Football London

MLP 5-a-side Rules – The Only Rules You Need

So every league, tournament and player has their own set of 5-a-side rules… There are the basics and foundations but then there are always a couple (most of the time dodgy) rules that are unique to that league.

MLP 5-a-side Rules


Playfinder are going to set the record straight and announce the ONLY 5-a-side rules that this fantastic game should be played by.


1 – NO Backpass

Kicking off with a quite controversial rule, No Backpass allowed. Once the goalkeeper has restarted play after what would have been ad inevitably amazing save (that’s what they always say) the outfield players are not allowed to pass the ball back in to the box.

2 – No Overhead

This is a given… or should be. 5-a-side is there to be played on the floor and someone lumping the ball from one end to the other defeats the purpose of quick feet and multiple touches.

3 – One Step Penalties

To avoid ‘the funny guy’ taking a 30 yard run up to smash the ball as hard as they can against a usually unwilling goalkeeper, a player can only take one step in their run up when taking a penalty.

4 – Walls/Cage Can Be Played Against

Use the walls to your advantage. Often a forgotten about tool against the enemy, a little one – two against the wall when the rest of your team are ‘defending’ works a treat.

5 – No Sliding Tackles

Leave these in 11-a-side, in a fast paced quick passing game, lunging in from 5 yards away with a reckless sliding tackle isn’t fun for anyone and shows that you’re a step off the pace.

6 – Roll on Roll Off Subs

With the intensity of 5-a-side, it’s important that you keep rotating players and stay fresh. Standing around making no runs 10 minutes in to the game because your legs feel like jelly makes a poor game for all.

7 – No Rush Keeper

However much we all dislike going in goal and when we are forced to, fancy ourselves as a Manuel Neuer, the keeper is not allowed outside the box.

8 – No Outfield Players Allowed in the Box

So, to stop those players who dribble up to the keeper and smash the ball as hard as they can, effectively making their shot impossible to save, outfield players are not allowed inside the box. Should a defender enter their own box a one step penalty is awarded.

Anything else goes… May the odds forever be in your favour.


Here are 3 of the top places to play 5-a-side in London to you can try out these new rules.

New River Sport and Fitness

Based near Wood Green tube station, New River Sport and Fitness can be booked instantly HERE through Playfinder. Boasting a huge number of 5-a-side pitches, availability is always good and is excellent value for money.

Marcus Lipton Community Enterprise

Located in Brixton, this urban gem has an amazing 3G pitch. With peak hours being busy it can sometimes be tricky to get your chosen slot but with the live availability and instant booking HERE on Playfinder, you will get first choice.

London Tigers Sports Complex

Based in Southall and built around an amazing community is London Tigers. The brand new facility provides the perfect place to fine tune those fast 5 a side feet. As this venue is brand new, not only are the changing rooms like the Hilton but the availability is good as well, you can see it live through Playfinder HERE.