NVSL Indoor Rules 2019

2019 Northern Valley Soccer League
Indoor Soccer Rules

The following are the rules of NVSL Indoor Soccer.  The rules are based on the PVISL (Pascack Valley Indoor Soccer League) rules as found on the website www.PVISL.com.



  1. Two goals (12 ft. Wide by 7 ft. High) each equipped with a net.
  2. One Voit size 4 indoor (fuzzy yellow) soccer ball which is used for all divisions.
  3. Penalty area is marked at NVOT is the gray box, NOT THE MAROON
  4. Mats and/or tables are to be used to fill in gaps along bleachers.



  1. Each town must enter teams in Divisions 78 (7th/8th grade), 56 (5th/6th grade), and 34 (3rd/4th grade) which are coed.  There is also a Division 12 (1st/2nd grade) for friendly games only [new 2018]
  2. All players must be insured and registered through their respective recreation programs.
  3. Teams’ roster sizes are unlimited, but rosters are suggested at double the number players playing on the court at one time.
  4. Player can NOT play for another team in its same division, with the exception that a team is so shorthanded that the game could be cancelled.
  5. Players can play up an age group an unlimited number of times.
  6. Any players on PVISL rosters can be rostered on NVSL teams [new 2019]
  7. Rosters must be submitted to the league.  The league will make random checks throughout the season using these rosters.  The rosters will also be used for the playoffs. [new 2019]



  1. Coaches, assistant coaches, town representatives, and assistant town representatives are responsible for the proper behavior of their own coaches, their own players, and spectators before, during and after the game.  Coaches and assistant coaches can be punished by a yellow or red card or the town can be suspended from play for failing to carry out this rule.  Coaches who receive yellow cards are required to appear in front of the NVSL Board of Directors.



  1. The referees during the regular season will be our own coaches, parents, or local children from the high schools.  If a problem needs to be addressed, coaches should address it in private with the referee at halftime or at the end of the game.  Yelling at a referee will not be tolerated in this league and can lead to suspension.
  2. Reminder that a call made by the referee, right or wrong, is the only and final call on the court and can not be changed.



  1. First aid kits per team are mandatory.
  2. All players shall wear shin guards and flat shoes. Kneepads and sweatpants are acceptable.
  3. Hard casts are not permitted, even with covering
  4. Earrings are not permitted.  Earrings must be removed



  • Division 78 (7th and 8th Grade)                               5 plus a goalie
  • Division 56 (5th and 6th Grade)                               5 plus a goalie
  • Division 34 (3rd and 4th Grade)                               6 plus a goalie
  • Division 12 (1st and 2nd Grade)                               6 plus a goalie


  1. Whenever possible, play should not be interrupted. The ball bouncing off walls at the sides and ends are in play.
  2. Each gymnasium will have its own special "ground rules" pertaining to what is "out". These must be explained to the referee and visiting coaches prior to the start of the game.
    • A ball striking a spectator is considered "out" only if
  3. in the opinion of the referee, the spectator purposely re-directed the ball
  4. in the opinion of the referee, too much time has elapsed.  For example, opposing players stand waiting for the ball to reenter
  5. Free kicks
    • When a ball goes ‘out’ over a sideline, the opposing team is awarded a kick-in, (not a throw-in).
    • All outdoor rules pertaining to fouls, unsportsmanlike conduct apply. Infractions result in a free kick.
    • Sliding either to defend or finishing an offensive play is a free kick for the opposition
    • Striking the ceiling results in a free-kick, below the point where the ball struck the ceiling.
    • All free kicks are "Indoor INDIRECT".
    • Opposing players must be 10 feet away from the ball on a free-kick, a kick in, and a kick off.
    • A referee whistle will signify a restart
    • The ball must travel at least the distance equal to the width of the ball before another attacking player may play the ball. An infraction of this rule will result in the awarding of a free kick to the opposition at the same point.
    • To score from kick-off /free-kick/corner kick, the ball must touched by two different attacking players.
    • Fouls, deliberate ‘hands’, sliding, etc. by a defending player inside his own penalty area results in a penalty kick. Outdoor penalty kick rules apply. 
    • An attacking player cannot score from his own half of the gymnasium, unless the ball is touched by another attacking player in the defenders half of the gymnasium.
  6. Free-kick from centerline
    • If the goalie’s throw in crosses the center line without first touching a player, wall, or floor.
    • If the goalie kicks the ball over the center line from outside his penalty area after having touched the ball with his hands without touching a wall, player, or the floor.
  7. Corner kicks

·         If a defending player strikes the ceiling within his own penalty area.

·         If, in the opinion of the referee, a defender deliberately kicks the ball into the end-line obstruction or behind the goal in an effort to gain a goalie’s throw in, the defending team is penalized with a corner kick.

·         If team has too many players on the floor (substitute enters game too early)

·         If goalie takes too many steps after gaining control of the ball.

  1. Headers

·         Intentional heading is disallowed in Division 34 and Division 56

·         Intentional header results in a free kick for opposing team

·         Intentional header inside the defensive penalty box by the defense results in an offensive corner kick




  1. A player may only play goalie for one half of the game.
  2. Goalie must wear a neutral colored shirt or pinnie
  3. Play stops when goalie has hands or arms around the ball, regardless of control.  Players may not dislodge a ball from the goalie’s control.
  4. Goalie Throw-In
    • A ball striking ANY part of a basketball assembly ABOVE the goal is a dead ball resulting in a goalie throw-in.
    • A ball lodged behind the goal results in a goalie throw-in.
    • If a ball is unplayable after going over the end-line the defending goalie gets the ball for a throw-in, regardless who kicked the ball over the end-line.
    • Throw-in may not be touched by a player from either team until the ball has passed outside the penalty area. A violation results in another goalie’s awarded throw-in.
    • The goalie must throw-in the ball from the point where he caught the ball, or where he arose from the ground. A goalie may not run up to the edge of the penalty box to throw-in.
    • If a goalie is awarded a throw-in without having first captured the ball (the ball hitting the basketball assembly, ball lodged behind the goal etc.) he must take the throw-in from behind the goalies TOUCH LINE which is located three (3) feet in front of the goal line. Violation results in a corner kick.
    • If a goalie touches the ball with his hands outside the penalty area, the opposition is awarded a free kick from the point of the infraction.
  5. Half-Line Rule
    • Half-line rule states that a ball received by a goalie inside the goalie box and distributed (throw or kick) by the goalie must touch either floor (bounce or roll), wall, or another player before crossing the half line.  Otherwise a free-kick is awarded to the opposition at the half-line where the ball crossed the line.
    • Half line rule is in effect if:
      1. Goalie awarded a “goalie throw” from ball hitting basketball unit or caught behind goal
      2. Goalie legally possesses ball with hands inside box
      3. Goalie receives ball inside box and dribbles outside box and distributes
    • Half line rule is not in effect if:
      1. Goalie receives ball outside box and kicks ball over half line



  • A differential of 10 goals reached is an automatic loss for the team that reached that differential.  A maximum of a 5 goal differential will be the official score so there is no need to run a score to the maximum 9 goal differential.  For example a score of 8-1 will be officially recognized as 6-1 in the standings.  Coaches do NOT have to remove players at any point during the game.
  • At a 4 goal differential or greater, the losing team is required to have an extra player to the field of play.  Teams play with equal numbers at goal differentials of 0-3. [new 2018]



  1. When a kick-off, a kick-in, a free kick, a corner kick, an awarded keeper’s throw-in, or a penalty kick is awarded, play may not resume until after a referee’s whistle.
  2. A referee whistle stops play and another whistle from the referee restarts a play.
  3. A referee may issue a yellow card to a player, coach, or assistant coach for a serious infraction of the rules or a repeated minor one. A "yellow-carded" player is benched for a minimum of two minutes and may not return to the game until advised by the referee. A substitute may take the "excused" player’s place. Two yellow card infractions by a player within a single game constitute a red card. Further, three yellow cards accumulated by a player during the season and play-offs will result in an automatic one game suspension.



  1. Referee should be urged to always start on time, even if a team is short or there has been no warm up.
  2. Coaches should plan on the game starting at the exact start of the time slot.  Prior to the game, teams can stretch and warm up without a ball out in the hallway.  Do not plan on pre-game floor time.
  3. All games will fall into the 45 or 50 minute time slot.  Therefore, all games regardless of division, should be limited to 20 min halves with no halftime.  At halftime, the teams will switch ends and a kickoff will ensue.
  4. All games must end promptly at the allotted time regardless of the time left in the game.  Therefore, if a game starts late, the duration of the halves must be shortened such that the games end by the end of the time slot.  Both coaches must be notified before the game if game time is going to be shortened.   For example, a game that starts 10 minutes late should fall back to 15 minute halves so as to keep the schedule on track.  There are no time outs.


  1. Referee meets with players
    • Checks shin guards of players
    • Explains to goalies the goalie box
  2. Referee meets with coaches
    • Explains to the coaches the area of the goalie box
    • Referee reminds the coaches of the “indoor indirect rule”
    • Referee has coaches disclose playups and crossover players
    • Referee sets game time (shortens if necessary)
    • Referee reminds coaches that there is a limit to scoring and losing team is allowed to play with an extra player if score if 4 goal differential or more.


  1. Standings will be kept during the regular season.  A team receives 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss, and -1 points for a forfeit.  Standings are ordered by points per game played since there may be an imbalance in the schedule for games played.
  2. Games cancelled due to gym conflicts or weather do not have to be made up.  Unfortunately teams with less games due to scheduling conflicts might not be able to make up the game.
  3. Every team makes the playoffs, so standings are only a formality for seeding in the playoffs.
  4. Tiebreakers after points are goals against, then goal differential.  Since goals against are a high priority, emphasis should be on defense in a close situation.




  1. Every team makes the playoffs.
  2. Seeds will be determined by regular season standings.
  3. All rules that apply to regular season games also apply to play-off games with the following exceptions:
    1. Players can only play on one team in the playoffs, no playing up.
    2. Goalie can play the whole game
  4. 20 minute halves
  5. If tied after regulation, 5 minute sudden death overtime
  6. If tied after overtime, 3 player shootout
  7. If tied after shootout, 1 player shootout until winner
  8. Shootout rules
    1. The goalie that was in the goal at the end of the game must remain in the goal during the shoot-out, unless injured during the shoot-out.
    2. Before the shoot-out starts, each coach must select the three kickers and place them in the order in which they are to kick. First three kickers are seated on the floor, behind the penalty spot in the order in which they are kicking. No other players or civilians are allowed on the floor.

The goalies feet must be on the goal-line and he may not move prior to the kick. Moving prior to the kick may cause the referee to order the kick to retaken. Per FIFA rules, the goalie may move side to side but not forward.

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