The sport is governed by the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CP-ISRA). The sport is played with modified FIFA rules.
Among the modifications are a reduced field of play, a reduction in the number of players, elimination of the offside rule, and permission for one-handed throw-ins.
Matches consist of two thirty-minute halves, with a fifteen-minute half-time break.
Players competing in Football 7-a-side are given a sport class based on their level of disability. Eligible classes are:
C5: Athletes with difficulties when walking and running, but not in standing or when kicking the ball.
C6: Athletes with control and co-ordination problems of their upper limbs, especially when running.
C7: Athletes with hemiplegia.
C8: Minimally disabled athletes; they must meet eligibility criteria and have an obvious impairment that has impact on the sport of football.
Teams must field at least one class C5 or C6 player at all times. No more than two players of class C8 are permitted to play at the same time.
International competition in Football 7-a-side began at the 1978 CP-ISRA International Games in Edinburgh, Scotland. The sport was added to the Summer Paralympic Games at the 1984 Summer Paralympics in New York, U.S., and has been played at every Summer Games since.
American comedian Josh Blue was member of the US team at the 2004 Summer Paralympics, and the 2007 ParaPanAmerican Games.