Winter Indoor Soccer League Rules

Winter Indoor Soccer League Rules

All fouls (including tripping, kicking, charging, charging from behind, jumping into an opponent, hand balls, pushing, holding, striking, obstruction, high kicking, etc.) result in INDIRECT FREE KICKS. There are no direct kicks or penalty kicks. On an indirect free kick, two players must touch the ball for a goal to be scored. (They don’t necessarily both have to be on the team taking the kick – a ball could carom off a defender into the goal, for example.) If the first kicker plays the ball directly into the net, without it touching another player, the goal is disallowed and a goal kick is awarded to the other team.


On an indirect free kick, players on the defending team must be positioned at least 6 feet from the spot of the foul (where the kick is to be taken). They can charge in toward the ball once it has been touched, but not before that.


Players cannot maneuver the ball along a wall with their arms outstretched to block access to opponents, or trap the ball in a corner of the gym for an inappropriate length of time.


Slide tackles are not allowed in WISL. Players may slide to kick a loose ball if no opponent is within range of it, but are never allowed to slide when challenging an opponent for the ball.


An additional WISL foul is kicking the ball higher than the basketball rims. When this happens, the other team is awarded an indirect free kick at the place where the ball lands on the field of play. (However, a ball that inadvertently goes above the height limit – a hard kick that deflects off a second player’s knee, for example – does not automatically result in a call.)


The first kick on a kickoff can be played back (does not have to be forward as in outdoor soccer). However, the kickoff, like any other free kick, must be played to a second person – i.e., the player taking the kick cannot touch the ball twice in a row.


There are no offsides.


There are no corner kicks. If the ball goes out of play near the goal, the result is a goal kick, regardless of who last touched the ball.


Resumption of play following an injury, as in outdoor soccer, is by either a drop ball (if, in the referee’s judgment, the ball was in neutral territory) or an indirect-kick restart (if one team was clearly in sole possession of the ball).


Spectators should act as a wall whenever possible, protecting against injury but allowing the ball to bounce naturally; if a spectator consciously bats the ball in a targeted direction, the referee should re-start the game with a drop ball in the area where the interference occurred. If this conscious interference takes place near the goal, the game is re-started with a goal kick.


If a player who is out of the game (waiting to be substituted back in) kicks the ball or consciously interferes with play, a free kick (indirect, as usual) will be given to the opposing team.


If there is any stoppage or delay of game when ball is lodged behind the goal area or goal net, a goal kick is taken.


A goalie has to have at least one foot within the designated goal area when touching the ball with hand(s). Unlike in outdoor soccer, the ball does not necessarily have to be inside the goalie’s territory.


Players are allowed to pass the ball to their own goalie; the goalie may handle any ball, as long as at least one foot is inside the goalie territory.


When a goalie’s hand has ANY form of contact with the ball (“possession” is not required), attacking players may not kick the ball. Foul results in an indirect kick.


Serious foul play, or conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game, is extremely rare in WISL. Our referees do not carry yellow or red cards. However, referees do have the full authority to take whatever measures they view as necessary to ensure safety and sportsmanship during games. This may include telling a coach that a given player needs to “take a break” if persistent fouling, overly rough play, or a disrespectful attitude is infringing on the atmosphere of the match.


Substitution in WISL is unlimited and “on the fly;” it can occur while the ball is in play. However, coaches and referees should try to ensure that the substitution process does not interfere with the flow of the game. If a coach plans to substitute multiple players (such as three or more) at one time, it is preferable to make those switches during a natural stoppage of play (a free kick, or a goalie’s possession), when the referee can pause the action for a moment. A goalie change may be initiated at a point when the goalie has the ball, by simply handing it over to the new goalie, who can then re-start the game by throwing or kicking the ball back out onto the floor.


Every game consists of two 25-minute halves; the length of the game does not vary according to age group. (The only possible exception is the U5 age group, in which coaches and referees may agree to shorten the game time and devote a few extra minutes to skill-building activities.) There is no extension of the game time. The halftime break must be kept brief (3-5 minutes).

All fouls (including tripping, kicking, charging, charging from behind, jumping into an opponent, hand balls, pushing, holding, striking, obstruction, high kicking, etc.) result in INDIRECT FREE KICKS. There are no direct kicks or penalty kicks. On an indirect free kick, two players must touch the ball for a goal to be scored. (They don’t necessarily both have to be on the team taking the kick – a ball could carom off a defender into the goal, for example.) If the first kicker plays the ball directly into the net, without it touching another player, the goal is disallowed and a goal kick is awarded to the other team.


On an indirect free kick, players on the defending team must be positioned at least 6 feet from the spot of the foul (where the kick is to be taken). They can charge in toward the ball once it has been touched, but not before that.


Players cannot maneuver the ball along a wall with their arms outstretched to block access to opponents, or trap the ball in a corner of the gym for an inappropriate length of time.


Slide tackles are not allowed in WISL. Players may slide to kick a loose ball if no opponent is within range of it, but are never allowed to slide when challenging an opponent for the ball.


An additional WISL foul is kicking the ball higher than the basketball rims. When this happens, the other team is awarded an indirect free kick at the place where the ball lands on the field of play. (However, a ball that inadvertently goes above the height limit – a hard kick that deflects off a second player’s knee, for example – does not automatically result in a call.)


The first kick on a kickoff can be played back (does not have to be forward as in outdoor soccer). However, the kickoff, like any other free kick, must be played to a second person – i.e., the player taking the kick cannot touch the ball twice in a row.


There are no offsides.


There are no corner kicks. If the ball goes out of play near the goal, the result is a goal kick, regardless of who last touched the ball.


Resumption of play following an injury, as in outdoor soccer, is by either a drop ball (if, in the referee’s judgment, the ball was in neutral territory) or an indirect-kick restart (if one team was clearly in sole possession of the ball).


Spectators should act as a wall whenever possible, protecting against injury but allowing the ball to bounce naturally; if a spectator consciously bats the ball in a targeted direction, the referee should re-start the game with a drop ball in the area where the interference occurred. If this conscious interference takes place near the goal, the game is re-started with a goal kick.


If a player who is out of the game (waiting to be substituted back in) kicks the ball or consciously interferes with play, a free kick (indirect, as usual) will be given to the opposing team.


If there is any stoppage or delay of game when ball is lodged behind the goal area or goal net, a goal kick is taken.


A goalie has to have at least one foot within the designated goal area when touching the ball with hand(s). Unlike in outdoor soccer, the ball does not necessarily have to be inside the goalie’s territory.


Players are allowed to pass the ball to their own goalie; the goalie may handle any ball, as long as at least one foot is inside the goalie territory.


When a goalie’s hand has ANY form of contact with the ball (“possession” is not required), attacking players may not kick the ball. Foul results in an indirect kick.


Serious foul play, or conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game, is extremely rare in WISL. Our referees do not carry yellow or red cards. However, referees do have the full authority to take whatever measures they view as necessary to ensure safety and sportsmanship during games. This may include telling a coach that a given player needs to “take a break” if persistent fouling, overly rough play, or a disrespectful attitude is infringing on the atmosphere of the match.


Substitution in WISL is unlimited and “on the fly;” it can occur while the ball is in play. However, coaches and referees should try to ensure that the substitution process does not interfere with the flow of the game. If a coach plans to substitute multiple players (such as three or more) at one time, it is preferable to make those switches during a natural stoppage of play (a free kick, or a goalie’s possession), when the referee can pause the action for a moment. A goalie change may be initiated at a point when the goalie has the ball, by simply handing it over to the new goalie, who can then re-start the game by throwing or kicking the ball back out onto the floor.


Every game consists of two 25-minute halves; the length of the game does not vary according to age group. (The only possible exception is the U5 age group, in which coaches and referees may agree to shorten the game time and devote a few extra minutes to skill-building activities.) There is no extension of the game time. The halftime break must be kept brief (3-5 minutes).