Our playing rules have been specially adapted to maximise enjoyment, ease of use, fairness and safety for everyone involved.See below for a full list of playing rules. If you have any questions or queries, you can contact us here.

General rules

The rules below apply to all Football7s competitions, including leagues and tournaments. On the most part, our 7-a-side playing rules are the same as regulation 11-a-side rules with the following exceptions/modifications:

  • Limited slide-tackling
    Should a referee deem your slide to be a player on player tackle, or feels your movement was dangerous in any way, you may be pulled up for a foul or penalised. We allow players to slide to intercept a pass, stop the ball from going out, or any other action where there are no other players immediately near the movement.
    • We strongly advise all players to wear shin pads and long socks
    • Kick-offs are indirect and can go either forward or backward
    • There are no offsides
    • The goalkeeper can’t drop-kick the ball directly from their hands
    • Proper throw-in rules apply
    • Goal-kicks must be taken from the ground, the ball must not be moving, and can be placed anywhere inside the penalty area
    • Opposition players must be at least 5m away from any free-kick or kick-off
    • Start, half-time, and full-time will be signalled via the referee’s whistle (regardless of siren/hooter/clock)
    • The game starts and ends on the referee’s whistle
    • All Girls’ Teams
      These teams may play down an age grade in our leagues


  • All penalty kicks are taken from the top of the goal area directly in front of goal and 8m from the goal line or from the marked penalty spot (depending on venue)
  • The goalkeeper must be on the line when the penalty is taken
  • Strikers must wait for the referee’s whistle before proceeding to take the penalty


In the unlikely event that the referee needs to take further action the following cards may be applied:

Blue card

  • Forced substitution for at least 4mins
  • The player comes off, but another one can come on
  • If you only have 7 players then you will play short for the period

Yellow card

  • Receiving player must leave the pitch for at least 4mins
  • The player can’t be replaced during this time
  • Same player receiving two yellows cards = red card, and player cannot return to the game with team playing with one player less

Red card

  • Receiving player must leave the pitch for the remainder of the game
  • If a substitute is shown a red card, the on-field players must reduce their numbers accordingly
  • The player can’t be replaced during this time