Match Official

Laws of the Game

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7v7 Laws of the Game

Law 1: The Field of Play

Field Markings:

The field of play must be rectangular and marked with lines. These lines belong to the areas of which they are boundaries.

The two long lines are called the touchlines; the two short lines are called the goal lines.

The field of play is divided into two halves by a halfway line, which joins the midpoint of the two touchlines.

The half-line shall be used as the retreat line.

The field and goal dimensions as outlined below shall be considered as desirable guidelines. Failure to conform to the recommended field and goal dimensions shall not be the subject of protest. It is understood and agreed that clubs/teams may be unable to provide the desired fields, equipment, etc. Flexibility is understood and allowed.

Dimensions:

The field of play must be rectangular. The length of the touchline must be greater than the length of the goal line. Recommended field dimensions are as follows:

Width
30 m – 36 m (98.42ft – 118.11ft)
Length
40 m – 55 m (131.23ft – 180.44ft)

The Goal Area:

The goal area is the same as the penalty area.

The Penalty Area:

Two lines are drawn at a right angle to the goal line, five (5) metres from the inside of each goal post. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of twelve (12) metres and are joined by a line parallel to the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the penalty area.

Within each penalty area, a penalty mark is made nine (9) metres from the midpoint between the goalposts and equidistant to them.

Penalty Arc:

An optional penalty arc with radius five (5) metres from each penalty mark is drawn outside the penalty area.

Flag posts:

A flagpost, not less than 1.5 m high, with a non-pointed top and a flag must be placed in each corner.

Goals:

A goal must be placed on the centre of the goal line.

A goal consists of two upright posts equidistant from the corner flagposts and joined at the top by a horizontal crossbar.

The size of goals are as followed:

Weight
4.8m (16 ft)
Height
1.8m (6 ft)

Safety:

Goals must be anchored securely to the ground. Portable goals may only be used if they satisfy this safety requirement.

 

Law 2: The Ball

Size 4 balls or 5 light balls can be used.

Requirements for balls size 5 light:

Weight
350-370g
Circumference
68-70cm

If a ball becomes defective during the match, the match is stopped until a replacement ball is found. The play is restarted by dropping the replacement ball at the place where the original ball became defective.

 

Law 3: Number of Players

A match is played between two teams where one of the players on the field must be designated as the goalkeeper. The minimum, maximum number of players and roster size are listed below:

Minimum
5
Maximum
7
Maximum Roster
12

If at any time during the game the number of players available to play drops below the minimum, the game shall be stopped.

Substitutions:

Unlimited substitutions may be made throughout the game. All substitutions are only allowed at the discretion of the Referee and the Referee shall be advised of all substitutions. Substitutions may be made on any stoppage.

Infringements and sanctions:

If a substitute or substituted player enters the field of play without the referee’s permission:

  • the referee stops play (although not immediately if the substitute or substituted player does not interfere with play)
  • the player shall leave the field of play
  • If the referee has stopped play, it is restarted with an indirect free kick for the opposing team from the position of the ball at the time of the stoppage.

Goal Scored with an Extra Person on the Field of Play. If, after a goal is scored, the referee realizes, before play restarts, that there was an extra person on the field of play when the goal was scored, the referee shall stop play and disallow the goal if:

  • The extra person was an outside agent and interfered with play
  • The extra person was a player, substitute, or team official associated with the team that scoredGame is restarted with an Indirect Free kick from the position of the ball at the time of the stoppage.

 

Law 4: Players’ Equipment

Players shall not wear anything which endangers themselves or other players. Basic compulsory equipment shall consist of:

  • a jersey or shirt with sleeves
  • shorts
  • socks
  • shin guards
  • appropriate footwear
  • Shin guards: must be completely covered by the socks, are to be made of rubber, plastic or a similar suitable material and must provide a reasonable degree of protection.
  • Colours:
  • The two teams must wear colours that distinguish them from each other and also the referee.
  • Each goalkeeper must wear colours which are distinguishable from all outfield players and the referee. Pinnies/bibs are recommended to save jersey switching. Non-uniform clothing is allowed based on weather conditions, but uniforms must still distinguish teams.

A player who is asked to leave the field of play because of defective or dangerous equipment may not re-enter the field of play until the referee is satisfied that the equipment is permissible. The equipment may only be inspected during a stoppage in play.

Jewellery is not permitted and cannot be taped. Medic Alert bracelets and necklaces are the exceptions provided that they are fastened securely so as not to bring danger to any other player. The referee should be aware of any player that is wearing one of these. Any hair apparel must be of soft fabric, no plastic or metal items are to be worn.

Sports hijabs/headscarves are permitted.

Referees have the final say on the safety of equipment.

 

Law 5: The Referee

The authority of the referee:

Each match is controlled by a CSA accredited referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws of the Small Sided Game. The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, is final.

Powers and Duties:

The Referee:

  • Enforces the Laws of the Small Sided Game
  • Ensures that any ball used meets the requirements of Law 2
  • Ensures that the players’ equipment meets the requirements of Law 4
  • Acts as timekeeper and keeps a record of the match
  • Stops, suspends or abandons the match, at his discretion, for any infringements of the Laws
  • Stops, suspends or abandons the match because of outside interference of any kind
  • Stops the match if a player is injured and ensures that he is removed from the field of play. An injured player may only return to the field of play after the match has restarted.
  • Ensures that any player bleeding from a wound leaves the field of play. The player may only return on receiving a signal from the referee, who must be satisfied that the bleeding has stopped.
  • Takes action against team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and may, at his discretion, expel them from the field of play and its immediate surrounds
  • Ensures that no unauthorized persons enter the field of play
  • Indicates the restart of the match after it has been stopped
  • Provides the appropriate authorities with a match report, which includes information on any disciplinary action taken against players and/or team officials and any other incidents that occurred before, during or after the match.

 

Law 6: Assistant Referees

There shall be no assistant referees on 7v7 games.

 

Law 7: Duration of the Match

Periods of play: The match shall last two equal periods of 25 minutes each.

Half-time Interval: Players are entitled to a half-time interval of 5 minutes.

Allowance for Time Lost: Allowance is made in either period for all time lost through:

  • substitutions
  • assessment of injured players
  • removal of injured players from the field of play
  • wasting time
  • any other cause

The allowance for time lost is at the discretion of the referee.

 

Law 8: Start and Restart of Play

Definition of Kick-Off

A kick-off is a way of starting or restarting play:

  • at the start of a match
  • after a goal has been scored
  • at the start of the second half.
  • A goal may be scored directly from a kick-off.

Procedure: Before the kickoff at the start of the match

  • a coin toss is held by the referee, between the coaches of each team
  • the team that wins the toss decides which goal it will attack in the first half
  • the other team takes the kick-off to start the match
  • the team that wins the toss takes the kick-off to start the second half of the match
  • in the second half of the match, the teams change ends and attack the opposite goals

Kick-off

  • after a team scores a goal, the kick-off is taken by the other team
  • all players must be in their own half of the field
  • the opponents of the team taking the kickoff must be 5 metres away from the ball until it is in play
  • the ball must be stationary on the centre mark
  • the referee gives a signal
  • the ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward
  • the kicker must not touch the ball again until it is touched by another player

Infringements and Sanctions:

For any infringements of the kick-off procedure, the kick-off is retaken.

Definition of a dropped ball:

A dropped ball is a method of restarting play when, while the ball is still in play, the referee is required to stop play temporarily for any reason not mentioned elsewhere in the Laws of the Small Sided Game. Some examples of this are an injury or interference by an outside agent.

Procedure:

The referee drops the ball at the place where it was located when play was stopped, unless play was stopped inside the penalty area, in which case the referee drops the ball on the penalty area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located when play was stopped. Play restarts when the ball touches the ground.

Infringements and Sanctions:

The ball is dropped again:

  • if it is touched by a player before it makes contact with the ground
  • if the ball leaves the field of play after it makes contact with the ground, without touching another player
    If the ball enters the goal:
  • if a dropped ball is kicked directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal kick is awarded
  • if a dropped ball is kicked directly into the team’s own goal, a corner kick is awarded

 

Law 9: Ball in play and not in play.

The ball is not in-play when:

  • it has wholly crossed the goal line or touch line whether on the ground or in the air
  • play has been stopped by the referee Ball in play. The ball is in play at other times, including when:
  • it rebounds off the goalpost, crossbar, or corner flag post and remains in the field of play
  • it rebounds off the referee

 

Law 10: The Method of Scoring.

A goal is scored when the whole of the ball has crossed over the goal line between the goal posts and under the crossbar, provided that no infringement of the Laws of the Small Sided Game has been previously committed by the team scoring the goal.When goalposts are not available and cones are used instead, a goal is scored when, if in the opinion of the referee, the whole of the ball crosses over the goal line between or above the cones, below two (2) meters, as shown on the picture below:

 

Law 11 Offside

There is no offside for 7v7 games.

 

Law 12 Fouls

The referee shall attempt to explain ALL infringements to the offending player

Fouls:

An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following offenses:

  1. kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
  2. trips or attempts to trip an opponent
  3. jumps at an opponent
  4. charges an opponent
  5. strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  6. pushes an opponent
  7. tackles an opponent from behind to gain possession of the ball
  8. makes contact with an opponent before touching the ball
  9. holds an opponent
  10. spits at an opponent
  11. handles the ball deliberately

If any of offenses above occurs inside the penalty area, a penalty kick is awarded.

An indirect free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following offenses:
L. Plays in a dangerous manner
M. Impedes the progress of a player

  1. Prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands
  2. Commits any other offense, not previously mentioned in Law 12

A penalty kick is awarded if the above offense, except N, is committed by a player inside his own penalty area.

An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following four offenses:

  1. controls the ball with his hands for more than 6 seconds before releasing it from his possession
  2. touches the ball again with his hands after he has released it from his possession and before it has touched another player
  3. touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate
  4. touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a pass-in taken by a team-mate
Law 13: Free Kicks

All free kicks are indirect, with exception of Penalty Kicks.

A goal can only be scored from a free kick, if the ball is touched by another player before it enters the goal.

  • If a free kick is kicked directly into the opponents’ goal, without being touched by a second player, a goal kick is awarded.
  • If a free kick is kicked directly into the team’s own goal, without being touched by a second player, a corner kick is awarded.

Procedure:

For all free kicks, the ball must be stationary when the kick is taken and the kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player.

Position of the free kick:

Free kick inside the penalty area. Indirect free kick to the defending team:

  • all opponents must be at least five (5) metres from the ball
  • all opponents must remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play
  • the ball is in play when it is kicked directly out of the penalty area
  • a free kick awarded in the penalty area may be taken from any point inside that areaFree kick to the attacking team
  • all opponents must be at least five (5) metres from the ball, unless they are on their own goal line between the goalposts
  • For offences A to O, except N, from Law 12: Is a Penalty Kick and shall be taken from the penalty mark.
  • For offenses P to S from Law 12: Is an indirect free kick and shall be taken from the penalty area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.

Free kick outside the penalty area:

  • all opponents must be at least five (5) metres from the ball
  • the ball is in play when it is kicked and moves
  • the free kick is taken from the place the infringement occurred or from the position of the ball when the infringement occurred (According to the infringement outlined in Law 12).

Infringements and Sanctions:

For any infringement of this Law, the free kick shall be retaken.

 

Law 14: Penalty Kicks

Penalty kicks are a part of the game. The reasons for awarding a penalty kick are outlined in Law 12.

A goal may be scored directly from a penalty kick.

The position of the ball and players:

The ball: must be placed on the penalty mark

Player taking the penalty kick: must be properly identified

Defending goalkeeper: must be on his goal line, facing the kicker, between the posts until the ball has been kicked. The goalkeeper is allowed to move sideways but can’t move forward until the ball has been kicked.

The players other than the goalkeeper must be located: inside the field of play, outside the penalty area, behind the penalty mark, and at least five (5) metres from the penalty mark.

After the players have taken their positions in accordance with this Law, the referee signals for the penalty kick to be taken.

The player taking the penalty kick must kick the ball forward.

He must not play the ball again until it has touched another player.

The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward. The referee decides when a penalty kick has been completed.

Infringements and Sanctions:

For any infringement of this Law, that is considered an advantage for the offending team, the penalty kick shall be retaken.

 

Law 15 Pass-In

A pass-in is a method of restarting play.

A pass-in is awarded to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball when the whole of the ball crosses the touchline, either on the ground or in the air.

A goal cannot be scored directly from a pass-in.

Procedure:

At the moment of delivering the ball, the kicker:

  • faces the field of play
  • has part of the ball on or behind the touchline
  • all opponents must stand no less than three (3) metres from the point at which the pass-in is taken.
  • The ball is in play with it enters the field of play.
  • After delivering the ball, the passer must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player.

Infringements and Sanctions:

For any infringement of this Law, the pass-in shall be retaken.

 

Law 16 Goal Kick

A goal kick is a method of restarting play. A goal kick is awarded when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line either on the ground or in the air, having last touched a player of the attacking team, and a goal has not been scored in accordance with Law 10. A goal cannot be scored directly from a goal kick.

Procedure:

  • The ball is kicked from any point within the penalty area by a player of the defending team
  • All opponents must be behind the retreat line and cannot cross the retreat line until the ball:
  • is touched by a player of the team taking the goal kick OR,
  • leaves the field of play OR,
  • goes over the retreat line. (If the goalkeeper chooses to play the ball across the retreat line prior to the retreat of opposing players).
  • The ball is in play once it leaves the penalty area.
 Retreat Line:

When the goalkeeper has the ball at a goal kick or after making a save opposing players shall “retreat” behind the retreat line. The retreat line shall be the halfway line.

Infringements:

If the ball is not kicked directly out of the penalty area from a goal kick, the goal kick is retaken.

If a player who has taken a goal kick correctly deliberately plays the ball a second time or touches the ball with his hand when the ball has left the penalty area before another player has touched it, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team from the position where the second touch occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick).

 

Law 17: Corner Kick

A corner kick is a method of restarting play.

A corner kick is awarded when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line either on the ground or in the air, having last touched a player of the defending team, and a goal has not been scored in accordance with Law 10.

A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick.

Procedure:

  • the ball must be placed within the corner arc nearest to where the ball crossed the goal line
  • the corner flag post must not be moved
  • opponents must remain five (5) metres from the corner arc until the ball has been kicked
  • the ball is in play when it is kicked and moves

Infringements and Sanctions:

For any infringement of this Law, the corner kick shall be retaken.

 

Differences between 9v9 to 11v11 Games

The purpose of this document is to explain the differences between the Laws of the Game in the 9v9 to 11v11 game. This is not a full replacement for the Laws of the Game, but rather a supplement for Referees. For any aspect of the law not covered by this document, please refer to the current edition of the FIFA Laws of the Game.

Law 1: The Field of Play

Field Markings:

The field and goal dimensions as outlined below shall be considered as desirable guidelines. Failure to conform to the recommended field and goal dimensions shall not be the subject of protest. It is understood and agreed that clubs / teams may be unable to provide the desired fields, equipment, etc. Flexibility is understood and allowed.

Dimensions:

The field of play must be rectangular. The length of the touch line must be greater than the length of the goal line. Recommended field dimensions are as follows:

Length

60 m – 75 m

Width

42 m – 55 m

The Goal Area:

Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, 4.5 metres from the inside of each goal post. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of 4 metres and are joined by a line parallel to the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the goal area.

The Penalty Area:

Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, 13 metres from the inside of each goal post. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of 13 metres and are joined by a line parallel to the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the penalty area.

Within each penalty area, a penalty mark is made 9 metres from the midpoint between the goalposts and equidistant to them.

Penalty Arc:

An optional arc of a circle with radius 9.15 meters from each penalty mark is drawn outside the penalty area.

Goals:

The distance between the posts in 5.48m (18ft) and the distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the ground is 1.82m (6ft).

Law 2: The Ball

Size 4 balls or 5 light balls can be used.

Specifications of a ball “size 5 light”:

Weight

350-370g

Circumference

68-70cm

Law 3: Number of Players

The minimum, maximum number of players and roster size for a 9v9 game shall be:

Minimum

6

Maximum

9

Maximum Roster

16

Substitutions:

Unlimited substitutions may be made throughout the game. All substitutions are only allowed at the discretion of the Referee and the Referee shall be advised of all substitutions.

The rules of the competition must state in which stoppages (e.g. goal kick, corner kick, throw-in) substitutions are allowed.

Law 7: Duration of the Match

Periods of play:

The length of each half is 35 minutes. The half-time interval must not exceed 10 minutes.

Law 16: Goal Kick

All opponents must be behind the retreat line and cannot cross the retreat line until the ball:

  • is touched by a player of the team taking the goal kick OR,
  • leaves the field of play OR,
  • goes over the retreat line. (If the goalkeeper chooses to play the ball across the retreat line prior to the retreat of opposing players)

The ball is in play once it leaves the penalty area.

Retreat Line

When the goalkeeper has the ball at a goal kick or after making a save opposing players shall “retreat” behind the retreat line. The retreat line shall be the halfway line or a 1/3rd imaginary line on the field, in accordance with the rules of the competition.

  • When a 1/3rd line is used, the marks to indicate the line shall be placed outside the field of play, at least 2m from the touchline.
  • The mark must not pose any danger to players.
  • The Referee has the final say on the safety of equipment used to mark the line.

Referee Certification Courses

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Please contact our office or visit RefCentre for more information on how you can get involved.