8v8 League Rules

**IMPORTANT** Unless otherwise specified, Metro East Football Association referees will follow standard FIFA laws.  We hold our referees to a high standard; however, they are not infallible and sometimes will make mistakes.  Just like we as players may make bad passes.  Let it go.  The league does not have VAR, this is not the World Cup, and the referee can only see what is in front of them.  The league rules listed below supersede standard FIFA laws and are for everyone’s safety, in addition to controlling the flow of the game


  • Max Roster Size: 18
  • Rosters are locked after 50% of regular season games are played
    • Winter: 3 Games | Spring/Summer/Fall: 5 Games
  • Roster spots are not transferable
  • Only rostered players are eligible to play during playoffs
    • The only exception is for a replacement GK with pre-approval from the league
  • Rostered Players:
    • Must have valid player card
    • Must pay season fee OR be rostered on a team that has paid in full
  • Guest Players:
    • During regular season games, guest players must fall under the following rules:
      • Teams may use add guest players until they have 2 subs (10 total players)
      • Guest players must have a valid player card
      • Guest players must enter the game at least once prior to the end of the first half of the match.

Flow of Play

  • Matches will consist of two 25-minute halves. At the referee’s discretion, extra time may be added for excessive time wasting or injury. There is no guarantee that extra time will be added.  Games are typically scheduled back-to-back, which limits the ability for games to run past their allotted time.
  • Each team will have 8 players on the field, consisting of 7 field players and 1 goalkeeper.
  • To ensure accurate scorekeeping and reduce possible discrepancies, team captains should confirm the score with the referee at halftime and at the completion of the match.
  • Offsides is not called. Practically speaking, “cherry-picking” often results in having a player significantly out of position.


  • Substitutions can be done on any dead ball with the referee’s attention. For most substitutions the referee will not stop play; however, at their discretion, play can be stopped for the substitution to be completed in order to not create an unfair advantage.
  • The player coming off the field must be 100% off the field before the new player comes on.
  • Substitutions that occur without the referee’s attention or during the flow of play may result in a yellow card for the player that comes onto the field.

Sliding & Slide Tackling

  • Sliding & Slide tackling is not allowed. Sliding typically means that your hip and/or butt is on the ground in a deliberate sliding manner.  This does not mean you are prohibited from stretching out or going down to a knee to win a ball, though in some cases a stretch that turns into a slide will be called.
  • Any sliding will result in an indirect free kick for the opposing team at the spot of the foul.
  • Fouls committed due to sliding, will be penalized in accordance with  the standard FIFA laws of the game. In most cases, this is a yellow card offense.
  • Goalkeepers are exempt from this rule inside their own penalty area where they can play within standard FIFA laws.
  • The referee will use their discretion on intent on any play resembling a slide.

Yellow & Red Cards

  • Teams are required to give the referee the first and last name of a player who receives a yellow or red card; failure to provide this information will result in the termination of the game and a forfeit win for the opposing team.
  • Three (3) yellow cards received in the regular season will result in a one game suspension. For clarity, if a player is issued a second yellow card in a single game (and then the subsequent red card that follows), those 2 yellow cards will not count against single issue yellow card accumulation. Card accumulation does not follow into the playoffs, however a 3rd yellow card issued in the final regular season match will still result in a 1 game suspension, which in that case is the first playoff game their team is playing.
  • A team that receives 5 yellow cards in one game will be required to play down one player for the remainder of the game. If a 7th yellow card is reached, the game will end in a forfeit win for the opposing team.
  • All Red Cards, regardless if it is a straight red or two yellow cards, will receive a minimum one game suspension, to be served their next scheduled game for a team they are rostered on. Additional games may be added on to the suspension after review by the league board. Players rostered on multiple rosters may serve their suspension their next scheduled game, regardless of team, however if a player is rostered on two teams, and those teams are playing simultaneously, the player must sit out for both games as they would not have been able to play both games at the same time had they not been suspended.
  • Players receiving red cards may be asked to leave the field premises at the discretion of the referee; further interaction with either the referee or the opposing team may result in additional game suspensions.
  • Suspensions carry over to subsequent seasons.
  • Red Cards for Violent Conduct (fighting, throwing punches, etc) will result in a minimum 4 game suspension and will be reviewed by the league board for additional game bans.

*The term “specific league” references, for example; Friday 11v11 or Sunday 8v8, each of which are specific leagues; but Sunday 8v8 Div1 and Sunday 8v8 Div2 would be considered the same league.


  • Please do not forfeit a game. It is a disservice to the opposing team.  Games will be recorded as a 3-0 win for the non-forfeiting team.  Repeated forfeits may require the league to implement a forfeit deposit.
  • Forfeits and/or terminated games due to on-field behavior will be recorded as the better of the current scoreline at termination or 3-0.
  • Teams that forfeit will be assessed an $80 fine to be paid prior to their next scheduled game.

Playoff Seeding & Playoff Game Overtime

  • Seeding and seeding tie-breakers will be as follows:
  • 1) Total Points (W=3, T=1, L=0)
  • 2) Goal Differential
  • 3) Head to Head Results
  • 4) Total Goals Scored
  • 5) Total Goals Against
  • 6) Coin Flip
  • Playoff games ending in regulation-time tie will play a 10-minute overtime split between two 5-minute halves; no Golden Goal. If the game is still tied, the game will be decided by standard FIFA kicks from the penalty mark.

Inclement Weather

  • We will make every attempt to postpone games more than 3 hours in advance. Winter games will not be postponed unless road conditions and/or the playing surface is dangerous or unplayable due to ice/snow.
  • If a game is canceled, we will let the team managers know via email/text message and post the announcement to social media. Every effort will be made to reschedule games in the same time slots as the league games; however, no guarantee can be made that makeup games will follow the same schedule.