All Nations Football Southwark 7-a-side Rules (14 Oct 2012) 




• Each match is 40 mins with two halves of 20 mins and 1-min break at half-time.


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


• 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.


• 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.


• 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 7 players per team 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 5 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.


• The referee will abandon any game in which one team drops to below 5 players on the pitch. 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.


• A team needing an extra 1 or 2 players to make up a full playing team can only borrow 1 or 2 players from another team, provided they field a squad of 7 or less. A team may not borrow more players to have the luxury of substitutes.


• The ball is allowed to travel over head 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 goalkeepers’ D-area.


• The pitch extends behind the baseline and up to the fences behind each goal. A ball that passes behind the baseline (or even 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.


• Yellow card offences are punishable with a 5-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.


• Balls kicked or deflected over the fence must be retrieved immediately by the outfield player or member of their team that last touched the ball (deflections or saves from the goalkeeper do not count); even if that contact was an accidental deflection or if that team does not have a sub to send for the ball.


• The passback 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 pick up a backpass, they will concede a free kick one metre outside the edge of the D-area.


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


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


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


• 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.

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 and all players must remain in their half at kick-off.


• Throw-ins are underarm, and the thrower must be given 2 metres space by the opposition to release the ball back into play. Goalkeepers are not allowed to take throw-ins.


Throw-ins that fail to enter the field of play or travel above waist height are considered foul throws and the throw will switch to the opposite side.


• A ball that travels behind the goal line and over the fence shall be deemed keeper’s ball (in hand). We do not play corner kicks.


Free kicks 


• All free kicks are direct.


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



• The penalty taker must take just one step before striking the ball.




• Goalkeepers can stray outside the D-area (marked in blue), but if they handle outside the area it will be a penalty. If a goalkeeper’s momentum leads them to handle outside the area, it will be deemed unintentional by the referee and play will continue.


• Teams can switch the goalkeeper when the ball is out of play and provided they notify the referee.


• If the goalkeeper has the ball in hand, the keeper must roll it out or throw overarm to recommence play as opposed to playing it with their feet. If a keeper kicks the ball out of his hand, for whatever reason, possession will be conceded to the opposite keeper.


• Back-pass rule: the goalkeeper cannot pick up a ball played to him from a teammate, but they can play it with their feet. A back-pass must be deemed intentional by the referee.


• If a goalkeeper picks up a back-pass, 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 picked up.


• Only the goalkeeper can travel behind the goal to retrieve the ball.


• The goalkeeper should wear a top or bib of a distinctive colour from that of both outfield team players.