Rules for 7-a-Side Football at the Try-Athlon

Rules for 7-a-Side Football at the Try-Athlon

Players must remain 2m from League Officials at all times* this is a permanent change and will remain after this post-Covid period. 

Limit contact with teams that have played previously 

There must be no shaking hands at any point. Bring your own ball to warm up with. 

Wash your hands before and after you enter the pitch All teams must wear the same colours to avoid the need for bibs to be used. 

Note: Every time you take part in a Leisure Leagues provided sports league you will effectively be making the above Health Declaration.

Start and End of Match

1a) Play is started by the referee giving the ball to one or other team alternately at the start of each half from the centre circle.  

1b) Game duration is 10 minutes with no half time or the changing of ends. 

1c) Where applicable, the referees whistle overrules the hooter.

1d) There is no maximum amount of players per squad. 


2a) In the event of a penalty being awarded, time shall be added at the end of the game. 

2b) The penalty taker is allowed no more than two steps before striking the ball. 

2c) The keeper must remain on his line and not move until the ball is struck. 

2d) It is the responsibility of teams to clarify to the referee who is taking the penalty kick. Teams will be penalised and the penalty disallowed if the referee feels the goalkeeper was placed at a disadvantage by the opposing teams not making it clear who was taking the penalty kick. 

2e) In the absence of a penalty spot being visible, the penalty kick shall be taken 1 yard back from the edge of the area. 

The Goalkeeper/The Area

3a) After a goal is scored, the goalkeeper shall roll the ball out with an underarm action to restart play. The ball must stay below head height. 

3b) The goalkeeper must not leave their area. If they do, a penalty will be awarded

3c) If the goalkeeper makes a save and part of his body slides out of the area, then the referee shall use his discretion. However, in this instance, for the referee to rule in favour of the goalkeeper, the ball must have remained in the area and part of the goalkeepers body must also have remained in the area. If, in the referees opinion, the goalkeeper started a sliding save too near to the edge of the area, which he could have reasonably foreseen would have taken the majority of his body out of the area (even though the ball may have remained in the area) then the referee shall penalize the goalkeeper. The referee shall take into account the conditions of the surface in determining how far goalkeepers may slide out of the area. 

3d) If a defensive side has a free-kick near to the goalkeepers area, then the referee may elect to continue play with an underarm roll-out by the goalkeeper. 

3e) The goalkeeper must always roll the ball out with an underarm action, an indirect free kick shall be awarded if either the ball goes above head height or his roll out is above the level of the shoulder 

3f) If a team makes a change of goalkeeper during the match then the referee must be notified before the change is made. 

3g) If an attacker kicks the ball near the area the action of the kick must have started and finished outside the area, however the momentum of the kick is allowed to travel in the area. 

3h) Attacking players may also enter the opposing area through momentum only however, the referee shall be the sole judge of momentum and the attacker should make every reasonable effort not to enter the area. 

3i) No player shall be penalised if, through no fault of their own, they enter the area when they have made a reasonable attempt not to enter the area. This particularly applies to attacking players who may push defending players into the area. 

3j) In all matters relating to the area the overriding rule should be that, with discretions, the ball should not have been played in the area. Discretions apply to momentum only. 

3k) The goalkeeper may not kick the ball under any circumstances except in the course of making a save. If the goalkeeper does kick the ball, an indirect free kick will be given, two yards outside the area.

3l) Players who run through the area and in doing so gain an advantage, will be penalised. 


4a) When an outfield player receives the ball from the goalkeeper, the ball must be touched by another player before being passed back to the goalkeeper. This is punishable with an indirect free kick, 2 yards outside the area. 


5a) Outfield players may not play either with a cap or hat, jeans or shoes. The goalkeeper is allowed to wear a cap. 

5b) Players may not play without a shirt on. 

5c) Only 4G football boots and flat trainers will be aloud

5d) Shin pads is optional.


6a) Teams are allowed up to five substitutes who must stand behind the goal which is occupied by their goalkeeper. 

6b) More than one substitution is allowed at any one time however, if there are more than the allotted players on court at any one time the teams shall be penalised. 

6c) Substitutes can only enter play when their team is in an attacking position in the oppositions half. 

6d) Substitutes can be used as often and whenever the team wishes. 

6e) Substitutes are not allowed onto the playing area until the substitutes player has left. 

6f) If substitutes do not stand behind the goal and the ball strikes them then the referee shall award a penalty. 

The Head-Height Rule

7a) The ball cannot be played above head-height.

7b) The referee shall decide what constitutes head-height, however, head-height is determined as an infringement when the whole ball passes above the height of the tallest player on the pitch. 

7c) When the head-height rule is infringed, the free-kick shall be taken where the ball was originally played. 

7d) If the ball goes above head-height off the goalkeeper, goalposts, fixed equipment or, in the case of sports halls, the bottom boarding, then play shall continue. 

7e) If the ball goes above head-height off a wall or netting then, the referee shall decide whether an infringement has occurred. 

7f) The heading of the ball is Not allowed. 

Free Kicks, Kick ins/Roll In’s & Corners 

8a) All free kicks, kick ins/roll in’s and corners are indirect. 

8b) On all free kicks, players should be two yards from the ball. When a free kick is on the edge of the area, the ball should be played two yards back. 

8c) If a player refuses to retreat two yards from the free kick or, as the free kick is being taken extends any part of his body towards the ball which means that he is no longer two yards from the free kick then he shall be penalised. The ball should be stationary before the free kick is taken. 

The Two Yard Rule

9a) If a player fails to retreat two yards or, the ball hits a player from the free kick who has not retreated two yards, or who has extended his leg towards the ball meaning that he is no longer two yards from the ball, then the referee shall move play forward two yards and allow the kick to be taken again. 

9b) Players that show dissent towards the referee or his decision at a free kick, will result in the kick being moved forward two yards. 

9c) The referee may move the kick forward at two yard intervals, however many times he wishes. 

9d) If by moving the ball forward two yards, the free kick then becomes within the area of the defending side, a penalty shall be awarded. 

General Rules

10a) If applicable, the referees scoring overrules the scoreboard. 

10b) The referee will be the sole judge of whether a tackle is dangerous or not in the best interests of the spirit of the game. 

10c) Teams must not alter or move equipment to gain an advantage. 

10d) Teams should make every attempt to play in similar colours or use the coloured bibs provided. 

10e) Teams who arrive late for their kick off time may be subject to forfeiture of the match. 

10f) The signing of the entry form indemnifies Leisure Leagues from any responsibility for personal injury or lost property whilst participating in the organised leagues. Teams are responsible for arranging their own personal insurance cover at centres where this is not automatically applicable. 


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