Download PDF of Rules

Intramural Soccer will be played by the National Federation High School rules with the following modifications:

Table of Contents

  1. General Information
  2. Equipment and Uniform
  3. Game Regulations
  4. Co- Rec Modifications
  5. Rule Enforcement

Participants should be aware that there is a risk of injury in participation of intramural sports due to the inherent nature of the activity. Individuals are encouraged to have a physical examination and to obtain adequate health and accident insurance prior to participation. Individuals participate in intramural activities at their own risk!

General Information

The team captain is responsible for all information contained in the Intramural Soccer Rules and 2016- 2017 IM Handbook.

Location: All Intramural soccer games are played at the Outdoor Center Fields located at 1st Street and Stadium Drive in Champaign

Advancing to Playoffs:

Teams that meet the following criteria will advance to compete in the playoffs:

  1. Team must have won
    • 3 games or more (out of 4) during the regular season = Regular length seasons
    • 2 games or more (out of 3) during the regular season = Shortened Seasons
  2. Team must have an average sportsmanship rating of at least a 3
  3. Team must have completed the online captains quiz
  4. Team must have NO regular season forfeits

Playoff criteria will only be adjusted in situations where facility or weather conditions limit play. It is the captain’s responsibility to check their playoff schedules which will be made available on IMLeagues as soon as possible after the regular season has concluded.

Game Time: Game time is the scheduled divison time, unless the previous game goes over the allotted time. Schedules can be accessed through the IM Leagues website interface.

  1. Teams should be warmed up and ready to play as soon as the previous game ends on their field
  2. Teams should report to the check in table a minimum of 15 minutes prior to the scheduled game time to sign in

 i-card Sign-In Procedures: All players must present a valid i-card in order to participate in an Intramural contest. Upon arrival prior to an intramural contest, all participants must sign in with the Intramurals staff assistant and present their i-card for identification purposes.

Failure to Sign in: If a player is found participating in the contest without having signed in on the official intramural gamesheet and doesn’t have their i-card present or are ineligible for the One-Time Exception Policy, said team will forfeit the game and all forfeit fees and consequences will apply.  If the participant has their i-card present or has not used their 1 time exception, the team may still play the game with designated disadvantages.

One – Time Exception: The One-Time exception policy is designed so that students who have forgotten their i-card, but are printed on the roster, may still sign-in for their game.  Each participant may use this exception policy once per semester.  To use the One-Time exception policy the following criteria must be met:

  1. Must be pre-printed on their team roster
  2. Must have a valid government Photo ID (Driver’s License, Passport, State issued ID)
  3. Must not have previously used a One-Time Exception during that semester

Roster Policy:  An individual is bound to the first team that they sign into a game for.  Participants must sign up on the online roster before 2pm on the day of the contest (except for Sunday games) or they will not be allowed to sign-in onsite or participate.  For Sunday games, players must be added to the roster before 2pm on the preceding Friday.   A participant is not formally considered to be on that team’s official roster until they physically sign in for that team at an actual contest.

IMLeagues Mobile Confirmation: In the event a player has not signed up for their team before the rosters are printed, they may show the Intramural Staff their name on the IMLeagues Roster online.  This must be done by an Intramural Supervisor so you will have to be patient and wait until one is available to help out.  If you show as ineligible on the mobile site, nothing can be done until the office is opened.  IT is highly recommended that you join your team roster before 2pm on the day of your game (2pm on Friday for Sunday games) to ensure your ability to play in the contest.

Defaults: Should a team know in advance that they cannot field a team on a given night; they may avoid forfeit fee and loss of playoff eligibility consequences by contacting the Intramural Office at 217-244-1344, or to default their game. All defaults must be called or emailed in before 2pm on the business day of the contest, or before 2pm on the Friday before a Sunday contest. Please make sure to include your name (captain), team name, sport, and the day and time you are playing so that you game can be defaulted properly. 

  1. Teams losing by default will lose the contest by the same scoring structure that is applied for forfeits.
  2. Teams losing by default will receive a sportsmanship rating of “C”.
  3. Teams losing by default will remain eligible for playoffs.

Forfeit: Teams who are not present at their scheduled contest by game time or are unable to produce enough eligible players to field a team, will be assessed a forfeit aside from the following Grace Period Exception

Grace Period Exception: A team may delay its right to win by forfeit and allow the other team a grace period of ten minutes to acquire a properly equipped team.

  1. Once a ten minute grace period is granted by the team who is ready, they may not rescind their decision and take a forfeit before the ten minute period passes.
  2. If ten minutes passes after the scheduled game time, and the minimum number of eligible players required to play for the opposing team has not arrived, then the team that is ready to play must accept the forfeit.
  3. If the forfeiting team is able to obtain the minimum number of properly equipped players before the ten-minute grace period expires, the game shall be started the opposing team shall be given the ball and choice of goal awarded to the opposing team.

Forfeit Consequences: Teams who are assessed a forfeit will

  • Be charged a $75.00 forfeit fee.
  • Is ineligible to advance to the playoffs.
  • Upon a second forfeit, teams will be assessed a second $75.00 forfeit fee, and will be removed from the league.
  • Teams losing by forfeit will lose the contest by a score of 1-0 and a sportsmanship rating of a 0.

Sportsmanship Ratings:
In order for a team to qualify for post season playoffs, they must have a 3.0 average in sportsmanship during regular season pool play.  Any team receiving an “0” rating during the regular season will be declared ineligible for post-season tournament play.

The Intramural Activities Program expects all participants to respect and abide by all rules and policies, show respect and concern for their opponent and intramural staff, and refrain from abusive language, poor attitude, and manipulation of the rules to further their chance of winning. Upholding high standards of integrity and fair play is of the utmost importance to the Intramural Activities Program.

Sportsmanship ratings are given to teams after each contest by the intramural manager, supervisors, staff assistants, and game officials. These ratings reflect behavior before, during, and after the contest. The decision reached will be final. Ratings will be given according to the following scale:

  • 4 = Team shows above average conduct and sportsmanship
  • 3 = Team shows average conduct and sportsmanship.
  • 2 = Team shows below average conduct and sportsmanship.
  • 1 = Team shows poor conduct and sportsmanship.
  • 0 = Team has unacceptable conduct and sportsmanship.

Protests:  Protests are restricted to matters of rule interpretation and player eligibility. Protests concerning judgment calls by an official and protests of sportsmanship ratings will not be reviewed. In the case of a rule interpretation, notification of a protest must be made to a game official at the time of the alleged infraction and prior to the next live ball. For protests of player eligibility, a team may protest no more than three participants on any given night. All eligibility protests must be made prior to the end of the contest. Please note that captains cannot protest eligibility or a rule interpretation once the gamesheet with the final score and sportsmanship rating has been signed. If a protest form has been filed, Captain’s and or designated team members should not sign the gamesheet.

For additional information: Please review the 2016- 2017 IM Handbook.


All players are required to bring a valid UIUC (I-card) to all Intramural games

Jersey Policy: Participants are required to wear their own team shirts during all Intramural contests. For Flag Football, Soccer, Broomball, and Basketball games teams must have a set of home jerseys and a set of away jerseys.

Home jerseys:  MUST BE WHITE. 

Away jerseys: Must be any color other than white and each member of your team must be wearing the SAME SHADE OF A SPECIFIC COLOR.

Goalkeeper Jersey: The goalkeeper shall wear a jersey or T-shirt that is different from all other players. Jerseys may not be tied in a manner that creates any type of knot

  1. This is necessary to ensure that our staff can easily identify team members based on jersey color. Please refer to IM Leagues  to see if you are listed as the home team or the away team.
  2. Failure to abide by the jersey policy may result in a forfeit, or technical foul/unsportsmanlike conduct penalty being assessed against your team at the beginning of the contest. Intramural Supervisors on duty will have the final say whether a team has acceptable jerseys to begin a contest.  Jerseys will not be available for checkout at Intramural games.

Game balls: Balls will be provided by Campus Recreation.  However, if both teams can agree upon using a different ball that is regulation size and weight, they may do so.

Shoes: Only athletic type soccer, running, court, or turf shoes with or without molded plastic or rubber cleats are allowed. All cleats must be less than ½ inch. All players must wear athletic shoes. No sandals, boots, or bare feet.


  1. All players must be dressed in appropriate athletic apparel – shorts, sweat pants, t-shirts, etc. with no exposed metal.
  2. Baseball style hats, bandannas, and sunglasses are not permitted. However, the goalkeeper may wear a soft brim cap. No other headwear with knots or dangerous materials is allowed.
  3. Players may not wear uncovered casts/splints under any circumstances at any time and all pads/braces must be above the waist. Players who wear a knee brace with exposed metal or metal hinges are required to cover it.
  4. Players may wear covered knee braces, kneepads, gloves, headbands, and knit caps.
  5. Players may not wear any exposed jewelry of any type besides medical alert bracelets (please have these taped down, only exposing the medical information)
  6. If a player is bleeding, or if any of their clothing is stained with blood, they must be removed from the contest until an Intramural Staff member clears them to play.

All equipment is subject to the approval of the intramural staff on duty

Game Regulations

Rosters: Each team will be allowed 11 players on the field, one of which must be the goalkeeper. The minimum number of players required to begin a game is 7 players.

  1. Team rosters are limited to a maximum of 20 players
  2. No more than 2 members of the U of I Soccer Club Team to be on the roster for an intramural team. The list of team players is available for review at the Division of Campus Recreation Intramural Office.

Timing: Games consist of two 20 minute halves with a 3-minute halftime.

  1. The officials will be in charge of keeping time.
  2. Teams are not awarded any timeouts.

Substitutions: Substitutes for either team may enter the game during halftime, after a goal and on goal kicks. Players wishing to sub must report to the cone at mid-field and wait to be beckoned in by the officials.

  1. Substitutes for the team in possession may enter on a throw-in and on a corner kick.
  2. When a player(s) has been cautioned, or if a player is injured, they may be substituted. If such a substitution is made, the opponent shall have the opportunity to sub freely.

Scoring: A ball must be legally propelled and completely cross over the goal line to count as a goal.

  1. A goal may be scored directly from a kick-off, a direct free kick, a goal kick, a penalty kick, a corner kick, or a goalkeepers’ throw, punt, or drop kick.
  2. A goal may NOT be scored directly from an indirect kick, a throw in, or a free kick into a team’s own goal.

Mercy Rule:  If a team leads by (7) goals at any time in the second half or by (5) goals in the last two minutes of the game, then the game will end due to mercy rule.

Ball in and out of play:

  1. The ball is OUT of play when it has completely crossed a goal line or touchline either on the ground or in the air.
  2. The ball is IN play at all other times including: when it rebounds from a goal post, cross bar, or corner flag; when it touches an official in the field of play; after a free kick or kick-off. NOTE: A player may be out of bounds and legally play the ball if the ball has not fully crossed the boundary line.


  1. The goalkeeper cannot be substituted for on the fly. The player must notify the official at a time when the ball is dead. The switch can only happen if the official allows it.
  2. If a penalty kick is awarded, the goalkeeper who was in the goal at the time of the infraction must remain in the goal for the penalty kick.

Starting the game:

  1. The referee will conduct a coin toss (odd or even finger guess). The winner will select to kick-off or a goal to defend.
  2. The game will begin with a kick off. During the kick off all players must be in their own half of the field and all defenders must be at least 10 yards from the ball.
  3. The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward.
  4. After the ball is kicked, the kicker may not play the ball again until it is touched by another player.
  5. At halftime, teams switch sides and the team that did not kick-off in the first half will kick-off.

End of the game: Captains are required to check and verify all information by signing the scorecard.

Tie Breaker Procedure:

  1. Any players who checked-in for the game are eligible for the tiebreak procedure.
  2. Following the Tiebreak Captain’s Meeting, each team will have 2 minutes to designate their first 5 shooters which may include the Goalie.
  3. The first 5 kickers from each team will take penalty kicks with all penalty kick rules being enforced including goalkeeper movement and kicker violations. If the score remains tied each team will designate another kicker to take a 6th The game will progress one shot at a time with each team having a chance to take their shot until the tie has been broken (i.e. Team A shoots 6th, Team B shoots 6th, Team A shoots 7th, Team B shoots 7th…).  All players must shoot once before any player may shoot a second time.
  4. The goalkeeper in goal at the end of regulation must remain in goal for the entire tiebreak procedure unless they become injured.
  5. An Intramural Staff member must be present for all tiebreak procedures.

Inclement Weather: A game shall be considered “official” and the result final if after the conclusion of the first half-time the game is stopped for inclement weather. In the event that the first half was complete, but the contest was tied, an overtime period will be scheduled to determine a winner. If the first half of the game was not completed when the contest was stopped, the game will be rescheduled and started over from the beginning on the reschedule date.

  1. Information regarding cancellations will be relayed to captains either in an email from the intramural office staff or in a message recorded to the intramural activities and club sports rain line (217-244-0329). If the weather is inclement, intramural participants should call the rain line to see whether intramural activities have been cancelled. In some cases, the rain line may not explicitly specify whether intramural activities are cancelled.
  2. Unless teams have received an explicit cancellation message in regard to their sport via email or through the rain line, teams should assume that all intramural contests will play as scheduled.

Co-Rec Modifications


  1. Each team shall consist of 11 players.
  2. A minimum of 8 players are required to start a game, 4 must be men and 4 must be women (this includes the goalkeeper)
  3. Goalkeepers can be either male or female
  4. The number of position players that are men (not including the goalkeeper) may not exceed 5
  5. The number of position players that are women (not including the goalkeeper) may not exceed 5


  1. All goals scored, whether they are scored by a male or female are worth 1 point.

Rule Enforcement

Free Kicks (Direct and Indirect)

  1. Free kicks shall be classified as DIRECT (from which a goal may be scored directly) or INDIRECT (from which a goal may not be scored directly unless the ball is touched by a player other than the kicker).
  2. All free kicks are taken from the spot of the foul. Direct free kicks awarded to the attacking team in the penalty area are penalty kicks.
  3. For all direct and indirect kicks, the defending team must be at least 10 yards from the ball.
  4. Direct free kicks are awarded for the following offenses:
    • Kicking or attempting to kick an opponent
    • Tripping or attempting to trip an opponent
    • Jumping at an opponent
    • Charging an opponent (A fair charge is one in which a player makes non-violent shoulder-to-shoulder contact with an opponent, with the arms and elbows close to their own body, at least one foot on the ground, and the ball within playing distance)
    • Striking or attempting to strike an opponent (automatic Red Card and ejection)
    • Pushing an opponent
    • Holding an opponent
    • Spitting at an opponent (automatic Red Card and ejection)
    • Slide tackling an opponent (automatic Red Card and ejection)
    • Intentionally handling, carrying, striking, or propelling the ball with a hand or arm
  5. Using foul or abusive language directed towards a player or official (Red Card and ejection)5. Indirect free kicks are awarded for the following offenses:
    • Playing the ball a second time before it has been touched by another player at the kickoff, a throw-in/kick-in, a drop kick, a free kick, a corner kick, or a goal kick (Double Touch)
    • Impeding the progress of an opponent (Obstruction without being within a playable distance of the ball)
    • Playing in a dangerous manner (i.e. high kick, playing on the ground)
    • If the goalkeeper takes more than 6 seconds while controlling the ball with their hands before releasing it into play
    • If the goalkeeper touches the ball with their hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him/her by a teammate
    • If the goalkeeper touches the ball with their hands after receiving it directly from a throw-in/kick-in taken by a teammate
    • A player prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from their hands
    • A player commits any offense for which play is stopped to caution or dismiss a player
    • Kicking the ball so that it passes over the side dasher boards and out of bounds will result in an indirect kick for the opposing team from where the ball passed over the dashers.

Yellow Cards

  1. A player shall be cautioned (yellow card) for the following offenses:
    • Persistent Infringement: committing the same type of foul three or more times.
    • Unsporting Behavior
    • Dissent by word or action
    • Distance not Respected (Encroachment)
    • Leaving the field without permission of the referee
    • Entering the field without permission of the referee
    • Delay of Game: A cautioned player shall be substituted for immediately and not return until the next legal substitution opportunity. The restart after a card has been issued shall be an “indirect free kick” awarded to the non-offending team from the spot of the ball when the referee stopped play, unless the game had been stopped for some other reason calling for a different restart,
  2. In the event that a player receives 2 yellow cards in the same game, the player will be ejected and the team will play shorthanded for the remainder of the game.

Red Cards

  1. A player shall be ejected (red card) for the following infractions:
    • Serious Foul Play
    • Handling to deny an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity
    • Denying an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity by some other Direct Free Kick Offense
    • Violent Conduct
    • Abusive Language
    • Spitting at an opponent or an official
    • Second Yellow Card
      • A disqualified/ejected player (on the field/in the game) cannot be replaced (no substitution and team must play short for the remainder of the game).
      • Ejected bench personnel or an ejected coach does not reduce the number of players on the field.
      • The restart after a card has been issued shall be a “direct free kick” awarded to the non-offending team from the spot of the ball when the referee stopped play, unless the game had been stopped for some other reason calling for a different restart.
      • Any team that receives any combination of three conduct penalties will result in forfeiture of the game. Example: 2 yellow cards and a red, 2 reds, or 3 yellow cards.

Advantage clause

  1. The referee shall refrain from penalizing when it would be an advantage to the offended team. When this occurs, the referee will signal that advantage is being called, and give the verbal indication “play on” or “Advantage.”

 Penalty Kicks

  1. A penalty kick shall be awarded when a direct free kick foul by the defending team, occurs within that team’s own penalty area.
  2. The ball must be in play for a penalty kick to be awarded.
  3. All players except the kicker shall be outside the penalty area, on the field of play at least 10 yards away from the ball.
  4. The goalkeeper shall be able to move laterally along the goal line prior to the kick.
  5. The ball should be kicked while it is stationary on the ground from the penalty line or spot. The ball must be kicked so that it moves forward. Failure to kick the ball as specified shall result in a re-kick.
  6. Encroachment by the defending team or non-lateral movement by the defending team’s goalkeeper is ignored if the goal is scored, but if the penalty shot is missed, it is retaken.
  7. The Referee will signal for the kick to be taken. Once the kicker starts their motion, it must be one continuous motion all the way through the shot.  If the player completely stops their motion (feinting), the shot will not count and the game will be restarted according to the outcome of the shot.
  8. Offensive kickers may not commit any of the following violations:
    • Delaying unnecessarily after being signaled by the referee to proceed
    • Running past the ball and then backing up to take the kick
    • Excessively changing direction during the run to the ball
    • Making any motion of the hand or arm which is clearly intended to misdirect the attention of the goalkeeper.
  9. If such a violation occurs, the referee should let the shooter finish the shot, and then warn the player of their actions. The referee should order the shot retaken only if the ball enters the goal. The player must still be warned for their misconduct regardless of the outcome. If the kick is not to be retaken (see above), the game is restarted with an indirect free kick for the defending team at the penalty mark.

Goal Kick

  1. A goal kick is awarded to the defending team when the entire ball crosses the goal line (outside the goal) after the attacking team last played or touched the ball.
  2. Players opposing the kicker shall remain outside the penalty area until the ball moves out of the penalty area.
  3. The ball shall be kicked from the ground from within the goal area. A goal kick must clear the penalty area and enter the field of play. Failure to do so will result in a re-kick.
  4. After the goal kick leaves the penalty area any player, except the one who takes the goal kick, may play the ball. The kicker may not play the ball until it has been touched by another player.
  5. The goalkeeper shall not pick up the ball and play it, nor receive it with the hands directly from the goal kick.

Corner Kick

  1. A corner kick shall be awarded to the attacking team when the entire ball passes beyond the goal line (outside the goal) after the defending team last played or touched the ball.
  2. Defending team players shall be at least 10 yards from the ball until it has been kicked.
  3. The ball shall be kicked from the ground within the corner arc nearest where the ball left the field of play. It is in play when the ball moves.
  4. After the corner kick, any player may receive the ball except the one who executed the corner kick.


  1. A throw-in is awarded to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball when the whole of the ball crosses the touch line, either on the ground or in the air.
  2. The ball shall be thrown in any direction from the point where it crossed the touchline by a player who is facing the field of play and has both feet on the ground outside or on the touch line.
  3. The thrower shall use both hands with equal force and shall deliver the ball from behind and over the head in one continuous movement.
  4. If the ball fails to enter the field of play, the opposing team shall be given a throw-in from the same spot.
  5. After the throw-in, the ball may be played by either team. The thrower shall not play the ball before it has been touched by another player.
  6. All opponents must be at least 2 yards from the point of the throw-in.


  1. A player will be deemed in an offsides position if:
    • The player is closer to their opponents goal than the second to last defender
    • The player is ahead of the ball when past the second to last defender
  2. A player will be deemed involved in play if:
    • The player is involved in active play (touching the ball)
    • The player is distracting the goalie/field player with words or actions
    • The player screens a goalie on a shot
  3. A player will be deemed offsides if any infraction in section (a) and section (b) are done simultaneously.

Slide tackles

  1. Slide tackles are legal in Intramural Soccer.
  2. Good sportsmanship must be exhibited, and contact must be kept to a minimum.