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2017 Men's and Women's Indoor Soccer Rules

Rule 1: Facility | Rule 2: Player Eligibility | Rule 3: Special Rules | Rule 4: The Field | Rule 5: The Ball | Rule 6: Team Composition | Rule 7: Substitutions |
Rule 8: Duration of the Game | Rule 9: Player Equipment | Rule 10: Start of Play | Rule 11:Free Kicks | Rule 12: Scoring | Rule 13: Ball In and Out of Play |
Rule 14: Throw-In | Rule 15: Goal Clearance Throw | Rule 16: Corner Kick | Rule 17: Fouls and Misconduct | Rule 18: Goalkeeper Privileges | Rule 19: Penalty Kick |
Rule 20: Overtime | Rule 21: Penalty Shoot-out | Rule 22: Sportsmanship  

Recent rule changes appear in italicized font.

Rule 1: Facility

  1. All matches will take place in the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex (HTRC). No food or drink, other than water, is permitted in the turf area.

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Rule 2: Player Eligibility

  1. All Intramural Sports eligibility rules apply.  Please check the Intramural Sports Rules and Regulations carefully.
  2. All players must check-in with a valid, university or government-issued photo ID with the Intramural Supervisor on-duty prior to the start of each match.

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Rule 3: Special Rules

  1. Enter the HTRC at the West Side, across the street from the Hawkeye Recreation Fields. DO NOT bring pop, food, or any liquids other than water into the facilities. You will not be allowed to enter with these liquids.
  2. No more than two players on an intramural team roster may be a member or coach of a University of Iowa soccer club, or may be a former member of an intercollegiate soccer team. A team with two University of Iowa soccer club members or former intercollegiate players must play in the A league. Please see the Intramural Sports Rules and Regulations for the full participant policy. A list of current University of Iowa soccer club members and coaches will be available at the Recreational Services office (E216 FH).
  3. A team member may present a current ID to an Intramural Sports Supervisor to check out a ball.
  4. A team will automatically forfeit if more than one player is ejected from the same game.
  5. There will be no offsides.
  6. While incidental contact will occur, contact should be avoided at all costs. Continued rough or malicious play will not be tolerated.
  7. Each team is awarded one “Protest Time-out.” This Protest Time-out can only be used for the purpose of protesting a misapplication of a rule as outlined in the Intramural Sport Rules and Regulations.

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Rule 4: The Field

  1. For the matches played in the HTRC, the field will be 64 yards by 45 yards.
  2. Substitution Zones: At mid-field and three yards either side of mid-field, a substitution area will be marked. Substitutes shall enter and leave through this area.

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Rule 5: The Ball

  1. The game ball used will be provided by Recreational Services unless another legal soccer ball is provided by a team. Any ball that is not property of Recreational Services must be approved by the game officials.

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Rule 6: Team Composition

  1. A match shall be played by two teams, each consisting of not more than seven players on the field at one time, one of whom shall be the goalkeeper. To start a match, the minimum number of players per team shall be five. If, in the event of injury or players being sent off, fewer than three players are left on either of the teams, the match shall be abandoned.
  2. Women may participate on a Men's team, however men may not participate on a Women's team. If a women participates on a Men's team, she cannot also participate on a Women's team.
  3. There is no limit to the amount of players allowed on the roster.

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Rule 7: Substitutions

  1. Substitutions can only be made during a dead ball, whether for the goalkeeper or for any other player on the field. To substitute, a player must wait at the division line (midfield line) until the ball is dead (out-of-bounds, penalty, etc.). Upon the ball being blown dead, the player must notify the official of his/her desire to substitute, at which time the substitution will be allowed. The entering player must wait for the exiting player to leave the field before entering.
    • Substitutions may only take place for the team in control of the ball during throw-ins, corner kicks, and free kicks. During these instances, once the team controlling the ball substitutes, the opposing team may then bring substitutes into the game during that dead ball period. 
    • Substitutions for either team may take place during goal kicks, an injury, yellow card, red card, and after a goal.  
  2. All substitutes are to be made in the “substitution zone”.
    • The player leaving the field shall do so from the touch line crossing over at the sector called the substitution zone.
    • The player entering the field shall also do so from the substitution zone but not until the player leaving the field has passed completely over the touch line.
    • A substitute shall be subject to the authority and jurisdiction of the referee whether called upon to play or not.
    • The substitution is completed when the substitute enters the field, from which moment he/she becomes a player and the player whom he/she is replacing ceases to be a player.
  3. Penalty:
    • An illegal substitution occurs if, during a live ball, a substitute enters the field, or a replaced player leaves the field.
    • Play will continue as a “delayed penalty” if the non-offending team is in possession of the ball, with an advantage. Play will be stopped at the discretion of the officials when, in the officials’ judgment, the advantage for the team in possession has ended.
    • Play will stop immediately if the team in possession of the ball is the team that committed the illegal substitution.
    • Once play has stopped, the referee will caution (yellow card) the offending (substituting) player. Play will resume with an indirect free kick for the non-offending team from the spot of the infringement.

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Rule 8: Duration of the Game

  1. The duration of the game shall be two equal periods of 20 minutes.
    • The duration of either half shall be extended to enable a penalty kick to be taken.
    • The half time interval shall not exceed five minutes.
  2. Mercy rule: If a team is ahead by eight goals or more at any point during the last 10 minutes of the second half, the game shall end.
  3. The clock will run continuously throughout each half and golden goal overtime period. 
  4. There will be no injury time added to the length of a half. The clock will be stopped in the case of an extended injury at the discretion of the referee.

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Rule 9: Player Equipment

  1. A player shall not wear anything in which the referee considers dangerous to other players.
  2. The usual equipment of a player shall consist of a shirt, athletic shorts/pants, socks, and footwear. The only footwear permitted shall be canvas or soft-leather training shoes, athletic shoes with rubber soles or some similar material, or rubber molded cleats.  Metal cleats or studs are not allowed. The use of footwear is required.
  3. Players on a team must wear the same color shirt during matches. Players without matching color shirts will wear black and gold pinnies provided by University of Iowa Intramural Sports.
    • Note: The goalie MUST wear a different color shirt than the rest of the team.
  4. Jewelry. Hand jewelry is not permitted to be worn during participation in Indoor Soccer. Wrist jewelry must be taped down, and must stay taped down throughout the contest. Necklaces must be taped down inside the shirt, and must stay taped down throughout the contest. Stud earrings, or earrings that do not extend beyond the earlobe, are permitted, but must be covered throughout the contest. Intramural Sports will not provide tape for the taping of jewelry. The Intramural Sports staff retains the right to require any jewelry deemed dangerous to be removed prior to participation, or continued participation.
  5. The goalkeeper shall wear colors which easily distinguish him/her from the other players and the referee.
    • Penalty: For any infringement of this rule, the player at fault shall be assessed a yellow card and sent off the field to adjust his/her equipment and shall not return without first reporting to the referee, who will determine if the player's equipment is legal.  The player may only re-enter the game at a moment when the ball has ceased to be in play.

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Rule 10: Start of Play

  1. At the beginning of the game, the choice of ends and kickoff shall be decided by the toss of a coin. The team winning the toss shall have the option of choice of ends or to kickoff the first half. If the team winning the toss chooses to kickoff, the team losing the toss will choose which side it wishes to defend. If the team winning the toss chooses which side it wishes to defend, the team losing the toss will kickoff. All players shall be in their own halves and the players of the team opposing that of the player taking the kick shall remain at a distance of not less than five yards from the ball until it is kicked; it shall not be deemed in play until it has been moved forward from its stationary position. The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player.
    • Note: A goal CANNOT be scored directly from a kickoff.
    • After a goal has been scored, the game shall be restarted with the kickoff being taken by a player of the opposite team to the one that scored.
    • After the half time interval, the teams shall change ends and the kickoff shall be taken by a player of the team that did not kick off the first half.
      • Penalty: For any infringements of points A, B and C of this rule, the kickoff shall be retaken.
  2. When restarting the game after a temporary suspension of play from any other cause not mentioned elsewhere in these rules, when no team has an advantage, provided that immediately preceding the suspension the ball has not passed over the touch or goal lines, the referee shall drop the ball at the place where it was situated when play was suspended. If, however, it crosses over the touch or goal lines after it has been dropped by the referee, but before it is touched by a player, the referee shall drop it again. No player shall play the ball until it has touched the ground. If this last provision is not complied with, the referee shall re-drop the ball.
    • Exception: If the ball was in the penalty area, it shall be dropped outside the penalty box at the spot nearest to the position of the ball when the game was suspended.

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Rule 11: Free Kicks

  1. Free kicks shall be classified under two headings; "DIRECT” (from which a goal can be scored directly against the offending side) and "INDIRECT" (from which a goal cannot be scored unless the ball has been played or touched by a player other than the kicker before entering the goal).
  2. When a player is taking a free kick, all of the opposing players shall be at least five yards from the ball until it is in play. The ball shall be in play after it has been moved from its stationary position.
  3. If a player of the opposing side approaches within five yards of the ball before a free kick is taken, the referee shall order the free kick to be retaken. 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.
    • Penalty: If the player taking the free kick, after having kicked the ball, plays it a second time before it has been touched or played by another player, a violation has occurred and the game shall be restarted by an INDIRECT FREE KICK by the opposing team.

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Rule 12: Scoring

  1. Except as otherwise provided by these rules, a goal is scored when the entire ball has passed over the goal line, between the goal posts and under the crossbar, provided it has not been thrown, carried or intentionally propelled by hand or arm, by a player of the attacking side.
  2. The team scoring the greater number of goals during a game shall be the winner. If no goals, or an equal number of goals are scored, a 5-minute “Golden Goal” overtime period will be played; then, if needed, a penalty kick shoot-out will be used to determine the winner.

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Rule 13: Ball in and Out of Play

  1. The ball is OUT of play:
    • When the entire ball has crossed the goal line or touch line, whether on the ground or in the air.
    • When game has been stopped by the referee(s).
  2. The ball is IN play at all other times from the start of the match to the finish, including:
    • If it rebounds off a goal post or the crossbar into the field.
    • If it rebounds off either referee when they are on the field.
  3. In the event of a supposed infringement of the rules, until a decision is made.

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Rule 14: Throw-In

  1. When the entire ball passes over a touch line, either on the ground or in the air, it shall be thrown back into the game, in any direction, from the place where it crossed the touch line, by a player on the opposing team to that which last touched it. It shall be deemed in play immediately after it has been released from the thrower’s hands, but the player taking the throw-in shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player. The players of the opposing team shall be at least five yards away from the spot where the throw is being taken.
  2. A goal shall not be scored directly from a throw-in. The thrower must face the field of play and have both feet touching the ground out-of-bounds when the throw is made. The thrower must also use both hands equally and shall deliver the ball from behind and over the head.
  3. Penalty:
    • If the ball is improperly thrown-in, a throw-in will be awarded to the opposing team;
    • If the throw-in is taken from any position other than the point where the ball passed over the touch line, it shall be retaken;
    • If the player taking the throw-in plays the ball a second time before it has been touched or played by another player, an indirect free kick shall be taken by a player of the opposing team from the place where the infringement occurred, unless it was committed within the penalty area, in which case the indirect free kick shall be taken from outside the penalty area at the point nearest to the spot where the infringement occurred.

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Rule 15: Goal Clearance Throw

  1. When the entire ball passes over the goal line excluding the portion between the goal posts, either in the air or on the ground, having last been played by a member of the attacking team, the goalkeeper, standing within his/her own penalty area, must throw it back into play, beyond his/her own penalty area but not further than the halfway line. The ball shall be deemed in play as soon as it has passed outside the penalty area.
  2. The goal clearance is deemed to be correct when the ball has been touched or played by another player outside the penalty area or when it has touched the ground (within the respective goalkeeper's own half of the field). The players of the opposing team shall remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play.
  3. Penalty:
    • If the ball is touched or played by a player of the same team as the goalkeeper, or by a player of the opposing team, inside the goalkeeper's penalty area, the goal clearance shall be retaken.
    • If, after having cleared the ball, the goalkeeper touches it again before it has been touched or played by another player, an indirect free kick shall be awarded to the opposing team from the place where the infringement occurred.
    • If, after having cleared the ball, the goalkeeper receives it back from a teammate and controls it with his/her hands before it has been touched by an opponent, an indirect free kick shall be taken by the opposing team outside the penalty area at the point nearest to the spot where the goalkeeper controlled the ball with his/her hands.
    • If the ball does not contact either the ground or a player before the throw crosses midfield, an indirect free kick shall be awarded to the opposing team at the spot the ball crossed the midfield line.

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Rule 16: Corner Kick

  1. When the entire ball passes over the goal line, excluding that portion between the goal posts, either in the air or on the ground, having last been played by a player of the defending team, a corner kick shall be awarded.
  2. The corner kick shall be taken by kicking the ball, which is placed exactly on point of intersection of the goal line and the touch line.
  3. Players opposite the team taking the corner kick shall not approach within five yards of the ball until it has been moved from its stationary position. The player taking the corner kick shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player.
  4. A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick.
  5. Penalty:
    • If a corner kick is not taken correctly, it shall be retaken.
    • If the player taking the corner kick plays the ball a second time before it has been played by another player, the referee shall award an indirect free kick to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.

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Rule 17: Fouls and Misconduct

  1. A player who commits any of the following offenses shall be penalized, and the other team will be awarded a DIRECT FREE KICK from the spot of the foul. Should a player of the defending team commit one of the offenses listed above inside the penalty area, he/she shall be penalized, and a penalty kick will be awarded, regardless of the position of the ball, as long as it is in play.
    • Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent;
    • Trips an opponent, i.e. throwing or attempting to throw him/her by using the legs or by stopping in front of or behind him/her;
    • Jumps at an opponent;
    • Charges an opponent in a violent or dangerous manner;
    • Charges an opponent from behind unless the later is obstructing;
    • Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent or spits at him/her;
    • Holds an opponent;
    • Pushes an opponent;
    • Charges an opponent with the shoulder;
    • Handles the ball, i.e. carries, strikes or propels the ball with his/her hand or arm (this does not apply to the goalkeeper within his/her own penalty area);
      • In the case of a hand ball that occurs on the goal line in any attempt to prevent the ball from entering the goal, the offending player will be assessed a red card and ejected.
    • Slide tackling
      • A slide tackle is a slide to attack the ball controlled by an opponent. A slide tackle will be assessed a minimum of a yellow card.
      • Sliding to control the ball in the open field, with no opponents near, does not constitute a slide tackle.
  2. A player committing any of the following offenses shall be penalized, and the other team will be awarded an INDIRECT FREE KICK from the spot of the foul. If the foul was committed inside the penalty area, the indirect free kick shall be taken from outside the penalty area at the point nearest to the spot where the foul occurred.
    • Playing in a manner considered by the referee to be dangerous, i.e. attempting to kick the ball when it is being held by the goalkeeper;
    • When not playing the ball, intentionally obstructing an opponent i.e. running between the opponent and the ball, or interposing the body so as to form an obstacle to the opponent;
    • Charging the goalkeeper except when he/she has passed outside the penalty area;
    • When playing as the goalkeeper and within his/her own penalty area:
      • Throws the ball over the halfway line without touching the ground or another player within his/her own half of the field,
      • After a goal clearance, the ball is returned by a teammate and the goalkeeper controls it with his/her hands again before it has been touched or played by an opponent, or
      • Indulging in time-wasting tactics
    • Substituting illegally
  3. Yellow Card
    • A player shall be cautioned if:
      • He/she commits a substitution violation;
      • He/she persistently infringes the laws of the game;
      • He/she shows, by word or action, dissent with any decision of the referees;
      • He/she is guilty of unsporting behavior;
      • He/she indulges in excessive time-wasting tactics in the judgment of the referee;
      • He/she violates the equipment policy;
      • He/she slide tackles
    • A player that receives two yellow cards will be ejected from the match. If one of the yellow cards is not for an unsporting act, it is a "soft red” meaning that the ejected player may be replaced at the next legal opportunity for the team to sub. If both yellow cards are for unsporting acts, this is a "hard red" and the ejected player may not be replaced.
  4. Red Card
    • A player shall be ejected from the match if, in the opinion of the referees, he/she:
      • Is guilty of serious foul play;
      • Is guilty of violent conduct;
      • Persistently uses foul or abusive language;
      • Is guilty for the second time of a caution-able offense.
    • Once ejected, the player concerned may not re-enter the game in course, nor may he/she sit on the reserves' bench. This is known as a “hard red” meaning the ejected player may not be replaced and the team will play down a player for the remainder of the game. 
    • If play is stopped for a player to be sent off the field without any additional law infringements, the game shall be restarted by an INDIRECT FREE KICK awarded to the opposing team from the place where the infringement occurred. However, if the penalty is committed within the penalty area, a penalty kick shall be taken from the penalty mark directly in front of the goal.

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Rule 18: Goalkeeper Privileges

  1. Privileges: Within his/her own Penalty Area, the goalkeeper has certain privileges which are not given to any other player. These privileges include:
    • Handling– the goalkeeper may carry, strike or propel the ball with hands or arms;
    • The goalkeeper may not be charged, interfered with, or impeded in any manner by an opponent while in possession of the ball. Possession includes the act of bouncing the ball in preparation for throwing it into play, tossing the ball in the air and re-catching it, throwing the ball out to be played, dropping the ball for a kick, and intentionally parrying. Possession includes contact with the ball.
    • The goalkeeper may slide in the box only to make a play on the ball, but may not lead with his/her feet towards the opposing player. If his/her momentum carries him/her outside the penalty area, he/she shall not be called for sliding as long as the ball stays inside the goalie box. However, if the goalkeeper gains possession of the ball and leaves the penalty area, illegal handling shall be called. Illegal handling only occurs if the entire ball crosses completely over the penalty line area.
    • Outside the penalty area, the goalkeeper has no more privilege than any other player.
  2. Violations: With the goalkeeper’s privileges comes the possibility for certain violations of these privileges which could not be applied to any other player. These violations include:
    • From the moment the goalkeeper takes control of the ball with the hands within goalkeeper’s own penalty area, the goalkeeper is to be penalized if, after releasing the ball into play, he/she touches it again with the hands, before it has been touched or played by another player of the opposing team either inside or outside the penalty area.
    • If played by a player of the same team, a pass cannot be handled by the goalkeeper if it has been kicked back to him/her intentionally.
    • The goalkeeper must put the ball in play within 10 seconds of taking possession.
      • Penalty: INDIRECT FREE KICK from the nearest point of infraction outside the penalty area.
    • The goalkeeper may not intentionally strike an opponent with malicious intent by throwing the ball vigorously at a player or push a player with the ball while holding it.
      • Penalty: INDIRECT FREE KICK from the nearest point of infraction outside the penalty area. If offense occurred in penalty area, it will result in a Penalty Kick.
    • The goalkeeper may not advance the ball past the midline from within the penalty area by throwing the ball. If thrown, the ball must be touched by a player on either team before crossing the midline.
      • Penalty: INDIRECT FREE KICK at the midline.
    • The goalkeeper may not kick the ball unless the ball is dropped and put into play.
      • Penalty: INDIRECT FREE KICK from the nearest point of infraction outside the penalty area.

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Rule 19: Penalty Kick

  1. A penalty kick shall be taken from the penalty mark, and when it is being taken, all players, with the exception of the player taking the kick and the opposing goalkeeper, shall be on the field behind the numbers. The opposing goalkeeper must stand on his/her own goal line, between the goal posts, until the ball is in play. The player taking the kick must kick the ball forward; he/she shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player. The ball shall be deemed in play when it has moved from its stationary position. A goal may be scored directly from a penalty kick.
    • Penalty: For any infringement of this law:
      • By the defending team, the kick shall be retaken if a goal has not resulted;
      • By the attacking team, an INDIRECT FREE KICK will be awarded to the defending team. If a goal is scored it shall be disallowed.

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Rule 20: Overtime

  1. Overtime will consist of one 5-minute “Golden Goal” period.  The first team to score a goal will win the game.
  2. Teams will go the same direction for the overtime period as they were in the second half.
  3. The clock will run continuously during the “Golden Goal” overtime period stopping only for injuries and unforeseen circumstances.
  4. If the game remains tied at the end of the overtime period, the game will proceed into a shootout.

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Rule 21: Penalty Shoot-out

  1. In the event that penalty kicks have to be taken to determine which team is the winner of a match, the following conditions shall be applied:
    • The referee shall choose the goal at which all of the kicks shall be taken.
    • The referee shall toss a coin to decide which team shall take the first kick.
    • All kicks shall be made from the penalty mark.
    • Five kicks shall be taken alternately by each team, by any five eligible players. In the event either team finishes the game with less than five players, the same, alternating order of kickers shall continue to make up the number of penalty kicks to five.
    • If, after both teams have taken five kicks, both have scored the same number of goals or have not scored any goals, the taking of kicks shall continue in the same alternating order, until such time as both have taken an equal number of kicks (not necessarily five more kicks) and one has scored a goal more than the other.
      • These additional kicks shall be taken by the players who have not yet attempted a kick. All players on a team roster must kick before any player can kick a second time.
    • Any eligible player may change places with his/her goalkeeper after any attempt has ended.

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Rule 22: Sportsmanship

  1. Officials fill out team sportsmanship ratings for each game.  Rating categories are from 1 – 4, (1 = poor, 2 = below average, 3 = above average, 4 = excellent). The captain of any team that receives a 1-rating will be required to meet with the Intramural Sports Administrative Staff before that team’s next game.  Teams receiving a 1-rating will be rated by the Intramural Sports Supervisor in their following games. Any team that receives more than one sportsmanship rating of "1" in a season will not be eligible to compete in the playoffs. In addition, teams must finish the regular season with a sportsmanship rating average of 2.5 or better to qualify for the playoffs and must maintain at least a 2.5 sportsmanship average (or better) to continue playing in playoffs. During the playoffs, any team that receives a 1-rating will be eliminated from the playoffs, regardless of the outcome of that game. The full sportsmanship scale can be found in the Intramural Sports Rules and Regulations.

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