8-on-8 Soccer Rules (All Markets – Includes Co-Ed/Open Gender Rules)

Markets: DC Metro, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York, San Francisco, San Jose

Format: Soccer


  • 8 players on the field maximum – Open leagues can have any ratio of men and women allowed on the field at a time.  Co-Ed Division will have a minimum of 2 females on the field at a time. Please refer to your league details page to determine which rules we will follow.
  • 5 roster players required to start a game without having to forfeit (Co-Ed = At least one player must be female)
  • Short field with a goalie  
  • All games are RAIN or SHINE (unless dangerous conditions – be sure to check weather alert hotline)  
  • For 60 min games, we will have two 23-minute running halves with 2 minute half time.
  • For 45 min games, we will have two 15-minute running halves with 2 minute half time.  
  • No off sides  
  • Slide tackles and bicycle kicks are illegal  
  • All free kicks are direct except on goalie pass back violation (indirect) and players must wait for a refs whistle or gesture  
  • Unsportsmanlike behavior will result in that player/team being suspended/removed from participating in all ZogSports leagues, pending review of the league manager  
  • Game time is forfeit time  


Please don’t forfeit. Your teammates and opponents count on you to have a full team and competitive game. Each team must have at least 5 players to start a game. Game time is forfeit time. Due to the extremely tight schedule, we strongly suggest arriving at the field 10-15 minutes before game time for stretching, changing, etc. since the games must start on time to complete the game.   


To forfeit, please fill out this form.

Forfeits ruin the experience for everyone. ZogSports exists to give you an opportunity to play and build community and forfeiting is a huge bummer. If your team absolutely needs to forfeit, you must let us know in advance so we can contact your opponent so that they don’t unnecessarily travel to the gym/field.

If you do not inform us of a forfeit your team could face penalties in your league’s standings. Once ZogSports is notified of your forfeit, it is final (you cannot change your mind) and the other team will be notified.

There is no additional penalty if you show up short-handed (and need to add other ZogSports players to field a full team) and have to forfeit the game, since you did make an effort to get a team to play. So be sure to send as many representatives from your team as possible, even if you know it will be recorded as a forfeit loss.   


For 60 min games, two 23-minute running halves with approximately a 2 minute half time. For 45 min games, we will have two 15-minute running halves with 2 minute half time. The clock stops only for official’s time-outs and injuries. Any delay tactics, such as kicking the ball far out of bounds, will enable the referee (at his/her discretion) to stop the clock. Please refer to your league details page to determine which game clock we will follow.


  •  8 players at any one time – includes the goalie  
  • Teams may play with no less than 5 players
  • Teams may play with 6 or 7 players in any ratio as well 
  • If a team has less than 5 players a forfeit will be awarded  
  • For Co-Ed Divisions, at least one player must be female to not forfeit.
  • Teams MUST start at game time if the minimum numbers of players is present   
  • No additional players may be added to the roster after the 4th week. If you are short-handed during the season you may pick up another ZogSports player(s) not on your roster for the game. See below “Picking Up Players” for details.   
  • Waivers must be signed by all players before the start of the first game.  PLAYERS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY GAME WITHOUT SIGNING THE WAIVER. 


  • Since occasionally teams may be short players and ZogSports wants everyone to be able to play every game possible, we permit teams to pick up non-roster, ZogSports players for your game.  Before you get too excited, there are penalties and limitations: Penalty is 1 goal per player.  
  • Teams may pick up 2 ZogSports non-roster players when the team has:  
    • 6 total players show up* 
  • Teams may pick up 1 ZogSports non-roster players when the team has:  
    • 7 total players show up* 
  • *Teams can never pick up players to have subs.  

If both teams show up with an equal number of 6 or 7 players, teams are both to play with that number of players. Players may be picked up IF AND ONLY IF BOTH captains agree prior to the game to pick up an equal number of players (not exceeding 8 on a side). 

All pickups must be identified at the start of the game. Teams can never pick-up non-ZogSports players. DURING THE PLAYOFFS, ONLY PLAYERS ON YOUR ROSTER ARE ALLOWED TO PLAY. 

  • Roster player arrives after the game has started  
  • Non-roster player must be replaced by the roster player 
  • Non-roster player may not re-enter the game 

Protests in regards to non-roster players must be made to referee or field manager before the game begins. If a player arrives late, a challenge must be made to that player before they start playing. Teams can only challenge specific players.  


  • Team shirts provided by ZogSports (If players do not have shirt with them, ZogSports suggests wearing similar colors to rest of team)  
  • Shin guards are strongly recommended   

Field Turf Fields   

  • Rubber cleats and turf cleats – allowed   
  • Metal cleats – NOT allowed   


  • If you have any questions regarding a call that was made (which is rule-based), please ask the referee to refer to the rules if there is a disagreement. Only captains can discuss a rule with the referee and no judgment calls will be discussed.  
  • Players will be ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.  


  • The referee will have the two captains shoot odds/evens or rock/paper/scissors.  The winning captain will have the option of choosing sides or taking the kick-off  
  • A game is started by a kick-off from the center mark  
  • The opposition must be 5 yards from the ball when the kick-off begins  
  • The ball may go in any direction  
  • A goal CAN be scored directly from the kick-off  
  • In the second half, teams change directions and possession 


  • Unlimited substitutions of players are permitted  
  • Any player with an open cut or wound must come off the field to bandage it up and receive treatment before re-entering the game.  
  • Substitutions are not allowed on the fly. All substitutions must be made on dead balls and announced to the referee    


There is no offside rule


In ZogSports 8-on-8 short field outdoor soccer, the goal box is the equivalent of the penalty area. This area will be:   

  • 11 yards from the goal line   
  • 4 yards wider than the goal posts   
  • Marked by cones on the end line and markers on the corners   
  • Goalies can only touch the ball with their hands in this area   
  • Any fouls in this area will result in a penalty kick from 12 yards out 


  • The goalie may use his/her hands anywhere inside the goal area   
  • Goalie has 6 seconds to release the ball once picked up in the goal area   
  • Once the goalie has released control of the ball, he/she cannot touch it again with his/her hands until it has been touched by an opponent   
  • Goalie cannot use his/her hands on balls that have been intentionally directed to them by a teammate’s feet/body. They must play these balls with their feet. If the goalie uses his/her hands, a goalie pass back violation occurs   
  • Head ball pass backs are allowed   
  • Goalies can’t use their hands if directly receiving a teammates throw in   
  • Goalies cannot punt or drop kick the ball   
  • If goalie punts/drop kicks ball, a corner kick for the opposing team will be awarded   


  • If the game’s play is stopped due to an injury, for safety the injured player must take a two-minute break from the game of play, off-field. The injured player’s team is able to freely substitute with roster teammates, if available, for that two-minute period. The referee will indicate to the player when the two minutes has passed 
  • A game is considered stopped when the referee stops the play to check on a player that ceased playing due to an injury. 
  • A game is NOT considered stopped when the referee blows the whistle for afoul/penalty and sets up a free kick. 
  • The stopping of the play clock will be the referees’ discretion of a perceived injury. If the player is not injured but causes the referee to stop the clock and check, they will still be removed from the game for the two minute time period. This is to help us keep the games safe, ensure injuries are addressed, and deter flopping.


The following are fouls or misconducts and can result in penalties depending on the level of aggressiveness or danger of the foul committed:  

Yellow Card   

  • Swearing, gesturing at, or arguing with any player   
  • Arguing with the referee   
  • An intentional (in the eyes of the referee) kick, trip, jump at, strike, hold, push, or charge from behind or violently charge an opponent  
  • Slide tackling  
  • If a player receives a yellow card for any reason, s/he will be required to sit out of the game for four minutes and the team will play down a player during those four minutes. The referee will let the player/team know when the four minute penalty has expired.  
  • If a player receives two yellow cards in one game, they will be ejected and their team will need to play one player short for the remainder of the game. If the team was already playing short, they still have to remove a player from the field.   
  • Yellow cards will carry over within the same day in the case of playoffs. If in a 2nd or 3rd game of a day a player receives a 2nd yellow card, they will be removed for the rest of the day but the team will not have to play down a player.

 Red Card   

  • Fighting, swearing, gesturing at or excessive arguing with the referee   
  • Two yellow card violations   
  • Multiple instances of excessively dangerous play as deemed by the referee  
  • If a player receives a red card for any reason, s/he will be ejected and their team will need to play one player short for the remainder of the game. If the team was already playing short, they still have to remove a player from the field. The player may also be ejected from his/her next scheduled game.  

FREE KICKS/FOULS – Teams must wait for a refs whistle or gesture   

Direct Kick   

The direct free kick is one where a goal can be scored without another player touching the ball.  A direct free kick will be awarded for:   

Hand Ball – If a player other than the goalkeeper (inside his/her own penalty are) deliberately handles the ball (touches it with any part of the arm up to and including the shoulder).   

  • A hand ball foul should NOT be called if:  
  • A player is instinctively trying to protect him/herself from injury  
  • The player did not deliberately touch the ball but the ball hit his/her arm and s/he did not move the arm toward the ball (however, if the player’s arms were in an unnatural position such as above his/her shoulders or sticking out to the sides, then s/he should be called for a handball).  

Slide Tackling   

Dangerous Play – kicking while player is on the ground or above the waist when an opposing player is within 5 feet  


Stoppage of play – made necessary due to the disciplining of an opposing player  

Any other foul/violation not including goalie passback violation   

Indirect Kick   

The indirect free kick is a kick where a goal cannot be scored unless the ball is touched by another player (any player, teammate or opposition) before entering the goal.  And indirect free kick will be awarded for:   

    · Goalie Passback – (for explanation, see GOALIES section above)  

*All free kicks will be taken from the spot of the foul.  The free kick resulting from a goalie pass back will be taken from the spot where the ball was initially passed back from.  The kicking team must wait for the referee to signal that the ball is back in play.  All players must be 5 yards or more from the spot of the ball.   

Penalty Kick   

If any offenses occur within a team’s own goal area, a penalty kick will be awarded.  

  • The kick shall be taken from the penalty line (12 yards out)  
  • All players other than the goalkeeper must stand behind the kicker while the kick is taken  
  • Players may not advance past the kicker until the ball has been struck 


Corner Kick   

  • When the entire ball passes over the goal line and was last touched by a player from the defending team  
  • The offensive team will put the ball back in play, when signaled to by the referee, from the corner of the field nearest to where the ball went out  
  • Opposing players must be at least 5 yards from the ball  
  • A corner kick is a direct kick. The offensive team can score without anyone else touching the ball 

Goal Kick      

  • When the entire ball passes over the goal line and was last touched by a player from the offending team  
  • The defending team will put the ball back in play when signaled to by the referee  
  • Goal kicks must be taken from any spot on or within the goal box  
  • Opponents must clear the goal area  
  • A goal kick is a direct kick.  The offensive team can score without anyone else touching the ball  


  • When the entire ball passes out of the field of play along the sideline a throw-in is awarded to the opposition of the team of the player who last played or touched the ball  
  • The ball is thrown in from the spot where the ball left the field of play  
  • The player throwing in the ball must have both feet touching the ground outside the field of play  
  • Ball must be delivered with both hands from behind and over his/her head into the field of play  
  • If there is an illegal throw, possession will be passed to the opposing team who will put the ball in play via throw-in  
  • A throw-in which goes directly into an opponent’s goal without touching any player on the field will be disallowed  
  • Throw will be re-taken  
  • A throw in may go to the goalie but the goalie may not use their hands (An indirect kick will be taken from where the throw came from if a goalie uses their hands in this situation)   


ZS will provide a head referee for each field    


  • The ball must completely cross the goal line to be considered a goal  
  • If any part of the ball is touching the goal line, no goal will be allowed  
  • For balls in the air, the entire ball must have crossed the imaginary plane of a goal line to be considered a goal   
  • After a goal is scored the ball returns to the center with the team scored upon taking the kickoff  


The standings for soccer will be based on the following point system:  

  • Win: 3 points  
  • Loss: 0 points  
  • Draw: 1 point  
  • Forfeit: -1 points  

Regular season games ending in a tie score after the end of regulation will be recorded as a draw.  Sudden death overtime and penalty kicks (if necessary) will be used in playoffs.  


  • Playoff games will follow the same format during regulation as the regular season.  If teams are tied at the end of regulation in the playoffs, sudden death overtime will be used.  

Sudden Death   

  • One 5 minute period  
  • Coin toss/odds and evens/rock, paper, scissors will be conducted as at the beginning of the game to determine side/possession  
  • Teams will not switch sides  
  • If neither team scores after the 5 minute overtime period, teams will go into a shootout


  • Each team selects 3 players and informs referee of shooters prior to the first shot being taken  
  • Players do not have to have been playing at the end of regulation  
  • The goalie may be substituted for only once during the shoot out  
  • A coin toss will decide which team shoots first  
  • Both teams shoot at the same goal  
  • Teams will alternate taking direct penalty shots from 12 yards out from the goal line   
  • If tied after Round 1, Round 2 will be SUDDEN DEATH (i.e., 1st player from Team A scores and 1st player from Team B misses – Team A wins)  
  • Players who shot in the 1st shootout are not eligible to shoot again until all remaining players present have shot  
  • If and when 1 team begins to utilize players for the second time, the other team may “recycle” players as well regardless of if everyone has shot yet.  Thus, some players on the team with more people present may or may not shoot  


1. Team with more forfeits automatically loses tie breaker  

2. Number of Wins   

3. Head-to-Head competition between all tied teams   

4. Record against other teams in or tied for playoffs (winning percentage – i.e., 0-1 is same as 0-2, but 1-3 is better than 0-1)  

5. Coin toss by ZogSports  


ZogSports is a Charity-Focused, Co-ed Social Sports League   

  • While we appreciate the level of competitiveness in our league, we do not tolerate any unsportsmanlike behavior. This includes anyone who:  
  • Antagonizes players on other teams or their own teammates  
  • Exhibits excessive uncontrollable play  
  • Inappropriately “mouths off” to the referee(s)  
  • Verbally or physically threatens a member of our staff  
  • Any player ejected from a game will be suspended for a minimum of one game upon league review   
  • ZogSports reserves the right to remove any player from a game(s), season and/or future season.  
  • ZogSports reserves the right to remove a full team from the schedule and/or future seasons if we feel they are unable to participate in a manner in keeping with ZogSports’ mission to provide a fun, charity-focused, co-ed league.  


  • Any player(s)/team(s) that are involved in a fight or extreme verbal altercations will be suspended from all ZogSports Leagues for life   
  • Any excessive contact or collision will result in a foul and ejection of player  
  • Any teams may forfeit all remaining games  
  • Any excessive contact or collision will result in a foul and ejection of player  
  • Any player abusing the referee will automatically be ejected from the game without a warning  
  • A player ejected for ANY reason will be suspended for the next game. If that player is caught playing in that game, the team will forfeit. Further action may also be taken at the discretion of the League Manager.  


  • Games will be played rain or shine. In the event of bad weather/dangerous conditions, ZogSports offers two ways to check if your game is on or rained out:  
  • Weather Alert Page at https://play.zogsports.com/weather-alert-hotline  
  • Weather Alert Hotline (332) 213-9023   
  • Be sure to check periodically throughout the day as conditions may change.  

In the case of lightning, games will be postponed at the field for 10 or so minutes.  Teams playing will be required to leave the field and move inside.  Since games will resume about 10 min after the last flash of lightning, teams are required to stay at the field until the field manager officially calls the game.  Due to the limited field space in LA, ZogSports will always try to complete all games even if it means shortening games. If a game reaches half time, it will be counted as official.  If a game doesn’t reach half, we will try to reschedule the game from scratch.  If teams leave the premises and the game continues, a forfeit will be awarded.  


  • ALCOHOL IS NOT ALLOWED AT THE FIELD! If anyone drinks alcoholic beverages at any of the fields, we risk losing our permits, therefore, anyone caught drinking at the field will be removed from all ZogSports activities for life without refund. We also risk losing our permits if we do not clean-up any trash left behind.     

CODE OF CONDUCT: The Participant’s Code of Conduct applies to all ZogSports participants. You can access the ZogSports Participant’s Code of Conduct HERE.

Markets: DC Metro, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York, San Francisco, San Jose