Current NIRSA (National Intramural Recreational Sport Association) & NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) shall govern all intramural rules used for Outdoor Soccer at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Intramural Sports reserves the right to make changes or additions to the rules or policies at anytime.


    Outdoor Soccer will be played on the Campus Recreation Complex.


    1. Participants must remove all jewelry prior to competing.
    2. Religious & medical alert bracelets/necklaces must be taped to the body for participation (Participant must meet with Coordinator of Intramural Sports before participating the first game).
    3. All team members must wear similar colored shirts. Numbered pinnies will be available.
    4. Sneakers/molded rubber cleats will be allowed. NO METAL/SCREW-IN CLEATS WILL BE ALLOWED.
    5. No leg or knee braces made of hard, unyielding material is allowed.
    6. Protective gear is highly recommended (Mouth, crotch & pelvic protectors)
    7. The Office of Campus Recreation will provide a “game” ball for each scheduled contest.
    8. If teams wish to warm up, they must provide their own ball.

    Game Time and Forfeits

    1. Forfeit time: 10 minutes after the scheduled time.
    2. In order for a team to win via forfeit they must have at least 5 players on site.
    3. If neither team is able to field the correct number of players, a double forfeit will be declared.
    4. If a team forfeits a regular season game they will be ineligible for the playoffs.

    Players and Game Timing

    1. Players
      • Varsity soccer players are not eligible to play intramural soccer.
      • Teams should consist of 7 players, minimum of 5 to start.
      • The game will consist of two 20-minute halves (running clock), with a 2-minute half-time period.
      • During regulation play, the clock will stop only for time-outs and injuries.
    2. Time-Outs
      • Each team is allowed one, one-minute time-out per half.
      • A time-out not taken during the first half does not carry over to the second half of play.
    3. Substitutions
      • Substitutions may be made:
        • After a goal is scored
        • Their team’s throw-ins
        • Their team’s corner kicks
        • Goal kicks
      • Substitutions may be made for injured/cautioned players. Ejected players may not be substituted for.
      • Substitutes must check in with the official before entering the game.
      • Unlimited substitutions are allowed.
    4. Mercy Rule
      • If any team goes down by 10 goals in the second half, the game will end.
    5. Overtime
      • Overtime will only occur in playoffs.
        • 5-minute golden goal. First team to score wins.
        • If the score is still tied after 5-minute, Kicks from the Penalty Mark will be taken.
          • Each team will receive five penalty kicks (taken alternately). The team to score the greatest number of these will win.
          • If necessary, the penalty kicks will continue after the initial series of five on a sudden death basis. The first team to score and unanswered goal wins.
          • Each kick shall be taken by a different player, progressing through the entire roster of players who played in the game. Players must have played to participate in the penalty kick tiebreaker.
          • Once the entire roster of players is completed, the initial kicking order will be repeated.

    Playing Regulations

    1. Start of the Game
      • A game will begin with a coin toss, the winner of which will have the choice, the kick-off, or to designate the goal that they will defend.
      • Teams will switch goals at halftime. The team that did not kick-off to start the game will kick-off to start the second half.
    2. Goalkeeper Play
      • The goalkeeper may clear the ball in any of the following manners:
        • Rolling the ball on the ground
        • Throwing the ball (Cannot throw over half field)
        • Placing the ball on the ground and kicking it
        • A goalkeeper may not punt the ball
      • From the moment he/she takes control of the ball, the goalkeeper is allowed 6 seconds while holding, bouncing or “air dribbling” the ball.
      • When the goalkeeper throws/rolls the ball, it must touch a player/ground before crossing half line.
    3. Goal Kick
      • A goal kick is taken when the ball crosses the end line and was last touched by the offensive team.
      • A goal kick must be outside the penalty area before being touched by another player.
      • Violation: Re-kick
      • The kicker may not touch the ball again after it has passed beyond the penalty area and before another player touches it.
        1. Penalty: Indirect free kick from the point of infraction.
    4. Corner Kick
      • A corner kick is taken when the ball crosses the end line and was last touched by the defensive team.
    5. Penalty Kick
      • A penalty kick is awarded when a foul committed by a player in his/her own penalty area.

    Free Kicks

    1. All free kicks are indirect free kicks.
    2. The following actions would result in a free kick:
      • Striking an opponent
      • Kicking an opponent
      • Tripping an opponent
      • Pushing an opponent
      • Charging an opponent
      • Jumping on an opponent
      • Tackling an opponent
      • Holding an opponent
      • Spitting at an opponent
      • Handling the ball (except goalkeeper within the penalty area)
      • Obstructing an opponent
      • Preventing goalkeeper from releasing the ball
      • Leaving the field without permission
      • Kicker touches the ball twice after a free kick, penalty kick, corner kick, or throw-in
      • Unsportsmanlike conduct
      • Dangerous Play

    Yellow and Red Cards

    1. A yellow card indicates a warning. (Player must leave field until next dead ball.)
      • Unsporting Behavior
      • Dissent (By words or action)
      • Persistent Infringement
      • Delay of Game
      • Failure to Respect the Required Distance
      • Enter/Leave the Field Without Permission
    2. A red card indicates an ejection from the game. Team will play short for the rest of the game.
      • Slide tackling will be an automatic red card and a penalty kick for the other team (whether contact is made or not with opposing player).
      • Serious Foul Play
      • Violent Conduct
      • Spitting at an opponent
      • Deny an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity by Hand (except goalkeeper inside the penalty area)
      • Deny an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity by Foul
      • Use of Offensive, Insulting or Abusive Language/Gestures
    3. Two yellow cards issued to the same player will also result in an ejection from the game.
    4. Any ejection will result in a minimum of a 1-game suspension and the player must meet with the Coordinator to discuss his/her actions. Any two red cards or red-card equivalents in one season will result in that player being dropped from the league.


    Indoor Soccer will be played in Mahoney Hall.


    1. Cleats are not allowed in Mahoney Hall.
    2. Recommended equipment: Non-marking shoes & protective gear
    3. Illegal / Prohibited Equipment is as listed by not limited to the following:
      • Any item containing exposed knots: Includes bandannas, do-rags & stocking caps
      • Headwear containing any hard and unyielding material
      • Pants/shorts/jerseys with any belt(s), belt loop(s), pocket(s), exposed drawstring or zippers
      • Tear-away pants, shorts or jerseys
      • Jewelry: Includes earrings, rings, watches, bracelets, rubber bands, necklaces
      • Any exposed body or facial piercing must be taken out
      • Hooded coats and sweatshirts
      • Hard and unyielding leg & knee brace material

    Game Time and Forfeits

    1. All game times will be posted on IMLeagues.com
    2. Forfeit time: 10 minutes after the scheduled time.
    3. In order for a team to win via forfeit they must have at least 4 players on site.
    4. If neither team is able to field the correct number of players, a double forfeit will be declared.
    5. If a team forfeits a regular season game they will be ineligible for the playoffs.

    Players and Game Timing

    1. Teams should consist of 5 players (including goalkeeper), minimum of 4 to start.
    2. Two 20-minute running halves with the clock ONLY stopping for injuries and time-outs.
    3. Time-Outs
      • One 30-second time-out per game. Team must have possession of the ball to call a time-out.
    4. Substitutions
      • Substitutions are on the fly but must not interfere with the game and must not allow a competitive advantage.
    5. Mercy Rule
      • 12 goals at any time in the 2nd half, or 6 goals in the last two minutes.
    6. Overtime
      • Overtime will only occur in playoffs.
      • One 5-minute “Sudden Death” period.
      • The first team to score a goal wins. Team captains will flip a coin to determine who is starting with the ball and who is picking a side to defend.
      • If the score still remains tied after the five-minute “Sudden Death” overtime, five members from each team will be selected to take a penalty shot.
      • Kicks from the Mark
      • Each penalty shot will be made from 12 yard-line or 3 point arc.
      • Teams will alternate kickers.

    Playing Regulations

    1. There is no offside in Indoor Soccer.
    2. Start of the Game
      • Each game will begin with a rock-paper-scissors between opposing captains. The winner chooses which side to defend first. The other team will start with the ball.
      • All players shall be in their own half of the field. Defenders shall be at least 5 yards from the ball until it is kicked.
      • Teams shall exchange sides after each half.
      • No goals can be scored from kickoff.
    3. Ball In and Out of Play
      • Play is continuous unless ball leaves playing area (in which case, the ball will be awarded to the opposite team):
      • Stuck behind the net
      • Hits the ceiling or wire
      • The ball completely goes across the sideline (Ball will be put in on the ground. There will be no throw in
      • The ball becomes dead when it travels on the back of the net. The restart shall be a goal kick.
      • The ball is in play at all other times, including:
      • Rebounds from a goal post or crossbar
      • Rebounds off the wall or window
      • Touches an official in the field of play
    4. Drop Ball
      • The game is re-started with a drop ball when:
      • Ball is declared out of play by two opponents simultaneously
      • Ball becomes deflated
      • Following a temporary suspension of play for injury, unusual situation or no team has clear possession of the ball
      • Simultaneous fouls of the same degree occur by opponents
    5. Temporary Suspension
      • Play is suspended due to injury or unusual situation. Game shall be re-started by a direct kick by the team in possession of the ball at the point where ball was when play was suspended.


    1. A goal is scored when the entire ball passes over the goal line
    2. A goal may NOT be scored during play directly from
      • Kickoff
      • Indirect Free Kick
      • Throw In
      • Drop Ball
      • Goalkeeper’s Throw
      • No goals can be scored from shots inside the paint.

    Indirect Free Kick

    1. All playing infractions shall result in an indirect free kick. Exception: Infractions occurring in the penalty area by the defensive team will result in a penalty kick.
    2. Indirect kicks may be awarded for the following infractions:
      • Intentionally handling, carrying or striking the ball with a hand or arm. (Besides the goalkeeper in their penalty area)
      • Kicking, tripping or striking an opponent
      • Charging an opponent in a dangerous or reckless manner, or using excessive force
      • Holding or pushing an opponent
      • Boarding: players must avoid bodying a player into the wall. Players may not use the wall to brace themselves against a defender attempting to steal the ball or use the wall to push off into an opponent
      • Dangerous Play: In official’s judgement, when player:
      • Kicks the feet above opponent waist
      • Runs into a player who has both feet off the ground
      • Plays or attempts to play the ball while player is on the ground
      • Obstruction: a deliberate act & applies to a player
      • Not in possession of the ball
      • Not attempting to play the ball
      • Running in between an opponent & the ball
      • Using the body as an obstacle
      • Attempting to kick a ball while it is in the goalkeeper’s possession
        • Any player who flagrantly fouls the goalkeeper in possession of the ball (ball trapped by either or both hands, bouncing ball to ground or releasing the ball into play) shall be disqualified.
      • Slide-Tackling is PROHIBITED: Player will be ejected & Penalty kick will be awarded to opposing team.
      • Player may not slide tackle with their feet, whether they make contact with the ball or not, or initiating contact will be issued a red card.
      • Goalkeepers are allowed to slide for a ball, knees first, with intent to attain ball within penalty box.

    Restrictions on the Goalkeeper

    1. Goalkeeper may use their hands at any time within the penalty area.
      • To handle an opposing team’s shot on goal.
      • To receive the ball with feet outside the box but must return into the penalty area in order to play it with hands.
    2. A goalkeeper may not play the ball with their hands if they are receiving a pass from a teammate.
    3. After taking control of the ball with hands in the penalty area the goalkeeper has:
      • Six seconds to release the ball into play
      • Hold, bounce, punt or throw in the air and catch the ball
    4. After release, may not touch it again with the hands until the ball is touched by teammate or opposing outside the penalty area
    5. May not throw the ball over the mid-court line without the ball touching the floor, wall, or a player from either team.
      • Indirect free kick shall be awarded to opponent from the spot it crossed half.
    6. A goalkeeper playing a ball with the hands outside of the penalty area is a hand ball.
      • Indirect free kick shall be awarded to opponent at the spot of violation

    Misconduct and Ejections

    1. Cautions (yellow cards) shall be issued for the following:
      • Entering or leaving field of play without the permission of an official
      • Persistent infringement of any rules of the game
      • Objecting by word of mouth or action to any decision given by an officials
      • Unsporting Behavior
      • Unnecessary delay (Kicking or throwing the ball away on a free kick, etc)
      • Holding a shirt, shorts, etc.
      • Deliberate verbal tactics
      • Encroachment
      • Deliberate handball to stop an attack
      • Tactical foul
      • Faking an injury
      • Simulating a foul
    2. A yellow card will result in an indirect kick shall to the non-offending team from spot of ball, unless game stopped for other reasons calling for a restart.
    3. Ejections (red cards) shall be issued for the following and the player must be removed from the game without a replacement.
      • Violent conduct
      • Serious foul play
      • Any use of vulgar/profane language directed toward the Intramural Sports staff and/or opponents
      • Denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball, holding or tripping an opponent.
      • Intentionally fouling an opponent from behind
      • Taunting, excessive celebration
      • Player receives second yellow caution card
    4. A red card penalty shall result in a player ejection and a penalty kick for non-offending team. Ejected player may not be substituted and team shall play one player short for the remainder of the game.
    5. If a team receives 2 ejections, the game is over, team receives a 0 for sportsmanship and the game is a forfeit.