Project Description


Overview & Examples

Soccer (known as football in most of the world) is considered by many to be the most popular game in the world. The exact origins of soccer are unknown, but the “Laws of the Game” were enacted in England in 1863. These rules are still the basis for the way the game is played today. The object of the game is to score by driving the ball down the field and into the opponent’s goal. With the exception of the goalie, in general play, players are not allowed to use their hands.

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Traditional Formats

Soccer can be played both indoors and outdoors, though the rules are slightly different between the two. Men’s, Women’s and Co-Rec leagues are all common among Intramural programs.


Outdoor soccer matches can be officiated with one, two, or three officials. In a two-person system, officials are aligned on opposite sidelines. Each is responsible for a respective area of the field. When utilizing three-person mechanics, two officials work the sidelines while the third official is positioned within the field of play.

Indoor soccer matches are typically officiated by one or two officials. With two officials, each official is responsible for a sideline and designated court area.


Many institutions utilize the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) or International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) soccer rules as a basis for intramural soccer rules. Individual programs often modify these rules for their unique participant groups and program requirements.

Notes & Variations

A typical soccer team usually consists of 11 players including the goalie, but due to field/court limitations, most institutions commonly require smaller teams ranging from 5-8 players.

For participant safety, some institutions have banned the practice of slide tackling from intramural soccer. Others have restricted the use to their competitive or highly skilled divisions. Also, in order to alleviate some of the burden on officials, many institutions do not enforce offsides.

In co-rec play, some institutions award additional points for goals scored by females in order to encourage team play.

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NIRSA Intramural Sports Community of Practice