All Nations Football Finsbury Football 5-a-side Rules (changes from v2.0 denoted in red text)


• Each match is 40mins with two halves of 20mins and 1min break in between halves.

• 3 points will be awarded for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss.

• Points will be deducted for late payment of registration fees and your competition manager will advise of the deadlines for payments. 1 point will be deducted each week if the deadline has passed and payment has not been received.

• By registering for a season, teams are committed to play all 10 games as a point of respect for other teams who have arranged to play against you. The league will consider introducing disciplinary action for teams that fail to turn up or cause games to be abandoned.  The league cannot be held responsible for teams failing to turn up and we will arrange a friendly for you in the unlikely event that your opponents are absent.

• In the case of the league having two divisions, two teams will be promoted from Division 2 and two teams will be demoted from Division 1 at the end of each season. Positions will be decided according to standard rules (points, then GD, then goals scored). New teams will start in Division 2.

• Teams must be pitch side at least 5 minutes before their match is due to start. Both teams not being present and ready at kick-off could lead to one or two minutes coming off the running time of the game. 

• Only 5 players will be permitted on the pitch at any one time, one of which must be the goalkeeper.

• A team will need to start the match with at least 3 of their own players to avoid conceding a forfeit. Any team conceding a forfeit will lose the match 6-0. The game will still be played but as a friendly.

• Any team needing extra 1-2 players to make a team of 5 can only borrow that number of players, a team may not borrow more players to have the luxury of substitutes.

• A team may have a maximum of 4 substitutes.

Match Rules

• The ball is allowed to travel overhead height.

• Sliding tackles are not allowed.  Sliding tackles are defined as an attempt to win the ball from an opponent or interrupt an opponent’s play while intentionally skidding or sliding along the ground. Tackles when the player is at full stretch but does not skid or slide on the ground are legal tackles. Sliding tackles are treated as fouls and incur a free kick (or penalty if in the area) to the opposing team.

• Outfield players can go into the D-areas of the goalkeepers’ areas.

• The pitch extends behind the baseline and up to the fences behind each goal. A ball that passes behind the baseline or hits the back fence is still in play unless it passes over the fence or comes to rest behind the goal.

• For reasons of safety, outfield players are not allowed to travel behind the goal. Only the goalkeeper can go behind the goal to retrieve a ball that has come to rest there. However, if the ball travels behind the goal and out again (without passing through the frame, which would make it keeper’s ball) it is still deemed ‘in play’.

• If an outfield player plays the ball behind the goal deliberately to win a goal kick, they will concede a free kick on the outside edge/line of the D-area in line with the centre of the goal and the point where the ball was played.

• Rolling subs are permitted during play provided the incoming and outgoing players are not in play at the same time.  Play will be stopped should the incoming player seek a positional advantage by immediately entering play. Players should touch hands when making their change to prevent positional advantages being gained.

• Yellow card offences are punishable with a 3-minute sin bin. Swearing or aggressive behaviour will be punished with a yellow card.

• A second yellow card or straight red card is a sending off.

• The referee will abandon any game in which one team drops to 2 outfield players on the pitch following sending offs. A team deemed responsible for abandonment (e.g. through disciplinary cards) will concede a forfeit and lose the match 6-0, unless the present score is more favourable to the other team in which case the score will stand. The referee’s discretion is final.

• Balls kicked or deflected over the fence must be retrieved immediately by the player or member of their team that last touched the ball (deflections or saves from the goalkeeper do not count).

• Balls being deliberately kicked out of the pitch may be interpreted by the referee as either timewasting or unsportsmanlike conduct and punished appropriately.

• The pass back rule is in operation thus the goalkeeper cannot pick up a ball played to him from a teammate, but they can play it with their feet.  If a goalkeeper picks up a back pass, they will concede a free kick on the edge of the D-area.

• All players must abide by the code of conduct as set out on the All Nations website.

• All players must have signed their team’s waiver before playing a match.

• Players must wear appropriate footwear (AstroTurf boots/trainers not studs or blades) and jewellery must be removed or taped up.

• All decisions made by the referee will stand and should be respected by players. Scenarios will occur that fall outside the scope of this set of rules. The referee will govern decisions made in relation to those scenarios as they see fit in accordance with the philosophy of The All Nations and in the interests of fairness and enjoyment for players and teams.

 Starting/Re-starting play 

• The ‘home team’ will start by the match with the kick off.

• After a goal is scored the game is restarted with a centre kick once the referee’s whistle blown has blown. The referee will not blow until both sets of players are in their correct halves of the pitch and the goal marked on the score sheet.


• Throw-ins are underarm, at or below the thrower’s waist height. The thrower must be given 2 meters space by the defenders to release the ball back into play. The thrower must have one foot in contact with the line and the ball must be thrown in play from the point of the line and land in play. Any transgressions of the throw will result in a foul throw being called and a throw given to the opposition. 

Fouls/Free kicks  

• A referee may use his discretion if he thinks it is in the best interest of the player and his team to continue play. If no advantage is forthcoming the referee can stop play and award a free kick.

• All free kicks are direct.

• Defenders must give the free kick taker at least 2 meters of space.


• The penalty taker may take one step only before striking the ball. The ball is placed one foot inside the centre of the D-area by the referee.  


• Goalkeepers must stay in their D-area, if they stray outside the area or handle outside the area a penalty will be awarded. If a goalkeeper’s momentum leads them to handle or move outside of the area it will be deemed unintentional by the referee and play will continue.

• You can switch the goalkeeper when the ball is out of play and you notify the referee however the goalkeeper should wear a top or bib of a distinctive color from that of both sets of outfield team players. 

• If the goalkeeper has the ball in hand, the keeper must roll it out (under arm and at or below waist height) to recommence play. Failure to do so (i.e. kicking the ball) will result in possession of the football being passed to the opposition goalkeeper.

• The pass back rule is in operation thus the goalkeeper cannot pick up a ball played to him from a teammate, but they can play it with their feet. If the goalkeeper picks the ball up a freekick is awarded on the edge of the D-area in line with the pass and where the goalkeeper picked up the ball.

v3.0 – 23.10.2012