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 leagues may be scheduled on various days to maximize arena use, but generally most of your games will fall on a consistent day of the week. Additionally, teams may be scheduled for double headers during the season and the use of the outdoor field may be used for reschedules, added league games and some leagues.
• Players must be assigned to the team roster and play in at least two regular league games to qualify to play in playoff games.
• Players MUST present their membership cards to the game officials prior to the start of games.
• Forfeits can be declared for games involving ineligible players, ineligible age players, suspended players, or players with expired or no membership cards. The game score for a forfeited game will be 3-0.
• Any team that accrues 3 forfeits in one season will be expelled from the league. The winning team in a forfeited game has the following options:
o Use of the arena during the regularly scheduled game time for a closed practice (with no referee) or
o Agree to scrimmage the forfeiting team by sharing players and/or allowing the forfeiting team to pick up non-rostered players
• Players using false information when joining SoccerZone Lakeline will be considered an illegal player and all games involving that player may be forfeited. The illegal player will be suspended from further activity at SoccerZone Lakeline pending management ruling.
• A player playing while suspended may result in a forfeit of the game and the illegal player will be suspended from further activity at SoccerZone Lakeline pending management ruling.
• People illegally signing waivers for minors may result in a forfeit of the game and the guilty player will be suspended from further activity at SoccerZone Lakeline pending management ruling.
• Teams will be penalized $50 for no-shows. If teams will not be able to show for 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. Teams that give us the 24-hour notice will not be levied the $50 fine.
• Teams delaying the start of a game due to not being ready at game time or having less than the minimum number of players available will be penalized accordingly:
o one (1) goal at 18:00
o an additional goal at 17:00
o an additional goal at 16:00
o forfeit of game at 15:00 (3-0)
• Teams may request games be rescheduled, provided at least 24-hour notice. SoccerZone Lakeline will investigate the possibility but will not guarantee a reschedule. However, time slots may simply not be available for rescheduled games. In the event we cannot accommodate a reschedule, the requesting team must accept a forfeit.
• Protests regarding the incorrect application of SoccerZone Lakeline’s rules of indoor soccer or player eligibility must be in written form and submitted to SoccerZone Lakeline no later than 24 hours after the end of the disputed game. A ruling or determination will be made by SoccerZone Lakeline management 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 Lakeline rules and/or policies, the team league fee will not be refunded.
• SoccerZone Lakeline reserves the right to relegate or promote teams and or players to leagues other than the requested league to ensure fun and competitive games. SoccerZone Lakeline will work with teams to give them their requested night. However, we place a higher value on competitive games than teams’ preferred game night.
• Players must meet the age requirement of their league before their last game of the session
• Players MAY NOT play on more than one team in a league/division. SoccerZone Lakeline management reserves the right to approve exceptions to this rule (i.e. Scheduling, competitive issues/conflicts)
• Extra players
o Men’s/Women’s/Youth leagues
– When the goal differential of any game increases to four (4) or more, the losing team may add an extra player but must pull the extra player off when the differential decreases below four (4). The losing team may add additional extra players for subsequent two (2) goals differentials, up to eight (8) goals for a maximum of three (3) extra players.
o Coed leagues
– When the goal differential of any game increases to five (5) or more, the losing team may add an extra player but must pull the extra player off when the differential decreases below five (5). The losing team may add additional extra players for subsequent two (2) goals differentials, up to nine (9) goals for a maximum of three (3) extra players. The extra players must alternate between male and female, unless there are only male or female players left on the bench. For example, if the first extra player put on is a male, then the second extra player must be a female.
o Outdoor 5v5 Field
– When the goal differential of any game increases to five (5) or more, the winning team must remove a player but can add the player back on when the differential decreases below five (5). The losing team may add an additional extra player when the goal differential increases to 10.
o Men’s/Women’s/Youth leagues: goals are worth one (1) point.
o Coed leagues: men’s goals worth one (1) point, women’s goals worth two (2) points. (own-goals are awarded one (1) point).
– “Own-goal”: when a player plays the ball directly into their own net or when the player redirects an opponent’s shot, cross or pass into his/her own goal. Shots that are on target (i.e. goal-bound) and touch a defender or rebound from the goal frame and bounce off a defender or goalkeeper are not considered as own goals. This is referee’s discretion.
Schedules and Standings
Standings will be determined by points:
• three (3) points for a win
• one (1) for a tie and
• zero (0) for a loss
Tie breakers to determine league champions or playoffs will be followed in the order of:
• head-to-head record
• goal differential
• most goals scored for
• coin toss.
Championship playoff games (if scheduled) which end in a tie will have one (1) 5-minute sudden death (golden goal) periods. Foul counts will carry over to the sudden death periods. The game ends when the first goal is scored. A shoot-out will follow if no goals are scored during the sudden death overtime. Five players from each team alternate taking a 6th Foul Kick against the opposing goalkeeper. The shoot-out shall start with the ball on the “third-line” spot nearest the goal. The goalkeeper must have at least one (1) foot on the goal-line. The shooter has seven (7) seconds to score. Only one (1) shot may be taken. If the shoot-out score is tied after one round, a sudden-death round is taken, until a winner is decided.
Special Youth League Policies
SoccerZone Lakeline’s youth leagues are to assist in the youth soccer development of the community, and to provide a fun and safe means of exercise for kids. To accomplish this we ask coaches to register kids/teams in the appropriate age and level that they play in. This simply gives us a consistent basis in which to place teams. Sometimes we 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. Below are the following Youth League policies:
- Youth leagues are divided by birth year.
- SoccerZone Lakeline uses the same age cut off as the South Texas Youth Soccer Association.
- Players must present a valid picture ID/birth certificate if requested at the time membership cards are made or when age is questioned by another team.
Special Adult League Policies
• Adult Leagues are divided into levels in order to group players for competitive parity.
o Level “1” or “Advanced” is for highly skilled, experienced players.
o Levels “2” and “3” or “Intermediate” are for intermediate competitive play depending upon soccer skill, athletic ability and fitness.
o Levels “4” and “5” or “Beginner” are for beginning players depending upon soccer skill, athletic ability and fitness.
• The availability of levels on a certain night will depend upon the number of registered teams.
Player Eligibility and Competition Policy
• Players will be “designated” at the level of the highest league/level in which they participate.
• Players cannot play two leagues below the level of their designation (i.e. level “1” or “Advanced” player may not play in a level “3” or “Beginner” division or a “2” player may not play in a “4” division).
• SoccerZone Lakeline reserves the right to “designate” players a level even though they are not currently in that league. (i.e. level “1” or “Advanced” player cannot play in the level “4” or “Beginner” division even if it is the only league in which they play).
• Teams may only have three players with a higher designation on their rosters (i.e. a Coed-4 team may have only three Coed-3 players on it).
• There is a three (3) goal per game limit on each player playing in designated “Beginner” leagues. Any further goals by that player will not be counted. Goalkeeper distribution (“keeper-throw”) will be taken after all “non-counted goals”.
Rules of the Game
• 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
• Youth through Adult: 6 players, one of whom is a goalkeeper, minimum of 4 to start.
• Adult Coed: 6 players (3 men, 3 women), one of whom is a goalkeeper, minimum of 4 to start with at least 1 woman.
Outdoor 5v5 Field
• Youth through Adult: 5 players, no goalkeeper, minimum of 3 to start.
• Adult Coed: 5 players (maximum of 3 men), no goalkeeper, minimum of 3 to start with at least 1 woman.
• Outdoor molded soccer cleats, flat-soled or turf shoes designed for artificial surfaces and tennis shoes can be used. Removable or metal studded soccer cleats, football cleats, baseball cleats, hard-soled street shoes, boots, soft soled slipper shoes or bare feet are not allowed.
• Goalkeeper must wear colors to distinguish him/her from all other players.
• All team members shall wear the same color shirts or jerseys to distinguish them from the opposing team and the referees. Players are asked to bring alternate color shirts (dark & light) in the event both teams are the same color. In the event both teams have the same color shirts, the HOME team must change. If alternate color jerseys are not available, color vests will be used.
• Each player is required to have shin guards covered by socks or shin guard sleeves.
• Players wearing any kind of protective gear (i.e. knee pads) must wear the soft cushioned type. No hard plastic or metallic protective equipment is allowed. Referees and SoccerZone Lakeline management reserve the right to make exceptions based on the protective gear.
• 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.
• Players with casts of any kind are not allowed to participate, unless cleared by management.
• Watches, pedometers, rings and/or 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 (including hats and cameras) to a player or opponent will not be allowed.
• The game shall consist of two (2) 20-minute halves (18-minute halves for Outdoor 5v5 field).
• The scoreboard is the official game time. For Outdoor 5v5 field, the referee has the official game time if no scoreboard is available.
• The half-time interval will be 1 minute. In the interest of time constraints, the half-time may be shortened to catch up on lost time due to injuries or other stoppages in play.
• Time between games shall be three (3) minutes and teams are required to be ready to play. In the interest of time constraints, the time between games may be shortened to catch up on lost time due to injuries or other stoppages in play.
• The game clock may be stopped for serious injuries (referee discretion).
• When time is stopped for injury, the injured player must leave the game for a substitute (if available).
• If a goalkeeper injury requires the clock to be stopped and the keeper is able to continue play, they may forego substitution and continue to play.
• After the time between games or after the half-time has expired, the game clock will be started regardless if the teams are on the field prepared to play. The referee will start the game when both teams are ready.
• The referee may start play before one or both teams are ready if the referee thinks the team is not adequately preparing themselves for the game or simply stalling. Any goals scored after the referee’s whistle count regardless of the team’s readiness.
Start, Restart and End of Play (6v6, unless otherwise stated)
• A kick-off from the center mark starts play at the beginning of each half and after every goal. A player taking the kick-off can only touch the ball once until another player touches it (see “Two-Touch” rule). The kick-off may go forward or backwards.
• Visitors kick-off to begin the game.
• During all kick-offs, both teams shall remain on their halves of the field until the ball is in play.
• A goal can be scored directly from a kick-off.
• All free kicks and out-of-bounds restarts are direct kicks (goals can be scored directly from them).
• All kick-offs and restarts must be played within 5 seconds of the referee’s signaling the ball ready to play or whistle. If violated, the opposing team is awarded the ball.
• Restarts take place by either a kick-off, free kick, goalkeeper distribution, out-of-bounds (see “Ball Out of Play”), corner kick, or dropped ball. Any restarts resulting from out-of-bounds, except for a goalkeeper distribution shall be taken within the “out-of-bounds” dash lines where the ball went out. For all restarts, the ball must be stationary and opposing players must be at least five (5) feet away (player taking restart can request up to 15 feet, with a Referee’s whistle to restart play). A player taking the restart may only touch the ball once before another player on the field touches the ball. If a player violates this rule, the opposing team gets a free kick at the spot of the second touch infraction.
• A team receives a free kick for fouls or stoppages other than dropped balls or goalkeeper distributions. The location of a free kick has the below exceptions:
o Within own penalty arc: any spot within the arc
o Within opponent’s penalty arc: “top of the arc” free-kick spot
o Three-line violation: from the violating team’s “third-line”, anywhere on the line
o Structure violation (ceiling/lights/beams): from the spot on the field directly below where structure contact occurred. If it’s in the opponent’s penalty arc, the kick is moved to the “top of the arc” free-kick spot.
• Corner kicks are restarts that occur when the ball crosses the defensive end wall between the corner kick spots and is last touched by a defensive player. The ball is placed on the Corner kick spot on the side it went out.
• A dropped ball restarts play if neither team has clear possession of the ball at a stoppage. If a dropped ball occurs within a penalty arc, the dropped ball restart is taken at the “top of the arc” free-kick spot.
• A goalkeeper distribution, ”keeper throw”, restarts from anywhere within the penalty arc. This restart occurs when the ball crosses the defensive end wall between the corner kick spots and is last touched by an offensive player. The goalkeeper has five (5) seconds to distribute the ball with their hands. The five (5) seconds also includes the ball having to leave the penalty arc. Opposing players must remain outside the Penalty arc.
• The goalkeeper 5-second “control/delay-of-game” with either feet or hands in the penalty arc rule is NOT in effect for league games, except for the above distribution rule.
• 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 penalty arc:
o If the Goalkeeper uses their hands when the ball is passed off the foot of a teammate. Exception to this rule is when the ball comes off or is played directly off any other part of the body (head, chest, knee, etc.) of a teammate. But, if the referee deems a player uses deliberate “trick” to play off another body part (i.e. juggle foot to head), then a free kick is still awarded.
o The Goalkeeper may not reach outside the box and use their hands even if they are standing in the box.
o The Goalkeeper with the ball in their hands has five seconds to distribute the ball outside of the box. Dropping the ball to their feet or passing to a teammate inside the box does not stop the count.
o The Goalkeeper may not go outside of the box and play the ball into the box to themselves.
o If the Goalkeeper begins a slide inside the penalty arc (allowed) and as a result of their slide goes outside the penalty arc, the slide endangers an opponent or is considered reckless (Referee discretion)
• Whistle restarts: A whistle is required for kick-offs, penalty kicks, shootouts and restarts at the “top of the arc” free-kick spot.
• The game is over when the scoreboard sounds or when the referee signals that game time ends.
• For any start (including kick-offs), restarts or penalty kicks, the player addressing the ball may only touch the ball once until another player (offensive or defensive) touches the ball. This includes the ball coming off the wall or glass. If the player addressing the ball touches it a second time before another player touches it, a free kick (no foul) is awarded to the other team. Exception to the rule is the restart involving a penalty shootout.
• Home team is the first team listed on the schedule. Teams must take the bench designated for the Home team or Visitor (Guest) team.
• Teams will switch sides (on the field/not benches) at halftime.
• No one except coaches and players are allowed in the team boxes with a maximum of 2 coaches per team.
• No children other than those playing the present game (Youth Leagues) are allowed in the boxes.
• Flash photography is prohibited from within the players boxes.
• Alcohol is prohibited in the players’ box
• Glass containers are prohibited in the players’ box.
• Players are asked to exit the players’ box 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 walls.
• The ball is out of play when it makes contact with the superstructure (ceiling/lights/beams).
• The ball is out of play when it makes contact with any player or spectator outside the arena walls.
Adult Coed Scoring Rules
• When an offensive player shoots the ball ON TARGET and the ball inadvertently hits a defender before going into the goal, the goal will count as 1 if the shooter is a male and 2 if the shooter is a female.
• When an offensive player shoots the ball OFF TARGET and the ball inadvertently hits a defender before going into the goal, the goal will count as 1. An own goal is always counted as 1.
• When a player shoots and the ball inadvertently hits a male teammate before going into the goal, the goal will count as 1.
• When a player shoots and the ball inadvertently hits a female teammate before going into the goal, the goal will count as 2.
During game play, substitutions may be made at any time on an unlimited basis, provided the substituting player is within three (3) feet of the touchline at his own bench area, or off the field of play within his own bench area, before the substitution is made. Neither the new player entering the field nor the departing player may participate in play and or gain an advantage during a period of time when they are simultaneously on the field and the ball is in play. Any violation of this rule can result in a foul and/or 2-minute team penalty.
During guaranteed substitution times (i.e. after a goal is scored), teams will be allowed 15 seconds to complete player substitutions. The referee shall issue a warning to an offending team for the first offense. Subsequent violations can result in a 2-minute penalty. The following examples are guaranteed substitutions:
• After a goal is scored
• After a time-penalty has been awarded
• During an injury timeout
• At a referee stoppage
• Prior to the start of any half or overtime period
Any teammate may substitute with the Goalkeeper by following the normal “Unlimited Substitutions” rules. The only exceptions to this rule are:
• Injury to the Goalkeeper (Goalkeeper may stay on field to play after their injury stoppage)
• When the substituting team does not have any bench substitutes/players, then a player on the field may substitute with the Goalkeeper (substitute still needs to wear a different, distinguishing color jersey)
• Any Goalkeeper substitution will be brought to the Referee’s attention
Fouls and Other Violations
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 (all fouls are called at the discretion of the Referee):
• Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent.
• Trips an opponent.
• Charges an opponent from behind.
• Charges an opponent in a violent or dangerous manner.
• 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 an opponent.
• Holds an opponent.
• Playing in a dangerous manner (deemed out of control).
• Charging the goalkeeper in the penalty arc.
• Playing the ball while any part of one’s body is on the ground or while having a hand/knee on the ground.
• Slide tackling (contact with opponent). No sliding at an opponent while they are in possession of the ball, no sliding to block shots or score goals. No type of sliding is permitted at all in league play.
• Goalkeepers have 5 seconds to get the ball out of the goalie area once they have control of the ball (in hands or at their feet).
Blue Card (2-minute penalty)
A Blue card shall be assessed for serious fouls and incidents including:
• Boarding (propelling an opponent into the wall)
• Inadvertent elbowing (below the shoulders)
• Slide tackling
• Goalkeeper endangerment
• Any foul by the Goalkeeper during a 6th foul shoot-out or overtime shoot-out
• Deliberate handball
• Substitution violations
• Unsportsmanlike behavior
• Multiple fouls/penalties assessed against a player
• Multiple fouls against the same opponent
• Encroachment (continual violation)
• Delay of game (continual violation)
• Incidental foul language or spitting on the field
• Other offenses deemed severe or blatant
Yellow Card (4-minute penalty)
A Yellow card shall be assessed for reckless fouls and incidents including:
• A second Blue card
• Unsportsmanlike behavior (continual violation)
• Provoking altercation, short of fighting (i.e. pushing, poking)
Red Card (Player Ejection, 5-minute team penalty)
A Red card shall be assessed for violent fouls and incidents including:
• A third Blue card or third time penalty
• Intentionally elbowing an opponent above the shoulder
• Vicious slide tackling, seriously endangering/injuring an opponent
• Leaving Team Bench area to engage in a fight or confrontation with the opposition or Referee
• Goalkeeper leaving his/her arc area to engage in an altercation or fight
• Extreme Unsportsmanlike behavior including:
o Spitting at an opponent or other person
o Extremely abusive language or behavior towards an opponent or Referee
o Bodily contact with Referee in dissent
A player issued a Red card for fighting or abuse of a referee will be required to leave the building. Any player refusing to leave after being asked by the person in charge, whether it is a referee or staff member, will result in the Police called and a complaint filed.
Players receiving a Red card are suspended from all activities at SoccerZone Lakeline until their case is ruled upon by management. The violator’s team captain/coach must call the facility the next day to get management’s ruling or time table of management’s ruling before the violating player may play at SoccerZone Lakeline again.
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 (1) year. A person who strikes or attempts to strike a Referee (or any employee) shall receive a permanent SoccerZone Lakeline expulsion.
A person receiving two Red cards in one session will receive a SoccerZone Lakeline expulsion for at least one (1) year.
Time penalties (blue, red, and yellow cards) are NOT awarded towards a team’s foul count.
6th Foul Violation
When a team has committed six (6) fouls, the opposing team will get a penalty shootout from the opponent’s third line spot. If a time penalty is awarded for the 6th foul, the 6th foul violation will not be awarded until the next, non-time penalty occurs.
• When a team has committed six (6) fouls, the next accumulated team foul violation occurs after three (3) from there on out for the rest of the game.
A “three-line” violation occurs when a player plays a forward ball that crosses over all three (3) lines (both “third” lines and the mid-line) IN THE AIR without touching another player, referee or structure. This includes Goalkeeper distributions and kicks. A backward played ball is exempt from this rule.
• A free kick from the violating team’s “third-line”, anywhere on the line, is taken.
Outdoor 5v5 Field
If a “last-man-back” or obvious scoring opportunity foul occurs (Referee discretion), a foul is called and the offensive team is awarded a free-kick from the free kick spot. Both teams are to be behind the midfield spot. The free kick is taken on the Referee’s whistle, but play is not live. If the goal is made, a kick-off is taken. If the goal is missed, then a goal kick is taken from the touch line. Time is not stopped (Referee discretion), but the game cannot end until the free kick is taken.
Generally, advantage will be only allowed when the team against which a foul or violation has been committed will benefit from an existing offensive advantage. The Referee will penalize the original offense if the advantage does not ensue. This is up to the discretion of the Referee. The Advantage Rule should be applied near or in the offensive half of the field.
• Delayed Penalty: For instances where a Referee would issue a time penalty, but the Advantage Rule is in play, the Referee will raise the card above his/her head or at the following times of stoppage to assess the time penalty:
o Opponent’s possession: the offending team gains possession of the ball
o Any stoppage: Referee stops play for any reason
In Coed, generally the lower Coed divisions, if a male player is being “reckless” in their shooting or play towards the female players on the field, a foul will be called on the offending male player. This is up to the discretion of the Referee.
• Example: A male coed team player is attempting to take a shot from outside the offensive third-line and takes a wild, hard shot that hits (and potentially injures) a female on the field not directly associated with the play.
• All players must serve their own penalties.
• Players serving their time penalties must serve their entire time penalty before returning to play.
• For each time penalty being served by a player, his or her team plays with one less field player until the time penalty expires.
• Should a player receive a time penalty and the time penalty drops the team below the minimum number of players to play, the offending team must forfeit the game.
• Power Play goal: If a team is scored upon while having fewer players on the field, due to one or more players serving time penalties, a player may return from the team’s bench/penalty area. A player serving a time penalty must serve their entire time penalty.
• Multiple Cards: When a team is playing short two players and a goal is scored by the opposing team, only the first player penalized can be replaced. If another goal is scored, the second player may be replaced even though both players must serve out their penalties in the box. Only two players may serve time penalties at a time; a third simultaneous card results in a forfeit.
• Obstructing Goalkeeper: If a player intentionally obstructs an opposing Goalkeeper in an attempt to not allow the Goalkeeper to put a ball in play, while in the Penalty Arc, then a foul and free kick will be awarded to the opposing Goalkeeper.
• Charging the Goalkeeper: If an attacking player, not in possession of the ball, causes bodily contact with the Goalkeeper (in possession of the ball or not) while in the Penalty Arc and the Referee deems action to be intentional or reckless, then a foul and free kick is awarded.
• Goalkeeper may bounce ball within the penalty arc, includes Goalkeeper distribution, any restarts or any normal course of play.
• Goalkeeper may also slide within the penalty arc to make a save, block a shot or pass. If, in the discretion of the Referee, a Goalkeeper is reckless or “dangerous” in their slide or play, a foul and free kick may be awarded to the offensive team.
Shootout and Penalty Kicks
The ball is placed on the spot at the opponent’s third line. The defensive team must be behind the mid-line and inside the midfield circle. The offensive team must be behind the mid-line and outside the midfield circle. The Goalkeeper must have at least one foot on the goal-line. A whistle by the referee is required to restart play. Players may advance on the restart whistle. The player taking the penalty shootout can play the ball forward using any legal manner to score including a direct shot, dribble and shoot, playing off the boards, passing to a teammate, etc. No substitutions are allowed until after the referee’s start whistle.
The ball is placed on the spot at the top of the opponent’s penalty arc. The Goalkeeper must have both feet on the goal line. Upon the Referee’s whistle, the offensive player takes the penalty kick, only touching the ball once. Players may not advance until the kick is taken. The offensive player who took the penalty kick may not take a second touch on the ball until a second field player touches the ball (see “Two-Touch rule). Violation of this rule results in an opposing team free kick at the spot of the infraction.