Blog | Mississauga Soccer | Rules, Procedures and Stuff


Rules of the Game

Updated October 5, 2022


    • Game Length: Games are 50 minutes long (2 halves of 25 minutes) at the referee's discretion. Teams are expected to be in uniform and ready to play by game time. The clock starts regardless of whether you're ready.
    • Player Eligibility/Age: All players must be over the age of 18 at the time of the game. Players must be on the team roster in order to play.
    • Game Ball: Players are responsible for providing a game ball. Referee must check and approve all balls before they are put into play.
    • Players on the Field:
        OUTDOOR Leagues:
        • 7 players are to be fielded per team (GK included). If a team cannot field a minimum of 6 players by game time, a forfeit will be enforced, unless waived by opposing team.
        • Coed: Maximum of 5 players of any gender are allowed on the field for each team. If a team only has one male/female player, they may play with a player down. Females GKs count toward the gender minimum. Teams may agree to waive gender requirements before game starts, with referee's permission.
        INDOOR Leagues:
          • 6 players are to be fielded per team (GK included). If a team cannot field a minimum of 5 players by game time, a forfeit will be enforced, unless waived by opposing team.
          • Coed: Maximum of 4 players of any gender are allowed on the field for each team. If a team only has one male/female player, they may play with a player down. Females GKs count toward the gender minimum. Teams may agree to waive gender requirements before game starts, with referee's permission.

Placing Ball into Play:

  • Kickoff: Determined by coin flip; winning team decides whether they want first ball or to choose starting side. Opposing team must stand minimum 5 yards from the ball.
  • Kick-ins: Every restart of the game as consequence of the ball being out of bounds on the touchline (including corner kicks) will be done by a kick-in. Kick-ins are indirect. Opposing players must allow 5 yards distance from the ball. Ball must be stationary before being put into play.
  • Goal Kicks: A goal kick can be played anywhere inside the box. Goal kicks can also be passed to a player within the GKs box. Opposing team players should be outside the Goalkeeper’s box and a minimum of 5 yards away from the ball. Ball must be stationary before putting in play.
  • Free Kicks: Every free kick is indirect. Ball must be stationary before being put in play, and must be visibly moved before it is shot on net. All opposing players must be at a minimum of 5 yards from the ball.
  • Indirect Kicks: All free kicks and kick-ins are indirect. The ball must touch any active player on the field (goalkeeper included) in order to count as a goal.


  • Pass Backs: If the GK handles a ball intentionally passed by a teammate, an indirect free kick will be awarded from where the GK was standing. GKs are, however, permitted to handle the ball if it is passed back using the head, chest, or knee, or if otherwise considered "undeliberate" by the referee.
  • Slide-Tackling: Slide tackling is not permitted and may result in a booking at the discretion of the referee. Opposing team will receive an indirect kick. Sliding to stop the ball is allowed if no opposing player is in the vicinity of the ball or if slide does not intersect opposing players path. Goalkeepers can slide inside the goalkeeper’s area.
  • Handballs: Contact of the ball below the shoulder with any part of the arm or hand will be considered a handball and result in a foul or penalty kick. Goalkeepers cannot drop the ball from their hands and pick it up again, otherwise an indirect kick will be awarded on the spot of the foul (minimum 5 yards from the goal line).
  • Offsides: Offside rule is not enforced in 7v7.
  • Penalty Kicks: Any foul committed inside the GKs box, handballs included, are cause for a penalty shot. For the penalty kick, all non-kick-taking players must be at least 5 yards behind the ball. GK must remain on the goal line until ball is kicked.


  • Fouls: Referees have final say on all foul calls.
  • Arguing Calls: Excessive arguing with the referee may result in a caution or ejection.
  • Encroaching on Referee: Encroaching on referee (within 6 feet) may result in an automatic caution (yellow). Please respect the referee's space and abide by COVID-19 guidelines.
  • Harrassing Referee: Any abuse of the referee (swearing, yelling, disrespectful behaviour, etc.) may result in a caution or ejection.
  • Referee Interference: If the ball strikes the referee, play will not stop. Referees reserve the right to override this rule if they see fit.
  • Yellow and Red Cards: One yellow will result in an immediate 2-minute penalty for the offending player. Offending player must sit out and their team must proceed with a player down for the duration of the penalty. Two yellow cards in a single game will result in a sending-off (red card). Alternatively, a straight red card may be issued without previous yellow cards. The team who received the red card will continue with a player down for 5 minutes, after which they may sub a new player in. The player who received the red card must immediately leave the field/venue and game shall not resume until they are out. Red cards will also result in an additional minimum one-game suspension. League administrators reserve the right to issue any disiplinary measures they see fit, even if no card/warning was issued by the referee. This includes, but is not limited to, suspensions to be served during all league nights in which the player is participating.


  • Goals: A goal is counted when the entire ball crosses the goal line. As always, the referee has final word in the decision. Opposing team plays ball in from centre field.
  • Substitutes: Substitutes must be behind their own net. Substitutions can be made while the ball is in play, except for GKs. Players subbing out must leave the field before subbing players step on the field. Substitutions must be made on the touchline at half field.
  • Injuries: Referee may stop the game at any time if they assess that a player is seriously injured. At referees discretion, game may be resumed with a drop ball, or awarding possession outright.
  • Advantage Law: Advantage law may be invoked, at the referee's discretion, after any infraction that results in a goal-scoring opportunity for the non-offending team. Referee may call the play back and/or issue warnings at any point after Advantage is called.
  • Player Equipment: Suitable footwear, turf shoes, or cleats are recommended (no metal spikes). Shinpads are highly recommended. Prescription glasses are permitted, but goggles are recommended.
  • Jewelry / Metal Braces / Casts: All watches, necklaces, earings, rings, bracelets and the like must be removed. Players required to wear bracelets for religious purposes are required to completely cover them up for safety. In addition, any metal braces or hard casts must be fully covered with sufficient padding. Referees have, at their sole discretion, the ability to ask players to remove or modify equipment, or completely leave the game should the concern be sufficient, at any point in time.

General Guidelines

August 1, 2021
  • Team Captain Responsibilities: Team captains must know and enforce league guidelines, ensure their teammates are aware of league guidelines, and ensure their roster is up-to-date before every game
  • Unsportsmanlike Behaviour: Any unsportsmanlike behaviour, including but not limited to trash talking, overly aggressive play, verbally abusing referees or staff, sexist/racist comments, threats, instigating fights, or fighting will not be tolerated. Offending teams and Players will be suspended or banned from the league without refund.
  • Bench-clearing Incidents: Incidents during which subs/spectators/benched players rush the field may result in an immediate suspension or ejection for all players involved.
  • Spectators: Spectators and their actions are the responsibility of the team captain and will abide by all rules discussed herein. Children must be closely monitored and are not permitted on the field. Dogs are not permitted in the venue. Any spectators not abiding by rules will be asked to leave.
  • Drugs/Alcohol: No drugs or alcohol are permitted on the field or parking lot, including, but not limitted to, cannabis, alcohol, and cigarettes. Players and spectators are not permitted into the venue while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and will be asked to leave.
  • Team Uniforms: All teams are required to have matching uniforms. It is highly recommended that uniforms have unique numbers on the back.
  • Defaults: More than one team default may result in removal of team from the league without refund.
  • Age Requirements: All players must be at least 18 years of age in order to participate in leagues.
  • Disciplinary Action: Teams or players who've been ejected, suspended, expelled, or banned from the league are not permitted on site in any capacity (player, spectator, coach, manager, etc.) until their suspension is lifted.
  • COVID-specific Guidelines: All government- and league-issued COVID precautions must be followed at all times. This may include reduced roster sizes partway through the season.
  • Field and Venue Rules:
    • Players are required to respect other field users.
    • There is to be no drinking on the field or in the parking lot. By-law Officers will be monitoring the venue.
    • Only water is allowed on field.
    • Smoking and/or vaping is not permitted in the venue.
    • Alcohol consumption is not permitted in the venue, parking lot, or surrounding school area.
    • Players must clean up their own garbage.
    • No dogs permitted in the venue.
    • No bicycles permitted on the track or turf.
    • No spitting anywhere inside the venue.

League Format

August 1, 2021
  • Results: Every victory will be recorded as 3 points for winning team, ties will be recorded as 1 point, and losses as 0 points. Game scores will be capped to a difference of 5 goals when applicable.
  • Divisions:
    • Grading/Placement Games: Seasons may include one (1) to three (3) placement games which help assess teams' division placement. These games count toward mininum games played. The following will be taken into consideration during these games: win/loss, margin of victory, matchup difficulty, team composition, etc.
    • Relegation/Promotion: At the league's sole discretion, teams may be relegated or promoted partway through the season to ensure balanced divisions.
    • Tie-break Rule: Ties in the standings will be resolved in the following order:
      • 1) Goal difference
      • 2) Goals for
      • 3) Goals against
  • Playoff Format and Rules: Playoff format will depend on registration numbers, make-up of divisions, and season length.
    • Playoff halves will be reduced to 23 minutes each, to allow for penalty kicks in the case of a tie.
    • Penalty kicks will be invoked at the end of full time in the case of a tie; the first round will consist of three (3) kick-takers from each team. In the case that no winner is decided, rounds of one (1) kick-taker from each team will continue until there is a winner.
    • Only players fielded at the end of full time may participate in penalties.
    • No player may take a second penalty kick until every fielded player has taken one kick.
    • Coed: At least one (1) female player must be in the initial group of three (3) kick-takers. If kicks continue, a ratio of two (2) male to one (1) female must be maintained.


July 5, 2022
  • What is the refund policy?
    Registrations are fully refundable until 5 business days prior to kick-off or once schedules are posted, whichever comes first. In case of province-mandated shutdown, refunds will be issued pro-rata to account for any unplayed games remaining in the season.

  • Can my team request to play games exclusively at a certain time?
    We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate such requests, especially if doing so would result in an unfair schedule for others teams. Please email your request to [email protected] to find out more.

  • I missed the registration deadline and/or the league has started -- can I join the waitlist?
    Shoot us an email at [email protected] to discuss your options or join the waitlist.

  • I registered as an individual player - what can I expect?
    Individual players will be placed on a team with other players who also registered individually. We generally aim for 11-13 players per team. You can register by yourself or with a small group of friends. Included in your registration is a jersey (individual registrations only).

  • Are jerseys included with my registration?
    Team registrations do not include jerseys -- teams must supply their own uniforms. Jerseys are only included with individual registrations.

  • I'm registered as an individual, can my friend be on my team?
    We are able to accommodate this as long as there is space on the team or the league has not started yet! Please ensure that you note this request during the registration process or email us your request at [email protected].

  • What is the maximum team roster size?
    Currently, no player maximum is being enforced, though this is subject to change with COVID-19 guidelines. All players must be registered and present on the roster to be eligible to play. Staff will be taking attendance at the door.

  • The weather is bad (rain, heat, wind, etc.) - are games still on?:
    All games are played rain or shine. Any exceptions due to lightning/thunder will be determined by staff, on-site, at the time of the game. Cancelled games will be rescheduled (possibly on a different day of the week).

  • Are spectators allowed?
    Spectators must stay behind the track at all times. No spectators on the field. Spectators are players' responsibility and players will be held responsible for their actions.

  • What skill level can I anticipate in Mississauga Soccer League?
    We almost always divide teams into divisions based on skill level. We run as many as four divisions per night, ranging from competitive to more recreational divisions.

  • Are grading/placement games and playoff games calculated in the season length?
    Placement games are used to determine in which division teams belong. Both placement and playoff games are calculated in the season length.