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V. Game Rules
V. M. Penalty kick spot language has been expanded to reflect placement based on field.
IV. B. An automatic ID check for the entire team will now take place prior to any game in which that team has a player serving a suspension for a red card.
III. G. In a division of 8 or more teams with a playoff bracket, the two teams that relegate are the last place teams (lowest points) of the regular season. Previously, the last place teams were determined after the final consolation game.
IV. D. Leagues will no longer be cancelled for ATL UTD home games. In 2023, depending on your scheduled SOPFC game time, this could impact up to four Wednesday games, and two Sunday games. Teams may place schedule requests for any of these dates during registration and we will do our best to accommodate requests.
1. Individuals utilizing any facility owned, operated, or provided by Sons of Pitches FC (SOPFC) do so at their own risk. The property owner(s), league operators, officers, owners, and staff of SOPFC assume no liability for any injuries or accidents which may occur. Please reference Liability / Injury Waiver and Release Forms and signage posted within the facility.
2. Participants and spectators agree to abide by the Player Code of Conduct. Conduct within the facility should be in the spirit of good sportsmanship as it is on the pitch. Please no alcohol or drug use prior to playing.
3. Should you find or lose any items please report this immediately to the SOPFC Field Manager on duty, or contact us. SOPFC does not assume responsibility for any items lost. View more Lost and Found info.
4. NO alcohol, smoking, glass containers, or gum allowed in the facility area.
5. NO food, spitting, or abusive language allowed in the facility area.
6. NO dogs, pets or animals of any kind allowed in the facility area.
7. All play must be conducted as set forth in the SOPFC League Rules as modified here.
8. SOPFC staff reserve the right to refuse play and/or service to anyone.
A. League Registration & Dues
1. The Captain's credit/debit card info is required to register a team for the league, but won't be charged right away.
2. A minimum of $200 must be paid toward a team's dues by the Signup Deadline (or 6 days prior to the scheduled start date, whichever comes first) to confirm a team's spot. This amount can be paid online by teammates, the Captain, or a combination. After registering, we encourage Captains to immediately begin inviting players to join their team and issuing them invoices for their share of team dues. After the Signup Deadline (or 6 days prior to the scheduled start date, whichever comes first), any unpaid amount of the $200 minimum will be automatically charged to the Captain's credit/debit card.
3. The full team balance must be paid by the Payment Deadline (typically the day before the second game). Again, this amount can be paid online by teammates, the Captain, or a combination. After the Payment Deadline, any unpaid amount of the full team balance will be automatically charged to the Captain's credit/debit card.
Captains are 100% responsible for making sure their team's dues are paid in full and on time, including the $200 minimum payment to confirm a team's spot. Captains can use our TeamPayer tool at any time up to the Payment Deadline to invite teammates and assign them their share of dues, paid directly toward the team balance. Note that the system will only process payments up to the amount of the team balance. So if 15 invoices for $60 are sent out on a $590 balance, the system will only process the first 9 people to pay at the full $60 price ($540 total), and the 10th person will only be charged $50 out of $60 ($590 total). Teams with delinquent dues unable to be charged for any reason will incur forfeit results and/or game cancellations. Teams dropping out of, or disqualified from a league will forfeit all dues paid.
All registration fees are non-refundable. Registering for a team or league is a commitment to participate in the full season. A player's or team's decision not to participate in a league they have registered for is not grounds for a refund. If players or teams choose not to participate after they have registered and before the season starts, they may request a credit to use towards a future league. Refunds are also not given if a player moves, due to a change in work schedule, or any other non-league related changes. Participation in adult sports, even at the social level, may result in injury unfortunately. SOPFC does not refund players' fees if they are injured.
Molded cleats, turf shoes, or flat-soled soccer shoes are required. Metal studs of any kind are not allowed. Teams MUST be dressed in matching colored jerseys or shirts. Teams are required to have alternate color jerseys for games when they are designated the visitor team, when the home team wears the same or similar primary color. Shin guards are recommended but not required. Goalkeepers must have a different distinctive jersey color from both their teammates, opponents, and the Referee.
Individuals are expected to play under control and within the rules of the game, and to the best of their ability, while avoiding causing or threatening injury to themselves and other persons using the facility.
SOPFC organizers would like to reaffirm that Referees appointed to officiate each game have complete authority, and that their decisions on points of fact connected with the game are final. Referees are independent subcontractors and are not employees of SOPFC. Officiating will be monitored and assessed regularly to provide quality officiating. Constructive comments regarding officiating are welcomed and encouraged; complaints regarding Referees should contain points of fact. You can contact us with any comments. Please do not discuss officiating with Referees or SOPFC staff on the day of your game.
E. Levels of Competition
Teams joining a league for the first time, or returning after a season(s) off, will be placed in the lowest division. The top two and bottom two teams in each division at the end of a season are subject to promotion or relegation to another division. SOPFC reserves the right to make changes within league divisions to ensure a comparable level of ability and competition. Teams switching from other leagues within SOPFC, or from other Atlanta soccer leagues, may contact us anytime prior to the Signup Deadline with supporting evidence of their current skill level (i.e. end of season standings and season records) in order to be considered for specific division placement.
A. Captain/Player Responsibility
It is the Team Captain's responsibility to be aware of the rules and guidelines of SOPFC, and to keep their team informed. It is the responsibility of each player and the player's Team Captain to be aware of the total status of their players' infractions. Failure to comply may result in further disciplinary measures which may include suspension of the player/Captain and forfeiture of games the sanctioned player participated in. (This includes the use of illegal players, i.e. those not registered properly on the team roster.)
B. Team Rosters
Team rosters must be finalized online by the day before the last game of the regular season. Only players listed on the online team roster by the day before the last game of the regular season will be eligible to play in the playoffs. Max team roster size is 16 players. Roster disputes may be made to the Referee or Field Manager on duty at any time prior to the start of the second half of a game. SOPFC will not consider disputes after the second half has begun, or after games are played. Teams using ineligible players may be subject to an immediate game forfeit.
C. Coed League Rules
No more than five (5) men are allowed in play at any time in a Coed 7v7 league - two (2) players must not be men (the goalkeeper may count as one of these two players). In order to satisfy this requirement, a team may play with only five (5) or six (6) players - there must be at least five total players on the pitch though. If any player receives a yellow or red card, the remaining players on the pitch still cannot exceed five (5) men.
D. Over-30 League Rules
All players must already be 30 or older by the first game date of the season, no exceptions. All players must present ID with age verification upon request by the Referee or staff in order to participate.
E. Over-40 League Rules
All players must already be 40 or older by the first game date of the season, no exceptions. All players must present ID with age verification upon request by the Referee or staff in order to participate.
F. League Standings Points System
Win = 3 points
Tie = 1 points
Loss = 0 points
League games that end in a tie score after regulation play shall remain a tie game.
Playoff games ending in a tie will go directly to Penalty Kicks. (See IV. M. Penalty Kicks)
In a division of 8 or more teams with a playoff bracket, the two teams that will be promoted are the winner of the regular season (most points), and the winner of the playoffs. If these two teams are the same, the team that placed second in the regular season (second most points) will be promoted. The two teams that relegate are the last place teams (lowest points) of the regular season. If there is no playoff bracket, the two teams that will be promoted are the winner (most points) and runner-up (second most points) of the regular season. The two teams that relegate are the last place teams (lowest points) after the regular season.
In a division of 6 teams with a playoff bracket, the winner of the playoffs will be promoted, and the loser of the 5th vs 6th place consolation game will be relegated. If there is no playoff bracket, the winner of the regular season (most points) will be promoted, and the 6th place team (lowest points) will be relegated.
SOPFC may decide to place teams in appropriate divisions based on skill level.
H. League Division Tiebreakers
Any league divisions ending in a tie at the end of the league season shall be governed by the following tie breaking system order:
1. Goal differential
2. Goals for
3. Power Index
A. Yellow Cards
A player receiving a yellow card must sit out for 2 minutes, starting after that player has exited the pitch and play resumes. During that time, the carded player's team must play down a player; a sub may NOT replace the carded player. After the Referee has acknowledged that 2 minutes have elapsed, the carded player's team may send any one player (including the carded player if desired) back onto the pitch immediately at the midfield line.
B. Red Cards
All references to a "player" in this section include a team's player, coach, or spectator.
A player red carded in (or after) a game by a Referee will automatically be suspended from the next game in the season, and an automatic ID check will take place for the entire team prior to that game. In addition, a player will be prohibited from playing on any other team until the suspension has been served. If a player is red carded in the last game of a season, they will be prohibited from playing in the first game of the next season.
C. Fighting and Racially/Sexually Abusive Behavior: ZERO TOLERANCE
Anyone fighting or engaging in racially or sexually abusive behavior will be subject to the following penalties:
Anyone threatening or stalking another player, coach, staff, official or spectator will also be ejected, and reported to local authorities.
D. Scheduling & Cancellations
7v7 Leagues consist of two 25-minutes halves, plus a 2-minute halftime. Halftimes may be shortened in the interest of time constraints at the discretion of the Referee when trying to stay on time for the next game. Games not starting as scheduled as a result of team delay will still end at the scheduled time (minutes deducted from match) in order that the next game starts as scheduled.
Our turf field games WILL play in the rain or wet conditions (we do not have "rainouts"). For certain types of extreme conditions, we may delay games to wait for it to subside. We will also delay (and potentially cancel) games for lightning in the area. Players should clear the field and seek shelter in cars. The Field Manager on site will have more information about procedure at the facility.
Players may log on to the website for weather update alerts (posted at the top of all pages). Players may also sign up for text message cancellation updates through their online dashboard. Typically an email and/or text message will go out as soon as possible to all players on the team roster if activities are canceled.
If a game in progress is canceled or abandoned for any reason, the game will be considered completed if at least one half of time has been played. If one half has not been played, the game will be rescheduled and replayed entirely. If a playoff game is canceled or abandoned after one half has been played, and the score is tied, the following full season (regular season + any previous playoff games) tiebreaker order will be used to determine the winner: Standings Points (Ranking Points), Goal Differential (Point Diff), Goals Scored (Points Scored), Power Index (PI).
Primary game days are assigned to divisions. Divisions may be assigned to play on alternate game days depending upon the length of the session, the number of teams participating, and recognized holidays over the course of a session. Divisions may be assigned to play on any other day(s).
Leagues will not play on the following recognized holidays: Winter Holiday Break (at least 4 days before Christmas through New Year's Day), Easter Sunday, Memorial Day Weekend (Sat-Mon), July 4th (including weekend), Labor Day Weekend (Sat-Mon), Thanksgiving Weekend (Wed-Sun).
In general, leagues WILL play on all other days, including Presidents' Day, MLK Day, Veterans Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc, although we reserve the right to cancel play on these or other days when necessary.
E. Make-Up Games
The team requesting to re-schedule a game must contact us at least one week prior to the affected game. Failure to do so will result in the game being forfeited. If a team is unable to play a scheduled game, the opposing team may choose to accept a 3-0 forfeit. If both teams agree to a make-up, they will be offered possible times from SOPFC management. It will be the Captain's or representative's responsibility to coordinate and select one of the available times. There will be no re-schedules of an already re-scheduled game. Web schedules are to be used as a reference. Changes may occur from time to time. SOPFC management shall maintain the most current official game schedules.
F. Termination of Participation
SOPFC management reserves the right to terminate an individual's and team's participation at the facility for any reason, including violation of facility guidelines or League Rules. Per our Payment Policy agreed to during registration, teams disqualified from a league will forfeit all dues paid. They will also lose any re-registration discount and priority.
G. Forfeit Guidelines
If a team cannot field the required 5-player minimum at game start time, the game clock (not game play) will start, and they may wait up to 5 minutes for 5 players before the game will be recorded as a forfeit. The game MUST start as soon as 5 players are present; a team may not delay the start of play to wait for additional players to show up after the game start time.
A team forfeiting a game(s) during any one season will be subject to the following penalties:
Teams incurring at least two forfeits during a season shall not be eligible for a registration discount in the following season.
If both teams forfeit, then no points will be awarded.
There is no additional penalty other than a loss of game if you show up short-handed but can't field the minimum number of players necessary to start the game (and thus have to forfeit), since you did make an effort to get a team to play. So be sure to send as many players from your team on time for the game as possible to check in with the Field Manager and/or Referee - often there are other players at the facility willing to play as subs on your team, provided the roster rules allow for it that game.
H. Forfeit Notification Procedure 🔗
If your team has to forfeit a game, please email and call us right away:
This way we can attempt to contact the other team to prevent them from traveling to the field - no one likes to show up to the field only to find out they don't have a game. Please help us respect everyone's time and energy.
Once SOPFC is notified you are forfeiting, it is final and official - we cannot accommodate any changes after that, since we immediately begin the process of notifying your opponent, Referees, and staff members that your game has been forfeited.
You must contact us immediately following a game to let us know if you intend to file a protest. Then you must contact us again with a formal written protest within 48 hours after the end of the game. Only a violation of the Laws of the Game, League Rules, or Guidelines of the Facility as published are matters for protest. Video will not be viewed as evidence in a protest. Disputes regarding fielding of illegal players, or non-roster players (as outlined in Section III. B.), must be brought to the attention of the Referee or Field Manager prior to the start of the second half of a game.
J. First Aid
The facility has a limited first aid kit. It shall be the responsibility of each team to maintain their own first aid kit for treatment of their players.
A. Field of Play
1. Dimensions: Each pitch measures 60 x 35 yards minimum, up to 70 x 50 yards.
1. Size 5 soccer balls will be used for all adult games.
C. Number of Players
1. Seven players, one of whom shall be a goalkeeper.
2. Minimum of 5 players needed to start and continue a game.
3. Team roster is limited to 16 players.
4. If a team cannot field the required 5-player minimum at game start time, the game clock (not game play) will start, and they may wait up to 5 minutes for 5 players before the game will be recorded as a forfeit. The game MUST start as soon as 5 players are present; a team may not delay the start of play to wait for additional players to show up after the game start time.
D. Player Equipment
1. Players must dress in matching color shirts or jerseys.
2. Shin guards are recommended but not required.
3. Molded cleats, turf shoes, or flat-soled soccer shoes may be worn (no metal of any kind, no studded or screw-in shoes).
4. Goalkeepers must wear colors which distinguish them from all other players and Referee(s).
E. Duration of Game
1. A game shall be played in two equal halves of 25 minutes each.
2. A halftime interval shall be 2-4 minutes at the discretion of the Referee.
3. The clock shall only be stopped for serious injuries.
4. During playoffs only, a tie will be decided by penalty kicks. (See IV. M. Penalty Kicks)
5. Time will be extended for the taking of a penalty kick.
6. Duration of playoff games may be shortened. Refer to schedule.
F. Start of Play
1. Kickoff will be given to the home team. Visitors will have kickoff at the start of the second half.
2. A kickoff will start the game and restart the game after a goal has been scored.
3. Teams will change direction at halftime and alternate kickoff.
4. A goal can be scored directly from a kickoff.
5. The ball does not have to go forward from a kickoff.
6. Player has 5 seconds to put ball back into play.
1. Outdoor FIFA rules apply when passing back to the goalkeeper.
2. Goalkeeper may slide inside the penalty box leading with either hands or feet if done safely and with intent to play the ball, subject to the Referee's discretion.
3. Goalkeeper may not punt or drop-kick the ball.
1. NO SLIDING (automatic yellow card). Sliding will be defined as anything other than the feet touching the ground during an intentional sliding play with an opposing player within playing distance (5-6 yards). Players are allowed to go to the ground to play the ball in all other situations.
2. NO TWO-FOOTED TACKLES (automatic red card).
1. Unlimited substitutions may be made during stoppages of play only.
2. The Referee must be informed before any substitution may take place.
3. Substitutions may only be initiated by the team in possession of the ball, including throw-ins, corner kicks, and free kicks. The team not in possession may substitute only after the team in possession initiates a substitution. Either team may initiate a substitution on goal kicks, kickoffs, and injury stoppages.
4. Any player may change places with the goalkeeper, subject to all aforementioned substitution rules.
5. Substitute players are to remain in the player bench area.
6. A player receiving a yellow card must sit out for 2 minutes and may not be replaced by a substitute.
J. Out of Bounds
1. The ball is out of play when the entire ball crosses the sideline/end line, or contacts the overhead netting or other overhead objects.
2. A throw-in, corner kick, or goal kick will be awarded when the ball goes out of bounds.
3. A throw-in may not go directly into the goal.
4. Player has 5 seconds to put ball back into play.
1. FIFA soccer rules apply to all infractions, including but not limited to: kicking, pushing, tripping, hand balls, etc.
2. NO SLIDING (automatic yellow card). Sliding will be defined as anything other than the feet touching the ground during an intentional sliding play with an opposing player within playing distance (5-6 yards). Players are allowed to go to the ground to play the ball in all other situations.
3. Goalkeepers may slide inside the penalty box leading with either hands or feet if done safely and with intent to play the ball, subject to the Referee's discretion.
L. Free Kicks & Goal Kicks
1. All free kicks are direct, except for own team backpass to the goalkeeper or goalkeeper punting infractions, which are both indirect.
2. Ball is in play when it moves from foot contact by the initial player.
3. Opposing players shall be 5 yards from the ball.
4. Player taking a kick cannot play it again until someone else touches the ball.
5. If an opponent refuses to move back 5 yards on Referee's request, they may be given a yellow card for unsportsmanlike behavior.
6. If a player taking the kick delays for longer than 5 seconds after having been signaled to do so by the Referee, the opposing team will be awarded the kick.
7. Opposing players must stand outside of the penalty box during a goal kick.
8. Goal kicks may be taken from anywhere inside the penalty box.
M. Penalty Kicks (Shootout)
1. If necessary, time shall be extended at the end of either half to allow the taking of a penalty kick.
2. The ball shall be placed as indicated below based on the field being used:
3. Only the goalkeeper is allowed in the penalty box.
4. In the event of a tie (during playoffs only), penalty kicks will be taken (no overtime). Winner will be decided by the best of 4 kicks by each team. If still tied after both teams have taken 4 kicks, then additional players will take the kicks in a sudden death kick-off. Only players who were on the pitch at the end of the game will be allowed to participate.
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