INDOOR SANCTIONED LEAGUE RULES
Updated January 2024
Grand River Soccer Club will follow the Ontario Soccer Playing Rules for Indoor Soccer Laws available online here ➞ Ontario Soccer Indoor Rules
Club Specific Requirements
- Each designated home team must provide 2 game balls which have been determined by the referee to be in acceptable condition.
- In the event of two teams playing with similar uniform colours, the home team is responsible for providing an alternate set of colours to clearly distinguish themselves from the opposing team. Goalkeepers must wear a colour different from their own team, the opposing team, and the referees.
- Solid metallic shoe studs are not permitted to be worn, nor are baseball, American football or rugby cleats. Indoor turf shoes are recommended.
- Shin guards are mandatory.
- Braces and casts of any type must be completely covered with a protective sleeve.
- The Game Official or Club representative may deny participation to players for “unsafe” equipment at their discretion.
- Spitting is not permitted inside the playing field area.
- Clothes changing is not permitted inside the playing field area.
All teams must register their intent to participate with the Club each season and in advance through the specified registration process. The Club will issue an electronic invoice to teams accepted for the season.
The League Fee will be established prior to each season. Payment of all fees must be made as per the invoice due date. Failure to submit payment in full by the due date may result in additional administration fees such as a late payment charge of $100. Failure to submit payment in full prior to the start of the season may result in your team membership being revoked. Additional penalties for failure to submit payment by the due date are subject to Board review. Electronic payments are preferred. An administration fee of $100 will be applied for each NSF cheque.
All players must be registered with the Club and Ontario Soccer before they are allowed to participate in any Club event or play in any games. Players must register with the Club by completing our online Ontario Soccer Player Registration Form and Waiver. Team managers must confirm their roster and any player additions or removals with the Club Administrator. With the exception of the first game, new players are required to complete their online registration at least 24 hours before they intend to play to ensure they are eligible to participate. Team managers must also confirm with the Club Administrator that any new players have been properly registered and added to the team roster. Any player not properly registered or any team that plays an ineligible player will face disciplinary action as per Ontario Soccer Standard Penalties for Misconduct. Teams found to have played an ineligible player will be charged an administration fee of $100.00 in addition to any discipline fines.
Teams may register up to 18 players on their roster. Additional player registration fees will be charged at the current rate for player registrations received in addition to those included with the team’s original invoice. These fees are payable before the player is eligible to play.
Deadlines to add players to rosters is January 31st of the current season. Exceptions may be reviewed by the Club in extraordinary situations.
Players Playing With Multiple Teams
A player is allowed to play with multiple teams within the rules of Ontario Soccer and with Club approval. A player may not play on more than one team in the same division or group if the division has multiple levels of play. Players must be properly recorded on the game sheet for each team they play with. A player who plays on more than one team will only pay one Ontario Soccer Player Registration Fee but must complete an online registration form for each team.
A player registered within the Club may request in writing to the Club Administrator to be transferred from one team to another. To complete the transfer, the player must be in good standing with their current team (no outstanding fees or obligations) and the new team must accept the move. Once approved, the player is ineligible to play with their new team for the next 3 regularly scheduled games. The player must also participate in 3 regular season games with their new team in order to be eligible to play in any playoff or cup games with their new team.
The player’s equipment shall consist of a regular uniform including shirt, shorts, and high socks. Shirts must have a unique number that corresponds to the number of each player on the game sheet. It is mandatory for all players on the team to have a similar shirt color with different numbers. The goalkeeper must wear a numbered shirt with colours that distinguish them from the other players on both teams and the game official. The number shall be of contrasting colour to the shirt. If two teams have a similar colour shirt, then the home team must change.
All jewelry and accessories must be removed, not just covered. No exceptions! The game official’s decision is final.
Shin guards and socks are mandatory at all times.
Each team must print a copy of their approved game sheet for every game unless otherwise stated. Game sheets must be completed fully, including date, time, location, home team, away team, and every player participating. Every player must be represented on the game sheet including first name, last name, and shirt number. Team officials must be listed on the game sheet to gain access to the team bench area. If a player is not participating their name should be crossed out on the game sheet. Only players and team officials listed on the game sheet are permitted in the team bench area. Completed games sheets should be provided to the game official prior to the start of the game.
A game official will be appointed to each game. They shall enforce the laws of the game to the best of their ability and to their discretion. The decision of the game official shall be final. The Club will not tolerate any abuse directed towards game officials at any time. The game official must complete the game sheet at the end of each game and report to the Club in writing the final score and any discipline that occurred during the game.
Games must start and finish on time. Teams should be ready to play 10 minutes prior to the scheduled kick off time. A minimum of three (3) players for 5v5 or five (5) players for 7v7 are required to start a game. If a team cannot provide the minimum number of players within 10 minutes of the scheduled kick off time, they will forfeit the game by a score of 3-0 and may be charged a $100.00 administration fee.
The game will consist of two 25 minute halves. Games starting late may have the time reduced at the game officials discretion. Th half time break shall not exceed three (3) minutes, except by the consent of the Referee. 5v5 games will consist of four (4) outfield players and a goalkeeper. 7v7 games will consist of six (6) outfield players and a goalkeeper.
The home team will supply 2 outdoor regulation size 5 balls for the match. No Indoor/futsal balls will be permitted.
Start and Restart of Play
The game shall commence from the center circle on the game official’s signal. The ball can be played in any direction. If the ball goes out of play on the sidelines, then the game will be restarted with a kick-in. If the ball goes out of play on the end lines, then the game will be restarted with a goal kick or corner kick. When a goal is scored the game will restart with a kickoff from center. The game may not restart until both teams are set in their own half. If the ball goes out of play by hitting the ceiling/roof netting, then a free kick is awarded directly below where the ball went out of play. If the spot below is inside the penalty area, then the ball must be moved outside the penalty area. Defending players must retreat 5 meters from the point of the restart. Any attempt to delay a restart may result in a time penalty.
There is no limit to the number of substitutions that may be made during a game. Substitutes are made on the fly or at any stoppage of play. The game will not be delayed to allow substitutions, except for the substitution of an injured player or the goalkeeper. Any of the other players may change places with the goalkeeper; however, the game official must be notified and allow permission for a goalkeeper substitution during a stoppage of play. When any player other than the goalkeeper is to be replaced, the substitution must take place within 1 meter of the team bench area. The substitute shall not become involved in active play until the player being replaced is off the field. Neither the player entering nor the player leaving the field may interfere with the play while both are on the field. Any abuse of this rule could result in a time penalty.
Slide tackling is not permitted. No slide tackles allowed at all. Goalkeepers may not slide feet first when challenging an opposing player for the ball. This rule applies both inside and outside the goal area. A slide tackle is defined as a sliding challenge for the ball. The game official shall use their discretion to determine the difference between a slide and a slide tackle. If a slide tackle is committed, then a free kick will be awarded against the offending team. A time penalty may be given for a slide tackle, but it is not mandatory.
All free kicks are indirect. A goal cannot be scored unless the ball has been played or touched by a player other than the kicker before passing through the goal. Defending players who encroach within 5 meters of the kicker may be given a time penalty by the game official.
Penalty kicks during regular or extra time shall be taken from 11 meters from the goal line. The kick may be taken by anyone on the field when the penalty is awarded.
A player committing any offence may be given, at the discretion of the game official, a Blue Card and subsequent 2 minute time penalty. A player can not receive more than 1 Blue Card in a single game.
A player who is cautioned (Yellow Card) shall serve a 2 minute or 4 minute time penalty, at the discretion of the game official.
A player that is sent off (Red Card) will be dismissed from the game and must leave the indoor facility immediately. Their team shall designate another player to serve a 5 minute time penalty. At the conclusion of the time penalty the team will return to full strength.
If a goalkeeper receives a 2 or 4 minute time penalty, then their team may designate another player on the field at the time of the infraction to serve the penalty on behalf of the goalkeeper.
All time penalties must be served in full, regardless of if a goal is scored against the penalized team. A player may receive multiple time penalties that must be served consecutively. If a team receives multiple time penalties and is reduced below the minimum number of players required to start or continue a game, then the game will be stopped and the offending team will be deemed to have forfeited the game.
Grand River Soccer is a Member of Ontario Soccer and Southwest Soccer. We have been delegated by Southwest Soccer the responsibility to conduct Discipline Hearings for certain types of misconducts. All Discipline will be conducted using the Discipline by Review (DBR) System when possible. Some cases, such as those involving the physical assault of a Match Official, shall be handled as per the Policy of Ontario Soccer. Members charged have the right to request a Discipline by Hearing (DBH). These requests must be submitted in writing to Grand River Soccer’s Discipline Coordinator via email to firstname.lastname@example.org within 72 hours of the start of the match in which the dismissal was received except in cases of Ontario Soccer Misconduct Type 1.3, 1.5, and 1.6. An administrative Hearing Request Fee of $100.00 must be submitted at the time of any DBH request. If found not guilty, the fee will be refunded. Discipline decisions made under the Discipline by Review system may not be appealed. There is a non-refundable administrative fee of $60 for all Discipline By Review cases.
Please review our Discipline policy online for more specific information, hearing dates, and links to the Standard Penalties For Misconduct.
Any discipline fines or administration fees levied against a team must be paid before their next game to avoid being ruled a forfeit.
Any discipline fines or administration fees levied against a member must be paid before they are eligible to resume play.
Unpaid fines or fees may result in membership suspension, cancellation or decline.
A game will not be delayed or postponed due to protest at the field. It must be played under protest with the protest clearly noted on the game sheet by the game official. Furthermore, a protest regarding the eligibility of a player or team official must be brought forward before, during, or at half time of the game in question. A protest regarding the eligibility of a player or team official will not be considered after the start of the second half of the game in question.
No protest pertaining to a decision of the game official with regards to Laws of the Game will be entertained. The game official shall be the sole judge of the amount of time played, and their decision on the matter shall not be subject to protest.
Any protest shall be submitted in writing to the Club Administrator by an authorized team representative and accompanied by the protest fee of $100 sent via electronic fund transfer within 48 hours of the scheduled kick-off time.
The written submission of a protest shall include the following:
- Name of protesting team
- Date of game, location, and kick-off time
- Name of opposing team
- Rule(s) which were violated
- Any additional information to support the protest
Correctly submitted protests, within the specified deadlines, shall be heard by the Discipline Committee. Protests which do not meet the requirements shall be declared out of order and not heard.
The Protest Fee of $100 will be refunded if the protest is successful.
Schedule and Format
The Club will advise teams of the schedule and format prior to the start of each season or competition. The schedule and format may be adjusted without notice.
League and Division Standings
Points will be awarded as follows: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 points for a loss. The first place team at the end of the regular season will be declared the League Champion. When multiple divisions are established the first place team in each division will be declared the Division Champion. In the event of a tie in the League or Division Standings the following criteria, in priority order, will be used to determine the official final League or Division Standings: greater number of wins, head-to-head record, total goal difference, total goals for, and total goals against. Should any teams remain tied after all criteria have been applied the winner will be decided by a coin toss conducted by a team official from each team involved in the tie along with a Club official.
Playoffs, Cup Games, Tournaments, and Other Competitions
Any specific standings criteria for additional games will supersede the regular standings criteria. The winner of the Playoffs will be declared the Cup Champion. Round robin cup games can end in a tie. Knock-out (elimination) cup games can not end in a tie. Should a tie occur in a knock-out game after regulation time has expired, the winner will be decided by penalty kicks as directed by the game official. Three shooters from each team who were on the field at the conclusion of play will be selected to take the penalty kicks. In the event of tie after each team has taken 3 penalty kicks, one additional penalty kick will be taken by each team until a clear winner has been decided. Each player can only take one penalty kick. In the situation where each available player has taken a penalty kick and no other players are available this rule will no longer apply. If the two teams do not have the same number of total available players, then the team with more players must reduce to equate to the team with less players. The game official directs and has final say in all penalty kick decisions.
Club Tie Breakers
Unless otherwise stated in the rules of a specific Club competition, then the following criteria shall be used to determine standings or seeding, in priority order.
- Greater Number of Wins
- Head-to-Head Record
- Total Goal Difference
- Greater Goals For
- Fewest Goals Against
- Coin Toss
Game Suspension Due to the Conduct of a Player, Team Official, Team or Spectators
If game play is suspended by the game official and not restarted prior to full time due to the conduct of a player, team official, team or spectators, then the offending team will forfeit the game. The opposing team will be awarded 3 points and their “goals for” will be recorded in full. The “goals for” of the offending team will be recorded as 0 in the game results. If the game result was a 0-0 draw or the opposing team had not scored, they will be awarded a 1-0 win.
If game play is suspended by the game official and not restarted prior to full time due to the conduct of the players, team officials or spectators from both teams, then the score at the time of the game suspension will be recorded as the final score if more than 25 minutes has been played. If less than 25 minutes have been played the game will be recorded as 0-0. If the game is a playoff, cup, or knock-out game, then neither team may advance. The Club reserves the right to award zero points to any teams involved in these situations and future participation with the Club may be subject to review.
Game Suspensions Resulting from Other Conditions
If game play is suspended by the game official and not restarted prior to full time due to other outside circumstances including, but not limited to, injury, weather, lighting, or facility failures, then the score at the time of the game suspension will be recorded as the final score if more than 25 minutes has been played. If less than 25 minutes have been played the game will be considered incomplete by the Club. The teams involved in the incomplete game will be responsible for notifying the Club within 24 hours of the scheduled start time. All incomplete games will be rescheduled as soon as possible based on facility availability. Teams will receive a minimum of 24 hours’ notice for the reschedule of incomplete games.
Postponements and No-Show
Due to the complexity of scheduling games and limited indoor facility resources, requests for postponing or rescheduling games from teams will not be considered. The Club may postpone or reschedule at their discretion. The game official may postpone or reschedule due to unplayable conditions.
In the event that a team fails to show up and no game is played then they will be subject to an administrative fee of $100.00. The fee is increased to $250.00 for a second offence. The administrative fee may be waived by the Club if more than 72 hours’ notice is provided in writing to the Club administrator.
Zero Tolerance Policy
Everyone is responsible for their own behavior. Each team is responsible for the behavior of their players and spectators. Only individuals identified on the game sheet are allowed in the playing field area and team bench area.
In order to promote a safe and sportsmanlike environment for its members, Grand River Soccer Club has clarified its stance on unsportsmanlike behavior. All members must understand the expectations before joining the Club. Team Captains and Managers are required to ask players to leave the game/playing field area if they are involved in any of the following acts:
- Swearing directly at another person
- Intentionally pushing, shoving, or making physical contact with another person
- Making comments to instigate an altercation
- Spitting at another person
Fighting will not be tolerated. Anyone involved in a physical altercation will have their Club membership suspended until a discipline decision has been issued. The Club reserves the right to cancel individual and team membership without refund in addition to any discipline decision rendered.
Administrative fees may be charged in addition to registration fees and discipline fees. Any fees not outlined in the Clubs governing documents will be assessed at a rate of $50/hour. Invoices that remain unpaid for 90 days or more may incur an additional fee of $100 and become subject to referral to a third party collection service. Unpaid fines or fees may result in membership suspension, cancellation or decline.
A review shall be completed by the league to determine whether a member team or individual shall be subjected to a fee and / or face dismissal from the Club for any of the infractions listed below:
- Any team found guilty of a second offence for playing ineligible players
- Any team that assaults a referee.
- Any special incident report received
If a situation cannot be clearly resolved by the stated rules or is not covered or there is confusion the Club or their representative shall make the final decision.
The Club Management Committee will have final discretion on all matters.