If the ball rebounds above 5’(1.51metres) from the netting, goal post, crossbar, from a player who has made no attempt to play the ball, or other obstructions then the Goalkeeper will roll or kick the ball back into play. If the ball rebounds off the Goalkeeper back into play over 5” then the Goalkeeper will roll or kick the ball back into play. If the ball rebounds over the Goal/sideline then the opposition get a roll in corner/throw.

Ball out of play

When the ball goes out of play when the height restriction is applicable a member of the opposing team shall roll the ball into play. When a member of the defending team puts the ball out of play over the netting on that players own goal-line when the height restriction is applicable, the opposing team shall be rewarded a roll in a corner. When a member of the attacking team puts the ball out of play over the netting on the opponent’s goal line where a height restriction is applicable, the goalkeeper shall roll or kick the ball out. (If the ball drops on the back of the net behind the goal it shall be regarded as out of play and the game shall be re-started with a roll-out or kick by the goalkeeper).

10. Scoring

A goal is scored when the whole of the ball crosses the goal line between the posts and under the crossbar, provided it has not been thrown, carried or propelled by hand or arm by player of the attacking side, except in the case of a goalkeeper who is within his own penalty area. A goal is not allowed if a player of the attacking side whilst within either penalty area last played the ball. (If a ball is last played by a defending player whilst within either penalty area, unless taking a penalty, a goal shall be allowed, unless that player entered the penalty area accidentally).

11. Offside

There is no offside. Players may place themselves in any part of the playing area outside the penalty areas.

12. Fouls and Misconduct

(a) Charging/sliding tackles are forbidden and shall be penalised by the awarding of a direct free kick. (b) A player who unfairly impedes the progress of an opponent when not playing the ball shall be penalised by the awarding of a direct free kick.

A player who is sent off shall not be allowed to take any further part in the game. No substitute is allowed for a player dismissed for misconduct during the game in which the offence occurred. Fines and bans will be in operation in accordance with the Cheshire County Football Association Rules and Regulations.

13. Free Kick

All free kicks are direct. When a player is taking a free kick of all the opposing players shall be at least 6’(1.82metres) from the ball until it is in play. All free kicks given against the defending side for infringements committed in or near the penalty area shall be taken from a distance not less than 6’(1.82metres) outside the penalty area at the nearest point to where the offence occurred.

14. Penalty Kick

A penalty kick shall be taken from the penalty mark. Except for the defending goalkeeper, only the player taking the kick can enter the penalty area and for that purpose only. Whether or not a goal is scored from the kick the player concerned must leave the penalty area immediately after taking the kick and before taking any further part in the play.

15. Goalkeeper returning the ball into play

(a) After holding the ball the goalkeeper must immediately return the ball into play with an under-arm bowling action or kick. It must not be thrown.

(b)The Goalkeeper cannot receive pass backs.

Punishment for Infringement

A direct free kick shall be taken by a player of the opposing team from a point 6’(1.82metres) outside the penalty area nearest to where the infringement occurred.

16. Play within the penalty area

Only the defending goalkeeper is allowed within the penalty area except when a penalty kick has been awarded, and then only the player taking the kick can enter the penalty area. Nb. Goalkeepers cannot leave the penalty area.

Punishment for infringement

(i) By the attack – a direct freekick at a point 6’(1.82) outside the penalty area nearest to where the infringement occurred.

(ii) By the defence – a penalty kick.

(iii) By the Goalkeeper coming out of the area – a penalty kick

(Note: Referees should distinguish between accidental and intentional entry into, or exit from, the penalty area. Only deliberate actions where the player either plays the ball or tries to play the ball should be penalised. Accidental entry or exit that has no effect on the play should be ignored.) The Competition is called The Soccer7s League.

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