Brush up on your knowledge of our 5-a-side rules before you play.


It is the responsibility of each player to be familiar with the appropriate SportUP rules for the competition played as well as the SportUP Code of Conduct. 

At SportUP we believe that fun, and playing social sports, doesn’t have to stop when you become an adult. 

SportUP Values

  1. We really Care
  2. We keep it simple
  3. We face challenge with optimism
  4. We focus of fun

Basic Rules

Below is a small sample of the rules for soccer at SportUP. 

Read this document in full to gain a whole understanding of the rules and codes of conduct expectations for playing with SportUP.

  1. From the kick off the ball can go forward or backward, but can not be scored directly. 
  2. Five players on the court including the goalkeeper.
  3. Player interchange may be made at any time but must be made within the team substitution zone. The referee must be told if teams are interchanging goalkeepers.
  4. Kick ins – ball must be played whilst stationary and within a ball width behind the line.
  5. For a goal to be scored, the whole ball must cross the goal line.
  6. A goal cannot be scored directly from a kick in or goal kick (throw).
  7. A goal cannot be scored directly from a kick off.
  8. The goalkeeper has four seconds to dispose of the ball every time he/she takes possession, in his/her own half of the pitch. Goalkeepers must kick the ball in from a goal kick (from the black line).
  9. Goalkeepers cannot pick up a back pass from their own team-mate
  10. Four second time limit on kick ins, free kick and goal keeper possessions.
  11. At kick off, free kicks, kick ins and goal keeper throws, opposing players must stand at least five metres from the ball.
  12. Futsal is a non contact sport. Dangerous play is not allowed and will not be tolerated.
  13. If the ball hits the roof, a kick in will take place from the side of the court, equal to where the ball went out.


  • A game shall consist of two 19 minute halves. 
  • Teams will change ends at half time. 
  • There will be a maximum one-minute break at half time. 
  •  A game is started and finished by the referee’s whistle.
  • No timeouts are allowed.


  • Players may score goals from anywhere on the court including the goalkeepers “D”. However, social and sportsmen like discretion is encouraged according to the strength of the shot of goal. For example, if your team is winning by a lot or the opponent clearly has a beginner player in goal – Social behaviour would be to score without excessively over hitting the ball or running into goal in a fast or dangerous manner. 
  •  There are no restricted areas
  • You cannot score directly from a side ball kick in.


  • If the ball hits the roof or a light, the game will be restarted by a kick-in from the sideline by the non-offending team or by an indirect free kick if the impact occurred as a result of an indiscriminate kick. 
  • If in the opinion of the referee a ball is kicked indiscriminately an indirect free kick shall be awarded to the non-offending team. 
  • Spitting on the court or anywhere in the Centre will result in a straight red card.
  • Spitting gum on the court or anywhere in the Centre will result in a suspension.
  • Purposeful damage to the property will result in a suspension and possible requirement of funds to pay for what was damaged. 


  • The referee must be notified if the goalkeeper is substituted. Failure to do so will result in a yellow card to the player or captain. 
  • Players may substitute at any time. 
  • The player subbing off must cross the sideline before the substitute comes on.


Celebration of a goal

Players can celebrate when a goal is scored, but the celebration must not be excessive; choreographed celebrations are not encouraged and must not cause excessive time-wasting. 

Leaving the pitch to celebrate a goal is not a caution-able offence but players should return as soon as possible.

 A player will be cautioned, even if the goal is disallowed, for: 

  • approaching the spectators in a manner which causes safety and/or security issues
  • gesturing or acting in a provocative, derisory or inflammatory way
  • covering his/her head or face with a mask or other similar item
  • removing his/her shirt or covering his/her head with the shirt.

Antisocial Behaviours

There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour, including if a player: 

  • attempts to deceive the referees, e.g. by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled 
  • commits a direct-free-kick offence in a reckless manner
  • makes unauthorised marks on the pitch
  • plays the ball when leaving the pitch after being ordered to leave
  • shows a lack of respect for the game
  • verbally distracts an opponent during play
  • Verbally or physically aggravates an opponent 


  • Kicking a player, Pushing a player, Striking a player and Tripping a player.
  • Pushing from behind is illegal and is a red card offence. 
  • Intentional handball will result in a yellow card.
  • Unintentional handball will result in a free kick. 
  • Shirt pulling or undue aggressive play is a yellow card offence and will result in a free kick. 
  • Time wasting will be determined by the referee and will result in a yellow card and a free kick. 
  • Kicking the ball away from the designated play position after the whistle has gone will result in a yellow card. 
  •  If a player receives a red card, he or she must vacate the court immediately and is suspended from playing in the competition for one week, maybe more. It is at the referees discretion as to whether the team subs a player on to replace the red carded player; or whether they need to continue with one less player. (i.e, if the whole team is irate the referee might decide that 4 players on field is enough to either calm the game down or maintain control of the game. 
  • Should a red card player continue to abuse a referee after being sent off, the player will be suspended for more than the standard one week. 
  • Two yellow cards in one match denote a red card. 


Protection of players is of paramount importance to SportUP

  • Tackles are to be clean and eyes only for the ball. 
  • Players cannot tackle their opponent from behind, even if the tackle is 100% clear and clean. Even if any part of the opponent’s legs are not touched or brushed against it can be a free kick from behind. 
  • If a player with the ball intentionally turns their back toward their opponent, they can not continue towards the goal, facing backwards. In this scenario the defender can hold their ground. If the attacking player continues to push into the defender a foul will be awarded to the defending player. 
  • Sliding along the floor in order to reach the ball or to tackle a player increases the risk of player injury, sliding is a red card offence. 
  • Only a goalkeeper may slide outside of the goalkeeper’s area, provided he or she begins the slide inside the goalkeeper’s area. 
  •  If a goalkeeper’s slide continues outside the D, the goalkeeper must not make contact with an opponent.
  •  A goalkeeper’s slide must not be reckless, careless or made in a manner that uses excessive force.


Charging an opponent

The act of charging is a challenge for space using physical contact within playing distance of the ball without using arms or elbows. 

It is an offence to charge an opponent:

  • in a careless manner
  • in a reckless manner
  • using excessive force

Holding an opponent

Holding an opponent includes the act of preventing the player from moving freely using the hands, the arms or their body. 

Referees must intervene early and deal firmly with holding offences, especially inside the penalty area and when corner kicks, kick-ins or free kicks are being taken. 

To deal with these situations, the referees will:

  • warn any player holding an opponent before the ball is in play
  • caution the player if the holding continues before the ball is in play
  • award a direct free kick or penalty kick and caution the player if it happens once the ball is in play.
  • If a defending-team player starts holding an attacking-team player outside the penalty area and continues holding the player inside the penalty area, the referees award a penalty kick.

Playing in a dangerous manner

Playing in a dangerous manner does not necessarily involve physical contact between the players. If there is physical contact, the action becomes an offence punishable with a direct free kick or a penalty kick. In the case of physical contact, the referees should carefully consider the likelihood that, at the very least, misconduct has also been committed.

  •  If a player acts in a dangerous manner in a “normal” challenge, the referees shall not administer any disciplinary action.
  •  If the action entails an obvious risk of injury, the referees must caution the player for making a reckless challenge on an opponent. 
  • If a player denies an obvious goal scoring opportunity by playing in a dangerous manner, the referees must send off the player.

Showing dissent by word or action 

A player or substitute who is guilty of dissent by protesting (verbally or non-verbally) against the decisions of the referees or assistant referees must be cautioned. The captain of a team has no special status or privileges but has a degree of responsibility for the behaviour of his/her team. Any player or substitute who attacks a match official or is guilty of using offensive, rude or obscene gestures or language must be sent off.


  • Swearing, Bad language, Racist comments and/or Overt dissent regarding a referee’s decision are all unacceptable at SportUP and are treated as red card offences. 
  • A player who uses unacceptable language will not be warned, and will be asked immediately to leave the court and will not be allowed back on the court for the rest of the game. 
  •  Staff will ask spectators (including players on the pitch, coaches and managers) who use unacceptable language or abuse to leave the premises. Failure to do so will result in the game being abandoned and the offending team deemed to have lost on forfeit. A ban may also result. 
  • Red-carded players cannot take any further part in the game and must leave the playing area and not come back on the field. Their team will play for 2 minutes with one player short until the two minute penalty lapses or a goal is scored only by the advantaged team. If a goal is scored by the red-carded player’s team, they still cannot bring a player on until the two minute penalty has lapsed. 
  • Yellow cards – two yellow card offences will result in a red card and the player will be sent off for the remainder of the match. This will attract an automatic one-match suspension. 
  •  5 yellow cards in one season will result in an automatic one-match suspension. 
  •  All red cards are an automatic one-match suspension (next fixtured match) and depending on the incident may be more.
  • Any player who receives 3 red cards in one season will be suspended from the competition for the rest of the season. Any player who receives a red card will be automatically suspended from winning any awards in the competition.


  • There shall be at least one referee per match. 
  • The match referee is responsible for all events on and surrounding a court between the end of one game and the start of another. 
  • Referees are independent service providers employed by SportUP. 
  • If a player abuses or shows dissent from a referee on court, the offending player will be asked to leave the court and will not be allowed back on the court for the rest of the game. 
  •  If a player persists in abusive behaviour after being asked to leave the court, the player will be asked to leave the premises. 
  • Any queries that players may have about rules and their interpretations are only to be asked of the referee at half time or full time. This must be done politely and respectfully.
  • During the course of play, a referee’s decision is final.
  • The referees must always face the pitch.

The referee should always do their best to pay attention to play that may be ‘off’ the ball. “What needs to be seen” is not always in the vicinity of the ball:

  • aggressive individual player confrontations off the ball
  • possible offences in the penalty area towards which play is heading
  • offences occurring after the ball is played away
  • the next phase of play.

Use of the Whistle

The use of the whistle is mandatory for: 

  •  Kick-offs:
    • to start play (first and second period and first and second period of extra time, if necessary)
    • to restart play after a goal
  • stopping play: 
    • to award a free kick or penalty kick
    • to suspend or abandon a match or to confirm the timekeeper’s acoustic signal when ending the period of play.
  • restarting play for: 
    • free kicks to ensure that the defending-team players observe the required distance
    • kicks from the 10m mark
    • penalty kicks
  • restarting play after it has been stopped due to: 
    • the issue of a caution or sending-off for misconduct
    •  injury to one or more players.

 The use of the whistle is not needed to: 

  • stop play for: 
    • a goal clearance, corner kick or kick-in (but it is mandatory if the situation is unclear)
    • a goal (but it is mandatory if the ball has not clearly entered the goal)
  • restart play from: 
    • a free kick if the minimum distance of 5m has not been requested or the opposing team to the kicker has not committed six accumulated fouls
    • a goal clearance, corner kick or kick-in if the minimum distance of 5m has not been requested
    • restart play with a dropped ball. 

Using the whistle too frequently will result in the impact being diminished when it is truly needed. If, during play, one of the referees sounds the whistle by mistake, the referees must stop the match if they consider that this action has interfered with play. If the referees stop the match, they must restart play with a dropped ball from the position of the ball when play was stopped, unless this was inside the penalty area. If the sound of the whistle does not interfere with play, the referees give clear signals to play on. 

Body language Body language is a tool that the referees use to:

  • help themselves control the match
  • show authority and self-control. Body language is not a means of justifying a decision.


The referees allow play to continue when an offence has occurred if this benefits the non-offending team.


Kick In

  • When the ball goes out of the court, a player must kick the ball back into play, by placing the ball on or behind the sideline. 
  • The player taking the kick must be outside the court. Failure to do so, or placing the ball within the sideline will result in a turnover to the opposition. 
  •  No goal can be scored with a direct kick from the outside line. Unless there is a deflection. 
  •  The referees are to remind the defending-team players that they must be at least 5m from the point from which the kick-in is to be taken. Where necessary, the referees warn any player not respecting the minimum distance before the kick-in is taken and caution any player who subsequently fails to retreat to the correct distance. Play is restarted with a kick-in,
  •  Failure to do so will result in a turn over kick to the opposition

The Corner Kick

  • The referees are to remind the defending-team players that they must remain at least 5m from the corner arc until the ball is in play.
  • The ball must be placed inside the corner area and is in play when it is kicked; therefore, the ball does not need to leave the corner area to be in play.


  • There are two penalty spots one is at close range just on the edge of the keepers area (also known as the ‘D’) and is generally awarded if a foul is committed in the keepers ‘D’ 
  • A penalty shot, awarded on the whistle (marking the end of the half or game) must be played. 
  • A Player can take on one step as a run up to shoot. 
  • If a player decides to take a free kick quickly and an opponent who is closer than 5m from the ball intercepts it, the referees allow play to continue. 
  • If a player decides to take a free kick quickly and an opponent who is near the ball deliberately prevents the kicker from taking the kick, the referees must caution the opponent for delaying the restart of play. 
  • If the defending team decides to take a quick free kick inside its own penalty area and one or more opponents remain inside the penalty area because they did not have time to leave the area, the referees allow play to continue. 
  • The referee will use their discretion when chosen if a penalty is to be taken as direct or indirect. Generally if it is a shooting opportunity a direct free kick would be awarded otherwise indirect is most commonly awarded. 


  • In order for the goalkeeper to handle the ball, the ball and the goalkeeper must be inside the goalkeepers ‘D’. 
  • The goalkeeper cannot kick the ball from his or her hands nor may he or she drop kick the ball from a stoppage. This will result in a free kick outside the ‘D’. 
  • The goalkeeper has 4 seconds to get rid of the ball from the goalkeeper’s area. Failure to do so will result in an indirect free kick outside the ‘D’. 
  • The goalkeeper, once outside the ‘D’ will be treated as an on field player.


  • Teams shall be awarded 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and zero points for a loss. 
  • In our Ultra Social Divisions teams shall be awarded 1 point for a win, 1 point for a draw. 
  • They will be asked at the end of the game by the referee to give the opposition a ‘social score’ between 0-3. The referee will give a score between 0-3. These points will be added to the win or draw point to create a maximum of 7 points for a win and a maximum of 6 points for a loss. 
  • Teams who forfeit lose the match and will concede 5-0 and may be required to pay any fee applicable as per SportUP Code On Conduct.
  • Teams having a win on forfeit shall receive 3 points and 5-0 Victory.


Players understand that the nature of sporting activity means that there are inherent risks of injury in both training and playing. SportUP, it’s facility managers and game officials do not accept any liability for any injury that a player should suffer during a game or training session. 

Players and members of teams play at their own risk. 

Players need to make their own separate insurance arrangements against the event that they injure themselves in the course of playing or training. 

Players should consider taking out personal medical cover as well as cover for their own financial position if they are unable to work for an extended period.


  • You have to have at least 4 of your original team to play a game where the score is recorded. The game can still be played with less than 4 but it will result in a forfeit score (5-0 to the opposing team).
  • Teams can only use fill-ins from another team to make up a total of six players. 
  • Once a team has six players, they are not permitted to use any extra fill-in players.
  • A fill-in player is considered to be any player that is registered to another team with SportUP in the current season. All players must be registered to play. 
  • The purpose of allowing fill-in players is to facilitate a full social soccer match whereby teams/players are able to enjoy a game of five players against five other players.


  • When a ball is out of play the defending team must not interfere in any way to delay the restart of play. Interference includes obstructing the player from getting the ball, kicking the ball away, not handing the ball back to the player. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in a yellow card. 
  • The defending team is not obligated to retrieve the ball for their opponent however, if they pick up or gain possession of the ball, they must pass the ball directly to their opponent. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in a yellow card. 
  • When the ball is out of play, the team in possession must make a reasonable attempt to restart play as soon as possible. Failing to do so will result in the referee beginning the four-second count to restart play.
  • Bystanders who interfere with the game will be asked to leave the court without warning.
  • Referees shall caution players who delay the restart of play using tactics such as: taking a free kick from the wrong position with the sole intention of forcing the referees to order a retake; kicking or carrying the ball away after the referees have stopped play.

Four Second Rule

This rule applies for all kick-ins and free kicks. 

  • A defending player must be 3 meters back from where the kick is taken. The four second count only begins when the defending player is 3 meters back. 
  • If a quick free kick is taken, no defending player who is within 3 meters from the spot can obstruct the kick. This is a yellow card offence (if the player is not retreating) and a 3- meter advance free kick.