The following rules and policies are an addendum to the standard rules and policies of the United States Indoor Official Rules.
General League Policies
All participants must have a SoccerZone South Austin membership card. Annual membership is $15.
A $640 team fee ($360 for 4v4), including a non-refundable $150 deposit, is required to register a team. The $150 deposit is applied toward the full amount of the team fee. Full payment must be received before the third game.
Team managers/coaches are the representatives for the team and are responsible for passing on any information that SoccerZone South Austin needs to communicate to each team. The team manager/coach is also responsible for seeing that all team fees are paid on time and ensuring that his or her team is aware of the rules of the game as well as all SoccerZone South Austin rules and policies. Only one non-player is allowed in the player bench area (two for youth games).
Our leagues are designed to provide the best soccer experience possible. We strive to provide:
- Well refereed games
- Competitive divisions
- A clean, safe facility
- Friendly, efficient service
- Timely communication
- Convenient services
Please talk to the host or facility manager if you feel any of the above is not happening to your satisfaction. SoccerZone South Austin appreciates the input of customers who care enough to tell us when we don’t meet your expectations.
Well Refereed Games
We recruit and train the best referees that we can. The referees are evaluated on a regular basis which includes regular, documented observations as well as customer feedback. SoccerZone South Austin appreciates feedback on referees, both good and bad. A facility staff member is more than happy to record your feedback. We have a reliable feedback system that uses customer input as a means of improving referee performance. We ask that customers realize referees are not infallible machines and will miss some calls. Players, spectators, parents and coaches who yell derogatory comments to the referees will be removed from the facility.
- All leagues may be scheduled on various days to maximize arena use, but generally most of your games will fall on one day of the week.
- Teams may be scheduled for occasional double headers during the season.
- Players must play in at least two regular season games to qualify to play in playoff games.
- Forfeits will be declared for games involving ineligible players, ineligible age players, suspended players, or players with expired or no membership cards. The score of a forfeit game will be 2-0. Any team that accrues two forfeits in one season will be expelled from the league. The winning team in a forfeited game has the following options:
- Use the arena during the regularly scheduled game time for a closed practice where no referee will be provided, or
- Agree to scrimmage the forfeiting team by sharing players and/or allowing the forfeiting team to pick up non-rostered players.
- Players posing as another person or using false information when joining SoccerZone South Austin will be considered an illegal player and all games involving that player will constitute a forfeit. The offending player will also be suspended from further activity at SoccerZone South Austin indefinitely.
- Playing while knowingly suspended will result in a forfeit of the game and the guilty player will be suspended from further activity at SoccerZone South Austin pending the judiciary committee ruling.
- People signing waivers for minors that are not legally eligible to do so will result in a forfeit of the game and the offending player will be suspended from further activity at SoccerZone South Austin indefinitely.
- Teams will be penalized $25 for no-shows, which means having fewer than 4 players available at game time. If teams know they will not be able to attend a scheduled game, we ask that you notify us no less than 24 hours prior to the game to give us time to contact the opposing team and the referee. Teams that give us the 24 hour notice will not be levied the $25 fine.
- Teams may request that games be rescheduled provided at least a 7-day notice is given. SoccerZone South Austin will investigate the possibility but will not guarantee a reschedule, as time may simply not be available for rescheduled games. In the event we can not accommodate a reschedule, the requesting team must accept a forfeit.
- Protests regarding the incorrect application of SoccerZone South Austin’s rules of indoor soccer or player eligibility must be in written form and submitted to SoccerZone South Austin no later than 24 hours after the end of the disputed game. The ruling will be made by SoccerZone South Austin prior to the protesting team’s next game.
- If a team must withdraw from the league for their own reasons or if they are kicked out for violating SoccerZone South Austin rules and/or policies, the deposit and/or league fee will not be refunded.
- SoccerZone South Austin reserves the right to relegate or promote teams and or players to leagues other than the requested league to ensure fun and competitive games. Although SoccerZone South Austin will work with teams to give them their requested night, we place a higher value on competitive games than teams’ preferred game night.
- Adults must be the minimum age for their league before the last game of the session.
- Players may not play on more than one team in a division.
Schedules and Standings
We make it a priority to keep the web site up to date. We ask that you please check the web site before calling the facility to ask for your game time.
Standings will be determined by points: three points for a win, one point for a tie and zero for a loss. Tie breakers to determine playoffs will be head-to-head record followed by head-to-head goal differential followed by overall goal differential.
Playoff games ending in a tie will have one 5 minute sudden death (golden goal) period. The game ends when the first goal is scored. A 5-player shoot-out will follow if no goals are scored during sudden death.
- Consider the safety of others and yourself as the highest priority.
- Play for the fun and enjoyment of the sport and always be a good sport.
- Timely payment for services.
- Maintain emotional control while participating or observing.
- Respect the arena and help keep the facility clean.
- Treat other players, teammates and SoccerZone South Austin employees with respect.
- Make us aware of any problems as soon as possible so we can fix them.
- Keep yourself updated with the latest SoccerZone South Austin information.
- Be on time for games and field rentals.
Special Youth League Policies
Our Youth Objectives
- Develop physical fitness through soccer.
- Develop soccer skills.
- Assist in the youth soccer development in Central Texas.
- Provide a fun, safe means of exercise for kids.
SoccerZone South Austin provides the above objectives through a variety of programs: Soccer Cubs for 18 months to 6 year olds, Academy for 5 to 10 year olds, leagues for 5-16 year olds, camps for 5-14 year olds, as well as adult tournaments and leagues.
SoccerZone South Austin would love to see every game determined by a single goal. This is our objective when we form leagues. Sometimes the games become lopsided for one reason or another. We do our best to match teams in leagues as closely as possible. To accomplish this we ask teams to register in the age and level that they played outdoor soccer the previous fall. This simply gives us a consistent basis in which to place teams.
We sometimes need to match up teams of different ages in order to provide a variety of competition. We realize that a single year can make a big difference which is why we have the following policies:
- Youth leagues are divided by age using the standard outdoor terminology U12, U11 which means “under 12” and “under 11”.
- SoccerZone South Austin uses the same age cut off as the South Texas Youth Soccer Association. The age cutoff is the child’s age as of last August 1.
- SoccerZone South Austin will not match up teams more than two years apart. This is to prevent injuries to the younger, smaller players. This rule applies regardless of soccer skill and ability.
- Teams playing an older team may use an extra player on the field. This rule does not apply to select teams unless they are playing an older select team.
- SoccerZone South Austin will determine the preference of the team if we have to schedule a team out of its age group.
- If under the age of 21, players must present a birth certificate when requested at the time membership cards are made or when age is questioned by another team.
- When the goal differential of any game increases to four, the losing team may add an extra player but must pull the extra player off when the differential decreases. The losing team may also add an extra player for each 2 goals above the four goal differential.
Special Adult League Policies
Adult Leagues are divided into levels in order to group players for competitive parity. The highest levels, “Premier” and “1” are for highly skilled, experienced and athletically fit players. “2” and “3” are for general competitive play depending upon soccer skill, athletic ability and general fitness. Division “4” is for beginners.
Player Eligibility and Competition Policy
- Players will be “designated” at the level of the highest league in which they participate.
- Players cannot play more than two leagues below the level of their designation. I.e. a “1” player may not play in a “3” division or a “2” player may not play in a “4” division.
- SoccerZone South Austin may designate players to a level even though they are not currently in that league. (I.e. a “1” player cannot play in the “4” division even if it is the only league in which they play.)
- There is a three goal per game limit on players playing in a league in which they have a higher designation and all players playing in a beginner league. (I.e. “1” players may only score three goals in a Coed Beginner game. Any further goals by that player will not be counted.) Goalie throw-in will be taken after all non-counted goals.
In all Adult Coed leagues, goals scored by women are worth two points. Goals scored by men are worth one. If a deflected ball is scored, then whatever offensive player the scorekeeper gives credit for the goal determines whether the goal is worth one or two.
Rules of the Game
SoccerZone South Austin House Rules
- SoccerZone South Austin has zero tolerance for the consumption of drugs or alcohol by any person prior to playing or participating in any activities on our premises.
- Smoking, chewing or dipping of tobacco is not allowed inside SoccerZone South Austin facilities. Sunflower seeds, gum, and similar products are also forbidden.
- No food, drinks, or chewing gum permitted on the field of play.
- Home teams must change jerseys in the event of a color conflict.
- Spitting on the playing surface or in the team box will result in a blue card penalty. Continued violations will result in a yellow then red card. Please use the garbage cans in the team boxes.
- The game clock will begin at the scheduled start time regardless of the readiness of the teams to play. The referee will then start the game when the teams are ready. A forfeit will be declared if a team is not ready 5 minutes into the first half. SoccerZone South Austin places importance in starting games at their designated start times. Please help us in this effort by being checked in and ready to play at game time.
- Substitutions are made at any time without stopping the game. Goalie changes are also made on the fly unless a team requests a ten second break from the referee on a dead ball.
- Standings will be determined by points. Three points for a win, one for a tie and zero for a loss. Tie breakers to determine playoffs will be head-to-head record followed by head-to-head goal differential followed by overall goal differential.
- Championship games ending in a tie will have one 5 minute sudden death (golden goal) overtime period. A 5-player shoot-out will follow if the game is still tied after overtime.
- Verbal abuse of the referee, the other team, spectators or teammates by any person will not be tolerated. Violators will be barred from further participation.
- Players receiving three cards in one game will be ejected from the game.
- When the goal differential of a game reaches four (five for Coed games), the losing team has the option to put another player on the field. An additional player may be added for every two additional goals the winning team goes up by.
- A scoring player has the option of taking the ball to midfield in an effort to save time. A goalkeeper or other opponent will receive at least a blue card for intentionally delaying the game.
SoccerZone South Austin has no toleration for fighting. SoccerZone South Austin will determine suspensions based upon the intent and facts of each incident. BE FOREWARNED, severe suspensions will be imposed for fighting. (I.e. throwing punches will result in a minimum one-year arena suspension.)
- U-13 through adult – Size 5 ball.
- U-9 through U-12 -Size 4 ball.
- U-8 and under – Size 3 ball
Number of Players
- U-5 through U-8 (4v4): 4 players, no goalkeeper, minimum of 3 to start.
- U-9 through adult (6v6): 6 players, one of whom is a goalkeeper, minimum of 4 to start.
- Coed: 6 players, 3 men, 3 women, one of whom is a goalkeeper, minimum of 4 to start.
- Flat-soled, turf studded shoes designed for artificial surfaces, or standard non-metal outdoor cleats must be used. Hard soled street shoes, boots, soft soled slipper shoes and bare feet are not allowed.
- Goalkeeper must wear colors to distinguish him/her from all other players.
- All team members must wear the same color jerseys to distinguish them from the opposing team and the referees. In the event both teams match, we provide vests for the home team.
- Each player is required to wear fully covered shinguards.
- Goalies or other players wearing any kind of protective gear (i.e. knee pads) must wear the soft cushioned type. No hard plastic protective equipment is allowed.
- Knee braces are allowed on the condition that any potentially harmful edges or protrusions are adequately padded. The referee has the right to disallow any potentially harmful knee braces.
- Youth players with casts of any kind are not allowed to participate in any activity at our facility. Adults must get their cast wrapped, well-padded, and approved by the ref.
- Rings and pierced jewelry must be covered by tape or removed per referee’s instructions for safety and welfare of all players.
- All other equipment the referee deems dangerous will not be allowed.
Game Clock / Start of Play
- The game shall consist of two running 20 minute halves, with a one-minute halftime.
- Although the game is over when the scoreboard sounds, the ref makes the final decision on timekeeping.
- Time between games shall be no more than three minutes.
- Clock will be stopped for serious injuries or prolonged stoppages, especially in the last minute of a game.
- When time is stopped for injury, the injured player must leave the game for a substitute. The injured player may not re-enter the game for a minimum of 2 minutes following the resumption of play. Injured goalkeepers may forgo substitution and continue to play.
- Any player who suffers a head injury will not be allowed to re-enter the game.
- The clock starts whether both teams are ready or not.
- The referee may start play before one team s ready if the referee thinks the team is not adequately preparing for the game or simply stalling.
•A forfeit is declared when a team is unable to put 4 players on the field within 5 minutes after the game start time.
- Visitors kickoff to begin every game.
- A goal can be scored directly from a kickoff, as all set kicks are direct.
- A kickoff, as with all set kicks, must be played within 5 seconds of the referee’s whistle.
- Home team is the first team listed on the schedule. Teams must take the appropriate bench designated for home/visitor.
- Teams will switch sides but not benches at halftime.
- No one except coaches and players currently playing are allowed in the team boxes with a maximum of 2 coaches per team.
- No children other than those playing the present game are allowed in the boxes.
- Glass containers are prohibited in the player boxes.
- Players are asked to exit the player boxes immediately after the game and hold player conferences, discussions, etc. in another part of the facility.
- Players are asked to pick up all their belongings and trash immediately concluding their game.
Ball Out of Play
- The ball is out of play when it touches any netting above the perimeter wall or the ceiling (or anything attached thereto).
- The ball is out of play when it makes contact with any player or spectator outside the arena walls.
- When the ball goes out of play, a free kick is awarded two feet out from the wall at the spot where the ball went out of play (along the dashed line), or directly below where it hit the ceiling.
- Players have 5 seconds to put a free kick into play once the ball has been placed in the designated spot.
Three Line Violation
- A three line violation is defined as the ball having crossed, in the air by the defense, over both yellow quarter lines without touching the perimeter wall or another player between the two lines.
- A three line violation will result in the opposing team being awarded a free kick from anywhere on the yellow quarter line closest to the violators goal.
Inside the Goalkeeper Arc
Any foul inside the arc around the goal results in a free kick at the top of the arc (with a wall permitted at the hash mark). The following goalkeeping restrictions shall cause the referees to stop the play and award a free kick to the opponents at the top of the arc:
- Using hands when the ball is passed by a teammate (other than a header).
- Reaching outside the box and using their hands even if they are standing in the box.
- Controlling the ball for more than 5 seconds. The goalkeeper has five seconds to distribute the ball outside of the box. Dropping the ball to their feet inside the box does not stop the count.
- Slide tackling outside the box (even if the slide begins inside the box). Slide tackling inside the box is allowed, as long as it is not done in a dangerous manner.
A free kick shall be awarded to the opposing team from the point of infraction for a player who commits any of the following offenses:
- Kicks or trips an opponent while attempting to strike the ball.
- Charges an opponent from behind while attempting to play the ball.
- Intentionally obstructing an opponent when not in possession of the ball. This includes standing between the opponent and the ball so as to form an obstacle. Obstruction is not called when a player has a ball and is shielding so as to prevent an opposing player from stealing the ball or if the ball is kicked downfield and a player attempts to run through an opponent who has established position.
- Pushes or holds a player anywhere on the field, or bumps a player into the boards.
- Plays in such a manner so as to be deemed out of control or dangerous.
- Charges the goalkeeper.
- Plays the ball while lying on the ground or while having a hand/knee on the ground.
- Slides or bicycles anywhere on the field.
All of the above fouls may result in a blue, yellow or red card, depending upon the intent or degree of the foul.
Advantage should only be called in lieu of a foul when the fouled player maintains possession of the ball on his attacking half of the field and a clear goal-scoring advantage exists.
The referee will not whistle to restart play unless a player requests the referee to measure the opposing team’s wall distance.
When a team has committed 6 fouls (and 12, etc.), the opposing team will get a 6th foul kick from the quarter line. The defensive team must be behind the mid line inside the midfield circle and the offensive team must be behind the mid line outside the midfield circle. A whistle by the referee is required to restart play. The player taking the shot can play the ball forward using any legal manner to score including direct shot, dribble and shoot, playing off the boards, passing to a teammate, etc.
Referees are instructed to call the game tight, as safety is our primary concern.
Blue Card Penalties
A player who commits any foul intentionally, dangerously, or persistently shall be penalized by the referee issuing a blue card which will result in the player serving a two minute penalty. Once a blue card has been issued, the penalty time will not begin until the player has left the field of play. If a goal is scored by the opposing team, then the two minutes automatically expires. A player whose misconduct warrants a second blue card is to be given a yellow card rather than a second blue card. Only when physical contact occurs will the card also count towards the team’s six-foul count.
Here is a partial list of specific conduct that will result in at least a blue card:
- spitting on the field,
- slide tackling (making contact with an opponent),
- profuse vulgarity,
- contact with a goalkeeper in possession of the ball,
- delaying during a dead ball,
- having too many players on the field,
- failure to stand at the 15 foot mark designated by the referee on a free kick,
- a foul into the boards,
- intentional use of hands to play the ball,
- retaliation after a foul, and
- unsportsmanlike conduct (purposefully broad).
Yellow Card Penalties
A yellow card shall be indicated by the referee showing a yellow card and announcing to the player that they will be serving a four minute penalty and the nature of the penalty. If a goal is scored by the opposing team, then the four minutes automatically expires. A straight yellow card results from more severe misconduct, aggressiveness, or unsportsmanlike behavior than would warrant a blue card. A player whose actions warrant a third card is to be given a red card and ejected.
Red Card Penalties
Ejections shall be indicated by the referee showing a red card and announcing to the player that they are ejected from the game and the reason for the ejection. In addition, a red card results in a five minute penalty to be served by an alternate player. The full five minute penalty will be served regardless of scores. Players receiving a red card are suspended from all activities at SoccerZone South Austin indefinitely and must pay a $25 fine upon notice of a return date (minimum one week suspension). The violator’s entire team will be emailed regarding the offending player’s suspension length. A person receiving two red cards in one season will receive a minimum 2 month suspension.
Here is a partial list of specific conduct that will result in a red card:
- verbally or physically abusing a referee,
- intentionally attempting to injure a player, and
- spitting at someone.
Players leaving the bench during a fight earn a red card and a forfeit for their team unless actively serving as peace-makers.
- All players, including the goalkeeper, must serve their own card penalties.
- Even if a team is permitted to add a player due to a goal being scored, the offending player must still sit out the full penalty length.
- A maximum of two penalties against one team shall be served simultaneously. If a player is penalized while two players on the same team are serving penalties then the penalty time of the third, fourth, etc. player shall commence when the first penalty time of the two players in the box expires.
Ejections and Suspensions
- A person receiving a red card will be ejected from the game and receive at least a one game league suspension. Further suspension will be assessed based upon the severity of the violation.
- A person who makes an attempt to intimidate the referee by the threat of physical abuse, pushing or attempting to make contact with the referee will be suspended from all play at the facility for a period of at least one year.
- A person who strikes or attempts to strike a referee (or any employee) shall receive a permanent SoccerZone South Austin expulsion.
- Anyone receiving a red card or asked to leave the building must leave the premises immediately.
The following apply to all restarts:
- Opposing players shall quickly yield 15 feet from the ball. Dissent upon a request from the official shall result in a blue card.
- The player taking kick cannot play the ball again until someone else touches the ball.
- If a player taking the kick delays longer than 5 seconds after the ball is set or having been signaled by the referee, the ball shall be turned over to the opposing team to take the restart.
- All free kicks will be direct, including the kickoff.
- On a kickoff, the ball may be kicked in any direction.
- All players must be on their own side of the field at the start. If not, they must go to their side before becoming involved in the play already started.
- Whistle by referee is necessary for taking a kickoff.
- May be used at the discretion of the referee, such as when play has been delayed by two players trapped with ball along border or play is stopped for injury and neither team had clear possession.
- Only for championship games.
- One 5-minute period of golden goal, sudden death.
- If no team scores, then each team takes turns shooting 6th-foul kicks, starting from the yellow quarter line.
- 6th-foul rules:
- Home team shoots second.
- Each team selects any five shooters from their team.
- Each shooter has five seconds to score. The ball must cross the line within five seconds for the goal to count.
- The goalie must start on the goal line.
- The ball may bounce off the walls, but if it goes out of bounds, the play is over.
- A foul by the goalie results in a re-kick.
- A red card results in a forfeit.
- If the score is still tied after 5 shots apiece, then the teams alternate taking one shot apiece in sudden death: Home, Away then Away, Home, etc.