9v9 Rules

Except where other provision in these Laws are made, USSF Laws apply. Each Law is numbered to correspond with the appropriate Law of the Game. Additional note is that the Erie Soccer League is volunteer-run. Common sense is and should be applied to all league matters not directly covered by the laws below. When applicable, the team captains will be included in a vote of common sense when extenuating circumstances apply.

Law 1 Playing Area

The field shall be 70 yds long x 50 yds wide. The goal box shall extend out by 12 yards instead of 18 yds.

Halfway Line

The field of play is divided into two halves by a halfway line. The centre mark is indicated at the mid-point of the halfway line.

Goal Size

Standard size goals for 11v11 adult play will be used (8 feet tall x 8 yds wide).

Law 2 The Ball

Normal rules apply. The Erie Soccer League provides 2 match balls for each match.

Law 3 Number of Players

Maximum number of players per team, including goalkeeper is 9v9 on the field.

A match may not START if either team consists of fewer than six players. The minimum number of players in a team required for a match to CONTINUE is also six. Should a team fall below this, normal rules apply.

Each team must not have a squad greater than 15 players with the exception of the younger, age based teams and out of town teams.

Any number of substitutes may be used at any time with the permission of the referee. A player who has been replaced may return to the playing area as a substitute for another player. Subs are permitted “on the fly” providing the exiting player is within a “short distance” of the player entering the field of play.

As best practice, all team members should receive equal playing time where possible.

For all other substitution rules, normal rules apply.

Law 4 Playing Equipment

Players must wear shin guards and goalkeepers must wear a distinguishing playing strip. Shin guards must be covered entirely by the socks.

Correct footwear must be worn for the surface of the pitch e.g. no metal studs on artificial grass pitches.

Law 5 Referees The Authority of the Referee

Each match is controlled by 3 match officials who have full authority to enforce the Laws for 9v9 Football in connection with the match to which they have been appointed.
The powers and duties of the referee are as normal rules apply.

Law 7 Duration of the Game

Each game will consist of two 26 minute halves with 3 minutes for halftime. A “meeting of the team captains and the referees will take place two minutes prior to kickoff. During this time, a coin toss will take place and captains will be given any pre-match instructions. It is expected that the team captains convey the instructions to their team before the match begins.

Law 8 Start and Restart of Play


A kick-off is taken at the centre of the playing area to start the game and after a goal has been scored.

Opponents must be 7 yards away from the ball and in their own half of the field. The ball must be played forward. Otherwise, normal rules apply.

Law 9 Ball In and Out of Play

Normal rules apply

Law 10 Method of Scoring

Normal rules apply.

Law 11 Offside

Normal rules apply.

Law 12 Fouls and Misconduct

Normal rules apply. We all have to work/go to school in the morning, so use your head and show respect to yourself, your fellow teammates, opponents, league staff, and spectators.

Law 13 Free Kicks

For all free kicks opponents must be 10 yards from the ball.
Normal rules apply.

Law 14 Penalty Kicks

Position of the Ball and the Players:

All players except the defending goalkeeper and kicker must be outside the penalty area and at least 7 yards from the penalty mark.
All other normal rules apply.

Law 15 Throw-in

Normal rules apply.

Law 16 Goal Kick

Normal rules apply.

Law 17 Corner Kicks

Normal rules apply.

Additional Notes & Rules

All discipline issues covered in the main Erie Soccer League rule set will both carry over and apply to the 9v9 divisions and vice versa. The executive board of the Erie Soccer League reserves the right to refuse or revoke admission of any player or team if they are not in “good standing”.

At the conclusion of the match, the referees shall secure both match balls. The referee will meet with the Field Marshall to communicate the score and the cards awarded for the completed game. The field marshal shall document the information accordingly. Any injuries or “incidents” shall require an additional Erie Soccer League match report that shall be turned in within 48 hours of the end of the match.