Goalkeeper War 2023 – Rules


  • 11v11: Width by Length:  18×24 yards
  • 9v9: Width by Length:  15×20 yards
  • 7v7: Width by Length:  12×16 yards



Age Groups: Players register by birth year that they will be in at the time of the event. *(Birth year bracketing is based on the soccer calendar turning over on January 1st each year.)

  • 2014-2015 Boys/Girls – 7v7 Goals
  • 2012-2013 Boys/Girls – 9v9 Goals
  • 2008-2011 Boys/Girls – 9v9 Goals



  • Only one ball is permitted on the field of play.
  • If two or more balls are on the field during match play, the referee, at his/her discretion may stop the game until the excess balls are removed.  (There will be 8 balls at each field.)
  • Size 4 balls = 2012 and under
  • Size 5 balls = 2011 and older



  • Each goalkeeper must report to the referee/field marshal 5 minutes prior to their scheduled match and provide their name. The referee/field marshal will oversee  the coin toss. The winner will choose if they want to start with the ball or decide which side they want to start on.
  • All other bracket participants will be required to act as ball retrievers and feeders.



Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the rules of the tournament director including but not limited to the following:

  • Ensures that the ball meets size and inflation requirements
  • Ensures player equipment requirements
  • Shin guards are not required
  • Acts as timekeeper and scorekeeper for each match
  • Stops, suspends, or terminates the match, at his/her discretion for any rule infringements, safety precautions, player injuries, unsportsmanlike conduct from participants, parents and/or fans
  • All match related decisions are determined by the referee and are considered final once a match has ended.
  • The Tournament Director reserves the right to modify the tournament rules should he/she deem it necessary.
  • All decisions are final, no protests will be accepted.



  • The match duration is 2 halves of 3 minutes with keepers changing goals during 2-minute half-time.



Each goalie is guaranteed a minimum of 3-games, dependent on the number of participants

3 points are awarded for a win / 1 point for a tie / 0 points for a loss

Tiebreaker for playoffs:

  • Points
  • Head to Head
  • Forfeits
  • Least Goals Conceded (Goals Against)
  • Goal Differential
  • Sudden death PK Shootout

Games during match play (round robin) can end in a tie.

All Playoff games (Semifinal & Finals) will not be allowed to end in a tie. In the event of a draw during playoff competition, an overtime period will be played with 3 minutes of extra time, and sudden death.

Overtime: Overtime wins are scored with 1 more goal being given to the winner. (Actual goals scored during overtime will be documented in the public notes of that game.)

ShootOut: If after 3 minutes of Overtime, the game is still tied then the players go to PK sudden death.



Distribution is the method by which a goalkeeper starts or restarts play and scores goals.

A goalkeeper may distribute the ball in the following ways from their hands or the ground:

  • Throw
  • Volley
  • Dropkick
  • Stationary kick
  • Roll and kick


  • Goalkeepers must distribute the ball within 6 seconds of taking possession of the ball. Possession means that said goalkeeper firmly maintains control of the ball by catching it, stopping it, or receiving it from the sideline.
  • In the event that the ball is not distributed within 6 seconds the designated goalkeeper will be called for a delay of game. A delay of game violation results in a change of ball possession.
  • All small fields will have a center section (dead zone) that neither keeper can go into during gameplay to shoot or save the ball.
  • *11v11 groups have 6 seconds and 6 yards from their own goal line to try and score. 9v9 groups will have 5 yards from their own goal line.  7v7 groups will have 4 yards from their own goal line.



  • The referee will oversee the coin toss. Whoever wins will decide if they want the ball first or pick which side of the field they start the game on.
  • Keepers switch sides at the half.
  • The keeper that did not start with the ball at the beginning of the match starts with the ball in the second half.



The ball is out of play when:

  • It has entirely crossed the goal line or touch line whether on the ground or in the air.
  • If a goalkeeper saves or deflects the ball out of bounds it remains your ball. If you are scored on the ball will restart in your hands to continue play.
  • Ball shaggers are allowed to toss or roll the keeper the ball when needed.



  • After the keeper makes a save he/she can attempt to score within the designated shooting area, using any type of distribution within 6 seconds.
  • Rebound Rule: After the ball is deflected off the keeper or crossbar/post and enters the other players half they will have the chance to shoot a one time finish on any rebounds given up but ONLY if it enters their section of the field. Once the ball enters back into the original shooter’s half of the field, the keeper has 6 seconds to re-shoot the ball.
  • Any rebound that goes into the initial shooter’s goal is not counted as a goal. This is played as an out of bounds and given to the opposing keeper as a restart. The keeper must have possession and follow all other rules in order to score on their opponent.
  • If the ball stops in the center “dead zone,” play is restarted with the next goalkeeper.



  • A goal is scored when the entire ball passes over the goal line, between the goal posts, and under the crossbar, provided that no infringement of the laws of the game has been committed prior to the goalkeeper distribution.
  • A goal cannot be scored from the opponent’s shooting area or center dead zone.


  • All soccer balls will be at the halfway line.
  • Coin toss to determine who will shoot first.
  • PK will be sudden death; each keeper will get one possession minimum to shoot against the opposing keeper.
  • Gk will shoot at the referee’s signal; the referee’s whistle or verbal signal.
  • The referee will line up closer to the defending gk goal to observe for encroachment.



The goalkeeper earning the greater number of goals by the end of the match is the winner.



A keeper is offside when he/she crosses into the center dead zone. After infringement, he/she loses possession of the ball. Play resumes with both keepers starting on their own goal lines.