General rules

The aim of soccer is to score a goal more than the opposing team. Games should start no later than 5 minutes after the official schedule. The game consists of two 25 minutes halves with a 5 minutes break.

Teams change ends at halftime.

  • Most of the leagues are coed
  • You must be 18 or older to play

Here are the main rules. Some are specific to the MFSL.


1. Fair-play

The league catchword is “fair play.”

Players and teams must understand that the Montreal Friendly Soccer League (MFSL) is a friendly league that does not tolerate the intentional pushing, shoving or physical contact with another player, agressive  behavior, insults, constant complaining about an opponent or referee, or worse.

Players must be here to have fun.


By registering, you agree to our sporting ethics.


1.1 Ethics sports

• I respect the rules of the game.

• I accept all the referee’s decisions.

• I support my teammates honestly.

• I refuse to win by cheating and illegal means.


• I accept the errors of my teammates.

• I consider my opponent essential part of the game.

• I am courteous to coaches, officials, spectators and opponents.

• I always do my best.

• I accept victory with humility without ridiculing the opponent.

• I accept defeat by being satisfied with the efforts made within the limits of my abilities and recognizing the good work of the opposing team.

• I play for fun.

• I believe the game is fun, whatever the outcome.

• I believe personal achievement is as valuable as a medal or trophy.

• I am first and foremost a human being.

• I also represent my team, institutions and the league in which I play.

• I transmit values of my sport through my behavior.


1.2 General information about Fair Play

Games are refereed, which does not exempt you from being fair and being respectful. You must respect the decisions of the referee at all times!

Normally, there should not be a need for a yellow card! You are here to play soccer, play well, not to pressure your opponents, either physically (violently) or mentally (by intimidation, insults, shouting, swearing, etc.).

Any dangerous act or attitude will be punished. Unsportsmanlike behavior or insults of any kind may immediatly result in your expulsion from the league.

Do not quick too hard, especially in the gym. You’re here to have fun, not to shoot skeet. Keep in mind that your actions may at any time result in the injury of the goalkeeper (or other players). Enjoy playing friendly games and don’t bombard the opposing team’s goal. This kind of behaviour can lead to injuries.

In order to avoid problems, you may not play on the pitch during the halftime of a game that is not your own.

2. Players

2.1 Number of players

Depending on the season, each team consists of 5, 7 or 11 players , including a goalkeeper.


2.2 Maximum number of players

There is no maximum number of players but you should not be more than the double of the number authorized to get a guaranteed play time. For example : 10 if you play in 5 vs 5 league.


2.3 Minimum number of players

  • The minimum number of required players is 4 (5X5), 5 (7X7) and 8 (11X11).
  • If the minimum number of players required is not reached within 5 minutes of the game starting, then the team loses the game by forfeit (3-0 outside, 7-0 in gymnasium).
  • The game becomes a friendly game and it is possible to play with players from others teams.
  • If both teams do not have the required number of players, they both lost the game and play a friendly match.


2.4 Players playing in two teams

  • It is possible to play in two different teams if they are not in the same league.
  • We accept one team which misses a girl makes play a girl who played just before in the same league.
  • That’s the alone exception: as soon as a player from another team in the same league plays in your team, you lost the game.

2.5 Playoff Eligibility

To play playoff, players must participate in at least the half of regular season games. The referees will be extra careful about this.

Exception : if too many players are injured or outside the town, two subs might join the team.

Be care! Players who received one red card or two yellow cards in the season can’t play playoff!

2.6 Minimum of girls or guy

MFSL has coed and masculine leagues.

In the coed leagues :

  • There must be one player of each gender, per team, on the field at all times.
  • Conversely, if a team does not have at least one female/male player within 10 minutes of the game starting, they will forfeit the game. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • We advise you to have at least 2 females/males on your team. Failure to comply with the gender rule will result in a forfeited game.
  • If a team only has one female or male player and she/he gets injured, the game may continue but the team with the injured female or male must play with one less player.


2.7 Changes

  • The number of replacements is unlimited.
  • However, the number of players on the pitch should never exceed the maximum number expected.
  • A penalty of 3 minutes is given to the opposing team if the number of players on the field exceeds the allowable limit.


2.8 Players ID

MFSL is a FRIENDLY league but looks like a couple of players will never understand that and don’t give their name at the ref when they receive a card. So, we have decided to authorize refs to keep ID cards of the players (driving license for exemple) to esure they get the good name. Thanks to these informations, it will be easier for us to follow those people and to make them leave the league.


3. Fouls

We are sur thanks to your legendary fair play you won’t make any faults. However, it inevitably happens.

A foul will be called when a player trips, knocks over or pulls on the clothing of an opponent. There is NO tackling. A foul is penalized by a free kick for the opposing team.

Here are a couple of cases :

3.1 Tackles

  • For your safety, tackles are not allowed in the league.
  • A tackle is punished with a yellow card!
  • The referees will tolerate a couple of them in some cases, but they must be made away from any opponent and not involving any danger.


3.2 Interference

It is forbidden to interfere with a player in such a way  that prevents him from getting to the ball.  The only exception is when a defender is following the ball out of the end-line to be taken as a goal kick.

3.3 Hands

It is prohibited to the players, but the goalkeeper, to touch the ball with their hands or arms. The goalie can catch the ball with his hands but only in his own box. Beware of passes to the goalkeeper (see below)!

3.4 Passes to the goalkeeper

  • Goalkeepers are the only players on the field who may play the ball with their hands, providing they are in the penalty area.
  • No other player is permitted to make contact with the ball with any part of their arm or below the shoulder.
  • Goalkeepers may not play the ball with their hands if the ball is passed to them intentionally by a teammate.
  • If the ball comes to them from the head or chest of a teammate, or unintentionally from a teammate, they may play the ball with their hands.
  • Same thing if the ball is kicked by an opponent.
  • Be care: Passes from throw-in are forbidden and the keeper can’t take the ball with his hands.
  • If goalkeepers play the ball with their hands but they can’t and they are inside the designated penalty area, then they will give up a free kick to the opposing team.
  • Goalkeepers who touch the ball outside the box should receive a yellow card.


3.5 Free Kicks

  • Any hand or misconduct is punishable by a free kick.
  • Remember: Contacts are prohibited!
  • Free kicks are indirect indoor and direct outdoor.
  • Indoor, a free kick that enters the net without hitting a player from the opposing team is a disallowed goal.

ATTENTION Les buts marqués sur coup-franc indirects (ou grâce à un tir depuis son propre camp) avec intention délibérée d’espérer une déviation d’un adversaire afin de valider le but ne sont pas acceptés. C’est en effet contraire à l’esprit du jeu (et nous avons constaté trop d’abus à ce sujet).

  • During a free kick, players on the opposing team must be at least 3 meters away (indoor) or 9.15 meters away (outdoor) from the ball.
  • Should the free kick take place less than three or nine meters from the net, the ball is placed three or six meters from the goal line and players must still respect the three or six meter radius (setting-up on the goal line is permitted in this situation).

Indoor 5 fouls If a team makes more than 5 fouls by halftime during a game in gymnasium, every fault following the referee awards a free kick direct shot from inside the dotted line. Only in gymnasium! The free-kick must be made by the player “victim” of the fault.

Soccer à Montréal!

3.6 Penalties

A deliberate handball or a foul in the area is punishable by a penalty. The latter is derived from 3-point line basketball (indoors) or from the edge of the area to 7X7 outdoors.

3.7 Cards

You should never receive any card, especially red! Players who get cards MUST THINK if they are at the right place.

It is too easy to criticise referees and others players. These people should make their own criticism.

Here are the rules if a player receives a card:

  • If a player receives a yellow card, he is sent off for 3 minutes indoor, 5 minutes outdoor, leaving his team one player down.
  • If a player receives a second yellow card during the season, he is automatically suspended for the following game.
  • If a player receives a red card, he is automatically suspended for the following game, in addition to be sent off for the remainder of the current game. He leaves his team one player down during 5 minutes indoor, 10 minutes outdoor.
  • A red card will result in the loss of one point (in the standings).
  • One player who receives a yellow card MUST LEAVE the field.
  • A point will also be removed from a team that receives 3 yellow cards during the course of a season.
  • One player who receives two yellow cards or one red card during the season can’t participate to the playoff.
  • Refs might ask to one player to leave the pitch without giving any card, in order to make sure the game remains safe.

Reminder Referees never should give cards. If it happens, the player and his teammates MUST SERIOUSLY THINK about it!

3.8 Goalkeepers

  • Referees will be very vigilant when it comes to protecting the goalkeepers. Contact with an opposing goalkeeper will result in an automatic foul against player who causes the contact.
  • Warning: inversely, keepers must refrain from tackle and too aggressive gestures, especially indoors. Excesses will be punished.
  • We appreciate if the goalkeeper wears a jersey with a different colour.

Warning! In gymnasium, keepers can’t kick the ball with foot after sending with their hands! The area is too small for this kind of gesture!

4. Out-of-bounds and ball in-bounding

4.1 Dimensions of the pitch

The dimensions of the field evolve according to the formula (5X5, 7X7 and 11X11).

4.2 Box

  • 5X5 indoor : the limit of the box is the 3-point line basketball.
  • 7X7 indoor : the limit is the line of 3 meters of handball.
  • 7X7 outdoor (or turf) : the limit is the edge of the area of 11X11 box in length, there is no width limit.


4.3 Throw-in

  • No throw-in at 5X5 : here are no foul lines and both side walls are live.
  • 7×7 indoor : throw-in are played with the foot.
  • 7X7 outdoor or turf : the general foul lines are used and classical throw-in are played .
  • The player must kick the ball accurately! Any player who muffs the kick-in, or kicks the ball in such a way that it skirts the lines and goes back out of bounds will lose control of the ball to the opposing team.
  • Attention, les touches ne peuvent être directes : une touche qui marque un but directement est équivalente à une sortie de but.


4.4 Goal-kick

  • If the ball crosses the end-line and was touched by a member of the attacking team, the ball is given to the goalkeeper for a goal kick.
  • The goalkeeper or a player of the defending team kicks the ball with the foot  in front of his own nets.
  • The partner receiving the ball must be outside the box. If not, the goal-kick must be replayed.

It is forbidden to the goalkeeper tu use his hands to play a goal kick.


4.5 Corners

  • If the ball crosses the end-line, and was last touched by a member of the defending team, the ball is played at one of the two corners, for a corner kick (as close to the wall as possible, indoor).
  • A player on the attacking team may then play the ball. A corner kick can be a direct kick – a goal can be scored directly off of a corner kick.

For corner kicks, beware of fouls. Any goal scored, where a foul is called, will be disallowed and given to the defending team for a goal kick.


4.6 Goalkeeper releases

  • When the goalkeeper throwes or rolls the ball, this one must first make contact with the ground on the defensive side of the field, before the game can continue.
  • Goalkeepers can not directly send the ball beyond the halfway line. The first bounce must take place in their own half.
  • Then the ball can then cross the midfield line without problem.
  • If the goalkeeper directly sends the ball beyond the halfway line, then a free-kick is given to the opposing team on the midfield line.

Warning! It is forbidden to the goalkeeper to send the ball inside as he can do outside, ie by throwing the ball ahead and then by kicking with his foot!

4.7 Engagement

At the beginning of each half and after each goal, players play the ball at the center of the field. The opposing team must stand at 3 meters from the ball while the player with the ball must first engage forward.

4.8 End of the game and validatin of the results

Maybe you notices rules are long and a little bit complex! So, referees might sometimes take a wrong decision (for example: they forget to get out one player who has just received a yellow card).

It is your responsability to remember the rules to the ref. If he still wrong, there will be certainly one your players with a smart phone. He will only have to download this page and to show it to the ref.

Do it quickly because it is too late when the results are validated and it is impossible to change after the game.

Refereeing errors are part of the game, you must accept them.

5. Specific indoor rules

5.1 Goal validation (only 5 vs 5)

  • Indoor, goals must be scored from the attacking side of the field. A goal scored from a team’s defensive side will be disallowed.
  • A goal is granted when the ball completely crosses the goal line.
  • The team that was scored brings the ball to mid-field, while the other team keeps a distance of 3 meters, until the game resumes.


5.2 Contact with outside obstacles

  • If the ball comes into contact with outside obstacles (such as roofs, basketball nets, etc), an indirect free kick is given to the team who last touched the ball.
  • The free kick is taken from the spot where the player kicked the ball.
  • If the ball was sent from the box, a corner and not a free kick will be given.


6. Specific outdoor rules

6.1 Rainy days

  • If it is raining, games might be postponed, especially for games on grass
  • To know if a game is delayed, go on our Facebook page. If you see anything after 5pm, then games are maintained.
  • You must then go to the field, whatever the weather. You never know, it may be fine when you will arrive (this is often the case after a big thunder storm, which usually erupt around 5pm and lasts 30 minutes).
  • Depending on the condition of the pitch and the force of rain, the referee will decide to maintain or postpone the game.
  • If a team does not show up and the referee believes that the field is ok, then it forfeits (3-0 and 7-0 in the gym).


6.2 Off-sides

There are no off-sides in the MFSL. It could change if we see too many people wainting for the ball before the nets. The rule is explained here.

7. Miscellaneous

7.1 Cleanliness

You must leave the gym in the state where you took possession on arrival. Benches must be replaced and don’t foget your water bottles !

The teams will lose 2 points for any abuse reported. Thank you.

7.2 Shoes

We remind you it is forbidden to enter the gymnasium with your shoes. Thank you to leave them at the entrance!

7.3 Changing

You MUST change in the dressing-room. It is FORBIDEN to change in the large hall in front of everyone. We remind you that Villa Maria is a college for girls…!

7.4 Schedules

  • You do not need to arrive before 6:40 pm at Villa Maria College because the keeper will not be there to open the door.
  • You must leave Villa Maria College 15 minutes later after the last game. It is very important because Villa Maria keepers are watching us and report to the direction!


7.5 Nets replacement

Teams playing at 9 o’clock must replace goals and benches on the sides.


7.6 Alcohol

It is forbiden to bring alcohol and… to drink! Keepers are very careful about that.

Drinking in the College could make the league expelled!


7.7 Equality in series

  • If aggregate games are played, there is no advantage for ‘away’ goals.
  • In the event of both games creating an overall tie, a penalty shoot-out will determine the outcome.
  • During a shoot-out, each team gets three chances to score from the attacking penalty marker. The first shooter must be a girl. Every players of the team can shoot, not only players on the pitch at the end of the game. If the number of goals is equal after three shoots, then it continues with single rounds until one team misses while the other team scores.
  • The games can in no case be longer than one hour. Do not be surprised if the referee blows the final whistle a few minutes before the “official” to enable the conduct of the shootout.


7.8 Ball

  • Every captain has to bring his own ball, which has to be an indoor ball if the game takes place indoor.
  • A home team that does not bring a ball will lose 2 points in the standings.
  • A visiting team that does not bring a ball will lose 1 point in the standings.


7.9 Jerseys

  • Teams may choose to wear a team jersey.
  • Home teams may wear any color shirts they wish.
  • Visiting teams wear shirts with another colour.
  • If players do not wear the proper colors, the referee may not allow them to participate in the game.
  • Playing while wearing the wrong shirt color will cost your team one point in the standings.
  • The colors should be uniform. Various shades of one color are accepted but a team must play with one color.
  • Individual players should come with black and white jerseys.

2012-11-21 21.07.32

7.10 Teams that do not show up

If your team is absent for a scheduled game and has not given the league a 48 hours notice, you will lose 6 points in the standings and forfeit the game.

7.11 Jewelry, Eyewear

You are responsible if you injure or hurt someone because of jewelry (bracelets, earrings …) or you wear your glasses. We strongly recommend that you remove them before playing soccer to ensure everyone’s safety.

7.12 Supporters

Some teams have fans and we’re very happy of that. However they should not interfere with the game. They can encourage their friends but do not swear (counts for everyone else). Our chaste ears thank you!

7.13 Lost and Found

You forgot sweaters, shoes, watches, wallets, iphones, ipads, bags and others things in the changing room? Contact immediately the location.

7.14 Image rights

We take pics during or at the end of the games. MFSL might use them for its own use. If you don’t want, tell us and we won’t use your image.

7.15 Referee commission

When a player receives a yellow card, a referee commission decides of the suspension. Who is on this commission : the referee of the game, the president of the league and the referee responsible of the league.

7.16 Refunding policy

We refund every people who want until one week after their first game. Files fees of $20 will be charged

7.17 Payments

If you pay by check, it can be refused by the bank. We charge 20$ for that.

7.18 Insurances

You are not protected by an insurance policy when you play with the MFSL. Every fees after an injury are for you.

8. Standings

8.1 Play-offs qualification

  • The top 4 teams from each league qualify for semi-finals (it might sometimes be different).
  • All teams will play rankings games after the end of the regular season.

If two teams get equal pointing at the end, the number of red and yellow cards will decide. If still tied, it is the goal difference, then the best attack, then the team that won the largest number of victories. If still equal, the difference between the 2 special teams prevail. Finally, if it is not always possible to break the tie, a draw will be made.

Warning! If one team doesn’t come, it losts 6 points in the standings (of the next session if it a rancking game)

The winners of their leagues qualify for the final tournament (see 8.5 to get more details)

8.2 Points calculations

  • One victory gives 3 points.
  • One draw gives 1 point.
  • One loss : no point.
  • Red card subtracts one point.
  • 3 yellow cards substract one point.

A team who does not come loses automatically 3-0 and lose one point if it did not advise the organizers 48 hours in advance.

8.3 Meaning of acronyms:

MD= played

W= win

D= draw

L= Loss

Buts : goals scored and conceded

Diff : goalaverage

Pts= points

8.4 Specific rules for play-offs and the final tournament

  • One boy or girl must always be on the field (except masculine leagues).
  • Players who received one red card or two yellow cards during the regular season can’t play play-offs
  • It is strictly forbiddent to get new players but if you have too many injured players. Then, you might have two subs
  • You must arrive in time elsewhere you will lose.
  • Only winners of this tournament win the Cup and the medals.
  • If one team gets more than 2 yellow cards or 1 red card in the same game will be automatically disqualified!


Copyright © 2005 Montreal Friendly Soccer League. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited under penalty of prosecution