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Outdoor Soccer Rules

The rules listed below are of special significance to MSU Intramural Soccer. IFAB rules govern play other than any modification mentioned here.

GENERAL INFORMATION

A. MSU ID is required in order to play. All players must check in with the field supervisor/scorekeeper before the contest begins.

B.  Players MAY NOT play for more than one team in the same league.

PLAYERS and COACHES CONDUCT

A. Students working as IM Officials and Supervisors are providing an important service. Under no circumstances should IM personnel be hassled, threatened, or physically abused.

B. Teams and players have a further responsibility to prevent their fans from abusing the officials and to help control their spectators so that the integrity of the game is not disrupted.

C. Any participant ejected from the game for UNSPORTSMANLIKE conduct will automatically be suspended for any further contests until a meeting with the Sport Administrator has occurred. Further action will be determined then.

D. Supervisors and officials 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.

E. Team captains have the responsibility to make sure players, coaches, and spectators adhere to the player code of conduct and adhere to playing rules and procedures.

EQUIPMENT AND UNIFORMS

A. Athletic shoes or approved soccer cleats are permitted. Metal cleats, front toe studs, and bare feet are not allowed.

B. Each team is required to be uniformly dressed and goalkeepers must wear a different colored jersey than the rest of their teammates and/or their opponents.

C. Home team wears white. Away team wears dark. You are the home team if your schedule says "Your Team vs. Opponent". You are the away team if your schedule says "Your Team @ Opponent".

D. Goal keepers should bring two brightly colored shirts. Gold, red, or green are suggested.

E.  Gold or Gray, in any shade, may not be worn. Games may be suspended until proper attire is attained. Failure to do so in a timely fashion may result in a forfeit by the offending team(s).

F.  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 legal attire is at the sole discretion of the official. Players refusing to comply will not be permitted to play.

G. Shin pads are RECOMMENDED.

H. Players assume full responsibility for any injury or breakage of eye glasses or other attire incurred while playing in an Intramural game. Therefore, it is highly recommended that glasses be made of unbreakable case hardened lenses with rubber rims.

I.  It is further recommended that all jewelry, money, and other valuables be left at home as the Intramural department is NOT RESPONSIBLE for any items lost, stolen or broken.

THE GAME

A. Prior to the start of each game, ALL players participating in that match are required to check in with the field supervisor/scorekeeper. First and last names with each students PID are required before a person may legally play. If a player’s name is not on the score sheet BEFORE the game, he/she will not be able to participate in the match. Persons without an ID WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO PLAY.

B. Nine players compromise a team. Six players, properly checked in must be present to start and continue a game.

C. Games will consist of two twenty (20) minute halves with a half time period lasting no longer than five (5) minutes. In the event of poor weather or other unforeseen circumstances, any game played beyond half time will constitute a full contest and the score at the time of the game being called will be deemed the final score.

THE CLOCK

A. The clock will run continuously except for official’s time out(s).

B.The clock will NOT stop for substitutions, fights, acts of unsportsmanlike behavior, injuries, brief rule interpretations, after a goal or any other cause.

C. It is within the referee’s authority to add time if it appears a team is intentionally wasting time or to assess cautions or expulsions if deemed flagrant.

THE START OF PLAY

A. Preliminaries

1.  The referee shall toss a coin*, after designating which captain shall call the toss. The toss will decide which goal the winning team will attack in the first half of the match.

2.  The other team takes the kick off to start the match.

3.  The team that wins the toss takes the kick-off to start the second half of the match.

4.  In the second half of the match the teams change ends and attack the opposite goals.

                                * Or other manner of determining which team has won the right to choose the goal to attack.

B. Kick-off

1.  A kickoff is a way of starting or restarting play:

  • at the start of the match
  • after a goal has been scored
  • at the start of the second half of the match
  • at the start of each period of extra time, where applicable

2.  A goal may be scored directly from the kick-off.

C. Procedure

  • All players must be in their own half of the field of play and at least 10 yards from the play until it is in play.
  • the ball must be stationary on the center mark
  • the referee gives the signal
  • the ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward
  • the kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player
  1. After a team scores a goal, the kick-off is taken by the other team.

D. Infringements/Sanctions

1.  If the player taking the kick-off touches the ball again before it has touched another player:

  • an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team to be taken from the position of the ball when the infringement occurred.

2.  In the event of any other infringement of the kick-off procedure:

  • the kick-off is retaken

SUBSTITUTION

A. A legal substitution must be made known to the official(s). The substitute must wait along the sideline at midfield until he/she is beckoned onto the field by an official.

B. Either team may substitute an unlimited number of players at any of the following stoppages of play: between halves, on a goal kick, or after a goal is scored. Possession is needed to substitute on a throw in, however, if the team with possession substitutes, the opposing team is also permitted to substitute.

C. During a penalty kick, the only substitute permitted is for the player that has been injured, cautioned, or disqualified. A substitute entering at this time may NOT take the penalty kick.

D.The goalkeeper may change places with a player on the field whenever the clock is stopped or a legal substitution takes place. Any time the goalkeeper is changed, the official MUST BE NOTIFIED. If the official is not notified, the handling of the ball in the box by the “new” keeper is  punishable by a penalty kick.

BALL IN AND OUT OF PLAY

A. Ball Out of Play

1.  The ball is out of play when:

  • it has wholly crossed the goal line or touch line whether on the ground or in the air
  • play has been stopped by the referee

B. Ball In Play

1. The ball is in play at all times, including when:

  • it rebounds from a goalpost, crossbar or corner flagpost and remains in the field of play
  • it rebounds from either the referee or an assistant referee when they are on the field of play.

DROP BALL

A. Dropped Ball

1.  If, while the ball is still in play, the referee is required to stop play temporarily for any reason not mentioned elsewhere in these Rules, the match is restarted with a drop ball.

B. Procedure

1.  The referee drops the ball at the place where it was located when play was stopped, unless play was stopped inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located when play was stopped.

2.  Play restarts when the ball touches the ground.

C. Infringements/Sanctions

1.  The ball is dropped again:

  • if it is touched by a player before it makes contact with the ground
  • if the ball leaves the field of play after it makes contact with the ground, without a player touching it

SCORING

A. Goal Scored

1.  A goal is scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar, provided that no infringement of the Laws of this game have been committed.

B. Winning Team

1.  The team scoring the greater number of goals during a match is the winner. If both teams score an equal number of goals, or if neither team scores, the match is a draw.

OVERTIME

A. During the regular season, there will be no overtime periods. Each team will be credited with a tie.

B. During the playoffs, ties will be broken by two, five (5) minute overtime periods, both played in their entirety.

C. If, after the overtime periods, the score is still tied, a shootout will determine the winner. This shootout will take place at the penalty spot. Five different players from both teams will each have one shot. If a winner is not determined after five shooters per side, the shootout will continue in alternating order until until a winner is determined. Each player is entitled to his/her shot.

D. 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.

RESTRICTIONS ON THE GOALIE

A. A goalkeeper shall not intentionally carry the ball and then touch it again with his/her hands before it has been played or touched by a player of the opposing team either inside or outside the penalty area; or by a teammate outside the penalty area.

B. A goalkeeper shall not touch the ball with his/her hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him/her by a teammate. If this law is infringed, an indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team where the goalkeeper handled the ball, unless it was within his/her own goal area, in which case the ball will be moved to the edge of the goal area, nearest to where the infraction occurred.

C. From the moment the goalkeeper takes control of the ball with his/her hands in their own penalty area, they must release the ball within six (6) seconds. And after having done so, may not touch it again with their hands until it has been touched by another player of the same team outside of the penalty area, or a player from the opposing team, inside or outside the penalty area. If this law is infringed upon, an indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team at the spot of the infraction. Players preventing the release of the ball by a goal keeper shall be warned or cautioned for unsportsmanlike behavior.

D. When the goalkeeper is outside of the penalty area or places the ball on the ground, he/she relinquishes his/her right as goalkeeper and will be governed like any other player.

OFFSIDE

A. Offside Position

1.  It is not an offense in itself to be in an offside position.

2.  A player is in an offside position if:

  • he/she is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the last defender (not including the goalkeeper).

3.  A player is not in an offside position if:

  • he/she is in his/her defensive field of play or
  • he/she is level with the last defender (not including the goalkeeper)

B. Offense

1.  A player in an offside position is only penalized if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by a member of his/her team, he/she is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:

  • interfering with play or
  • interfering with an opponent or
  • gaining an advantage by being in that position

C. No Offense

1.  There is no offside offense if a player receives the ball directly from:

  • a goal kick or
  • a throw-in or
  • a corner kick

D. Infringements/Sanctions

1.  In the event of an offside offense, the referee awards an indirect free kick to the opposing team to be taken from the place where the violation occurred.

FREE KICKS

A. There are two types of free kicks: Indirect (IFK) and Direct (DFK)

1.  On an IFK, the ball must be touched by a player other than the kicker before passing through the goal.

2.  On a DFK, the kicker may score a goal directly from the kick without the ball touching another player.

B. During a free kick, the opposing players must be at least ten yards off the ball until it is in play. The ball becomes in play when it is kicked and moves forward.

1.  EXCEPTION: When a free kick is awarded to the attacking team within ten yards of the opposing team’s goal. In this case, the opposing players may be within ten yards of the ball AS LONG AS they are standing on their own goal line, between the goal posts.

C. A free kick starting within a team’s own penalty area must clear the penalty box before the opposing team can enter the penalty area or play the ball. If the ball does not clear the penalty area, the kick shall be retaken.

D. If a player of the opposing team side encroaches into the penalty area, or within ten yards of the ball before the free kick is taken, the referee shall delay the kick until the encroaching player(s) are properly positioned. (NOTE: Failure to back off the ball upon the referee’s notice may be considered as misconduct; a player may be cautioned or ejected from the game).

E.  The ball must be stationary when a free kick is taken and the kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player. If this law is infringed upon, an IFK is awarded to the opposing team.

F.  Any free kick awarded to the defending team within its own goal area may be taken from any point within the goal area (6 yard box).

G. Any indirect free kick awarded to the attacking team within its opponent’s goal area shall be taken from the part of the goal area’s line which runs parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the offense occurred.

    1.  Actions which suggest intent to distract the kicker shall be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and the offenders shall bed cautioned or ejected from the game.

I.   The goalkeeper may not receive the ball into his/her hands in order to kick it into play.

PENALTY KICKS

A. A penalty kick shall be taken from the penalty mark. Only the kicker and the goalie are allowed within ten yards of the penalty mark. All other players must be on the field of play, and behind the ball, and at least ten yards from the penalty mark.

B. The kicker may be any player who was on the field of play at the time the penalty was called.

C. The goalkeeper must face the field and not move forward off the goal line until the ball is kicked. Movement between the posts along the goal line is permitted. If this law is infringed upon, and the kicker does not score, the kick is retaken and the goalkeeper may be cautioned.

D. The player taking the kick must kick the ball forward on the first approach, in one continuous motion. The ball must be touched or played by another player before the kicker may play the ball a second time. If this law is infringed and the kicker scores, the “goal” is not given and an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team.

E.  Encroachment by the defending team into the penalty area or within ten yards of the penalty mark shall cause the penalty kick to be re-taken if missed. The violating player shall be cautioned.

F.  Encroachment by the kicking team into the penalty area or within ten yards of the penalty mark shall cause the goal to be nullified if made and an indirect free kick to be awarded to the defending team from any spot along the goal area line. The encroaching player shall be cautioned.

GOAL KICKS

A. When the ball passes completely over the goal line (excluding the portion between the goal posts), either in the air or on the ground, and is last touched by the attacking team, the defending team shall put the ball in play from any point within the goal area.

B. The ball is not in play until it clears the penalty area, either in the air or on the ground, and until such time, cannot be played by any player besides the initial kicker.

C. The kicker may not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player. If this law is infringed, an indirect free kick shall be awarded to the opposing team.

CORNER KICKS

A. When the ball passes completely over the goal line (excluding the portion between the goal posts), either in the air or on the ground, and is last touched by the defending team, the attacking team shall put the ball in play from the corner arc at the nearest corner flag post.

B. The defending team must remain ten yards off the ball until it is in play. The kick may be retaken if this law is infringed on.

C. Any player from the attacking team may take the kick and he/she may not play the ball again until it has been touched by another player. If this law is infringed, an indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team.

THROW INS

A. A throw in shall be awarded to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball when the whole of the ball crosses the touch line, either on the ground or in the air.

B. A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in.

C. Procedure

1.  At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower:

  • faces the field of play
  • has part of each foot either on the touch line or on the ground outside the touch line
  • holds the ball with both hands
  • delivers the ball from behind and over his head
  • delivers the ball from the point where it left the field of play

D. All opponents must stand no less than two yards from the point at which the throw is taken.

E.  The ball is in play when it enters the field of play.

F.  After delivering the ball, the thrower must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player. If this law is infringed, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team at the spot the infringement occurred.

SLIDE TACKLING

A. Slide tackles are PROHIBITED.

B. Any slide tackle will result in a direct free kick, and an immediate Yellow Card to the offending player.

C. A second offense will result in a Rec Card disqualification.

CARDS

A. A player shall be cautioned (yellow card) for illegal substitution, persistent violation of the rules, unsportsmanlike conduct, for dangerous or rough play deemed excessive by the official, or any other reason the official may find during the course of the match.

B. A player cautioned for, but not limited to, any of the above reasons in addition to excessive celebration (including a mandatory yellow for removing the shirt) may be asked by an official or a supervisor to substitute off the field and may not return until the next legal opportunity.

C. A player who receives two cautions during the game is automatically disqualified for the remainder of the game.

D. A player shall be disqualified (red card) for:

1. exhibiting violent conduct or committing serious foul play;

2.  deliberately handling the ball to prevent a scoring opportunity (except the goalkeeper in his/her own penalty area).

3.  committing a foul against an opponent who has an obvious scoring opportunity;

4.  fighting, attempting to engage in a fight, or leaving the sidelines to join in on an altercation or fight;

5.  language or gestures that are excessively foul or abusive, regardless of who is being addressed;

6.  conduct or behavior deemed by the official to be intentional, flagrant, reckless, dangerous, or disrespectful toward any person involved in the game;

E.  A disqualified player must leave the game and not re-enter. Furthermore, the player shall remain ineligible for IM soccer until he/she has met with the Sport Administrator to discuss the matter further.

FOULS AND MISCONDUCT

A. Fouls and misconducts are penalized as follows:

1.  Direct Free Kick

a)  A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following seven offenses in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:

  • kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
  • trips or attempts to trip an opponent
  • jumps at an opponent
  • charges an opponent
  • strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  • pushes an opponent
  • tackles an opponent

b)  A direct free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following three offenses:

  • holds an opponent
  • spits at an opponent
  • handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)

c)  A direct free kick is taken from the place where the offense occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick).

2.  Penalty kick

a)  A penalty kick is awarded if any of the above ten offenses is committed by a player inside his own penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball, provided it is in play.

3.  Indirect free kick

a)  An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following four offenses:

  • controls the ball with his hands for more than six seconds before releasing it from his possession
  • touches the ball again with his hands after he has released it from his possession and before it has touched another player
  • touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate
  • touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate

b) An indirect free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if, in the opinion of the referee, a player:

  • plays in a dangerous manner
  • impedes the progress of an opponent
  • prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands
  • commits any other offense, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player

c) The indirect free kick is taken from the place where the offense occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick).

B. Disciplinary sanctions

1. The yellow card is used to communicate that a player, substitute or substituted player has been cautioned.

2.  The red card is used to communicate that a player, substitute or substituted player has been sent off.

3.  Only a player, substitute or substituted player may be shown the red or yellow card.

4.  The referee has the authority to take disciplinary sanctions from the moment he enters the field of play until he leaves the field of play after the final whistle.

5.  A player who commits a cautionable or sending-off offense, either on or off the field of play, whether directed towards an opponent, a team-mate, the referee, an assistant referee or any other person, is disciplined according to the nature of the offense committed.

C. Cautionable offenses

1. A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following seven offenses:

  • unsporting behavior
  • dissent by word or action
  • persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game
  • delaying the restart of play
  • failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in
  • entering or re-entering the field of play without the referee’s permission
  • deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission

2.  A substitute or substituted player is cautioned if he commits any of the following three offenses:

  • unsporting behavior
  • dissent by word or action
  • delaying the restart of play

D. Sending-off offenses

1. A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he/she commits any of the following offenses:

  • fighting, attempting to engage in a fight, or leaving the sidelines to join in on an altercation or fight
  • serious foul play
  • violent conduct
  • spitting at any opponent or any other person
  • denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area)
  • denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
  • using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures
  • receiving a second caution in the same match

2. A player, substitute or substituted player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the field of play and the technical area.

** A player may be cautioned or sent off for any reason deemed necessary by the official**

E.  In addition to the above, the following shall apply:

1.  Any player ejected from a game will become automatically ineligible for future games until he/she has met with the Sport Administrator.

2.  If, in the opinion of IM personnel, the behavior of a team, it’s coaches, and/or spectators warrants it, the game may be forfeited and a win awarded to the non-offending team OR neither of the two teams.

3.  The clock shall 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, and/or spectators engage in such activities to intentionally waste time, the officials and/or supervisors may:

4.  Team players, coaches and spectators are required to remain behind the restraining lines on both sides of the soccer field(s). The first violation will be a yellow card and a warning to BOTH teams. The second violation, by either team, will result in a brief suspension of the match which will be resumed upon adherence to the rules, or forfeited.

ADVANTAGE CALLS

A. If in the opinion of the referee, it is to the advantage of the player fouled not to call the penalty, then play shall continue and the foul shall not be called.

CO-REC SOCCER RULES

A. Nine players constitute a team. Four women and four men field players at a time. The goalkeeper can be of either gender but cannot count toward the total or required female players.

B. A minimum of three women and three men must be present to begin the game. If the team is playing with less than nine players, at least half of the team must be women.

1.  EXCEPTION: If a team has seven field players, the team may play with three female field players and four male field players.

C. During penalty kicks at the end of extra time, the kickers must alternate between male and female through the entire roster.