Indoor Soccer Tournament Rules

Niagara Rec Sports  Coed Indoor Soccer Tournament Rules

General Rules:

  • Shin pads MUST be worn by all players on the field.
  • Duration of the games will be 25 minutes (straight time); teams will be given a two minute warm up.
  • After the previous game is over the referee will put 28min on the clock when the clock reached 25min the game will begin, the clock will not stop so be organized and ready to play before the previous game is over.
    If one team is ready to play and the other team is not, a goal will be awarded against the team that is not ready after each 5min interval has elapsed.
  • There is NO OFFSIDE in indoor soccer!!
  • No slide tackling by outfield players, Goalkeepers are not permitted to slide tackle outside of their penalty area.  A free kick will be awarded to the opposing team and potentially a foul awarded to the sliding player (at the referees discretion)
  • Players can slide to stop a goal, to stop a ball from going out of bounds, to score a goal, a long as there is no other player in the vicinity of the player sliding.  If any other player is in the vicinity of the sliding player it will be deemed a slide tackle.  This call is 100% up to the referees discretion.


  • Only registered players can play, all players must fill out a registration form and sign the waver before stepping on the field.
  • Teams will consist of 5 outfield players and a goalkeeper
  • The outfield players are typically made up of three men and two women
  • The goalkeeper can be either male or female; the sex of the goalkeeper will not affect the make-up of the outfield players.
  • Teams must have a minimum of 3 outfield players on the field one of whom has to be a female.
  • Maximum of 3 Male outfield players on the field at one time
  • Minimum of 1 Female outfield player must be on the field at all times or they will forfeit
  • Teams can have up to 5 Female outfield players on the field at one time
  • Goalie can be Male or Female and does NOT count as a player on the field for the above qualifications.
  • If during a game one of the teams fails to meet the minimum player requirement, the game will be stopped by the referee. The league will award the opposing team 3 points for a win, the winning team will be awarded a minimum of 3 goals (if more goals were scored during the game that number of goals will stand).
  • Teams must wear the same coloured and numbered uniform, shin pads must be worn. Teams are asked to bring a home and away set of jerseys.
  • The facility will adhere to the playing rules of the Ontario Soccer Association if not covered in this document.

General Rules for Substitutions:

  • Substitutions are ongoing (on the fly),
  • The player substituting on the field and the player substituting off the field must both be within 3-5′ of the center line (and at the side line by their bench)
  • They must be close enough to touch each other upon making the substitution.  This ensures the player entering the field and leaving the field are in the same spot on the field and when the substitution takes place.  This ensures no advantage is given to the team making the change.
  • Substitutions must be made at the center line not to give the substituting team any advantage from the substitution.
  • Players entering the field may not do so until the player they are replacing is within one meter of the center line on the side of the player’s team bench.
  • The player leaving the field must immediately leave the field and not impede play while doing so.

General Rules for Time Clock:

  • Games are 25min in duration.
  • At the end of the game 28min will be put on the clock, time will continue counting the game will start at 25min, time will not stop.
  • If one team is ready and the other team is not, 1 goal will be awarded against the team that is not ready after each 5min interval.

    Please keep in mind that this is a Coed Rec Soccer tournament, we all have to work the next day.  Play safe and fair.
  • We are on a very tight time schedule, if a player is injured on the field please try and make your way off the field as quickly as possible so play can resume (time will not stop).
  • To keep things fair if a player is injured on the field and unable to make their way off the field a goal will be awarded to the the opposing team every 4min.
  • If the game is not able to be completed due to an injury a 2-0 win will be given to the opposing team.
  • This is to prevent teams from taking advantage of this rule and holding onto a lead.
  • Games may be shortened by the referee for the following reasons; serious injury, a team or both teams are not ready to start at their scheduled time or any other unforeseen event.

General Rules for Slide Tackling:

  • No slide tackling by outfield players, Goalkeepers are not permitted to slide  outside of their penalty area.
  • Goalkeepers are allowed to slide at an opponent’s feet if they have the ball inside of their penalty area as long as they do not go in feet first or with an intent to injure.

General Rules at Restarts:

  • When the play is starting from the initial kick off or after a goal is scored, all players must be on their own side of the field, and play will restart on the referees whistle.
  • All other restarts must be taken within 6 seconds unless informed by the referee to wait for his whistle, failure to do so will result in loss of possession.
  • Time wasting will result in a two minute penalty and a yellow card.
  • All opposing players must remain 6 from the ball at corner kicks, kick-ins and free kicks. (Players must ask for the 6′ if they want it)
  • All free kicks are indirect
  • No goals can be scored directly from a kick off, free kick, goal kick, kick-in or corner kick.

Free Kicks

All free kicks are indirect, players may ask for 3 yards but can take the kick right away if they choose to.

Non Players / Spectators

  • Only players will be permitted on the players bench side of the field.  All non players  (parents and fans) watching the game MUST be on the opposite side where the bleachers are.
  • If any non player steps on the field of play during the game especially in an aggressive or argumentative manner the non player and the player they are there to watch will be removed form the game.   The player may also face further suspension and the non player will be banned from the facility for the remainder for the season.
  • NRS reserves the right to define a “player” or “non player” in any manner we seem fit.  If a non player is  decided to be a non player (regardless of past playing time/ duration) the non player/ spectator rules will be applied immediately.  If the non player does not leave the bench area/ player side of the field immediately the team will forfeit the game.

Too Many Players on the field:

  • If a team has more than the allowed players on the field they will receive a 2 minute penalty with the offending extra player in the penalty box (the team will play short), a male in the box if it was an extra male on their field and a female in the box if it was an extra female).  If a goal is scored by the opposing team the penalty is considered served.  If a team has too many players on the field for a 2nd time a they will receive a 5 minute penalty.

Rules for Fouls and Misconduct

  • Any physical altercations = immediate ejection from the game and most likely the league.
  • Teams may receive penalties during the game at the referee’s discretion.
  • Penalties will be either two or five minutes depending on the severity of the offense.
  • All referees will carry 2 discipline cards; yellow and red.
  • Depending on the severity of the foul or misconduct the referee will decide the severity of the penalty.
  • A player receiving a second yellow card will be ejected from the remainder of the game and must leave the field of play.
  • The player’s team must put another player from the playing roster into the penalty box and serve a full five minute penalty.
  • A red card will result in a sending off, the player must leave the facility immediately.
  • An ejected player must leave the park entirely within 1.5 minutes of being ejected and not say another word to the referee or opposing team.  Do not change on the bench, bring all your equipment to your car.  The ejected player must not continue to speak with the referee or opposing team or the game will be a forfeit.
    If the ejected player does not leave the park in 1.5 minutes or continues to talk to the referee or opposing team, additional games will be added to the suspension.
  • An ejected player can not return to the field at any time during or after the game or the game will be a forfeit and will result in longer suspension.
  • A forfeit shall be declared if a player/ team, does not give his/ her name to the referee immediately after being ejected.
  • Any player ejected from a game will be forced to sit out a min of one potentially more at the referee and convener’s discretion as well as pay a fine to the league.
  • In order for a player who has received a red card to be reinstated into the league a fine must be paid. Fines will be progressive for each suspension, and will double each consecutive time with a min of $20.00 for first offense based on the reason for the red card.
  • All players, coaches and team representatives ejected from play must leave the entire facility.
  • 2 and 5 minute penalties can be given with or without a yellow card at the referees discretion.
  • 3 Yellow cards during the tournament will result in a minimum one game suspension.

Slide Tackles in the box will result in a penalty shot if the slide is a foul, otherwise it is a free kick.

Team Roster – Player Eligibility

  • A roster list can be found on the tournament schedule under the schedule.
  • If your name is not on the team roster you are not eligible to play in the league.
  • Team captains are responsible to ensure all team members (including themselves) are registered and eligible to play.
  • To be eligible to play in the league each player must
    1. Register online and complete all 3 steps (via a link given only to the team captain)
    2. Completely fill out, sign the waiver a part of the registration process.
    3. Final step is to pick your league and team.
    4. If completed correctly you will see the players name on the team roster.  If the player is not on the team roster they did not complete registration fully and will have to re-register.
  • Once players have completed the above they are added to the team roster on the team roster page and they are eligible to play in the tournament.
  • Anyone not on the team roster page is not eligible and playing illegally.
  • Teams have until 12:10pm to register players.
  • Players must play in at least one round robin game to be eligible to play in the playoffs (Quarter finals, Semi finals, Finals).
  • Players can only play for one team in the tournament.
  • Teams caught playing with unregistered players. The player(s) will be removed form the field immediately and the team will automatically lose their current game.

Process for challenging player eligibility

  • Play does not stop during this process.
    All players must carry some form of picture ID and be ready to show the referee or the opposing team captain if asked.
  • The team captain of the team challenging the eligibility of an opposing team’s player(s) must pull up the team rosters on the phone and approach the opposing team’s bench and speak to the team captain regarding the player in question with the roster.
    If the team captain refuses to do so the team will get an automatic loss and the player in question will be removed from the field immediately.
  • The team captain (of the team in question) must verify the player in question is in fact on the roster and ID must be shown by the player to verify they are in fact the person listed on the roster on the website.  The referee is not involved in this process up until that point, he is refereeing the game.
  • If the player is found not to be on the team roster and/ or does not show ID to prove they are who they say they are, notify the referee and they will be removed from the game and the offending team will take a loss for that game.
  • Teams have until the beginning of their game to register players.  All registrations are time stamped in our back end.
  • This process can take place at any time until 5 minutes after the game is complete.

General Rules for Discipline:

  • 3 yellows = min one game suspension.  This is a coed rec tournament please remember this when playing.
  • Any player ejected from a game will be forced to sit out a min of one game potentially more at the referee and convener’s discretion.  A $20.00 fine will be paid to be reinstated in the Tournament.
  • Suspensions will carry over to our leagues where applicable

Structure – 10 Team Tournament
10 teams total 2 groups of 5 teams
8 teams make the quarter finals

Top 4 teams from each group
The final 2 teams (wild cards) based on

  1. Total Most Points (3 points for a win, 1 for a tie)
  2. Plus minus
  3. Goals for
  4. Head to Head (if applicable)
  5. If everything is equal a coin toss.

Of the 8 teams going through to the quarter finals, teams will be ranked as follows

  • 1st in each group is ranked 1st, 2nd  according to the above hierarchy
  • The remaining 6 are ranked 3rd. 4th, 5th , 6th ,7th, 8th  according to the above hierarchy

Structure – 12 Team Tournament
12 teams total 3 groups of 4 teams
8 teams make the quarter finals

Top 2 teams from each group
The final 2 teams (wild cards) based on

  1. Total Most Points (3 points for a win, 1 for a tie)
  2. Plus minus
  3. Goals for
  4. Head to Head (if applicable)
  5. If everything is equal a coin toss.

Of the 8 teams going through to the quarter finals, teams will be ranked as follows

  • 1st in each group is ranked 1st, 2nd & 3rd  according to the above hierarchy
  • The remaining 5 are ranked 4th, 5th , 6th ,7th, 8th  according to the above hierarchy

Quarter finals and on

  • single elimination knock out

1st seed plays 8th seed
2nd seed plays 7th seed
3rd seed plays 6th seed
4th seed plays 5th seed

Group stages can end in a tie.

Quarter finals and on will have 5min over time followed by penalty shots.

Over time (only in playoffs)

  • 4 vs 4 consisting of
    MIn 1 Female
    Max 2 Males

Penalty Shots 

  • Best of 5 rounds will alternate guy, girl, until there is a winner.
  • If still tied after 5 rounds they will continue one round at a time until there is a winner.
  • Everyone (of their specific sex) must shoot on the team before starting the order over goalies included
  • This is the only time where goalies sex counts as a Male or Female and to follow the above penalty shot rules.
  • NRS will not tolerate physical altercations or racism of any kind under any circumstances.  Any player(s) involved in this behavior be banned from the league at the discretion of Niagara Rec Sports.
  • There is a zero tolerance for violence and aggression or racism.  It will be up to the referee to make the call at the game and give the consequences for the game night (ejection from the game, yellow card).  It will be up to Niagara Rec Sports as to consequences given after the game regarding suspension from future games or potentially the entire league for the remainder of the season.  Any physical violence towards another player, or verbal abuse of a referee the player will be suspended indefinitely until a decision has been made regarding the duration of the suspension and can result in removal form the league.  Racism, physical violence and abuse towards an referee will result in removal from the league.
  • Any player who communicates with opposing teams/ players, umpires, referees, NRS staff in a disrespectful manner, with disparaging remarks will be removed from the league and will not be permitted to play any future games or seasons.  This included all forms of communication but not limited to in person, email, text, phone.
  • Niagara Rec Sports reserves the right to remove or disallow any player from the league at any time throughout the year.  No refunds will be given if/ when players are removed from the league.
  • Niagara Rec Sports reserves the right to add, alter, remove rules either verbally or on any rules page at any time as we deem fit, any rule changes will be effective immediately.  Rules discussed at the team captains meeting are to be considered part of the league rules.


  • Sportsmanship is extremely important for NRS sports leagues, your first priority should be to come out, play a sport you love, have fun with friends and family.
  • Unsportsmanlike behavior leads to problems on and off the field which is something we do not want in our leagues.
  • Shaking hands – Shaking hands after the game, win or lose is good sportsmanship and what playing sports is all about.  While we can not force anyone to shake hands after the game we have implemented a rule that states the following to avoid any incident:
  • If a player gets in line to shake hands they must shake every players hand in the line.
  • Getting in line and deliberately avoiding shaking a players hand is extremely unsportsmanlike and is making a statement towards that player that can lead to an escalation or potential altercations.
  • As a result getting in line and not shaking (or fist bumping) every players hand is a cardible offence (potentially red card). 
  • We can not force anyone to shake (or fist bump) hands so if a player does not want to shake (or fist bump) every players hand they do not get in line to shake any players hand.

For other league rules visit this page.