7v7 Outdoor Soccer Rules
Seven players will constitute a team. There must be 5 players present to start a game.
COED: Teams consist seven players (3 men and 3 women + 1 more person). Teams may play with 5 players, 3 of one gender and 2 of the other.
All players must have their current, valid University of Maryland ID in order to sign in and participate. Players may be added to the roster during the regular season at the game site. During the playoffs, a player must already appear on the roster to be eligible to play. Players may play on only one same-gender team and one coed team.
1. No hard protective material may be worn. (i.e. casts or braces with exposed metal)
2. Players are not permitted to wear loose jewelry including watches, necklaces, fitness tracker bracelets, etc. The only exception is a medical alert bracelet or necklace.
3. Hats with “bills” are not permitted. Stocking caps, ear wraps, or other soft type hats will be permitted.
4. Shoes must be leather, nylon, or canvas upper with a rubber bottom. Turf shoes, and soft pliable, rubber cleats are permitted. Shoes with metal, screw-in removable cleats, sandals, boots, & open toed shoes are strictly prohibited. Shoes must be worn.
5. Shirts must be worn. Players must wear a shirt underneath of an IM pinnies that are checked out.
6. Goalkeepers must wear a shirt with a color that differs from their teammates and opponents.
The field size is 80 yards by 40 yards. Goals are the same as those used for field hockey. At the end of each field is a penalty area, 36 feet by 84 feet. This area serves as the goal area as well. Direct kick fouls occurring inside this area will result in a penalty kick. The penalty kick mark is 24 feet from the midpoint of the goal line. There is no goal area.
The game will consist of two twenty-five (25) minute halves with a running clock. Halftime is to be no longer than three (3) minutes. The game will end when the clock expires regardless of the position or flight of the ball. There will be NO OVERTIME in the regular season.
OVERTIME (for Playoffs ONLY!)
If a game ends in a tie, a shoot-out will occur:
1. Each team will select 5 players (on or off the field) to take the kicks.
2. The goalkeeper is allowed to move side to side ONLY before the kick.
3. COED: Must alternate male/female kickers.
4. The team scoring on the greatest number of these kicks shall be declared the winner.
If the game is STILL tied after the first shootout:
1. Each team will select 5 DIFFERENT players than the first five who already have kicked.
2. This will be a sudden-victory situation, wherein if one team scores and the other team does not score, the game is ended without more kicks being taken.
3. COED: Must alternate male/female kickers.
4. A player may NOT kick twice until all eligible players have kicked ONCE.
5. If game is still tied - repeat sudden-victory shootout.
A ball touching any portion of the boundaries of the field of play is still in play. However, it is considered out of bounds if it wholly passes beyond the outside vertical plane of the boundaries. To score a goal, the entire ball must pass fully over the goal line.
a. The Ball is out of play when it has completely crossed the outside plane of the side line or end line.
b. A player may be out of bounds and legally play a ball which is on the line or in the field of play.
c. When the ball crosses a touch line (side-line) it is put back into play by a throw in. When the ball crosses the end line it is put back into play:
1. By a corner kick, if last touched by a defensive player.
2. By a goal kick, if last touched by an offensive player.
3. By a kick-off, if a goal is scored.
METHOD OF SCORING
1. A goal is scored when the entire ball has passed completely over the outside plane of the goal line, between the goal posts and under the cross bar.
2. A goal may be scored during play directly from a:
a. direct free kick
b. corner kick
c. penalty kick
e. drop ball
f. goal kick
g. goalkeepers throw, punt, or drop-kick
3. A goal may NOT be scored during play directly from a:
a. indirect free kick
c. free kick into a team’s own goal
d. direct kick into a team’s own goal
e. corner kick into a team’s own goal
Substitutions are unlimited and may be made:
1. Prior to a goal kick by either team.
2. After a goal by either team.
3. After an injury for which the referee stops play (either team).
4. Yellow or Red card offense (subs may be made by either team).
5. Prior to a throw in, *only by team in possession*.
6. Prior to a corner kick, *only by team in possession*.
*If the team in possession chooses to substitute, the opposing may sub at that time as well.*
The team winning the opening coin toss will have the choice of ends or kick-off. The kick-off shall be taken from the mid-field line with the opposing side not closer than ten yards to the ball. To begin play the ball must roll in a forward direction. All players must be on their defensive half of the field prior to the kick-off. The player making the kick-off may not “double touch” the ball.
Shall be taken behind or on the touch lines. At the point of delivery, the thrower must be facing the field of play and part of each foot must be in contact with the ground on or behind the touch line. The thrower shall deliver the ball with both hands over head. An illegal throw-in shall result in a throw for the opposing team. If the ball never enters the field of play, the throw-in shall be awarded to the opponent at the spot of the infraction. After the throw-in, the ball may be played by either team. The thrower may not play the ball until it has been touched or played by another player.
Awarded to attacking team when defending team is last to touch a ball which crosses the goal line and does not enter the goal. Defenders must be at least five (5) yards away until the ball is kicked. The kicker may not be the first to touch the ball after it is kicked.
Awarded to defending team when the attacking team is the last to touch the ball that crosses the goal line and does not enter the goal. Opponents must remain outside the penalty area until the ball clears the penalty area. The ball shall be placed approximately halfway between the end line and the top of the penalty area. The goalkeeper may not pick the ball up, it must be kicked from the ground. The kicker may not be the first to touch the ball after it is kicked.
GOALKEEPER PRIVILEGES AND PROHIBITIONS
The goalie is permitted to throw, drop-kick or punt the ball beyond the midfield line. The goalie may only use his/her hands inside the penalty box (12 yard box). The goalie will then have six seconds to get rid of the ball after a shot on goal. The goalie may not pick up a kicked back pass or a throw in from his/her team. Players may not use trickery to circumvent this rule.
Indirect kick if the goalie touches the ball with their hands from a throw in or kick back within the penalty box. NOTE: The kick awarded must be moved to the closest point outside the penalty area.
Direct kick is awarded when a goalie uses hands outside penalty area. This is treated the same as if a field player handles the ball outside the penalty area. If the goalkeeper uses his/her hands outside the penalty area to play a shot toward the goal, a red card will be issued.
A drop ball is used to restart play when:
1. The ball goes out of bounds off players simultaneously.
2. The ball becomes deflated.
3. Play is suspended for an injury or unusual situation and neither team has clear possession of the ball.
4. Simultaneous fouls of the same degree are committed by opponents.
The referee should drop the ball at the point nearest where it became dead, and at least five (5) yards into the field of play from the sideline or end line. If the point where the ball became dead is in the penalty area, the ball should be brought to the top of the penalty area, in line with the spot where it became dead. The ball must first touch the ground before being contacted by either player. If a player touches the ball prior to it touching the ground, they are issued a warning. A second offense by the same player will result in a yellow card. The restart in this situation is a drop ball.
A direct kick can result in a goal being scored directly from the kick.
An indirect kick cannot result in a goal being scored directly from the kick. Another player (from either team) must first touch the ball before a goal can be scored.
All free kicks are taken from the spot of the foul, except indirect free kicks where the spot is inside the penalty area. These kicks shall be taken from a spot just outside the top of the penalty area closest to the spot of the foul. Any player on the offended team may take a free kick.
Players on the defending team may be no closer than ten (10) yards. The defending players are not allowed to cross the 10 yard barrier until after the ball is touched by the attacking team. If the defenders are not 10 yards away, delay the kick until they move outside the boundary. If the defending team stands in front of the ball to delay the kicking for any reason, issue that player a warning. “BACK UP”. If he/she persists, issue him/her a yellow card.
The ball must be stationary before it is kicked. If not, the kick must be retaken.
The ball may be kicked in any direction and is in play immediately (unless being played out of a team’s own penalty area, in this case, the ball is not in play until it is beyond the penalty area).
The kicker may not be the first to touch the ball after it is kicked.
FOULS AND MISCONDUCTS
DIRECT FREE-KICKS - One in which a goal can be scored directly from the kick. [ ING Fouls]
1. Kicking - or attempting to kick an opponent.
2. Tripping - occurs when the player with the ball is caused to lose his feet by a defender.
3. Holding - grabbing a shirt, grabbing opponent's arm, leg etc.
4. Pushing - This foul can be used when a player gets in the way of another away from the ball, pushes another player out of the way, or keeps a player from going where he/she wants to.
5. Striking - or attempting to strike an opponent or spit at them. (Automatic red card)
6. Jumping - at an opponent.
7. Charging - in a reckless or dangerous manner.
a. A player having one or both feet on the ground shall not charge an opponent who has both feet off the ground.
b. A player shall not use excessive force
c. An allowable charge is when players make shoulder to shoulder contact without excessive force, while playing the ball, and without extending arms.
8. Charging - an opponent from behind. (NOTE: if opponent is obstructing when player charges from behind, "obstruction" should be called rather than charging)
9. Handling - Player deliberately handles, carries, strikes, or propels the ball with any part of his/her arm, from the armpit down.
10. Tackling from behind – typically at least a yellow card, possibly a red depending on severity and game situation.
INDIRECT FREE-KICK - one in which a goal cannot be scored unless the ball has been played or touched by a player other than the kicker before passing through a goal.
1. Dangerous Play - Play that is dangerous or likely to cause injury. Three types of dangerous play are:
a. raising the foot in an attempt to play the ball to the level of an opponent's shoulder or higher when the opponent is in a normal position
b. indulging in what is known as a hitch-kick or double kick within 6 feet of an opponent
c. lowering the head to a position level with or below the level of the waist in an effort to head the ball in the presence of an oncoming player.
2. Obstruction - Deliberate act of a player, not in possession of the ball or not attempting to play the ball, or running between an opponent and the ball, or using the body as an obstacle to prevent opponent from gaining possession of the ball.
Things to look for: look for the attacking player trying to get around the defender. If he/she just runs into the defender, the foul should be called on the attacker. Look for the attacking player to play the ball just beyond the defending player. If the attacker plays the ball too far ahead of himself, you can rule that he couldn't have played the ball, even if he had gotten around the defender. If a slow defender plays against a quick attacker, the defender may obstruct the attacker to gain possession.
3. Charging the Goalkeeper - the goalkeeper in possession of the ball shall not be interfered with. Possession includes bouncing the ball, tossing it in the air to oneself, and dropping the ball for an immediate punt or drop kick. If the goalkeeper places the ball on the ground, he/she no longer has possession of it and it may be played by an opponent.
4. Fouls committed by the Goalkeeper:
a. The goalkeeper may not take more than six seconds while in clear possession of the ball with the hands. Possession includes holding, bouncing, or throwing the ball in the air and catching it again.
b. The goalkeeper shall not deliberately parry the ball and then touch it again with his/her hands before it has been played or touched by another player of the same team outside the penalty area or by a player of the opposing team either inside or outside the penalty area.
c. When a player deliberately kicks the ball to his/her own goalkeeper, the goalkeeper is not permitted to touch it with his/her own hands.
d. When a player throws in the ball to their own goalkeeper, the goalkeeper is not permitted to touch it with their hands. **NOTE: Players MAY NOT use trickery to circumvent the rule. EXAMPLE: Players may not flick the ball with their feet to their own (or teammates) head, chest, knee and then pass it to their own goalkeeper who touches it with the hands.
5. Encroachment- Act by a defensive player(s) of advancing within 10 yards of the ball prior to the taking of a free kick.
NO SLIDE TACKLES! Any player using a slide tackle (in the judgment of the referee) will receive a yellow card. A slide tackle is defined as a maneuver in which one or both feet slide on the ground in an attempt to tackle the ball that is in possession of an opponent.
A legal slide tackle under NFHS will result in an INDIRECT free kick for the opposing team. An illegal slide tackle will result in a DIRECT free kick. IN BOTH INSTANCES a yellow card will still be given.
a. All direct-kick fouls occurring in the defensive penalty area and made by the defensive team become penalty kicks.
b. Administering a Penalty Kick:
1. A penalty kick shall be taken from the penalty mark. All players with the exception of the designated player taking the kick and the opposing goalkeeper shall be within the field of play, but outside the penalty area, and at least 10 yards from the ball.
2. The opposing goalkeeper must stand, on the goal line between the goal posts, moving only laterally, until the ball is kicked.
3. The player taking the kick must kick the ball forward and shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player, or the goalkeeper.
c. COED: Penalty shots may be attempted by any member of the offended team provided that member is the same gender as the player fouled. Goalkeeper gender does not have to match the kicker during regular game play.
A yellow or red card for misconduct can be issued for any of the following reasons:
1. Entering the field of play without permission.
2. Persistent infringement of any rules of the game.
3. Objecting by word of mouth or action to any decision given by an official (dissent).
4. Any incidental use of vulgar or profane language.
5. Unsporting conduct, including, but not limited to:
a. Unnecessary delay
b. Deliberate verbal tactics
d. Deliberate handball to stop an attack
e. Faking an injury
f. Simulating a foul (diving)
g. Reckless play
h. Any delayed, prolonged act which attempts to direct attention at oneself