FIFA Laws of the Game (Condensed)
Each team consists of five players on the field, including the goalkeeper and an unlimited number of substitutions, from a selection of three to five players.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS AND SUBSTITUTION SYSTEM
U8 - U10: 6v6 = 5 field players and goalkeeper / Maximum of 12 players on a team.
U11 & Up: 5v5 = 4 field players and goalkeeper / Maximum of 12 players on a team.
A minimum of four players is necessary to begin a match.
Any less than 4 players will be considered a forfeit.
Game time is forfeit time.
In all Coed divisions, there must be a minimum of 2 females on the field at all times and a maximum of 3 males
One player of the team is the goalkeeper but can play out of goal anywhere on the field.
Substitutions are unlimited and made on the fly. A player cannot enter the field until the player leaving the field has passed completely over the touchline.
Throw-ins and kick-ins mean the pace and flow of the game are much faster than regular football.
Shoes are not allowed; players must play in bare feet, although ankle guards and sand socks are permitted.
Goal kicks are taken by the goalkeeper using their hands to throw the ball.
The player has four seconds to play the ball after the referee’s whistle, or the free-kick will be awarded for the opposite team.
All substitutions, including goalkeepers, can be made while play is still going on, for which reason there is a designated area for this to take place. The unlimited nature of changes makes this a key strategic factor during matches.
Goalkeepers can move freely around their penalty area with the ball in their hands and, unlike other footballing disciplines, this area is marked out by a horizontal line across the whole pitch.
Like any other player, keepers have four seconds to get the ball into play, which they can only do so by using their hands. However, they cannot score this way or by kicking the ball out on the volley, an offense that would be penalized by a free-kick.
It is also important to note that the ball cannot be returned to a goalkeeper by a team-mate unless at least one opponent has touched it first. Breaking this rule results in a free-kick to the opposing team.
Free-kicks: direct only
At kick-offs, the opposition must stay at least 15 feet from the ball in their half of the field.
The kick-off must be played forward.
Every infraction of the rules is sanctioned with a direct free-kick, with no wall permitted!
The kick is taken from the spot where the foul was committed, except in the cases of penalty kicks (taken from the penalty spot)
Wasting Time, passing the ball back to the goalkeeper or the keeper kicking the ball into play, results with the opponent taking a free-kick from the halfway line.
In the case of foul play, the kick must be taken by the player who was fouled – unless injury prevents this.
There is no offside.
Throw-ins can be taken with either hands or feet.
Goals cannot be scored directly from a kick-in, a goal kick, a kick-off, or goalkeeper's throw.
The goalkeeper can score if the ball is placed on the ground and controlled with their feet.
After a goal is scored the game restarts with the kick-off.
INBOUNDING THE BALL
Any player can execute the ball inbound, including the goalkeeper.
A goal cannot be scored directly from ball inbound.
The ball can be kicked OR thrown in:
A game lasts thirty-six minutes and is split up into three twelve-minute periods wit 2 minutes between periods or two halves with each being 18 minutes with a 2-minute break between the start of the second half.
Every beach soccer match is won by one team. If the game is tied after regulation, teams will advance to a shootout with each team shooting 3 penalty kicks. A shoot out can last only a total of a 10 minutes after which teams will flip a coin and a sudden death shoot out will begin with the winner of the coin flip taking the first shot on goal.
Sudden Death rules. The first team to score is the winner of the match.
Referees and discipline
1 officiates our matches, who also serves as the timekeeper.
Any fouls committed lead to a free kick on goal, which has to be taken by the player who was fouled unless awarded for deliberate handling.
As in regular soccer, yellow and red cards can be issued.
However unlike in the main game, when a player receives a yellow card they must leave the field for two minutes and the team must play without that player for that duration of time.
In our leagues, a player may not exceed 3 incidental fouls before being asked to leave the game with a red card.
A player can receive a red card for a deliberate, uncalled for a serious foul.
When a player receives a red card, they are dismissed from the game entirely but the person's team can then bring on a substitute to replace the dismissed player after two minutes.