Indoor League Rules 2017


We have adopted these rules to help the flow of the game and to create an atmosphere where the game of indoor soccer in South Baltimore can be enjoyed by Players and Fans alike. These rules are set forth by the Board of Directors of the SBYSL and are enforced by the referees appointed by the board for each game.

Referees and coaches are, indeed, strongly urged to attend all league meetings about the rules.

Among other things, the Rules' intent is to promote the adoption of standards for indoor soccer, which will further promote its identity, growth and, above all, fun for those of all skill levels and ages.

We ask all players, coaches, spectators, referees, and Board Members to keep in mind that this league is a volunteer run league and everyone is here for the kids and the promotion of the League as a whole. This being said, we would like everyone to play hard, play fair and above all, HAVE FUN

League Point System: Each team win will earn 3 points for a win and 1 point for a Tie. There are no points awarded for a loss. The team which accumulates the most points will be the SBYSL regular season champion. In the event that teams finish the regular season tied, cumulative goal differential will be used to determine the standings. (A coin flip will be used if a third tie break is required.) At the end of the season we will have a playoff to determine the overall champion.

Rule 1 - The Field of Play

See Official Field Diagram for standard dimensions for the field, goals and markings.

Rule 2 - The Ball

The ball is Size 4 (6/7,8/9) or Size 5 (10/13, 14/17).

Ball Change: The ball may not be changed except by the Referee.

The game ball is delivered to the Referee prior to each game. At the end of each Half, the ball is maintained by the Referee. Upon the game's conclusion, the Referee returns the game ball to the person or team which supplied them.

Rule 3 - The Players


6/7 Yr Olds - 8 Total Players (7 with 1 keeper) Minimum 6 TOTAL PLAYERS
8/9 Yr Olds - 8 Total Players (7 with 1 keeper) Minimum 6 TOTAL PLAYERS
10/13 Yr Olds - 7 Total Players (6 with 1 keeper) Minimum 5 TOTAL PLAYERS
14/17 Yr Olds - 6 Total Players (5 with 1 keeper) Minimum 5 TOTAL PLAYERS


No players or spectators on field during halftime. Post-game: Players and spectators must yield to the oncoming teams. If time allows, oncoming teams can use the field for a few minutes prior to kick off for warm-ups.

Two coaches are allowed inside the Players Box. No coaches are allowed behind the goal or along the floor area.


Each team may substitute players freely; provided that, during play, players must substitute off the field of play or within the Touch Line in the area of their Team Bench.  ALL COACHES MUST TRY TO GIVE "ALL" PLAYERS EQUAL PLAYING TIME

Equal Time Penalty

Any team in violation will receive a loss for the game in question and also have 3 points removed from their team in the standings and a possible coach suspension.

Guaranteed Substitution

There will be a 20 second Guaranteed Substitution at the following stoppages.

  • After a Goal
  • After a penalty/card has been assessed (not one resulting in a penalty shot)
  • After an Injury (the injured player must sub off if the coach tends to them)
  • Any SUPERSTRUCTURE violation

The referee in the box will raise his hand over his head during guaranteed substitutions, and will look to the coaches. Coaches should yell "SUB" and the referee in the box will hold play for up to 20 seconds to complete the substitution. If the coach does not yell within a few seconds, the referee in the box will signal for play to resume, and normal substitutions must be made.

There will be no substitutions allowed at the following stoppages:

  • Any 3 line violation
  • Penalty Shot

Player Requiring Treatment for Injury:

The Referee sends any player to his Team Bench who requires treatment for injury or blood (regardless whether the blood is his own or another's, or is on his body or uniform). This occurs at the first opportunity recognized by the Referee, whether at the game's next stoppage or his order when (i) the injury is deemed critical, (ii) by the location of the injured player, he is likely to interfere with play, or (iii) the injured player's team has control of the ball. Any player sent off for treatment may not reenter until fit to return and until, if applicable, the expiration of the player's Time Penalty. The Referee shall approve any blood treatment prior to allowing the player to reenter the field. If allowed by the Referee and permitted by administrative policy, a player whose uniform is stained with blood and untreated may wear alternative clothing.

Rule 4 - The Players' Equipment


Players wear their team's uniform, consisting of the same colors, shin guards UNDER socks, and indoor footwear (flat bottom shoes are required).


The Goalkeeper wears jersey colors distinguished from all other field players and from the referees

Dangerous Equipment

Jewelry and other accessories are prohibited.

(Note: the league highly recommends that players with braces use a mouth guard. Players who require glasses should try to use sport googles, contacts, or a restraint. Both of these items are recommendations and will not prevent a player from participating.)

Rule 5 - The Referee


One Referee or Two Referees officiates each game and a Timekeeper. So long as a Referee is on the facility compound of an assigned game, he shall execute, or delegate to other Game Officials the execution of, these Rules.

Decisions of Fact and Rule:

The decisions of the Referee regarding facts connected with play and interpretation of Rules are final. The Referee may change any decision prior to a Restart upon his own reconsideration.


The Referee's power to assess penalties, and otherwise assure fair play and maintain control of a game, extends to violations of these Rules committed during play, during stoppages, and as players and other team personnel proceed to and from the field of play. This includes the power to:

Award or Disallow a Goal: The Referee determines whether or not a goal is scored.

Suspend or Terminate the Game: The Referee stops, suspends, or terminates the game at his discretion by reason of the elements, interference by spectators, an unsafe condition, or other justifiable cause.

Stop the Clock: The Referee stops the Game Clock due to an unusual delay (subject to administrative policy.)

Prohibit Field Entry: The Referee ensures that no unauthorized person enters the field of play during a game. Summon Security: The Referee asks facility security guards to prevent any spectator, including team personnel, from interfering with the play of the game for: (1) Violent conduct, including tossing objects onto the field of play; (2) Foul or abusive language or behavior; or (3) Persistent unseemly behavior.

Game Report:

Subject to administrative policy, the Referee files a Game Report, including information on any disciplinary action and other incident (e.g., serious injury) or circumstance occurring before, during, or after the game.

Rule 6 - The Duration of the Game

The game is to start ON TIME and ONLY play the specified amount of minutes. Please leave the field after your amount of game time. This will give the next team a couple minutes to stretch and prepare for their game. Please give courtesy for the next team to prepare for their game!!

  • Periods - All Ages 4- 12 minute periods
  • Overtime: No overtime will be played during the regular season. Games can result in a tie.
  • Running Clock: Except in the case of an unusual delay, determined by the referee, the Game Clock counts down continuously through each Quarter
  • Halftime and Breaks: For all games, there will be a 3 Minute halftime and a 1 minute break in between the 1st and 2nd periods and between the 3rd and 4th periods. The period can start early if teams are ready.
  • Timeouts: Each team may have one 30-second time out per game. Timeouts may only be requested in a dead ball situation when your team has possession. If the ball is in play, the goalie may call timeout if they have undisputed possession of the ball. Both teams can call a timeout after a goal is scored.

Rule 7 - The Start and Restart of Play

A Kickoff from the Center Mark starts play at the beginning of each Quarter and after every goal. Immediately prior to the Kickoff, all players remain in their respective defensive halves, and all defending players are outside of the Center Circle. Once the Referee signals the Kickoff, a player of the team having the Kickoff has 5 seconds to play the ball. A player who starts play may not again play the ball until it touches another player. The ball may be played either forwards or backwards.

The Visitor Team takes the Kickoff for the first and third quarters and the Home Team takes the Kickoff for the second and fourth quarters. The team sitting on the right (looking from the Ref crease) is the home team.

Teams change defensive ends after every quarter.

Restarts take place by a Kickoff, Free Kick, Goalkeeper Distribution, or Dropped Ball. The team opposing that which is responsible for the stoppage takes the Restart. Except for a Dropped Ball, the same player who takes a Restart may not again make contact with the ball until touched by another player. Other than for Kickoffs or as provided below, Restarts occur within three feet (3') from the spot of the ball at the moment of stoppage.

Free Kick

A team receives a Free Kick after stoppages other than when a Dropped Ball or Goalkeeper Distribution is required. Before the team takes the Free Kick, the ball must be stationary. All opposing players are at least 10 feet from the spot of the Free Kick (or, if within 10 feet of the opponent's Goal, along the Goal Line). The Referee whistles the Restart for all Free Kicks taken from any circle Mark and after stoppages due to an injury, Time Penalty, or other incident within the Referee's discretion. In the instance of a Time Penalty or ejection, the Referee whistles the Restart after the player serving the Time Penalty has sat down in the Penalty Area or the ejected person has left the area visible to the field of play.

The spot of the Free Kick is that provided above, except:

  1. Within Own Penalty Box: Goalkeeper Distribution.
  2. Within Opponent's Penalty Box: at the Free Kick Mark ("Top of the Arch").
  3. Illegal Pass Back to Goalkeeper: A Free Kick occurring after an illegal pass back to the Goalkeeper is taken at the Free Kick Mark ("Top of the Arch").
  4. Delayed Penalty: (i) according to the ensuing stoppage, as normally administered, or (ii) in case the defending team obtains possession of the ball during play, at the spot of the original offense.
  5. Kick-In: from the point on the Touch Line nearest where the ball crossed over the Perimeter Wall.
  6. Corner Kick: When the whole of the ball, having last touched a defending player, crosses an end of the Perimeter Wall between the Corner Flags, the opposing team takes a Free Kick from the Corner Mark, nearest to where the ball exited play.
  7. Three-Line Violation: from the offending team's Restart Mark.
  8. Superstructure Violation: from the Restart Mark nearer to where the ball was last touched.

Dropped Ball Restart

If neither team has clear possession of the ball at a stoppage, the Referee restarts play with a Dropped Ball. A Dropped Ball caused while the ball is inside a Penalty Box takes place at the Free Kick Mark. The ball is not in play until it hits the ground.

Goal Kick or Goalkeeper Distribution

Play restarts with a Goalkeeper Distribution anywhere within the Penalty Box after an attacking player has last touched the ball before crossing an end perimeter wall.

Rule 8 - The Ball In And Out Of Play

Ball In Play

The ball is "in play" once each Kickoff or Restart legally begins and the ball makes any discernable movement. The ball remains "in play" until a stoppage, recognized by the Referee.

Restarts Within Defensive Penalty Arch

For Restarts by a team within its Penalty Arch, the ball is not "in play" until the game is properly restarted and the ball is propelled beyond the Penalty Arch by the player taking the Restart.

Ball Out Of Play

The ball is "out of play" once any stoppage occurs which the Referee acknowledges or orders, whether for goals, Fouls, Time Penalties, injuries, out of bounds, Three-Line Violations, or Superstructure Violations.

Three Line Violation

A Three-Line Violation occurs when a player propels the ball in the air across the two Red Lines and the Halfway Line toward the opponent's Goal without touching the Perimeter Wall, another player or a Referee on the field of play.

Superstructure Violation

A Superstructure Violation occurs when the ball contacts any part of the roof or roof netting above the field of play. The side nets are not considered a superstructure violation only the ceiling netting.

Rule 9 - The Method of Scoring


A team scores a goal when the whole of the ball legally passes over the Goal Line between the goalposts and under the crossbar. A goal may be scored directly from a Kickoff or Restart.

Winning Team

The team scoring the greater number of goals during a game is the winner.


No goal is allowed if an outside agent alters the path of the ball on its way over the Goal line.

Rule 10 - Fouls and Other Violations

10.1 Penal Fouls

A Foul, resulting in a Free Kick, is assessed to a player who commits any of the following offenses in a manner that the Referee considers careless, serious, reckless, or involving excessive force:

  1. Holds an opponent
  2. Handles the ball (except by the Goalkeeper within his Penalty Box)
  3. Plays in a dangerous manner (e.g., commits boarding)
  4. Slide tackling
  5. Impedes the progress of an opponent ("Obstruction"), or
  6. Prevents the Goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands; ("GK Interference")
  7. Kicks an opponent
  8. Trips an opponent
  9. Jumps at an opponent
  10. Charges an opponent
  11. Strikes or elbows an opponent
  12. Pushes an opponent.
  13. Offensive player can not deter Goalie from doing his job
  14. Heading the ball (ages 6/7 and 8/9)

(Note: No head balls allowed during practice, warm-ups or games for under 10 age groups. 10/13 can only head the ball during actual game play. 14/17 can head the ball during practice, warm-ups and games.)

10.2 Unsporting Behavior:

A Free Kick results for the following offenses:

(a) Illegal Substitution After Injury: Attempting to enter play without the required Referee consent; Referee consent is indicated by a whistle, raised hand, or verbal communication with the referee.

(b) Equipment Violation: Entering play without an ordered uniform adjustment;

(c) Leverage: Using the body of a teammate to propel oneself to head the ball;

(d) Encroachment: Entering the protected area of an opposing player taking a Free Kick (after initial Warning);

(e) Trickery: Passing the ball back to a Goalkeeper by trickery (Rule 10.3(b));

(f) Dissent: Committing any of the following offenses, whether before, during, or after the game:

(1) Referee Abuse: Words or actions directed by any player or team personnel at an official in dissent;

(2) Breach of Penalty Area Decorum: Delay in entering the Penalty Area; failure to sit and remain seated in the Penalty Area after a Warning; or premature or unpermitted exit from the Penalty Area;

(3) Entering the Referee Crease without the Referee's permission;

(g) Other: Behavior which, in the Referee's discretion, does not warrant another category of penalty.

10.3 Goalkeeper Violations:

(NOTE: The ball must remain inside the penalty area for the goalkeeper to handle with their hands. The body of the goalkeeper can exit the penalty area and they can still legally handle the ball with their hands. Once the ball is wholly outside of the penalty lines, it can no longer be handled legally with the hands.)

The opposing team receives a Free Kick at the arc at top of box for the following violations by a Goalkeeper:

  1. Illegal Handling: Bringing the ball from outside of the Penalty Box to his hand within it, or receiving the ball again after a Goalkeeper Distribution without the ball's having first touched an opponent;

(Note: the goalkeeper is not allowed to use their feet to dribble the ball back into the penalty box and pick it up with their hands. The penalty is a free kick restart, similar to pass back violation.)

  1. Pass Back: Handling the ball, having been passed deliberately and directly to him by a teammate from the outside of the defensive end (Goal line to Yellow line); except that he may handle a ball which a teammate passes to him by the head, chest, or knee and without "trickery" (the use of a wall or foot to flick the ball to a head, chest, or knee before making the pass);
  2. 5-Seconds: Controlling the ball with either his hand or foot inside of his Penalty Box for over five (5) seconds.
  3. Delay of Game Violation: Goalie that intentionally kicks ball out of play in their own defensive end results in a Delay of game violation.

10.4 Team Violations:

The Referee issues a Team Penalty for the following violations by a team or unidentified person:

  1. Leaving Team Bench: Players leave a Team Bench to join a fracas or confrontation with the opposition or a Game Official;
  2. Bench Dissent: After an initial "Warning," one or more unidentifiable players verbally abuse the Referee.
  3. Other: Unsporting Behavior, which, in the Referee's discretion, does not warrant another category of penalty (e.g., too many players on the field.)

10.5 Advantage Rule:

The Referee allows play to continue, notwithstanding the commission of an offense, when the team against which it has been committed will benefit from an existing offensive advantage.

10.6 Flagrant Fouls:

A Penalty Kick is awarded for the following Fouls committed by a defender in his defensive half of the field:

(a) A Foul within the Penalty Arch or Goal for which he receives a Time Penalty;

(b) A Foul from behind against an attacking player, having control of the ball and one or no defensive players between himself and the Goal; and

(c) Any Foul where he is the last player on his team between the attacking player with the ball and the Goal

10.7 Blue Card Offenses:

Unless otherwise provided in rules 10.8 or 10.9, the Referee issues a Blue Card for serious violations of Rule 10.1 and for:

(a) Deliberate Handball: Handling the ball deliberately (or by a Goalkeeper outside of his Penalty Arch);

(b) Goalkeeper Endangerment: Endangering a Goalkeeper within his Penalty Arch by sliding or charging into him, regardless whether he is in control of the ball;

(c) Boarding: Propelling an opponent into the perimeter wall, whether or not intentionally;

(d) Players' Unsporting Behavior: Players' violating Rule 10.3; and

(e) Team Penalties: Violating Rule 10.4.


10.8 Cautionable Offenses:

The Referee issues a Yellow Card for serious or reckless violations of Rule 10.1 and for the following (except when Rule 10.7 applies):

(a) Second Blue Card: When Rule 10.7 applies, committing a second Blue Card offense;

(b) Deliberate Handball: Handling the ball deliberately (or by a Goalkeeper outside of his Penalty Arch);

(c) Goalkeeper Endangerment: Endangering a Goalkeeper within his Penalty Arch by sliding or charging into him, regardless whether he is in control of the ball;

(d) Boarding: Propelling an opponent into the perimeter wall, whether or not intentionally;

(e) Unsporting Behavior: Violating Rule 10.3 by any team personnel;

(f) Team Penalties: Violating Rule 10.4; and

(g) Provoking Altercation: Making physical contact with an opponent (e.g., pushing or poking), short of fighting, as defined in Rule 10.9, or using the ball in so doing, particularly in the case of a Goalkeeper

10.9 Ejectionable Offenses:

A person receives a Red Card for Fouls, which the Referee considers violent or committed with excessive force, and for:

  1. Second Yellow Card;Third Blue Card
  2. Elbowing: Intentionally elbowing an opponent above the shoulder;
  3. Vicious Slide Tackling: A tackle from the side or from behind directly into one or both legs of an opponent, seriously endangering him;
  4. Fighting;
  5. Leaving Team Bench or Penalty Area to engage in a fracas or confrontation with the opposition or a Game Official;
  6. Extreme Unsporting Behavior: Committing particularly despicable behavior
  7. Aggressive playing called twice on any player by a referee

Head Coach is responsible for himself, his coaches, his players, his fans.
Anyone that is Ejected is GONE from that game and the NEXT ONE!!

Rule 11 - Time Penalties

The following penalties apply to offenses for which a Card is issued (subject to further action by the Administrative Authority):

  1. Blue Card: 2-minute Time Penalty in the Penalty Area
  2. Yellow Card (for a player's second Blue Card): 2-minute Time Penalty for the Blue Card and a warning of the subsequent possibility of an ejection;
  3. "Administrative" Red Card (for a player's third Blue Card): 2-minute Time Penalty and ejection.
  4. "Straight" Red Card: 5-minute Time Penalty and ejection.

Players are designated by their teams to serve Time Penalties of their team, their Goalkeeper, non-player personnel, and of teammates who receive Red Cards. Otherwise, the person who commits a carded offense serves the penalty. Players serving Time Penalties serve their Time Penalties, seated, until their expiration and the Referee permits their release.

Short-Handed Play: For each Time Penalty being served by a player, his or her team plays with one fewer field player until its expiration; provided that, a team may not have fewer than the minimum required, regardless of the number serving Time Penalties. Should a player receive a Time Penalty, while two or more teammates are already in the Penalty Area, his or her team continues to play with the minimum while he or she joins his teammates in the Area.

Exceptions: Under the following circumstances, Time Penalties either expire prior to their completed countdown, or have the beginning of their countdowns delayed:

  1. Powerplay Goal: If a team is scored upon having fewer players on the field of play, due to one or more players serving Time Penalties, a player from the team is released from the Penalty Area into the field of play, unless otherwise prohibited, and the player's Penalty or Penalties are wiped out. If the team has two players in the Penalty Area, only the player whose Time Penalty or Penalties are recorded earlier is affected.
  2. Multiple Penalties: If two teammates are serving Time Penalties when another teammate is penalized, his Time Penalty does not begin to count down until at least one of the teammates' Time Penalties has expired and his or her Time Penalty is next to begin.
  3. Simultaneous Ejections: When two simultaneous Red Cards carrying the same Time Penalties are assessed to opposing players, their Time Penalties are not served.
  4. Maximum Time Penalty: No player may receive more than 5 minutes for penalties arising at the same time on the Game Clock, irrespective of the number or nature of accumulated offenses or the fact that one or more teammates may be designated to serve such time.
  5. End of Game: All Time Penalties carry over between periods and expire at the end of the Game.

Delayed Penalty: In instances where the Referee would issue a Blue Card, but for the Advantage Rule, the referee acknowledges the offense by holding the Card above his head until the earlier to occur of the following:

  1. Opponent's Possession: The team of the offending player gains control of the ball;
  2. Stoppage: The Referee stops play for any reason.

Once play is stopped, the offense is recorded and assessed, as customary. In the event of a powerplay goal, the Time Penalty is not served and the provisions above regarding early release from the Penalty Area remain applicable.

Rule 12 - Tiebreaker/Penalty Kicks: (In tournament games only)

Tiebreaker: NOTE: All games will end at the completion of regulation time. No overtime or tiebreakers will be played during the regular season. Overtime and tiebreakers will only be played during the playoffs or championship games.

For a Penalty Shot:

  1. The ball is placed at the Penalty Mark;
  2. The Goalkeeper has both feet on his Goal Line until the ball is in play; and
  3. The player taking the Penalty Kick may not touch the ball again until after it touches another player.

A Tiebreaker takes place if the score is still tied at the end of regulation:

  1. The Referee designates the Goal at which both teams shoot and the team which shoots first (Decided by a coin flip);
  2. All players, other than the player taking the shot and the defending Goalkeeper, remain within their Team Bench areas;
  3. Both teams have 3 shots, with players from each team kicking alternately; Players are chosen from the players who are on the field at the conclusion of regular time. In the event that all of the field players kick and a tie remains, bench players will kick.
  4. If, at any time, a team obtains a 2-goal advantage, the Tiebreaker ceases and the winner is declared;
  5. If, after both teams have taken 3 shots, neither has an advantage, the Tiebreaker continues, alternating one player at a time, until both teams have taken an equal number of shots and one team has scored when the other has not;
  6. The player has 5 seconds to score after the Referee's whistle.

Facilities Rules & Regulations

  • There will be a Zero Tolerance Policy regarding these rules. These rules are in place to help make everyone's experience with the Indoor League of SBYSL enjoyable. Using these facilities is a Privilege to all participants and we would like to continue doing so for many seasons to come.
  • There will be no players or coaches allowed down on the field level area until 30 seconds left in the previous game. There will be ample time for the teams to warm up before the game starts.
  • No spectators are allowed down onto the field level, including the referee areas at any time.
  • There is to be no ball playing anywhere in the building except on the field.
  • No one is allowed on the field at halftime for any reason.
  • No food or Drink is permitted on the field of play at any time.
  • No jumping down off the spectator area, over or under the Railing, use the steps!!!!
  • All players must wear flat bottom shoes and shin guards.
  • There is to be no ball playing in front of the building at any time.
  • NO gum chewing in the building by players and/or spectators