Rules for the Governance and Law
Of Small Sided Football
The following is a comprehensive list of rules and regulations relating to the playing of small-sided football at Gôl Centres Limited facilities.
Small-sided football means 5, 6 or 7 a side football. It does not include mini-soccer.
In particular these rules relate to:
1. The Terms and Conditions for playing
2. The Laws of the game.
3. The Discipline Procedures.
The Terms and conditions for playing
1.0 The Playing area.
1.1 The pitch must be rectangular. The length of the touchline must be greater than the
length of the goal line.
Length: Minimum 25m
Width: Minimum 16.5m
1.2 The centre mark is indicated at the midpoint of the pitch.
1.3 The pitch is surrounded by barriers, which shall mark the boundaries of the pitch. 1.4 Goals must be placed in the centre of the two smaller boundaries. 1.5 They consist of two upright posts equidistant from each corner and joined at the top
by a horizontal crossbar.
1.6 The distance (inside measurement) between the posts is maximum 5m, minimum 3m
and the distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the ground is maximum 2m,
1.7 Both goalposts and crossbar have the same width and depths of 8cm. Nets, made of
hemp, jute or nylon, are attached to the posts and crossbars behind the goals. 1.8 The goals may be portable but must be anchored securely to the ground. 1.9 The playing surface must be flat and even and may be of artificial material. 1.10 The ball is: Spherical, made of leather or other suitable material and of a size appropriate to the age group playing.
1.11 If the ball bursts or becomes defective: the match is stopped, the ball replaced and
play recommences with a drop from where the first ball became defective. 2.0 A Gôl Centres Limited “League”
2.1 Each Gôl Centres Limited 5 or 7-a-side Division will consist of a minimum of six and
a maximum of twelve clubs (hereafter known as “teams”).
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2.2 A league season will normally constitute each team in the division playing each other
twice; smaller divisions may operate a different procedure to enable all divisions to
finish at the same time.
2.3 Three points shall be awarded for a win, one for a draw and no points for a loss. 2.4 League position shall be decided by: a) Total points b) Results between teams c) Goal
difference d) Goals scored
2.5 Gôl Centres Limited policy is that 2 teams are promoted and two teams are relegated
from each division at the end of the season. However in the event of teams not re-
registering, withdrawing or being withdrawn from the league, Gôl Centres Limited
reserves the right to promote, relegate or otherwise alter the fixtures of any team,
within reason at any time.
3.0 Team Entry
3.1 Teams may be entered by the team organiser completing the prescribed league
application form and player registration forms and paying the “registration fee”
(including the “security deposit”) in full.
3.2 Registration fees for the following season must be paid on the day or before the last
day of the current season. A receipt will be issued for all registration fees paid. On the
morning following the last game of a season all teams who have paid will be
allocated a place in the new season. Teams who have failed to pay will risk losing
their place to teams on the “standby list”.
3.3 Newly registered teams may be placed on a “standby list and required to play grading
games to ascertain their playing standard, whilst waiting for a suitable league place to
3.4 Gôl Centres Limited reserves the right to enter new teams into vacated league spaces
at any stage during the season. These teams will take over the points and records of
the team they replaced.
3.5 No team owing money will be allowed to enter a new season. Records are kept of all
3.6 Team organisers must sign the league agreement form, noting the liability disclaimers
contained within. Failure to sign the form will result in the team being withdrawn
from the league.
4.0 Player registration and availability
4.1 All players must be registered with Gôl Centres Limited on the appropriate forms. 4.2 All players in adult leagues must be a minimum of 16 years of age and the team
organiser must a minimum of 18 years of age.
4.3 All teams may register a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 15 (20 for 7-a-side)
players that can be used per season. Teams may add to their squad during a season as
long as the number of players does not exceed a total of 15 (20 for 7-a-side). All
players must be registered at reception by the team organiser prior to the
commencement of play.
4.4 Eight players may be selected from the team squad for each match, 5 players and
three substitutes. For 7-a-side, ten players may be selected, 7 players and three
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4.5 Players once registered for a particular team for a season may not transfer to another
team in the same division. Transfers outwith a division must be registered with
reception so that paperwork can be amended.
4.6 Any team found with unregistered or suspended players on the field will have the
match awarded to the opposition with a 10-0 score line; there will be no re-
imbursement of match fee.
4.7 Any team found to be falsifying team sheets will have the match points awarded to
the opposition with a 10-0 score line.
4.8 A team may use a maximum of 2 guest players on any single night, provided they are
registered with reception. Guest players may not be permanently registered to another
team in the same league division as the team they are guesting for.
4.9 A breach of player registration or suspension rules entitles the opposing team to claim
a 10-0 victory. Gôl Centres Limited may award a 10-0 forfeit whether the opposing
team claim victory or not. Gôl Centres Limited reserves the right to deduct additional
points if it suspects teams are deliberately attempting to gain an advantage, by
playing unregistered or suspended players, they may also expel teams from the
league if persistent breaches occur.
4.10 A player may be allowed to stand in to play for another team within the same league
set up, but only if the following conditions are met:
i) The player in question is not precluded from playing by any disciplinary ban thii) The player or players may only make up to the 5 man and must be removed
from the field of play if subsequently an officially registered player or players
joins the team after kick off. A team may only have a maximum of 2 stand in
players per game.
iii) The players registered to another team within the same division cannot guest
for a team within the same division.
4.11 The Stand-in player must have permission prior to kick off from: Gôl Centres
Limited management. The player must also be clearly marked on the sign-in sheet
as a stand-in player.
4.12 Team organisers must maintain a record of guest appearances in order to avoid
persistent “guesting” does not occur.
5.0 Prior to a League fixture
5.1 The team organiser must pay the match fee at reception. On doing so they will receive
the match team folder and are responsible for nominating the maximum 8 (10 for 7-
a-side) players to take part in the match.
5.2 The Match referee will not commence any game until he/she has received both teams
match tickets and sign-in sheets.
5.3 Any team arriving late for a scheduled fixture will begin their game 1-0 down. One
goal will be awarded for every further 4 minute period after the scheduled kick off
time. After 12 minutes the offending team will concede the game. The length of
the game will be reduced accordingly.
6.0 Cancellations, Postponements and Re-arrangements
6.1 All games are to be played as per the original fixture list unless one of the following
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i) Adverse weather conditions making the pitches unplayable. Any decision to cancel the game can only be made by a member of Gôl Centres Limited Management. All games will be re-arranged by Gôl Centres Limited staff within an appropriate time scale.
ii) Public Holiday, if the centre is closed, games will be re-arranged by Gôl Centres Limited staff. All rearrangements will be verified with the team organiser and once agreed will be final. If the centre is not closed, games will be as scheduled.
Procedure if you wish to rearrange a game or kick off time
Notice period given Opportunity to rearrange
The match will be rearranged by the League Co-
ordinator for any date before the end of the current
season which can be agreed by both sides. If the In excess of 20 days match is not played by the end of the season the
result will be awarded against the team who
requested the fixture to be moved, however, there
will be no match fee.
The match can be rearranged but it must be played
BEFORE its original scheduled date. If both sides
can not agree on a date to play before hand it must
be played as the original fixture list states. Gôl will Less than 20 days but more than always help to find guest players if individuals are 48 hours notice struggling for a team.
If you do not play the game a walk over will be
given against your side and you will need to pay
both teams match fees.
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Gôl are unable to rearrange a fixture with less than
48 hours notice but will always help with players.
This includes contacting players we know are
looking for teams or even a member of staff helping Less than 48 hours notice you to fulfil your fixture.
If you do not play the game a walk over will be
given against your side and you will need to pay
both teams match fees.
6.1.1 The general rule is that a team may only request for one game to be rearranged
per season. At the Centre Managers discretion a second game may be allowed in
exceptional circumstances eg. Bank holidays.
6.1.2 The request for rearrangement of a game must be given in writing. Dated and
witnessed by a member of staff.
6.1.3 If 20 days notice is given, but the opposition team (ie the team who did not
request the game to be postponed) are intentionally unwilling to play the match,
Gôl Centres will award the match 10-0 to their opposition as a result.
7.0 League Replacements and withdrawals
7.1 If a league team pulls out or is removed at any point in the season, Gôl Centres
Limited will attempt to replace them from teams on the standby list. The new team
will inherit the points total and league position of the team they are replacing up to
week 10, thereafter the matches will be awarded 10-0, but a friendly match must be
played for the opposing team to gain these points, it is not automatic. If Gôl Centres
Limited cannot replace the team immediately, all scheduled fixtures in the meantime
will be awarded to the opposition by a score of 10-0, as well as 3 points. The results
of matches involving the exiting team prior to their departure will stand. 7.2 Any team withdrawing from the league will be billed their team fee for the league
games they are failing to fulfil, for the remainder of the season, or until their place in
that league has been filled .
8.1 Teams are required to fulfil all fixtures and are liable to pay the fee whether the game
is played or not. Failure to turn up for the game will result in the team being
subject to the following conditions and payment regulations.
i) If a team fails to turn up for any scheduled game or rearrangement the game
will be declared a forfeit win to the opposition, 3 points and a 10-0 result. The
opposing team must be available to play a friendly match in order to claim
these points. The team which failed to turn up will also be docked 1 point. No
ii) The team who cancelled or failed to turn up will be billed for both teams
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iii) The Match fee/Good Faith Bond must be re-paid within 5 days.
iv) Failure to make payment will result in a team being removed from the league
(see league replacements and withdrawals)
v) Any debts owed by a team will be subject to debt collection in the name of the
vi) Local rules will apply to junior leagues at the discretion of the Duty Manager.
vii) Please note a repayment scheme can be arranged for Team organisers to pay
outstanding bills over a three-week period.
viii) Finally, should a game be abandoned at any stage with neither team at fault, a
full-length replay with scores starting at 0-0 shall decide the match. The fees
paid for the original match will be retained and the replay arranged free of
9.1 Any player caught consuming alcohol prior to a league game or thought to be under
the influence of drugs, prescription or otherwise will not be permitted to play and
risks having the game abandoned.
9.2 Gôl Centres Limited can prevent anyone entering the premises if they think their
behaviour or appearance is unsuitable.
9.3 Players must show consideration for other people in the premises. Gôl Centres
Limited will not tolerate rude or abusive language or the threat or use of violence
towards other guests or its staff.
9.4 Racial Abuse and/or acts of Discrimination will not be tolerated, any person(s) found
to be engaging in such actions will be served a Life Ban from all Gôl Centres Limited
9.5 Players must obey notices and signs on display in the premises. Players and their
guests should ensure that their children or other junior members under their
supervision keep to the rules displayed at all times whilst on the premises. Players are
responsible for the behaviour and actions of their children at all times whilst they are
on the premises or using the facilities.
9.6 Unless the child is attending an organised Gôl Centres Limited activity, children
under 16 must be supervised at all times whilst on the premises by a Parent or
9.7 All teams will be responsible for supporters of their team, whether team members or
not. Exclusion from the league will result for teams whose supporters consistently
cause a nuisance. Referees have the authority to remove any unruly supporters from
the pitch side, or if necessary abandon the game.
9.8 If a supporter is guilty of verbal abuse toward either the referee or the opposing team,
the game will be stopped and will not continue until the individual is in the building.
Should the abuse continue then the game will be awarded to the opposition with a 10-
0 score line.
9.9 Any individual threatening to harm or inflicting harm on any Referee or Member of
Gôl Centres Limited‟s Staff, will not only receive a life ban from Gôl Centres
Limited, but the incident will also be reported to all relevant National associations,
who have the power to enforce a ban from all forms of competitive football. The
Police will also be involved.
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10.0 Health & Safety
10.1 Shin Pads must be worn at all times during the game (including goalkeepers). 10.2 Jewellery must be removed or taped up during matches (including goalkeepers). 10.3 In the event of a fire, players and guests should make their way calmly to the nearest
clearly marked exit.
10.4 Crockery and glass are not to be taken into changing areas or onto the pitches. 10.5 Smoking is not permitted on the premises.
10.6 Pets are not allowed on the premises or grounds (with the exception of guide dogs). 11.0 Lockers
11.1 Pitch fees do not cover the cost of lockers. Players can hire lockers on a daily basis.
If a key is lost to any locker hired, then the hirer will be liable for the cost of a new
lock and key.
11.2 Any property stored in lockers is done so entirely at the hirer‟s risk. Gôl Centres
Limited accepts no responsibility.
11.3 Gôl Centres Limited is not responsible for any items removed from lockers that have
not been paid for or have been left behind.
12.0 Lost property
12.1 Any item of lost property found should be handed to Gôl Centres Limited Reception.
Items found will be available for collection between 10am and 10pm. Gôl Centres
Limited will retain lost items for 6 weeks maximum, thereafter they may be given
13.1 Players and guests must park only in the designated parking spaces. 13.2 Motorbikes or scooters are not permitted beside the pitches and must be parked in
the car park or designated area.
13.3 Gôl Centres Limited reserves the right to clamp or remove vehicles parked outside
designated areas, or parked in disabled spaces when not entitled.
13.4 Gôl Centres Limited accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage (howsoever
caused) to players or guest‟s vehicles whilst on our premises.
14.0 Telephone calls
14.1 Gôl Centres Limited may record phone calls between players, their guests and
members of staff.
15.1 The Gôl Centres Limited premises are covered by CCTV cameras and activity is
recorded 24 hours a day.
16.1 Gôl Centres Limited liability for damage or loss to user property is strictly limited to
any damage or loss suffered as a result of Gôl Centres Limited negligence. With
this exception Gôl Centres Limited will not accept liability for the safety of users
personal property brought on to the premises. Any property stored in lockers is
done so entirely at the user‟s risk. Vehicles parked on Gôl Centres Limited property
and all contents contained within are also at the owner‟s risk.
16.2 Gôl Centres Limited staff are expressly forbidden to hold valuables (including
locker keys) of any kind on behalf of players. Gôl Centres Limited does not accept
responsibility for any goods or items left within or in the care of its staff.
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16.3 Gôl Centres Limited cannot accept any liability for any accident or injury to any
member, child or user that may happen on the premises or within the grounds of the
premises, other than liability that arises from Gôl Centres Limited‟s negligence. If
any member (or other user) suffers an accident or injury whilst on the premises, it,
and its circumstances must be reported immediately to the Duty Manager. 17.0 Physical Activity
17.1 Five-a-side is a vigorous sport and players and their guests should only undertake
the activity to a level, which reflects their level of fitness. Players and their guests
are responsible for monitoring their own condition during play. Gôl Centres
Limited will not be responsible for any harm you may suffer as a result of taking
part in any activity on our premises unless it is caused by our negligence. 17.2 If any player or guest suffers any unusual reaction to playing or feels unwell, they
i) Stop the activity.
ii) Report it to the Duty Manager.
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The Laws of the Game
LAW 1. The number of players.
A match is played between two teams, consisting of a maximum of 5 (7 in 7-a-side) players, one of whom is the goalkeeper.
The minimum number of players permitted is 4 (5 for 7-a-side), one of whom must be the goalkeeper.
Up to 8 players (10 for 7-a-side) may be named for a match.
If any team is reduced to 3 players (or 4 players in the 7-a-aside version of the game) due to misconduct, the game will be awarded to their opponents with a score of 10-0. A reduction to 3 players (or 4 players in the 7-a-aside version of the game) means a permanent reduction through sending off, not temporarily two players in the sin bin. Where 3 players are sent to the sin bin at the same time then the game will be awarded to their opponents with a score of 10-0.
The maximum amount of substitutes permitted is three. The number of substitutions made during a match is unlimited. A player who has been replaced may return to the pitch as a substitute for another player.
Substitutions can only take place during a break in play, when the ball is deemed “dead”
by the referee.
The player entering the playing area must wait until the player being substituted has left the pitch.
The player entering the playing area immediately becomes „active‟ in play.
Changing places with the Goalkeeper
Any of the other outfield players or substitutes may change places with the goalkeeper. There is no restriction to the amount of times the goalkeeper may be changed but the following conditions must be observed, as is the case with all substitutions:
i) The referee must be informed before the change is made
ii) The change can only be made during a stoppage in play
iii) The referee is satisfied there is no intention to deliberately time waste.
iv) The replacement goalkeeper must wear a jersey which distinguishes him/her
from all other players.
Infringements/Sanctions relating to this law
If whilst a substitution is being made, a substitute enters the pitch and play resumes before the departing player has completely left the field:
i) The play will be stopped.
ii) The player being replaced is instructed to leave the pitch.
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iii) Play is restarted by the award of an indirect free kick, to the opposing team
from the place where the ball was situated when the game was stopped.
However if the ball was inside the penalty area then a free kick will be
awarded to the opposition on the penalty line nearest to the position of the ball
when play was stopped.
iv) If a player repeatedly offends he/she may be sin binned or with further
infringements, sent off, at the discretion of the referee.
LAW 2. Players Equipment.
A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself/herself or another player.
Jewellery must be removed or taped up, this includes Goalkeepers wearing gloves who should remove rings or tape them up.
The basic compulsory equipment of a player is:
a) A jersey or shirt, outfield players should wear a recognisable strip of the
same colour. The Goalkeepers shirt should distinguish him/her from the
other outfield players.
b) Shorts or track suit bottoms
d) Shin guards must be worn. They should be covered entirely by the socks
and be made of a suitable material that offers a reasonable degree of
e) Footwear must be either: Astro-boots, Soft rubber moulded boots or
Trainers. Screw-in studs and Blades are not permitted.
Infringements/Sanctions relating to this law
The referee is instructed not to allow any game to take place where the player or players are not properly attired. This includes all the above. If the player or players are unable to wear the correct equipment then, in such cases the game will be awarded to the opposition 10-0 and the team infringing will forfeit its match fee.
Players that can correct their equipment will be instructed to leave the field of play and do so. They may not return to the pitch without first checking with the referee that their equipment is now correct. This must take place during a stoppage in play.
LAW 3. The Referee
The authority of the Referee
Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he/she has been appointed, from the moment he/she enters the locality where the pitch is situated until he/she leaves. Powers and duties
i) Enforces the Laws of the Game
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