Rules of the Game


Great for local recreation or elite international competition.

Please Note: Only members of officially affiliated amputee soccer teams, or individuals formally recognized by the American Amputee Soccer Association, are eligible to compete in regional and national competitions, or to be considered for the US National Amputee Soccer Team.

The American Amputee Soccer Association is a member of the World Amputee Football Federation and abides by its official rules and regulations. For future coaches and staff, please see the official Laws of the Game. Those rules keep our sport as close to FIFA Soccer as possible.

The official format for international match play and competition game is the 6 v 6 + keepers.

But we also allow - and encourage smaller team play for development, recreation, and for areas where there might not be enough players to form full international squads. So you can play 5 v 5 +keeper, 4 v 4 + keeper, 3 v 3 with keeper and 3 v 3 without keeper. Or you can just kick the ball around the backyard with the kids or the grandkids.

The overall philosophy is to give an opportunity to play to everyone who wants to play, including "Les Autres," individuals with birth anomalies.

If there are too few amputees to form a team in a specific area to form an "all amp" team, there are exceptions to the basic rules which will allow teams to be formed.

The Basic Rules:
Amputee soccer is basically the same as the traditional version, with some minor adaptations:
  • An amputee is defined as one who is "abbreviated" at or above the wrist or ankle.

  • The game is co-ed. Male and female players can play on the same team. It's been that way from the very beginning.

  • Outfielders may have two hands but only one foot. Goalies may have two legs, but only one hand.

  • The game is played without prosthetics. They're not permitted on the field.

    The Game is played on metal crutches. Metal forearm crutches must be used on the pitch. Underarm crutches are not permitted on the pitch. Wooden crutches are absolutely forbidden.

  • Incidental contact between the ball and a crutch is allowed. But crutches may not be used to advance the ball. Blocking, trapping, or advancing the ball with a crutch is considered the same as a hand pass.

  • Residual limbs may not be used to advance the ball. That keeps it fair, since someone with a longer residual limb would have a distinct advantage over those with shorter residuals. Incidental contact is OK, but a player may not use the residual limb to trap, block, or pass the ball. Hand pass rules apply.

  • Shin guards must be worn.

  • Use of a crutch in a manner which would draw a penalty if it were a hockey stick (cross-checking, high sticking, tripping, slashing,etc.) results in the player's immediate ejection from the game and a penalty kick.
Exceptions: As stated above the overall objective is to allow everyone to play who wants to play. Therefore "traditionally configured" players may fill in a short roster under the following conditions:

A: Amputee and "Les Autres" players have priority.


Everyone who wants to play has the opportunity to play. Photo courtesy of the Lone Star Amputee Football Club, Houston, TX

B: A traditionally configured individual may tend goal if no arm amputees are available. That individual must keep one arm tucked inside his/her jersey while on the playing field.

C: A traditionally configured individual may play as a field player. That individual must play on crutches, may not wear a shoe on the non-kicking foot, and may not run or touch down with the non-kicking foot during play.

Touching down with the non-kicking foot will result in a turn-over at the point of the infraction.

The Pitch:  
Standard Outdoors:
60 x 40 meters.
Indoors: Any indoor arena will do. In such case using the sidewalls for passing and bank shots is allowed.

The Goal:  Somewhat smaller than in the two-legged game - 2 meters high x 5 meters wide x 1 meter deep - or the goals available at your local indoor soccer complex.

The Ball:   Standard FIFA - appropriate to age group.

Duration of Play:   Games consist of 2 periods of 25 minutes each, with a 10 minute "halftime" rest interval between periods.

Offside:   The offside rule does not apply in amputee soccer.

Players:   Minimum: 3 per side. A team must have more amputee and Les Autres players than able bodied substitutes.

Goal Keeper Rules:   The goal keeper is not allowed to leave the penalty area, if this occurs and is deliberate, a penalty is awarded to the other side and the goalkeeper receives a yellow card. On the second occurrence the keeper receives a red card and is dismissed from the field.

Player Substitution:   Due too the physical demands of the game substitutions may be made at any stoppage of play and shall be unlimited in number. Substituted players may return to the pitch.

Play Against Two-Legged Teams: Yes, there will be times when you'll want to play in friendly competition "traditionally configured" teams. And you'll both love it. The traditionals play according to the exceptions detailed above.

Other than that, the rules are the same as FIFA:
        Offense:   Kick Ball. Score goal.
        Defense:   Don't let them.


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