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Soccer Rules

NSSC Outdoor Soccer Rules

General Rules:

  • Games consist of two, 35-minute halves, with a 5-minute half-time break in between.
  • Games will be played 9-vs-9 (8 players and 1 goalie).
  • Games will be played rain or shine unless there is thunder/lightning. At that point the referee will determine if the game can be played safely.
  • A win will grant the winning team 3 points, a tie will grant both teams 1 point, and a loss will grant 0 points.
  • All players, including goalies, must wear shin pads when on the field.
  • There are NO offsides.
  • There is no slide tackling by outfield players at all. If a player slide tackles a free-kick will be given to the opposing team and the player may be penalized by the ref. If it happens multiple times the player may be sent off (kicked out of that game).
  • Goalkeepers can slide within their own penalty box. If a goalkeeper slides outside of their penalty box the opposing team will receive a free kick and the goalkeeper may be penalized.
  • All free kicks are indirect.


  • All players must be signed up with Niagara Sport & Social Club and must sign our waiver to be eligible to play.
  • Team captains are responsible for ensuring that players are registered. If the referee checks eligibility and players are not signed up properly on our website, they will not be able to play until they do so.
  • The goalkeeper can be male or female.
  • There is a minimum of two female players on the field at all times (goalkeeper does count as one).  If short 1 female player, team must play one player short (8 players).  If short 2 female players, the team must play with 7 players.
  • There is no maximum amount of female players.
  • Players must be wearing the same colour shirts/jerseys as their respective teammates.
  • The goalkeeper must wear a different coloured shirt/jersey than both teams.
  • A minimum of 6 players (including the goalie) is required to play a match. If a team has less than that, they forfeit the match, are given a loss, and are welcome to play for fun with the other team if requested. The opposing team will receive a win and 3 points.
  • Teams are required to provide the game ball.
  • Substitutions can be made on the fly. The only time a substitution will stop play is if the goalie is the one being substituted.
  • There is no maximum number of substitutions.
  • Players must wait until the player being subbed is completely off the field before they can go in.

Disciplinary Action:

  • If an offence is committed, the referee has four options of disciplinary action:
  • Award a free kick
  • Give a 2 or 5 minute penalty to that player
  • Give a yellow card
  • Give a red card
  • A player can be given both a yellow card and a 2 or 5 minute penalty at the same time.
  • 2 yellow cards to the same player results in a red card.
  • Any player that receives a red card must leave the game and the field immediately, the team will play 1 player down for the rest of the match, and that player will receive a minimum 1 game suspension.
  • Players may receive a disciplinary action for the following:
    • Pushing
    • Grabbing/holding
    • Hitting/punching/kicking
    • Slide tackling
    • Tripping
    • Jumping/charging
    • Hand balls
    • Spitting
    • Swearing
    • Arguing/fighting with the referee
    • Cheating of any kind

Alcohol, Smoking and Drugs:

  • There is to be no consumption of alcohol or drugs including smoking cigarettes or marijuana at the parks and especially on the benches at the games. Any person breaking this rule will be asked to leave the park and the team can potentially forfeit the game at the refs discretion.

Physical altercations are not allowed under any circumstances:

  • Any player(s) involved in any physical altercation will be banned from the league at the discretion of Niagara Sport and Social.

Sportsmanship Goal:

  • Providing a safe and fun environment for the players. Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated. If a referee deems your play as unsportsmanlike, they have the right to send you off the field for a set duration, or the remainder of the match.
    No swearing directly at another player or official.
    No intentional acts of violence (pushing, shoving or intentional physical contact)
    No verbal threats or comments to instigate an altercation with any person. The player will be suspended immediately from play and the park, and further game suspensions may follow and will not necessarily include or be limited to the player.
    If at any time during a game if there are any concerns with the opposing team players, the team captain will address the issue with the other team captain with the presence of the official during a break or halftime. If the issue has not been resolved by the end of the game please forward any concerns to

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