9 vs. 9 Rules


FIFA rules apply during all games, with the following exceptions and amendments.


  • Games will consist of two 30 minute running time halves.
  • The clock is considered “continuous” (it will not stop when the ball goes out of play). At the game officials’ discretion, stoppage time may however be added at the end of each half.
  • The half-time interval shall be three (3) to five (5) minutes long, at the discretion of the game officials.


  • 7 vs 7 soccer is played with seven (7) players on each team. A minimum of five (5) players are required for a team to begin a match, and at least five (5) players must be on the field at all times during the match.
  • Should a team have less than 5 players on the field at any given time (due to a red card or an injury) that team will forfeit the game.
  • Player substitution is unlimited, but may only take at a stoppage in play (regardless of which team has possession) provided permission is asked to one of the match officials. Players substituting off the field may return later in the game.
  • Illegal substitutions will result in a yellow card being issued to the player attempting to enter the game. Also note that in order to maintain the pace of the game and avoid time delays, players being substituted on or off the field are requested to do so as quickly as possible.


  • Substitutions will take place at half
  • The player entering the game shall wait until the player leaving the game has left the field before they proceed to enter


  • For playoff games which remain tied after regulation time, the game shall proceed to a penalty shootout. Three (3) penalty kicks will be taken by each team, followed by sudden death penalty kicks.
  • Penalty kicks may be taken by any team member who has signed up on the game sheet, regardless of whether the player was on the field at the completion of the game.
  • Once a player has taken a penalty kick he/she may not go a second time until all other players have gone once.


Make sure your players know the appropriate position:

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;
  • uses both hands;
  • delivers the ball from behind and over his head.

Dragging the toes of one foot is considered legal.


  • There are NO offsides in 7 vs 7 soccer.
  • However, there is a “fair play” rule that if an opponent is using the no offside “cherry picking” to an unfair advantage that the referee would have the discretion to make a call for “unsporting Behavior” which would be an indirect kick with the potential or a caution depending on the circumstance


  • When a free-kick or corner kick is given, all opponents must be at a distance of 7 yards from the ball until it is played.
  • The player taking the free-kick may ask the referee to enforce the 7 yard distance. If such a request is made by the player, the kick cannot be taken until the referee blows his whistle.
  • Under the ‘Fouls and Misconduct’ section of the FIFA rulebook, it is stated that ‘players who do not retire to the proper distance when a free-kick is taken must be cautioned, and on any repetition be ordered off’.
  • If in the referee’s opinion, the encroachment is made in the explicit intent to delay the free-kick, the offending player will be cautioned.


  • A goalkeeper may not play the ball with his/her hands if the ball is deliberately passed to him/her by one of their teammates, excluding passes made with any body part above the knee. Any violation of this rule results in an indirect free kick inside the box.
  • No attacking player is permitted inside their opponents “6 yard box”. An attacking player who enters the opponents “6 yard box” will be penalized and an indirect free kick awarded to the opponents. 


  • Referees will call only deliberate handballs (i.e. if player intentionally strikes the ball with hand or arm).
  • The upper part of the shoulders is not considered a handball. If a player uses his hands to protect him/herself from a hard shot, the call will be at the referee’s discretion.
  • ALL handballs called by the referee result in DIRECT free-kicks. Handballs inside the box result in a penalty kick.


  • Suspensions are in effect in the league, and will be given out to players accumulating yellow cards:
  • 2 yellows 1-game suspension
  • 4 yellows 2-game suspension
  • 5 yellows suspended for rest of season
  • All yellow cards received during the season are cleared before playoffs begin. Suspensions however WILL carry over.
  • All red cards result in immediate expulsion from the game and an automatic one or two game suspension (depending on the severity of the infraction). A player who receives his/her second (2nd) Red Card of the season will be suspended for the remainder of the season, including playoffs.
  • 1 red 1 or 2 game suspension
  • 2 reds suspended for rest of season
  • Red cards will not be cleared before playoffs.
  • Upon receiving the officials’ report, the Intramural Protest & Disciplinary Committee reserves the right to take further disciplinary action against offenders. Violent/dangerous infractions, or severe verbal abuse will result in lengthy suspensions