goal diagram.png
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Note: the diagram above refers to the goalpost construction for “Big Rules”. For small rules, omit (B), so the goal is 2 meters wide instead of 4.

Learn the Game

How to play (basically)

The Basics

Circle Rules Football is played on a circular field (~50 meters diameter) with one goal in the center (2 or 4 meters wide, 3 meters tall), and a circle rules gameball. Around the goal there is a circle called the ‘key’ (6 or 8 meters diameter). (Refer to the diagram on the left.)

The very core rules of Circle Rules Football are:

  1. Players can touch the ball with any part of their body so long as they do not hold it with two hands or trap it against their body.

  2. Each team scores through opposite directions of the same goal.

  3. Players cannot touch the ball inside the key

That’s all you need to know to play!

A few additional rules, for the sticklers

Contact between players is minimal. ‘Go for the ball, not the player’. 

KEY VIOLATIONS (offensive, defensive, and with goalkeepers): 

  1. If a player on the defense touches the ball inside the key, the opposing team takes a penalty shot, a direct kick 10 meters from the goal, with all other players remaining on the opposite side of the midline until the ball crosses the midline (like a free throw).  

  2. If a player on offense touches the ball inside the key, the opposing team gets an indirect kick from the spot of the foul.

  3. In a goalkeeper game only the goalies are allowed inside the key. There are no penalty kicks, but any player who touches the ball inside the key (on offense or defense) is suspended from play for one minute.

When a goal is scored, the scoring team starts inside the key, and kicks off in any direction they choose. They may not leave the key until the receiving team has touched the ball.

Typically, official games are played with four 15-minute quarters. However, you can play ‘first to ten points’ or divide the time how you like!

Big Rules, a fun option for big groups

When playing with more than five players per team, you can optionally play “Big Rules”. This introduces some changes:

  1. The key is wider and the goal is bigger.

  2. Goalkeepers are allowed to handle the ball inside the key, and can also make some contact (no striking or holds) within the key.

  3. No player is allowed to set foot inside the key aside from the goalkeepers.


Request a Rulebook

We’ll send you a fancy PDF of the rulebook that you can use to organize a game!

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