BUSA Soccer Rules



A kick-off is taken to start a game, to restart play after a goal has been scored, or to start the second half or a new quarter. At kickoff all players must be on their team’s half of the field (the end with the goal they are defending). The ball is placed on the center spot in the middle of the field and no longer has to go forward on the restart. The kicking player cannot kick it again until another player touches it. A goal cannot be scored by kicking the ball straight into the goal from the kickoff unless it touches a defender before going in the goal.

Ball In and Out of Play:

The ball is out of play whenever it is completely outside the edge of the touchline or the goal line either on the ground or in the air. The ball is in play if any part of the ball is inside or touching the touchline or goal line. The ball is considered in play after bouncing off a goal post, cross bar, corner flag, linesman or referee, if the ball remains on the playing field.

Rule of Thumb:

The team that kicks the ball out of bounds losses possession. The other team gets to inbound the ball using a throw-in, goal kick, or corner kick.


The player throwing the ball in must have both feet on the ground and both hands on the ball over his/her head. Both feet must remain on or behind the touchline. The thrower cannot play the ball again until another player from either team has touched the ball. A player cannot throw the ball directly in the goal to score.

Goal Kick:

A goal kick is taken by any player on the defending team. The ball must be kicked from within the half of the goal area on the side of the field where the ball went out of play (usually one of the forward corners of Goal Area). The opposing team must remain outside of the penalty area until the ball completely leaves the goal area. If the opposing team touches the ball before it travels outside the penalty area or a second player from the kicking team touches it, then a do-over goal kick occurs. The kicker may not play the ball again until another player from either team touches the ball.

Corner Kick:

If a ball goes over the goal line and is last touched by the defending team, the attacking team is awarded a corner kick. The corner kick is taken from within the corner arc on the side of the field where the ball went out of play. The corner kick may be taken by any player on the attacking team. The kicker is allowed to score a goal by kicking the ball directly into the goal. The opponents must be 10 yards back from the ball on a corner kick. The kicker is not allowed to play the ball again until a player from either team touches the ball.





There are two kinds of fouls in soccer: major and minor. The penalty for a major foul is a Direct Free Kick for the team that was fouled against; minor fouls result in an Indirect Free Kick.

Major Fouls:

Major fouls are fouls that are committed intentionally. The referee can also eject a playefor the rest of the game for committing a major foul by issuing a “Red Card” to the player. This is a subjective call by the referee and usually only occurs if he/she feels the player was trying to hurt another player. Major Fouls are:

  • Kicking a player
  • Jumping up at a player
  • Charging a player in a rough way or charging a player from behind
  • Tripping, hitting, pushing, holding, or spitting at a player
  • Touching the ball with hands or arms (except by a goalie within the penalty area)

Minor Fouls:

If a player commits a minor foul, he may receive a “Yellow Card” as a warning from the referee. Minor fouls are:

  • Dangerous play - Examples of a dangerous play are high kicking near another player’s head or trying to play a ball held by a goalie
  • Illegal obstruction - When a player intentionally takes a position between the ball and an opponent and is not within playing distance of the ball
  • Charging the goalkeeper in the goal area
  • Goalkeeper taking more than four steps while controlling the ball
  • Goalkeeper playing the ball with his hands when the ball is kicked by a teammate
  • Intentionally wasting time




Direct Free Kick:

The ball may be kicked directly into the goal for a score by the player taking the kick. The direct free kick is taken at the spot where the foul occurred, unless it is within the penalty box. Then a penalty kick is awarded.

Indirect Free Kick:

A goal can be scored only if the ball is touched by another player from either team before it enters the goal.

Specifics for both free kicks:

  • The ball must be stationary when it is kicked.
  • The team taking a free kick is entitled to have all opponents at least 10 yards from the ball when the free kick is taken.
  • If a free kick is taken within 10 yards of the opponent’s goal, opposing players may stand on their own goal line between the goal posts.
  • An indirect free kick by the attacking team within the defending teams goal area is taken on the six-yard line nearest to where the foul was committed.
  • The player taking the free kick must not play the ball again after it has been kicked until another player, from either team, has touched the ball.

Penalty kick:

A penalty kick is awarded when a defender commits a major foul in the penalty area. It is a direct free kick from the penalty mark against only the goalie. All players except the goalkeeper must remain outside the penalty area and penalty arc until the kick is taken. The defending goalkeeper must stand on the goal line until the ball is kicked. If the goalkeeper moves before it is kicked and the penalty shot does not score, then the penalty kick is retaken. If the ball rebounds off the goalkeeper, it is "live" for any player to play. If the ball rebounds off the goalpost, it is “live” for any player except the penalty kicker to play.



All penalties are subject to being “waved off” by the referee to allow a scoring opportunity. It is a judgment call by the referee; if allowing the play to continue will present a better opportunity to score a goal than if he/she stopped play, the referee can choose to us the advantage rule and allow the play to continue.