In any competition, rules provide an agreement of understanding the competition. Rules are there to define what is and what is not allowed to take place during situation both on and off the court.  Rules generally govern everything from wearing proper uniforms to keeping score during games of different levels of competition. It is important to mention the fact that rules apply not only to the players, but to the coaches and the officials as well. Rules differ from the sport that you play and the level that you play at. In 5-a-side football, the rules are very precise. So, if you are fancying London football leagues, you should know what you can and what you cannot do.

The players

Small sided games consists of team that have 5, 6 or 7 players and a maximum number of 3 substitutes. If the team has less than 3 players, then it is able to borrow players in order to make them up. Should this happen, the match will be classified as a friendly one and the opponents will be awarded a 5-0 win. Although substitutions can occur all throughout the game, the existing player must have left the field of play before the substitute can enter. Any of the players and the substitutes can replace the goalkeeper, but this change should take place during the stoppage of the game.

The start of the game

At the time of kick-off all players should be in their own half and the opposition must be at least 3 meters from the ball until it is played. In order to restart the play at any other time due to a temporary stoppage, a drop ball is used. Once the ball touches the ground, the game restarts.

In and out of play

The ball is considered out of play if it has completely crossed the goal or touchline, the play has been stopped by the referee or if it has hit the ceiling, namely if the game takes place indoors. In all the other situations when the ball is in play, including rebounds from the goal post, the barricades around the playing area and off the referee. Should the ball hits the ceiling, a free kick is awarded against the team that has last touched the ball. The only exception to this rule is if the ball hits the ceiling as the result of a save by the goalkeeper.

Fouls and penalties for their infringement

Players must not enter the goalkeeper’s area at any time. When this happens the opponent receives a free kick. Goalkeepers themselves must remain within their area at all times, even during the course of the save and if they do not respect this rule the opponent team receives a penalty. When you are playing 5-a-side football you should avoid doing the following things: slide-tackling when playing, passing the ball directly to the goalkeeper and not notifying the referee about the substitutions. These actions are all punishable with a direct free kick for the opponent.