LAWS OF THE GAME
1st JANUARY 2021
This first edition of the CWFA “Laws of the Game “(Jan 2021) acknowledges that this unique sport is evolving and developing as it grows, but nevertheless holds fast to the basic ethos and values of the game - to ensure that all matches are played safely with full consideration to every participants age, gender and the ability of each player. It is therefore expected that all players, managers, and club members will conduct themselves accordingly, respecting all fellow participants,
Including referees and other match officials.
Failure to do so is likely to result in disciplinary action, including disqualification of individuals and / or clubs from CWFA events.
Section A - Players, Pitches, and Equipment.
Section B - Foul Play.
Section C - Sanctions.
Section D - Starting, Stopping and Continuing Play
Section E - Safety.
Section F - DOGSO.
Section G - Referee
Section A: - Players, Pitches and Equipment
Goalkeepers must be clearly distinguishable from outfield players on either team.
2. Substitutes must be clearly distinguishable from players on either team, until they are called into play
3. A match should be abandoned if a team is permanently reduced to below the minimum number of players .The term permanently does not apply however to players who have been sin binned, but only to players who are permanently excluded or lost through injury.
. 5 a-side matches - minimum of 3 players
. 6 a-side matches - minimum of 4 players
. 7 a-side matches - minimum of 4 players
4. A team which causes the abandonment of a match will forfeit the game
1. The standard pitch dimensions for competitions (5 a - side, 6 a - side and 7 a - side) are a width between 25metres minimum and 37 metres maximum and a length of between 35 metres minimum and 55 metres maximum. It is acknowledged, however, that some pitches may fall outside of these guidelines in which case it is down to the referee to decide whether or not to proceed with the game.
2. The standard goal size for such competitions is a maximum width of 3 metres (min) and 5 meters maximum, and a height of between1.2 metres high and 2 metres high (max). It is acknowledged however that goals at some facilities may fall outside of these criteria, in which case it is a matter for the referee to decide whether or not to proceed with the game.
3. A goal area must be clearly marked at each end of the pitch. This maybe a semi-circle or a rectangle and should extend between 4 metres (min) and 6 metres (max) from the goal line.
4. A clearly marked penalty spot should be positioned in line with the centre of the goal and 6 metres from the goal line
5. The position of the ball on the pitch is determined when it crosses a line in its entirety (I e the whole of the ball) A ball located on the line marking the goal area is considered to be within that area and can, therefore , only be played by the goalkeeper.
SECTION B: Foul Play
Running or jogging on or off the ball is not permitted by any player (including the goalkeepers) and will usually result in an indirect free kick being awarded. If in the opinion of the referee, such conduct results in a clear goal scoring opportunity being denied, then the offending player or players may be removed from play (RED CARD ) and a penalty kick considered, subject to Section F; DOGSO penalty and red card as described in sub section 1
The referee shall have sole interpretation on deciding what is and what is not walking. A walking action will generally be determined as a progression of steps throughout which there is constantly at least one foot on the floor;
BALL ABOVE HEAD HEIGHT
1. The ball is not permitted to exceed head height
I. The ball should be deemed dead once it has exceeded head height
II. Head height is defined as 1.83 metres or the height of the goal cross bar which should not exceed 2 metres (see Section A sub section 6)
III. The whole of the ball must exceed head height to be deemed an infringement
IV. The referee shall have sole interpretation on the ball exceeding head height
V. A player commits a foul if the cause the ball to exceed head height
VI. A player commits a foul if the ball deflects off them and exceeds head height
VII. A player commits a foul if they play the ball off a barrier and it exceeds head height
VIII. If a ball deflects off the goal frame and exceeds head height , it is not regarded as a foul, but the ball must be deemed dead and retained by the goal keeper
IX. If a ball deflects off a goalkeeper in the process of making a save and exceeds head height before returning to play , it is not regarded as a foul but the ball must immediately be deemed dead and returned to the goalkeeper
X. If a ball deflects off a goalkeeper in the process of making a save and exceeds head height, but then drops into the goal, a goal should be awarded.
XI. If a ball deflects off a goalkeeper in the process of making a save and exceeds head height, but then directly leaves the field of play, a corner or a kick - in should be awarded, depending on where the ball crossed the line.
Physical contact is not permitted at any time and is therefore regarded as foul play. The term “physical contact“ includes the following
I. Tackling across a player at a barrier
II. Blocking or cornering a player against a barrier
III. Crowding ( two players v one player ) against a barrier
IV. Shoulder charging , pushing , or barging a player
V. Stepping across or obstructing an opponent to gain an advantage or deny that player access to the ball or a position
VI. Manhandling a player in any way
DANGEROUS OR RECKLESS CONDUCT
Deliberate, dangerous or reckless conduct, regardless of whether or not there is any physical contact, should be regarded as “aggravated foul play”
GOAL AREA INFRINGEMENTS
1. An outfield player entering the goal area (unless they do so purely as a result of momentum) commits a foul regardless of whether or not they play the ball.
2. A defending player entering his goal area at any time commits a foul, when this happens a penalty is to be awarded
3. An attacking player entering the goal area he is attacking commits a foul, when this happens the ball is to be retained by the goalkeeper and a goal kick is awarded
4. A goalkeeper leaving the goal area during play commits a foul (unless they do so purely as a result of momentum) and only if he / she is not in possession of the ball (and does not play the ball) outside the goal area. The goalkeeper is allowed outside of his area to collect the ball once the ball has gone out of play.
5. The goalkeeper commits a foul if he / she handles the ball outside of the goal area, if this happens a penalty is awarded.
1. A player commits a foul if they deliberately head the ball
2. A player commits a foul by slide tackling and / or slide blocking
3. A player commits a foul by tackling an opposing player (or poaching) from behind regardless of whether there was any physical contact
4. Any player, other than the goalkeeper, commits a foul if they deliberately play the ball with their hand or arm
5. A player commits a foul if they fail to take a free kick, penalty, kick in, kick off, or corner in accordance with the rules or as instructed by the referee.
6. A player commits a foul if they take a free kick, corner , kick off , kick in whilst the ball is moving.
7. A player commits a foul if they take a kick in whilst the ball is not behind the line that marks the pitch area
8. A player commits a foul if they hold onto a barrier in order to shield the ball or obstruct an opposing player, unless such contact is necessary to prevent a collision or to maintain balance
9. Any player - other than the goalkeeper - commits a foul if the deliberately play the ball whilst they are on the ground (meaning having any other part of their body than their feet on the ground).
10. A goalkeeper commits a foul if they deliberately play the ball other than by throwing it underarm
11. A goalkeeper commits a foul if when kicking the ball out into play takes more than one touch of the ball (when this happens an indirect free kick is awarded to the attacking team 3 metres outside of the goal area)
12. A goalkeeper commits a foul if when kicking the ball out into play, the ball is not stationary, (when this happens an indirect free kick is awarded 3 metres outside of the goal area)
SECTION C SANCTIONS
1. All incidents of foul play are worthy of a free kick being awarded against the offending players team
2. All free kicks are indirect and should be taken at the location of the offence, with opposing players being at least 3 metres from the ball.
3. When taking a free kick the player must not kick the ball with undue force or in a manner likely to cause injury
4. A goal will only be allowed following a free kick once the ball has been played by another player. This does not include a direct shot at goal which deflects into the goal off another player or the goalkeeper
5. There are, however a number of exceptions for free kicks ;
I. If a goalkeeper is deemed to have deliberately caused the ball to exceed head height ,an indirect fee kick should be awarded to the opposing team 3 metres outside the goal area adjacent to where the infringement occurred
II. If a goalkeeper is deemed to have deliberately played the ball other than throwing it under arm or kicking it from a stationary position, or taking more than one kick of the ball, an indirect free kick shall be awarded to the opposing team 3 metres outside the goal area adjacent to where the infringement occurred
III. If the goalkeeper leaves the area during play. A penalty kick should be awarded to the opposing team. This does not apply if the goalkeeper leaves the area as a result of momentum only, providing he / she is not in possession of the ball (and does not play) the ball outside of the goal area.
IV. If an outfield player enters the goal area they are defending (unless they do so purely as a result of momentum) regardless of whether or not they play the ball, a penalty kick should be awarded to the opposing team .
V. Free kicks awarded to an attacking team must not be taken within 3 metres of the opponents goal area, but must be moved back accordingly directly in line of where the infringement occurred.
1. A penalty kick is a direct free kick
2. A player taking a penalty kick is permitted to take only one step prior to striking the ball
3. A player taking a penalty kick commits a foul if they initially simulate striking the ball , in order to cause the goal keeper to move in a specific direction
4. When facing a penalty kick, a goalkeeper is permitted to move any part advance off the goal line, prior to the kick being taken. This should result in the re taking of a saved or missed penalty
5. All players other than the goalkeeper defending the penalty kick , must be behind the ball immediately to the kick being taken
BLUE CARD AND RED CARD INFRINGEMENTS
1. If a player commits 3 infringements (totting up) for running, foul play, or a combination of both, the referee should show a blue card and cause the player/ players to leave the game (sin bin) for 2 minutes.
I. A player receiving such a sanction must miss 2 minutes of playing time
II. If a player returning from the sin bin commits a further 3 infringements , the referee should cause them to play no further part in the game (sent off) Red Card
III. The referee shall have sole discretion to determine which infringements are worthy of “totting up“. For example, causing the ball to travel above head height may not necessarily warrant such action.
2. If a player is guilty of deliberate dangerous, or reckless conduct, this amounts to “aggravated“ foul play and the referee should, in such circumstances show a red card and cause them to play no further part in the game (sent off) and if applicable the competition/tournament
3. If a player (including an off – field substitute uses threatening, abusive or insulting words to any other player, a referee, an official or any other participant, the referee should show them a red card and cause them to take no further part in the game (sent off) and, if applicable the competition /tournament.
4. If the referee allows a quick free kick to be taken following a red card or a blue card offence (totting up procedure) and the offending player then gets involved in the game, the referee shall immediately stop the game and take appropriate disciplinary action against the offending player. The game shall restart with an IDFK to the opponents taken from where the offending player became involved with play.
5. If the referee plays advantage for a red card or blue card offence (totting up procedure) and the offending player then gets involved with the game, the referee shall immediately stop play, take appropriate disciplinary action against the offending player and restart the game with an IDFK to his opponents taken from where the offending player became involved with the play.
Note: The previous above wording meant that if a player committed a sending off offence but the opponents had a good scoring opportunity, the referee could play an advantage. However, the player was not sent off until play next stopped which meant the player could score a goal or stop a goal. This is clearly unfair as the player should have not been on the field of play to do this.
The law now requires the referee to stop play and send the player off / sin bin the player as soon as the player becomes involved in active play - the restart is an IDFK unless the player commits an offence resulting in the award of a penalty kick. This applies for “direct sending - off (Red Card) offences, for a second blue card offence (2nd Blue Card) or a first blue card offence (1st Blue Card)
SECTION D STARTING, STOPPING, AND CONTINUING PLAY
STARTING A MATCH
1. A coin toss shall be used at the start of the game to determine whether a team wishes to kick off or to choose which end they wish to attack. The team winning the toss is granted first choice
2. T he match shall commence only when the referee blows the whistle.
3. A goal cannot be scored directly from a kick off, even in the event of a deflection into the goal from an opposing player. The goal should be disallowed and a free kick awarded to the opposing team.
STOPPING AND RESUMING PLAY
1. If the referee stops play by blowing a whistle, play should only be resumed upon a clear signal by the referee. This signal may be a whistle voice or arm signal. Exceptions being “Quick Free Kicks“
2. Quick free kicks may be taken without a referee’s signal to resume play, As long as the Referee deems the Action to be safe. If play is restarted in an unsafe manner the referee may decide to take appropriate action as he deems fit. This could be either retaking the free kick, or reversing the decision and awarding the free kick to the opposing team
NOTE FOR CLARIFICATION
A player who intentionally tries to prevent the taking of a quick free kick will receive a blue card
It is the referee’s decision to award a free kick
It is the players decision to take a free kick
A drop ball may be used to resume play when it is not possible to determine which team should have possession - for example, following a sudden halt in play caused through injury.
A kick in shall resume play (on pitches with touchlines) at the point where the ball left the field of play
A corner kick shall resume play (on pitches with touchlines) on the same side of the pitch that the ball left the field of play
1. Goalkeepers may distribute the ball when grounded
2. Unlimited back passes between a player and goal keeper are permitted
3. Goalkeepers can handle the ball directly from a back pass
4. Goalkeepers can only kick out a stationary ball, a moving ball will result in a IDFK to the opposing team 3 metres outside the box
5. Goalkeepers can only kick the ball once, more than one kick will result in an IDFK to the opposing team 3 metres outside the goal area.
6. Goalkeepers can only throw the ball out by throwing it underarm
KICK - INS AND CORNERS
1. Kick ins are indirect with opposing players being at least 3 metres from the ball. A goal will only be allowed once the ball has been played by another player. Direct shots at goal from a kick in are not permitted and any goal scored will be disallowed, even if deflected into the goal off another player (including the goalkeeper)
2. Corner kicks are allowed to be direct, but the ball should not be hit with undue force or in a manner likely to cause injury
3. Players taking kick ins / corners are allowed to take more than one step, BUT MUST NOT HIT THE BALL WITH UNDUE FORCE OR IN A MANNER LIKELY TO CAUSE INJURY TO ANOTHER PLAYER.
4. Any player hitting the ball with undue force from a corner or a kick in will be seen to have committed aggravated play and will be immediately shown a red card and will take no further part in the game / competition.
PLAYING AN ADVANTAGE
Although the decision to play an advantage can depend on many things, CWFA Referee’s are advised to only take such action if:
I. it benefits the team which did not commit the infringement
II. it is safe to do so and unlikely to result in a confrontation, especially following physical contact
Referee’s should clearly indicate that an advantage is being played and also ensure that they take the appropriate remedial action (blue card / warning / advice) when it is safe to do so
1. Players should refrain from openly wearing jewellery or watches, although fit bit type devices maybe warn provided that they are covered up with a sweat band.
2. Tape may be used to cover up rings.
3. All players must wear shin pads covered by socks, and the appropriate foot ware for the surface that they are playing on.
4. Players wearing glasses do so at their own risk, and should be told this by the referee prior to kick off.
PENALTY AND RED CARD
1. Denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity (DOGSO) is a red card offence. This rule is to prevent the defence from illegally stopping their opponents most dangerous scoring opportunities and takes into account handling the ball, and fouling an attacker moving towards the goal by an offence punishable by free kick or a penalty kick. It’s obviously a very important decision for the referee to determine DOGSO as the team will then be playing with 1 player short.
2. Handling the ball. This obviously does not apply to the goalkeeper within his / her own penalty area, but does apply to the goalkeeper who comes out of his area to deliberately handle the ball, or an outfield player who deliberately handles the ball on a shot that was going into the goal. Note: Please be aware that it is not an offence when a goalkeeper makes a save inside the penalty area and his momentum takes the ball outside the area whilst still holding it.
3. Should a defender (not the goalkeeper) deliberately handle the ball that does go into the goal, you allow the goal and record a foul under the totting up process. If this is the players 3rd or 6th offence the referee should take the appropriate disciplinary action.
4. When an attacker moving towards the opponents goal is fouled by a defender ,or the goal bound shot being blocked by a defender running,
The referee has a very important decision to make
5. These decisions must be based on four elements for an obvious goal scoring opportunity before the foul becomes a red card offence .They are described as the four D’S
DEFENDERS. Not counting the player committing the foul, there is
At most one defender between the foul and the goal, that defender is generally the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper committing the foul can be sent off for this offence as well.
DISTANCE TO THE BALL. The attacker must be close enough to the ball
To continue playing it at the time of the foul
DISTANCE TO THE GOAL. The attacker must be close enough to the goal
To have a legitimate chance to score. So being near the opponents
Penalty area is more likely to be an obvious goal scoring opportunity
Than the attacker being in his / her own half of the field.
DIRECTION. The attacker must be moving towards the opponents goal
At the time of the foul, not toward the corner flag, or away from goal.
6. For a DOGSO offence play must restart with a penalty kick to the
Offended team and the offending player must receive a red card.
Section G THE REFEREE
THE AUTHORITY OF THE REFEREE
1. Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match.
DECISIONS OF THE REFEREE
1. Decisions will be made to the best of the referee’s ability according to the Laws of the Game and the ‘spirit of the game’.
2. The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play are final. The decisions of the referee, and all other match officials, must always be respected. Powers and duties
1. Enforces the Laws of the Game
2. Controls the match in cooperation with the other match official
3. Acts as timekeeper and keeps a record of the match and provides the appropriate authorities with a match report which includes information on any disciplinary action taken against players, and/or team officials and any other incidents which occur before, during or after the match
4. Supervises and/or indicates the restart of play.
1. Allows play to continue when the team against which an offence has been committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalises the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time
1. Punishes the more serious offence in terms of sanction, restart, physical severity and tactical impact when more than one offence occurs at the same time.
2. Takes disciplinary action against players guilty of infringements, sin-bin (temporary dismissal) and sending-off offences.
3. Takes action against team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and may, at their discretion, expel them from the playing area and its immediate surrounds.
4. Make use of timed suspensions to exclude temporarily players guilty of offences of the Laws.
5. In the absence of a second official, the referee should make excluded players aware of the end of their period of suspension.
1. Allows play to continue until there is a stoppage in play if a player is, in their opinion, only slightly injured
2. Stops the match if a player is seriously injured and ensures that the player is removed from the playing area
3. Ensures any player bleeding leaves the playing area
Stops, suspends or terminates the match for any offence of the Laws or due to any kind of outside interference
Allows no unauthorised persons to enter the playing area.