Blackburn Arms Soccer Indoor Rules

BA Soccer Indoor Rules (alphabetical order)

Unless stated otherwise below, FIFA’s Laws of the Game (LOG) apply.

1.      Balls in touch: Instead of throw-ins, players kick the ball in. Opponents must be at least five yards from the ball in all directions. Keepers CANNOT pick up kick-ins from their team. If a kick-in from touch does not enter the field, the kicking team relinquishes the ball to the opponent.


2.      Balls over the end line: These result in either a goal kick or a corner kick (see 7), as in outdoor soccer.


3.      Balls touching the ceiling or overhead mesh: Outside of the penalty areas, teams that send the ball into the ceiling or overhead mesh give up an indirect free kick to the opponents; inside the penalty areas, a goal kick or a corner kick is awarded, depending on the team having last touched the ball.


4.      Centre kick-offs: These are taken to start a) the game (home team), b) the second half (visitors) and c) the play after a goal (team scored on). Kick-offs may be forwards, sideways or backwards.


All players must be in their own half of the field, and players of the non-kicking team must remain at least five metres from the ball until it is kicked off. The ball is in play as soon as it moves after contact. The kicker cannot play the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player.


5.      Challenges on keepers: Given the BA League’s focus on sportsmanship and safety, players must avoid making contact with keepers who call for the ball early and clearly. Referees determine if the keeper has done so properly and if any challenge could have been avoided or not. Managers must clearly explain this rule to both their keepers and outfield players.

6.      Complaints against players: Anyone wanting to file a complaint against a player must do so through the president of the BA League. The League then examines the complaint to see if it falls within its jurisdiction. If the League or District determines that a complaint calls for a hearing, the complainant must attend, failing which the hearing cannot take place.


7.      Corner kicks: Corner kicks are direct and must be taken where the goal line and the touch line intersect, whether a corner arc is provided or not. Opponents must be at least five yards from the ball.

8.      Equipment


a.       Jerseys: Team jerseys must be numbered. Keeper jerseys must be distinct in colour from those of their team and their opponents.

b.       Shin guards and socks: All players must wear shin guards and have them fully covered by socks.

c.       Shoes: Only flat-soled indoor/turf shoes or ordinary multi-studded outdoor shoes may be worn by the players (six-stud metal or six-stud plastic cleat outdoor shoes are not allowed).

d.       Jewellery: All hanging or dangling jewellery must be removed.

e.       Medical and visual aids: These are allowed as long as they don’t pose a danger to other players.



9.      Free kicks: Direct and indirect free kicks are awarded according to the Laws of the Game (LOGs). Opposing players must be five yards from the ball. Stretching arms or legs into this five-yard zone is considered encroachment and can result in a yellow card (see also “3. Balls touching the ceiling or overhead mesh”). Game ball: The BA League provides official game balls. Failing that, the ref chooses among those offered by the teams.


10.  Game duration: Five-minute warm-up, two 25-minute halves, with a two- or three-minute rest at half time. There is no added time for any reason; stoppage for injuries must be absorbed in the 50 minutes allotted for the game.


11.  Game sheets: Each team must provide the referee with a completed game sheet.

12.  Goal kicks: Goal kicks are indirect and can be taken anywhere in the penalty area.

13.  Number of players: 7 vs. 7, including the keeper, on the crosswise fields (1/3 of the full dome). Teams must have five players, including the keeper, on the field to start the game. Teams with fewer than five players present five minutes after the scheduled start time forfeit the game.


14.  Offensive, insulting or abusive language or gestures


a.       Toward others: Players or coaches guilty of these infractions toward ANY player, team official or spectator are subject to a red card (sending-off) and its sanctions (see…).


b.      Toward oneself: If a player swears at himself in frustration, the referee may warn both the player and his team. From that point on, any player on the team who swears in frustration is subject to a yellow card and its sanctions (See 28).


15.  Off-sides: Off-sides do not apply in BA indoor soccer, but the League frowns upon players who stand in deep offside positions simply to interfere with or screen goalkeepers or to deflect shots or free kicks. Managers must make sure their team does not abuse the “no off-side” rule.

16.  Pass-backs: Regular FIFA pass-back LOGs apply.


17.  Penalty kicks: A penalty kick is awarded when a player other than the keeper

a.       deliberately or carelessly handles the ball in the penalty area, or

b.       commits any other foul in the penalty area that the LOGs say result in a direct free kick.

c.       The penalty is taken ten paces from the middle of the goal line (NOT from the marked penalty spot).

d.       Other than the penalty kicker, players from both teams must stand at least five yards behind the ball until the kick is taken.


18.  Red cards: Players receiving a red card must leave both the field and the facility for the rest of  the game, so they cannot stay to watch. Their team plays short for the rest of the game.


a.       Too few players after a red card dismissal: The game ends if the dismissal leaves the team below the minimum number of players required. It thus forfeits to the opponents.


b.       Substitutes getting red cards: Team members on the bench are substitutes, not players. If a substitute is dismissed, his team does NOT play short-handed.

19.  Referee decisions and authority: All BA referees are provincially registered, and the BASL supports and respects their decisions. They are instructed to both forcefully reprimand and, if need be, quickly yellow-card or even red-card players or coaches whose attitude or style of play violates the spirit of the league.


a.       Assaults on referees: Reports of assaults on referees go to the District (EODSA). The players accused are automatically suspended from all soccer-related activities until a hearing takes place. Players can also be charged with assault under the criminal code in these instances. The authority of the referee extends to the parking lot of the facility.


20.  Rule changes: During the season, the League might have to amend the Rules of play. Team representatives are notified accordingly if that happens. Managers and coaches must make sure their players know the rules, both FIFA’s and those specific to BA indoor.


21.  Scoring interdictions: Scoring is NOT allowed from

a.       a centre kick-off

b.      a goal kick

c.       an indirect kick

d.      a kick-in

e.       a goalkeeper’s throw.

22.  Sliding hands-first saves by keepers: Provided they lead with their hands, keepers can slide to the ground to make a save or claim an errant ball inside the penalty area. In keeping with regular FIFA LOGs, they must always contact the ball first and not the attacker to avoid conceding a PK.


23.  Sliding tackles: Sliding tackles are not allowed; infractions result in a direct free kick to the opponents.


24.  Sliding to save a ball from going into touch or across the goal line: This is permitted if it does not endanger an opponent (referee’s discretion).


25.  Spares (requesting and assigning): Managers can request a player from the spares list when their game-time roster is down to nine players (so, only two players on the sidelines). The spares coordinator must assign spares “like for like” as much as possible while trying to spread playing opportunities evenly among those on the spares list.


26.  Spitting (facility rules): Because indoor artificial turf isn’t naturally cleansed by rain as outdoor fields are, spitting indoors is a significant health hazard. Dome officials therefore reserve the right to ban players caught spitting in the facility. Referees can also yellow-card players for spitting.


27.  Substitutions: Substitutions are unlimited and can take place at any time, even during play (on-the-fly). However, players must substitute at their bench area near the halfway line. Neither the player entering nor the player leaving can interfere with the play while both are on the field. Illegal substitutions can result not only in an indirect free kick from where the ball was last played, but also in a yellow card (caution) if the referee feels the infraction was cynical.

28.  Yellow cards (caution): Players receiving a yellow card must leave the field for two minutes (the referee times the sanction), and their team plays short-handed for that time, subject to the specifications below:


a.       If the opponents score before the two minutes expire, the penalty is considered served and the player (or a substitute) returns to play on the ref’s signal.


b.       If no goal is scored during the two-minute penalty, the penalized player or substitute must wait for the referee’s signal to return to play.


c.       Yellow card plus penalty kick: If a defending player commits an infraction punished by both a penalty kick and a caution, he leaves the field to serve a two-minute sanction, which begins only after the penalty kick is taken. If a goal is scored on the penalty kick, the two-minute sanction is considered served and the player can return to play. If the penalty kick is unsuccessful, the sanction begins right after. The referee signals when the two minutes have been served; see a) above.


d.       Keepers getting yellow cards: If a keeper receives a yellow card, a player on the field at the time of the foul must leave and serve a two-minute penalty. The caution is under the keeper’s name, not under that of the player serving the penalty.


e.       Keepers getting second yellow card: If a keeper receives a second caution in the game, he gets a red card, is sent off, and his team must appoint another keeper, as well as play short one man for the rest of the game.


f.        Substitutes getting yellow cards: If a substitute is cautioned, his team does NOT play short-handed for a two-minute penalty. The referee notes the substitute’s name, jersey number and offence.


g.       Two yellows to the same team within two minutes: If two players from the same team receive yellow cards within two minutes of each other, the first carded player leaves the field to serve his two minutes as outlined above, and when the second player gets a yellow, he must exit the field immediately, leaving his team two players short. However, the second penalty does not start until the first penalty is served or a goal is scored.