Playing Rules

Updated April 1, 2024
General Rules

Florida State University does not provide accident insurance coverage for injuries received by Intramural Sports participants. Each participant should make sure that they have coverage either through family policies or the student insurance plan.

Florida State University PROHIBITS possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on University property. Smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco is also prohibited at Campus Recreation facilities. This includes the Rec SportsPlex, Main Campus Fields, Westside Courts, and Tully Gym. Violators will be asked to leave the area. Failure to do so can result in forfeiture of the contest, suspension of individuals and/or teams, and appropriate action by the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards and/or the FSU Police.

Sport Rules

FSU IM Sports follows the rules established by National Federation (High School) Soccer Rules except for the following modifications.​


1. Participation is limited to currently-enrolled, fee-paying FSU students, faculty members, and full-time staff. FAMU & TCC students and members of the community are not eligible.

2. In order to participate in an intramural contest, each player must present their current, valid FSUCard. Check-in takes place at designated sign-in locations at the facility, not at the fields or courtside.

3. Additional information regarding player eligibility, team rosters, and participant check-in is available in the Seven Principles of Intramural Sports, available online at the FSU Intramural Sports web site and in the Intramural Sports Office at the Main Campus Fields (1001 W. St. Augustine Street). Requests for exceptions to any policy must be directed to the IM administrative staff during regular weekday business hours in the Intramural Sports Office. No exceptions are granted at the fields or courts.


1. Matches are 4-on-4. Team rosters are unlimited. Games will not be played with a goalkeeper.

2. A team must have three (3) players to begin a game. Two players constitute a default. One or less players signed-in at game time will result in a forfeit.

3. Substitutions are free and unlimited during game play.

A. Substitutions may not be made on the “on the fly.” A player may only be substituted during a dead ball situation. If a player leaves the bench early OR the player coming off the court participates in play, a Yellow Card will be assessed and an indirect free kick from the half field line will be administered.

B. A player who receives a Red Card must leave the playing area and may not be replaced by a substitute. This means that this player’s team will have one less player on the court for the remained of the game.

C. During an injury, both teams may substitute openly. A player that is bleeding must be substituted from the game.


1. The Intramural Sports staff will provide the balls for the game and warmups (10 minutes before game time).

2. All players on a team should wear similar colored shirts or jerseys. Pinnies will be provided if needed.

3. All players must wear shoes; tennis shoes and soft-soled, or one-piece soccer shoes.

4. Players are strongly encouraged to wear shin guards, however, they are not required.

5. Players are not allowed to wear caps or bandanas.

6. Visible jewelry of any kind (earrings, studs, etc) is strictly prohibited and may not be worn during the game. Taping of jewelry is not permitted. Jewelry must be removed or the player will not be permitted to play. Casts or any items deemed dangerous by the referee may not be worn during the game. A player is subject to ejection for failure to comply after first warning.


1. Match time is forfeit time. If the forfeiting team wishes to remain in the league, the team captain must contact the Intramural Sports Office by 12 Noon on the next business day to present their case.

2. A match will be divided into two (2) periods of fifteen (15) minutes each. Time runs continuously unless there is an injury or unexpected interruptions. At the conclusion of each half, the teams reverse ends. There shall be three (3) minutes between halves. There are no time outs. Time shall be extended to allow a penalty kick to be taken. Match time will be kept on the court by a referee.

3. 5-at-5 Mercy Rule: If a team is ahead by five or more goals with five minutes or less remaining in the second half, the match will end.

4. Regular season matches that are tied at the end of regulation time will remain tied. No overtime is played during the regular season. Playoff matches that are tied at the end of regulation time will proceed into overtime and, if needed, a shootout to determine a winner. The overtime and shootout procedures are outlined below.


1. All futsal games will be played on an indoor court and indoor style soccer goals being used in play.

2. No player may shoot the ball within the goal box. However, any player may move through the goal box with or without the ball. Any part of the ball or player’s body on the line is considered in the goal box for the purposes of this rule. Once a player has entered the goal box (such as when legally moving through the box), that player must establish themselves outside the goal box (both feet outside the box) prior to shooting the ball. The ball must also be entirely outside of the goal box before the shot is taken. Deflections by the attacking team within the goal box will not count as a goal.

3. No player on either offense or defense may touch the ball in the goal box. If a player on offense touches the ball inside of the goal box, a goal kick for the opposing team will be awarded. If a player on defense touches the ball inside of the goal box, a penalty kick for the opposing team will be awarded.


1. Substitutions may be made after a goal, a foul or stoppage of play.

A single referee will be utilized.


1. A coin toss before the beginning of the game will determine which team kicks off and which has the choice of ends. The team not receiving the ball first will have possession to begin the second half.

2. On the referee’s signal, the game shall start or resume following a goal with a kick from the center of the court.

3. All players shall be within their half of the court. Opponents of the kicking team must be at least 5 yards from the ball until it is kicked. A teammate of the kicker may be anywhere within their half of the court.


1. A goal is scored when the whole of a legally propelled ball has passed over the goal line, between the goal posts and under the crossbar. If the Official’s whistle sounds before the ball passes fully into the goal, the goal shall not be allowed.

A. A goal may be scored only from the attacking half.

B. A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick.

C. A goal MAY be scored from a kickoff

D. A goal may be scored with the head in the goal box, but only directly off corner kicks.

2. The ball is out of play when:
(a) It has completely crossed the goal or side line whether on the ground or in the air.
(b) The official sounds their whistle.

3. There will be no whistle to restart play except:
(a) When a team asks the official for 5 yards.
(b) When the ball goes hits the basketball hoops, ceiling, lights, air ducts, etc.
(c) When play has been stopped to caution or eject a player.
(d) For a penalty kick.
(e) When a goal is scored.

3. Goal Kick

A. For a goal kick, the ball shall be placed anywhere on the endline outside the goal box area.

B. Defenders must be positioned outside of the goal box.

C. The ball is in play as soon as it is touched by the kicker.

D. The player taking the goal kick cannot retouch the ball until another player has touched it.

4. A corner kick is awarded when the ball crosses the goal line, either on the ground or in the air, and was last touched by a defensive player.

A. The ball must be placed on the ground within 1 yard of the corner flag or cone. Corner flags or cones cannot be moved to take a corner kick.

B. The opposing team must be 5 yards away at the time the ball is kicked.

C. The kicker cannot retouch the ball until it is touched by another player (either team).

D. A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick.

5. Any ball striking a referee, goal post, or corner post and remaining on the court is in play. After the ball has wholly crossed the sideline or goal line, or whenever the game has been stopped by the referee, the ball is out of play.

6. When restarting the game after a temporary suspension of play (i.e. injury), except on a free kick or kick-in, the team that was clearly in possession of the ball at the time of the suspension shall be awarded an indirect free kick from the spot the ball was at the time of the suspension.

A. If neither team was in clear possession of the ball, the referee shall drop the ball at the place where it was when play was suspended, and the ball is in play when it touches the ground.

7. All sideline restarts will be a kick-in.

A. If an opponent interferes with or in any way impedes the actions of the kicker while the kick-in is being taken, the official will administer a Yellow Card for Poor Sporting Behavior.

B. A goal CANNOT be scored directly from a kick-in. It must touch a member of either team before crossing the goal line to be counted as a goal.


There is NO offsides in intramural futsal.


1. There is NO SLIDING OR SLIDE TACKLING in IM futsal. This rule applies to all players anywhere on the court.

(Definition) A slide occurs when a player leaves their feet and leads with their feet to play the ball anywhere on the field and contact is NOT made with an opponent.

(Definition) A slide tackle occurs when a player leaves their feet to play the ball anywhere on the court and contact is made with an opponent or on the ball near an opponent in possession.

2. If a slide tackle is given to the attacking team in their attacking half, the result of that will be a penalty and a Yellow Card will be assessed.

3. If a slide tackle is given to the attacking team, but in their defensive half, the result of that will still be a penalty kick, and a Yellow Card will be assessed.

4. At any time, if the slide tackle is deemed malicious (playing the player and not the ball and/or from behind), a red card will be issued to the offending player and a direct free kick will be awarded to the offended team. A red card is deemed an ejection and further disciplinary action may be taken. Additionally, malicious play may negatively affect a team’s sporting behavior rating.

5. The first offense for a slide tackle will result in a Yellow card for the offending player. Additionally, a penalty kick or indirect kick, depending on the area of court, is awarded to the offended team. The offending player must sit out until a goal is scored by the offended team, but is not dismissed from the match.

6. The second and subsequent offenses for any slide tackle will result in a red card for the offending player. Additionally, a penalty kick is awarded to the offended team. The offending player is immediately dismissed for the remainder of the match.

7. The offense for any slide will result in a yellow card for the offending player. Additionally, an indirect free kick will be awarded to the offended team.

8. A dismissal for a slide or slide tackle is deemed an ejection and further disciplinary action may be taken. A player’s dismissal due to a red card may negatively affect the team’s sporting behavior rating.


The word “kicks” in the text below refers only to circumstances where a player plays the ball with the foot or feet. Similarly, a deflection with the foot or feet is permitted in circumstances where it is not intentional (involuntary deflection or miskick from a teammate).

A player who commits any of the following offenses shall be penalized by the award of an indirect free kick or direct free kick (as noted) to be taken by the opposing team from the spot where the infraction occurred:

1. Dangerous play – In the opinion of the official, all high kicks above the waist or any attempt to make a play on the ball while kneeling or laying on the ground in a dangerous manner shall be prohibited.

2. Charging a player not in possession of the ball – A player shall not intentionally charge an opponent unfairly.

3. Obstruction – Obstruction is the intentional act by a player, not in possession of the ball or not attempting to play the ball, of running between an opponent and the ball or using the body as an obstacle.

4. Delay of game – No player or team shall unnecessarily delay the playing of the game.

5. Kicking or striking an opponent – A player shall not intentionally attempt to kick or strike an opponent.

6. Jumping at or tripping an opponent – A player shall not intentionally jump at nor intentionally trip an opponent.

7. Charging a player in possession of the ball – A player shall not intentionally charge an opponent unfairly. Offenses include violently and/or dangerously charging a player or charging from behind.

8. Holding, pushing, or impeding an opponent – A player shall not use their hands or arms to hold, push, or impede an opponent.

9. Hand ball (Handling) – A player shall be penalized for intentionally handling, carrying, striking, or propelling the ball with a hand or arm. Unintentional handling occurs when the ball strikes the hands or arms of a player who has not moved the hands or arms to play the ball; this unintentional handling shall not be penalized.

10. Open court sliding – Regardless of the positioning of teammates or opponents, sliding by any player at any point during the match is strictly prohibited. This restriction includes, but is not limited to, sliding to save a goal or to save the ball from going out of bounds.

In addition to the above penalties, a referee may issue a yellow (caution) or red (ejection) card for the following offenses:

(Yellow) Improper substation or interference with play during a substitution.

(Yellow) Poor Sporting Behavior.

(Yellow) Sliding.

(Yellow) Persistent infringement of the rules of the game.

(Yellow) Showing dissent (disagreement) toward a referee’s call, including objecting by word of mouth or action.

(Yellow) Slide tackling, first offense (non-malicious).

(Red) Slide tackling, first offense (if malicious).

(Red) Slide tackling, second offense by same player (any type).

(Red) Slide tackling, second and subsequent offenses by same team (any type).

(Red) Excessive foul or abusive language.

(Red) Persistent misconduct after receiving a caution.

(Red) Violent or serious foul play.

(Red) Intentionally impeding an opponent through unlawful means during an obvious goal-scoring opportunity – If a player who is moving toward his opponents’ goal with an obvious opportunity to score a goal is intentionally impeded by an opponent through unlawful means (an offense punishable by a free kick or penalty kick), thus denying the attacking player’s team the goal-scoring opportunity, the offending player shall be sent off the field for serious foul play.

A team caution, a disciplinary action facing an entire team as a result of a violation by a player of that team, may be assessed by the referee in the following instances: encroachment on free kicks, intentional hand balls by the defense, and unnecessary delay. Once a team caution has been issued, if any player from that team commits the same foul, that player will be ejected.

(Yellow) A player receiving a yellow card must sit out for 3 minutes and the team must replace a player during that time.

(Yellow) A yellow card results in a penalty kick if the slide tackle occurred on the attacking or defending team’s attacking half.

(Yellow) The offending player/position must sit out until a goal is scored by the offended team or the three minutes are up.

(Yellow) Following the first issuance of a yellow card to a team, any subsequent fouls by that team that warrant a second yellow card will become red cards and result in player ejection.

(Red) A red card results in the ejection of the offending player from the match. The ejected player may not return for the remainder of the match and must leave the facility. The ejected player may be replaced by a substitute, if available. Ejected participants are immediately suspended from all IM play and must complete the reinstatement procedure to participate in future contests.


1. All dead ball kicks (kick-ins, free kicks, kick-offs) are indirect with the exception of corner kicks and penalty kicks.

2. An indirect free kick is a free kick from which a goal may not be scored unless the ball is touched by another player from either team.

3. The free kick may be taken by any player of the offended team on the court of play at the time of the offense.

4. When a free kick is awarded, all opposing players must be at least five (5) yards away from the spot where the free kick is to be taken.

5. The ball must be stationary when a free kick is taken. The kicker shall not play the ball again until it has been touched by another player (either team). The ball may be kicked in any direction.


1. A penalty kick is awarded after a serious or intentional rule infraction takes place in the penalty area by the defensive team. A penalty kick can be awarded regardless of the position of the ball, if the infraction by the defending team is committed in the penalty area. It is not awarded for infractions that call for an indirect free kick.

2. The penalty kick shall be taken at a designated spot (midfield).

3. The penalty kick may be taken by any player of the offended team on the field of play at the time of the offense.

4. All penalties must be one-step penalties. The player may only take one step before shooting the ball.

5. All players must remain behind the half-court line, until the ball is kicked

6. If a goal is not scored, the play is deemed dead, and the restart will be a goal kick or goal scored.


1. Overtime will consist of ONE 3-minute “golden goal” period. The first team to score a goal will win the game. The choice of ends and the kickoff will be decided by a coin toss.

2. If the game remains tied at the end of the overtime period, the game will proceed into a 4-person shootout.

3. A coin toss will occur to determine which team shall kick first in the shootout. The winner of the coin toss shall have the option of shooting first or last.

4. Each team captain shall designate three (3) players to shoot for their team. The designated players must have been on the court of play (in the game) at the end of the overtime period.

5. Each team has a total of four (4) shots. Teams will alternate after each shot. Each shot shall follow the procedure for a penalty kick as outlined above.

6. If the score remains tied following the first four (4) shots by each team, a sudden victory shootout will occur in which the game is won if, after ANY equal number of shots, the tie is broken. The kicking order and players involved is restricted to players on the court at the end of the overtime period.

7. In the event that a team is playing a person-down due to ejection or injury and is not permitted by rule to replace the player or, if permitted, has no available eligible


1. The mission of Intramural Sports is to provide a recreational environment for the University community which is safe and enjoyable. While the game atmosphere is often competitive, ensuring participant safety, providing a fun, social atmosphere, and promoting sporting behavior among participants, spectators, and team followers are our primary concerns. The game atmosphere should remain good-natured at all times. Participants shall maintain good sporting behavior throughout their participation in all facets of the intramural program.

2. The Sporting Behavior Rating System is intended to be an objective scale by which teams’ attitude and behavior can be assessed throughout the intramural sports league and playoff seasons. Behavior before, during, and after an intramural sports contest is included in the rating. The team captain is responsible for educating and informing all players and spectators affiliated with their team about the system.

3. A team is responsible for the actions of the individual team members and spectators related to it. Additionally, FSU Intramural Sports does not recognize the use of coaches. Only the team captain shall speak to the officials regarding administrative matters (protests, ejections, disqualifications, etc). Furthermore, the team captain’s efforts in assisting officials/staff to calm difficult situations and to restrain troubled teammates are key to controlling team conduct.

4. Sporting behavior is vital to the conduct of every Intramural contest. In order to encourage proper conduct during games, officials, administrative personnel, and supervisors shall make decisions on whether to warn, penalize or eject players or teams for poor behavior. These decisions are final. The Intramural Sports administrative staff will rule on further penalties as a result of unsporting conduct.

5. Each participant should choose his or her team members carefully, as all team members will suffer the consequences of any disciplinary action taken by the Intramural Sports staff against that team for violation of the intramural rules and sporting behavior guidelines. Protests or appeals of sporting behavior ratings will not be recognized. The Intramural Sports administrative staff reserves the right to review any rating given to a team.

6. Additional information regarding team and participant sporting behavior including the rating method, factors, and scale is available in the Sporting Behavior Principle of the Seven Principles of Intramural Sports, available online at the FSU Campus Recreation web site.