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Indoor Soccer


The rules listed below are of special significance to MSU indoor soccer.  Rules not covered in this publication will be addressed as needed by the director responsible for indoor soccer.


  1. Students working as IM officials or supervisors are providing an important service.  Under no circumstances should IM personnel be hassled, threatened or physically assaulted.
  2. Teams and players have a further responsibility to prevent their fans from abusing the officials and to help control their spectators so that the game is not disrupted.
  3. Any participant ejected from a game will automatically be required to serve a minimum one game suspension and will remain ineligible to play until a meeting with Ross Winter has occurred.   Further action, if any, will be then be determined.
  4. Supervisors have the authority to forfeit or stop games if flagrant unsportsmanlike behavior threatens the safety of players or IM personnel or if such behavior makes a mockery of the game.
  5. IT IS UNIVERSITY POLICY THAT ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES NOT BE CONSUMED ON UNIVERSITY RECREATIONAL AREAS.  We ask for your cooperation in this matter.  Team managers have the responsibility of making sure players, coaches and spectators do not bring alcohol with them or arrive intoxicated.  Supervisors have the authority to forfeit games if alcohol or drug related problems occur.


  1. Gym shoes or indoor soccer shoes must be worn.  Rubber or metal cleats, street shoes or bare feet are not allowed.  For safety and maintenance, please carry your playing shoes to the game and change inside the building.
  2. Each team is required to be uniformly dressed and goalkeepers must wear a different colored jersey than the rest of their teammates and/or opponents.
  3. AWAY teams should wear black or navy blue shirts; HOME teams should wear white shirts.  Teams with their own matching jerseys must have all players wear the same color; reversible shirts with a light and a dark color are recommended.
  4. Goalkeepers should bring two brightly colored shirts; gold, red or green are suggested.
  6. Players may not wear anything that presents a danger to themselves or other players.  Jewelry, hats, hair ornaments or braces with metal or hard parts are not permitted.  Braces may be worn if all exposed metal is covered with a soft material.  The final decision on what is considered dangerous is at the discretion of the supervisor.  Players refusing to comply will not be permitted to play.
  7. Shin pads are not required, but recommended.
  8. Players must assume full responsibility for any injury or breakage of eyeglasses incurred while playing an IM game.  Therefore, it is highly recommended that glasses be made of unbreakable case hardened lenses with rubber rims.
  9. It is further recommended that all jewelry, money and other valuables be left at home as the IM department is not responsible for lost, breakage or theft.


  1. Prior to the start of each game, all players must present their MSU ID’s to the supervisor.  First and last name with student number is required before a person may legally play.  Any player expected to arrive late must be listed on the score sheet prior to the start of the game and must present his/her ID to the supervisor before entering the game.  Players who are not listed on the score sheet prior to the start of the game may not enter the game once it has started.
  2. Five players plus a goalie comprise a team.  At least five players are required to start a game; four players are required to finish a game once it has started.
  3. Games will consist of two 20-minute halves (running clock) with a five-minute half time.  Teams will change goals at the end of the half.

The clock will not stop for altercations, fights or excessive complaining disguised as rule interpretation questions.  Nor shall this time be added back on to the clock.  If, however, in the opinion of IM personnel, a team, it’s coaches or spectators engage in such behavior to intentionally waste time, the officials and/or supervisor may:

      a.  Eject the offending player(s)

      b.  Forfeit the game and award a win to the non-offending team

      c.  Any combination thereof as deemed appropriate

Allowances may be made in each half of the game at the discretion of the officials, for time lost due to injury or other time consuming events.  Games will be extended in order to take a penalty kick, if the kick was awarded before the game time ran out.

  1. Substitutions are allowed on the fly at any time however the player leaving the field must arrive at the bench before a replacement comes onto the field.  (VIOLATION:  two-minute penalty at the discretion of the referee.)
  2. If another player replaces a goalkeeper, the referee must be properly informed and the change made during a stoppage in play.


  1. The referee shall toss a coin after designating which captain shall call the toss.  The winner of the toss shall have the option of kicking off or choosing which goal to defend first.  Teams will automatically switch goals to start the second half.
  2. The ball shall be placed at midfield to start each half and after each goal.  Every player must be on his/her side of the field.  The kick off may travel in any direction.
  3. The kicker may not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player.  (PENALTY:  Indirect free kick for the opposing team at the spot of the infraction.)
  4. A goal cannot be scored directly from the first touch of the kick off unless another player, including the goalie, touches the ball before it crosses the goal line.  (EFFECT:  The goal is nullified; the ball is put back into play with a goal kick.)


  1. During the regular season there will be no overtime periods.
  2. During the playoffs, if the score is tied at the end of regulation, ties will be broken by one five-minute overtime period.  If the score remains tied, a second five-minute overtime period will be played. 
  3. If after the overtime periods, the score is still tied, a best of five shoot-out will determine the winner.   The shoot-out will take place at the penalty spot where five different players from each team will shoot one shot each.  If it is a co-rec game, each team must alternate male and female shots.  If a winner is not determined, a shoot out with three new players from each team will shoot.  This will continue until a winner is determined.
  4. Each player is entitled to his/her shot.  A player may not shoot again until there are no new players available to take a shot.  In this case, the original order of shooters should be repeated.


  1. Goalkeepers have six seconds to release the ball after taking control of it.  Exceeding this time is considered delay of game.  (PENALTY:  Indirect free kick for opponents.  Persistent infringements may be cause for a caution and/or an ejection.)
  2. The goalie may always play the ball with his/her feet.
  3. The goalie may always play the ball with his/her hands in the box.
  4. The goalie may throw the ball three lines, but may not kick or punt the ball three lines in the air.
  5. A goalkeeper shall not strike or attempt to strike an opponent by throwing the ball at him/her or by pushing an opponent with the ball while holding it.  (PENALTY:  Direct free kick or penalty kick if foul occurs within the goalies own penalty area.)


*All fouls will be awarded as direct kicks.

  1. On a direct free kick, the kicker may score a goal without having any other player touch it prior to crossing the goal line.
  2. During a direct kick, the opposing players must be at least ten feet off the ball until it is in play.  Not keeping this distance is considered unsportsmanlike conduct and is subject to a warning or a yellow card.


  1. A pass cannot carry over three lines in the air.  (Penalty: direct free kick for opponents at the nearest point the ball carries over the first line.)  EXCEPTION: Any team playing with two players less than its opponents may pass the ball over all three lines in the air. 


  1. The penalty kick is taken from the penalty spot (--’ directly in front of the goal).  All players, except the designated kicker and the goalkeeper, must stay outside the penalty area, behind the ball and at least --’ away.
  2. The goalkeeper shall stand without moving his/her feet on the goal line, between the goal posts, until the ball is kicked.  If the goalkeeper fails to meet this requirement and the kicker does not score a goal, the kick shall be retaken and the goalie cautioned.  If a goal is scored, it will be allowed.
  3. Any violation by the non-kicking team will cause the penalty kick to be retaken unless a goal is scored; in this case, the goal will be allowed.
  4. Any violation by the kicking team will result in the nullification of any goal scored, a caution to the player(s) and an indirect free kick for the non-kicking team.  The kicker will not receive a second attempt.
  5. If both teams are guilty of infringements, the kick will be retaken regardless of the outcome of the kick and the violating players will be cautioned.
  6. If the penalty kick is missed with no infractions by either team, play will continue.


  1. Officials are NOT required to caution players prior to ejecting them from a game.
  2. Any behavior, even within the normal course of the game, may be considered unsportsmanlike and cause for a caution or ejection.
  3. Any caution (yellow card) requires a two-minute penalty.  Any ejection (red card) requires a five-minute penalty.
  4. A player who is ejected from a game for UNSPORTSMANLIKE conduct is indefinitely suspended and ineligible to play until the ejected player meets with the sport administrator.
  5. Any manager, coach or player ejected from the game may be asked to leave the playing or viewing area at the referee or supervisor’s request.  Another player designated by the official will serve the five-minute penalty or any portion remaining.
  6. Spitting on the floor is considered unsportsmanlike conduct and is subject to a yellow card.  Spitting at opponents, officials or spectators is considered serious foul play and therefore is subject to a red card.
  7. A player may engage in verbal communication with the referees, but must do so in a polite and civilized manner.  Objecting by word or by action may be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and treated accordingly.
  8. A forfeit will be declared immediately if players on the sidelines enter the field of play to join in an altercation.  If players from both teams join in, a double forfeit will be declared immediately.
  9. If a team has two players ejected from the same game, that team will forfeit the game, regardless of the score.
  10. On all other matters, only the supervisor has the authority to forfeit a game.


  1. For fouls that are penalized with a yellow or red card, a minimum 2 minute penalty must be served (5 minutes for Red Card), in addition to the appropriate free kick.
  2. If more than two players of the same team receive penalties and their penalty time overlaps, the third (and so on) player penalized will serve the penalty after the first player’s time has elapsed.  (EXCEPTION:  A goal does not cancel yellow or red card penalties; these must be served for the full amount of time.)
  3. All penalized players must serve the penalty in the penalty box until the penalty time is expired.  Failure to do so will result in termination of the game and a forfeit win will be awarded to the opposing team.
  4. Players are NOT allowed to use their hands/arms pressed against the walls to gain stability or a competitive advantage. As a result, the opposing team will be awarded a direct free kick from the spot of the foul.


  1. The referee has the discretionary power and the obligation to refrain from penalizing infringements when this may result in an advantage for the infringing team.
  2. If a referee decides to call “advantage” the play will not be stopped, but disciplinary action (warning, two minute penalty, caution or ejection) may be enforced the next time play stops.
  3. If in the opinion of the referee it is to the advantage of the player fouled not to call the penalty then the foul shall not be called.


  1. If a team is losing by 10 goals at any time, the game will end and the score will be recorded on the official score sheet as so.  If both teams are under mutual agreement the remainder of the game can be played for “fun”.  No score will be recorded and all rules will be enforced.


  1. A goal shall be counted when the ball completely crosses the goal line (enters the goal) and when the ball makes contact with the door/hinges beyond the horizontal plane of the "post" and boards.


  1. A ball that leaves the playing field (over the boards or into the netting) will result in an indirect kick in. When the ball goes into the netting inside of the blue line, a corner kick or goal kick will be awarded. All other out of bounds plays will result in an indirect kick-in from a spot nearest to where the ball went out of bounds.


  1. A goal kick is a direct free kick taken from anywhere inside the penalty box.


  1. A corner kick is a direct free kick taken from the red "hockey" goal line, approximately 3 feet from the boards.


  1. At least two players, excluding the goalie, must be female players and on the field of play at all times.


All teams will qualify for the playoffs unless:

  1. The team has more than three unsportsmanlike conduct ejections
  2. The team has a player ejected who has failed to meet with the sport administrator
  3. The team has accrued more than one forfeit throughout regular season play

(Revised, 2017)