Rule changes noted by year. Players are responsible for knowing each rule.
Please report misapplication of the rules to the League immediately so we can make it right.
Talk to the Commish for rule clarifications or suggestions.
Indy City Futbol is a recreational soccer League whose rules are geared toward creating fun - and safe - neighborhood soccer! Rule #1: Don’t be a jerk.
Many of the rules below outline the things NOT to do in the League, but let’s start with the picture of success:
What makes an ideal City Futbol Player?
An exemplary ICF player will play City Futbol’s version of the world’s game with:
- Enthusiasm for friendly competition against their neighbors.
- An attitude of teaching new players the tips, tricks, and love for the game.
- A welcoming attitude for neighbors from all backgrounds, orientations, religions, and experiences.
- A willingness to stand up to bullies and jerks…or at least to alert the League when necessary.
- An eagerness for participating in League initiatives: volunteerism, transit use, social engagement, League and partner activities.
- Participation in making Indy City Futbol better for everyone by volunteering for Game Day shifts, League Office/writing/designing/filmmaking/or other volunteer roles.
- A positive, hyped up evangelization about the League and our goals to make Indy a better place!
Want to know more about the work behind the scenes to make this League happen?
Table of Contents
- Game Rules
- COVID-19 Mitigation
- Promotion + Relegation
All games are scheduled for Thursdays at 6:30 and 7:30pm at Kuntz Soccer Stadium
a. ALL FIFA RULES APPLY, WITH THESE EXCEPTIONS:
- Games will consist of two equal halves of 26 minutes with a 2-minute intermission. [2021: added 2 minutes per half].
- Teams should be at the field 15 minutes prior to the start of their game.
- Teams forfeit games if they do not have 6 players by 10 minutes into game time.
- Games canceled due to excessive rain or severe weather may not be made up; decisions to cancel games are no longer at the sole discretion of the League but instead by the facility manager. The League will notify captains of any decision by 5:15 pm before kick-offs. Refunds are not given for canceled games .
- Games are 8 on 8. Each team will field a team of 7 players and 1 goalkeeper (clearly delineated with a different-colored shirt).
- Only managers are allowed to speak to referees during game play. 
- Goalkeepers are not permitted to punt or drop kick the ball.
- Goalkeepers may only throw, roll, or pass the ball from the ground. 
- A field player can not challenge the goalie once he has obtained possession of the ball or played the ball.
- On goal kicks, the other team's players must retreat behind midfield. If a player is caught on the offensive side of midfield, the goalkeeper does not need to take the goal kick until the player retreats . Once the ball is touched, normal play resumes. If the team with the goal kick wants to kick the ball before the other team reaches midfield, they may, however this allows the opposing team to challenge without retreating behind midfield.
- Field size is reduced from the standard recommended dimensions to 110ft by 220ft (approximately 36 yd x 73 yd)
- Size of the goals are reduced from standard size to 6.5' x 18'.
- Penalty kicks will be taken 10 yards from the goal.
- There will only be direct kicks.
- Unlimited substitutions can be made at will during stoppages. Substitutions will be made from midfield, and can be made “hockey-style” during play, so long as it does not give that team an advantage or interfere with play.
- Off-sides penalty is not enforced except in egregious situations. See the cherry-picking rules.
- Players are expected to be courteous, appreciate the recreational nature of the game and officiate themselves to the best of their ability.
- ‘You kick it you get it.’ The player that kicks the ball past a goal line is responsible for its retrieval.
- Game officials will address both teams before the first week’s match to go over the League rules and to ensure that all players are officially on the roster. A pre-match handshake will happen before each match. After the first week, the pre-match meeting will only have to be with the managers, but the handshake should happen each week.
- Cleats and shin guards are encouraged but not mandatory.
- While close instances of offsides are not called, players who are consistently and/or significantly behind the defense will be called for cherry-picking. If the team gains an advantage on the play, it is considered cherry-picking .
- Slide tackling is not permitted. Players must remain on their feet when challenging for a ball. Players are not allowed to play the ball if they are on the ground and playing the ball would endanger other players .
- An individual who receives a yellow card is required to have a conversation with the Commissioner and/or Vice Commissioner before returning to play .
- Two yellow cards = an automatic red card. Individuals receiving a red card will not be allowed to play the next game and the team will play one same-sexed player down (i.e. if a female is ejected, the team will play a female down...or vice versa) for the remainder of the current game.
- Two red cards will be cause for automatic ejection from the League.
- Most importantly: HAVE FUN!
- Games are 8 vs 8. Each team will field a team of 7 players and 1 goalkeeper (clearly delineated with a different-colored shirt).
- A team must have at least 6 players by 10 minutes after game time to avoid a forfeit. In the case of a forfeit, teams can still play a friendly, but for the purpose of official records it will be recorded as a loss.
- Each team must have at least 2 members of the opposite sex on the field during play. If a team only has 1 member of the opposite sex then they can only field 7 players (6 of one sex and 1 of the minority sex). If a team has no members of the opposite sex, it is a forfeit.
- Each team must have at least 12 registered players and up to 20. The League has the authority to allow for special circumstances regarding team make-up and partial registrations .
- No player is permitted to play unless they have signed the Hold Harmless Waiver, the Don’t Be a Jerk Waiver, submitted their COVID-19 vaccination card, and paid the registration fee fully. Discovery of an unregistered player will result in the forfeiture of the game and red card for the team manager.
- Keeping with the intent of the community organizing origins of the League, each team is allowed only 8 non-neighborhood residents on their roster. The League may make exceptions in extenuating circumstances.
- All teams have a team manager; if that manager does not live in the neighborhood for their team, their goal is to recruit one who is for the following year. These individuals will be responsible for ensuring team compliance of all League rules, and are the only players eligible to resolve team conflicts with the refs and with the League. Managers will also be responsible for submitting game reports .
- Rolling registrations close after Week 9. Prior to Week 9, managers must mutually agree to team rosters prior to the beginning of the match.
- Unrostered Subs
- In order to meet player requirements for a game to be played, registered players from other teams may fill in to achieve a full on-field team.
- The manager from the opposing team, or from both teams if both teams are using fill-ins, must agree to allow any unrostered subs prior to kickoff.
- Un-rostered subs may only be used to reach the 8 player mark or the minimum sex requirement.
- Un-rostered subs shall not be used for additional subs (i.e. no ringers)
- Un-rostered subs will not be allowed after Week 9. After Week 9, if the minimum 6 player and 1 of each sex requirement cannot be met, the team(s) will forfeit the game.
- Guests and players must observe all Indy Parks rules.
- Guests must also observe all Indy City Futbol rules, including the League’s COVID19 mitigation processes.
- The player and team any guest is visiting is fully responsible for that fan’s behavior, which can result in the same discipline for the team as on-field (cards, penalties, ejections, etc.) by either the ref or League Officials.
- Furry guests are allowed inside Kuntz Soccer Stadium as long as they are leashed and with a human at all times.
- As part of our ethos of caring for your neighbors, every Indy City Futbol player will do their part to reduce their risk of CV19. If we’re going to play soccer together, we sure as hell are going to be the safest League in town to do so.
- Since the easiest way to protect your neighbors is to get vaccinated, CV19 vaccinations are required to play in ICF, or to visit the stadium as a guest.
- The League may implement additional precautions in response to changing conditions in Indiana, as advised by our team of epidemiologists, researchers, and doctors.
- Players and guests this year will check in with the Indy Eleven app, and names/vaccination status will be checked against the League’s internal database.
- Violation of COVID19 mitigation steps is cause for an immediate red card and/or ejection from the stadium and from the League.
- Harassing volunteers for implementing these rules procedures is also cause for an immediate red card and/or ejection from the stadium and from the League.
DON’T BE A JERK.
- This is a recreational experience meant for enjoyment, and for making your city a better place.
- Jerks will not be tolerated, and will be ruthlessly curated out of this invitation-only League.
- Here are some things that make you a jerk:
- Endangering teammates, referees, volunteers, and League officials by:
- Bringing weapons of any kind to League games or functions.
- Overly physical play.
- Aggressive behavior, including:
- Continuous or excessively physical play, including:
- excessive use of hands on another player
- any other unnecessary physical contact
- using unnecessary speed or force .
- Cursing AT teammates (you’re gonna have a hard time here if you can’t tell the difference between cursing and cursing AT someone), referees, volunteers, League officials, fans, etc.
- Harassment of referees, League officials, volunteers, anyone within a 5 mile radius of Kuntz Stadium, etc.
- Arguing about rules w/the guy who wrote the rules. Or the refs. Or complaining about yellow-cards. We’ll do our best to set wrongs right. That’s easier to do when people aren’t yelling.
- Escalating tensions, or starting fights.
- Excessive celebration—especially when your team is up by multiple goals.
- Inappropriate social media behavior.
- Endangering neighbors by violating the League, city, or county CV19 mitigation plans.
- Making games less fun by:
- Any or all of the above.
- Kicking a ball out of bounds without retrieving it.
- Intentionally time-wasting.
- Directing chatter at other players, League officials, or referees.
- AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR
- A player will be prohibited from future play for Aggressive physical play may include: If a player could potentially hurt someone during play, he or she should let up to prevent physical contact/injury. Repeated endangerment of other players is considered aggressive behavior 
- Kicks must not be above the waist when other players are present. 
- Serious trash talking, taunting, and or cursing at referees, League office, or volunteers is not tolerated and will result in a player’s immediate removal from the game .
- Need a rule of thumb?
- Ask yourself: am I making this experience better or worse for the players, refs, League Officials, and/or neighbors around me?
Is something wrong?
Tell your manager.
If you don’t want to get your manager involved, check yourself out of the game and come tell us so we can make it right.
Do not escalate or tweet a problem if you haven’t yet bothered letting us know directly.
ARBITRATION (APPEALS PROCESS)
- In the case of an appeal of an on or off-field judgment, a player has 48 hours from the incident to request arbitration.
- The League will respond and begin the arbitration process within 48 hours of the request.
- A player may trigger Arbitration when:
- Any League decision is made and that player wants to appeal.
- Any card has been given and a League official or other player requests additional penalty.
- The process:
- Statements (written, audio, whatever) will be submitted from each of the following:
- The offending player
- The player’s team manager
- The manager of the opposing team (if applicable)
- Any opposing player or witness who is party to the offense (if applicable)
- The referee of record (if applicable)
- These statements are presented to an arbitration committee consisting of:
- The player’s team manager
- The manager of the opposing team (if applicable)
- An designated - and unaffiliated - League official
- The Vice Commissioner in the city of the offense.
- The arbitration committee will vote to either retain, extend or entirely overturn the penalty. They can choose to attach a statement to their vote. The player may appeal to the City Futbol Commissioner, who may elevate or reduce penalties at will.
- Teams will receive 3 points for a victory, 1 point for a tie, 0 for a loss. There are no overtime periods or shootouts for regular season games . At the conclusion of each game the game official will note the game result and the score and relay this to the League.
- Teams may earn additional points by using responsible transport (carpooling, bikes, public transit, etc.), by volunteering during team volunteer events, attending official after parties, ICF challenges, and various other activities. Official volunteer opportunities will be publicly posted by the League and participation reported by team managers. Managers may request their neighborhood's volunteer events qualify as official opportunities to earn additional points. Players earn 2x volunteer points for official events.
- 2021: 1 ICF point = .00317 soccer points
- 2021: Teams will be capped at 3 soccer points for each category (Volunteer, Transit, Social) for a maximum of 9 ICF soccer points.
- Individuals report their mode of transit to their manager, who reports for the team.
- Any additional engagement points MUST be reported by noon the Thursday after they were earned. No exceptions. Managers should submit these points to the League.
- The list of ways to earn points is here; this is a living document, so if you have ideas let us know!
PROMOTION + RELEGATION
- League Play
- There will be two leagues based on the League 1 and League 2 playoffs from Season 8. The teams that played in the League 1 playoff in season 8 will play in League 1 for season 9 and the teams that played in the League 2 playoff in season 8 will play in League 2 for season 9.
- League 1
- League 1 will consist of 11 regular season games in which a team will play all other teams in League 1, once. At the end of the regular seasons the bottom 3 teams in League 1 will be relegated to League 2. The 3 relegated teams will be one of the top 3 seeds in the league 2 playoffs and will be in League 2 for season 10.
- League 2
- League 2 will consist of 11 regular season games in which a team will play all other teams in League 2, once. At the end of the regular seasons the Top 3 teams in League 2 will be promoted to League 1. The 3 promoted teams will be one of the bottom 3 seeds in the league 1 playoffs and will be in League 1 for season 10.
- The regular season standings used to calculate which teams are promoted and relegated will be based on soccer points: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 points for a loss.
- In the event of a regular season tie, the tie breakers are:
- Head to head
- Goal differential (Goals for - goals against)
- ICF points
- Managers arm wrestle
- Playoff Seeding
- Once the regular season is over and teams have been promoted and relegated we will begin playoff seeding. Playoff seeding will be based off of total points: Soccer points + ICF points.
- Teams in League 1 playoffs that were not promoted from League 2 will be the top 9 seeds in the League 1 playoffs. Seeding is based on total points The team with the highest total points will be the #1 seed, the team with the 2nd highest total points will be the #2 seed, and so on until all 9 teams are seeded 1 - 9. The 3 teams that were promoted from league 2 will be sorted amongst themselves by total points and will be the bottom 3 seeds in the League 1 playoffs.
- Teams in League 2 playoffs that were not relegated from League 1 will be the bottom 9 seeds in the League 2 playoffs. Seeding is based on total points. The team with the highest total points will be the #4 seed, the team with the 2nd highest total points will be the #5 seed, and so on until all 9 teams are seeded 4 - 12. The 3 teams that were relegated from league 1 will be sorted amongst themselves based on total points and will be the top 3 seeds in the League 2 playoffs.
- Playoff Structure
- Once seeded the top 4 teams will get a bye in the first round of their league’s playoffs.
First Round Matchups:
- Game 1: #5 vs #12
- Game 2: #6 vs #11
- Game 3: #7 vs #10
- Game 4: #8 vs #9
- Game 5: #4 vs Winner of Game 1
- Game 6: #3 vs Winner of Game 2
- Game 7: #2 vs Winner of Game 3
- Game 8: #1 vs Winner of Game 4
- Game 9: Winner of Game 5 vs Winner of Game 8
- Game 10: Winner of Game 6 vs Winner of Game 7
- Winner of Game 9 vs Winner of Game 10