IM SOCCER - RULES
- The game consists of two 30 minute halves with a 5 minute halftime
- The game is to start 5 minutes past the scheduled game time to allow a brief warmup on the field. (i.e. the whistle blows at 7:35 for a 7:30 game) Any team with less than 7 players at the start of the games will be recorded as forfeiting the game. If the teams cause a delay in the start of the game, the halves should be shortened to ensure that the game ends on time.
- Each team should be wearing different colors and their keepers easily identifiable.
THE BALL IN AND OUT OF PLAY
Play is started and stopped by various mechanisms:
- Kickoff - At the start of each half and after each goal. The ball must travel one circumference and be touched by a second person before being played by the player who originally took the kick. A goal may not be scored directly off a kickoff.
- Throw-in - After the whole of the ball has passed over the whole of the touchline the team who did not last touch the ball throws the ball in. The technique involves both feet on the ground, two hands, and the ball starts behind the back of the head and is brought over in one continuous motion. If an improper throw-in is made the opposing team gets possession of the ball for another throw-in. A goal may not be scored directly from throw-in.
- Goal kick - After the whole of the ball has passed over the goal line (with the obvious exception of between the goal posts) after having last been played by the attacking team, the defense shall put the ball into play from anywhere in their goal area. The ball must be kicked out of the penalty area to be put into play and all of the offensive team must remain outside of the penalty area until the ball is in play. A goal may not be scored directly from a goal kick.
- Corner kick - After the whole of the ball has passed over the goal line (with the obvious exception of between the goal posts) after having last been played by the defending team, the offense shall put the ball into play from the closest corner of the field. The ball must travel the distance of its circumference to be put into play and all of the defensive team must remain at least 10 yards away until the ball is in play. A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick.
FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
Free kicks are taken from the point of infraction unless within the penalty area of the field. The offense must take free kicks on the goal box parallel to the goal line at the point closest to the infraction. The defense may take a free kick anywhere within the penalty box.
A direct free kick will be assessed for the following fouls:
- Jumping at an opponent
- Charging in a dangerous or violent manner
- Charging from behind
- Striking (or attempting to strike) an opponent (this includes spitting)
- Handling the ball
Should a player of the defending team commit one of the above fouls within the penalty area, a penalty kick will be awarded to the offensive team regardless of where the ball is.
An indirect free kick will be assessed for the following fouls:
- Slide tackling (C league only) subject to the rules for tripping
- Slide tackles where the ball is first touched and then the opponent's legs (All leagues)
- Dangerous play (e.g. high kicks, attempting to kick the ball while in possession of the keeper, etc)
- Charging fairly when the ball is not within playing distance and the players involved are definitely not trying to play it.
- Intentionally obstructing an opponent. (Note the exception of walking the ball out of play!)
- Charging the goalkeeper
- Goalkeeper 1) takes more than 4 steps with the ball, 2) touches ball before another player after releasing it into play, 3) touches the ball with his/her hands after it has been deliberately kicked by a teammate, and 4) delays the game
- Offside - A player is offside if he/she is nearer to the opponents' goal-line than the ball unless 1) he/she is in his/her own half of the field or 2) is not nearer to the opponents' goal-line than at least two of the opponents. A player shall not be declared offside by the referee merely for being in an offside position unless the player is interfering with play or with an opponent or is seeking to gain advantage by being in that position. Offside is called when the ball is touched or played by one of the player's teammates. Offside does not exist on goal kick, corner kick, or throw-ins.
Yellow cards (cautions) are given and an indirect free kick awarded if:
- A player enters the field without notifying the referee
- A player consistently violates the rules of the game
- Dissent (word or action) of a decision made by the referee
- Unsportsmanlike conduct (e.g. screaming at an opponent, delaying a free kick, etc.)
Red cards (players are sent off the field without a substitute) are given if a player:
- Is guilty of violent behavior or serious foul play
- Uses foul or abusive language
- Is guilty of a second cautionable offense after already receiving a caution
- Deliberately denies an opponent a goal or a goal-scoring opportunity by either handling the ball in his/her own penalty area or by illegally charging/tackling an opponent on a breakway
Players who get more than one red card are subject to being suspended from IM Soccer.