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Stoneham Soccer


Stoneham Soccer Club

Rules of Play

All players on a team are to be given an equitable opportunity to play during each game. As a minimum, each player must play the equivalent of at least one complete half of each game he or she attends.

In all leagues, a minimum of 5 players on each team is required to start the game. A team that cannot field at least the minimum number of players within 10 minutes of the scheduled game time, as determined by the referee, forfeits the game.

If one team cannot field the usual number of players for a game, but fields the minimum or more, both teams will play at equal strength. Under no circumstances will teams play at unequal strength.


Either team may substitute:

  • After a goal has been scored.
  • Between the half.
  • To replace an injured player.
  • On a goal kick.

The team in possession of the ball may substitute when throwing in.

No substitution may be made for a player who has been ejected from the game for misconduct.

Duration of Play

Clinic: One half hour of instruction and one half hour of competitive play.

Under 8: Four, 5-minute segments, then a 5-minute half time, then four more 5-minute segments. There will be short (one minute) breaks in between the segments for substitutions.

Under 10: Two 25-minute halves.

Under 12: Two 25-minute halves.

Under 14: Two 25-minute halves.

Should a game have to be stopped, it will be considered complete upon completion of the first half of play.

The clock shall be stopped only after a goal, for an injury.

Teams shall alternate ends of the field for each half.

Duration of games may be lessened due to weather, darkness deteriorating field conditions, or for other reasons at the discretion of the referee.

Players' Equipment

No child will be allowed to play without wearing the full uniform: jersey, shorts, socks and shin pads.

Street shoes will not be permitted as part of the uniform. Only non-metallic cleated sport shoes or sneakers may be worn. Baseball type cleats are not permitted.

Club prescribed uniforms shall be worn external to any other clothing, such as sweaters, jackets, sweat suits etc.

Any item which may constitute a potential danger to another player shall not be worn, for example: watches, rings, bracelets, an unzipped jacket etc.

Players who must wear eyeglasses while playing are encouraged to wear a safety strap and safety lenses.

Casts, splints, metal reinforced braces or other such devices shall not be worn.

The goalkeeper must wear a jersey that distinguishes him/her from his/her own team members as well as opposing team members.

Start of play

The choice of field is decided by the toss of a coin, with the winning team having the alternative of either kicking off or choosing ends. If the winning team opts for the kickoff then the other team has the privilege of choosing ends.

The ball is not in play at the kickoff until it has traveled forward the distance of its own circumference. The kicker cannot play the ball again after the kick until some other player has touched it.

The ball must go forward from the kickoff. It cannot be passed backwards into the kickers half of the field until the second kick or touch of the ball.

Drop Ball

A drop ball shall be used to start play after an injury or any other temporary suspension of play not mentioned elsewhere in these rules.

The ball will be dropped where it was when play was suspended, unless it was in the goal area, in which case it will be dropped just outside the goal area.

A goal can be scored directly from a dropped ball.

A player shall not play the ball until it has touched the ground. The ball shall be deemed in play when it has touched the ground.

If a dropped ball is played incorrectly for any of the above reasons, it shall be retaken.

Ball in or Out of Play

The ball can go out of play three ways:

  1. When all of the ball goes over the goal line.
  2. When all of the ball goes over the touchline.
  3. When the referee stops the play.

The ball remains in play if it hits the goal post, crossbar, corner flag the referee or a linesman as long as the ball has not gone completely over the goal line or touchline.

Note: The ball is said to have gone completely over a goal line or touch line when there is no part of the ball over any part of the line.

Method of Scoring

A goal is scored whenever the ball goes completely over the goal line.

A goal cannot be scored from a throw-in unless a second player touches the ball before it crosses the goal line.


There is no offside penalty in Town Team 6v6 play.

Fouls and Misconduct

The following violations when committed intentionally are punished by the award of a direct free kick to the opposing team:

  • Kicking or attempting to kick an opponent.
  • Tripping an opponent.
  • Jumping at an opponent.
  • Charging at an opponent.
  • Striking or attempting to strike an opponent.
  • Pushing an opponent.
  • Contacting an opponent before contacting the ball when tackling.
  • Holding an opponent.
  • Spitting at an opponent.
  • Handling the ball (other than the goal keeper within his or her own penalty area).

Indirect free kicks are awarded to the opposing team for the following offenses:

  • Playing in a manner considered by the referee to be dangerous.
  • Charging fairly, but when the ball is not within playing distance (approximately within three or four feet of the opponent).
  • Obstructing an opponent when not playing the ball.
  • Charging the goalkeeper within the goalkeeper's own penalty area.
  • When playing as a goalkeeper within his/her own penalty area:
    • Taking more than 5-6 seconds before releasing the ball into play; or
    • After having released it, touching the ball again before it has been touched or played by any other player outside the penalty area or an opposing player within the penalty area; or
    • Touching the ball with his/her hands after being deliberately kicked to him by a team mate; or
    • in the opinion of the referee, deliberately wasting time while holding the ball.
  • Unintentionally interfering with or impeding the goalkeeper when the goalkeeper is in possession of the ball. One hand on the ball shall be considered possession. When in doubt, the call goes in favor of the goalkeeper.
  • The goalkeeper is not allowed to roll the ball along the ground. Dribbling is permissible. In the event that the goalkeeper rolls the ball, an indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team.
  • Heading the ball at waist level or lower when near an opposing player is regarded as dangerous play and is prohibited.

The referee at his/her discretion may issue a warning to a player for a game misconduct. The referee indicates the first warning for a player by holding up a yellow card. The second warning is indicated by holding up a red card.

Yellow card infractions will be indicated by showing a yellow card. Red card infractions will be indicated by showing a red card.

Upon receiving a red card, a player is removed from the game and substitution for that player is not permitted. The ejected player's team must play shorthanded for the remainder of the game.

Warnings will be issued under the following circumstances:

  • Yellow Card Infractions:
    • Entering or leaving the game without permission.
    • Continuing to violate the rules of the game.
    • Arguing or otherwise showing dissent with the referee.
    • Ungentlemanly or unladylike conduct.
  • Red Card Infractions:
    • Engaging in violent conduct.
    • Committing a serious foul.
    • Using obscene or abusive language.
    • Receiving a second yellow card in a single game.

Free Kick

In all leagues in Town Team play all opponents must be eight yards away from the ball when a free kick is taken.

When an indirect free kick is awarded within eight (8) yards of the defenders goal line, the defenders may stand on their own goal line.

Penalty Kick

No penalty kicks shall be taken in all Town Team 6v6 play.

All fouls committed inside the penalty area that would normally result in a penalty kick will be moved outside the penalty area to a point closest to where the foul was committed and a direct free kick will be awarded.

Throw In

At the moment of delivery the thrower must face the field, both feet must be on the ground and neither may be over the touchline, and the ball must be delivered from over his/her head.

In the Under-8 league, the referee will instruct a player who makes a bad throw-in and the throw will be retaken by the same player. In all other Leagues, a member of the opposing team makes the throw-in.

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

The player making the throw-in cannot play the ball again until someone else has touched it. The penalty for doing so is an indirect free kick for the opposing team at the point of violation.

Goal Kick

The goal kick must be taken from within the goal area, and all opponents must be out of the penalty area at the time it is taken. The ball is not in play until it passes out of the penalty area and may not be played until it has passed outside the penalty area. A goal cannot be scored directly from a goal kick.

If a goal kick is played incorrectly for any of the above reasons, it must be retaken.

The player taking the goal kick cannot play the ball again until someone else has touched it or played it. The penalty for doing so is an indirect free kick for the opposing team at the point of violation. There is no longer any restriction on how far goal kicks may travel before hitting the ground or being played. Previously they needed to hit the ground or be played before crossing mid field.

Goalie Distribution

The restriction on Keeper distributions (throws, punts or drop kicks) needing to hit the ground or be played before crossing midfield has been changed. Keeper distributions must now hit the ground or be played before entering the other penalty area. The restart is an indirect kick from midfield for the opposing team.

Corner Kick

A goal can be scored directly from a corner kick.

In all Town Team 6v6 play, all opponents must be eight yards away from the ball before it is kicked.

The kicker cannot play the ball again until someone else has touched it. The penalty for doing so is an indirect free kick for the opposing team at the point of violation.

If a corner kick is played incorrectly for any of the above reasons, it must be retaken.



Stoneham Soccer Club
P.O. Box 261  Stoneham Massachusetts 02180

Email: [email protected]
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