TML & Footy Japan Cup Rules

Footy Competitions Japan Rules




I) Where possible games will be scheduled up to 1-month in advance, these schedules (and any changes) will be available to captains on the Footy Japan Competitions (FJC) fixtures page:

II) Captains are required to be aware of their teams’ schedule at all times.

III) Teams will not be able to reschedule/cancel games once the match is scheduled (1 month before). Offenders will be deducted 1 point and the opposition will take 3-0 victory or for the match. The forfeiting team will be invoiced and required to pay the match fees for BOTH teams. If the forfeiting team cancels a game within 7 days of the match, an additional 4000yen will be invoiced.

IV) Captains must inform Footy Japan Competitions in as far advance as possible (before schedule is published) of any weekend their team will not be available to play. 

IX) The Footy Japan Competitions administration will endeavour to respond to requests regarding specific time slots, however, this cannot be guaranteed and should not be expected.

X) In circumstances requiring last minute re-scheduling, cancellations and postponements by Footy Japan Competitions, the above restrictions will be alleviated in order to accommodate fixture commitments.  This will be on a case-by-case basis.



- 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss, -1 point (+3-0 loss) for a forfeit.


- At the end of the season each division will be decided by:  I) Total points, II) Goal difference, III) Goals scored


- The last two teams in Divisions 1 & 2 will automatically be demoted for the start of the season. The top 2 teams in Divisions 2 & 3 will be promoted likewise.  Promotion to a higher division is not a choice; teams ending in first or second place in Divisions 2 or 3 at the end of Season will be automatically promoted.



I) Each match will consist of 2-equal halves of 40-minutes, with a 5-10-minute break for half time.

II) Each team may use 11-players on the field and rotate a maximum of 5 substitutes during the game at the referee’s discretion.

III) Teams will arrive at the ground at least 30-minutes before the scheduled kick off time.

IV) For a game to start, at least 7-registered players for any one team must line up* for the kick off no later than 5-minutes after the scheduled kick-off time. *Lining up means changed and READY TO PLAY.  Offenders will be forfeited 1pt and the opposition awarded *3-0 victory. The forfeiting team will be required to pay the match fees for BOTH teams.
If this result directly effects championships/promotion or relegation then the score will be changed to match the result of the team concerned and the forfeiting team. The result will be from the half of the season where the matches were played/forfeited.  
The correction to the score line will be made towards the end of the season. 

It is the duty of the referee to ensure that games start and finish on time and thus referees are empowered to start games EXACTLY 5-minutes after the scheduled kick-off time and reduce the half time period as necessary to ensure games finish on time.

If a match is abandoned due to weather conditions deteriorating (flooding, lightening etc) or other uncontrollable events (e.g. earthquake) at least 60 minutes must be played for the result to stand. In case of serious injury, the match will continue, if time allows, after the player has been safely removed from the pitch. If either team does not want to continue then they will forfeit the game and the opposition will be awarded a 1-0 victory. The losing team will pay half of the oppositions match fee plus their own. If there is no time to play on and 60 minutes has not been played then both Captains and Referee must agree that the result is null and void and a re match will take place at a later date for which both teams will be charged. If a match is stopped and cannot continue due to circumstances beyond our control (excluding injury) then teams will pay half match (¥9000 per team).

V) The league will provide a referee for all matches.

VI) Linesmen (Assistant referees) If all 3 parties (2 captains & referee) agree before the match not to have linesman, then the match will be played without them. If one party (referee or 1 captain) wants linesman then the match will be played with the use of linesman. The linesman’s decisions will be taken at the discretion of the referee.  If a referee is unsatisfied with the ability of a linesman he may, at his discretion, replace the linesman or opt to use none. Linesmen will signal line, boundary and positional calls (including offsides). They are not to signal fouls. 

VII) Teams will completely clear up after themselves after matches including the field, the area surrounding it and ensure the changing rooms are left tidy (garbage and dirt free). Grounds with specific rules must be adhered to; failure to do so may result in expulsion from the league.

VII) Teams are expected to do their utmost to assist Footy Japan Competitions  in securing decent grounds to play on, the teams who secure grounds to play on get priority use over them.



I) Teams must wear matching numbered uniforms including socks and shorts and be aware of colour clashes with other teams by checking:, or contacting the Footy Japan Competitions administration.  In the event that a team only has one set of uniform, purchasing a set of bibs to permanently have on hand on match days would be advisable/sensible.  If both teams are without a second uniform, the Footy Japan Competitions administration will decide on who will wear the bibs on the first meeting between the teams.

- Teams who persistently fall short of the basic required uniform/appearance standards risk being sanctioned by the league.
II) Shin Pads are compulsory and players will not play without them.

III) A player must not use equipment or wear anything which is dangerous to himself or another player (including snoods or any kind of jewellery: Spectacles (unless designed for sports) are not permitted.  In the case of irremovable rings, taping will be permitted.

IIII) Outfield players are not allowed to wear hats of any kinds. Goal keepers are an exception to the rule.



- During matches, the referees will impose FIFA regulations. Red and yellow cards will be shown in accordance with these rules. 

- All bans from league matches will come into force immediately after the card is issued. 

- Yellow cards in the Cup/Plate will be kept separate to the league. 2 bookings in the Cup/Plate will mean suspension for the next Cup/Plate match. Red cards in the Cup/Plate will be reviewed case by case to decide if the suspension will carry over into the league. Same applies for the league when suspensions will be carried out over Cup/Plate weekends.

- After a club has played half their games, 1 yellow card will be deducted from each player who is cautioned in the first half of the season. 

 - The following suspensions will be imposed for more serious offences:
I)  Straight Red card = minimum 1-match ban (the player can play for any other team in the league until his ban has been served with the team he committed the offence with).

II)  + =   2 yellow cards resulting in a sending off = subsequent 1-match ban (the player can play for any other team in the league until his ban has been served with the team he committed the offence with).

III) , , 3 yellow cards accumulated = subsequent 1-match ban (the player can play for another team in the league while his ban is being served with the team he accumulated the cards with).

IV) , ,, , ,  6 yellow cards accumulated will result in a 2-match ban (the player cannot play for another team in the league while his ban is being served with the team he accumulated the cards with).

V) All red cards will result in a minimum 1-match ban. (2nd red card (of season) will result in a minimum 2 match ban, 3rd will be a minimum 4 match ban & so on)

Red card offences will be punished with the following bans:

3 match ban minimum for the following (cannot play for another team while the ban is being served)
Guilty of Serious Foul Play: Using excessive force with the clear intention to hurt an opponent during a challenge. Examples would be – two footed tackle, playing over the ball, tackle from behind etc. If this is deemed to be dangerous.
Guilty of  Violent Conduct: Punching, hitting, striking, kicking, elbow etc.
Spitting: It does not have to hit an opponent to be sent off. If a player aims to spit on an opponent and misses this is also a red card offense.

1 match ban minimum for the following
Denying a goal scoring opportunity by deliberate handball
Denying a goal scoring opportunity by an offence punishable by a free kick
Receives a Second Caution in the same match

Case to case incident for the following
Using Offensive, abusive or Insulting Language or Gestures: There are many different levels of this and each case will be judged on its merits. 

VI) Punishment for physical violence towards other/own players will be determined by the advice of the Footy Japan Competitions committee, but ultimately the Footy Japan Competitions administration will determine sanctions.  In all instances a minimum 3-match ban will be imposed (A player may not play for any other team in TML or FJ Cup while serving this ban).  Harsher rulings will be sought where necessary on a case-by-case basis.  Repeat offenders can expect to be permanently banned from all Footy Japan KK organised competitions and events.

VII) Any and all acts of physical violence or threatening behaviour including continued verbal abuse towards a TML official, before, during or after a Footy Japan Competitions organised event, including TML games, FJ Cup games, tournaments and social events, will result in the automatic and permanent expulsion of the offending player from all Footy Japan Competitions organised football, by order of Footy Japan KK.



- Footy Japan Competitions/Footy Japan KK personnel involved in the organisation and governing of the league and cup competitions will, in all cases, only deal with TEAM CAPTAINS as a representative voice of the whole team/club, or by a recognized proxy, such as a Vice Captain or Treasurer. Individual players are not permitted to contact Footy Japan KK on TML/Footy Japan Cup business, unless asked specifically by the competition organizers to do so.  We ask Captains, Vice Captains & Treasurers  to communicate with Footy Japan KK personnel in a professional, courteous and constructive manner. Solutions to any problems will always be better received than simply highlighting issues.  Any communication to Footy Japan KK personnel, be it face-to-face; by e-mail; telephone or any other medium, that is deemed by the company to be insulting, abusive, malicious, defamatory, libelous or threatening; be it directed at an individual or defamatory remarks made about any of Footy Japan KK’s operations, will result in the permanent expulsion of the perpetrator from all Footy Japan KK organised events and competitions.

- Teams with non-native English speaking captains / team representatives must be able to communicate with TML/Footy Japan KK personnel with a minimum of ‘conversational’ English – both spoken and written.



I) Captains are to provide FJC with their ‘intention to register (Pre-Register)’ a new player (i.e. A PLAYER NOT PLAYING FOR ANY OTHER TEAM IN THE TML), by e-mail to: providing the player’s full name,a minimum of 24-hours BEFORE they play their FIRST game in the TML/FJ Cup. Violation of this rule will result in 1-point being deducted from the offending team.

-  Following this, IF the team decides to register the player, ALL registration information for that player, including the player’s photo, high resolution colour scan of both sides of Residence Card or Japanese Drivers License must be provided to: before his 2nd TML match.
Additionally, please submit which ward the players workplace is.
Failure to do this will result in a STRIKE being issued.

In short: the ‘intention to register new; player’ procedure is MANDATORY, full registration of that player is at the team’s discretion. This allows players not playing in the TML to effectively have a ‘trial’.

Teams who play unregistered players will instantly be awarded a 3-0 loss unless the opposition team has won by a larger margin. Then the match result will stand. Offending teams will also be deducted a point. Playing unregistered players will not be tolerated.

Teams may only ‘Pre-register’ and use a maximum of 4 pre-registered players per match –(including on-field and sub players).

II) Players new to the league i.e. not registered with any other team and/or with no previous experience within the TML, may be granted the opportunity to trial with more than 1 team without incurring the 2,000 JPY standard registration fee for players who play their second match within the TML.

Cross Division Registration and Transfers

-  Captains who wish to register a player already playing for a team in a different division must provide FJC with the player’s full name and first team name a minimum of 24-hours BEFORE they play their FIRST game for their new team (& division). Failing to adhere to this rule will result in a 1-point deduction.

- Players may not play for another team in the same division without prior transfer approval between both captains and only then once FJC administration has been informed and the proper player registration process has taken place. If a player plays for another team before the transfer is approved then the following sanctions will take place: The players new team being deducted a point and awarded a 3-0 loss. The player in question will also be banned for 1 match. 

- Players that play a pre reg game for a team will have to be registered on their second game with the same team regardless of if it is a cup or a league game.

- Teams may only have a total of 4 cross division players.

- Players may only play for ONE TEAM IN THE FOOTY JAPAN CUP COMPETITION.  Cup-tied players who play for another team in the same competition will a) automatically give their opposition a 3-0 forfeit win and b) be suspended for 2-TML matches.

Match Stats

- Captains will fill out a team sheet (via Google Docs), by the WEDNESDAY following EVERY TML AND FOOTY JAPAN CUP match (Teams failing to submit on time will be issued a STRIKE).

-Season 17, Captains will fill out a team sheet on the day of the game and hand it in to the ref. Failing to do so will result in a strike.

- Captains will also ensure that following the game (League or Cup) the referees know the full names of all goal scorers and players who have received cards.



Players may only play for ONE team* during the Footy Japan Cup competition.  Regardless of who a player is registered for in the TML, the first game a player plays with a team in the cup competition renders him CUP TIED for the duration of the competition.  Once a team is knocked out of the competition, players may not play for another team still remaining in the competition. Failure to adhere to these rules will result in the offending player’s team being automatically expelled from the competition – ignorance will be no excuse or defence. It is the captain’s responsibility to ensure no cup tied players are fielded in his squad.

All new full player registration remains the same in accordance with league policy: A minimum of 24-hour notice of intention to register (pre-registration) to be sent to including: the player’s full name, e-mail address and mobile phone number. 

- If a match is tied after 80 minutes –  There will be a P.K shoot out (3 Penalties per team) followed by sudden death if needs be.

- If a team forfeits an FJ Cup match they will automatically be knocked out the competition, the forfeiting team will pay both teams match fees. 



- FJC has a zero tolerance policy for late payments of dues and for administrative tardiness. FJC has (unfortunately) had to institute a STRIKE system – teams failing to meet administration deadlines (team registration, regular submission of team sheets the following WEDNESDAY after their match, new player registration documents: including player’s photo, high resolution colour scan of both sides of Gaijin Card or Japanese Driving License will be issued a STRIKE. If a team accumulates 3-STRIKES during a season they will forfeit 1-point and risk the very real chance of not being invited to participate in the TML in following season.

- For teams failing to meet payment deadlines for invoices issued to teams for participation in Footy Japan KK organized competitions, including but not limited to, team registration fees, player registration fees, match fees, the following fines will be imposed and added to the following month’s invoice: First late payment: 3,000JPY, Second late payment: 10,000JPY, Third late payment: 20,000JPY.  Teams offending more than THREE times will be expelled from the league and Footy Japan KK’s legal proxy will collect the outstanding fees owed.



It is mandatory for all teams intending to play in TML Season 18/Footy Japan Cup competition to be represented at the TML AGM, which will be held towards the end of TML Season 17.



The sponsors of the Tokyo Metropolis League and/or any FJC competitions or tournaments, including Metropolis (magazine), are in no way responsible for the running of the league and as such may NOT be approached about TML/Footy Japan KK football-related matters.



Players registering to play in the Tokyo Metropolis League and all other Footy Japan KK organised competitions, including friendly matches and futsal training, do so in the knowledge that TML & Footy Japan KK will not be held responsible financially or otherwise for any injuries sustained during competition/training.  Players are therefore strongly advised to have their own comprehensive medical coverage (insurance) as no claims can or will be accepted by FJC or its parent company Footy Japan KK, without exception. Players without sufficient medical coverage, injuries (pre-existing or otherwise), or with any physical or mental condition that could, by playing competitive football (or training), lead to the need for medical attention, are strongly advised not to play in Footy Japan KK  organised competition. Those choosing to ignore this warning do so of their own free will and entirely at their own risk.  Footy Japan KK and its operations will accept no liability for any injuries sustained during its operations.