Beachsoccer – The Laws of the Game

The Laws of the Game are used in all officially recognized Pro Beach Soccer competitions. These rules have been formulated combining the knowledge of soccer played on a sand surface with modern principles pioneered in sports marketing and broadcasting.  

These official Beach Soccer Laws of the Game have been successfully kept consistent since the earliest competitions and have been introduced to millions of television spectators all over the world. They were created to encourage fair play and a very spectacular game: a dynamic and colourful product for television coverage.

1. Objective Of The Game

The game is played for leisure, team play, friendship, and healthy competition. Fair play is the essence of the game. 

2. The Competition Area, The Goals, And The Ball

The competition area includes the playing sand court and a perimeter zone

2.1 Dimensions of the Playing Sand Court

The playing sand court is rectangular, 28.0m in width by 37.0m in length (1.0yard = 91.44cm; 1.0m = 100cm), and delimited by four lines: two sidelines (37.0m) and two base lines (28.0m). The four lines belong to the playing court of which they are boundaries.

The boundary lines shall be 10 cm wide and made of a tape like resistant material in contrasting colour with the sand. They are placed by means of special corner connectors and sand anchors, and attached to the goal posts by means of rubber rings. A perimeter zone of 2.0m in width surrounds the playing court.

2.2 Penalty Area

Four yellow flagpoles delineate the penalty area on each side of the playing court. The four yellow flagpoles are placed toward the exterior of the perimeter zone, at 1.0m from the point on the sidelines measured at 9.0m from each corner. Two imaginary lines, parallel to the base lines and unifying the yellow flags, define the penalty areas. The exact positions for the penalty kicks shall be the centre of these imaginary lines.

2.3 Corners and centre of the Playing Sand Court

Four red flag poles are placed in each corner of the playing sand court. Two additional red flag poles are placed toward the exterior of the perimeter zone, at 1.0m from the point of the sidelines equidistant from their respective corners. An imaginary line unifying these two red flag poles divides the playing sand court into two halves, and shall be defined as the mid-court line.

2.4 Field Flag Poles

The field flagpoles measure 1.5m above the sand. The field flagpoles are required not to have sharp tips, to be made of unbreakable plastic, elastic and weatherproof. The poles can be sunk into the sand or supported by a base designed to protect the beach soccer players from injuries.

2.5 Goals

The goals are placed on the centre of the base lines and made of two upright posts, 5.50m apart (as measured from the inside edge). The two vertical posts shall be united by a horizontal crossbar, which measures 2.20m from the sand surface (as measured from the inside edge).

The lower part of the vertical posts shall have an anchor plate to be anchored under the sand for safety reasons; they shall have two lateral bars of 1.5m placed at sand level and connected by a crossbar, or plastic covered chains with hooks and laces at both ends, and anchored into the sand. Nets are attached to the posts, bars and crossbars: only the use of hemp, jute or nylon is permitted.

2.6 Ball

 The ball of play is spherical (circumference 68-71; weight: 396-440gr. pressure: 7 lb.) made of leather or synthetic material imitating leather, abrasion-resistant, shape retaining and weatherproof. If the ball, during the course of a match, shows any deformity or loss of pressure, one of the referees must stop the match and the clock in order to replace it. dropping the replacement ball at centre of the field restarts the match. If the ball becomes defective while the clock is stopped, the match is restarted according to the Laws of the Game. Only the 1st referee has the authority to approve the conditions of the game balls.

2.7 Number of Balls

In international events, the game shall be played with a minimum of 5 (five) balls: one ball in play and the others in possession of four ballboys/girls standing in the four  corners of the perimeter zone. The ballboys/girls shall give their respective ball to the player or goalkeeper who requests it, if the playing ball goes out from the perimeter zone.

3. Teams Formation

3.1 Number of Players

Two teams of five (5) players play the game on each team. Two players, one for each team on the playing sand court, shall be the goalkeepers, and therefore allowed to touch the ball with their hands and/or arms in their respective goalkeeper’s area.

There are three (3) to five (5) substitute players on the bench. During the match, substitute players and team delegates must remain in their designated bench area. Only the coach shall be allowed to stand; the substitute players shall be sitting on their chairs/benches until the moment of substitution. In order for a match to start, both teams must have a minimum of four (4) players. The number of players can be completed at any moment during the game, by any player whose name has been included in the team-sheet before the beginning of the game.

3.2 Substitutions

There are no limits for substitutions in respect of the number of substitutions or timing for substitutions. The substitution zone is situated on the same side of the court as the teams’ benches, in front of the officials’ table, and accessible through an opening of the boards confining the perimeter zone .

A player who has been replaced may return into the match as a substitute for another player. A substitute player has to signal his intention to enter into the game by raising above his head a sign with the number of the player he is going to substitute, and he shall approach the substitution zone. Only substitute players with a numbered signal shall be allowed to leave their team’s designated bench area. A substitute player is allowed to enter into the playing sand court only after the player that is being substituted has left the playing sand court at the substitution zone, and he has received from his substitute player the sign with his playing number.

3.3 Substitution Offence

If a player breaks rules the Law 3.2 and enters the field before a teammate has left, he/she shall receive a blue card, shall be suspended for two (2) minutes and his/her team shall continue to play without a replacement player until the two (2) minute penalty period is over, as notified by the timekeeper and allowed by the third referee. If the referee stops the game, due to the offence of Law 3.3, the team that has committed the offence shall be punished with a free kick to be awarded to the other team. Such free kick shall be taken from the centre of the field. If the game had already been stopped before this offence, then it shall be re-started according to the Laws of the Game.

3.4 Goalkeeper Substitution

Goalkeepers may be substituted during the game. The game officials must be notified by a team representative in case of a goalkeeper’s substitution. The referees shall allow a goalkeeper’s substitutions after they have stopped the clock when the ball goes out of bounds, or when the clock is stopped for an interruption of the match. A player may substitute as a goalkeeper, as long as he/she changes into a goalkeeper’s shirt. The original team-sheet number of the players shall not change.

3.5 Minimum Number of Players

The minimum number of players on the field per team is three (3). A player who receives a blue card, during a moment in the game when his/her team already has two players suspended or expelled, shall receive a red card, shall be immediately substituted and shall not be allowed to play for the remainder of that game.

If a team remains with less than three (3) players due to disciplinary expulsions from the game shall be declared the loser of that game, regardless of the score at the time the game was stopped. In this case, the score of the game, for goal average effect, will be 10 x 0 for the winning team.

4. The Players’ Equipment

4.1 Safety

A player shall not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself/herself or another player, including any kind of jewellery, as determined by the referees.

4.2 Footwear

It is strictly forbidden to wear any kind of hard footwear or equipment that may cause injury to another player. The players shall be authorized to wear socks and/or elastic ankle and/or foot wraps.

4.3 Uniforms

The players’ uniforms consist of shorts and shirts. Use of plastic goggles for eye protection is allowed. Players of the same team shall wear uniforms with the same design and colour, with clearly visible identification numbers on their shirts. The goalkeeper shall wear uniforms of contrasting colour with all other players and the referees. In case the two teams wears shirts or shorts of the same or similar colours, the host team will change theirs shirts and/or shorts. In a neutral stadium there will be a draw.

5. Refereeing

5.1 Referees

The game shall be directed and officiated by one 1st referee, one 2nd referee, a timekeeper, and a 3rd official. The 1st referee shall determine, before or during the game, if the conditions of the area of play and surrounding the area of play are satisfactory for safe play. The 1st referee and the 2nd referee shall wear uniforms of contrasting colours with the teams’ uniforms, and shall both use a whistle to officiate the game.

The 1st referee and the 2nd referee shall officiate the game positioning themselves along the opposite side lines. The 1st referee and the 2nd referee shall have full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which they have been appointed.

The decisions of the 1st referee and 2nd referee, regarding facts connected with play, are final. When both referees whistle an offence but have different opinions regarding which team has caused the offence or what decision will be taken, they shall consult among themselves, and the 1st referee shall rule on their final decision. The referee who has whistled an offence shall enter the playing area to position the ball where the offence was committed, and to position the players accordingly to the Laws of the Game. In case of injury of one referee, the 3rd official may replace as decided by the 1st referee, or the game shall be officiated by only one referee.

The 1st referee, at the end of the game, shall provide the appropriate authorities with a match report, including: date, time, location, denomination of the event, weather conditions, name and roaster of teams, final result, effective duration of the match, goal scorers, and explanation of eventual disciplinary actions taken against players, and/or team officials and/or any other incident which has occurred before, during or after the match.

5.2 Timekeeper

 The timekeeper shall be seated at the officials’ table, placed outside the perimeter zone in front of the substitution zone. They are responsible for controlling the game clock, which determines the time of play, commencing with the starting whistle, as indicated in Law 6.2. Indicates, with a whistle or an air horn, the end of each twelve (12) minute period, and the end of the possible three (3) minutes of overtime period. Shall notify to the 3rd official the exact time when a player, sanctioned by the referees with a blue card for the 2 minutes suspension, is allowed to return into the game. The timekeeper shall also notify the referees on the exact time for the restart of the game after the three (3) minutes allowed to the teams in order to change sides at the end of each period.

5.3 3rd Official

The 3rd official shall be seated at the officials’ table, placed outside the perimeter zone in front of the substitution zone. Is responsible for the compilation of official game score-sheet including: date, time, location, denomination of the event, weather conditions, name and roaster of teams, final result, effective duration of the match, goal scorers and official time of the goals.

With the sound of a whistle or a hair horn, he shall signal to the referees when he notices an irregular substitution. Keeps count of the names of the players punished with a yellow card as, for another serious foul and if the referees decides, the same players shall be punished with a blue card. Ensures that no unauthorized person enters in the competition area, and shall control the behavior of the players and team delegates on their respective benches. The 3rd official is also responsible to authorize the players sanctioned by the referees with a blue card to a 2 minutes suspension, to go back on the field at the end of their suspension period.

6. The Game: Start, Duration and Its Rules

6.1 Start of Game

The 1st referee, in presence of both captains of the teams, shall make a coin toss before the start of the game to decide which team has the option to kick-off or the choice of the side of the court.

The kick-off shall be made from the centre of the mid-court line following the whistle from a referee. That whistle shall start the clock and the game. The players of the opposing team shall be positioned at least at five metres (5.0m) from the ball, as signaled by one referee.

All players shall remain in their respective half of the field, until the starting whistle. After a goal, the game continues and restarts with a new kick-off, taken by the team that has conceded the goal. A goal cannot be scored directly from the kick-off, but only after the ball has been passed at least once.

6.2 Duration of the Game

 
The game has three (3) periods of twelve (12) minutes each. The teams shall have three (3) minutes in order to change sides at the end of each period, alternating the starting kick-off. There shall be another coin toss before the third period in order to determine which team has the option between the kick-off and the choice of the courtside.

If the score is tied, there shall be a three (3) minute “golden goal” overtime period, in which the winner of the game shall be the first team to score a goal. The clock shall stop when: (1) a goal is scored; (2) at the referees’ discretion in case of waste of time, such as a player’s injury; or (3) when a penalty kick or a direct kick are awarded by one referee.

Clock shall be started again when one referee whistles the re-start of the game. In the case of a shot on goal, including a penalty kick, a free kick or a corner kick, is executed right before the end of regulation time, the game shall end when a goal is scored, when the goalkeeper saves the goal, when the ball hits the goal posts without entering into the goal or goes out of the court.

At the end of each twelve (12) minute period, or at the end of the three (3) minutes of overtime if necessary, an official whistle or air horn shall signal the end of the period or game. After the end of the period or match, no other players’ action shall be valid.

6.3 Ball in and out of Play

The ball is in play at all times from the start to the finish of the game, including when it rebounds from a goal post or the crossbar into the court, or it rebounds off either the 1st referee or the 2nd referee when they are on the court.

The base lines and the goal lines form part of the court. The ball is considered out of play when it touches outside the sidelines, outside the base lines, or it touches a player out of bounds. A player is considered “out of bounds” when he/she has touched the sand outside the boundary lines, attempting to play the ball.

6.4 Scoring a Goal

A goal is scored when the ball entirely crosses over the goal line, in the air or on the ground between the goal posts and under the crossbar. The goal shall be validated, provided that no infringement of the Laws of the Game has been committed previously by the team scoring the goal, as determined by the referees, and has occurred during playing time as defined in Law

6.5 How to Win the Match

 At the end of the match, the winner shall be the team that has scored (1) the most goals or (2) the “golden goal”. If the tie persists, there shall be an alternate penalty shoot-out: the winner shall be the team that scores one more goal in an equal number of penalty kicks.

The 1st referee shall decide the goal at which the penalty kicks shall be taken. The players, including the goalkeepers, on the playing sand court at the end of the game shall take the penalty shots in sequence. A player can repeat a penalty kick, provided that all his/her teammates allowed to take the penalty kicks have had their turn.

6.6 The Dropped Ball Rule

A dropped ball is a way of restarting play after a temporary stoppage becomes necessary, while the ball is in play, for any reason not mentioned elsewhere in the Laws of the Game.

One referee drops the ball at the place where it was located when the play was stopped. Play restarts when the ball touches the sand. The ball is dropped again, in the same place, if it is touched by a player before it makes contact with the sand, or when the ball leaves the court after it makes contact with the sand, without a player touching it.

7. Fouls And Offences

7.1 Fouls

If any player commits any of the offences listed below, there will be a direct free kick taken from the place where the infringement occurred. The player who is faulted must be the one to take the free kick or penalty kick, unless seriously injured as decided by the referees and, in such case, his substitute shall take the shot.

The referees shall allow play to continue when the team that suffered an offence will benefit from such an advantage, and shall penalize the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time.

In case the offence results from a handball, any player from the team that has been awarded the direct kick can take the direct kick.

It is considered foul, and a direct kick is awarded to the opposing team, if a player commits any of the following offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force: 1. To kick or trip an opponent. 2. To grab, hold, push, charge or to intentionally obstruct an opponent. 3. To touch the ball with the hand or arm. This does not apply to the goalkeeper in his own area, or if there is no intention of touching the ball with the arm(s)or hand(s). 4. To jump at an opponent player.

7.2 Yellow Card

A referee shall show a yellow card to a player when he: 1. Commits a serious foul in the interpretation of the referee. 2. Shows by an act or word, disagreement to the referee’s decision. 3.Shows lack of sportsmanship. 4. Commits an offence during a free kick, or during a kickoff.

7.3 Blue Card

A referee shall show a yellow card and then a blue card, to a player when:

1. He receives a second yellow card. 2. Intentionally denies with a foul an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent. 3. Enters in the court, during a substitution, before the player being replaced has entirely left it or he enters the court from an incorrect position.  

As the result of a blue card, the player shall be suspended for two (2) minutes and the team of the penalized player will continue to play without a replacement player until the two (2) minute penalty period is over, as notified by the timekeeper and allowed by the third official.

7.4 Red card

 A player is shown a blue card and then a red card, and sent off from the playing area and from the competition area, if he commits any of the following offences:

1. Is guilty of serious foul play. 2. Is guilty of violent conduct. 3. Uses offensive, insulting or abusive language. 4. Receives a second blue card in the same match.

The red-carded player’s team shall continue to play without a replacement player for two (2) minutes. The referee will report the reason why the player is shown a red card to the appropriate authorities, which will analyze the possibility of additional sanctions.

7.5 Unsportsmanlike Behavior off the Court

A coach, a team delegate, or a player on the bench who shows, by word or action, violent dissent from any decision taken by the referees, or is guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct toward the opponent team, spectators or any tournament official, will be shown a red card by the referee and sent away from the competition area.

The referee shall report the reason why a coach, a team delegate, or a player on the bench has been punished with a red card to the appropriate authorities, which will analyze the possibility of additional sanctions.

8. Free Kick

8.1 Free Kick

The referee will award a free kick from the point where a foul was committed. The player who suffered the offence must execute the kick. The kick shall be “direct”, from which a goal can be scored directly against the defending side.

A player, after taking a free kick, may not touch the ball twice consecutively. The breaking of this rule will be punished with a free kick where the offence occurred.

When taking a free kick, a player is allowed to place the ball on the spot of the foul and make a small sand lump, thus elevating the position of the ball.

8.2 No Walls

If the offence is committed in the kicking team’s attacking end, no players may form a wall. Until the free kick is executed, all players must position themselves behind or on the same line as the ball placed at the point where a foul was committed, and they must remain at a minimum distance of five metres (5.0m) from the ball.

The opponent goalkeeper must remain in his penalty area and at least five metres (5.0m) from the ball. If the offence is committed in the kicking team’s defensive end, all other players, excluded the player taking the free kick, must remain at least five metres (5.0m) away from the place of the offence, wherefore the free kick will be taken.

The players, except the defending goalkeeper, cannot position themselves in the area between the goal, toward which the kick is taken, and the ball. No players shall enter in such area before the free kick has been taken. No players shall be allowed to touch the ball before it has touched the sand, the defending goalkeeper, a post or the crossbar.

 8.3 Offences during Free Kicks

If any irregularity happens when a free kick is being taken, the following will occur:

If the team that is taking the free kick commits the irregularity, a new free kick shall be awarded to the defending team from the point where the offence has taken place.

Any player of that team shall be allowed to take the direct kick.If the infringing team commits the irregularity, and a goal is not scored because the ball has been blocked, a new free kick will be taken from the point where the offence has taken place. In case this point is in the penalty area, a penalty kick shall be awarded.

If the irregularity is committed by the infringing team, and a goal is not scored because an offence of invasion of the restricted area has occurred, the free kick shall be repeated by the same player. If the irregularity is committed by the infringing team, the direct kick shall not be repeated if a goal is scored, and the goal shall be validated.

9. Penalty Kick

9.1 Penalty Kick

A penalty kick shall be awarded when a player inside his own team’s penalty area commits a foul, while the ball is in play. The player who has suffered the offence must take the penalty kick.

The ball shall be placed at 9.0m distance from the centre of the goal. All players shall position themselves outside the penalty area, and they can enter into the penalty area only after the ball has moved as the result of the execution of the penalty kick.

When taking a penalty kick, a player is allowed to place the ball on the spot of the foul and make a small sand lump, thus elevating the position of the ball. The player, who takes the penalty kick, must do it in a continuous movement.

As a result from a penalty kick, any player can play the ball once it rebounds from the defending goalkeeper. The player who has executed the penalty kick shall not be allowed to play the ball once it rebounds directly from a goal post or from the crossbar.

9.2 Goalkeeper’s position

When defending a penalty kick the goalkeeper must position himself, and can only move, on the goal line between both goal posts.

9.3 Offences during penalty kicks

If the team that is taking the penalty kick commits an irregularity and the goal is scored, the shot will be repeated. If a goal is not scored, the defending goalkeeper shall restart the game.

If the infringing team commits an irregularity, the free kick will be repeated in case a goal has not been scored as the result of the penalty kick.

10. Goalkeeper’s Re-Start Of The Play

The goalkeeper’s re-start of the play is a method of starting play. Awarded when one player of the attacking team plays or deflects the ball over the base line, excluding the goal itself, and the ball has touched outside the boundaries or a player who has touched outside a base line attempting to play the ball.

The goalkeeper shall restart the play with his hands and has five (5) seconds to do so, from the moment he stands and he has control of the ball. If the goalkeeper delays the game for more than five (5) seconds, or re-starts the game passing the ball to his feet, the other team shall be awarded a free kick from the mid-court line.

The goalkeeper cannot score a goal using his hands. In such case the other goalkeeper shall re-start the play. The goalkeeper can score a goal only as a regular player, kicking the ball only once it has been passed to him by another player.

10.1 The Pass-Back rule

The goalkeeper shall not be allowed to touch the ball with his/her hands or arms when a ball is returned to him/her from a player of his team, including a header or an inbound pass, twice consecutively, without the ball having touched an opponent player.

Once the ball has been passed to the goalkeeper from one of his teammates once, the referee shall signal this first pass raising his arm above his head, until the ball has been touched by a player of the opponent team. An offence of the “pass-back rule” results in a penalty kick against the team that did commit the offence.

11. Corner Kick

A corner kick is a method of restarting play. The corner kick shall be given when a player of the defensive team plays or deflects the ball out of bounds through his/her team’s base line, and the ball touches out of bounds, or a player who has touched outside a base line attempting to play the ball.

A player of the attacking team must take the corner kick. In order to take a corner kick, the ball shall be placed within a 1m radius from the corner. A corner kick is a direct kick, and therefore it is permitted to score a goal through a corner kick.

The referees shall indicate the corner from which the corner kick shall be taken, depending on the side where the ball has crossed the base line. The defending players can position themselves at a minimum distance of five metres (5.0m) from the corner.

If a defending player shall touch or block the ball inside the five(5) metre radius from the corner, directly from a corner kick, the corner kick shall be repeated. When taking a corner kick, a player has five (5) seconds to execute the kick from the moment that he has possession of the ball.

If a player shall infringe his five (5) seconds time limit, the opponent goalkeeper shall restart the play. The players are allowed to position the ball making a small sand lump, thus elevating the position of the ball.

12. Ball Inbound

The ball inbound is a method of restarting play, when the ball touches outside a side line, or a player who has touched outside a side line attempting to play the ball.

The ball inbound must be taken from behind the lateral lines. The game shall be restarted from the point where the ball has crossed a sideline. To inbound, the players shall use their hands (both hands, starting their action holding the ball behind their head and keeping both feet on the sand), or feet.

A goal cannot be scored from a ball inbound. The player shall have five (5) seconds to inbound the ball. By infringing this rule, the ball inbound shall be reverted to the opposing team. 


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