Co-Ed Outdoor Rules


Last Updated: August 15, 2023


In order to promote a safe and sportsmanlike environment for its players, GRAND RIVER SOCCER has clarified its stance on unsportsmanlike behaviour. All players must understand the expectations for playing in our leagues. Team Captains are required by GRAND RIVER SOCCER to ask players to leave the game/playing area if they are involved in any of the following acts:

  • Swearing directly at another player or the League Coordinato
  • Intentionally pushing, shoving or making physical contact with another playe
  • Making comments to instigate an altercation with another playe
  • Spitting at an opponent

In addition to being dismissed from the game, a one game suspension (or more) may be assigned by GRAND RIVER SOCCER to the involved player or team.


Any team not maintaining a spirit score of 4.3 over the course of the season WILL have all future applications to play reviewed.**


What is the co-ed rec fair play philosophy?

The co-ed recreational soccer league was created in order to offer adults the opportunity to play soccer in a recreational environment, while at the same time offering a great social experience.

By nature, co-ed sports require that all male participants remember that male players may have strength and speed advantages over female players. As well, more skilled players (male or female) must remember to not be aggressive and instead be helpful, respectful and patient as you will be playing with beginners or less-proficient players.  This is not a “win at all costs” league.

Our league expects that ALL participants demonstrate safe and fair game play, positive attitudes, team participation and good spirit to teammates and fellow players at ALL times. This will be referred to as playing with the “proper fair play spirit” of co-ed participation.

Please show your fair play spirit!

1) RECREATIONAL soccer for FUN and SPIRIT 

2) Playing soccer for FUN, to LEARN the game, IMPROVE skills and SOCIALIZE with your teammates and other players 

3) Act as a GOOD SPORT at ALL times

4) Be GENEROUS when you win; be GRACEFUL when you lose

5) SHARE your knowledge and experience with fellow players

6) Have EVERYONE on your team participate in the play

7) Maintain your SELF-CONTROL at all times and ensure SAFETY for fellow players

8) Show RESPECT for your opponents

9) Be a TEAM PLAYER not an individual (even if you signed up by yourself…)

We expect all co-ed rec players to obey our fair play philosophy.  Show your fair play spirit!


In order to encourage sportsmanlike play, each team must choose and report a rating for their opponent after the game.

The spirit rating for your opponent gets reported when the Team Captain or designate submits the game results online. If a team captain or designate does not report their score within 72 hours of the games completion, their team will receive a 2 spirit rating (unless their opponent has given them a 1) and the score will be processed as their opponent reported it.

Spirit rating = 5

The other team was a great team and we really enjoyed playing against them.  They showed up on time and really showed great spirit throughout the game.  During the game they played by the rules, but if we had a dispute they were open to discuss the rules.  This was one of the best spirited teams we have every played against, we are really looking forward to play against them again.

Spirit rating = 4

The other team was a fun team and we really enjoyed playing against almost all of their players.  They showed up on time and showed good spirit throughout the game.  During the game they generally played by the rules, but if we had a dispute they were receptive to discuss the rules.  This is a good spirited team.

Spirit rating = 3

The other team was a fun team and we enjoyed playing against most of their players.  They showed up on time and showed decent spirit throughout the game.  During the game they generally played by the rules, but if we had a dispute they were pretty receptive to discuss the rules.  Not a bad team to play against.

Spirit rating = 2

The other team was an OK team and we enjoyed playing against only a few of their players.  They showed up late and showed poor spirit throughout the game.  During the game they really didn’t play by the rules, and really didn’t want to learn the rules.  The captains should discuss what happened so it doesn’t happen again.  This wasn’t a fun game.

Spirit rating = 1

This wasn’t a fun game.  We did not enjoy playing against this team. They showed up late and showed horrible spirit throughout the game.  During the game they really didn’t play by the rules at all, and didn’t want to learn the rules.  This is the least spirited team we have every played against.  Our captain is going to send a report into the league.

The rating should combine “accountability” and “spirit of the game”. Accountability is based on how you felt your opponent took responsibility for calling their own fouls. A team that does well on Accountability either: committed few or no fouls so it was not an issue, or committed several fouls but made a genuine attempt to call most of them. Spirit is based on how fun your opponent was. A high rating would be for a team that appeared to have a fun-first, winning second attitude and encouraged themselves and/or their opponent in a positive way.


All players participating in our co-ed leagues are expected to play with respect and a “fun first” attitude. In Outdoor Soccer, there is an emphasis on the players to know the rules and manage their own actions on the field.

All players participating in our leagues are expected to play with respect for everyone at the field and with a “fun first” attitude. Outdoor Soccer can be an intense and physical sport however, GRAND RIVER SOCCER leagues must be a fun, non-threatening environment.

All players are expected to know the rules and manage their actions on the field.

Players are required to call themselves if they commit violations or penalties. Not calling yourself can be considered poor spirit.

Players should promote fun and safety throughout the game by: calling themselves on offside’s and fouls; trying to control their kicks in front of vulnerable players; talking to their own teammates who are not following the rules.

Promote spirit throughout the game. Let the opposing Team Captain know if you are enjoying their team, congratulate your opponent on fun and fair play throughout the game.

Players that are concerned about a player on the opposing team are required to talk to their Team Captain so he/she can address the issue with the opposing Team Captain at the appropriate time.

Players are expected to act in a respectful manner if approached by an opposing Team Captain regarding their style of play and to make any requested changes.

Players should be mindful of how hard they kick the ball if an opponent is directly in front of them. This applies to goalies when trying to quickly move the ball to the other team’s end.

Players can provide constructive feedback to GRAND RIVER SOCCER as needed through their captains, regarding field conditions, unsportsmanlike play, or helpful comments/suggestions.

Positive behaviour includes:

o       Calling fouls on yourself.

o       Communicating with opposition in a friendly manner.

o       Exhibiting all-around good sportsmanship.

o       Avoiding unnecessary fouls or rough play.

o       Promoting friendly, fun atmosphere.

Negative behaviour includes:

o       Repeated or reckless fouls or rough play.

o       Failure to call fouls on yourself.

o       Making questionable calls on opposition.

o       Arguing calls or non-calls.

o       Attributing vicious motives to opposition.

o       Individuals exhibit “unsportsmanlike” behaviour.



If during the game you have a concern with the other team, address the issue respectfully with the opposing captain at the appropriate time (during play on the sidelines or at halftime).

If at the end of the game you do not feel that the issue has been resolved, report the details of the issue to

GRAND RIVER SOCCER when reporting your scores.


Games are played rain or shine.

Games will be stopped if thunder/lightning, severe storms, or other dangerous conditions arise.

LIGHTNING POLICY:   If thunder is heard within 30 seconds of seeing lightning, games will be postponed.   All participants must leave the playing area and seek shelter in a building or an automobile.  Never stand under trees, in an open field or under an umbrella.  Games will resume 15 minutes after the thunder and lightning have moved away.   If thunder and lightning are still present 15 minutes after, the game will be cancelled and the score counts as it was when the game was stopped.  At least 60 minutes of game time must have been played in order for the game to count towards the league standings.

If a game is stopped due to inclement weather the score at the time of stoppage will stand.

Field cancellations will be announced on the website by 5:00 PM the day of the game.  Please check the website before you leave for your game.  We will attempt to communicate with Team Captains if cancellations occur.

It can be very difficult to reschedule games! Don’t call games without good reason. Be prepared to play through some poor weather!


Team will have 10 players on the field plus the goalkeeper.

Teams are required to have a minimum of  4 women on the field at all times NOT including the goalkeeper if female

If a team has less than eleven (11) players they can play shorthanded

If a team has less than seven (7) players, they will ‘default’

To avoid possible ‘defaults’, each team will be given a ten (10) minute grace period from the scheduled kickoff time to    field a team of at least 7 of which 2 must be females.  In the event of a default, a score of 8-0 will be issued and a spirit rating of 1 will be awarded.  Teams are encouraged to participate in a friendly scrimmage in the event of a default. (with teams of equal numbers)

Teams can reduce the length of play but both captains must agree on a time before the game starts.

Captains should agree on one timekeeper prior to the start of the game.

There is no additional time added for injuries etc…

To diminish the risk of default games as much as possible. If a team cannot field at least 7 players, they are responsible for notifying the league who in turn will contact the opposing captain the day before the game. At that time, it can be discussed whether there are sufficient players interested in playing a practice game, and hopefully one can be arranged. Failure to provide proper notification prior to a default will result in the defaulting team receiving a 1 spirit point rating. A second offence will jeopardize the team’s entry in to the league in future season


GRAND RIVER SOCCER rents the fields on which we play.  As tenants, players must respect the standards and rules of each facility.

Consumption of alcohol is not allowed at the fields; players caught violating this by-law are subject to fines from the City and/or GRAND RIVER SOCCER.

Most fields do not have a port-a-potty or washrooms. Players will not urinate on public property.

Any player who causes GRAND RIVER SOCCER to receive a complaint regarding a field rented by GRAND RIVER

SOCCER will face a $100 fine and may be ejected from the league.

Players are expected to clean up after themselves, please do not leave any garbage behind.

Any player who causes GRAND RIVER SOCCER to receive a complaint regarding a facility may be ejected from the league. Facilities are chosen based on quality and location. Some leagues utilize many facilities; GRAND RIVER SOCCER always tries to ensure a fair distribution of locations throughout the city in each division.

GRAND RIVER SOCCER asks all players to arrive 15 minutes prior to the game start time. This 15 minutes should be used to change shoes, stretch and any other pre-game preparations.

Players are responsible for property damage.


Solid metallic shoe studs are not permitted to be worn, nor are baseball-type cleats.

Braces and casts of any type must be completely covered with a protective sleeve.

A player cannot wear anything which is dangerous to another player. This includes earrings, hairclips, rings or other jewellery.

Shin guards are mandatory. If wearing shin guards, the player must have them fully covered with socks.

Each team must bring a size 5 soccer ball to each game.

Team jerseys are permitted provided everyone wears jerseys of the same colour.  Each team member should have an alternate shirt colour in case of conflicts.  Home teams are responsible for changing shirts in case of a conflict.

Eg. Team “A” wear blue jerseys and is the home team. Their opponents, Team “B” wear black jerseys.

Since the colours are similar, members of Team “A” should have ‘white” colour shirts as alternates to avoid confusion.  Similarly, if both teams had light colour shirts which are too similar, the home team should have alternates which are dark in colour.



Before the game, the Captains will meet to introduce themselves, discuss rules or spirit issues that need to be emphasized.

Team Captain’s are the “head referees” and have the FINAL say on any decisions.

Team Captains are to communicate their expectations to each other. At the end of the pre-game meeting Team

Captains are required to communicate all information with their players.

Players are required to call themselves if they commit violations or penalties. Not calling yourself will be considered poor spirit.

At halftime, the Team Captains can meet with one another to discuss any issues that arose in the first half. It is the responsibility of each Captain to communicate these issues to their teammates before resuming play.

At any time during a game, if the Team Captain(s) determine that the play is getting dangerous or too intense, they should call a one minute time-out to cool things down and discuss resolutions with each other. Play must have stopped for a time-out to be called.

At the end of the game, all players should acknowledge the opposition and Team Captains meet to discuss any issues with the game and confirm the score.


Arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled game time to allow for warm-up.  Games consist of two 45-minute halves, with a 5 minute half time.


To decide which team will have the first kick-off, team captains will either flip a coin or do ‘rock, paper, scissors’. The winner can decide whether they want to kick-off or choose the end that they would like to start on.

To start the second half, teams will switch sides and the team that did not kick-off in the first half will have the will do so in the second.

After each goal, the team that was scored on will kick-off to re-start the game.

Kick-offs may be put into play only in a forward direction and may not be touched by the kicker again until the ball has been contacted by another player.


Substituting a goaltender can only occur during a stoppage in play.

Substitutions on all other players can happen at any time as long as the leaving player is on the sidelines before the replacement steps on the field of play.  This is very similar to hockey’s changing on the fly.


A handball occurs when the ball touches any part of a player’s arm from the top of the shoulder to the fingertips

(except a goalkeeper within their own crease). See ‘Fouls’ section for associated repercussions.

Calling a handball:

It is the responsibility of the player who touched the ball with their hand to call ‘handball’.

If an obvious handball occurs and is not called by the violating player, the opposition may stop play by yelling ‘handball’. See below under ‘Fouls’ for consequences.

Unintentional hand balls should not be called.  This is generally referred to as “ball to hand” rather than “hand to ball.”  This typically happens when someone is trying to protect themselves from a shot to the face or other sensitive areas.  If an unintentional hand ball occurs in the 18 yard box area and it is called, it is suggested that a corner kick be allowed as an acceptable compromise.  If the unintentional hand ball is called outside the 18 yard box, an indirect free kick should be awarded.

If a handball is deemed intentional by a defender in his/her 18 yard box, a penalty shot should be awarded.


When a player passes or throws the ball to their goalkeeper, the goalkeeper is not allowed to pick the ball up or use his/her hands on the ball in any way. If this happens, it will be considered a hand ball and the opposing team will be awarded an indirect free-kick from where it happened.

The goalkeeper can leave the crease to defend his/her goal or retrieve a loose ball. They may not touch the ball with their hands once they have left the crease.

The goalkeeper can leave the crease to play the ball up the field.

The goalkeeper can cross the centre line.

A goalkeeper is allowed to score.


The ball is out of play when it has wholly crossed the end-line or side-line, whether on the ground or in the air.

A throw-in will take place when the ball crosses the side-line by a player of the team opposite to that of the player who last touched it.

Throw-ins must be done by both hands, with both feet on the ground and from behind the head.

The thrower must not play the ball again until it has been touched by another player. A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in.

If an illegal throw-in is made, the player who made the incorrect throw-in should be informed of the problem and asked to repeat the throw. They will be given one additional attempt only to correct their throw-in.


When the ball passes over the end-line and was last touched by a member of the defending team, a member of the offensive team will take a corner-kick.

The ball is placed within a one yard radius from the corner closest to where the ball went out of play.

A goal may be scored from a corner kick.

The defending team must stand at least ten yards away from the ball until it goes into play.

The kicker is not allowed to play the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player.



When the ball passes over the end-line and was last touched by a member of the offensive team, a member of the defensive team will take a goal-kick.

The ball must be touched by a player other than the person taking the kick for it to be back in play.

Opposing players must stand a minimum of 10 yards away from where the ball is being kicked from.

A goalkeeper cannot receive the ball into his/her hands from a teammate’s goal-kick.

The kicker cannot play the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player.


All free-kicks are to be indirect (except penalty kicks).

All indirect free-kicks are to be taken from the point where a foul occurred – see below ‘Fouls’ section for an explanation. This also applies to when the goalkeeper illegally plays the ball with their hands.

The ball must touch at least 2 players before it can be a goal (the kicker and 1 other, which could include the goalkeeper).

All opposing players (defence) of the team taking the free-kick must be at least ten yards away from the ball, except when the ball is being kicked from a point closer than ten yards from the goal mouth – in which case the defending players may stand on their end-line.


A penalty kick will be awarded anytime a foul (major or minor) is committed within the goal crease. It will be taken from the penalty-mark (twelve yards from the centre of the goal mouth) with all other players outside of the penalty-area and at least ten yards from the penalty mark.

The goalkeeper must stand (without moving his/her feet) on their own end-line, between the goal posts, until the ball is kicked; the kick must go forward and the kicker cannot touch the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player (goalkeeper).


The game will be called when one team gains a lead of 8 goals. The score will freeze and teams are encouraged to play the rest of the game for fun.


No Offside rule exists.  Please don’t cherry pick! This could adversely affect your spirit scores.


Slide tackling is not allowed in any GRAND RIVER SOCCER co-ed leagues. Slide tackling includes any player, including the goalie, who leaves the ground in a feet-forward motion towards the ball or another player. Any sliding is a safety concern for yourself and your opponent and is considered reckless play.

Despite best efforts, the following infractions may occur during a game. If they appear to be unintentional and not malicious in nature then they should result in an indirect free-kick. These infractions include:

  • Accidentally tripping an opponent. A minor hold of an opponent.
  • Bumping or minor contact with an opponent.
  • Yelling at an opponent to distract him/he
  • An unintentional handball: When the player touching the ball gains advantage and the play is not in the goal crease.
  • When a goalkeeper touches the ball with their hand after it has been passed or thrown to him/her from someone on their own te

The following would result in a 10 minute major penalty (the fouling player sits off for ten minutes, but the team is not short-handed). This also results in an indirect free-kick:

  • Aggressive contact during the course of normal play (tripping, slide-tackling, pushing off, armbar), that could harm or injure an opponent.
  • Unsportsmanlike behaviour: Excessive verbal abuse of your own team or throwing equipment to show displeasure at a play.

The following would result in a penalty kick:

  • Any major penalty that occurred in the goal crease by a defensive playe
  • Any intentional handball in the crease by a defensive player, unless a goal is scored on the play.

The following would result in a game misconduct:

 If any player receives (2) two 10 minute major penalties in a game, they will receive a game misconduct.

  • Physical contact with an opponent that’s violent or dangerous, and is clearly intentional.
  • Profanity or verbal abuse directed at another playe
  • Striking or attempting to strike an opponent.
  • Spitting at an opponent.

In the event of a play that is witnessed by other players and is uncontested, and should result in a game misconduct it is the captain’s responsibility to ensure that the player leaves the premises immediately before the game is resumed; and supplies the name of the player to the opponent to be reported to GRAND RIVER SOCCER with the Score and Spirit rating.

If the teams are not in agreement over a play (the play is contested) that could lead to a game misconduct, the captains must decide how to best handle the situation, and the incident must be reported to GRAND RIVER SOCCER for follow- up.  At the very least, the player committing the foul should be sent off.


Teams must maintain a minimum spirit score of 4.0 to be considered for the play-offs.  The Club reserves the right to add/remove teams from the playoffs as it deems necessary.  

The teams with the best spirit rating are guaranteed playoff games.  Other teams may be entered into the playoffs, but this is solely the decision of the league coordinators and is not guaranteed.

There are no ties in the playoffs.

If the score is tied at the end of regulation time, penalty kicks will be taken.

When penalty kicks are taken, the initial five players will consist of a maximum of three males. Teams will alternate between male and females or vice versa. If all females have shot once, they must shoot a second time.  Five players from each team will alternate shots from the penalty-mark at one end of the field (refer to the section on penalty kicks).

At the end of the ten shots (five by each team) if the score is still tied, then penalty-shots will continue with the remaining players on the team (a player is not allowed to take a second shot if there are players on his/her team that have not yet shot).

As soon as one team has a higher score and both teams have taken the same number of shots, that team  will be the winner.


Team captains or designates are responsible to report the score of their game and the spirit rating of their opponent to GRAND RIVER SOCCER within 72 hours of the games completion.

All scores must be submitted using the online score report form : Submit Your Score

If for some reason the website is non-functional, please email you scores to: [email protected]

If a team captain does not report their score within the 72 hours, their team will receive a 2 sportsmanship rating (unless their opponent has given them a 1) and the score will be processed as their opponent reported it.

Questions, Suggestions or Concerns ?

Email: [email protected]


Field Closure Websites


City of Kitchener


City of Waterloo


City of Cambridge