Indoor Soccer Rules & Regulations


Please ensure that you read and understand the Houston Sports & Social Club General Rules. They can be found here.

Houston Sports & Social Club General Indoor Soccer Rules



There is no maximum number of players allowed on a indoor soccer team roster; however players must be registered with Houston Sports & Social Club and must sign the Houston Sports & Social Club waiver to be able to participate. Please refer to the Houston Sports & Social Club General Rules for rules regarding roster adjustments and additional detail regarding waivers.



            Please refer to the General Rules for details regarding player eligibility.



Houston Sports & Social Club expects all participants to play with the highest level of sportsmanship. Rude or demeaning behavior to referees, the opposing team, and/or your own team members will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Unsportsmanlike behavior may result in that player being ejected from the game. An ejection may result in further suspension from participation in current and/or future Houston Sports & Social Club sports. An ejected player is required to leave the premises immediately. Refusal to leave the premises may result in a team forfeit and/or suspension.


Any disputes or complaints regarding the referee’s handling of a game or ejection can be addressed with the league after the day of play in which the incident took place. On the day of the incident, the referee’s decision will be considered final and disputes will not be addressed by the league.


Games will have a 5-minute grace period (with the exception of the first game of the night, which will have a 10-minute grace period). Once the grace period has expired, If a team does not have the minimum number of players to play an official game (minimum of 4 players), the game will be ruled a forfeit. If however, the opposing team wishes to allow the team to play with less than the minimum amount of required players, the game may be played as an official game. The opposing team’s captain must notify the league official that they want to play an official game despite the other team’s inability to field the minimum number of players for a legal game. The game will be assumed as a forfeit unless there is a specific request by the team captain to this effect. A forfeit will be scored 7-0.


Forfeit fines may be issued if a team does not provide a forfeit notification prior to the deadline, and does not have the minimum number of players to play an officiated exhibition game (minimum of 3 players). If a team e-mails by 2pm on the day of your game (for weekday leagues) or 10am the day of your game (for weekend leagues), stating that they will not be able to field a team, no fine will be assessed. This will allow notifications to reach the opposing team’s members and will allow the opposing coach to inform his team of the impending forfeit. If the forfeiting team does have the minimum number of players required to play an exhibition and your team chooses to not play the exhibition, no forfeit fine will be assessed.


If you believe a forfeit fine is owed to your team, your team captain must complete the forfeit fine request form by no later than 7 days after the forfeit (e.g. if you are forfeited on in a Thursday league, you have until Wednesday of the following week to submit your forfeit fine request). If the forfeit fine request form is not completed within 7 days, no forfeit fine will be assessed. The forfeit fine request form is located at:


After review, if it is determined that your team is owed a forfeit fine, a forfeit fine will be assessed ($50 per game for regular leagues and $25 per game for doubleheader leagues) and added to your captain's account as league credit that can be used toward a future season. For free agent teams, the fine will be divided by the number of players on the roster and added to each player's account. The league credit will expire 6 months from the day of issuance.


Note: No forfeit fines will be assessed in tournaments or playoffs.




Houston Sports & Social Club promotes responsible drinking. No glass is allowed on the pitch, and no outside food or bevaregs are allowed inside. Houston Sports & Social Club staff members will be monitoring to ensure that these rules are being followed. If a fine is assessed against Houston Sports & Social Club for a player’s negligence in following the rules of the field, that player will be responsible to reimburse Houston Sports & Social Club for any fines or additional costs associated with the violation. A player may be suspended for such violations. 



NO CLEATS of any kind (plastic, rubber, metal, artificial grass, multi-ground, firm ground and soft ground) are allowed at Pitch 25. Only rubber turf shoes and indoor shoes are permitted. 


All players must wear shin guards. A #4 ball is recommended but in the event neither team has a size #4 ball, a size #5 ball may be used to play an official game. If a #4 and #5 ball are present, the #4 ball will be used as the game ball. Houston Sports & Social Club does NOT provide balls.



There will be a maximum of 5 players on the field at any time for a given team. Teams will be allowed to play a legal game shorthanded with as few as 4 players.There are no gender requirements. An exhibition may be played with 3 players.



All goals are worth 1 point.



Games will be divided into two 20 minute halves separated by a halftime not to exceed 3 minutes. The referee will maintain a running clock, with the only exception being during prolonged injury time-outs. If the referee deems that a player is employing unsportsmanlike delay tactics such as delaying the game, the referee may stop the clock at their discretion. A game will be considered a completed game after the 2nd half of play has started.


Ties during the regular season remain as a tie. Ties in the playoffs result in one overtime sudden death period followed by sudden death shootout if necessary.




Players may enter the goal box but may not attack the goalkeeper.


Goalkeeper: The goalie may use his hands while remaining in the goal box only on a scoring attempt. Once the goalie has gained control of the ball, they will have no more than 5 seconds to return the ball to play as counted down by the referee. The goalie is considered to be in control of the ball when the ball is held with both hands, held by trapping the ball between one hand and any surface (e.g., the ground, a the wall, the goalie's body), or holding the ball in the outstretched open palm.The goalie may not throw the ball past the half field line without it coming into contact with the ground or a player.  



Illegal Handling: The goalie brings the ball from outside of the goal box and then back inside the goal box and picks it up, or receiving the ball again after a Goal Kick or Goalie kick-In without the ball having first touched another player  


Pass Back: Handling the ball, having been passed deliberately and directly to the goalie from a teammate; except that the goalie may handle a ball which a teammate passes to them by the player's head, chest, or knee and without “trickery” (the use of a wall or foot to flick the ball to a head, chest, or knee before making the pass)


5-Second Limit: Controlling the ball with either the goalie's hand or foot inside of the goal box for over five (5) seconds. If a penalty occurs within 4 paces/yards of the goal box, the ball will be moved back 4 paces/yards from the goalbox.



The team captains will meet the referee at the center of the field prior to gametime. Team captains will play rock, paper, scissors (best out of 3). The winner will have the first choice to kick-off or choose a goal to defend.


During a kickoff, all players from each team must remain on their side of the field until the ball is kicked. The ball will be placed in the center of the field and the referee will blow their whistle to signal the start of play. On the kickoff, the ball must travel backwards (away from the opposing team’s goal) and must make one full rotation before a teammate touches the ball. Failure to do so will result in a free kick for the opposing team at the center of the field.



All free kicks for indoor soccer will be indirect. This means that a goal may NOT be scored directly from a free kick, i.e. the kick must be touched by a second player before entering the goal.  The ball must make one full rotation before a teammate touches the ball. No defending player is allowed to be within 2 paces of a ball prior to a kick.

An indirect-free kick will be awarded on any stoppage of play including goal kicks, corner kicks, fouls, etc. The only exception is for a penalty kick which will be a direct kick from the top of the circle on the goal sidel. Penalty kick rules detailed below.



A ball will be considered out of bounds when hitting the net or unpadded wall above the indoor padding. An indirect kick will be awarded at he loctaion the ball went out of bounds. The ball will be considered live if it hits the padded gray wall. If the ball touches the end nets a corner kick or goal kick will ensue depending on whether the offense or defense last touched the ball. Goal kicks will be kicked from inside the goal box. Corner kicks will be kicked from the corner of the field on the side of the goal that the ball went out of bounds. Corner kicks are indirect.



Substitutions is on-the-fly, including the Goalie. The referee may delay a re-start to allow a Goalie change to occur smoothly (Referee Discretion). Players leaving the field must be at/thru the door before the entering player may step on the field. The exiting player is responsible for ensuring the door is in place. Violation will result in an indirect kick. 



The common foul will result in a free indirect kick to the opposing team from the spot of the foul. The referee may at their discretion award a penalty kick and/or yellow and red cards. There are no offsides rules in effect.


Sliding tackles are NOT allowed under any circumstances. A clean slide tackle will result in a foul and award a free indirect kick to the opposing team. A dangerous slide tackle that is reckless or endangers the safety of other players will result in a yellow or red card, and an indirect kick to the opposing team. Sliding in the absence of a nearby player is permitted if, at the referee’s discretion, it does not endanger any other players (e.g. to keep the ball from going out of bounds). Sliding is defined as going down to the ground to get a ball with one or both legs.


Penalty kicks (direct kick) can be awarded in 3 scenarios:


1. A “breakaway” foul is committed that in the discretion of the referee stopped a scoring opportunity that would have likely resulted in a goal if not for the foul.

2. A penalty occurs while in the goal box.

3. A defensive players commits handball penalty while in the box.


Penalty kicks can be taken by any player. The player taking the penalty kick will place the ball at the top of the center circle on the side of the goal and wait for the referee’s whistle to shoot at the open goal. The goalie must stand on the goal line and can only move forward once the ball has been kicked. If a player’s penalty kick does not make it into the goal or goes out of bounds, the play will be dead and the opposing team will be awarded a goal kick.


Yellow cards can be issued by the referee at their discretion for dangerous play, excessive contact, or unsportsmanlike behavior. A yellow card is a warning and results in a 2 minute cooling off period for the offending player. The player will be sent off the field and the team must play down a player until the first opportunity to substitute after the 2 minute cooling off period has expired.


Red cards can be issued by the referee for extreme or repeated acts of misconduct. If a player is issued a red card, their team must play down a player for the remainder of the game. Any player receiving a red card must leave the playing field immediately and may be asked to leave the facility. If the player does not leave or continues to cause a disturbance, their team may receive a forfeit at the discretion of the referee. All red cards will be reviewed by the league and may result in further suspensions or expulsion from the league. Any red cards issued for violent, threatening, or abusive behavior will result in a minimum 1 game suspension.


If a player receives 2 yellow cards in the same game, it will result in a red card being issued. All yellow and red cards will be reported to Houston Sports & Social Club and may result in disciplinary action. In the event of a card being issued, the offending player must give the Houston Sports & Social Club representative their name. Fighting is not allowed under any circumstances. The referee can stop the game at any point and call a forfeit or double forfeit if they deem necessary.



If a rule is not otherwise stated here standard soccer rules hold.




Playoff seedings will be determined by the best overall records. In the event that 2 teams are tied with the same record, head-to-head matchups will determine higher seedings whenever possible. When head-to-head matchups cannot clearly determine a higher seed, or when 3 or more teams are tied, tiebreakers will be determined in the following order:


1. Head-to-head matchups (for 2 way ties when possible)

2. Highest team point differentials for the season

3. Lowest team total points allowed for the season

4. Rock, paper, scissors (Best 2 out of 3)




If regulation game ends in a tie during a playoff game, the game will proceed to 1 sudden death overtime which will consist of one 5 minute period. If a goal is scored in overtime, the game will immediately end. If neither team scores during overtime, a shootout will commence.



Each team will select 5 players). The players chosen do not have to be playing at the end of regulation. Team captains will play rock, paper, scissors (best 2 out of 3). The winner will choose whether they want to shoot first or second.


The referee will select the goal used for the shootout. Teams will alternate turns placing the ball down at the top of the center circle closes to the goal and wait for the referee’s whistle to shoot at the open goal. The goalie must stand on the goal line and can only move forward once the ball has been kicked. All goals in shootout are worth 1 point. If a winner is not determined after the first 5 players from each team have taken their shot, each subsequent round will be sudden death, i.e. if 1 player makes their shot and the other misses the game is over.


No player can shoot twice in the shootout until all team players have kicked at least once.