5-a-side Football Rules

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

NOTE: Players OVER 18 years old only

SportUP operates adult only social competitions. As a result, all players must be 18, or over the age of 18, before they can start playing with us. Any players found to be playing while under the age of 18, will be asked to leave the league/venue immediately and no refunds will be offered for future fixtures missed that may have been paid for.



1.1 No more than five players on the pitch for each side.

1.2 A game can officially be played with 4 players on the pitch for one team.

2.3 If a team arrives with 3 or fewer players, then the opposition must decide BEFORE kick off if they wish for the result to count towards the standings or whether to play the game as a friendly.

1.4 This decision must be clear to both teams involved BEFORE kicking off.


2.1 Teams have until ten minutes past the designated start time to field a legal team.

2.2 The length of the game will be reduced to stick to time scales and it must be clear if the game is to be played as a friendly before kick off.

2.3 If a team has less than 3 players then the game will be played as a friendly.

2.4 If at least 1-3 players show up then the game is played as a friendly but there is no No Show fee.

2.5 If a team forfeits and no fill in players show up then there is an $99 No Show fee.

2.6 This No Show fee must be paid before Friday to remain in next weeks fixtures.

2.7 If your team is struggling for players you can always find subs by posting on our FB subs group here.

If you post before 1pm then you can find subs 99% of the time.


3.1 Substitutions can be made at any point during the game and are “rolling”.

3.2 The substitute(s) must be off the pitch before the new player(s) comes on and must enter the pitch at the same place the player left the pitch.

3.3 Substitutions should be at the half way line and players should be within touching distance. Play will not stop for substitutions.

3.4 This includes after a goal, during a free kick etc.

3.5 Play will continue if a goalkeeper is switching into goal, even if this involves putting goalkeeper gloves on.

3.6 There is no limit to the amount of substitutions a team can make.

3.7 There is no limit to the amount of substitutes a team can have on the sideline.

3.8 During Week 11 and Week 12, players must have played 3 games during the regular season to play.


4.1 Goalkeepers have a box that they are allowed to pick the ball up in.

4.2 Goal kicks are to be placed on the ground and kicked.

4.3 If the keeper catches the ball they can roll, throw or kick the ball out.

4.4 Keeper may only touch the ball for 4 seconds within their own half before releasing the ball.

4.5 Back passes to the goalkeeper ARE allowed but the goalkeeper cannot pick up the ball and only has 4 seconds with the ball in the box.


5.1 All free kicks must be taken indirectly unless signed.

5.2 The ball must be placed at the point of the foul and can be taken by any player.

5.3 The opposing team must be 2 metres from the ball when a free kick is taken.

5.4 A free kick can be given for one of the following: (1) shoulder charging (2) roughness (3) Handball (4) dangerous play (5) slide tackles (6) lack of control in a tackle (7) time wasting.

5.5 Unlike 11-a-side soccer players are not permitted to deliberately use their body to gain advantage by pushing, bumping, shouldering or nudging.

5.6 When approaching the ball, players must run in a direct line of path to the ball. If a player steps off that line, causes contact and disadvantages an opposing player, the referee should award a Free Kick to the opposing player.

5.7 Direct free kicks are awarded for any infringement that restricts the attacking team from having a shot on goal.

5.8 Penalty’s are awarded for any infringement that stops the attacking team from scoring an almost certain goal. To be taken directly in front of goal, 4 metres out from the goalkeepers line.

5.9 The penalty taker can only take one step before their penalty kick. The penalty taker is not permitted to run-up to the ball before taking the shot.


6.1 The referee has yellow and red cards and is able to include a sin bin for two minutes at their discretion. Yellow cards for dissent are an automatic 2 minute sin bin.

6.2 During the sin bin players are required to leave the court, before they can return to the sideline. If any players continue to contest calls, they will be shown a red card.

6.3 Any red cards serve a 2 week suspension for that player. If a player receives a second red card at any point in time then they will be suspended from all SportUP competitions.

6.4 Teams will receive a written warning if their behaviour is deemed to be unsportsmanlike

6.5 If the behaviour continues then SportUP reserves the right to remove any players or teams in any circumstance.

Yellow Card Offences (Cautions)

Y1 Is guilty of unsporting behaviour

Y2 Shows dissent by word or action

Y3 Persistently infringes the Laws of the Game

Y4 Delays the restart of play

Y5 Fails to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in

Y6 Enters or re-enters the field of play without the referee’s permission

Y7 Deliberately leaves the field of play without the referee’s permission

Red Card Codes:

R1 Is guilty of serious foul play

R2 Is guilty of violent conduct

1. Pushing with no punches thrown

2. Striking, kicking, elbowing or head-butting (including attempting these offences)

3. Intends to cause significant bodily harm to any person, involvement in a brawl

4. Against a match official – Life Ban

R3 Spits at an opponent or any other person – Life Ban

R4 Denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area)

R5 Denies an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick

R6 Uses offensive or insulting or abusive language and/or gestures

1 At a player or other person

2 Discriminatory language

3 Against a match official – 3 weeks

R7 Receives a second caution in the same match


7.1 Results within league games will be awarded as follows: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss and -2 points for a forfeit.

7.2 Forfeits are recorded as 5-0 loss to forfeiting team.

7.3 Any drawn play-offs will be decided on penalties.

The referee’s decisions on the pitch are final.

These SportUP 5-a-side league rules are not exhaustive and may be added to or amended at any time.