How it works and what we expect of teams

We are delighted you will be joining our Foxes Fives League this season.

This is an overview of how it works, and what we do to make it a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and a wonderful example of competitive football for children and young people.

Like any professional football club, there are rules! Things we expect of teams, players, coaches and parents, so we can run things smoothly and keep everyone safe, included and happy. That means there are important behaviours and attitudes that everyone needs to support.

We ask that all players, parents and coaches read through these rules and agree to them. You will find many are common sense, and things you need to do to enjoy sports throughout the rest of your life.

Key Rules & Foxes Fives League Format

  1. All players must wear the appropriate footwear for their league to maintain our high safety standards. No studded metal boots or flat-soled boots are allowed. We recommend Astroturf boots.
  2. Players are required by FA Rules to wear shin pads while taking part.
  3. Each team must choose and then register their team colour shirt. All players in that team must wear the same colour shirt during matches. If two teams have the same colour for a fixture, one team will be supplied with a different coloured bib to wear.
  4. In 5 a-side leagues, each team is allowed a maximum of eight players for fixtures.
  5. All matches will be 36 or 40 minutes in duration (dependent on age), with a three-minute interval halfway through.
  6. Players must arrive pitch-side five minutes before kick-off times, ready to start. As we try to keep things running smoothly, late arrivals cause disruption for other teams.
  7. If teams are more than 10 minutes late for kick-off, the referee may award their opponents a 5 – 0 win.
  8. It is possible for teams to have only four players if necessary, but no less. Also, if both teams have six players, coaches and referees can agree to a 6 v 6 fixture.
  9. Points are awarded for:
  • Three for a win
  • One for a draw
  • Zero for loses

Teams that are level on points in a league will be separated by goal difference. If that is equal, a decision will be made by goals scored, then head-to-head results.

  1. League seasons typically last between 10 – 12 weeks. Each team will play other teams in their division twice during the season.
  2. At the end of the season, Foxes FC will promote the top two teams from each division, and the bottom two teams may be placed in a lower division.

No-shows and cancelled games

  1. Teams must notify organisers at least a day before if they are unable to fulfill their fixture. If no notice is given, opponents are awarded a 5 โ€“ 0 victory and the no-show team has three points deducted. If teams prove unreliable repeatedly, sadly they will have to be removed from the Foxes Fives league.
  2. If a team refuses to play a fixture, the other team will be awarded a 5 – 0 victory, and the dissenting team will have three points deducted.
  3. There are only distinct and special circumstances for when a match can be cancelled after kick-off. If the reason is due to one team refusing to proceed, they will have three points deducted and their opponents will be awarded a 5 – 0 victory. However, if the score at the time produces a goal difference greater than 5-0, then that score will stand.
  4. Foxes FC management will decide if adverse weather conditions make it necessary to cancel Foxes Fives fixtures. Players will be notified as quickly as possible. Otherwise, all matches go ahead!

Fixtures and League Format

  1. A Foxes Fives fixture list is issued at the start of each season and displayed on the league website All league results will be published on the same website.
  2. Fixtures may need to be amended sometimes by Foxes FC, to ensure the league runs smoothly and successfully.
  3. Foxes FC reserves the right to amend league formats for the same reason.

Match Rules

  • No slide tackling.
  • The goalkeeper can only roll the ball along the ground or pass it out along the ground. They cannot throw overarm or drop kick the ball.
  • The goalkeeper is not allowed out of their area โ€“ which will be clearly shown to you by the referees. If the keeper comes out of the area to stop a goal-scoring opportunity, a penalty is awarded.
  • If the goalkeeper makes a save and part of their body slides out of the area through momentum, the referee will use their discretion to decide if a penalty should be awarded.
  • Outfield players are not allowed into the goalkeeping area. They may face a penalty award if they go into the opposition area, or lose possession if they go into their own area.
  • Substitutes are roll-on and roll-off.
  • Overhead height in normal play is allowed.
  • When the ball goes out of play, a kick-in will be awarded to the team whose ball it is.
  • Corners are to be kicked in.
  • One step is allowed for penalties.
  • Goalkeepers must not leave the goal line until the penalty is struck.
  • Opposition players must be a minimum of 5 yards from corners/throw-ins/ free kicks.
  • Backpasses โ€“ when an outfield player receives the ball from the goalkeeper, the ball must be touched by another player before being returned to the goalkeeper. An indirect free kick is given if a backpass happens. It is taken from where the player passed to the keeper.


  • For any sending offs or aggressive behaviour, Foxes FC will impose an appropriate ban.
  • Foxes FC has zero tolerance towards aggressive behaviour and this will be reflected in the action taken against teams and individuals involved in incidents.
  • Foxes FC reserves the right to ban any team or player indefinitely from any league or competition if they continue to fail to meet our codes of conduct and endanger the welfare of other players.
  • Violent conduct on or off the pitch will result in the immediate suspension of the individual and could result in a ban from all Foxes FC premises, activities and competitions.
  • Players may be sent to the โ€˜sin binโ€™ at the refereeโ€™s discretion depending on the offence. The duration of the sin bin will be 3 mins for which a yellow card will be issued. A player may only be sin binned once per game, as a second offence would involve a second yellow card leading to an automatic red card and being instructed to leave the game.
  • A player sent off for a second offence will be suspended for a minimum of 1 week. In the case of serious foul play, foul or abusive language, the suspension will be extended to longer if Foxes FC feels it is necessary.
  • If a team is permanently reduced by 2 players, the game will end. The match will be awarded 5-0 to their opponents. If the score at the time produces a goal difference greater than 5-0 then that score will stand.
  • See the above rules for if one team halts a match. If a match is abandoned as both teams are judged to be at fault, the game will be void and no points will be awarded.
  • Referees must be treated with respect by all teams. Teams found guilty of physically or verbally abusing referees will be removed from the league.
  • The decisions of Foxes FC management in matters of proper sports behaviours and the smooth running of individual matches and the leagues, are final. Refer to our complaints procedure if you do wish to raise an issue.
  • Foxes FC management may update or replace a rule if they feel a team is deliberately using an interpretation to gain an unfair advantage.

Now โ€“ with all that said โ€“ have fun, play fair, and letโ€™s make this the BEST five-a-side league in London!