Stowe Laws of the Game

Capital Soccer at Stowe Arena

Indoor League Rules

The Capital Indoor Soccer League at Stowe Arena will be played in a 7v7, non-boarded format unless otherwise specified by league officials.


  • Each team shall consist of 7 players on the field, one of whom must be designated as goalkeeper. In Co-ed League play, there must be a minimum of two players of each gender on the field at all times.
  • No offsides
  • In the case of situations not covered by these rules, FIFA Laws of the Game shall be applied.


The referee’s authority and jurisdiction shall extend to all bench personnel and players. 

Unlimited Substitutions: During the game, unlimited “on-the-fly” substitutions are permitted at any time for field players and the goalkeeper provided that both the following two conditions are satisfied.

  1. The player(s) leaving the field must be within his team’s substitution zone, 3 feet from the player’s own bench area, or off the field in the bench area.  Players being substituted may not leave the field outside of the substitution zone unless instructed to do so by the referee.
  2. Neither players entering the field or players departing the field may participate in play when they are simultaneously on the field.

A substitution may be made at any time, regardless of whether the ball is in play or not, provided that the following conditions are observed:

  • the player leaving the pitch does so via his own team’s substitution zone.
  • the player entering the pitch does so via his own team’s substitution zone but not until the player leaving the pitch has entered the substitution zone
  • a substitute is subject to the authority and jurisdiction of the referees, whether he is called upon to play in a match or not
  • the substitution is completed when the substitute enters the pitch, at which moment he becomes an active player and the player whom he is replacing ceases to be an active player

Guaranteed Substitutions.  If the ball goes out of play, by crossing either touchline or end line, or hits the superstructure, a team representative may call for a guaranteed substitution by simply calling “Sub!”  The referee may delay the restart, and signal the requesting team to make its substitutions without play being restarted.  The substitution may last no more than 10 seconds.  No substitution will be guaranteed until acknowledgement from the referee is given. No guaranteed substitutions will be allowed within the last two minutes of each half of the match.

Infringements/Sanctions. If, while a substitution is being made, a substitute enters the pitch before the player being replaced is a maximum of three feet from his team’s bench area:

  1. play shall be stopped
  2. the player being replaced shall be instructed to leave the pitch
  3. the substitute shall be cautioned, shown the blue card and ordered to leave the pitch to serve a two minute time penalty
  4. If the substitution violates a condition (1) only, the referee may choose to give a verbal warning to the offending team. Subsequent violations must be penalized by a time penalty.
  5. play shall be restarted with an direct free kick to the opposing team from the place where the ball was situated when the game was stopped
  6. If, while a substitution is being made, a substitute enters the pitch or a player being substituted leaves the pitch from anywhere other than his own team’s substitution zone:


  • play shall be stopped
  • the offending player shall be cautioned and ordered to leave the pitch to complete the substitution procedure
  • play shall be restarted with an direct free kick to the opposing team from the place where the ball was situated when the game was stopped

Injured Player. A player attended to on the field by bench personnel is not required to leave the field. If play is stopped for an injury, and the bench personnel are called onto the field, either team may have a guaranteed substitution. Referees should stop play only when the team of the injured player gains possession of the ball, if the position of the injured player is critical to the play, or if, in the opinion of the referee, the injury appears serious in nature.

Time Penalties for Substitution Violations: For any of the following offenses, the offending team’s coach shall designate any player to serve the time penalty:

  1. Excess number of players
  2. Playing without a goalkeeper
  3. Illegal substitution of a goalkeeper (two on the field)
  4. Delay of substitutions after warning



Beginning of the Game: The direction of the kickoff shall be designated by the referee. If possible, all kickoffs shall be toward the main entrance to the building. Generally, the benches are chosen on a first come, first serve basis. After the referee has given the signal, the game shall be started by a place-kick. The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward. The kicker may not play the ball a second time before another player has touched it. A goal may be scored directly from a kickoff.


Whistle restart. In the following instances: A referee’s 2nd whistle is required to restart the match:

  1. After a goal has been scored
  2. After a time penalty has been awarded
  3. On an injury time out
  4. Between halves


The ball is out of play:

  1. When it has completely crossed the touch line or end line.
  2. When it hits any part of the building superstructure above the field of play. Play will be restarted with a kick-in for the opposing team from the spot on the field closest to where the ball struck the superstructure.
  3. When the game has been stopped by the referee.


Restarts-Ball Over Touchline: When the whole of the ball passes over the touchline, it shall be kicked in by a player of the opposing team from the point on the touchline where it crossed out of bounds. A goal may not be scored directly from such a kick.

Restarts – The Goal Kick : When the whole of the ball passes over the end line between the corner flag posts, having last been touched by a player of the attacking team, play shall be started with a free kick from the goalkeeper. The ball is not in play until it leaves the penalty area. A goal may not be scored directly from a goal kick.

  • The ball shall be kicked from any point inside the penalty area by the goalkeeper of the defending team
  • Opponents shall remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play


Restart – Corner Kick: When the whole of the ball passes over the end line between the corners, having last been touched by a player of the defending team, play shall be restarted by a corner kick. A goal may be scored directly from such a kick. The ball shall be placed on the corner at the nearest corner to where the ball exited the field. A second whistle by the referee is NOT mandatory before a corner kick may be taken.


Drop Ball Restart: When restarting the game after a stoppage of play for any cause not covered elsewhere in these laws, the referee shall drop the ball at the place where play was stopped. If in the penalty box, the ball shall be dropped at the nearest point outside the penalty box.

Free Kick Regulations:

  1. All free kicks are direct, with the exceptions of goal kicks and sideline restarts.
  2. When a free kick is being taken, all the opposing players shall be at least fifteen feet (5yds) from the ball.
  3. the kicker shall have five (5) seconds within which to play the ball after being signaled to do so by the referee. Failure to put the ball into play in time will result in the restart being “turned-over” to the opponent. A whistle is not required unless the referee instructs the players to “wait for the whistle.” This is at the referee’s discretion.


Free Kick in Attacking Penalty Area: Any free kick awarded to the attacking team for an infraction in its opponent’s penalty area, but which does not result in a penalty kick, shall be taken from the middle of top of the penalty area. (Example: Dangerous Play, Pass-back rule violation, or any other infraction that would result in an indirect kick in outdoor soccer).


Penalty Kick

Definition: A penalty kick is a free kick awarded to the offense inside its opponent’s penalty area. It is taken from the penalty mark, against the goalkeeper, without interference from other players. It can be awarded irrespective of the position of the ball, if in play, at the time an offense is committed. A penalty kick shall be awarded if a player of the defending team commits a foul within the defensive penalty area, including the area behind the goal line bounded by the net.

Regulations: All players, except the defending goalkeeper and the player taking the kick, shall remain behind the ball, and its extension to the touchlines. In addition, no players may interfere with the kicker in any way. The referee shall spot the ball on the penalty mark and identify the player taking the kick. The goalkeeper must stand on the goal line and cannot move off the line until the ball is kicked, but may move along the line. The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward. The kicker may not play the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player.

Violations by the Defense: If, in the opinion of the referee, premature movement by the goalkeeper or encroachment by the defense affected the result of the kick, or possession immediately following the kick, the referee shall signal for the kick to be retaken.

Violations by the Offense: If, in the opinion of the referee, encroachment by the attacking team distracts the goalkeeper, or if an encroaching player receives the rebound, the referee shall award a free kick to the defending team. If the kicker plays the ball a second time without having touched another player, a free kick shall be awarded to the defense from the spot of the infraction.

Penalty in Extended Play: Play shall be extended at the end of any period to allow a penalty kick to be taken or retaken. Any combination of rebounds from the ground, the goalkeeper, the crossbar, or the goal posts, are considered part of the play.


Duration of the Game

The duration of a regulation game shall be two (2) halves of 25 minutes (running time) each for a total of fifty (50) minutes, subject to the following:

  1. Ball in Play: The clock may be stopped for injuries, serious time wasting, and when the ball is kicked out of play for an extended period of time, at the discretion of the referee.
  2. Play Extension: Play shall be extended to permit the taking of a penalty kick if an infraction occurred immediately prior to the expiration of time.


Intervals Between Halves. Normally, a (2) two minute half-time is provided. The referee may shorten the half-time interval to one (1) minute if the game is behind schedule due to a delay in the game or in previous games.

Time-out. There will be no time outs allotted


Conduct and Penalties

Time Penalties: Team and Individual Time penalties shall be divided into the following categories:

  1. Blue Card – 2 Minute Time Penalty
  2. Yellow Card – 2 Minute Time Penalties plus accumulation
  3. Red Card – 5 Minutes Time Penalties plus player ejection

These time penalties may be applied after the start of the game whether or not play is in progress

Delayed Penalty: The referee may choose to apply the advantage and not stop the game for an offense which warrants a time penalty. If the advantage is applied, the time penalty shall be administered when play stops. The restart is the same as indicated by the stoppage of play.

Power-play Goal: If a goal is scored during a power-play by the team with more players, than a player from the team scored against shall return to play. If more than one player is serving a penalty, the player with the least time remaining shall return to play.

Misconduct by Non-Players: Bench personnel (2 maximum) shall be defined as any non-player in the bench area with the permission of the coach. Bench personnel may be cautioned and subsequently ejected for any of the following offenses: (A team penalty shall be served)

a)    Entering the field of play without the referee’s permission

b)    Using foul of abusive language

c)    Repeated dissent of the referee’s decision.


Notes on Penalties:

Equal Number of Penalties Elapsing: If an equal number of players from both teams are legally on the field of play when a goal is scored, no player serving a time penalty shall return to play.

Multiple Penalties: A maximum of two (2) penalties shall count down simultaneously. If a penalty occurs with a team having two or more players serving time penalties, the additional time penalties shall not commence until a previous penalty has expired.

Minimum Number of Players on the field: There must always be a minimum of five players on the field of play. If a team is penalized with a time penalty with two (2) already being served, the third player must go the penalty box and be replaced by a substitute on the field.

Return to Play/Restriction: When a team has three (3) or more players serving time penalties simultaneously, a substitute for the third player is on the field of play.

Ejected Coach (Team Personnel) Restriction: An ejected coach (or Team Personnel member) must leave the field area immediately and may not have any communication with his/her team until the team leaves the field area. The field area consists of the entire arena. Team Personnel receiving an ejection shall be penalized for the remainder of the current match, and the teams following match.

Referee’s Discretion: At the discretion of the referee, a penalty may be assessed to any player deemed guilty of Unsportsmanlike Conduct (UC) which does not warrant a caution. Any player of member of the team/bench personnel who uses foul or abusive language will be deemed unsporting and will receive a 2 minute blue card.

Duration of Ejectionable Penalty: When a player is ejected a five (5) minute time penalty shall be assessed to the offender which shall be served by another player from his team designated by the coach. Referees are instructed not to restart play until the ejected player or bench personnel leave the field area. The ejected player must retire to the main entrance to the arena until he can safely leave the premises. The player shall be penalized for the remainder of the current match, and the team’s following match.

Standings and Championships

Standings will be kept and updated regularly.

The following will be used in tie-breaking situations

  1. Head to Head results of the teams involved in the tie
  2. Plus/Minus goal differential throughout the season
  3. Goals for throughout the season
  4. Goals against throughout the season

The following will be used to determine league standings

  • Win = 3 points
  • Tie = 1 point
  • Loss = 0 points

League standings are based on cumulative points that a team has earned throughout the entire season. The team with the most points, at the conclusion of the final game, will be named “Champion”. In the event of a tie in points, the above tie-breaker will be used.

For the purposes of league statistics, the maximum goal differential recorded per game is 10 goals. For example, if a match is won 14-1, the recorded score will be 11-1


  1. Teams may add players to their roster during the first 2 weeks of a session.
  2. All participants will follow the appropriate age guidelines for their group according to USYSA guidelines

Number of Players

1. All teams will play with seven players, one of whom shall be a goalkeeper.
2. Minimum of four players to start and continue a game.
3. Adult Coed – Minimum of two female players on the field at all times. Failure to have the required female players may result in a forfeit. If there are only 2 female players present for a game and a female player is not able to continue because of injury the game may continue and the score counted. The team must play down a player.

Player Equipment

Teams must wear the same color jerseys.  Jersey numbers are encouraged but not required.  If a team’s shirts are deemed by the referee or league manager to not be uniform, it will be required to wear pinnies.

In the event of a color conflict, the away team (listed second on the schedule) must wear pinnies. Pinnies will be provided by the league manager.

Shin guards are MANDATORY and must be fully covered by socks.

The playing surface is Field Turf.  Molded cleats or turf shoes are the most appropriate footwear. Indoor flats or sneakers may be worn. NO soft ground or replaceable cleats will be allowed.

Soccer Balls

Warm-up and Game balls will be provided for use within the facility. All balls must remain on the playing field.
Balls may not be kicked around in the entry ways of the facility.
A Size 5 ball shall be used for U-14 and above teams. A Size 4 ball shall be used for U-12 and below.


  1. One referee shall be present during play.
  2. Referee will operate scoreboard and keep record of the game.
  3. Referee shall keep record of the game score and turn in game card to league staff at the end of the night.
  4. Reports of ejections will be recorded on the score sheet and filed before leaving the facility. Each score sheet will list the names of players ejected the previous week.
  5. Abuse of referees in any form, whether verbal or physical, will NOT be tolerated. Players or spectators violating this rule will be asked to leave the facility.