The Rules of Star Sixes

General principle: The rules of Star Sixes are primarily based on FIFA and the Football Association’s rules on small-sided football, with some notable exceptions, designed to maximise the spectacle, and optimise the enjoyment of players and fans.

Key rules:

  • Six players on each team taking the field at any one time (including one goalkeeper)
  • Squads of ten
  • Rolling substitutions – can take place at any time under the guidance of the Match Official
  • Player eligibility: 1 senior international cap, no age restriction
  • Playing surface: Bespoke – 46mx26m with a 2m perimeter ‘run off’
  • Goals: 2.1m high by 4.8 m wide
  • Balls: Size 5 custom made
  • No perimeter barriers: The ball will go out of play as per 11-a-side football
  • Duration: 20 minutes (no half time) for group matches, 30 minutes (15 minutes each way) for knockout matches
  • In the group stage matches, each team entitled to a voluntary 60 second timeout each
  • No offside rule
  • No restriction on player movement
  • No ball height restrictions
  • A goalkeeper cannot handle a back-pass – and in doing so, will concede a penalty
  • All free-kicks are direct – though you cannot score directly from a kick-off
  • Yellow and red cards: As per Association Football, except that when a player receives a red card, his team can, after a period of 3 minutes has passed, introduce a substitute
  • Suspensions: A player is only suspended for a Star Sixes match when he has either committed violent conduct, spat at an opponent or used foul and/or abusive language towards an Official – although Star Sixes may exercise discretion to apply additional sanctions
  • Timing: There will be a match countdown clock – no stoppages in play unless due to serious injury, deliberate time-wasting or exceptional circumstances
  • After a goal, play is restarted in the goalkeeper’s hands – other restarts:
    • Optional kick-in or throw in from the side-line
    • Goal kicks can also start from the goalkeeper’s hands
    • Corner kicks as per Association Football
  • All dead balls must be played within 5 seconds, with opposition players retreating 2 metres
  • Slide tackling is permitted within the rules of Association Football
  • Shin guards must be worn
  • Format:
    • Three groups of four teams
    • Round robin
    • Top 2 progress along with the two best-placed 3rd-place teams
    • Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, 3rd Place Playoff and Final
  • Drawn knockout games: There will be no extra time – straight to a penalty shootout, consisting of 3 kicks per team, followed by sudden death
  • Penalties: Whether taken in regulation time or in penalty shootouts, penalty kicks are to be ‘one step penalties’
  • Any player can take a penalty kick – it does not matter whether they were on the playing area at the time the match was completed – though they must be included on the list of players submitted before the tournament

Star Sixes Full Rules and Regulations June 2017