Ballsports Officiated Soccer (Formally known as Soccerworld)
There is only one format of Soccer under Ballsports and SSG rules. The format is described in its entirety below. These rules have been modified from the original Ballsports Rule Book, but the majority of the information has remained the same through the transition of League Management.
Ballsports (formally known as Soccerworld)
All games will take place at Ballports (formally known as Soccerworld). Please be aware of the specific rules in regards to the facility:
- Individuals using the facility do so at their own risk. The operator assumes no liability for any injuries or accidents, which may occur. As well, conduct within our facility should be in the spirit of good sportsmanship.
- No food, drinks, chewing gum, or spitting is permitted on the playing surfaces.
- No foul, abusive, racial, or derogatory language allowed.
- The facility accepts no responsibility for lost or stolen personal property. We strongly suggest that no valuables be taken into the facility. Players are advised to take all personal property with them to the bench areas by the field
- All major accidents and injuries must be reported to an SSG staff immediately after an incident has occurred.
- The facility has a first-aid kit and defibrillator. It is the responsibility of each team to also maintain their own first-aid kit for treatment of their players. However, the SSG staff member will have a standard first aid kit with them to provide to league players, if needed.
- No use of video recording devices inside our soccer facility unless a facility staff member grants permission.
- No alcoholic beverages, smoking/vaporization is allowed on the premises.
- Participants and spectators are to be advised that BallSports is a private facility and anyone who does not act or behave in an appropriate manner can be disqualified from participation in SSG leagues and also barred from entering our property and premises. Any such decision to bar any individual from the facility will be the decision of the facility management and is non-appealable.
Field of Play
The field is an open concept field and the surface is a synthetic turf/artificial grass.
- DIMENSIONS - The fields are 190 feet long and 90 feet wide. This is an open concept field with boundary lines which line the area of play.
- MARKING - The field shall be clearly marked with white lines, not exceeding six inches in width. All lines shall be of the same width. A halfway line of the field of play shall be indicated with a suitable mark, and a circle with a 10-foot radius shall be marked around it.
- PENALTY AREA - At each end of the field of play two lines shall be drawn at right angles to the goal line, 10 feet from the inside edge of each goal post. These lines shall extend into the field of play for 24 feet and shall be joined by a line that’s parallel with the goal line. Each of the spaces enclosed by these lines and the goal line shall be called a penalty area.
- PENALTY MARK - At each end of the field of play, a mark will be placed at 9.3 yards from the goal line at the centre of the goal to indicate where penalty kicks will be taken.
- CORNER ARC – The field will have a similar mark on the ground directly at the corner point.
- CORNER DISTANCE MARK – The field will have a mark 5 yards away from the corner arc to indicate the distance that the defending player must award the kicker.
- SUBSTITUTION AREA – Is the area where substitutions are made during the game. They are located on the side of the field where the team benches are.
- GOAL NETS – The goal nets will be placed on the centre of each goal line. The inside width of the opening will be 12 feet six inches. The inside height of the opening will be 6 feet six inches. The goal posts and crossbar will have the same width. The mesh shall be attached to the outer edges of the goal posts, crossbar, and ground behind the goal line.
All matches of Officiated Soccer will be 45 minutes in length, including two 21-minute halves and a 3-minute halftime. Please arrive early to ensure you get the full use of your allotted field time. Regardless of when your game begins your game will always end on time to allow the succeeding games to begin at their scheduled time.
Time Keeping: Games will consist of two (2) 21-minute halves with a 3-minute halftime. All games are run time. The only instance when regulation time may be extended is when a penalty is called in the last two or five minutes of the game with the length of time added being based on the length of time remaining in the penalty. In this case, the referee will STOP the clock and the game will be played until the penalty is served, provided that no other infractions take place. Only the referee may stop the clock for an injury or any unusual circumstance.
Starting the Clock: The clock will begin running at game time. A team must have at least four players ready to play for the game to begin. If a team is unable to field at least four players five minutes after game time the game will be forfeited by that team with the forfeited team receiving a 5-0 loss. The winning team may accept the forfeit and leave.
Exception: The one exception is that after the forfeit has been given, more players from the forfeited team arrive or are recruited, the winning team may elect to accept the 5-0 forfeit and play a scrimmage game or play a game with the time remaining, and thus the final score will be recorded in the standings.
Kickoff: The player kicking the ball may not touch the ball a second time until another player touches it. Players may not cross the midline until the ball is kicked and clearly moves. The ball may be kicked in any direction.
Defaults: If your team is in danger of forfeiting due to lack of players, please contact the JAM as soon as possible. Forfeits are recorded as a 5-0 score. Forfeits occur because:
- A team is unable to field at least four ready players within 5 minutes of a game’s scheduled start time.
- A team loses enough players during a game that they are unable to field at least four eligible players.
- A player on the team has deliberately broken any rule regarding registration, eligibility, or a team causes a game to be terminated.
- Teams are not paid up to the financial amount due by that game.
Teams are responsible for making sure that they are playing on the appropriate field at their scheduled time and are playing against their correct opponents. If a team plays at least 5 minutes of a game on the wrong field, they shall receive a 5-0 loss.
No Shows: Teams are required to contact The JAM (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they are unable to field a team that night. Teams are not allowed to default a game without giving advanced notice. Multiple defaults or no-shows may lead to your team being removed from the league, without refund.
- A full squad consists of six (6) players on the field at once. A team roster can consist of up to a maximum of eighteen (18) players.
- No player may play on two teams in the same division. No one may switch teams after having played for one team in the same session.
- Note: Any player found to be registered and/or playing on more than one team in the same division will be suspended for a minimum of 3 months.
Each co-ed team plays with a maximum of five field players and a designated goalkeeper on the field, with a minimum of two female players on the field at all times. A co-ed team can play with a minimum of three field players and a goalkeeper, with a minimum of one female player on the field at all times. If no female players are present, then the game is forfeited. In case of a penalty kick shootout, two out of the five kickers MUST BE FEMALE. Male and female players must alternate after each penalty kick even after the initial 5 kickers. Before any penalty kicks are taken the referee must ensure teams have an equal number of eligible players.
Anyone entering the player bench or the field must have a valid Toronto JAM profile with a photo uploaded and must be on the official online team roster.
In the event where verification of a player’s age is needed, one of the following forms of identification is acceptable:
- Driver’s License
- Original Birth Certificate with Raised Seal
- School ID with Birth Date
Any player who is discovered to have lied about his/her age or identity to play in any league will be removed from the league with possible further disciplinary action against the Team Representative.
- A player must be at least eighteen (18) years old to play in any Toronto JAM League.
- If a player has been paid to play professional (indoor or outdoor) soccer within the last 6 months or is currently playing professionally, he/she is only eligible to play at the highest level in each league available.
- The league may restrict advanced players from playing in leagues two or more levels down.
A team must have a designated goalkeeper on the field at all times. The goalkeeper must wear a jersey colour that distinguishes them from all other field players and from the referee. A team may never have more than one goalkeeper on the field at one time. The goalkeeper may play the ball with his hands so long as the ball is not intentionally passed to him by a teammate’s foot pass. The goalkeeper may distribute the ball by rolling, throwing, punting, or drop-kicking. They may drop the ball to their own feet and kick or dribble the ball.
- During the game, an unlimited number of player substitutions may be made. All players must exit the field through the substitution area (marked five feet from the centre line with the touchline in front of their team’s bench) before the replacement steps onto the field.
- Neither the substitute entering the field nor the player leaving may play the ball while the other is on the field.
- Players may only enter the field through the substitutions area. They may not substitute by leaving the field on the spectator’s side or out the back of the goal side.
- Violations of the above substitution rules could result in a two-minute penalty.
- A goalkeeper may only be substituted during a stoppage of play.
If a goalkeeper receives a two-minute penalty which the referee tells them to serve, then the goalkeeper must be substituted as quickly as possible.
All substitutes must remain seated on their respective bench unless partaking in active substitutions.
The following deadlines will be enforced to all divisions. The JAM and BallSports reserve the right to deny a player the ability to play if these deadlines are not met. Using any ineligible players will result in a default loss.
- Photo's - All players on the team roster must have an uploaded photo on their TJAM profile by the 5th week of play. Any player to not have an uploaded photo will be considered ineligible.
- Roster Freeze - All players must be active on the team roster by the 9th week of play. After the 9th week of play, players will not be allowed to add an individual to the team roster and will be considered ineligible. For Spring/Summer seasons, the freeze will take place at the 5 week mark of the season.
Team Captain Responsibilities
Team Captains/Representatives are encouraged to be an active playing participant on their teams. If the registered team representative is a non-player, the team must declare a co-captain team. It is the expectation of the League office that Team Representatives will embody the philosophy of the JAM, which are fun, safety and enjoyment of the game of soccer for all.
Team Captains are responsible for the following:
- League fees are paid on time
- Player jersey numbers are recorded on the game sheet before kick off
- Making sure all team players on the roster are registered with the league and have an updated profile picture
- Making sure that only registered players are on the bench during the game
- Spectator behaviour
- Communicating any potential forfeit with the league with appropriate advance notice
If a team’s registration fees are not paid according to our deadline the team may be prohibited from playing and therefore taking a 5-0 forfeit loss or dropped from the league without a refund.
- No refunds are given to suspended players. If a player who joined a team which registered as a “regular team” wants a refund, he/she must arrange to get the payment from the team’s authorized Team Representative. If a team deliberately forfeits two games in a season or decides to drop out of a league, they may be replaced and no refund is given. In addition, they may not be allowed to register a team again.
- If any player’s or team’s cheque is returned, that player or team will be suspended from playing until payment is made.
- A $50 returned cheque charge is assessed in addition to the amount of the original cheque.
- Teams are required to provide their own soccer ball for all league games. All soccer balls that are being used in the game must be approved by the Official before kickoff.
- The ball shall be spherical; the outer casing shall be leather or other suitable materials. No materials shall be used in its construction which might prove dangerous to the players.
- On-coming players should refrain from kicking soccer balls along the outside of the touchline.
Uniforms and Equipment
Members must follow the following Uniform and Equipment Guidelines:
- Players must be dressed in matching or similar jerseys (preferably with permanent numbers for proper identification).
- Goalkeepers must wear colours distinguishing them from all other players and referees
- Players may not switch shirts and wear a different number than that on the team roster form. The home team changes in cases of colour conflict. It is recommended that teams bring alternate tops.
- It is mandatory that players wear shin guards of an appropriate size. Shin guards must be worn on both legs and must be totally covered by socks.
- Socks must be matching.
- No cleats (metal or rubber) are allowed.
- Players must wear flat-soled shoes or turf shoes.
- No jewellery, watches, or activity tracking devices are allowed.
- No headwear, caps, bandanas, or metal hair clips can be worn
- No sleeveless jerseys, casual dress pants, or dress shorts can be worn.
- No eyewear can be worn with any type of hard material deemed by the referee as a potential danger to the player or others. Sports goggles are acceptable. Eyewear must be tied at the back of the head.
Braces and Casts
Knee braces and casts are allowed to be worn at our soccer facility provided that they are covered and properly padded by a force-absorbing material that covers all rigid exterior sides and edges. THE REFEREE WILL MAKE THE FINAL DECISION AS TO THE ACCEPTABILITY OF ANY CAST OR KNEE BRACE. NO HARD CASTS ALLOWED.
The following will define the League format which may differ from standard SSG Soccer Leagues:
Schedule and League Format
The schedule and formats for a league may vary from season to season, depending on the number of teams in a league. Please check with the Toronto JAM Head Office for the format of your league. Schedules are available on the Toronto JAM website.
Note: If your team has a scheduling request please make sure it mentioned to Toronto JAM Head Office before the league schedule is made, and we will try to accommodate you. Please note that all special requests are ‘requests’ and may not be accommodated.
Leagues are set up on a 'Best Record System'. A team’s record is the total number of points earned per game:
- Win = 3 Points
- Tie = 1 Point
- Loss = 0 Points
- If two or more teams are tied, the head to head result (win/loss record of the game(s) including the aggregate of the goals scored and conceded between the tied teams) determines the winner
- If two or more teams are still tied the best goal differential in all league games determines the winner.
- If two or more teams are still tied, the winner is the team with the most goals scored in all league games.
- If two or more teams are still tied, the winner is the team with the fewest goals scored against them in all league games.
The top 4 teams at the completion of the regular season will compete in finals (1 v 4 and 2 v 3). Both winning teams go through to the championship final. Losing teams will play consolation games.
Teams that don’t finish in the top 4 will play in consolation games.
- Both teams must fill in the jersey numbers of their players on the game sheet located with the SSG Representative prior to kickoff.
- All players entering the field of play must be on the game sheet before playing
- Everyone on the team’s bench must be identified on the game sheet.
- The game will not commence until BOTH teams have filled out their appropriate information on the game sheet, however, the score clock will start at the scheduled game time.
- If teams are found to have used a player that is not on the game sheet, the delinquent teams will forfeit the game by a score of 5-0. If the team loses by a score greater than the forfeit score, the original score will stand.
The referee shall send any player off the field that is bleeding or requires treatment for an injury. If a player has been ordered off the field because of blood, the player must obtain the referee’s approval before they may re-enter the field.
Play shall stop when the referee decides that:
- An injury is serious (i.e. head injury)
- The injured player’s location is likely to interfere with play
- The injured player’s team has control of the ball
When play is stopped for an injury, the injured player must leave the field, except for the goalkeeper. The second time that play is stopped because of an injury to the same goalkeeper; they must leave the field. An injured player may re-enter the field after play is restarted and after the referee’s signal. If play is stopped for an injury anyone entering the field to assist the injured player must wait for the referee’s signal.
The following are the specific rules of play for the SSG BallSports Soccer League:
Ball In and Out of Play
The ball is still in play:
- When it rebounds from a goalpost, crossbar or corner flag and remains in the field.
- When it rebounds off a referee on the field and remains on the field.
The ball is out of play when the whole ball crosses the field boundary line or touches the dome ceiling
- A goal is scored when the whole ball crosses the whole of the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar, provided that no violation of the rules has been committed by the team scoring the goal.
- A goal cannot be scored once the horn has begun to sound; the whole ball must cross the whole line before the start of the horn.
- A goal can’t be scored directly from any restart except on a penalty kick.
A restart is a procedure for resuming play after a stoppage. Restarts are kickoffs; free kicks that include: kick-ins, corner kicks, and drop balls. All restarts are “indirect”; that is, a goal can only be scored after a second player has touched the ball
On all restarts, the ball must be stationary and the ball must be placed where the foul was committed or where it went out of bounds.
A whistle is not required except on a penalty kick.
The referee might ask a team to wait for his/her whistle if the official feels it is necessary.
Fouls and Misconducts
- Any obstruction and dangerous play towards another player, including but not limited to kicking, tripping, jumping into, charging, heading, striking, pushing, tackling, holding, spitting.
The restart after any foul is called will be a free kick at the spot of the infraction.
There will be NO SLIDE TACKLES. Any slide tackle will result in a two-minute time penalty. A slide tackle is defined as a player leaving their feet to make an attempt to slide into the ball which is in the possession of an opposing player. A player may slide in the open field to keep the ball in play provided that their action is not considered dangerous by the referee.
Violations Involving the Goalkeeper
- The goalkeeper may only possess the ball within the penalty area for a maximum of six seconds (hands). A keeper can move anywhere in the box. If the goalkeeper exceeds that time the opposing team is given a free kick at the top of the penalty area. The defending team must provide five yards minimum distance for the kick.
- The goalkeeper may not play the ball with their hands if the ball is intentionally kicked to them by a teammate’s foot pass. A violation results in a two-minute penalty to the offending player
- An intentional handball by the goalkeeper outside the penalty area may result in a two-minute penalty or ejection
- A goalkeeper may not commit a slide tackle anywhere on the field.
Note: To clear up any confusion about goalkeeper handballs around the penalty area. The key point is the location of the ball. If the ball is inside the area at the moment of contact it is not a handball even if any other part of the goalkeeper’s body is outside the area.
If in the referee’s opinion a foul is serious a two-minute penalty or an ejection (red card and a five-minute penalty) may be given. A player can be given a red card without first receiving a warning.
After a penalty is given, the play is restarted at the point of the infraction with a free kick by the opposing team. Any penalty issued to a substituted or on-field player will have to be completed in its entirety regardless of any play that occurs on the field.
- When a player receives a time penalty the time begins when the referee restarts play and his /her team plays short until the time expires. When time penalties are given to players on each team at the same time – simultaneous penalties – both teams will play shorthanded. If the penalized team is scored on while serving a penalty the penalty continues until the time expires.
- Five-minute red card penalties will also run until time expires. If the penalized team is scored on while serving a penalty the penalty continues until the time expires. Once the penalty expires the player waits for the referee to signal the player or teammate back on the field. If a player enters the field without getting the signal from the referee an additional two-minute penalty may be awarded.
- If there is misconduct from the bench, the offending team will be penalized by reducing the players on the field by a player. If a team is down to three players on the field the referee has to abandon the game.
- If a player on the bench receives a penalty of any length then that team will play short for the duration of the penalty given regardless of any play that occurs on the field.
- The game may be extended when a penalty is called in the last two or five minutes of the game with the length of time added being based on the length of time remaining in the penalty.
- There is no limit to the number of players serving penalties at the same time.
- The referee has the right to terminate the game in the interest of player safety.
Two Minute Penalties
The following are infractions in which can cause a two-minute penalty:
Encroachment: For all free kickstarts: The defender must provide a minimum of 5 yards for the taking of a free kick. If a defensive player makes any movement toward the ball to block the free kick and crosses into the five-yard minimum space they are guilty of encroachment and may be assessed a two-minute penalty.
If the player taking the free kick asks the referee to enforce the five-yard distance they must wait for a referee’s signal to restart. If the defensive player makes any movement toward the ball to block the free kick and crosses into the five-yard space they are guilty of encroachment and may be assessed a two-minute penalty.
If the referee asks a defensive player to move five yards from the ball and the player does not immediately comply, delaying the restart, a two- minute penalty may be assessed.
On a kickoff, the defending team must be on their side of the halfway line and outside the centre circle.
Dissent: Dissent is words or actions directed by a player at a referee in objection of any call. Dissent will result in at least a two-minute penalty.
Unsportsmanlike Behaviour: The referee issues a two-minute penalty for the following unsportsmanlike offences:
- Inappropriate celebration after a goal is scored
- Illegal re-entry of a player onto the field
- Obscene language
- Equipment violation
- Delaying the restart of the game
- Delay in leaving the field after a penalty has been awarded
Misconducts/ Red Cards
If a player receives a red card, that person is ejected from the premises for at least the remainder of the game and the team’s next game. Their team is penalized for five minutes.
The penalty does not expire if scored upon.
Red Cards include:
- A tackle from behind which endangers the safety of an opponent
- Striking or attempting to strike an opponent
- Any form of fighting or violent conduct
- Intentionally elbowing a player
- Leaving the bench to join an altercation on the field
- Abusive language or behaviour towards referee or staff
- A foul that prevents an obvious goal scoring opportunity
- Fighting is a mandatory red card, and any player given a red card for fighting shall be guilty of violent conduct. The discipline committee will review the red card and player may be expelled from all leagues.
- Any player, coach, or spectator who touches, bumps, physically contacts or verbally abuses a game official or facility staff is guilty of violent conduct and ejected from the premises.
Suspensions for Fighting or Abuse of Officials or Staff:
Any player, coach, or spectator who spits, touches, bumps, physically contacts or verbally abuses a game official or facility staff member shall be guilty of violent conduct and ejected from the SSG and Ballsports premises for no less than one year and could be expelled indefinitely.
Offsides do not apply in these leagues.
- The ball must be stationary when a free kick is taken
- A goal can’t be scored directly from a free kick
- A penalty kick is awarded for any deliberate infringement of the rules by the defending team within their own penalty area, which is penalized by a direct free kick
- Penalty kick must be taken from the penalty mark
- When the kick is being taken, all players (except for the kicker and the opposing goalkeeper) shall be within the field of play but behind the kicker and behind the line designated by the referee
- The opposing goalkeeper must stand on their own goal line until the ball is kicked. The player taking the kick must kick the ball forward in order for it to be in play. If the ball is not put into play properly the kick must be retaken.
- When the whole of the ball passes over the touch-line, either on the ground or in the air, an indirect free kick shall be awarded to the team opposing the player who last touched or played the ball.
- The free kick shall be taken from the point that the ball went out of play.
- Opposing players shall not approach within five yards of the ball until it is in play
- The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player.
- A goal cannot be scored directly from a kick-in.
- If the ball is kicked from the sideline and does not enter the field of play, it will be retaken by the same team.
- Goal-kicks may be taken anywhere inside the goal keeper’s area.
- Goals cannot be scored directly from a goal kick
- Ball is placed within the corner arc. If the ball is misplaced, the corner kick is taken over
- The kicker cannot play the ball a second time until it has been played by another player; infringement of this rule entails an indirect free kick to the opposing team from the point of infringement
- Players on the opposing team must be at least 5 yards away from point of the corner kick.
- A goal cannot be scored directly from a corner kick
- Any player that touches or move the corner flag at any time may receive a two- minute penalty
Referees and staff members have the right to remove a player, coach, or spectator before, during or after a game. That person must leave the property immediately. Failure to leave the premises will result in the game to be terminated and the victory awarded to the opposing team.
If a player is issued a red card, he/she is ejected for a minimum of the remainder of that game and the team’s next league game. His/her team will play short for 5 minutes. The length of the red card suspension will be determined by the discipline committee during a process called Discipline by Review. No players or team delegates attend the review.
Suspensions shall carry on to any other teams the player plays with. For example: if a player receives a 3-game suspension, the suspension will be for 3 weeks from all leagues with The Toronto JAM and Ballsports
Discipline by Review
A discipline committee meets once a week to review any discipline reports that occurred the previous week. The committee discusses each report individually and uses the Ontario Soccer Association Standard Penalties for misconduct by a player guideline as a reference to determine the suspension.
Although teams don’t attend this process, team captains can send us an email with their point of view of the incident, and this will be taken into consideration by the committee.
Terminated or Abandoned Games
If the referee terminates a game, the score of the game and any disciplinary action will be decided by the discipline committee. If any player, coach, or spectator involved with a particular team gives the referee cause to terminate a game, the victory will be awarded to the opposing team.
A protest must be submitted in writing within 24 hours of the game being played. Protests may be made on eligibility and rule interpretation; never on a judgment call by officials. Only the team captain or designated game captain may file a protest.
A player who receives a red card will be automatically suspended for the next game and the captain will be notified of the length of suspension after the discipline committee meeting has occurred (please refer to discipline by review above).
Powers of the Referee
The referee’s power to assess penalties and maintain control of the game includes violations committed during play, during stoppages, and at the conclusion of the game.
The referee has the power to:
- Warn/Penalize/Eject – From the time the referee enters the building he has the power to penalize any player, coach, or spectator for fouls or misconduct as stated in these rules and to give warnings or time penalties, including red cards, regardless of whether the ball is in play or not.
- Declare an Advantage – The referee allows play to continue when the team against which a foul has been committed could benefit from such an advantage.
- Stop, Suspend, or Terminate the Game – The referee has the discretionary power to stop the game for any violation and to suspend or terminate the game because of the elements, interference by spectators, extreme misconduct, or other situation which the referee deems unsafe or unacceptable. In the case of a terminated game, the outcome of the game and any necessary disciplinary action will be determined by the facility manager.
- Prohibit Entry onto the Field – The referee ensures that no unauthorized persons enter the field
- Halt Play Due to Injury – The referee may stop the game if a player has been injured and have the player removed from the field.
- Signal Restarts – The referee signals the restart of the game after all stoppages.
The referee will file a report with the league, giving all pertinent information about any red cards and special incidents.
Regular Season Matches and Playoffs Tiebreak
Regular Season Matches can end in a tie. There must be a winner in a playoff match. In the event that the match ends in a tie, teams will partake in the following tiebreaker:
- If the score is tied after regulation time, the game will be decided by kicks from the penalty mark (5 per team).
- For the coed league, 2 out of the 5 kickers MUST BE FEMALE. Male and female players must alternate after each penalty kick even after the initial 5 kickers.
- If the score remains tied, the teams will alternate until one team has scored and the other has missed in a sudden death format.
- Before any penalty kicks are taken the referee must ensure teams have an equal number of eligible players.
Any rough or physical play will result in immediate expulsion from further league play and may result in a lifetime league expulsion. Please see the JAM General Policy for our official guidelines on this subject. It is recognized that incidental contact between players is inevitable; however, all players should go out of their way to avoid creating an unsafe play. This rule supersedes all others.
There are absolutely no alcoholic beverages permitted on JAM or Ballsports property. Any offenders will be asked to leave the league without refund. No exceptions.