Southwest Soccer Club

RULES OF THE GAME

(Updated / Posted July 2001)
[U5 & U6 revised 9/2002]
[U6 revised 10/15/2002 - substitutions]
[U8 revised 9/10/2004 - number of players, player's equipment, player participation]
[U4, U5-U6 revised 9/11/2013]

RULE 1: THE FIELD

RULE 6: PLAYER'S EQUIPMENT

RULE 11: FOULS & MISCONDUCT

RULE 2: PLAYING SEASON & AGE

RULE 7: REFEREE

RULE 12: COACHES

RULE 3: TEAM FORMATION

RULE 8: RESCHEDULED GAMES

RULE 13: TEAM STANDINGS

RULE 4: PLAYER'S & PARTICIPATION

RULE 9: DURATION OF GAME

RULE 14: MICRO-DIVISION - U4 thru U8

RULE 5: PRACTICES & FIELD POLICY

RULE 10: START OF PLAY

DISCIPLINARY ACTION & CONDUCT

GENERAL: Southwest Soccer Club adopts the Laws of the Game as published by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the ECSA Laws of the Game for all SWSC/ECSA sanctioned competitions with the following modifications:

RULE 1: THE FIELD

A: Dimensions:
1. U10: The field of play shall be rectangular, seventy (70) to eighty (80) yards in length by forty (40) to fifty (50) yards wide. The length in all cases shall exceed the width.

2. U12, U14, U16: The field of play shall be rectangular, its length being not more than 130 yds nor less than 100 yds and its width not more than 75 yds nor less than 50 yds. The length in all cases shall exceed the width.

3. U19: The field of play shall be rectangular, seventy (70) to eighty (80) yards in length by forty (40) to fifty (50) yards wide.  Field widths of sixty (60) to sixty-five (65) yards are encouraged. The length in all cases shall exceed the width.

B. Goals:

1. U10, U19: Seven (7) feet high and twenty-one (21) feet wide or eight (8) feet high and twenty-four (24) feet wide.

2. U12, U14, U16, U19: Eight (8) feet high and twenty-four (24) feet wide.

C. Coach's area:

1. Teams on the same side of the field: Coaches must stay in the area from the top of the penalty area to midfield and are free to move within this area outside the touchline on their end of the field.

2. Teams on opposite sides of the field: Coaches must remain in the area from the top of the penalty area to the top of the penalty area on their side of the field.

D. Coaches are permitted to confer with the referee at the end of each period in a gentlemanly manner. This is not an opportunity to dispute calls but rather a time to obtain a simple explanation of rules.

E. Ball Size

1. U10, U12: Size Four (4)

2. U14, U16, U19: Size Five (5)

RULE 2: PLAYING SEASON & AGE

A. Playing Season
1. Spring: February-May (approximately)

2. Fall: September-November (approximately)

B. Age Classification

Players must be born on or after the dates listed below in order to play in that age group. (Example: For Fall 2002 thru Spring 2003)

U5

August 1, 1999

U6

August 1, 1998

U7

August 1, 1997

U8

August 1, 1996

U9

August 1, 1995

U10

August 1, 1994

U11

August 1, 1993

U12

August 1, 1992

U14

August 1, 1990

U16

August 1, 1988

RULE 3: TEAM FORMATION

A. Registration:
1. The registration takes place prior to each fall and spring season. Applications will be accepted at registration and assignments of teams made accordingly.

2. Registration fees are due at the time of registration.

3. A team's official roster shall consist of the players for which the coach has received copies of the registration forms or an official USYSA roster .

4. No player should practice unless properly registered.

B. Player Assignments:

1. The seasonal year runs from fall to spring. The division is formed beginning with the fall season.

2. Returning players for the spring season will be assigned to the team on which he/she played in the immediately previous (fall) season. A player may request to be reassigned to another team under certain situations.

3. Players moving up in age classification and first time players will be assigned to teams through a random draft. Children of head coaches may be assigned to that coach's team within age classification.

4. Players will be placed in age divisions by birth year or petition to move up within 6 mos. of August 1st. Playing out of the age classification is not allowed

5. Players who register after the close of registration will be assigned to teams that have the least amount of players and so forth on down the line.

6. Recruitment of players by parents, coaches or other players for a specific team in the recreational division is not allowed.

RULE 4: NUMBER OF PLAYERS & PARTICIPATION

A. U10:
1. Maximum number of players on the field at any one time: eight (8), one of whom shall be the goalkeeper.

2. Maximum number of players on the roster will not exceed twelve (12).

B. U12, U14, U16:

1. Maximum number of players on the field at any one time: eleven (11), one of whom shall be the goalkeeper.

2. Maximum number of players on the roster will not exceed eighteen (18).

C. Substitution:

1. U10 (Recreation):
a. Substitutions are permitted at the quarter break and at halftime.

b. An injured player tended to on the field must be substituted and may return at the next substitution opportunity. (See a.)

c. A player cautioned must be substituted and will remain out of the game through the end of the period.

2. U10 (Challenge), U12, U14, U16, U19:

a. A team may substitute on its own throw in or either team may substitute on a goal kick, after a goal is scored, or at halftime.

b. An injured player tended to on the field must be substituted and may return to the game at the next substitution opportunity. (See a.)

c. A player cautioned must be substituted and will remain out of the game through the end of the period.

d. In either b or c above the other team may make a like number of substitutions.

e. Substitutes must have made their intention to substitute known to either the referee or linesman prior to the substitution opportunity and be standing at the midfield line one (1) yard off the touchline.

D. Playing time:

1. U10 (Recreation):
Each player SHALL play in a minimum of two quarters. (Exceptions are defined in ECSA Recreation Policy: III. Participation)

2. U10 (Challenge), U12, U14, U16, U19:

a. Each player SHALL enter play in each half. The intent of ECSA is for players to share maximum playing time. (Exceptions are defined in ECSA Recreation and Challenge Policy: III Participation)

b. Intent to enter by standing at midfield as time expires is not sufficient, each player must enter the game.

E. Teams and games may be Co-ed except GU games which will only have female participants and U19 which will only have male participants.

RULE 5: PRACTICES and ASSIGNED FIELD POLICY

A. Practices are limited to a maximum of three (3) per week prior to and during the playing season and may not exceed a total of three (3) hours per week for the recreational program. The challenge and classic program is unlimited to the amount of practices.

B. Teams will be assigned fields and days to practice. Teams must abide by this policy with no exception without prior approval.

RULE 6: PLAYER'S EQUIPMENT - Conform to FIFA with the following exceptions

A. Shin guards and orange socks are mandatory.

B. Teams will be required to wear the jerseys approved by SWSC. No player will be allowed to participate if their jersey has been altered. Jersey must have a distinctive one (1) or two (2) digit number.

C. Shorts are required to be worn by all players. Players will not be allowed to wear any undergarment that is exposed and shows below their shorts. Exception being when the weather is cold, a player may wear sweat pants under their shorts.

RULE 7: REFEREE

A. U10, U12, U14, U16, U19: Registered Referee

B. Referee's decision on points of fact connected with the game shall be final.

C. All rule infractions may be briefly explained to the offending player.

RULE 8: RESCHEDULED GAMES

Games postpone due to weather are not rescheduled by ECSA.

RULE 9: DURATION OF GAME

A. U10 (Recreation): The game shall be divided into four equal twelve (12) minute quarters.
1. There shall be a four (4) minute break between the first and second quarters and the third and fourth quarters.

2. There shall be a six (6) minute halftime break between the second and third quarters.

B. U10 (Challenge), U12, U14, U16, U19: The game shall be played in two equal halves of the following duration:

Recreation

Challenge

1. U10:

N/A

Twenty-five (25) Minutes

2. U12:

Thirty (30) Minutes

Thirty (30) Minutes

3. U14:

Thirty-five (35) Minutes

Thirty-five (35) Minutes

4. U16:

Forty (40) Minutes

Forty (40) Minutes

5. U19:

Twenty-five (25) Minutes

N/A

6. There will be a halftime break of ten (10) minutes except U19, which will have a break of five (5) minutes.

C. The teams will only exchange ends of the field at the halftime break.

RULE 10: THE START OF PLAY - Conform to FIFA with the following exceptions

A. U10: Six (6) players for each team must be present to begin the game. Each team must maintain a minimum of five (5) players on the field to continue play once the game has started. PENALTY: Forfeit of Game.

B. U12, U14, U16: Eight (8) players for each team must be present to begin the game. Each team must maintain a minimum of seven (7) players on the field to continue play once the game has started. PENALTY: Forfeit of Game.

C. The game shall start within ten (10) minutes of the scheduled starting time. A team not prepared to start within this time shall forfeit the game.

D. For U10 - U19 - Opponents must be eight (8) yards from the center mark while the kickoff is in progress.

RULE 11: FOULS AND MISCONDUCT - Conform to FIFA with the following exceptions

A. Unsporting conduct by spectators, referees, coaches, or players directed at spectators, referees, coaches or players is strictly forbidden. Coaches are responsible and may be held accountable for the conduct of team parents and fans and are expected to assist the referee in his/her efforts to control the game. The referee has the right to eject any coach or player or to terminate the game for reasons of unsporting conduct. This is applicable before, during and after games.

B. No one shall stand behind the goal line during the course of the game. The referee may halt the game to enforce this rule and take further action if necessary.

C. No cautions nor ejections shall be issued to players except by an independent, neutral referee.

ADDITIONAL:

  • Opposing parent/coaches/players should shake hands after each game.
  • Parent/Spectators should not coach nor instruct the players during the game.
  • All spectators should remain at least six (6) yards away from the touch line and twenty (20) yards from the goal line during the game.
  • No alcoholic beverages will be consumed on or allowed near the playing area.
  • The use of tobacco and tobacco products by official team personnel during a match is prohibited.

RULE 12: COACHES

A. Coaches shall be responsible for compliance with the rules set forth herein, and with the rules of the United States Soccer Federation, by their teams, the members thereof, and those associated with the team.

B. Coaches will also be responsible to keep their team members, Assistant Coaches within the area marked for teams and coaches, which will be so marked. No coaching will be allowed from the opposing side line or behind the goals by either a coach or any other person from the opposing team.

C. Coaches will be required to submit a coach's application prior to the season start and agreement with the code of ethics attached to the application.

D. Coaches, as well as other volunteers, will participate in the United State Youth Soccer Association's Risk Management Program.

RULE 13: TEAM STANDINGS

A. Regular season team standings shall be determined by the won/loss record for games during one season. If two teams have the same number of points, they will occupy the same position in the standing, and the next position will be unoccupied. For example, if two teams tie for first place, the teams will be declared co-champions, and the team with the next highest accumulated point total will be in third place; second place would be unoccupied.
Points will be awarded for games as follows:

Win :

3 points

Tie :

2 points

Loss :

1 point

Forfeit :

0 points

1. Regular season games which end in ties shall be recorded as such and will not be broken by overtime play or any other method.

2. Preliminary rounds in tournament play. Preliminary round tournament games which end in ties shall be recorded as such and will not be broken by overtime play or any other method.

B. Seeding for Tournaments:

1. Total points accumulated during the season
2. Head to head competition
3. Fewest Goals allowed.

RULE 14: MICRO-DIVISIONS

U4 DIVISION

A. FIELD

  • Dimensions : 80 feet x 60 feet
  • Markings:
    • Distinctive lines not more than five inches wide.
    • A halfway line shall be marked out across the field.
    • A center circle with a seven foot radius.
    • Four corner areas with a two foot radius.
    • Goal area: 4 foot line out from the post and 8 line foot across.

B. BALL: Size three

C. THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS

  • Maximum number of players on the field is four, not less than three. There shall be no goalie.
  • Maximum number of players on the roster should not exceed eight.
  • Substitutions are permitted at the end of each of quarter with the exception of an injury, sickness, or emotional distress of a player at which point the player may be substituted at any dead ball. Each player must play half of the game, with the same exceptions as previously listed for substitutions.

D. PLAYER'S EQUIPMENT:

Each player must wear tennis shoes or soft cleated soccer shoes, black shorts, colored T-Shirts and shin guards.

E. REFEREE:

Officiating shall be done by the coaches.

F. DURATION OF GAME:

The game shall be four 6 minute quarters with a 3 minute break in between each quarter except quarters 2 and 3. A 5 minute half time takes place between quarters 2 and 3.

G. START OF PLAY:

Player must be three and a half feet from the center line. All other rules are the same.

H. NO SCORE IS KEPT AS RESULTS ARE NON-COUNTING

I. FOULS & MISCONDUCT:

There will be a indirect free kick for any fouls, with opponent being a minimum of five feet away from the ball before the kick. All infractions should be explained by the referee to the offending players.

J. FREE KICKS:

All free kicks are indirect. A goal may not be score until the ball has been touched by a second player.

K. PENALTY KICKS:

There are no penalty kicks

L. THROW-INS:

Player must have both feet on the ground and ball must be thrown over their head. There will be one re-throw for incorrect throw-ins.

M. GOAL KICKS:

Ball is kicked inside the goal area and must clear the goal area. Players on the opposing team must be 10 feet outside the goal area.

N. CORNER KICKS:

No corner kicks. Ball is to be thrown in from the corner.

O. SPORTSMANSHIP:

  • No coach or parent can be behind the goal at any time.
  • Parents, coaches and spectators should stay 10 feet behind the side of the playing field at all times.
  • Opposing coaches and players must shake hands after each game.

U5 & U6 DIVISION

A. FIELD

  • Dimensions : 100 feet x 60 feet
  • Markings:
    • Distinctive lines not more than five inches wide.
    • A halfway line shall be marked out across the field.
    • A center circle with a seven foot radius.
    • Four corner areas with a two foot radius.
    • Goal area: 4 foot line out from the post and 8 line foot across.

B. BALL: Size three

C. THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS

  • Maximum number of players on the field is five, not less than four. One of the players is a goal keeper.
  • Maximum number of players on the roster should not exceed nine.
  • Substitutions are permitted at quarter breaks with the exception of player injury, sickness, or player request to come out due to emotional distress with the approval of the referee. Each player must play half of the game with the same exceptions as for substitutions. The quarters that the goalkeeper plays in goal does count as time played on the field but the goalkeeper cannot play all four quarters in the goal. Goalkeeper must play at least one (1) quarter in the field.

D. PLAYER'S EQUIPMENT:

Each player must wear tennis shoes or soft cleated soccer shoes, black shorts, colored T-Shirts and shin guards.

E. REFEREE:

Referee will be a certified referee, a club referee, or coaches (if first two options are not available).

F. DURATION OF GAME:

The game shall be four 8 minute quarters with a 2 minute break in between each quarter except quarters 2 and 3. A 5 minute half time takes place between quarters 2 and 3.

G. START OF PLAY:

Player must be three and a half feet from the center line. All other rules are the same.

H. SCORE MAY BE KEPT BUT ALL RESULTS ARE NON-COUNTING

I. FOULS & MISCONDUCT:

There will be a INDIRECT FREE KICK for any fouls, with opponent a minimum of five feet away from the ball before the kick. All infractions should be explained by the referee to the offending players.

J. FREE KICKS:

All free kicks are INDIRECT. A goal may not be score until the ball has been touched by a second player.

K. PENALTY KICKS:

There are no penalty kicks

L. THROW-INS:

Player must have both feet on the ground and ball must be thrown over their head. There will be one re-throw for incorrect throw-ins.

M. GOAL KICKS:

Ball is kicked inside the goal area and must clear the goal area. Players on the opposing team must be 10 feet outside the goal area.

N. CORNER KICKS:

Corner kicks are allowed.

O. GOALKEEPER PUNTS/DROPKICKS:

Goalie punts and drop kicks are not allowed for safety reasons. Any ball fielded by a goalkeeper must be thrown to continue play.

P. SPORTSMANSHIP:

  • No coach or parent can be behind the goal at any time.
  • Parents, coaches and spectators should stay 10 feet behind the side of the playing field at all times.
  • Parents are not permitted to come on the field for an injury unless it is obviously a serious injury in which the player is clearly badly hurt. Normal injuries are minor in nature and the player can be checked on the sideline by the parent once the coach has removed the player from the field at the refereeā€™s request.
  • Opposing coaches and players must shake hands after each game.

U8 DIVISION

A. FIELD:

1. Dimensions: 50 yards X 30 yards.

2. Markings: Distinctive lines not more than five inches wide.

a) A halfway line shall be marked out across the field.
b) A center circle with a five yard radius.
c) Four corner arcs with a one yard radius.
d) Goal area: Four yards from each goal post and four yards into the field of play joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line.
e) A line across field that is 8 yards from and parallel with the goal line.

3. Goals: 12 feet X 6 feet

B. THE BALL: Size three.

C. NUMBER OF PLAYERS

1. Maximum number of players on the field at any one time six, not less than four. One of the players must be a goal keeper. Ball may be handled by goal keeper anywhere within the 8 yard line.

2. Maximum number of players on the roster should not exceed: Twelve.

3. Substitutions: At quarter breaks only, with following exceptions:

  • player injury
  • player request, with referee approval
  • if one team substitutes for any of above the opposing team will be given opportunity to substitute.

D. PLAYER PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENT:

1. All players must play half of the quarters the player is available for.

2. A player must start a quarter for the quarter to count toward the player's playing time participation requirement.

3. Any team that does not ave all players meet the participation requirement will have the head coach suspended for the next game.

E. PLAYER'S EQUIPMENT:

1. Footwear and shirt: Tennis shoes or soft-cleated soccer shoes and approved SWSC jersey.

2. Shinguards: MANDATORY

3. Assigned numbers on jersey and no duplicate numbers.

F. REFEREE:

1. Registered referee.

2. Club referee.

G. DURATION OF GAME:

1 .The game shall be divided into four equal 10 minute quarters.

2. There shall be a two minute break between quarter one and quarter two, and between quarters three and four.

3. There shall be a five minute halftime break between quarters two and three.

H. THE START OF PLAY: No change from regular play except: opponents must be five yards from the center mark while kickoff is in progress.

I. BALL IN AND OUT OF PLAY: No change from regular play.

J. METHOD OF SCORING: No change from regular play.

K. OFFSIDE: There shall be no offside.

L. FOULS AND MISCONDUCT:

1. INDIRECT FREE KICK for all fouls, with all the opponents at least five yards away.

2. Referee to explain ALL infractions to the offending players.

M. FREE KICK: All free kicks INDIRECT. A goal may not be scored until the ball has been played or touched by a second player of either team.

N. PENALTY KICKS: No penalty kicks.

O. THROW-IN: No Change from regular play.

P. GOAL KICK:

1. May be taken from any point inside the goal area.

2. All players on the team not kicking must be outside the 8 yard line. The ball must clear the 8 yard line before being any player may play the ball.

Q. CORNER KICK: No change from regular play except opponents must be five yards away from the ball.

R. SPORTSMANSHIP:

1. Opposing parent/coaches and players should shake hands after each game.

2. Parents and spectators should be located not less than three yards from outside the touchline. Parent/coaches, substitute players, parents, and spectators should not be closer than 8 yards to the goal line. No individual should be allowed to run the length of the field except participants of the games.

3. Parents should encourage players, but not coach/instruct during game time.


DISCIPLINARY ACTION

  • Verbal warning
  • Written warning
  • Parental/Coach/Player/Referee game suspension
  • Parental/Coach/Player/Referee season suspension
  • Parental/Coach/Player/Referee disbarment

 

EXPECTED STANDARDS OF CONDUCT:

Code of Conduct for Players

  • Play the game for the games sake.
  • Be generous when you win.
  • Be graceful when you lose.
  • Be fair always no matter what the cost.
  • Obey the laws of the game.
  • Work for the good of your team.
  • Accept the decisions of the officials with good grace.
  • Believe in the honesty of your opponents.
  • Conduct yourself with honor and dignity.

Code of Conduct for Referees

  • Always maintain the utmost respect for the game of soccer.
  • Conduct myself honorably at all times and maintain the dignity of my position.
  • Always honor a contractual obligation.
  • Endeavor to attend local meetings and clinics so as to know the Laws of the Game and their proper interpretation.
  • Always strive to achieve maximum team work with fellow referees and assistant referees.
  • Be loyal to my fellow referees and assistant referees, and never knowingly promote criticism of them.
  • Be in good physical condition so as to be in the right place at the right time.
  • Control the players effectively by being courteous and considerate without sacrificing firmness.
  • Do my utmost to assist my fellow officials to better themselves and their work.
  • To not make statements about any game except to clarify and interpretation of the Laws of the Game.
  • Consider it a privilege to be part of the United States Soccer Federation and strive to make my actions reflect credit upon the organization and its affiliates.

Code of Conduct for Parents

  • Respect the property and equipment used at any sports facility, both home and away.
  • Encourage good sportsmanship through my actions, by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches and officials at every game or practice.
  • Promote the emotional and physical well-being of the athletes ahead of any personal desire to win.
  • Provide support for coaches and officials working with the athletes to provide a positive experience for all.
  • Demand a drug, alcohol and tobacco free environment for my athlete, and agree to assist by refraining from their use at all CFSA events home or away.
  • Remember the game is for the athletes and not for the parents.
  • Demand my athlete treat other players, coaches, officials and spectators with respect regardless of race, creed, color , gender or ability.
  • I will treat all players, coaches and officials with dignity and respect in language, attitude, behavior and mannerisms regardless of race, creed, color, gender or ability.
  • I will inform the coach of any physical disability or ailment that may affect the safety of my athlete or the safety of others.
  • I will inform the coach, within a reasonable amount of time, of any absence from a game or practice my athlete might incur due to sickness, planned vacation, or any other reason.

Adapted from the Rosemount Area Athletic Association Parent Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct for Coaches

  • Soccer is the players' game. The paramount concern of coaches is the holistic development, welfare, enjoyment and safety of their players.
  • Coaches bear responsibility for teaching their players to strive for success while playing fairly, observing the laws of the game and highest levels of sportsmanship.
  • Coaches shall treat officials with respect and dignity, and shall teach their players to do the same.
  • Our opponents are worth of being treated with respect. Coaches will model such respect for opponents and expect their players to do the likewise.
  • In both victory and defeat, the behavior of a coach shall model grace, dignity and composure.
  • Coaches shall adhere to the highest standards and the regulation of the institutions they represent: clubs, schools, sponsoring organizations and sports governing bodies.
  • Coaches have a responsibility to promote the interests of soccer, including treating media with courtesy, honesty and respect.
  • Coaches shall model inclusive behavior, actively supporting cultural diversity while opposing all types of discrimination, including, but not limited to, racism and sexism, at all levels of soccer.
  • Coaches are responsible for taking an active role in education about, and prevention and treatment of drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse, both in their own lives and in the lives of their players.
  • Coaches shall refrain from all manner of personal abuse and harassment of others, whether verbal, physical, emotional or sexual, and shall oppose such abuse and harassment at all levels of soccer.
  • Coaches shall respect the declared affiliations of all players, and shall adhere to all guidelines and regulations on recruiting established by the governing bodies having oversight of their teams and leagues.
  • Coaches shall seek to honor those who uphold the highest standards and principles of soccer and shall use appropriate protocol to oppose and eliminate all behavior that brings disrepute to the sport - violence, abuse, dishonesty, disrespect and violations of the laws of the game and rules of governing competition.

National Soccer Coaches of America Code of Ethics (adopted by Ethics Committee, 5/24/99)