House league rules

Outdoor house league play at THPFC is governed both by FIFA's Rules and Ontario Soccer policy.

The following rules are added to ensure a common understanding between house league officials and to encourage the spirit of fair play.

The rules below do not apply to Timbits or Youth Indoor House League.

Kickoff times

Kickoff times are strictly enforced in order to ensure enough daylight for the match and/or any subsequent matches. Games that are started late will be shortened accordingly.  


Failure to field the minimum number of players by 15 minutes after the scheduled kick-off time results in a default. The referee will shorten the game if the kick-off time is delayed. 

11 v 11: teams must field a minimum of 7 players -- 6 or fewer players results in a default.

9 v 9: teams must field a minimum of 6 players -- 5 or fewer players results in a default.

7 v 7: teams must field a minimum of 5 players -- 4 or fewer players results in a default.

5 v 5: teams must field a minimum of 4 players -- 3 or fewer players results in a default.

If a team defaults, the game is scored as 3 - 0 for the other team. If both teams default, the game is scored as 3 - 3.

Plus one player rule

If a team has the minimum number of players to avoid a default but not enough to field a full team based on the format of play then the opposing team must match the number of players plus one.

At the discretion of individual team officials it is also acceptable to play matches even up with the same number of players on the field from each team or to share players as noted in the agreement between team officials rule.

Example:  In an 11v11 format, if one team only has 7 players then the opposing team can only play 8 players maximum


Agreement between team officials

If a team is short players, an agreement between team officials can allow for the loan of individual players to the opposing team to ensure the opposition may field enough players to prevent a forfeit or short-handed play.

Note: In the spirit the game, team officials are encouraged to work with each other to ensure that:
(a) No team forfeits due to lack of players
(b) No team plays with fewer than the required number of players when preventable
(c) Team officials make the decision on whether or not players are loaned for one half of a game or the entire game

Example: If the Red team has 9 players show up at a 11v11 game versus the White team who has 18 players, the Red Team Officials and White Team Officials can speak prior to the game and agree on a loan of players whereby the White Team can provide the Red team with 2 or more players per half or the same players for the entire game to ensure the Red team does not compete with less than 11 players.



An unlimited number of substitutions are allowed, but permission from the referee is required before proceeding.

Substitutions may be requested at a stoppage in play by the team in possession of the ball, e.g. on your own kick in/throw in, your own goal kick. If a team has requested and received approval for substitutions, the other team may "piggyback" on them, i.e. make substitutions at the same time. Substitutions may also be made at half time and following a stoppage for injury.

Special rules for U10 and below

Kick ins are used for U10 and below. (Throw ins are used for U11 and above.)

For U10 and below, on a goal kick, the other team (the team not taking the goal kick) must retreat into its own half until there has been a second touch (the first touch being the goal kick) by the team taking the goal kick.

In keeping with the Ontario Soccer Association's Long Term Player Development guidelines, scores and standings are not kept for U10 and below. However, the referee will communicate the score to the coaches after the game to enable team re-balancing where necessary.

Slide tackling

Slide tackling is not allowed. If a player slide tackles or attempts to slide tackle, then an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team and a warning is issued to the player.

Mercy rule (youth leagues only -- does not apply to adult leagues)

The maximum goal differential allowed at any time is 5. A goal which would increase the differential beyond 5 does not count. Each player is allowed a maximum of 3 goals per game. Goals which are not counted due to the maximum 5 goal differential do not count toward the 3 player maximum. Following a goal which does not count, play is re-started with a goal kick.

Ties in the standings

(For divisions that keep standings only.)

Please note that when two or more teams have the same number of points in the standings, the order in which the teams appear on the online standings is not definitive. The formula below takes precedence over the online standings.

In the event that two or more teams have the same number of points, their positions in the standings is determined by the following tie-breaking procedure, applied in order:

  • Total number of points from games played between those teams.
  • Goals against from games played between those teams.
  • Goals against from all games played by those teams.

If there are tournaments in which the team matchups depend on the standings, and in the event that a tie remains after the application of the above, a one-game playoff game may be scheduled, or another procedure (e.g. coin toss) may be used as determined by the club. Overtime and kicks from the penalty mark shall be used to break a tie that remains after the completion of regulation time in such a playoff game.

Ties at the end of regulation time

Regular season games can end in a tie.

In games which require a winner, the following tie-breaking procedure is used:

  • Two 5-minute golden goal (sudden death) overtime periods.
  • Kicks from the penalty mark
    • All players are eligible to participate in the kicks -- they do not have to have been on the field at the end of regulation or extra time. Any player may be the goalkeeper, and the goalkeeper may be changed at any time. Each kick is taken by a different player, and all players on a team, including the goalkeeper, must kick before any player kicks twice.
    • The referee chooses the goal at which the kicks will be taken. The referee tosses a coin and the team whose captain wins the toss decides whether to take the first or the second kick. The referee keeps a record of the kicks being taken.
    • Both teams take five kicks. The kicks are taken alternately by the teams. If, before both teams have taken five kicks, one has scored more goals than the other could score, even if it were to complete its five kicks, no more kicks are taken.
    • If, after both teams have taken five kicks, both have scored the same number of goals, or have not scored any goals, kicks continue to be taken in the same order until one team has scored a goal more than the other from the same number of kicks.
    • All players, except the player taking the kick and the two goalkeepers, must remain behind the centre line.
  • If games are running substantially behind schedule, or if there is the threat of inclement weather, the Program Director or Division Convenor, in consultation with the referee, may reduce the number of overtime periods to one, or may eliminate the overtime periods altogether and go straight to kicks from the penalty mark. 



Players are reminded to adhere to the following dress code.

  • No watches or jewellry.
  • Shin pads must be worn inside the socks.

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