GradPro IM - Soccer Rules

Updated Spring 2022

Default & Forfeit

Default – An un-played game that is recorded as a loss rather than a forfeit. This occurs when the defaulting team’s captain notifies the coordinator and the opposing team’s captain at least 24 hours before the scheduled game time. The team that is defaulting will receive a 3 goal loss and the opposing team will receive a 3 goal win.

Forfeit – An un-played game that is recorded as a forfeit because the team failed to show up for its scheduled game and did not notify the coordinator and the opposing team’s captain at least 24 hours in advance. 

  • The team that is forfeiting will receive 3 “points against” and the opposing team will receive the win with 3“points for”.
  • Forfeit consequences:
    • 1 forfeit – Team will receive the loss and 3 “points against”
    • 2 Forfeits – 3 “points for” will be deducted from the team’s final season record, in addition to the recorded loss with 3 “points against”.
    • 3 Forfeits – automatically disqualified from playoffs

Late Policy

Teams are expected to be at the fields and ready to begin play at the designated starting time. Teams are permitted a 10-minute grace period. If at the starting time or during the grace period a team has the minimum number of players, then the game must begin immediately.
If a team has fewer than the minimum at the designated starting time, then the start of the game is delayed and the late arriving team is penalized as follows:
  1. After 10 and up to 15 minutes after the original starting time, the team that is ready to play is awarded one goal and possession of the ball for a free kick at mid-field. The first half is also reduced by the same number of minutes the game was delayed.
  2. After 15 and up to 30 minutes after the original starting time, the first period is reduced by 15 minutes, and the team that is ready to play is awarded a second goal, as well as possession of the ball for a free kick at mid field.
  3. At 30 minutes after the original starting time the game is forfeited and a 3 goal win is awarded to the opponent.
  4. If both teams are late in arriving, then only the time is deducted until 30 minutes after the scheduled start at which time the game is declared a double forfeit and both teams receive losses.

The Game

  • Each game consists of two 30-minute periods with no more than a 5-minute halftime. The clock stops only for goals, injuries, or unusual delays. If the game is tied after regulation, no overtime period is played during regular season games. Overtime will be played only during playoffs.
  • Games will be self-refereed with an on-site supervisor monitoring the game. If there is a call dispute, the on-site supervisor may assist to settle the call. Captains are expected to work with the opposing team’s captain to settle call disputes and maintain the pace of the game. If available, referees will be used for the playoffs.
  • If a game is stopped due to weather and is over half way completed, the score will count.

Mercy Rule

  • If at any time a team is up by 10 or more goals the game will be over.
  • If a team is up by 7 or more goals with 12 minutes remaining the game will be over.
  • If a team is up by 5 or more goals with 5 minutes left the game will be over.
  • When the mercy rule goes into the effect the score will be recorded, and should both teams agree, the game may be continued to be played as a scrimmage until the time limit is reached.
  • Players may be traded among teams after the mercy rule is instated for a more balanced game.

The Team

  • Each team consists of eleven players with unlimited substitutes who all must meet eligibility requirements. A team may begin a game with a minimum of eight players.
  • Gender Specific Leagues: All participants is this league are required to self-identify as a specific gender and may play for the gender of which they identify.
  • Open Leagues: There are no gender requirements for teams, nor is anyone required to self-identity as a specific gender to play. 


  • May be made during an end line, throw-in, corner kick, or after any stoppage of play.
  • The goalie must report to the officials, if on-site and wear a jersey that is different from teammates or opponents.

Tie-Breaking Procedure

Procedure will only be used during playoffs. Regular season games may end in ties.
  1. Play one 5-minute period in its entirety. If at the end of the period the score is still tied, teams will play another full 5-minute period. Played with 11 players.
  2. 2. If still tied, play one 5-minute period until one team scores. Whoever scores first wins the game. Played with 11 players. 
  3. If still tied, penalty kicks will be used following these steps:
    1. Penalty kicks will be taken with the same restrictions for kickers and goalies as a penalty kick taken in regulation.
    2. A coin toss shall be used to determine the first team to kick, with the winner of the toss electing to go first or last. Each team shall take an initial series of five kicks alternately.
    3. The team scoring the greater number of goals is the winner.
    4. If, after the first round of 5 kicks, the score is still tied the following will occur:
      1. The kicks shall continue alternately in the same order until a team has one more goal in the same number of kicks. Each kick shall be taken by a different player until 10 kicks have been taken by each team. If the number of kicks goes beyond 10, then the initial order shall be repeated.
Tie-Breaker Rules
  • Only players who participated in the game shall be eligible to participate.
  • Once the goalkeeper is designated for penalty kicks, s/he shall not be replaced unless injured.
  • During the kicks the opponent’s goalkeeper shall stay on the field at one corner of the penalty area and all eligible kickers shall remain in the center circle. The officials/supervisors shall record the kicking order and goals, as well as administer the taking of kicks.

Goal Keeping Privileges

  • If referees are on-site they will be responsible for calling any infringements against the keepers, but players are expected to uphold these privileges, whether a referee is there or not.
  • If goal keeping privileges are repeatedly disregarded, the offending player may be asked to leave and/or the offending team will forfeit the game.
  • Within his/her own penalty area the goal keeper has:
    • The ability to handle the ball without threat of unfair play
    • Immunity from dangerous charging or interference
    • Protection from any unwarranted contact from opponent while maintaining possession of the ball. If the keeper has a finger on the ball the attackers must back off.


A fair charge consists of a nudge or a contact with the near shoulder, when both players are in an upright position, within
playing distance of the ball, and have at least one foot on the ground and their arms near their bodies.
It is an offence to charge an opponent:
  • In a careless manner
  • In a reckless manner
  • Using excessive force

Holding an Opponent

The act of preventing a player from moving past or around using the hand, the arms or the body.


A deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm. When deliberate handling occurs the
opposing team will receive a direct free kick or a penalty kick.

Indirect Free Kick

An indirect free kick cannot be scored unless the ball has been played or touched by another player before passing through the goal. When an indirect free kick is awarded an opponent may not be within ten yards of the ball until it is kicked. The ball must be stationary and may be kicked in any direction. The kicker may not play the ball until it is touched by another player.

There are four offences for which an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following offences:

  • Takes more than six seconds while controlling the ball with his hands before releasing it from his possession
  • Touches the ball again with his hands after it has been released from his possession and has not touched any other player
  • Touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a teammate
  • Touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a teammate

There are four offences for which an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, if a player commits any of the following offences:

  • Plays in a dangerous manner
  • Impedes the progress of an opponent
  • Prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands
  • Commits any other offence for which play is stopped to caution or dismiss a player

Direct Free Kick

A direct free kick is awarded to an opponent after an infraction has been committed by a player. On a direct free kick a goal
can be scored directly from the kick. When taking a direct free kick outside the penalty area all defensive players may not be
within ten yards of the kicker.
There are offences for which a direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team, if a player commits any of the following offences:
  • Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
  • Trips or attempts to trip an opponent
  • Jumps at an opponent
  • Charges an opponent in a careless or reckless manner and/or using excessive force
  • Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  • Pushes an opponent
  • Tackles an opponent to gain possession of the ball, making contact with the opponent before touching the ball
  • Holds an opponent
  • Spits at an opponent
  • Handles the ball deliberately

Penalty Kick

A penalty kick is awarded for any infraction resulting in a direct free kick by the defending team committed inside
the penalty area. All players except the shooter and goalkeeper must remain outside the penalty area and at least ten yards
from the penalty-mark until the ball is kicked. The kicker may place the ball anywhere on the penalty-mark line. The goalkeeper
must stand, without moving his/her feet, on the goal line between the goal posts, until the ball is kicked. After the kick the
kicker may not play the ball until it is touched by another player.


A player is in an offside position if they are nearer to the opponent’s goal line than the ball, unless: they are on their side of
the field; or, there are at least two opponents nearer their own goal line than the player. A player is declared offside and
penalized only if at the moment the ball touches or is played by their teammate: the offside player interferes with the play;
or, the offside player is seeking to gain an advantage by being in that position.
If there is no referee available, players can call offsides on the field or provide sideline referees to call offsides.


A penalized infraction and occurs when a player runs between an opponent and the ball in order to
form an obstacle.

Dangerous Play

A penalized violation that occurs when a player raises the foot to a level that may endanger
an opponent who is in a normal stance, lowers the head below the waist in an effort to head the ball in the presence of an
oncoming player, covers the ball with a player’s body, or initiates situations considered unsafe.