Rule Book - 5-a-side Soccer - Urban Sports
5-a-side Soccer

Rule Book

The Basics

Games consist of two 20 minute halves, 40 minutes in total with a 2 minute interval. Extra time will only be awarded due to a stop in play for injury.

Teams consist of a minimum of 5 players and a maximum of 8.

4 Players plus a goalkeeper may be on the field at once, with up to 3 substitutes who may substitute in for another player at anytime.

There are no offsides.

No tackling a player from behind. This results in a free kick.

No bicycle or scissor kicks allowed. This will be deemed as dangerous play, and a free kick will be awarded to the opposition.

The ball cannot be played by a player who is off his/her feet. Players must be back on both feet before playing the ball again.

No slide tackling, sliding for interception, or any form of sliding will be permitted. Sliding offences will result in a yellow card being issued.

No two-on-one tackles.

Remember, keep it clean, keep it fun!

Goalkeepers may not pick the ball up from a direct back pass. An Intentional direct back pass to keeper (and handling of the ball) will result in a penalty spot kick.

Goalkeepers may pick up a back pass if it is played off the rebound side walls (excludes back wall), or if it last came of the head or chest of a team mate.

Goalkeepers may only handle the ball in the demarcated goal box (half circle). The goalkeeper has 5 seconds (to be counted aloud by the referee) to distribute the ball once picked up. Failing to do so will result in a penalty spot kick given to the opposing team.

The goalkeeper may slide anywhere within his designated box. (No studs up).

The goalkeeper may not drag the ball from outside his box back in and pick it up, nor will a goalkeeper be allowed to place the ball down and pick it up again. Should either of these offences occur, a penalty spot kick will be awarded.

Goalkeepers are required to have 10 fingers on the ball when handling. Players may attempt to knock the ball out of the keepers hand should he/she not have two hands clearly securing the ball. The referee will indicate if a player has violated this rule, and award a free kick.

2-on-1 challenges are allowed in the box provided one of the two defending players is the goalkeeper.

The goalkeeper may score a goal from his/her penalty box, provided the ball was played on the ground. No throw-in goals are allowed.

Open Play

A player in possession of the ball may not carry that ball backwards for more than two steps in an attempt to win a free kick from a “challenge from behind”.

Players may not hold on to the nets or the side boards (wall) that surrounds the pitch. Failure to do so will result in a free kick being awarded at the spot where the offence was committed.

Outfield players may not handle the ball at any time. Handball includes the entire arm up to (but not including) the shoulder.

The Corners

If a player carries the ball into the corner circle, opponents may not tackle that player. The player has 5 seconds (to be counted aloud by the referee) before they must leave the corner circle or pass the ball. Upon leaving the corner circle, a player cannot return until another player has touched the ball. If the player remains in the corner circle for longer than 5 seconds, possession of the ball is overturned to the opposition, from the corner marker.

Out of Play

Two sets of lines are painted in each corner of the field – a solid line and a dotted line. An opposing player must stand behind (not on) the dotted line for the 5 second countdown, or until the ball is in back in play (if within 5 seconds).

If the ball is kicked out on the long sides of the pitch, the opposition continues play from where the ball went out.

If the ball is kicked out on the short sides of the pitch, a corner or goal kick is awarded.


No run up is allowed when taking penalties and the standing foot must be grounded at all times. A players non kicking foot is placed next to the ball on the designated penalty spot, and the ball is to be kicked in that stance. The goalkeeper is not allowed to move off his/her goal line until the ball has been kicked by the penalty taker.


The referee may enforce a “cool down” substitution for a player who is repeatedly offending, or needs to tone down his/her behaviour (Either towards the referee or towards the opposition). The offending player will be required to stay off the field of play for 3 minutes before they will be allowed to be substituted back in to the game. That team may bring on another player to replace the player who has forced to substitute. If a team does not have any substitutes then that team will be down a player for 3 minutes.

A player given a yellow card is sent off for 5 minutes, during which time no substitution for the carded player is allowed. The referee will then instruct the carded team when their player may return to the field of play.

A player given a red card is sent off for the remainder of the game. No substitution for the carded player will be allowed. Teams playing in any of our leagues that implement the bonus point(s) for fair play (an entire league season without conceding a red card) will lose their bonus points.

Free Kicks

During a free kick:

  • The opposition player(s) must be a minimum of 2m away from the ball. Only a one man wall will be allowed.
  • The player taking the free kick has 5 seconds (to be counted aloud by the referee) in which to do so or play will be reversed.
  • The player may shoot for goal directly.
  • The player cannot pass the ball to himself and continue with play, he must pass to a team mate.
  • The player cannot use any wall to pass to himself from a free kick.
5-a-side Leagues

Teams must be punctual for the scheduled kick-off time. We recommend that the team captain at least arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled kick off time, as to ensure the team roster is finalized with the referee (for scoring) and that any outstanding balance, as well as fees due for the current game are settled beforehand. Team captains must sign on the score sheet in the space provided after the game. This is to accept the score on the night, as well as for acknowledgment of any moneys paid over.

Captains please ensure you collect the FULL game fees from your players before going on-field.

Games will start as scheduled and any team which is late will be penalised 1 goal for every 5 minutes that the game is delayed.

If the start of the game is delayed due to latecomers from either the “home” or “away” team, the referee may choose to discard the 2 minutes interval between halves.

If there are 3 players available for a team, play may commence.

The referee will instruct on field teams by blowing on his whistle three times before the kick will commence.

The referee will initiate a league game, by calling both teams to the center circle, inform them of any rule changes, and ensure both teams have made payment for the night’s game. He/She may then use this opportunity to verify each team’s players on the scoresheet, to allow for an accurate score and stats tracking. Please assist the referee in this regard, the quicker this process is done, the quicker the game can start.

The referee is part of the game. Should the ball hit the referee in open play, then play shall continue as normal.

Please play to the referees whistle. If you deem an offence to have been committed, unless the referee sounds his whistle, then play must continue. Advantage play is at the referee’s discretion.

Please inform the referee if you change your goalkeeper during play or at half-time.


Win: 3 Points

Draw: 1 points

Lose: 0 points

At the end of a league season, the top 2 teams within each league are promoted up a division, and the bottom 2 teams relegated down a division.

Payments and Schedules

Teams must be responsible for the payment of the games throughout the season. No game will start unless the FULL game fee is paid.

Payment for games must be paid in full on the night of your fixture, and organised by the team representative (Captain) unless prior arrangement has been made for an EFT.

Up-front full season payments will qualify for a discount.

If your team does not arrive for a scheduled game, your team will be liable for the FULL game fee, which includes your opposition’s game fee. The game will be forfeited and the score will be 3–0 to the opposition.

If your team is not able to make a game, a minimum of 24 hours notice is required to re-schedule that game. Should less than 24 hours  notice be given, the game will be forfeited and your team will be liable for the FULL game fee (for both teams), and the score will be 3–0 to the opposition. This will also exclude your team from being eligible for the prize for winning your division should your team top the log.

Only ONE game per season MAY be rescheduled.

In the event of a cancellation, teams will be notified as soon as possible. The affected team may then choose to take the immediate win and points, or exercise their right to choose a re-match at a later date. If a consolation friendly is agreed to and organised for the team whose opposition has cancelled, the normal league game rate will apply, and the re-imbursement will be refunded at a later stage in the league.

Rescheduled games may take place on a different night to your teams league night. In some cases teams may have to play two rescheduled games in one night.

Teams cannot reschedule the first or last game of the season.

Games go ahead as usual on public holidays.

It is the responsibility of the Team Representative (Captain) to check the website regularly and read all notifications for updated game times.

If your team withdraws from the league at any stage, your team will be liable for the remainder of the FULL league fees.

Games will still go ahead in the event of bad weather. At management discretion, games may be called off should there be severe conditions, including lightning.

If 25 minutes or more have played, and the game is abandoned for any reason, the result at the time will stand.

General and Facility Rules

Players must adhere to the Game Rules.

Metal studs a Metal studs are STRICTLY prohibited. Only plastic and rubber studs, or preferably artificial turf/astro turf boots will be allowed.

No playing barefoot.

We recommend that all players wear shin pads, although this is not compulsory. Urban Sports will not take any responsibility for injuries caused to players not wearing shin pads as it is understood that this is the individual player’s own decision.

The wearing of any form of visible jewellery (including watches) is not permitted during play.

Players are encouraged to arrive early and make use of the Urban sports change room located inside the building across from the playing fields.

Strictly no alcohol is to be brought on to the Marks Park premises. There is a fully licensed bar available for players and spectators to make use of. Players may not consume alcoholic beverages during their matches.


We have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy towards ill-discipline and it will in no way be accepted at Urban Sports Marks Park.

Fighting, racism, threatening and/or intimidating behavior towards referees, players, spectators or management will NOT be tolerated! Should this not be respected, it may result in a permanent ban from Urban Sports Marks Park for the guilty player or his/her team.

Should abuse by the same players or teams persist that player or team will permanently banned from Urban Sports Marks Park.

Players and spectators are encouraged to promote “Fair Play” and show good sportsmanship.

Always respect the match officials’ decisions. Offenders will be cautioned, and should this continue, will be asked to leave the league.

Any misconduct whatsoever at Urban Sports Marks Park will be dealt with by management accordingly.

Urban Sports, its management and employees will not be held liable for any injury, loss, theft or damage suffered by any players or visitors on the Urban Sports Marks Park premises.

Players or visitors will be held liable for any intentional or malicious damage done to the property or facilities at the Urban Sports Marks Park premises

Urban Sports reserves the right to amend or relax any of the above rules as they deem necessary.

Teams with a valid complaint against a match official must be put in writing within 48 hours of the match taking place. The complaint should be addressed to our general manager at Urban Sports and emailed to info[at]

League Fixtures and Standings