Playing Rules​

1.    For 5 a side leagues each team may field four outfield players and a goalkeeper on the pitch at any one time (for 6 a side add one outfield player, for 7 a side add two outfield players).

2.   Substitutions are unlimited during the game, can only be made when the ball is dead and only with the Referees consent. Outgoing substitutes must leave the field of play before the replacement enters the playing area. The oncoming players are active immediately and can receive the ball. Substitutes must stand outside the pitch perimeter and spectators must not enter the field of play under any circumstances.

3.    Teams may not change their goalkeeper more than once during the course of the game. A change of goalkeeper must be authorized by the referee.

4.   No screw in studded footwear or blades are permitted to be worn by any player. Only training shoes, moulded soles and astro boots may be worn. All Players must wear shin pads. The wearing of any form of jewellery (including, without limitation, watches) is not permitted during play. Players should refer to the footwear guidelines available from their local LFA Club. Referees may refuse to allow players to play with inappropriate footwear, without shin pads and/or are wearing any form of jewellery.

5.   The match will consist of two equal halves. The length of half will be determined by each club.

6.   The first half will begin with one team taking a centre; the second half will begin with the other team taking a centre. After a goal has been scored the game will be re-started by the team who conceded the goal taking a centre.

7.   Only the defending goalkeeper is allowed to play the ball inside the goal area and only he may handle the ball in this area.

8.   An outfield player gaining or seeking to gain an advantage by entering his own goal area will have a penalty kick awarded against his team.

9.   An outfield player entering his opponent’s penalty area will be penalized. The game will be re-started from the goalkeeper.

10.   A goalkeeper gaining or seeking to gain an advantage by leaving his area or by playing the ball when it is outside the area will have a penalty awarded against his team.

11.   The goalkeeper must return the ball into play by rolling it out of his area with an under-arm bowling action (6 and 7 aside rules may have variations from club to club). If the ball is returned any other way a free-kick will be given to the opposition two meters outside the area. A teammate receiving the ball from the ‘keeper may not return the ball directly to him - the ball must first be touched by another teammate or an opponent. A free kick will be awarded against the offending team from the place where the defending player returned the ball unless it is deemed by the Referee that a player returning the ball to the goalkeeper is gaining an advantage then a penalty will be awarded.

12.   The ball must not be played above kick board height (6 and 7 aside rules may have variations from club to club). An indirect free kick will be awarded against the last player to touch the ball before it goes above kick board height, regardless of intent.

13.   The ball must never be played with the head even if it is below board height. A free kick will be awarded for infringement. (6 and 7 aside rules may have variations from club to club).

14.   If the ball goes out of play off the goalkeeper, the game will be restarted by indirect free kick by the same goalkeeper.

15.   A goal may be scored from any point within the field of play. The only exception is that goalkeepers may not score against their opponents (except in penalty shoot-outs). Goal keepers are not permitted to take penalties (except in penalty shoot-outs).

16.   No slide tackles are allowed. Infringement of this rule will lead to a free kick being awarded against the offending players’ team.

17.   Professional fouls will be penalized with a penalty and the guilty player may face disciplinary action.

18.   All free kicks will be direct with the exception of over board height (ref..12) which is deemed in-direct.

19.   Opposition players must be at least two meters from where any free-kick is taken. If opposing players do not retreat the required two meters the kick may be moved forward one meter. If a free kick is awarded on or near the goal area it can be moved up to two meters backwards to allow defenders to be two meters from the ball.

20.   The goalkeeper must be on the goal line when a penalty is being taken. Players may only take one step whilst taking a penalty.

21.   These League rules are not exhaustive and may be added to or amended at any time.

22.   The Referees decision on all on-field matters is final and no discussions will be entered into either on or off the field with him about any decision. The Referees jurisdiction on disciplinary matters will apply until players have entered the changing rooms. Players repeatedly disputing decisions may have further disciplinary action taken against them.

23.   Teams with a valid complaint against a match official must be put in writing within 48 hours of the match taking place. The complaint should be addressed to LFA General Manager who will forward it on the appropriate County Football Association. The County FA will take the appropriate action necessary.

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