Street football

Street football


Often the most basic of set-ups will involve just a ball with a wall or fence used as a goal, or items such as clothing being used for goalposts (hence the phrase "jumpers for goalposts"). The ease of playing these informal games means that they are popular all over the world.

Street football can be divided into three varieties: minor adaptations of the association football rules, games based on scoring goals and games which are not.

Minor rule variations


This game is played similarly to a normal football game but with minimal rules and with any number of players, even two individuals playing against each other. The more complicated rules are often disregarded, mainly offside and the rule that keepers must not pick up a backpass. Tactics are much looser than in professional matches, with many teams effectively playing Total Football. In most cases the game is not timed, and the first team to score a set number of goals is the winner.

Goalkeeper variations

Rush goalie/Rushie keeper

One player may take on the role of goalkeeper (i.e, become able to handle the ball), providing they are within, roughly, their own penalty area. This may be combined with other rules; the only prerequisites are that there are teams and two separate goals. This variation is commonly used to help mitigate a disadvantage, whether in numbers or skill. It's also known as "last-man-back", "fly keeper", "goalie wag", "flie keeper", "any man saves" or simply "any man". Basically, when you are in a match and choose "rush goalie", it means that the goalie can come out but the 1st person on the same team must "rush" back to their goal to save the opposing team's shot.

A more restricted variant of rush goalie is that players must first announce that they are the keeper, for example by shouting "Keeps!" or "Switch keepers!" before they may handle the ball.

mall goals

Small goals is a descriptive name for a variation of football played informally: the goals are reduced to approximately 1-2 metres wide, and players are not permitted to touch the ball with their hands. No player has the role of goalkeeper, though a player may hang back and play a defensive role with their feet and other legal parts of the body. Small goals are sometimes used when playing Joga Bonito. Small goals can be made with wood and nails or pipes.

tick goalie

Alternatively, especially when rush goalies are being used to ameliorate a difference in numbers, the side with more players may be forced to keep their goalkeeper in goal, known as "stick goalie". Stick goalies are not allowed to leave their (albeit vaguely-defined) penalty area to participate in attacks, as opposed to the "rush goalie" who is effectively an outfield player who can handle the ball with their hands in the penalty area. While the terminology can be confusing if the rush goalie does not actually change, many times the rush goalie is actually of the sort described above.

Murder Ball/No rule/Death match/Foulie-footy/SoccerBrawl

There are no throw-ins, kick-offs, goal-kicks or corners. Fouls are allowed (as long as no one gets hurt), but hands aren't (apart from goalkeepers), if only to differentiate this game from rugby.

This game has come to dominate school playing fields and village greens when groups of young lads are challenged to a game of 'footy' by their footballing peers and see it quickly descend into a ball chasing blood bath.

However over recent years since the late 1990s, fair play has come into the spectrum, and people playing football in schools, colleges, university and with the friends acknowledge the following:

*No tackle from behind
*No shirt pulling
*No barging
*Play it where it lays rule (if there is a serious foul) either a drop ball is awarded or a free-kick.
*No handballing
*Not to go too far off the area of play
*If it goes past the goalkeepers line, it's a corner or goal kick
*Mini goal kicks

Games based on scoring goals

Cubbies/Wembley Doubles/Knockout/Singles/Cuppy/Co-op/2-man (doubles) league

This game requires at least three players and one goal. One of the players is designated as a goalkeeper. Players must try and score whilst stopping the other players from doing the same. Team play is optional, and any number of teams (or solo) players can take part.

Typical rules state that in the first round, one goal secures a player's progression to round two. Players that have scored wait (off the pitch) until all but one player has scored. In subsequent rounds, it is not uncommon for the number of goals required to match the round number, but usually only one goal is required.

Often, the place of the goalkeeper from round one is taken by the round's loser.

Many extra rules are often added to stop cheating such as no 'goal scrounging' (waiting by the goal to try and get your foot onto someone else's shot). In this variation, unlike most others, the keeper plays the role of referee, instead of the players deciding arbitrarily about fouls.

Other names for this game include World Cup [ Knockout Wembley] ] , Wembley (in England), Cuppy, Knocky-outy,World Cup Willy, Wurly/Wurly Cup, singles (or doubles, triples etc. depending on how many players there are on each team).

In addition to this, it is common for the 'No scoring inside the box' rule to be played. This is applied not only to make the rounds last longer, but also to help reinforce the no 'goal scrounging' rule. The rule dictates that no player can score from inside a convert|6|yd|sing=on area of the goal (6 yard box if marked). In some cases, players will relax this rule and allow headers and even clean volleys to be scored from inside the box. This rule prevents players from simply running within a few feet of the goalkeeper and smashing it into the goal, making the game fairer for the keeper and for all outfield competitors. Another rule is 'penalties all-round'. This occurs when a player handles the ball resulting every other player getting a penalty. They are awarded at the disgression of the goalkeeper.

The 2-Man (doubles) league consists of three teams of two or more teams. Two teams play at a time for five minutes with one of the other team players as the goalkeeper, only one net is used similar rules to the knock out games above. The aim of the game is to basically score as many as possible, sometimes the convert|6|yd|sing=on area is used as a boundary which you're not allowed to shoot in. Each game won is 3 points, a draw being 1 point. Once a game is over, the other team(s) come on and rotate the fixtures after every game. The keepers will also rotate, one of the players from the team which isn't playing goes in net for the other two teams 5 minute match.

Each team plays each other twice, if two teams are level points at the end of it you sum up the goal difference to decide a winner.


Score three goals and become the goalkeeper. A simple game, usually played for fun rather than to produce any winner.

Because successful players are faced with the (usually) undesirable task of being the goalkeeper, rules are often applied to ensure their stay in goal is not deliberately extended by unscrupulous players. This could mean a shot-clock being implemented (setting an 1-minute time limit for the next shot to occur).

Another rule to force players to shoot may be to change the goalkeeper every 5 goals or so, with the player having scored least going in goal. However, this can make the game resemble the above game more closely.


Very similar to headers and volleys (below). It consists of three or four players, one of them acting as goalkeeper. The other (attacking) players must attempt to score three "valid" goals and win a run.

A goal is valid only if the scoring player received the ball from another player (as opposed to "from the ground"). A goal is "foul" whenever the player kicks a ball lying in the ground or kicks a ball "received from the ground". To put it simply, whenever the ball hits the ground, the next player to touch it is supposed to pass it to another attacker, so the latter can try a valid goal (usually by volley or header).

Whenever an attacking player scores a "foul" goal, he becomes the new goalkeeper, resetting the counter. The goalkeeper scores whenever the attacking players send the ball off-limits (i.e. missing the goal). When the goalkeeper scores the third point, the player responsible for the last offense becomes the goalkeeper and the counter is reset.

Boston Cage

This game requires a basketball court. Teams gather at the court, or cage as it is referred to, and form teams of 4. There is 4 versus 4 until a player scores, by hitting the basketball pole with the ball. It cannot be behind the pole, or above where the pole curves outward to hold the basketball net. When a team scores, the losing teams rotates out for another team to play the winning team.

Heads and volleys

This game in some forms requires only two players, however most often it needs at least three. In the game one player crosses the ball to another who must then either head or volley the ball into the goal which is defended by another player.

Dozens of different variations of the game exist, including the keeping of 'life tallies' (lives are lost by strikers if they miss, or by goalkeepers if they concede). An optional rule states that when the goalkeeper catches the ball they can then throw the ball to another player; if that player scores (a header or volley) then the original striker is put in goal.

In another variant a striker gains a point by scoring and the keeper loses a point; if the striker misses he loses 2 points and must become the goalkeeper. Other variants include the setting of shooting distances (e.g. shots are not allowed within 6 yards). In some more aggressive variants when a player loses all of their points each of the other players will take a turn to attempt to hit them from the penalty spot.

One version rules that if a shot goes wide or over, the player who had the last touch goes in goal. If a shot isn't volleyed or half-volleyed, again the shot-taker goes in goal. If an outfielder lets a shot go wide he/she goes in. If the keeper catches the ball before it bounces, or if it only bounces once, the player who touched the ball last goes in goal. If a player handballs it twice in one round (until another player goes in goal) they go in goal, however, if they handball it once or don't handball it before the round ends, they lose their handball count.

Also there is a variation of this game in which every time the player in goal concedes a goal he or she gains a letter towards a word (i.e HORSE) and when the word is spelled out the player has to face a wall whilst other players take shots at the loser's backside. This is called in the United Kingdom "Megasaurarse"

60 seconds

In this game, there is one goalkeeper and at least two outfield players. The goalkeeper will kick/throw the ball out, and begin counting to 60 at roughly one number a second. The outfield players must then cooperate to score a volley past the goalkeeper; should they do so, the count will be reset. If, however, the ball enters the goal without the kick being a volley, the goalkeeper catches a full volley, or the goalkeeper reaches 60, the last player to touch the ball becomes the goalkeeper. A variety of this game introduces levels, where initially only one goal must be scored, but every time the count is reset this goes up by one, so the players must score one, then two, then three, until they are unable to complete the allotted amount. There is considerable variety regarding what counts as a 'volley' or not - sometimes, it is permissible to lift the ball into the air and strike it into the ground yourself, whereas in other circumstances it is not counted as a full volley; also, whether volleying it in from a keeper's kick or throw is legal is a contentious point.


This game is useful when there is a wide range in terms of age or ability amongst the players, and also requires a degree of sportsmanship between them. Players pass the ball around and shoot freely, but upon scoring, are awarded points by the goalkeeper according to the distance and/or skill level of the goal scored. This score is usually more generous towards younger players.

Points may also be awarded for a particularly good assist, or to the goalkeeper by the other players, if the keeper makes a good save. Points are usually awarded out of five; five typically being an outstanding acrobatic volley, one typically being a simple tap-in. Usually when a player reaches 20 points the goalkeeper is changed, either for the best or worst scoring player.


In this game, there is one player acting as goalkeeper and at least two outfield players. The aim of the game is to kick hard in the rear end of a bad goalkeeper which does not prevent to receive 25 points. In such case, each of the outfield players gains one free "rear end kick" to the goalkeeper. After that, the counting start again. The points are scored depending on the goal: normal kick: 5 points, head: 10 points, heel kick: 15 points, overhead kick: 20 points.

There is a clear demarcation of the goal post area. Inside this area the goalkeeper can move freely. Also, there is a demarcation of the field (often this is the big goalkeeper area).Of course, nobody wants to be goalkeeper. So, there is a set of rules to determine who will be:

*If a player touchs the ball more than one time, this player is the goalkeeper now (while the ball is in the air it can be touched many times)
*If a player shoot the ball outside of the scoring post
*If the goalkeeper throw the ball and he hits one of the players directly (like the game dodgeball)


Similar to 25, very popular in Romania. Played by a minimum of 3 players, one player being the goalkeeper. The outfield players attempt to score goals from volleys or headers from crosses by other players. Points are awarded depending on the kicking style. One variation may be: 2 points for normal kick, 3 for knee, 5 for header, 15 for backheel, and the maximum of 21 for bycicle kick. If the ball hits the crossbar and get into the goal the points may double. If the goalkeeper touches the ball before it gets into the goal, only 1 point will be added to his total, no matther how the ball was kicked. When at least 11 points are scored against a goalkeeper, he will be able to "hunt", throwing the ball like a dodgeball at the outfield players without letting the ball hit the ground, though not getting outside the box. Once the goalkeeper reaches 11 points, the other players will be very careful not to let him catch the ball. The goalkeeper can get out of the goal and become an outfield player if:

*a player shoots wide or over the goal (however, the rule of "saving post" may save the player if the ball hits the post before it gets outside)
*the ball hits the ground before a goalscoring shot, the ball may not hit the ground after it is crossed by another player; also, a player may not get the ball in the air and attempt a shot himself
*a player handballs
*the goalkeeper hunts another player once he reaches 11 points

When a player gets out of the goal, his points will still count. A player is eliminated if the others score 21 points or more on him. The last player to be the goalkeeper before the one eliminated will get back into the goal. The last 2 players remaining will shoot penalties to determine the winner, though in some variations, the win will be awarded to the one having the least points scored against.


The name comes from the Spanish verb "rechazar" ("to reject"). The players must reject the ball from their area (the limit is usually the middle line of the field) and score goals. After one player kicks the ball to the other area, the second player may touch the ball up to three times (two optional touches and the shot). Richard is usually played with one or two players per side.

Players gain one point per goal, and two if the player shoots at once with no additional touch (and previously shouts that he/she will try to score double). If a player exceeds the three-touch limit, touches the ball within his/her goal area with the hand or within the opponent's area, a penalty kick is given to the opponent.

If one player stops a kick with its chest before the ball hits the ground (to perform a "pechito", a Spanish diminutive for chest), the player can enter the rival's area and touch the ball any number of times to score. This "status" is finished if the keeper catches the ball (outside the goal area or the rival's area), so he/she can throw it to the attacker's body to be given a penalty.


A game similar to "richard" for 2, 3 or 4 players, played within a confined 5-a-side pitch or walled space with goals. Each player may only occupy their half of the pitch, minus the 'D'goal area. No hands are used during play. One player 'kicks off' at the beginning of the game, after concedeing a goal or when the ball goes out of play. A kick off is taken with a 'dead ball' positioned within the player's own 'D', shots are direct. A player may block their opponents shot with any normally legal part of their body but only take one touch and only on shots which are, roughly, on target. After this one 'touch' to block a shot, or directly from a shot, the player who touched it can shoot at their opponent's goal. Games are generally played informally in 'sets', the first player or team to score ten goals winning.

When playing in teams the player who takes the first touch is the only person on that team who can then shoot, when the ball is touched by an opponent this is reset.

Tackle and Shoot

Like World Cup/Wembley, this game requires only one goal. The game can be played by as little as three people, with one goalkeeper, and two "attackers" both trying to win. Occasionally it may become two-a-side, often, rather than having a set match time, the "first to" rule is used, usually the amount of goals required to win is five. Rules are basically the same as football as we know it, except that out of play rules are different. If a player hits a shot wide, or over and the goalkeeper doesn't want to fetch it, he allows play to go on. The goalkeeper also doubles up as a referee. A rule that causes some arguments among players is the "deflections" rule. An example of a scenario when deflections are vital is this:

Two players, one A the other B, are playing tackle and shoot. The score is 4-4, and the next goal is the winner. Player A has worked amazingly hard, has ran and ran, but just can't get the final goal. Player B meanwhile, is leaning against the goalpost. Suddenly player A lifts a spectacular chip over the goalkeepers head, only for it to hit player B on the knee, and go in. Some "referees" say that player A should have the goal, as it was his shot, and was going in anyway, others say player B should have it, as it hit him last.

Pass and Shoot

Unlike tackle and shoot this is not competitive. Basically, any amount of players, pass it amongst themselves, using any amount of showboating and trickery, and score as many goals as possible. Occasionally players add rules such as one-touch, or all players must touch the ball before scoring, or they may see how many consecutive goals they can score.

Ten Shots

Quite like penalties, and is ideally played by two people. Both take it in turns to take shots at each other, and the winner, is the player who scores the most goals.

Four Nets

There are a number of nets, usually anywhere between two and six. This is a game that is generally more fun with more people. Teams may consist of a few or many players, depending on how many players are taking part.

The objective is to score a set number of goals (usually three or five) into one of the opposing teams nets; when this happens, that team is out until the next round begins. The team which wins the most rounds are declared the overall winners. There is rarely a time limit, and the round will continue until one team remains.

There are a number of variable rules, such as Handball Nets, which means the Handball rule in football is reversed, and a foul is committed if a foot touches the ball.

The game can be played anywhere, with any sport that involves nets, and in almost any space. That is why it is one of the most popular forms of street football.

Gol Para Mi

This is usually a three player game. A goal is set up against a fence or wall using shirts, sticks or anything else as goal markers. The goal width is set by the players to make goals possible but not super easy. A player starts as goalie. The goalie can't use hands. Shots have to be at waist height or below. The non-goalies try to score a goal. When a player scores, they go into goal.


Invented in Bristol, England (namely the Goals Soccer Centre in Filton), Munich is played 1 on 1 on a 5-a-side pitch. Players have two touches (one to control the ball/defend a shot, and one to shoot) to score in their opponent's goal from within their own half. Players may not enter their own D or their opponent's half, the exception being if the ball comes to rest in or behind the goal. All restarts are one touch and taken from the player's own penalty spot. Handballs (apart from in self defence) are counted as a goal against. The game puts an emphasis on dead ball skills, first touch and desperation defending. Quick reactions are also a necessity, in conjunction with sound judgement; for example, a fortuitous rebound may allow a player to shoot from much closer to the halfway line than usual, but due to this rebound there may be no time to control the ball before it reaches the halfway line - the player must then decide quickly whether it is better to shoot and attempt to return to his goal area before he is lobbed, or to simply allow the ball to cross the line to his opponent and maintain an advantageous position defensively.

Games not based on scoring goals

Keep Ups

The aim is to prevent the ball from touching the ground. One or many players can take part. One bounce is a similar variation of Keep Ups where in transfer between one person and another one bounce is allowed. Two or more players can play this game.


A game played 1 versus 1 in a small area. The idea of the game is to dribble the ball through the opponent's legs, which is called a Nutmeg. Once you have completed a nutmeg, the game is over. Note that you must retrieve the ball immediately after the ball has gone through the opponents legs. If the opponent gets the ball before you the game continues.

Nutmeg rush

This is played by any number of players, and can be done with anything that can be kicked. The aim is to score a nutmeg on an opposing player, and when this happens, they are open game for punches and kicks for ten seconds. This can be played on teams, with more than one ball, and a scoring system can also be attached.


Barsie, or Barsies, is a game common in the UK. The game involves two teams, each standing either side of a set of goalposts (around ten yards away from them). One team starts with the ball (from a dead ball situation) and aims to hit the goalpost. If the ball hits, the team gets an amount of points (based on where the ball hits. The scoring system varies, but is usually done in a proportion that favours the corner-joint over the crossbar, which in turn carries more points than the post). Who gets the next shot depends on when the ball stops dead: should the ball stop dead in a team's "half", it becomes their shot. This is also true if the ball does not hit the goalpost. The game is usually played to a target points figure.

Head tennis

Often played over a badminton or tennis net, this game uses the basic concept of tennis but only the head is used to play the football.

lam (and variants)

This a game loosely based on football and squash and is generally played by school children. The goal area is a hard surface such as a wall and the number of players can be variable. Each player takes it in turn striking the ball against the goal area. Each player must strike the ball from the where the ball ends up after the previous player's shot. A slight variation allows players to shoot .

Rules are very fluid and change dependent on available equipment, space or player numbers. In some versions, if a player misses, they are eliminated. In another version, any player can attempt to score at any time, except the person who scored the last goal. The winner in this version will be the first player to score a set number of goals, usually three. In variants with small participant numbers, players are given a number of 'lives' before they are eliminated.

Other names for Slam or variants include Wally (pronounced "Wall-E"), Bung, One-Touch, Dead Duck,Spot, Squash, and Wall Ball.

King of the Ring

This game is for a minimum of three players, but a number in excess of 15 is ideal.

Each player starts with a ball of their own in an area defined by low cones or a white line. The aim of the game is to be the last player in the ring - in control of their ball - after all other players have had the ball they started with kicked out of the marked area.


Often used as a training exercise, attacker-defender is a game for two people. One takes on the role of the "attacker", the other takes on the role of the "defender". The attacker begins in possession of the ball, with the defender a few metres away in a loose jockeying position. There is a target line a short distance (approximately 5-15 metres) away from the attacker, and the aim is to dribble the ball over the line without the defender gaining possession. If the attacker succeeds, it is a point to them and the roles are reversed, starting from scratch. If the defender tackles the ball from the attacker, then the roles are again reversed, but the positions are not reset.

Street football World Championship 2006

The first Street football World Championship took place in Mariannenplatz, Berlin. [en icon de icon [ Street Football World Festival 2006] ]

Final placements

Visa refusals by German Foreign Office

The Foreign Office drew international criticism for denying the visa for the players from Ghana and Nigeria. Those players were argued to lack the "will to return" to their countries. The denial was maintained even though German conservative politician and ex-Brigadier General Jörg Schönbohm, Minister of the Interior of Brandenburg (CDU), and German sports anchor and moderator Günther Jauch offered to put guarantees for the return of the players. The Championship did not nominate replacement teams, but informed on development projects in these countries in the scheduled times of the games of those teams. [ A Banner for Nigeria and Ghana - Street Football World] ]

See also

* Ball
* Football

External links

* []
* []
* [ Street Football: readers' discussion on Football 365]
* [ streetfootballworld: worldwide network for "Development through Football"] [ D10's!]

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