The Big Goal
Tournament Rules

Tournament Rules

  • We have been guided by the FA’s official 5-A-Side Football Rules – please see below:
  • The tournament format is 5 v 5
  • Squad numbers must be a minimum of 5; maximum of 10 players
  • The game is officially played with 4 outfield players and 1 goalkeeper per team. Formations and positions are set by each team. There are no limits to the amount of defenders or attackers per team
  • All matches will be 7-minute halves with a 2-minute break at Half-Time   *Subject to the number of Teams in a Group
  • Teams will change ends at Half Time
  • Teams may operate unlimited roll-on, roll-off substitutions during matches
  • Substitutions can only take place during a stoppage in play (e.g. a goal-kick, free kick, restart, etc.). The referee must be notified of this change
  • All players on the field must wear shin pads
  • No studs or blades are to be worn. Only trainers or moulded boots are permitted
  • Kick-Off is determined by a coin-toss or equivalent to determine which team kicks-off
  • Kick-Off must begin with a pass-back to a team player. This can be straight to the goalkeeper
  • The ball is permitted at any height during play
  • All throw-ins must be roll-on
  • All corners must be kicked
  • No player except for the goalkeeper is allowed inside the goalkeeping area. If a defender enters the area to defend and makes contact with the ball, the attacking side is awarded a penalty. If an attacker enters the area to score, the defending team restarts with the goalkeepers ball or advantage played.
  • If a goalkeeper makes contact with the ball outside of the goalkeeper area, a resulting penalty for the attacking team is awarded
  • Players issued with a yellow card will be suspended for 2 minutes
  • Players issued with a red card are permanently suspended from play for that fixture
  • A goal is awarded if the whole of the ball passes over the goal line. A goal is not awarded if it has been thrown by hand
  • The team that scores the most goals during a game is the winner. If both teams score an equal number of goals, the game ends in a draw. In the Knock-Out rounds, if a game is a draw at the end of normal time, the match will move straight to penalties to determine a winner
  • There is no offside within the 5-A-Side football rules
  • The ball must be stationary when taking both a direct or an indirect free kick. The free kick taker cannot touch the ball a second time, until it has touched another player. All opponents must retreat at least 2 yards from the free kick position. The ball is back in play once the free kick taker has touched the ball
  • Penalties: There are two ways that penalty kicks are awarded against a team: a) An outfield player makes contact with the ball inside their own goalkeeping area; b) A goalkeeper makes contact with the ball outside their own goalkeeping area
  • Penalty kick takers have a maximum one yard run-up to strike the ball. All defending players must wait outside of the goalkeeping area during the penalty kick
  • Teams will compete in groups, playing every other team in the group once
  • The winners (and best runners up as applicable) from each group will qualify for the Knock-Outs, which will be straight to the Semi-Finals
  • During the Regional Finals, all those teams that successfully reach the Semi-Finals stage, will automatically qualify to play in the National Finals
  • All matches played will operate a points system: 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw
  • Where teams are tied on points after all Group matches, Goal Difference (GD) will support the team to qualify
  • If GD is tied, goals scored for will be counted in support of the team to qualify
  • The Referee decision is final in all circumstances and should be respected at all times.

Match Officials

  • The Referee’s decision in all matters concerning points of play shall be final and binding
  • Referees will assess all teams throughout the tournament for The Fair Play Award
  • Please respect the referees throughout at all times and in all circumstances.


  • Code of Conduct – must be adhered to
  • Any form of discrimination will not be tolerated
  • If you are aware of an incident – please ensure that you report this to a member of the SSF staff. Event Safeguarding Officer and Event Leads on site will then be notified
  • If an incident does occur, the focus will be on the welfare of those involved.


  • Where this is a kit clash the second team will be provided with bibs
  • Media/filming will take place during the tournament event offering participant interview opportunities
  • Closed event with security on site
  • Prizes will be formally presented to the Winners, Runners Up and Fair Play Award Winners. There will also be an individual prize formally presented to the Golden Boot Winner (the Top Scorer of the tournament). These presentations will take place pitch-side. Match officials will choose the team to receive the Fair Play Award and will make the decision based on the Code of Conduct for participants
  • The winning team and Fair Play Award winners may be asked to complete post-match interviews
  • If you are socially sharing updates during and/or throughout the tournament, please include #TheBigGoal
  • Photography will take place throughout the event
  • All participants and supporters are permitted to take photos during the event
  • It should be noted that selected spectators may be in attendance during the tournament. These will be known to the SSF and invited guests, as current supporters, partners or sponsors of either the national Street Soccer Academy programme and/or The Big Goal.


We want everyone taking part to enjoy themselves, to be safe and to feel welcome. We ask that you represent your company well by:

  • Celebrating difference, helping everyone feel included and by being kind
  • Supporting and encouraging each other – including opponents
  • Respecting others including your team, other teams, staff, officials and guests
  • Playing within the rules and respecting the decisions of the officials
  • Using language which is OK with everyone
  • Listening to and following instructions
  • Staying safe and talking to a trusted adult if you are worried about anything or anyone
  • Staying on site at all times and not leaving the site until/unless you are asked to do so.


Supporting staff are expected to:

  • Be familiar with all information provided by the SSF prior to the event
  • Adhere to the safeguarding measures in place
  • Give full attention to instructions, safety briefings and safety/risk management arrangements
  • Respect the differences between everyone at the event and challenge discrimination
  • Demonstrate high standards of propriety and behaviour, maintaining professional boundaries at all times. All interactions with anyone should be positive
  • Respect all participants, fellow supporters, and event staff as well as match officials and their decisions
  • Remain alcohol free and do no smoke or vape in front of participants or within the event venue.

Breaches of these Codes of Conduct

The SSF reserves the right to determine appropriate action for breaches of these codes of conduct. This may include you / your team being asked to leave the tournament and being excluded from future events.

Key Contacts

Keith Mabbutt


07790 570 766

Jen Francis


07747 482 934

Kay Skelton


07429 337 994

Size Guide

The Big Goal Kit Bundle Playing Socks


Size Guide

The Big Goal Kit Bundle Playing Shorts


Size Guide

The Big Goal Kit Bundle Playing Shirt