At Dream Leagues, we believe that 5, 6, 7 and 8 a-side football is the same sport as 11 a-side football, and for this reason it deserves the same rules as real football. So don't worry, you won't be doing any weird bowling-style underarm throw-ins, or won't have to be scared of accidentally stepping in the box.

League Rules

All FA (Football Association) official rules apply with a few exceptions, indicated below.

  1. Rolling subs.
  2. No slide tackling.*
  3. No offside rule.

*Sliding to stop the ball from going out of play, or to block a shot with no opponent in clear sight is allowed. However, if an opposition player is within range and the slide is deemed a tackle, this will be punished. Goalkeepers may slide inside their area.


Player registration:

  1. Each team is allowed to register up to 25 players per season.
  2. Each team is allowed to bring a maximum of 11 players per game.
  3. Players may be registered up until 12pm on match-day.
  4. Only registered players are allowed to play for a team.
  5. A player may only sign up to 1 team per division per season.**

**It is the team Captain’s responsibility to ensure that each of his registered players are aware they are not allowed to play for any other team in the same division. Any player found breaching this rule may be banned for a number of games, and the team he is registered to may be penalised.

Borrowing players:

  1. Borrowing a player from another team in the same division is not allowed (without the opponent’s consent).
  2. If a team must resort to borrowing a player, this must be from a team in a different division, and will only be allowed within reason.
  3. No team is allowed to borrow more than 2 players in a given game (without the opponent’s consent).


We operate a tight schedule throughout our leagues, so it’s the team’s responsibility to arrive at the pitch ready to play on time. If we are unable to make up for lost time, the following penalties apply to latecomers (at the opposition’s discretion):

  1. 5 minutes late: 1 own-goal against.
  2. For every additional 5 minutes delay: 1 more own-goal against.
  3. 20 or more minutes late: forfeit loss (3-0).

Teams may start playing with a minimum of 4 (6 a-side), 5 (7 a-side) or 6 (8 a-side) players.


  1. All players (including goalkeepers) are required to wear shin pads at all times.
  2. Only astro-turf boots or moulded studs are allowed. No screw-ins or metal studs.
  3. In the event of two teams having similar kits, bibs will be provided to the AWAY team.

Fines and Suspensions

Fairplay is one of the most important aspects of the game to ensure players can enjoy the game safely. To discourage violent or unsporting play, players caught exhibiting such behaviour will be subject to fines payable before the next game.

  1. £10.00 fine for a red card (2 yellows) + 1 match ban.
  2. £20.00 fine for a straight red card + 1 match ban.
  3. £20.00 fine for a straight red card for violent conduct, + 2-5 match ban + Team will be issued a warning.
  4. If the warned team displays again violent conduct, the situation will be assessed and the team may be ejected from the league and lose the deposit.

NOTE: All fines will be donated to Right To Play charity.