Soccer in the Sand Rules follow the guidelines of FIFA Soccer Rules with the following exceptions:


Number of Players

Each team consists of 5 players, one of whom must be the goalkeeper, with the exception of U8 where each team may have 5 field players plus a goalkeeper (6v6) Substitutions are on the fly. The player being substituted must exit the field prior to the new player entering the field. In all Coed Divisions there must be a minimum of 2 females on the field at all times and a maximum of 3 males. Any less than 4 players will be considered a forfeit. Game time is forfeit time. Only players on the roster may play. All eligible players must be listed on the SITS waiver/roster form; all players must have a parent signature if the player is under the age of 18. If the player is 18 years of age or older they may sign the form for themselves. No player is allowed to be rostered or play on any two teams in the same age group or bracket. Players are eligible to play on any two teams in any one event as long as the two teams are in a different age group or different bracket (i.e. Surf or Sand bracket). The maximum roster size is 11 players for all age groups and divisions with the exception of coed divisions which are permitted a maximum of 12 players.


Proof of Age: Soccer in the Sand will accept any of or combination of the following: (Photo copies are accepted)

•       State association player card

•       US Club Soccer card

•       AYSO Card

•       Copy of birth certificate

•       Any school issued ID card with date of birth

•       Driver’s license

•       Passport


Player Equipment

All players must wear the same colors to distinguish themselves from other teams. Tee- shirts, jerseys, or beach wear will work! Shoes and shin guards are not allowed. Socks, beach soccer socks and tape are legal suggestions. All games will be played with a provided standardized Soccer in the Sand beach soccer tournament ball. Jersey numbers are not required.



The referee is responsible for control of the game and his/her decisions regarding facts connected with play are final.



If a conflict should arise between two teams during a game, at any point, the referee, coach 1, or coach 2 can stop the game. When the game is stopped, both teams will be asked to go to opposite corner flags. At this point, the ref assigner or tournament director will be notified and the conflict will be resolved.


Duration of the Game

For two day tournaments: Three 11 minute periods with 2 minute breaks. For one day tournaments: Two 12 minute halves with a two minute halftime.


Win = 3 points Tie = 1 point Loss = 0 points


The Start of Play

A flip of a coin or a best of 3 “rock, paper, scissors” decides which team will kick off. Each team must stay in its own half of the field and the defending players must be at least 8 yards from the ball when it is kicked. After a goal, the team scored upon will kick off.

After halftime or periods end the teams change sides and the kickoff will be taken by the opposite team to that which started the game. In between period 2 and 3, the referee will again flip a coin. The team that wins the coin-toss will get the choice of side or kickoff.



Tie Game

In the event of a tie between two teams after the game is complete, the game will be declared a tie.


In the event of a tie in the semifinal match or final match there will be a 3 minute golden goal period. If the game is still a draw then there will be a shootout to determine the winner.



Shootouts will consist of 3 shooters from each team. After the three shooters have shot, the team with the most goals wins. Shooters do not have to be on the field of play to participate in the shootout. In the event that the teams are tied after 3 shooters, the kicks will go 1 for 1. All players on each team must kick before any individual player kicks for a second time.



There are no offsides.



All free kicks including corner kicks are DIRECT. Kick-ins and throw-ins from sidelines are INDIRECT. Kickoffs are INDIRECT. Any ball played out of bounds on either touchline will result in a throw in or kick in for the team that did not touch the ball last.


On any free kick there is a 6 second rule. If the team awarded the kick does not play the ball in 6 seconds the other team will gain possession of the ball at the spot of the foul.



Goalkeepers may handle the ball anywhere within eight yards of their goal. Goalkeepers are allowed to handle the ball if a teammate plays the ball back to them.

Goalkeepers must throw balls in for goal kicks. No punting is allowed. Goalkeepers may not throw the ball into the opposition’s goal. If this takes place the opposing goalkeeper will be granted possession of the ball and no goal will be granted.



Advancing out of Bracket

The tie-breaker rules are as follows: 1) Team with the most points

2)  Head-to-head

3)  Goal differential – max +5

4)  Shootout


Free Kicks (cone rule)

The referee will award a DIRECT Free Kick (from which a goal can be scored directly against the defending side) where a foul has been committed. The player who received the infraction must take the free kick.



Positioning of Players During Free Kicks

There will be no walls and opposing players must remain at least 5 yards away from the kicker. If the infraction is committed in the kicking team's defensive end of the court, an imaginary "no man’s land" sector will be established from the point of the foul to each opponent's goal post. Players of both teams will remain outside of this zone until the Free Kick is taken. If the infraction is committed in the kicking team's offensive end of the court, players of both teams must position themselves behind, or on the same line as the ball placed at the point where the foul was committed.


NOTE: The above concept is meant to discourage fouls in the defensive end by awarding basically undefended (except for goalkeeper) direct free kicks. When taking a free kick, corner kick, or inbounds kick, a player may place the ball on the spot of the foul and make a small mound to elevate the ball's position.



All participants and spectators must also abide by all rules set forth by the beach/park and city that the event takes place.


No games will be protested after the completion of the game. The referee and tournament officials will have the final say on any disputes and will treat each situation in the fairest and most logical way.