League Rules

Basic Rules of Futsal: Futsal is a five-a-side game, played on an indoor court with smaller goals with a reduced bounce ball (futsal ball).

House Rules to the Laws of the Game

  1. Goalkeeper can not throw the ball into the opponent’s half (U12 and under)
  2. Goalkeeper can’t punt the ball. The keeper can drop kick ONLY when a save is made. Also, the keeper can put down the ball and dribble ONLY when a save is made.
  3. No slide tackles (opponent in immediate area)
  4. Switch benches between halves
  5. Game length is two 20 minute halves. Each team allowed a single 1 minute timeout per half; Can only call time out when in possession of the ball and its a dead ball.
  6. Pass back to keeper is only allowed after the ball has been touched by opponents, or the keeper is in the attacking half of the court
  7. Substitutions are done on the fly and are unlimited. The player on the field must leave the field BEFORE the outside player can enter the field.
  8. Keepers have 4 seconds to get rid of the ball when in possession of the ball
  9. Players have 4 seconds to put a ’dead’ ball in play. (i.e. free kicks,  kick-ins, corner kicks)
  10. Free kicks: opponents 5 yds from ball and outside penalty area
  11. Each team may call one-minute timeout per half.
  12. After the THIRD accumulated team fouls, the following fouls (4th, 5th, 6th…) will be a direct kick (without a wall) from the designated mark. Team fouls will reset for the second half.
  13. Dangerous or repeated fouling will result in a yellow (caution) card. Intention to harm, inappropriate language, and unsportsmanlike conduct will result in a red card (the player is banned at least from the current and the next game, the team will play down a man for two minutes unless the opposing team scored.
  14. If a team fails to show for a scheduled match, the referee shall allow a 5 minute grace period. After the 5 minutes, if the team has not yet arrived or does not have enough players to field a team (minimum 3 players), the game will be forfeited

Rules for Standing (and playoff seeding)

  • 3 points for a win
  • 1 point for a tie

Special Note: Junior Futsal League

Junior Futsal League was created specifically for younger ages (U7 – U9 years) to participate in a low key competitive futsal environment. Our intention is to provide the younger players with “knowledge through doing” and introduce team play and cooperation. This same technique is used in Brazil, Spain and probably most soccer enthused countries where players started playing futsal at a very early age. Compared to older ages the Junior League will have a few different changes in the rules and size of the court to make it a better environment for the players.

Each team will play a minimum of 9 games of 12-minute halves. Teams will play 2 games per weekend in a 6-week league period and 2 weekends off, a total of 8 games. In addition, a single elimination mini-tournament between all teams will end the season on the final weekend.

JR LEAGUE GAMES

Jr Futsal League (which is 5v5 format) uses same rules & guidelines as highlighted in the ‘League Information and Rules’ with the exceptions shown below.

  • Each game takes place in 35 minutes with two 12 minute halves.
  • A game day should include 2 games (i.e. 4 weekends with games and 2 “off” weekends).
  • Court size is slightly smaller than the court used for older players
  • Minimum 9 games (including end of season tournament)

MOST LIKELY LOCATION

  • Cubberley Community Center: 4000 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303

Rules for Standing (and playoff seeding)

  • 3 points for a win
  • 1 point for a tie
  • 0 points for a loss
  • Forfeited games are recorded as a 3 – 0 loss

Tiebreakers (in order of priority)

  1. Head-To-Head
  2. Total Wins
  3. Goal Difference (max 6 per game, e.g. score of 14-5 has goal differential limited to 6)
  4. Goals For (but not exceeding the max 6 per game difference, e.g. score of 14-5 has ‘goals for’ limited to 11)

Playoffs

The seeding for playoffs is based on the first 5 or six regular season game results. Seed 1 is the team in first place after the regular season, Seed 2 is the team in second place after the regular season, etc. Total Team Points and Tiebreakers determine the seeding (see “Rules for Standing” above). Rosters are frozen before playoffs begin (i.e. no guest players during playoffs).

Four Team Division: 

Each team plays six games during the regular season (normally with each team playing other teams twice). Division Champion is determined by best record or most points (with tie-breakers used if needed). If a fifth team is added during the season (such that all teams do not play each other twice), the Division Champion is still determined by best record or most points.

Parallel Five Team Divisions: 

Five regular season games determine seeding for a two round playoff. The divisions are merged for playoffs (e.g. the two highest point totals in each division proceed to semi-final games; the three lowest point totals in each division play consolation games).

Semifinal #1:    Seed #1 Upper Division vs Seed #2 Lower Division

Semifinal #2:    Seed #1 Lower Division vs Seed #2 Upper Division

Consolation #3: Seed #3 Upper Division vs Seed #4 Upper Division

Consolation #4: Seed #3 Lower Division vs Seed #4 Lower Division

Consolation #5: Seed #5 Upper Division vs Seed #5 Lower Division

Championship: Winner Semifinal #1 vs Winner Semifinal #2

Five Team Divisions: 

Four regular season games determine seeding for a two round playoff.

Semifinal #1:    Seed #1 vs Seed #4

Semifinal #2:    Seed #2 vs Seed #3

Championship: Winner Semifinal #1 vs Winner Semifinal #2

Seed #5:

Consolation #1: Seed #5 vs Non-winner of Semifinal #1 (same weekend as semifinals)

Consolation #2: Seed #5 vs Non-winner of Semifinal #2 (last weekend)

Six Team Divisions:

Five regular season games determine seeding for a two round playoff:
Semifinal #1:    Seed #1 vs Seed #4
Semifinal #2:    Seed #2 vs Seed #3
Consolation: Seed #5 vs Seed #6
Championship: Winner Semifinal #1 vs Winner Semifinal #2

Eight Team Divisions: 

Six regular season games determine seeding for Championship Game:
Championship: Seed #1 vs Seed #2

Jr League U8/U9 Mini-tournament (end of year):

To balance the competition each division is split into an upper and lower division (e.g. 4 teams in each split division). Preliminary games are shown as Quarter or Semi Finals (only to avoid confusion by calling everything a semi-final). Within the split division teams are seeded based on regular season results. After the single elimination preliminary games the winning teams will proceed directly to the final championship game. There are 10 to 15 minutes between games in addition to hosting in gyms with increased spectator area.

Player Eligibility

  • A typical roster size is 8-10 players, although we allow the minimum of 5 and maximum of 12 players. On a game day, fewer than 3 players will result the team to forfeit the game.
  • Stanford-Palo Alto Futsal will institute the issuance of player cards. To be eligible to play, each player must have a card. Player cards are issued only after full payment of fees, signed Medical / Media Release forms have been received and all players have been registered online.
  • Players can not play down an age group.
  • 3 guest players are allowed.
  • Players must be age appropriate for their division, e.g. a U10 player (i.e. “Under 10”) must be 9 years (or younger) before January 1 of the current year. The USSF mandate (published in 2016) requires that players who have birthdates between January 1 – December 31  should be designated within the same age group (e.g. U10, U11, etc). This is a change from the previous Aug 1 – July 31 timeframe used prior to 2017. Players may “playup”, i.e. play in an older age group than their age would designate (although playing up more than one year is unusual especially at the younger ages).

Coach Information

Coach license is not required. Any adult who is registered with the team as a coach or manager can sit on the bench. Each team must have at least one registered adult  present during the game.

Coaches with multiple teams

We try to accommodate coaches with multiple teams by avoiding overlapping games.  A coach with 4 or more teams should be prepared to have backup coaching available when needed. In general it is always a good idea to have alternate coaching available since a head coach conflict should not be the ultimate factor to cancel or reschedule a game. It is quite OK for a parent to stand-in especially since the coach can preemptively communicate a basic game plan (e.g. let the players rotate themselves for equal play just like pick up games).

Game Scorecard, Ball, Jersey, & Equipment

  • Before each game, a pre-printed game card will be available from the referees with player names and numbers. Please check the cards for accuracy and then hand them back to the referees before the game begins. At the end of each game, the referee will hand the bench coaches the completed game cards. The coaches are to sign the cards and in doing so, verify the score. The scores on the signed cards are official and will be entered into the standings.
  • The home team is responsible for providing the game ball. Size 3 for U12 and younger; size 4 for U13 and older. Outdoor soccer balls are not allowed inside the gyms.
  • If there is a conflict in jersey colors, the home team should change jerseys (or wear pullovers of different color).
  • Shinguards and flat soled shoes are mandatory for all players.

Ejections – Red Cards

If a player is ejected from a match, the player’s pass together with a referee’s report of the incident shall be turned over to the Stanford-Palo Alto Futsal administrator by the referee.

The minimum penalty for an ejection is that the player shall not be permitted to play in the immediate next match. The maximum penalty, after review by the Stanford Palo Alto Futsal Competition Committee, may result in the individual players or teams’ expulsion from the competition.

Coach Ejections

If a coach is ejected from any match, a referee’s report of the incident shall be turned over to the Stanford Palo Alto Futsal administrator by the referee.

The minimum penalty for an ejection is that the coach shall not be permitted to coach or remain on the player’s bench in the immediate next match. The maximum penalty, after review by Stanford Palo Alto Futsal Competition Committee, may result in the individual coach or team’s expulsion from the League.

Game Cancellation

If an opponent cancels a game or does not show for the game, the other team may use the game time. There are no refunds for games cancelled by opponents. If a team must cancel, please call Stanford-Palo Alto Futsal as soon as possible so we can notify the referees and give the other team a chance to plan accordingly. Cancelling a game not only short-changes your team, but your scheduled opponent. A game cancelled by a team may be replayed subject to opponent approval, ability to schedule a facility time, and a $100 reschedule fee (to cover cost of facility and referee time). Please do not cancel a game…it is a big hassle.

Conflict and Reschedule

During bracket formation each team should submit scheduling concerns. Each team should identify hard conflicts before the first scheduled game or within 7 days of the released schedule.

Games cancelled by Stanford Palo Alto Futsal

We reserve the right to postpone or cancel games at any time for any reason such as bad weather or facility problems. If we do decide to cancel games, refunds will not be provided.

Age Bracket Formation and Wait List

A team must input it’s desired competitive level and comments into its HTG team account before bracketing begins. Brackets are prioritized using the following criteria:

– gender (but a girl team may request to play in boys bracket)

–  age

– level of competition

– inter-club diversity (e.g. place same club team in different brackets)

Teams may be placed on a wait list, e.g. after registration is closed or due to the number of registered teams reaching the facilities capacity. If the number of registered teams exceeds the capacity (i.e. before registration closes) then some teams will be notified and placed on a wait list. Acceptance priority is given to teams registering early.

Referee Responsibilities

Referee  game procedure:

  • print game cards
  • Arrive at location 30 minutes prior the game. (One hour if court set up required).
  • Setup Expectation:
    1. two sets of team benches (each set seats 10)
    2. scorer table and chair located between benches, timer, scoreboard
    3. binder with player cards, game schedule, (optional) game cards, league & manager & referee contact, facility permit
  • Check goal nets, lines, court perimeter (safe distance to spectators)
  • Using Game Card
    1. Check in players on both teams
    2. Carry game card in pocket
    3. Tally players who score
    4. Bench coaches sign the game card to confirm final score
    5. Referee signs game card (and prints name if necessary for legibility)
  • Manage the clock; update the visible scoreboard to track the game score
  • Store Game card in binder; also store final score in personal notebook (i.e. until end of season + 2 weeks)
  • Communicate game scores to league administrator (same day), suggested method is (cell phone) photograph game card and transmit to league administrator
  • If a player is ejected from a match the referee will hold onto the player pass, document the red card on the back of the score sheet and present it to the Stanford Palo Alto Futsal League administrator. The player will have his/her pass returned after a one game suspension.

Venues

To keep the playing surfaces clean and dry, please instruct your players not to wear dirty or wet game shoes into the facilities. Outdoor soccer ball is not allowed inside the gyms.