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All players play at their own risk and Soccerpitch do not take responsibility for any injuries.


All players must wear shinpads at all times.



- The area around each goal (penalty area) is in bounds for all players.

- The ball is not allowed to go over head height (not enforced at Soccerpitch's Canford Magna, Frome, Ringwood, Taunton, Wimborne, Yate or Yeovil Leagues). HEAD HEIGHT LEVEL IS MEASURED BY SIX FEET HIGH. If this rule is broken, an indirect free kick is awarded against the person who touched the ball last before it went over head height. If the referee is not sure of whom it came off last, a drop ball is awarded between the two players who were involved. The ball must bounce once before being in play. There is no advantage played when the ball goes over head height.

- From free kicks, all opposing players must be at least three yards away from where the kick is taken.

- Goalkeepers making a legitimate save are exempt from the over head height rule. If they make a save and the ball goes over head height, play carries on as normal. If a GK clears the ball under no pressure, and the ball goes over head height, an indirect free kick is awarded against the GK from where the offence takes place. Goalkeepers must not roll the ball out, they must kick the ball from a stationery position (same as 11-a-side).

- If the ball strikes the post or bar of the goal frame, which results in the ball going over head height, play is stopped and an indirect free kick is awarded as the ball has gone over head height.

- Slide tackles are not allowed. If this offence occurs, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team from where the offence took place.

- There are no offsides.

- Kick ins replace throw ins.

- Back passes (GK using hands) to the goalkeeper are forbidden. The goalkeeper can go out of the area as long as they are dribbling with the ball at their feet.

- All players must be SIXTEEN or over and male.

- Players are not allowed to play for two teams on the same match night. Please see the rules on this. 



A sin bin system of 3 minutes is in use for infringements which don’t require a punishment of a yellow or red card, but which the referee deems worthy of being punished in a lesser way. Players sin binned are not allowed to participate for the duration of 3 minutes. Sin binned players are not allowed to be replaced by substitutes. 

Red cards – Please view Discipline Post. 

Any player who abuses officials, players or spectators and any player that continually breaks rules and is abusive will be banned from playing at Soccerpitch’s discretion.




Team Withdrawals


By playing in a Soccerpitch League, teams are entering a contract with Soccerpitch.

If a team pulls out part way through a season they will not receive their deposit back (if applicable). They will also be liable for all of theirs and their opponents fees for the remaining games of the season. There are no exceptions to this rule and legal action will be taken to recover the outstanding fees.

If teams are having troubles, please always contact Soccerpitch as we can often help with players.


Non - show of teams

  1. Soccerpitch will try to assist teams in cases of extreme difficulty when at least 3 days notice is given of problems in making a match commitment.
  2. If a team cancel their match they will lose 5-0 and be charged the following:
  • Less than 24 hours notice of kick off – full match fee plus half the match fee of the opposing team will be charged.
  • More than 24 hours notice of kick off – full match fee will be charged.


If a team does not notify Soccerpitch by 5pm on the day of their game or does not turn up at the venue on the night and makes no contact at all, Soccerpitch can and will try to arrange a friendly to fulfil the fixture. Soccerpitch also reserve the right to pair two teams, whose fixtures have been cancelled due to non show of the opposition, in a friendly match. Please note Soccerpitch can replace any non-showing team with a replacement team at any time.

- In all friendly matches, the team who canceled will lose the match by however many goals their opposition scores in the friendly. Eg, a friendly game finishes 10-10 between the original opponents and a fill in team, the original opponents win 10-0. N.B.The maximum a team will ever be allowed to win by in any friendly is 10-0 and the first 10 scoring players will be credited with their goals. If the attending team fails to score in a friendly they will still win the match 5-0 This is all done to ensure those teams in the league are not overly affected by any teams non appearance.

Shortage of Players 

It is recognised that at times, teams may be short of players on a night. In the event of such difficulties the rules below shall be followed.

All teams are reminded that their players must be registered under their team name, with Soccerpitch.

It is the teams own responsibility always to turn up with sufficient players.


  • If a team is short of players they may use either ballboys (if willing to play and if their duties allow). They may also use unregistered players (goals won't go to scorers charts) or players registered with other teams (it does not matter the division or league that player is from).
  • They can only use players providing the team which is short, declare them to the Referee or Organiser. The Referee or Organiser will then ask the other team before the match for their permission AND that the other team is in agreement for that player to play. Please ensure you view the Referee or Organiser asking the other team to ensure there is no problems. 
  • The referee must be notified before the match starts that such a player is being used without fail.
  • The opposition need give no reason for objecting to any player taking the field against them who is borrowed from another team. They can insist their opposition play short if need be. It is hoped in the spirit of Soccerpitch teams will allow these late additions providing they do not feel they are being overly abused. It may be themselves running short the next week.
  • If the opposition rejects the borrowing of players, the team who is short must play with the numbers they have.
  • No objection can be made by a team after agreeing to this replacement player, such as a) where he plays or b) the score after the game and c) can not object to his presence after the game has started.
  • Any Team who after a match has been found to have played a player from another team without permission of the other team and Organiser/Referee  will lose the match 5-0.



When a team has the full starting number of their own players and no substitutes they will not be allowed to borrow any players under any circumstances. I.e. players can only be borrowed if they are short of the full quota of starting players.


    Teams must be ready to kick off at the designated time with a minimum of 3 OR 4 players.  Any team responsible for an unreasonable delay in the start of a game will IMMEDIATELY have one goal awarded against them, and a further goal every three minutes the start of the game is delayed. 

The referee’s decision is final on all matters.  Abuse aimed at the referee will not be tolerated. Offenders will be banned. 

Abuse and bad behaviour after the final whistle or towards any Soccerpitch staff including ball boys can and will be punished (and will not be tolerated). The punishments can also be administered against a team or an individual player by a Soccerpitch organiser.

Soccerpitch reserves the right to exclude any team or player from the league.  

GAME RULES - General Principle

ALL the normal Laws of Association Football apply with the following exceptions in accordance with the Football Association Laws for Small-Sided Football. 

 LAW 1- The Pitch 

Small Side Football may be played with or without barriers.   

The pitch must be rectangular with the length of the touchline greater than the length of the goal line.  

A penalty area is defined at each end of the pitch by a semi circle drawn from the centre of each goal line.  The extremities of these semi-circles should reach the goal-line, barrier or wall regardless of whether or not the goal posts encroach onto the playing area.

The penalty mark is defined as a point on the edge of the penalty area in line with the middle of the goal unless otherwise marked. 

Goals must measure between the posts is maximum 5m, minimum 3m and the distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the ground is maximum 2m minimum 1.20m. 

The goals may be portable but they should be anchored securely to the ground during play as per Health and Safety requirements.

LAW 2 - The Ball  

No changes to standard Law. 

LAW 3 - The Number of Players 

A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than five or six players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. 

Substitution Procedure:      The number of substitutions made during a match is unlimited.  A player who has been replaced may return to the pitch as a substitute for another player.  However, as normal, substitutions must take place when there is a break in play.  Substitutes must enter from behind their own goal line. Substitutes must remain at least three metres away from all areas of the pitch at all times. 

Infringements/Sanctions:   Play is stopped.  The player being replaced is instructed to leave the pitch and the substitute is ‘sin binned’ for 3 minutes.  Play is then restarted by an indirect free kick to be taken by the opposing team from the place where the ball was situated when the game was stopped.  However, if the ball was inside the penalty area, the indirect free kick is taken on the penalty area line, at the place nearest to the position of the ball when play was stopped 

A match should not be considered valid if the playing strength of either team is reduced by more than two players (i.e. teams must have at least three or four players on the pitch at all times).

LAW 4 - Players’ Equipment and Safety 

A player must not use or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player, including any kind of jewellery.  Players are not permitted to wear footwear with studs or bars. Moulded studs are allowed on certain 3G pitches. Players will not be allowed to participate unless they are wearing shin pads and the pads must be covered by socks.

No team shall be permitted to wear black or dark blue. In the event of a colour clash the second named team on the team sheet shall change or wear bibs.

All players play at their own risk. 

LAW 5 - The Referee 

No changes to standard Law with the addition of the authority to suspend players and show a Blue Card.

LAW 6 - Assistant Referee

Not Required 

LAW 7 - Duration of Match

The duration of the game shall be divided into two equal periods between 10 - 20 minutes.  Half time shall not exceed 2 minutes.  

LAW 8 - Start of Play 

The first named team on the team sheet kicks off the first half. 

LAW 9 - Ball In and Out of Play 

The ball is also out of play when it passes OVER the measured height of SIX FEET (not applicable for Soccerpitch's Yeovil Leagues) – this includes when the ball rebounds from any part of the goal frame, strikes the referee or any other part or surface of the pitch. The over head height rule is exempt for the goalkeeper when they make a legitimate save or block (as opposed to a clearance) in which cases teams should play on.  If the Referee is in any doubt he will immediately call “Play On” to encourage play to continue and remove doubt. As soon as the goalkeeper exits the goal area he is classified as an outfield player. 

Infringements/Sanctions:   The game is restarted by an indirect free kick awarded to the opposing team to the one which last touched the ball from the point at which the ball was last touched.  If the Referee is unsure who last touched the ball a drop ball will be awarded.

LAW 10 - Method of Scoring 

No changes to standard Law. 

LAW 11 - Offside 

There is no offside. 

LAW 12 - Fouls & Misconduct - also see post in General Info - New Disciplinary Proceedures

In addition to standard Law: An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player performs a slide tackle on an opponent (as opposed to sliding to block the ball without an opponent within playing distance). 

Disciplinary Sanctions:  The use of temporary time suspensions (‘sin bins) and the issuing of a Blue card is sanctioned for use in small-sided football.  Match officials should employ the use of temporary timed suspensions in all cases traditionally regarded as Cautionable offences. Yellow cards are no longer to be used in small-sided football.

The options for a match official imposing disciplinary sanctions are therefore:

Player shown a blue card and temporarily suspended from play for 3 minutes

Player issued with a second blue card and permanently excluded from play

Player issued with a red card and permanently excluded from play

The Local Football Association will deal with all disciplinary cases that carry a recommended punishment of 35 days and over. Soccerpitch will deal with all disciplinary cases that carry punishment under 35 days.

LAW 13 - Free Kick 

Opponents must be at least 3 yards from the ball until it is in play.

Free Kicks awarded to the defence inside their own penalty area may be taken anywhere inside the Penalty Area.If an Indirect Free Kick is awarded to the attacking side inside the penalty area, the indirect free kick is taken 3 yards outside the penalty area, directly in line with where the infringement took place.   

LAW 14 - Penalty Kick 

The players other than the kicker are located behind the penalty mark and at least 3 yards away.

The player taking the penalty kick may only take one step before kicking the ball.

LAW 15 - Kick-In 

A kick-in is a method of restarting play after the ball passes over the touchline.A goal cannot be scored directly from a kick-in. Opponents must be at least 3 yards from the ball until it is in play. Where the playing area is surrounded by barricades the kick-in is taken at a point 2 metres inside the playing area.

LAW 16 - Goal Kick 

Goal Kicks may be taken anywhere inside the Penalty Area.

Opponents must be at least 3 yards from the ball and must be outside the penalty area at the time of the kick and cannot enter the penalty area until it is in play. Goalkeepers are not allowed to roll the ball out from a goal kick, they must kick ot.

The ball cannot be played by players from either side until it has left the penalty area.

A goal may not be scored directly from a Goal Kick. 

LAW 17 - Corner Kick  

Opponents must be at least 3 yards from the ball until it is in play.