Walking Football Rules & Regulations

Source: EFDN Walking Football Practitioner’s Guide

Walking Football is a growing sport and sessions are currently taking part in all corners of the European community. As the sport grows to include more events and festivals, Football Association’s and Walking Football groups are beginning to establish Walking Football guidelines and regulations. As a result, the rules of the game vary slightly across Europe.

The European Legends programme and its 13 professional football partners have worked together to compile a list of rules and regulations from across Europe and devised The 20 Golden Rules of European Legends Walking Football.

  1. The match is played with six players per team on the pitch (6 vs 6).
  2. The size of the pitch is 21 meters by 42 meters.
  3. The size of the goal is 3m (wide) and 1m (high) (3x1m)
  4. There are no goalkeepers
  5. All players need to keep a distance of 3m from the goal during the game.
  6. Players are permitted to change throughout the game. The number of substitutions is unlimited. A player who has been substituted may return as a substitute for another player
  7. There is no offside rule.
  8. Tackling and physical contact is forbidden.
  9. Players must always be walking, as defined as “always having one foot on the ground”. If a player runs, the referee will award possession of the ball to the opposing team.
  10. There are no penalties. Only indirect free kicks. All players must keep a distance of 3 meters.
  11. It is not permitted to play the ball above the crossbar.
  12. If the ball is played outside the pitch side-lines, the ball will be placed at the spot where it went out, and the player kicks the ball back into play. All players from the opposing team must keep a distance of 3 meters.
  13. If the ball is played outside the pitch goal line, a corner kick will be awarded. The ball will be placed at the nearest corner and the opposing team must keep a distance of 3 meters from the corner.
  14. After each goal, the game starts again with a kick-off in the centre of the field.
  15. Teams cannot score from their own side of the pitch.
  16. If a goal is prevented in an illegal manner (such as with hands or by running to the ball), the goal will be counted as valid.
  17. The referee can exclude a player for verbal abuse or continuous foul play. Another player will substitute the excluded player.
  18. If a player receives a yellow card, the player needs to leave the pitch for 5 minutes but can be substituted by another player.
  19. In case the player receives a red card, the player is excluded from the rest of the game but can be replaced by another player.
  20. A referee’s decision regarding the facts or a situation in the match are final. The decisions of the referee must always be respected.

Supplemental rules, used in the RUTIS tournaments:

  1. The balls to be used must be adapted to the group, always with a view to the best possible adaptation of the individual to the practice, and in the competition tournament model, Futsal balls and FIFA No. 4 balls will be used in the playful aspect.
  2. There is no limit on players per team in training or in competition, there is no limit on substitutions.
  3. Players must have the same equipment when participating in events and tournaments, under the penalty of wearing vests to participate in the competition.
  4. There were two types of competitive frameworks in the events/tournaments, playful and competitive, each team must inform the organization in the process of its registration which of the aspects it intends to be integrated into.
  5. Each team is responsible for creating their equipment, subject to approval by RUTIS and its partners.
  6. Each tournament/event may have adaptations to its format, with these changes being related to playing time, field measurements or competitive framework. The local tournaments serve as a point of observation to improve the sport, and their objectives are to promote the practice of sports and provide moments of interaction for athletes. Therefore, the playing time, the competitive frame and the measures of the field must be adjustable so that the necessary conditions can be created for a more enriching experience for the athlete.
  7. The ball to be used must be FIFA 4 size (63.5-66 cm).
  8. In training, as many players as they want can participate. In games there is no limit on substitutions.
  9. The games last for 14 minutes, with a short break after the first 7 minutes.
  10. Team players must be dressed in the same outfit.
  11. In tournaments, two types of teams can be created (a more competitive and a more playful one).
  12. Each team must get their own equipment, which must bear the Walking Football project logo.
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