RULES
RULES

Team Balances

We require that your team balance is paid in full prior to your first game of the season. Any team that has not paid in full prior to their first game will forfeit their match and every match following until their team balance is paid. You can pay via credit card online.

Forfeits

If your team (Monday-Friday Leagues) needs to forfeit you must do so by 7:30pm the day prior to your game. If you forfeit after the 7:30pm cutoff your team will incur a $150 fine. If your team (Sunday League) needs to forfeit you must do so by 12:00pm Noon on the Saturday before. If you forfeit after the 12:00pm cutoff your team will incur a $150 fine. For all CFRS leagues, if your team forfeits and provides no phone or email communication to the CFRS staff your team will incur an additional $50 fine on top of the $150 fine indicated above.

That fine is paid out to the team you were scheduled to play against (as a refund, credit, or Pub97 gift card). This fine must be paid before your next scheduled match or your team will be removed from the league. This system is in place to ensure that each team completes a full season of games. If a team must forfeit, we will do our best to find an alternate opponent. If you are on a team that is struggling to find enough players, please let us know no later than 12:00pm of the day of the game and we will do our best to find you subs. If your team shows up to your game with low numbers, we will again do our best to find subs on-site to get the game played. If, however, you still need to forfeit the game, there will not be a fine.

Any team who forfeits more than three matches in a single league may be excluded from early registration or future opportunities for league participation – at the discretion of CFRS Staff.

Inclement Weather

The health and safety of the CFRS community is our top priority and we monitor all weather to ensure we uphold those standards. In the event of inclement weather, our on-site lightning detection system will sound, along with a flashing light from the side of the Fire Pitch. If this system sounds all participants must clear the fields and move inside or to their cars. The system will sound an ‘All Clear’ when it is safe to return to play.

The CFRS staff will monitor any incoming storms and cancel or delay games, as needed. We will play through rain but not lightning. If we need to cancel or delay, we will communicate to all players at the earliest possible opportunity via email, and follow-up with a call/text to your team captains. Players must be on their team’s Dash roster to receive this communication.

CFRS staff will work with team captains to organize make-up games. If a game is canceled during the first half of play, the remainder of the game will be made up. If the game is canceled at half-time or later, the result at the time of cancelation will stand.

Season Format

The standard CFRS league will run a 6 game (6 week) regular season followed by two weeks of playoff/consolation matches. Each team will have 8 games. Generally, the top 4 teams in your league will qualify for the playoffs (semifinals – week 7 / finals – week 8). All other teams will have consolation matches during weeks 7 and 8. While this is the standard format there may be exceptions to this format based on Fire Pitch field availability and other circumstances.

Rosters

All players must ensure they are on their team’s roster (on Dash) prior to their first game. This is to ensure we have accurate rosters to communicate cancelations and to resolve any incidents that may arise. Captains are responsible for finalizing their roster prior to game one. If you need any assistance with your Dash roster, please reach out to a member of staff and we can help you do that. In order to participate in a playoff game, you must be on the Dash roster prior to game one and have played at least once during the regular season.

*Any team without a completed roster (minimum number of players needed for competition) will forfeit their first match and incur the Forfeit Fee outlined in the Forfeit Policy.

Tie Breakers

CFRS uses the following tie breaker system for all leagues and tournaments: Points > Goal Differential > Head To Head > Total Goals Scored > Coin Flip. Our points system is consistent with all FIFA sanctioned competitions: Win = 3 points / Tie = 1 point / Loss = 0.

Refunds

We give a full refund when it is requested at least two weeks prior to Kick-Off Week. Within two weeks we will offer a credit toward a future CFRS league. No refunds or credits will be offered if the request is made within one week of the season starting. Throughout the lead up to a new season our staff are happy to help teams find additional players if they are short. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need individuals.

Individual Registration

We offer individual sign-ups for all CFRS leagues. When an individual registers, we try to place them on an established team. The amount they pay comes out of the established team’s balance. We do not ask individuals to pay any additional fees beyond what they paid to sign-up for the league.

One Team Per League

You can play on (only) one team per league. If you play on a second team, in the same league, it is an automatic forfeit for that second team. This rule is in effect for all regular season and playoff games. You can play in multiple leagues just not on multiple teams within the same league.

Red Card Policy

*CFRS will enforce a zero-tolerance policy towards any physical or verbal violence, discrimination, and racism in any form.

Referees are responsible for managing all elements of a game and their decisions are final. A player receiving a red card is not eligible to play in the remainder of the game in which they received the red card. Red card fines may be imposed to individuals and/or teams based on the severity of the player altercations.

Suspensions and Fines

CFRS is an affiliated program of the Illinois State Soccer Association and therefore stays in line with their Bylaws and those set out by U.S. Soccer.

CFRS will impose suspensions and fines for all red card offenses, per the following guidelines. All suspensions and fines are at the discretion of CFRS and Chicago Fire Football Club. All suspensions and fines will be communicated directly to the player(s) involved in writing via email, as well as to their team captain.

Two Yellow Cards – Possible One (1) to Two (2) game suspension*
Serious Foul Play – Three (3) game suspension*
Abusive Language – Three (3) game suspension*
Violent Conduct – Suspended the remainder of the season*
Assaulting a Player/Official – Permanent Expulsion from CFRS*
Racist, Homophobic and/or Sexist Language – Permanent Expulsion from CFRS*

*All suspensions are at the discretion of CFRS staff and individuals with Red Card sanctions are NOT eligible for any form of refund or credit.

*Any player who receives a Red Card MUST leave the Fire Pitch property. This includes the fields, Pub 97, and all other entities on CFFC property. The game will not resume until the Red Carded player has left the premises. Failure of the Red Carded player to do so may result in the game being forfeited by that player's team.

CFRS and Chicago Fire FC will review all serious incidents, in consultation with the ISSA, by collecting written and/or verbal statements from the player(s) involved, as well as teammates, match officials and spectators. If any player(s) fails to support our investigation, they will also be subject to disciplinary action.

Zero-Tolerance Referee Abuse Policy

Referees play a vital part in operating our leagues. CFRS uses an experienced referee assignor to schedule referees for all CFRS games. All referees are certified through the United States Soccer Federation and are required to undergo recertification yearly.

We understand that you may not always agree with the decision of a referee. However, the referee’s decision is final. The only player on the field that should be respectfully addressing the referee with a question surrounding a call is the Team Captain.

*CFRS will NOT tolerate any form of verbal or physical abuse towards referees on or off the field.**

Any player that harasses a referee is at the referee’s discretion for sanctioning. This includes a warning, yellow card, or red card. Players given a red card will fall under the Red Card Policy listed above.

Amusement Tax

A 9% Chicago amusement tax is added to all league payments. For example: if you need to make a $100 team payment the total cost would be $109. The $100 would go to CFRS and the remainder would go to the City of Chicago.

CHICAGO FIRE REC SOCCER BYLAWS

Outdoor Seasons

Spring, Summer, and Fall

Outdoor 8v8

  • No offsides
  • Rolling substitutes that must enter/exit the side of the field where their team is located
  • Kick-ins to return ball from out of play
  • All free kicks are direct
  • You can score from a kick-in, goal kick, corner, etc.
  • Five (5) yards must be given on all free kicks and kick ins
  • If an indirect foul occurs in the box, a direct free kick will be given at top of the box
  • Slide tackling is not permitted (Coed and Men’s)
  • Sliding when an opponent is not around is permitted
  • Penalties taken from the penalty spot (run-ups are permitted)
  • Goal kicks given when the ball is put out of play by the opponent across the goal line
  • Goalkeepers are permitted to volley and half volley
  • Goalkeepers can slide in the box leading with their feet or hands, permitted they are attempting to play the ball – this is at the discretion of the referee
  • Team must have at least 5 players on the field for 8v8 game to start
  • If, after 5 minutes, the team does not have the minimum number of players on the field the game is considered a forfeit
  • All forfeits are scored at 3-0

Outdoor COED: 8v8

  • Maximum of 6 male players on field
  • Minimum of 2 female players on field
  • If a male player receives a red card the team must play down a male for the remainder of the match – maximum of 5 males on the field thereafter

Outdoor 9v9

  • Offside is enforced
  • Substitutes on any stoppage
  • Throw-ins to return ball from out of play
  • (7) seven yards must be given on all free kicks
  • Slide tackling is permitted in Men's 9v9
  • Goalkeepers are permitted to volley and half volley
  • Minimum of 5 players needed to start a game

Outdoor 11v11

  • Minimum of 7 players needed to start a game
  • Minimum of 2 females needed to start a Coed game
  • Slide tackling is permitted in Men’s 11v11
  • Slide tackling is not permitted in Coed 11v11
  • Normal 11v11 rules apply consistent with the Laws of the Game

Indoor Seasons

Winter 7v7 & 5v5

  • No offsides
  • Rolling substitutes that must enter/exit the side of the field where their team is located
  • Kick ins (not throw ins)
  • All free kicks are direct
  • Five (5) yards must be given on all free kicks and kick ins
  • If an indirect foul occurs in the box, a direct free kick will be given at top of the box
  • All free kicks are direct
  • Slide tackling is not permitted (Coed and Men’s)
  • Sliding when an opponent is not around is permitted
  • Penalties taken from the penalty spot (run-ups are permitted)
  • Goalkeepers are permitted to volley and half volley
  • Goalkeepers are not permitted to slide tackle feet-first inside or outside the box when challenging for the ball
  • Goalkeepers are permitted to slide hands-first in the box to block a shot
  • Team must have at least 4 players on the field for 7v7 game to start
  • If, after 5 minutes, the team does not have the minimum number of players on the field the game is considered a forfeit
  • All forfeits are scored at 3-0

Winter COED: 7v7

  • Maximum of 5 male players on the field
  • Minimum of 2 female players on the field
  • Must have both male and female players on the field to start a Coed game
  • If a male player receives a red card the team must play down a male for the remainder of the match – maximum of 4 males on the field thereafter

Winter COED: 5v5

  • Maximum of 3 male players on the field
  • Minimum of 2 female players on the field
  • Must have both male and female player on the field to start a Coed game
  • If a male player receives a red card the team must play down a male for the remainder of the match – maximum of 2 males on the field thereafter

EQUIPMENT

  • Shin guards are mandatory in all CFRS leagues – players who do not have them will not be permitted to play
  • Primary team jersey/colors
  • Alternate team jersey/colors (in case of a kit clash)
  • Pinnies will be provided upon request from CFRS staff
  • Goalkeepers must wear a different color from outfield players and referee
  • Appropriate soccer attire and footwear are required, no metal cleats are permitted
  • Players are not permitted to play with:
  • Glasses (sports goggles are permitted)
  • Watches and Smart Watches
  • Jewelry
  • Cleats with metal studs
  • Hard Casts
  • Ballcaps
  • Any other equipment or item(s) deemed dangerous by the referee

**FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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What is Chicago Fire Rec Soccer (CFRS)?

Chicago Fire Rec Soccer (CFRS) is the largest provider of adult rec soccer in the Midwest! Each season we organize 40+ leagues for more than 6,000 players across 350 teams! We have program offerings for all skill levels, including men’s, women’s, and co-ed leagues, in full-sided and small-sided formats.

Our mission through our adult soccer program is to provide more opportunities for adults over the age of 18 to enjoy the beautiful game. Providing world class programs, as well as working with our local and national partners to provide additional opportunities to interact with the game, through unique gameday experiences, watch parties, coach education, referee certification and more. To help build our soccer ecosystem and build soccer in our city for years to come!

Where does CFRS play?

CFRS operates programs at multiple locations across the city.

  • Fire Pitch – 3626 N. Talman Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
  • Montrose Turf Fields – 4400 N. Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60640
  • Clark Park – 3400 N. Rockwell St, Chicago, IL 60618

What is the Fire Pitch?

The Fire Pitch is Chicago Fire FC’s home on the north side, located at 3626 N. Talman Ave, Chicago, IL 60618. The Fire Pitch is home to two full-size soccer fields, Pub97, event spaces and plenty of parking.

The Fire Pitch operates soccer programming year-round, thanks to the dome conversion during the winter months.

Learn more about the Fire Pitch here.

What types of leagues do you offer?

CFRS offers three different styles of play – our Open, Select, and Elite options. Our Open option is geared towards a more social and casual playing environment, while our Select style of play is geared towards a more competitive and serious playing environment.

Open: A casual playing environment focused on fun, inclusivity, and community.
*
Select: A competitive environment that shares the values of fun, inclusivity, and community, but with a winning mentality.
Elite: *A professional environment for serious players focused on winning.

During the outdoor seasons, CFRS runs full-sided (11v11) and small-sided (8v8) leagues Monday through Friday evenings, and on Sundays.

Indoor, the dome is partitioned into small field for 7v7 and 5v5. However, we operate expanded 9v9 leagues on Friday and Sunday nights.

Can you tell me more about the specifics of Open, Select, and Elite leagues?

Here are the key rules for our leagues. If you wish to see a full list of our rules and bylaws, please visit the appropriate section on our website.

Open:

  • Lower price
  • 44-minute games
  • Beginner to Intermediate level
  • No membership fees
  • Relaxed roster rules
  • Just want to play? Our Open leagues have streamlined rules; it’s just quality rec soccer. And you’ll still get excellent customer service from our onsite staff at the best facilities in town.

Select:

  • Higher price
  • 56-minute games
  • Higher rated officials
  • Check-ins and one-team-per-league rules
  • Intermediate to Advanced level
  • No membership fees
  • Looking for a higher level of play? Our Select leagues provide your team with added structure to ensure competitive balance and you get additional field time.

Elite:

  • Higher price
  • 56-minute games
  • Highest rated officials
  • Check-ins and one-team-per-league rules
  • Advanced level
  • No membership fees
  • Looking for an Elite level of play? Our Elite leagues provide your team with added structure to ensure competitive balance and you get additional field time for players who have played at some of the highest levels of the game.

What documents am I required to review/sign prior to game #1?

All players must review and sign:

  • Updated Waiver of Liability Completed
  • Player Code of Conduct Acknowledged
  • Payment in full

Do I have to wear shin guards?

Yes, player safety is of the utmost importance to CFRS, so all players are permitted to wear shin guards.

Are CFRS referees certified?

All CFRS referees are certified through the United States Soccer Federation. They are vetted by our Level 4 Referee Assignor.

How long is a season and how many games are in a season?

Generally, each season is eight (8) weeks long. CFRS offers five sessions each year: two (2) indoor and three (3) outdoor (Spring, Summer, and Fall).

All CFRS teams are guaranteed eight (8) games per season. The first six (6) are regular season games, and the last two (2) are playoff or consolation matches.

Note: Some leagues that take place at other locations may vary in length due to field scheduling and permit restrictions.

How long is each game?

Open: 8v8 and 11v11 will have 46-minute game windows
Select: 8v8 and 11v11 will have 60-minute game windows

Is there somewhere my team and I can hang out after the game?

Heineken Pub97 is the perfect place for a pre-game pep talk and post-game drinks. Come and enjoy the friendly atmosphere with your team on the evenings and weekends. The menu includes flatbread pizzas, tacos with all the meats, burgers, English breakfast, and much more.

How to use our league software Daysmart (Formerly Dash)?

We use Daysmart for all league management and administration, including scheduling, league standings, payments, memberships, RSVP’s and communication.

To ensure we are able to manage our leagues effectively and communicate in a timely manner, please keep your roster up-to-date.

I have some more questions, who should I reach out to?

Contact us at cfrs@chicagofirefc.com