League Rules

Player Waiver, Release of Liability, & Indemnification Agreement: All players in the league must agree to the terms of our player waiver.

(Looking for Frequently Asked Questions?  They can be found here.)

11v11 Divisions (D1 and D2):

We follow FIFA rules with only a few exceptions and distinctions:

  • Unlimited substitutions are allowed on dead balls. Players must notify the referee of a substitution, they cannot be made on the fly during gameplay. Substituted players are allowed to sub back into the game.
  • The league will reserve all fields, handle all scheduling, and acquire all necessary field permits.
  • The league strives to build competitive, evenly-matched in which no team has an unfair advantage over another. In order to achieve this, we will promote champions from Division 2 to Division 1, and when the number of teams allows it, we will relegate last place teams from Division 1 to Division 2.
  • The league will provide each game with one certified referee (+ two linesmen for championship games).
  • Games are 90 minutes long plus stoppage time.
  • Shin guards are mandatory.
  • All teams must supply their own league approved uniforms. If teams have the same primary uniform, the away team is responsible for bringing an alternate color.
  • We require each captain to bring two match balls to each game. 
  • In the event of known weather issues, league administrators will notify team captains of game cancellations by two hours before game time. If word has not been received by that time, the decision is left in the hands of the referee on the field. Non-attendance without word of cancellation is a forfeit. All games should be considered on unless a league official says otherwise.
  • If a team can't / doesn't show up for a game or shows up with fewer than 8 players, the game will be ruled a 5-0 loss and a forfeit (see below for rules regarding forfeit bonds). A forfeit will also result in a three point deduction in the standings. The league can help with subs, and captains should contact the league regarding this if necessary.
  • In the event a game unexpectedly ends early (weather, problems with the field, problem with the lights, etc), the result will be official if 60 minutes of the game have been played. If 60 minutes have not been played, the league will schedule a time to finish the remaining minutes of the game. It is up to the league to decide when a game is or is not official; only dangerous or unreasonable conditions prevent a game from going forward as scheduled.
  • For uniform purposes, the team listed first on the website is considered the “home” team and will have choice of uniform. 

League Discipline: 

  • Depending on the severity of the action being disciplined, Gotham Soccer League reserves the right to impose match bans, up to banned for life, for poor behavior before, during, or after any matches conducted in the league. For infractions resulting from honest, hard play the following guidelines will apply: 
    • 2 Yellow Cards in one game = 1 game suspension. 
    • 3 Yellow Cards in any 3 games during the 8 game season = 1 game suspension. 
    • 1 Red Card = 1 game suspension. 

Standings will be determined by these criteria in this order:

  • 1. Points  
  • 2. Goal Differential
  • 3. Head-to-Head results
  • 4. Goals Scored


  • The top 2 teams will play a championship playoff game.
  • Playoff games have 3 officials (1 referee and 2 linesmen). If the game is tied after 90 minutes, an additional 5 minutes will be added to the second half. If still tied after 95 minutes, the game goes to penalties.

Team Colors: (updated: Fall 2019)

  • "Home" team is defined by the first team appearing in the ticker at the top of our website.
  • In the event of same color primary jerseys, the "away" team will have to change.
  • A list of current team jersey colors can be found here.


7v7 Coed Division:

General FIFA rules apply with exceptions:

  • 7 players per team including goalkeeper
  • 2 women minimum on field (not including the goalkeeper)
  • 46-minute games (23-minute halves)
  • No offsides or slide tackling
  • Unlimited subs on the fly
  • If both teams have multiple subs, both captains agree may agree and inform the referee prior to kickoff that they would like to make the match 8v8. Agreement must happen prior to kickoff!

9v9 Men's Division

General FIFA rules apply with exceptions:

  • 50-minute games (25-minute halves)
  • No offsides or slide tackling
  • Unlimited subs on the fly

9v9 Women's Division

General FIFA rules apply with exceptions:

  • 46-minute games (23-minute halves)
  • No offsides or slide tackling
  • Unlimited subs on the fly

5v5 Men's and Women's ROOFTOP Divisions:

General FIFA rules apply with exceptions:

General Game Rules:

  • 5 players per team (4 outfielders and 1 goalkeeper).
  • We prefer NO cleats, but as long as both teams agree cleats may be present
  • Two 20-minute halves
  • NO offsides
  • NO slide tackling
  • Subs are made on the fly – you are allowed an UNLIMITED number of substitutions.
  • If the ball hits the top or side netting the ball is restarted from the sideline – in the location it hit the netting. If the ball hits the back netting it is either a goal kick or a corner.
  • A forfeit results in a 7-0 loss for the team that failed to bring 3 or more players


  • Kickoffs: are direct – can go backwards.
  • Kick ins: are indirect.
  • Corner Kicks: are direct.
  • Free Kicks: are indirect.
  • Players MUST stand 4 yards away from the ball on free kicks, and 2 yards away from the ball on kick-ins.
  • A goal CANNOT be scored directly from a throw in, or a keeper throw.

Goalkeeper rules:

  • Goalkeepers CAN throw the ball – on the full – passed the halve way.
  • Goalkeepers CAN roll the ball passed the halve way line without the ball being touched.
  • Outfielders CAN pass back to the goalkeeper – and once per a possession the goalkeeper CAN use their hands to receive a pass back inside their goal box (ONLY ONCE PER POSESSION).
  • Goalkeepers CANNOT punt or drop-kick the ball.


  • Penalty Kicks: Goal keepers CAN move side-to-side on the goal line; however, the goal keeper CANNOT move forward.
  • A maximum of three-steps for an offensive player taking a penalty.  

Full Match Rules and Guidelines

FAQ page

SARS-Cov2 updates

Nov 20th 2020
Check back here as we prepare for the new season with guidelines to keep everyone healthy.

Guide to play levels

Just starting out
Have played in casual leagues
Played in high school, still in shape
Very Competitive
Played collegiate or higher