Rules of Play

Revised 03/11/2024

All FIFA rules apply except for the modifications by Burke Athletic Club (BAC) described below:

  • Managers will provide a printed roster of all registered players on their team, with full names and jersey numbers, to the referees prior to any match.  If a player does not appear on the roster they cannot play in that match, but the referee has the discretion to solve any jersey issues prior to playing by working with both managers.   The referees have final judgement prior to the match, but if there is a concern for the referees or managers, they will collect information and elevate it to the club commissioner to review.
  • Same colored kits are required for all players, variations of color shades are not allowed (e.g., if the team is in dark green, light green or black is not valid).   Keepers’ kits should be unique from each of the two competing team’s colors.
    • All players are required to have a unique jersey number registered with the league to take the pitch.
    • If two teams share a color, the home team retains their kits and the visiting team will need an alternate kit or an alternate color pinnie over their official jerseys.
  • Each game is 60 minutes long. Two 30 minutes halves with a 3-minute break between halves.
    • Game start times are 8:15 pm for the first game and 9:30 pm for the second game unless changed by BAC with advance notice provided to the teams.
    • If the 8:15 pm game finishes after 9:30 pm, there will be a maximum of five (5) minutes before the start of the next game.
    • A maximum of a 10-minute delay to the start of a game is allowed at the referee’s discretion.  
    • Regular season games can end in a tie at the end of regulation.   In the post season, if teams play to a draw, penalty kicks in accordance with FIFA rules will decide the winner of the game.
    • Should a referee be delayed later than 10 minutes or not arrive at all, managers may determine if they can referee the game themselves.   Division and league commissioners will need to be notified of the situation and the result immediately following the match.
  • Games will be played with a maximum of eight (8) players on the field for each team.
    • Each team will play with seven (7) players and one (1) goalkeeper.
    • The minimum number to start and maintain a game is six (6) players.  The offending team has five (5) minutes from scheduled kick off to reach the minimum count or will forfeit.  
    • To maintain opportunities to play should a forfeit occur, teams may choose to continue playing a friendly match in any set up they decide as long as the referee agrees.
  • Points will be awarded for play to determine rank and seeding along the following guidelines:
    • Wins = 3 points
    • Ties = 1 point
    • Loses = 0 points
    • Forfeits = Minus one (-1) table point

§ Negative points will only be assessed if notice to forfeit was provided less than 48 hours prior to game time.  Matches can be rescheduled with advanced notice.

o Tie breakers will be goal differential (goals scored minus goals against)

§ Forfeits will count as a 3-0 game in the table.

§ Maximum goal differential awarded in any game is +6

  • Managers will be provided with a kit from Burke Sporting Goods prior to each season, consisting of four cones and a size five ball.   The home team is responsible for marking the corners of the field with the cones prior to play.   The cones may not be removed for any corner kicks and any player doing so will forfeit their possession, initiating an immediate goal kick for the opposing team.
  • Each team must provide two size five (5) competition quality soccer balls, in good condition, and properly inflated for each match to be approved by the referee.   Placement of the 3 non-game balls should be one beside each goal and one at the sideline of the center pitch. 
    • If a team does not provide two soccer balls, or if they are not in the proper condition for play as determined by the referee, the team will forfeit the game. 
    • With four (4) game balls at the ready for each match, any actions to delay the game by not using the closest option ball will result in a delay of game penalty at the referee’s discretion. 
    • Substitutes on the sidelines for each team are required to send a member to collect balls struck far from the field of play and return them to the chosen spots.
  • Player substitutions may be made when the team has possession of the ball, when the opposing team has possession and substitutes, on either team’s goal kick, or before a kick-off.  No substitutions on corner kicks.
  • There are no limitations on how far the keepers may kick the ball.
  • There are no offsides – Offensive players may be behind the defense; however, they can never reside within the goal box (or 6-yard goal box) nor interfere with the keeper if behind the defense.
  • Slide tackles are never allowed - A play involving a player leaving his feet or sliding to initiate contact or tackling another player is banned in our league within all age groups.  Any infraction results in a direct free kick, with escalation to cards at the discretion of the referee depending on the situation.
  • No playing the ball while on the ground – The infraction results in an indirect free-kick anywhere on the pitch, except inside the 6-yard goal box, then it is a penalty kick.
  • If a penalty kick is awarded, the offensive player taking the kick may not extend back from the ball further than two steps and must always remain within the penalty box prior to the kick.
  • The distance between the ball and the closest defender during a free kick is five yards.
  • Keeper protection – The keeper is provided the right-of-way to acquire any ball when extended and exposed while attempting to secure the ball within the 6-yard goal box.  
    • Collisions while in this state will default to the keeper receiving the benefit of the doubt, the offensive player will be called for contact, and the defensive team will receive an indirect free kick - unless the referee determines the Keeper initiated the contact without an attempt to secure the ball.
    • This protection only serves to safeguard an exposed keeper, should the referee determine a dangerous collision did not occur the ball is still live until the keeper secures it according to the standard rules of play.
  • For Yellow / Red cards the league has specific rules in addition to the rules set by FIFA.
    • If a player receives a yellow card, he will be immediately asked to leave the field for a minimum of two minutes.  The player cannot return to the field until the next subbing opportunity for his team after the two minutes have elapsed. The player’s team will play short a player for the entire two minutes until the referee allows the carded player (or one of his teammates) back on to the field.
    • A player who receives a red card is required to immediately leave the pitch.  Play will not resume until the player has left the grounds and entered the parking lot. 
      • The referee may award a penalty kick to the opposing team, should an ejected player delay the match by leaving slower than directed by the referee or who interferes with the continuation of the match in any way.
      • The failure of a player to leave the field will result in a forfeit of the game by the player’s team and be elevated to a disciplinary review against the player and his team.
    • Any player ejected from a game will not be allowed to play the following match.
    • A player who receives a red card for unsportsmanlike behavior on or off the field of play (e.g., playing to injure or starting conflicts with other participants) will go before the management of the league for further review and will be subject to greater penalties including being disqualified from the entire league with no refund.
  • Teams are responsible for the conduct of their spectators.  The referee has the authority to remove a spectator from the facility. Play will not resume until the spectator has left the grounds. In addition, BAC reserves the right to sanction a team because of the conduct of their supporters.