Rules for Youth Indoor Soccer

General Rules

  • Conduct within the facility and on the field should be within the spirit of good sportsmanship.
  • Individuals utilizing this facility do so at their own risk. The property owner(s), league operators, officers and owners, and staff of the Metuchen Sportsplex assume no liability for any injuries or accidents, which may occur. Please refer to your Liability and Injury Waiver Release Forms.
  • No individual will be allowed to participate in any league games, practice session, tournament, clinic, open pick-up game, or other activities until a release form has been properly completed and signed. The facility waiver can be signed online or in print form.
  • Playing sports can be a hazardous activity and unfortunate things can happen. You are contractually agreeing that you have signed our liability release and that you are waiving your rights to file a lawsuit against us. You accept the conditions of the fields, courts, and other surfaces, and also any unforeseen situations that may occur. If you are uncomfortable with any of these conditions, you can choose not to play or participate in our leagues or other activities.
  • No food, drink, chewing tobacco, chewing gum, or metal cleats permitted on turf playing surface. No sunflower seeds or similar type products are permitted in the facility. No glass containers on the field or in the player boxes.
  • No outside food or drink of any kind will be permitted in the facility. Any outside food or drink will be confiscated.
  • Games that are cancelled due to poor weather conditions or conditions not under the control of the Metuchen Sportsplex are generally not rescheduled or guaranteed to be played.
  • The Metuchen Sportsplex reserves the right to refuse play or service to anyone.
  • Any fighting will result in permanent banishment from facility.

Sign Up Guidelines and Fees:
Teams sign up on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • A representative from each team is required to keep copies of all player cards and identification on them at all times during the game, and rosters must be submitted online by the due date, as stated online. Proof of age includes: birth certificates, passports, and outdoor league sanctioned player cards.
  • If full payment is made after the deadline, up to a $50 late fee will be charged if management allows your team to play.
  • No individual will be allowed to participate in any league games, practice session, tournament, clinic, open pick-up game, or other activities until a release form has been properly completed and signed, or games will be subject to forfeit.
  • Individuals that sign up will be placed in a Metuchen Sportsplex database where other teams may contact you to recruit you for their team.

Numbered Jerseys:
All players are required to have a permanent number on their shirt, at least 4" long. The referee has the right to not start the game until at least 4 players have numbered jerseys. Any player who does not have a numbered jersey will not be allowed to play. Taped numbers are not permitted.

The reason for these strict rules is to keep track of red and yellow cards. Moreover, the Sportsplex is watchful of illegal players.

Player Rosters:

All teams will be required to submit a roster and waiver forms to the Sportsplex prior to their first game. Moreover, teams will be required to have photo identifications with proof of player's ages with them at every game. This proof of age can be sanctioned outdoor player cards or Sportsplex ID. If a player does not have a valid photo identification, they can obtain a player card from our front office for a $5 fee. The player will have to bring a birth certificate to obtain the identification.

Proof of age will be randomly checked. If another team protests a player's eligibility, proof of age will be checked. If a team does not have their proof of ages for even one player at the requested time, that team will forfeit the game. Similar to every sanctioned soccer league in the area, it is the responsibility of teams to bring this proof of age without exception.

Furthermore, proof of age cards have to correspond to the rosters submitted to the Sportsplex. Online rosters can count as a team's roster. If the proof of age cards does not match the online roster, that team will forfeit their game.

Roster Cards
Permanent Rosters must be turned in by registration day. or are subject to removal from the league. This roster must include the names and numbers, and online signatures, of every player on your team. Referees will track red cards based upon players' names and numbers.

All teams must have a permanent roster on file and available to check the names of players prior to the start of any game or after a game.


  • Rubber molded cleats, turf shoes, and tennis shoes are allowed.
  • Teams must be dressed with visible and permanent numbers (no taped on numbers). No player will be allowed to participate without a numbered shirt that matches the number on the roster on file. Visible numbers are at least four inches tall and placed somewhere the referee can see. Taped numbers are not permitted..
  • All players must wear shinguards.

Official Games:
A game is considered "official" after one completed half of play. If there is an injury or other unforeseen circumstance, the current score will stand as official once a half has been played.

Forfeits & Make-Up Games:

* There will be no rescheduling of games. Teams will be allowed to request one date as a bye in their schedule two weeks prior to the start of the session. If your team has an outdoor Icebreaker tournament at the end of Winter Session #2, they must notify the Sportsplex prior to starting the season. All notifications for byes must come in writing to the Sportsplex via email. If you call and leave a message, management does not consider this an official request. If your request does not appear listed on our published list, it will not be honored. Teams will not be allowed to request two byes in one season. Finally, some byes are not possible to honor. Teams must understand that requests for byes are not guaranteed. Our schedulers will do everything they can to honor requests but if they are unable, games will not be rescheduled. Any team requesting a bye or forfeit must do the following:

  1. E-mail the Metuchen Sportsplex using the specific Forfeit/Bye request email listed on the Soccer page of our Website. The e-mail must include the day of the requested bye, the team requesting the bye, and the team manager's name and phone number.Click here to email.
  2. Check the website links within 24 hours to make sure the requested bye was listed. If it was not listed, please call the Sportsplex immediately. If your bye was not listed and you wait until after the deadline, your bye request will not be honored.
  3. Forfeits: Team managers must call the Metuchen Sportsplex to inform them of the forfeit. The Sportsplex will then notify the other team. If a team shows up to play and the opposing team does not show up, then the team present will win by forfeit.  In the case of a forfeited game, players from the teams are normally allowed to use the field, to practice, scrimmage, etc. However, Metuchen Sportsplex reserves the right to use the field, at that time, for other activities at the discretion of management.

Failure to do so will result in the game being forfeited. After the first forfeit, the team that forfeited will receive a warning. The second forfeit, a $50 fine. If a team forfeits three times in once season, they'll be pulled from the league, with all money paid being lost, and the team will have to pay in full at the time of registration for all future leagues.

A forfeiture will be incurred if a team has failed to field the minimum number of players (4 player minimum) within ten minutes from the start of the game clock. A game clock will not stop once it has started, and it will not be reset if a team shows up late.
Any team no show will result in a 3-0 victory for opposing team and no rescheduled game will be given.

There will be no rescheduling of games due to weather related events like snow. The facility may, at its own choosing, try and reschedule those games. In the event of a weather related cancellation, all games that were missed shall not count toward the standings and they will be considered "non-games".

Individuals are expected to play under control and within the rules of the game, and to the best of their ability will avoid causing injury to themselves and other persons using the facility.


Referees appointed to officiate each game have complete authority on the field of play, and their decisions on points of fact connected with the game are final. Officiating will be monitored and assessed periodically, and management will always try to provide quality officiating at the facility. Constructive comments regarding officiating are welcome and encouraged. Please submit any such comments in writing via e-mail. Complaints regarding officials should be submitted in writing (via e-mail), contain points of fact (ref's name, if known, date, time, and field number), and have your name and the name of your team at the top. Teams may not discuss the officiating immediately following their game. The commissioner will take seriously all complaints written 24 hours after a game. The commissioner will not take seriously complaints directed at him immediately following a game, verbal or written. The commissioner will not overturn any calls made by the referee during the course of a game. If a team suspects an illegal player or other illegal activity associated with other team, they should inform the commissioner immediately. If this activity is discovered after the game is completed, the team should file a formal protest to the commissioner. Please read our rules below to understand how to file a formal protest Do not discuss officiating or the officials with the facility staff during or immediately after your game.

Red Card Policy:

Metuchen Sportsplex has a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY toward fighting. Anyone fighting will be ejected and they will be banned from the facility permanently. This means that the player cannot participate at or be on the property of the Sportsplex ever again.

A player or coach that is red carded during or after a game by a referee will automatically be suspended for a whole week through the next day of the session in which the player was red carded. For example, if a player is red carded on a Saturday, he or she will not be eligible to play until the Sunday of the following week. In addition, the player will be banned from playing on any other team until the suspension has been served. If a player is ejected in the last game of a session (he/she) will be prohibited from playing in the first game after he/she registers for another session.

  • A player or coach red carded for the offense of "foul and abusive language" will be suspended as outlined above.
  • A player red carded for the offense of "persistent infraction of the rules after receiving a caution (yellow card) or a third 2 minute time penalty" will be suspended as outlined above.
  • A player or coach red carded for the offense of "violent conduct" (including, but not limited to: spitting, threatening, continued rough play, etc.) will be suspended as outlined above and, in addition, will be suspended for one additional game and subject to further disciplinary action as decided by the facility management.
  • A player or coach red carded for "assaulting an official" will automatically be suspended from any further activities at the Metuchen Sportsplex.
  • Any player or coach who accumulates three cautions (yellow cards) during one session will be suspended as outlined above.
  • Should a coach of a team be unable to control a player's actions after a red card is issued, the coach will also be suspended as outlined above.
  • A player jumping from the player box onto the field to break up or participate in a fight will automatically be ejected from the game and will be subject to the same penalties as outlined above.

A $100 bond will be required from any team involved in an altercation where more than one player is involved in a fight. Should a bond be placed against a team, the bond must be paid prior to the team's next game, or that game will be forfeited. The terms of the bond will be given in writing to the team. Should the team fail to adhere to the terms, the bond will be forfeited to the arena and the team's participation will be terminated. If the team adheres to the terms of the bond, then the team will receive the $100 bond at the end of the session.

It is the responsibility of each player and the player's team representative to be aware of the total status of their player's infractions. Failure to comply may result in further disciplinary measures which may include suspension of the coach/rep. and forfeiture of games in which that player participated.

If a player receives a second red card in the same season, that player will be suspended for three (3) games.

Intention to file a protest must be noted in writing immediately following the game. A formal written protest must be submitted to SMG Sportsplex within 48 hours after the end of a game. A league committee will review and have the final authority on all protests. ALL DECISIONS MADE BY THE COMMITTEE ARE FINAL. Only violations of the laws of the game, rules or guidelines of the facility as published are matters for protest. Any protests regarding fielding of illegal players must be brought to the attention of the game officials prior to the start of the second half. Referee complaints must be submitted via e-mail.

Note: The Rules below are either substituted for, or supplemental to FIFA soccer rules. Any situations not covered below fall under the jurisdiction of FIFA.

Game Length:
Youth Game Length: 45 minute running clock, no halftime.

Warm-Up Area:
Metuchen Sportsplex does not guarantee any areas for teams to warm-up prior to their games. Teams will have approximately two minutes to warm-up prior to the start of the game. There is no guarantee that this two minutes will be available.

Levels of Competition:
The facility will offer the following divisional structure for youth teams:

  1. Champions League for travel teams only.
  2. Premier division for Inter-County level teams.
  3. Recreational League for rec level teams.

The Metuchen Sportsplex reserves the right to make the necessary changes within league divisions to ensure an equal level of ability and competition.

The following guidelines represents the parameters for Youth Competition. The age group you play in is determined by the oldest player on your team. Whatever age group your team played during the fall constitutes the age group you will play in the winter. The cutoff date is August 1st, 12am. Any player caught playing in a younger age group will forfeit all the teams' games in that age group. Metuchen Sportsplex management reserves the right to check player identifications (outdoor registration cards or birth certificates) at any time.

Players may only be on one roster in a given division and league. Players may participate in more than one division and league. A lower division team may not field any players from an upper division. Metuchen Sportsplex reserves the right to determine if a player is considered too advanced for a given division and remove the individual from the team roster. This is done in the spirit of maintaining parity in a given division.

Roster Size:
The maximum roster size will be 18 players. Teams play 10 v 10 for JV and Varsity, 8 v 8 for U10 divisions and below; all other divisions play 7 v 7. Combined divisions, such as U10-U11 will always play 8 v 8. There will be no guest players allowed. If a team has an injury or other "circumstances" whereby they lose a rostered player, that team may request that a new player be added to the roster. If a commissioner has not permitted this addition that player will be considered "illegal" and the game forfeited. Please note that up to 12 awards will be handed out to the winning teams. More awards may be purchased from the Sportsplex at an additional cost.

All youth teams must have an adult representative on their bench during all games. This adult must be at least 18 years of age or older. Any team caught violating this rule will automatically forfeit their game and be subject to banishment from the facility. No more than 20 people may be in the players box at any given time (18 players, a coach, and an assistant coach). 

Each first place team will receive up to 12 trophies. If teams want additional prizes or awards, they may purchase them from the Sportsplex.

The home team (the first team on the schedule) will defend the goal furthest from the scoreboard and will kickoff the first half. The visitors will defend the goal under the scoreboard and will kickoff the second half. A kickoff can go backwards. A goal can be scored directly on a kickoff.

Substitutions are free and unlimited as long as such substitutions do not interfere with the flow of the game. Furthermore, each and every substitution must wait until the player they are substituting for is off the field before they can enter. Teams that violate this rule will be given a warning for having too many players on the field by the referee. If a team has been warned but continues to ignore this rule then the referee will award a direct kick to the opposing team from the 30 foot mark. The referee has the right to award a yellow card if teams continue to ignore this rule.

Any team that continues to make illegal substitutions after the opposing team is awarded a free kick will be given a team yellow card.

Teams may substitute for the goal keeper during play. The referee should be notified of a change in goalkeeper. Play will stop for goalkeeper substitution at the referee's discretion. Penalty for failure to notify official of keeper substitution will result in a loss of possession.

Out of Bounds:
Throw-ins enforced when out of bounds (sidelines)
Throwing the ball straight into the goal is not a goal. A goal kick is awarded to the opposing team.
Balls leaving the field of play over the end line result in a goal kick or corner kick.

Free Kicks

  • On all free kicks, the defensive team must remain ten feet from the ball until the ball is kicked. After the ball has been placed, the defensive team must retreat (within three seconds) ten feet from the ball. Repeated failure to do so or failure to do so after the initial request by the kicker or official is encroachment and the referee may award that player a blue card or yellow card for more egregious offenses.
  • Only one whistle will be sounded for free kicks. Failure to take such kick within five seconds results in a turnover of possession where the opposing team will take the free kick from the same spot.
  • All free kicks are direct
  • Slide Tackling: Slide Tackling is not allowed.

Center Line Rule
The center line rule is in effect whenever the keeper is in possession of the ball with his hands. Prior to crossing the center line, the distributed ball must first touch the floor outside of the box, a side wall, a teammate, or an opposing player. The center line rule will apply to drop-kicks as well throws by the keeper. If the ball crosses the center line without touching one of the above, a violation results in a direct free kick from the center line. If the keeper dribbles the ball outside of the box, the center line rule no longer applies.

Yellow and Red Cards

  • Please refer to the above general rules for yellow and red card violations.
  • Any player that receives a yellow card will be sent off for a two minute penalty. The team of that carded player shall play a person down for the duration of those two minutes. Any team that receives a team yellow card, the manager shall pull one player off the field to serve the mandatory two minute penalty. The referee shall keep track of the two minute penalty and inform the penalized team when the penalty is completed, at which time the team shall play at full strength.
  • Any player that receives a red card shall be sent completely off the playing area and shall not return. The team with the offending player shall play the rest of the game with a player down. If a team receives a red card, the manager shall pull one player off the field and the team shall play the rest of the game with a player down.
  • All cards given by referees are final, and are not subject to protest.

Penalty Kicks
Penalty Kicks shall be taken from the penalty area near the top the keeper box. The keeper must stand with heels on the goal line until the kick is taken. When the whistle is blown, the kicker has 5 seconds to make his/her direct kick. If a player does not kick the ball within 5 seconds then the penalty kick will be taken away and the defense will obtain possession of the ball. The Player taking the Penalty Kick may take as many steps as desired.


After gaining possession of a ball, the goalkeeper must release it within five seconds. The goalkeeper may not pick up a ball that has been intentionally passed to him by a teammate off of that teammate's foot. Any goalkeeper infraction results in a free kick (direct) awarded to the opponents at the 30' mark. If there is obstruction or inadvertent charging committed against the goalkeeper, the referee will award a free kick. Violent or serious foul play against the goalkeeper may result in a yellow or red card.


Teams will receive 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 points for a loss. League champion will be determined by the team with the most points. Any tie breakers shall be determined in the following order:

The winner of any head to head league play
Least Goals Allowed
Most Goals scored

If teams are still tied after the above tie-breakers have been calculated, the Sportsplex will award co-champions.

If the championship game results in a tie, the champion is determined by the winner of regular season play.

FIFA Rules
The Metuchen Sportsplex will follow FIFA rules for all situations not otherwise covered in these rules.

Please read the SMG waiver of liability.

Contact Information:
Please contact the Metuchen Sportsplex at [email protected] or 848-248-4684