GHYSA: RULES & REGULATIONS

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SAFETY AND EQUIPMENT

PARTICIPATION
All players must be registered to participate in practices or games.

FOOTWEAR
Soccer style or non-cleated turf shoes or approved, non dangerous, footwear must be worn. Only sneakers or rubber spiked soccer shoes are permitted. Shoes with a single toe cleat, square or rectangular cleats are not permitted. Spikes from any other sports are not permitted.

SHINGUARDS
No exceptions. Shin guards must be worn at games and practices. Adequate shin guards should be worn inside of socks, and be of substantial material to protect the wearer.

UNIFORM
No alterations are to be made to uniforms (e.g. names).

GOALS
GOALS MUST BE ANCHORED TO THE GROUND. Absolutely no hanging on or climbing on the goals. Repeated warnings will result in the childs dismissal from his/her team.

JEWELRY and MEDICAL CONSIDERATIONS
No jewelry of any type is permitted during practice or games. No jewelry is permitted, including watches, bracelets, necklaces, hair clips and earrings. All jewelry must be removed. Exception medical ID bracelets or tags may be worn if necessary. These must be taped, or otherwise safeguarded to protect other players. No hard casts are permitted.

NO PIERCED EAR RINGS. If players intend to get their ears pierced, we suggest that they do so a month before games begin, or after the season. Even taped earrings still pose an injury potential to the player if struck by the ball or another player.

WATER BOTTLES: Players are required to bring filled water bottles to every game and practice.

BLEEDING
If a player is bleeding they must leave the field, and may not reenter the field until the referee has checked to make sure the bleeding has completely stopped. Players can not continue playing when bleeding. Care Givers need to protect themselves and others from blood and other body fluids.. Dress the wound before allowing them to continue. Refer to the US Youth Soccer handout Handling Blood borne Pathogens on our web site under the coaches page for detailed information.

ROLE OF THE COACH
It is the responsibility of each coach to make sure all players are wearing the proper equipment and conforming to GHYSA Safety Rules.

Be sure to devote part of your first team practice to safety rules. Here are the most important:

• Absolutely no swinging or climbing on goals. And be sure that all goals are anchored to prevent them being blown or pulled over.

• Never allow kids to move a portable goal.

• Keep warm ups areas clear of gear bags and other items players might trip over.

• Move benches at least five yards away from sidelines.

• Insist that kids bring filled water bottles to every game and practice.

• Use corners flags that can be knocked over or safety cornor cones.

• Check fields before you play. Look for broken glass, storm drains, raised sprinkler heads, holes, protruding bolts, hooks or nails on goal posts or crossbars - anything that can cause a gash, fall or sprain.

• Require your players to wear shinguards under long socks. Do not allow kids to play soccer while wearing jewelry.




ref red card
GHYSA SPECIFIC RULES
1. SPORTSMANSHIP: Opposing coaches and players will shake hands after each game.

2. COACHES AND SPECTATORS: Coaches, non-participants, parents and spectators should be not less than 6 yards outside the touchline. No one is permitted behind the goal area. Only U-6 coaches are permitted on the field to instruct the players. For U-8 and Up: No one other than the players and referee are permitted on the field. Coaches shall remain outside the touchline in their own half of the field.

Guidelines for the Sidelines
• Teams occupy same sideline. This helps with the Kid Safe issue.

• ONLY designated coaches and assistant coach may be on team side of the field. Everyone else is asked to sit on spectator side.

• ONLY coaches who have completed Kid Safe registration (Risk Mangement)may be on team/coach side.

• Coaching area is limited to the designated coaching/team box.

• Try to create sense of community within our club. Different teams – same club.

• Coaches, assistant coaches, parents, spectators and parents should adhere to club and team guidelines.

• This helps create an environment that lets the players enjoy the game and instills sportsmanship for everyone involved.

3. PLAYER DROPS: Any children dropping from the team must be reported to the registrar by the coach.

4. GAME CANCELLATIONS & RESCHEDULING:It is the intention of the GHYSA that all games will be played on the scheduled date and time. Coaches may not reschedule games on their own. Soccer is an all weather sport we do play in the rain. If the fields are unplayable due to weather a League Official shall cancel all scheduled games and make the appropriate notifications. Unless we post notice on the web site or contact the coaches the game is presumed to go on as scheduled.

Should severe weather occur, or should there be other safety concerns after the teams have arrive at the field, it is the responsibility of the coaches to cancel their individual game for safety reasons.

When a game is cancelled make sure the other teams coach, your Age Group Commissioner and the League Scheduler are notified. There is no guarantee that the games will be made up.

All requests for game changes must be made to the League Scheduler. Permission to reschedule games will only be given for tournament play or in unusual circumstances, otherwise don't even ask. Our referees are paid referees. If a coach fails to notify the Scheduler of a cancellation and a referee is assigned to a field, the coaches shall be responsible for paying the referee fees.


5. SCHEDULING MAKE UP GAMES: Coaches shall contact the League Scheduler before scheduling make-up games. You must receive prior permission from the League Scheduler prior to using any field you are not scheduled to use.

6. EQUIPMENT: The medical kits, and corner cones (U6/U8 games) are stored in the field boxes at each field. Corner Flags are stored in the equipment shed at Community Park. The home team of the first game is responsible for putting up the flags/cones. The home team of the last game is responsible for taking them down. Nets stay up at all fields except U-6 sites. The U-6 coach with the first game will need to allow extra time before the game to set up the nets for that field site. Likewise the U-6 coach with the last game will need to take the nets down and store them in the field box at that site. Keys for field boxes will be issued to the head coach from each team. You will need to pass it off to your assistant in your absence. Don't forget to give them the ball also.

GAME BALL: Each coach is furnished with one ball by the league. They are responsible to provide a game ball for the scheduled match. (NOTE: each team brings a ball for dual field games)

7. TRASH and HOUSEKEEPING:
Need everyone's help to make sure field areas remain clean and safe.
It has been noted that players have been leaving used plastic water bottles and caps as well as food and candy wrappers on the ground at various field locations. Everyone is reminded that trash on the fields can cause injuries to players. Parents and coaches we need to clean up our problem. Also please bring trash bags to remove orange skins. Finally rocks and sticks that our less interested fans throw on field surfaces have also become a problem that risk injury to players. We are asking all spectators to pick up all debris and trash and remove it from our field locations to keep the kids safe. If you see something that does not belong please pick it up. We are guests on the fields we use. Please insure that the fields are policed for any trash. Do not release the children until the area is cleaned. Proper care of the facilities by all participants, parents, and spectators, is expected. Team moms can bring trash bags and help keep parents, families and players aware of the need to keep the area clean. Trash needs to be taken away by the using teams. The league does not contract waste removal.

8. TOURNAMENTS: All teams, other than travel teams, must receive prior permission before entering in any tournament or playing outside of the league schedule. Teams are only permitted to participate in matches sanctioned by USYSA and EPYSA.

9. PLAY OUT SIDE OF THE LEAGUE: Coaches may not play their teams in scrimmage games, tournaments, or any other type of match not hosted by the GHYSA, unless they receive prior permission from the board.

10. COACH CHILDREN AND PARENTS RELATIONSHIP: It is strongly recommended that an adult from each child accompany the child while at practice and during games. In the event that this is not possible, parents must clearly identify the person (who they are allowing to pick up their children) to the coach. Remember coaches are not babysitters. Give the parents a time that practice will be over and let them know we expect them to be there to pick up their children. Coaches, Don't put yourself in a questionable position ensure you are not left alone with any child. If a situations occurs where a child need help changing or using the bathroom facilities leave those situations to the children's parents. Likewise discipline problems should be left to the childs parents.

11. WEB SITE: Coaches, parents, and players are encouraged to visit the Official League Web Site. Contact information and Schedules will be available on the web site in addition to practice drills, links to other soccer sites, and GHYSA News. The GHYSA web address is http://www.eteamz.com/ghysa

12. AWARDS: Participation awards for ALL are allowed. No trophies or awards just for best team. Typically a collection from the parents funds this award and year-end party.

13. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: No alcoholic beverages will be consumed or allowed near the playing area.

14. Parent Children Games: The League is based on age appropriate play. Coaches ARE NOT permitted to allow a Parent vs Children Game at any time during or after the season.

15. REFEREE: Coaches are reminded that the referee is in charge of the game and can ask disruptive people to behave or leave the field. Coaches are to aid the referee in handling any situation. Remind everyone that this association is based on good sportsmanship and participation by everyone. All encouragement from the sidelines must be positive. Referees may be a registered referee, associate referee, coach or parent. Referees shall briefly explain infractions to the offending player.

THE GAME
The rules of soccer (called the Laws of the Game) are quite simple, because soccer is a simple game. The Laws were written by people who understand the game, for people who understand the game. Behind the Laws is a very straight forward philosophy of “fair play”, often called the spirit of the game. It is assumed that the game itself is more important than any particular match, player, coach, referee, or fan. Participants who don’t “play fair” are subject to disciplinary action. Within this spirit of fair play, there are 17 laws. Some of them may be modified for younger, older and female players.

All FIFA Laws of the Game will apply to GHYSA games. GHYSA reserves the right to modify field sizes, the number of players, or any other rule as deemed necessary by the board. The below listed GHYSA variations of FIFA Law will override those specific aspects of that FIFA Law.

The FIFA Laws of the Game can be found on the web at http://www.fifa.com then select Regulations & Directories then select Laws of the Game. Two documents cover the rules, (“Laws of the Game” and “Questions and Answers to the Laws of the Game”) NOTE: you will need to scroll down to view documents once they open and they are in pdf format. The LAWS of the Game are updated each year in July.


GHYSA LAWS OF THE GAME VARIATIONS:

General Recreational Rules

All participants will abide by GHYSA Safety and Equipment Rules.

All players should play at least 50% of every game. The position of goalkeeper should not be the responsibility of one player, but all team members should take turns playing this position.

No league or match results are retained. Final scores or league standings are not to be recorded.

All recreational players placed on teams are based on age.

General Modified Laws of the Game

No slide tackling. Tackling is done via two methods. With the shoulder, and with the feet. A shoulder tackle is pushing a player away from the ball using the shoulder. This does not allow the player to push-off with the arm or dive into a player with the shoulder. It is a straight up shoulder to shoulder tackle. Tackling with the feet is taking the ball away from an opponent by kicking it away. Slide tackling is not allowed in recreational soccer. Tackling a player from behind, or striking the player first, and not the ball, is a foul.

Allow unlimited substitutions on any dead ball.

No offside at U6 - U8.

All "Free Kicks" are "Indirect Free Kicks" for U6 and U8 age groups.

Injury timeouts are acceptable prior to ball going out-of-play.

Control of the ball for goalkeepers is defined as contact between any part of the goalkeeper and the ball. Player shall stop actions and move away from the keeper when they have control of the ball.

Teams will change sides at the half.

LAW 1 - THE FIELD OF PLAY:
Specifies the field, markings and goal sizes (all lines are part of the area they define); therefore, the ball is in play until the entire ball crosses the entire line.

FIELD SIZE:
(U6) (3v3 FORMAT) 30 yards long by 25 yards wide.
(U8) (4v4 FORMAT) 35 yards long by 30 yards wide.
(U10) (8v8 FORMAT) 60 yards long by 45 yards wide.
(U12) (8v8 FORMAT) 80 yards long by 55 yards wide.
(U13 and Up) (11v11 FORMAT) 100 yards long by 50 yards wide.

MARKINGS:
The field of play is marked with lines. These lines belong to the areas of which they are boundaries. The two longer boundary lines are called touchlines. The two shorter lines are called goal lines.

Distinctive lines not more than (5) inches wide.

A halfway line shall be marked out across the field. The center mark is indicated at the midpoint of the halfway line. A circle with a radius of (See CENTER CIRCLE below) is marked around it.

CENTER CIRCLE:
For (U-6) a center circle with a four (4) yard radius.
For (U-8) a center circle with a four (4) yard radius.
For (U-10) a center circle with a eight (8) yard radius.
For (U-12) a center circle with a eight (8) yard radius.
For (U-13 and Up) a center circle with a ten (10) yard radius.

CORNER ARCS:
All age groups: A quarter circle with a radius of 1 yd from each corner flagpost is drawn inside the field of play.

GOAL AREA:
(U-6) None

(U-8) A goal area is defined at each end of the field as follows: Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line three (3) yards from the inside of each goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of three (3) yards and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the goal area.

(U-10), (U-12), (U-13 and Up) A goal area is defined at each end of the field as follows: Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, 6 yds from the inside of each goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of 6 yds and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the goal area.

PENALTY AREA:
(U-6) & (U-8) NONE

(U-10) A penalty area is defined at each end of the field as follows: Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, ten (10) yards from the inside of each goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of ten (10) yards and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the penalty area. Within each penalty area a penalty mark is made eight (8) yards from the midpoint between the goalposts and equidistant to them. An arc of a circle with a radius of eight (8) yards from each penalty mark is drawn outside the penalty area.

(U-12) A penalty area is defined at each end of the field as follows: Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, fourteen (14) yards from the inside of each goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of fourteen (14) yards and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the penalty area. Within each penalty area a penalty mark is made ten (10) yards from the midpoint between the goalposts and equidistant to them. An arc of a circle with a radius of eight (8) yards from each penalty mark is drawn outside the penalty area.

(U-13 and Up) A penalty area is defined at each end of the field as follows: Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, (18 yds) from the inside of each goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of (18 yds) and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the penalty area. Within each penalty area, a penalty mark is made (12 yds) from the midpoint between the goalposts and equidistant to them. An arc of a circle with a radius of (10 yds) from each penalty mark is drawn outside the penalty area.

FLAG POST:

(U6 and U8) will not use flag post. They will mark corners with taller safety cones provided in equipment boxes.

All other Age Groups Conform to FIFA: A flag post, not less than (5 ft) high, with a non-pointed top and a flag is placed at each corner. Flag posts may also be placed at each end of the halfway line, not less than (1 yd) outside the touch line.

GOAL SIZE:
6ft. high X 18 ft. wide when possible.

Goals must be placed on the center of each goal line. They consist of two upright posts equidistant from the corners and joined at the top by a horizontal crossbar. The recommended distance between the posts is eighteen (18) feet and the distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the ground is six (6) feet.

Goals may and will be smaller or larger in dimension for 2006 Season.

(U-6) 4 feet high by 8 feet wide.
(U-8) 6 feet high by 12 feet wide.
(U-10) 7 feet high by 21 feet wide.
(U-12) 8 feet high by 24 feet wide.

(U-13 and Up) 8 feet high by 24 feet wide. Goals must be placed on the center of each goal line. They consist of two upright posts equidistant from the corner flag posts and joined at the top by a horizontal crossbar. The distance between the posts is (8 yds) and the distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the ground is (8 ft). Both goalposts and the crossbar have the same width and depth, which do not exceed (5 inches). The goal lines are the same width as that of the goalposts and the crossbar. Nets may be attached to the goals and the ground behind the goal, provided that they are properly supported and do not interfere with the goalkeeper.

GOALS WARNING: No climbing or hanging on the goals. Repeated warnings will result in dismissal of the child from his/her team. Goals must be anchored securely to the ground. Portable goals may only be used if they satisfy this requirement. Coaches are to ensure goals are anchored to the ground and safe for use. Nets remain up at all sites once the season has started with the exception of U-6 field which must be set up and taken down each game day or when used for practice.

LAW 2 - THE BALL: Specifies the shape, size, weight, and pressure of the ball.

GAME BALL: Each coach is furnished with one ball by the league. The team listed first on the schedule is responsible to provide a game ball for the scheduled match. Age Groups (U-6, U-8, U-10) using the Dual Field Method of play require each team to bring a ball.
(U-6) SIZE #3.
(U-8) SIZE #3.
(U-10) SIZE #4.
(U-12) SIZE #4.
(U-13 and Up) SIZE #5.

LAW 3 - THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS:
Specifies the maximum and minimum number of players to have a legal game. Sets the number of substitutions at 3 or 5, with no re-entry allowed. This rule is almost universally modified to allow unlimited substitutions with unlimited re-entry. Regardless of what substitution rules are used, the process is the same:

Substitutions take place at mid field. The sub must be ready to enter before the ball goes out of play. The sub must ask (and get) permission from the referee. The exiting player must completely exit the field before the sub can enter.

Additionally, if changing goalkeepers (either with a substitute or by changing places with one of the field players), first get permission from the referee. Goalkeeper substitutions must occur at a stoppage in play.

Maximum number of players on the field at any one time:
3V3: THREE (3) no goalkeeper.
4V4: FOUR (4) including the goalkeeper.
6V6: SIX (6) including the goalkeeper.
8V8: EIGHT (8) including the goalkeeper.
11V11: ELEVEN (11) including the goalkeeper.

ROSTER LIMITATIONS:
(U-6) Maximum number of players on the roster should not exceed six (6). (If playing "Dual field" method (two adjacent 3v3 fields) roster size may be no larger than twelve (12). Teams and games may be coed.

(U-8) Maximum number of players on the roster should not exceed 4v4: eight (8). NOTE: If using Dual Field Method (two adjacent 4v4 fields) up to sixteen (16) player roster may be used. Teams and games may be coed.

(U-10) Maximum number of players on the roster should not exceed for 6v6: twelve (12), 8v8: sixteen (16) NOTE: If using Dual Field Method (two adjacent 6v6 fields)up to eighteen (18) player roster may be used. Teams and games will NOT be coed.

(U-12) Maximum number of players on the roster should not exceed for 8v8: sixteen (16), 11v11: eighteen (18). Teams and games will NOT be coed.

(U-13 and Up) Maximum number of players on the roster can not exceed for 11v11: eighteen (18). Teams and games will NOT be coed.

All GHYSA players will play a minimum of 50% of the duration of the game.

The position of goalkeeper should not be the responsibility of one player, all team members should take turns playing this position.

In instances where a team or teams show up at the field with an insufficient number of players to play as outlined in the rules for that particular age group, the coaches may alter the number of field players in order to play the game. E.g. In an 11 v 11 match 10 players show up for a game on each team. Coaches may play 9 v 9 with one substitute. Teams, when shorthanded, may also use players from the opposing team when necessary.

SUBSTITUTIONS: are UNLIMITED and allowed anytime the ball is out of play with the permission of the referee or game official. Each player must play an equal amount of each game, to the best ability of the coach, unless the player is injured, or for disciplinary reasons. Coaches are permitted to substitute at: half time (quarters for younger players), after a goal is scored, on a goal kick, on any own throw-in, at any dead ball situation, or for an injury.

LAW 4 - THE PLAYERS EQUIPMENT: Players may not wear any item of equipment that may be dangerous to themselves or others. Soccer style or non-cleated turf shoes or approved, non dangerous, footwear must be worn. Only sneakers or rubber spiked soccer shoes are permitted. Shoes with a single toe cleat, square or rectangular cleats are not permitted. Spikes from any other sports are not permitted.

Shin-guards are mandatory at all practices and games. Shine guards will be covered entirely by the socks; are made of a suitable material (rubber, plastic, or similar sub-stances); provide a reasonable degree of protection.

No alterations are to be made to uniforms (e.g. names). Non-uniform clothing is allowed based on weather conditions, but uniforms must still distinguish teams.

Each goalkeeper wears colors that distinguish them from the other players, the referee and the assistant referees.

JEWELRY and MEDICAL CONSIDERATIONS
No jewelry of any type is permitted during practice or games. No jewelry is permitted, including watches, bracelets, necklaces, hair clips and earrings. All jewelry must be removed. Exception medical ID bracelets or tags may be worn if necessary. These must be taped, or otherwise safeguarded to protect other players. No hard casts are permitted.

NO PIERCED EAR RINGS: If players intend to get their ears pierced, we suggest that they do so a month before games begin, or after the season. Even taped earrings still pose an injury potential to the player if struck by the ball or another player.

LAW 5 - THE REFEREE: The referee is in complete charge of the game. The decision of the referee is final. Coaches, parents, or players who are abusive to the referees shall be ejected. Referees will inform disruptive people to behave or leave the field. Coaches are to aid the referee in handling any situation.

Remind everyone that this association is based on good sportsmanship and participation by everyone. This is a non-competitive recreational league and disruptive behavior by coaches, parents, spectators, and players will not be tolerated. All encouragement from the sidelines must be positive.

Referees may be a registered referee, associate referee, coach or parent. When a referee is not assigned to the game, a coach or assistant coach shall referee. Referees shall briefly explain infractions to the offending player.

The rules and officiating of soccer are rooted in the philosophy and spirit of the game. Soccer is played by gentlemen (and gentlewomen). The referee is ALWAYS right. Dissent is not allowed or tolerated. Unfair or unsportsmanlike advantage is neither sought nor taken.

This Law authorizes the referee to control the match by:

Calling fouls

Cautions and send off any participant

Stop play when necessary (e.g. for an injured player)

Keep time and record of the game

The referee is also instructed to not stop the game for slight injuries, and to not call fouls of trifling or dubious nature. The referee is also allowed to apply advantage to any call. This means that if the referee determines that stopping play would take away an advantage from the offended team, he can choose to not stop play.

LAW 6 - THE ASSISTANT REFEREES: Not required for Recreational Games. Authorizes two Assistant Referees to assist in controlling the match. They may call fouls to the attention of the referee, and signal off sides for the referee.

LAW 7 - THE DURATION OF THE MATCH: Specifies that each period of play is of equal length.

(U-6) 3V3 32 MINUTES (PLAYED IN 4 EQUAL QUARTERS OF 8 MINUTES).
(U-8) 4V4 48 MINUTES (PLAYED IN 4 EQUAL QUARTERS OF 12 MINUTES).
(U-10) 6V6 50 MINUTES (PLAYED IN 2 EQUAL HALVES OF 25 MINUTES).
(U-10) 8V8 50 MINUTES (PLAYED IN 2 EQUAL HALVES OF 25 MINUTES).
(U-12) 8V8 60 MINUTES (PLAYED IN 2 EQUAL HALVES OF 30 MINUTES).
(U-12) 11V11 60 MINUTES (PLAYED IN 2 EQUAL HALVES OF 30 MINUTES).
(U-13 & Up) 11v11 70 MINUTES (PLAYED IN 2 EQUAL HALVES OF 35 MINUTES).
(U-13 & Up) 8v8 70 MINUTES (PLAYED IN 2 EQUAL HALVES OF 35 MINUTES).

GAME BREAKS:
All games shall be played with a 5 minute break between halves.

In divisions using quarters there will also be a 2 minute break between quarters in addition to the 5 minute half time break.

FIELD TIME (GAMES): All teams must be ready to take the field at their scheduled start time. Teams must be off of the field 5 minutes prior to the start of the next scheduled game (NO EXCEPTIONS. If your game runs behind it gets cut short).

FIELD TIME (PRACTICE): Practices for recreational teams are limited to 1 hour, 1 day per Week. You may only use the field you are assigned at your scheduled time. You may also be sharing a field with another team, in which case each team shall use half the field.

LAW 8 - THE START AND RESTART OF PLAY: (All age groups conform to FIFA Law)
COIN TOSS: The team that wins the coin toss decides which goal they want to attack in the first half. This team may not elect to kick off. They exchange ends and kick-off at half time.

KICK-OFF:
A kick-off is a way of starting or restarting play:
• at the start of the match
• after a goal has been scored
• at the start of the second half of the match
• at the start of each period of extra time, where applicable

The kick-off must travel toward the opponent's goal a distance equal to the circumference of the ball (about 2 feet) before it is in play. It must then be played by another player. If the ball is kicked backward, or forward less than about two feet, then it never went into play and the kick is retaken. If the kicker touches the ball a second time without another player touching it, then the opposing team is awarded a free kick. A goal may be scored directly from the kick-off.

THROW-IN:
A throw-in is a method of restarting play.
A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in.
A throw-in is awarded:

• when the whole of the ball passes over the touch line, either on the ground or in the air

• from the point where it crossed the touch line

• to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball

THROW-IN PROCEDURE
At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower:

• faces the field of play

• has part of each foot either on the touch line or on the ground outside the touch line

• uses both hands

• delivers the ball from behind and over his head

The thrower may not touch the ball again until it has touched another player.
The ball is in play immediately it enters the field of play.

DROP BALL: If play is stopped for any reason with the ball in play, such as for an injury, the game is restarted by a drop-ball. The ball is dropped between two players, and must strike the ground before either player may touch it. All other players are away from the drop.

BALL OUT OF BOUNDS: The ball is in play unless the entire ball passes beyond all of the touchline (sideline) or goal line (end line). If the ball is out, over the touchline, the team opposite the last touch throws it in. If the ball is over the goal line and not in the goal, it is kicked off the ground by the team opposite the last touch. A corner kick if last touched by a defender, or from the goal area if last touched by an attacker. A corner kick can go directly into the goal for a score. If the goalie, in possession of the ball, falls or rolls into the goal carrying all of the ball over all of the goal line, a score results.

CORNER KICK: A corner kick is awarded when a defending player last touches the ball before it passes over their own goal line, but not into the goal. The ball is placed at the nearest corner flag, anywhere in the corner arc.

GOAL KICK: A goal kick is awarded to a team when the ball is kicked over the goal-line (excluding that portion between the goal posts!) by the attacking team. All the players on the team not in possession of the ball must be outside of the penalty area. The team awarded the ball may have as many players in the penalty area as desired and any of these players is allowed to take the goal kick. If the ball is not kicked beyond the penalty-area, the kick is retaken. No one can touch the ball after it is kicked until it passes out of the penalty area, this includes the goalkeeper. If a player of either team touches the ball before it passes out of the penalty area, the kick is retaken. The kicker may not play the ball a second time until it has been played by another player.

The Following limitations are added for each of the above listed:
(U-6) opponents must be 4 yards away from the ball.
(U-8) opponents must be 4 yards away from the ball.
(U-10) opponents must be 8 yards away from the ball.
(U-12) opponents must be 8 yards away from the ball.
(U-13 & Up) conform to FIFA Law.

LAW 9 - THE BALL IN AND OUT OF PLAY: All age groups conform to FIFA Law) Ball must completely cross line to be out of play. See LAW 8 for restart information.

LAW 10 - THE METHOD OF SCORING:
(All age groups conform to FIFA Law) Ball must completely cross line to be a goal.

SCORES: Final scores or league standings are NOT to be recorded for recreational teams. Ball must completely cross goal line between posts and beneath crossbar to count as a goal.

If the goalie, in possession of the ball, falls or rolls into the goal carrying all of the ball over all of the goal line, a score results.

LAW 11 OFFSIDE:
No off-sides for age groups U-6, U-8,or any other group playing small sided soccer.

Age groups playing 11V11 conform to FIFA Law.

OFF-SIDES: To be whistled for off-sides, a player must first be in an off-side position. It is not an offense in itself to be in an offside position.

A player is in an off-side position if:

• he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent

A player is only penalized for being in an off-side position, if, at the moment the ball is played by a teammate, he is, in the opinion of the referee:

• Interfering with play or with an opponent, or

• Seeking to gain an advantage by being in that position.

OFFENSE
A player in an offside position is only penalized if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:

• interfering with play

• interfering with an opponent

• gaining an advantage by being in that position

NOT OFF-SIDES WHEN
• The player is in his own half of the field of play.

• The player is not nearer to the opponents, goal-line than at least two opponents (one of whom may be the goalkeeper).

• The player is level with the second to last opponent, or with the last two opponents.

• The ball was last touched by a defender.

There is no offside offense if a player receives the ball directly from:

• a goal kick

• a throw-in

• a corner kick

Off-side is frequently not called for younger teams however, the referee may warn a coach or young player about "strategic off-sides", the practice of intentionally placing a player near the opponents’ goal throughout play (i.e. cherry-picking).

Infringements/Sanctions
For any off-side offense, the referee awards an indirect free kick to the opposing team to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.

LAW 12 - FOULS AND MISCONDUCT:

Law 12 is rightfully considered the heart of the Laws. It defines both the letter of the Law and the spirit of the game. Law 12 is also exhaustive: If it is not listed here, it is not an infringement. For example, it is legal for players to play the ball with their head (or chest or knee etc.), because Law 12 only forbids playing the ball with the hand or arm.

Law 12 describes two different kinds of infringements: fouls (punishable by some sort of free kick (see Law 13), and misconduct (punishable by some color of card).

Fouls are further subdivided into penal and technical fouls. Penal fouls are punishable by a direct free kick or penalty kick, and technical fouls are punishable by an indirect free kick.

Fouls and misconduct are penalized as follows:

Penal Fouls are fouls of a physical nature; there are 10 of them (listed below).

DIRECT FREE KICK
A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following six offenses in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:

• kicks or attempts to kick an opponent

• trips or attempts to trip an opponent

• jumps at an opponent

• charges an opponent

• strikes or attempts to strike an opponent

• pushes an opponent

A direct free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of
the following four offenses:

• tackles an opponent to gain possession of the ball, making contact with the opponent before touching the ball

• holds an opponent

• spits at an opponent

• handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)

A direct free kick is awarded to the fouled team at the spot of the infringement (unless the foul is committed by a player in his own defensive penalty area, in which case a penalty kick is awarded).

PENALTY KICK
A penalty kick is awarded if any of the above ten offenses is committed by a player inside his own penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball, provided it is in play.

A few notes on Penalty Fouls:
Jumping at refers to a cleats-up, foot-first jump at an opponent, regardless of the position of the ball. If there is contact, there is a foul.

A fair charge is shoulder-to-shoulder, non-violent, both players have at least one foot on the ground, and the ball must be within playing distance (two strides). If any of these conditions is not met, it is an unfair charge.

An unfair tackle is an otherwise legal play to gain possession of the ball, but the tackler makes contact with the player before making contact with the ball.

Handling the ball is possibly the most misunderstood (and most frequently miscalled) foul. The law requires that it be deliberate, not incidental. A ball moving swiftly toward a 8-year olds face may cause that player to involuntarily protect her nose with her arm. This should not be considered deliberate, even if the ball goes straight down to her feet, and she dribbles away with it. If the players is 14, it should be called. The referee makes the decision in either case.

INDIRECT FREE KICK
An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following four offenses:

• takes more than six seconds while controlling the ball with his hands before releasing it from his possession

• touches the ball again with his hands after it has been released from his possession and has not touched any other player

• touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate

• touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate

NOTE: GOALIE PASS BACK RULE:

o The goalkeeper may touch the ball with their hands anytime they are within the penalty area, except when the ball is deliberately kicked back to them by a teammate. The goalie must play such a deliberate kick from a teammate with their feet just like any other field player.

The goalie may play the ball with their hands, if it is passed back by a teammate's head, chest or knee. If the goalie does play a ball kicked back with their hands, the opposing team is awarded an indirect free kick with the ball placed at the spot where the goalie improperly handled the ball. Because it is an indirect free kick, the ball must touch two players before it goes into the goal.

HANDBALL:
o A handball is an intentional act to play the ball with the hand or the arm. The ball striking the hand is not a handball. A handball may not be called by the referee if no advantage is gained, or calling the foul would stop an obvious scoring attempt by the offended team.

"Handling" the ball means intentionally playing the ball with the hand or arm. Accidental contact is not an infraction.

There are a number of technical fouls. These infractions do not involve physical contact.

A second touch by the same player at a restricted restart

Offside

Dangerous play

Impeding an opponent

Interfering with the goalkeeper putting the ball into play or prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands

Goalkeeper infractions:

Taking excessive time to release the ball after gathering it with the hands.

Handles the ball twice without releasing it into play.

Handles the ball after a teammate kicks it to him/her.

Handles the ball direct from a teammate’s throw-in.

Wastes time.

Technical fouls are punishable by an indirect free kick.

The indirect free kick is taken from where the offense occurred.

* A few notes on technical fouls:

The foul is called dangerous play, as opposed to “high kicking”. A high kick is only dangerous if another player is within playing distance. If a player is trying to head a waist-high ball that an opponent is kicking, who is playing dangerously? The foul should be called on the “heading” player. Trying to play the ball while laying on the ground when an opponent is trying to play it is another common form of dangerous play.

Impeding an opponent is interpreted as playing the man, not the ball (think of a screen in Basketball).

Attempting to prevent an opponent from playing the ball without putting yourself in a position to play the ball (regardless of whether you actually touch the ball) is considered impeding.

GHYSA VARIATION
Conform to FIFA Law with the following adjustment:
All "Free Kicks" are "Indirect Free Kicks" for U6 and U8.

(U-6) and (U-8) all fouls shall result in an indirect free kick with the opponents 4 yards away from the ball.

(U-10 fouls shall conform to FIFA Law with the opponents must be 8 yards away from the ball.

(U-12) fouls shall conform to FIFA Law with the opponents must be 8 yards away from the ball.

(U-13 & Up) fouls shall conform to FIFA Law.

CAUTIONS AND EJECTIONS: There are 7 "cautionable" (Yellow card) offenses, and 7 "send off" (Red card) offenses. Yellow Card - A caution given for misconduct:

(U-6 & U-8) Referees shall briefly explain infractions to the offending player. No cards shown for misconduct.

(U-10 & U-12) Referees shall briefly explain infractions to the offending player. Conform to FIFA with the exception that an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team at the center spot on the halfway line if a goalkeeper punts or drop-kicks the ball in the air from his/her penalty area into the opponents penalty area.

(U-13 and Up) Conform to FIFA. The referee/coach must explain ALL infractions to offending player.

DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS
Only a player or substitute or substituted player may be shown the red or yellow card.

Cautionable Offenses
A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following
seven offenses:

1. is guilty of unsporting behavior

2. shows dissent by word or action

3. persistently infringes the Laws of the Game

4. delays the restart of play

5. fails to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick or free kick

6. enters or re-enters the field of play without the referee’s permission

7. deliberately leaves the field of play without the referee’s permission

Sending-Off Offenses
A player is sent off and shown the red card if he commits any of the following seven
offenses:

1. is guilty of serious foul play

2. is guilty of violent conduct

3. spits at an opponent or any other person

4. denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own
penalty area)

5. denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the
player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick

6. uses offensive or insulting or abusive language and/or gestures

7. receives a second caution in the same match

A player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the field of play and the
technical area.

LAW 13 - FREE KICKS:
Infractions result in free kicks. Free kicks are awarded to the offended team. They are either direct or indirect kicks. On a direct free kick the kicker can put the ball directly into the goal for a score. On an indirect free kick another player on either team must touch the ball before it can score. The referee will indicate an indirect free kick by holding one arm directly overhead. The kicker may not touch the ball again until another player has touched it.

The location of the free kick is determined by the location of the offense. If the offense was in the kicking team’s defensive goal area, the free kick can be taken from anywhere inside the goal area. For an indirect free inside a team’s attacking goal area, the free kick is located on the 6-yard line closest to where the offense occurred. For a direct free kick inside a team’s attacking penalty area, the kick is taken from the penalty mark (see law 14). In all other cases, the free kick is taken from the spot of the offense.

All opposing players must retire 10 yards from the spot of the free kick, unless they are on their own goal line and between the goal posts; if the indirect free kick is inside a team’s defensive penalty area.

When the kick is from the penalty mark, the opponents must retire 10 yards and be outside the penalty area.

In GHYSA, U-6 and U-8 age groups, there are no penalty kicks and all free kicks are indirect. For (U-6, U-8) all kicks are indirect. Plus:
(U-6 and U-8) opponents must be 4 yards away from the ball.

Other Age Groups conform to FIFA Law plus:
(U-10) opponents must be 8 yards away from the ball.
(U-12) opponents must be 8 yards away from the ball.
(U-13 & Up) conform to FIFA Law.

LAW 14 - THE PENALTY KICK:
The Penalty Kick is taken for an infraction by the defending team, within the Penalty Area that would result in a direct free kick. The ball is placed on the penalty Mark, and all players except the kicker and the goalkeeper must be outside of the penalty area or the penalty arc and behind the ball (so no offside position). When a penalty kick is being taken, the goal keeper may now move from side to side on the goal line, but not forward. The ball is in play as soon as it is kicked and moves forward. The kicker may not touch the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player. A penalty kick is awarded for a direct free kick infraction committed by the defense in its own penalty area. This call is determined by the position of the defending player; the ball need not have advanced into the penalty area.

GHYSA VARIATION
(None for (U-6) & (U-8)

(U-10) Conform to FIFA with the exception that the penalty mark is made eight (8) yards from the midpoint between the goalposts and equidistant to them. Players other than the kicker and defending goalkeeper are at least eight (8) yards from the penalty mark.

(U-12) Conform to FIFA with the exceptions that the penalty mark is at ten (10) yards and that players other than the kicker and defending goalkeeper are at least eight (8) yards from the penalty mark.

(U-13 & Up) Conform to FIFA Law.

LAW 15 - THE THROW IN:
A team loses possession of the ball whenever one of its members is the last one to touch the ball before it goes completely over the touchline (sideline). The ball is brought back in play by awarding a throw-in to the other team.

When conducting a throw-in, the player must have at least part of each foot on the ground at the moment when the ball is thrown. The player must also bring the ball back completely behind his head using both hands and maintain the arms parallel through the throw. The ball is in play immediately when it enters the field of play, but the thrower may not play the ball again until it has been touched or played by another player. If, during an attempted throw-in, the ball does not cross the touchline, it has not been put into play and the throwing team is allowed to repeat the throw-in.

A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in;

A foul throw results in the ball being awarded to the opposing team for a throw-in.

For the younger players U6 and U8, however, the referees will give the thrower a second chance after an errant throw.

For (U-6) and (U-8) opponents must be (4) yards away from the ball on a throw-in. If the first throw in is done improperly, a second throw in must be allowed. A kick-in may be substituted for a throw-in for (U-6) players. A kick-in shall be considered an indirect free kick.

(U-10, U-12, U13 & Up) Conform to FIFA Law.

THROW-IN:
A throw-in is awarded:

• when the whole of the ball passes over the touch line, either on the ground or in the air

• from the point where it crossed the touch line

• to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball

THROW-IN PROCEDURE
At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower:

• faces the field of play

• has part of each foot either on the touch line or on the ground outside the touch line

• uses both hands

• delivers the ball from behind and over his head

The thrower may not touch the ball again until it has touched another player. The ball is in play immediately it enters the field of play.

LAW 16 - THE GOAL KICK:
A goal kick is awarded to a team when the ball is kicked over the goal-line (excluding that portion between the goal posts!) by the attacking team. All the players on the team not in possession of the ball must be outside of the penalty area. The team awarded the ball may have as many players in the penalty area as desired and any of these players is allowed to take the goal kick. If the ball is not kicked beyond the penalty-area, the kick is retaken. No one can touch the ball after it is kicked until it passes out of the penalty area, this includes the goalkeeper. If a player of either team touches the ball before it passes out of the penalty area, the kick is retaken. The kicker may not play the ball a second time until it has been played by another player

(U-6) The Goal Kick: The goal kick should be taken within 2-3 yards of the goal line anywhere across the width of the field of play at the nearest point from where the ball was retrieved. Opposing players must be four (4) yards away from the ball until it is in play.

(U-8) The Goal Kick: Conform to FIFA with the exception that opponents must remain outside the goal area and at least four (4) yards from the ball until it is in play.

(U-10, U-12, U13 & Up) Conform to FIFA Law.

LAW 17 - THE CORNER KICK:
A corner kick is awarded when a defending player last touches the ball before it passes over their own goal line, but not into the goal. The ball is placed at the nearest corner flag, anywhere in the corner arc. The corner kick may be taken from any point inside the nearest corner arc, and is in play when it is kicked and moves. The corner flag may not be moved. Opponents must be 10 yards away from the ball. The kicker may not play the ball a second time until touched by another player. A goal can be scored directly from a corner kick, but only against the opponents.

GHYSA VARIATION

(U-6 & U-8) The Corner Kick: Conform to FIFA with the exception that opponents remain at least four (4) yards from the ball until it is in play.

(U-10 & U-12) The Corner Kick: Conform to FIFA with the exception that opponents remain at least eight (8) yards from the ball until it is in play.

(U-13 & Up) Conform to FIFA Law.


Ref Boy whistle
US Youth Soccer Small Sided Rules

Small Sided Games Handbook

Small Sided Games Manual

Why Play Small Sided Games Slide Show




Blind REF
The Ten Commandments of Refereeing
by Lars-Ake
This article summarizes the words of Mr. Björck, a FIFA Instructor and member of the FIFA Referee Committee from Sweden, to the assembled National Referees and candidates.

Body language is a key to successful refereeing. Beyond that, the referee must follow the Ten Commandments of Refereeing to be successful.

1. Leadership Qualities: Be a match leader. Lead by example, gain the players’ respect. Your personality is vital; you can’t copy anyone, it must be your own. Be eager to cooperate with everyone. Become trusted for your actions. Use the Laws correctly. Take responsibility for the application of the Laws. Study the rules, use them correctly.

2. Justice: Always be neutral and steadfast. Show no prejudice. Remember that all matches are equally important. Do not underestimate any person or event. Your attitude will be reflected in your actions.

3. Knowledge of the Rules: Have a good knowledge of the Laws and use correct interpretations of the Laws to enjoy success in any match. The referee must understand the game. Use the rules to apply the Spirit of the Game. Do not work blindly and strictly according to the Letter of the Law: that is the skill in refereeing.

4. Strictness: Be consistent. Use the rules. Do not wait for next incident; act immediately. Cautions and send-offs mean nothing after you have lost control of the match—players will realize your insecurity.

5. Make Correct Decision at the Correct Time: Proper use of the advantage is the sign of a good referee. If you are not sure of a call, do not blow the whistle. When you use the advantage, do not forget your cards—go back and deal with the misconduct. It shows you understand the game, that you read the game well.

6. Condition and its Influence: Good physical condition equals good mental condition. Lack of good physical conditioning results in slow reactions, inconsistency, inability to observe the game properly. Present a good image when you enter the field through your dress, your comments to all participants, and how you relate to the players. That brings immediate respect. The colorless referee shows no personality, because he has an insecure image of himself and makes difficulties for himself. Such a referee will not go far.

7. Good Sense of Humor: A good sense of humor is gold! Sport should be cheerful. Do not lose your sense of humor. You can improve your relations with the players if you use no swear words, keep yourself calm, control your temper, use agreeable and relevant language, do not forget to smile—but do not exaggerate, and do not forget to smile—but don’t smile at every moment.

8. Courage and Will Power: Show firmness—stand behind your decisions. You cannot replace one foul with another foul. Don’t talk with spectators. Don’t let decisions be influenced by spectators.

9. Cooperativeness: Have good relations and communications with your assistants. Do not be arrogant or contemptuous. Trust your ARs; don’t blame them or shame them in public.

10. Loyalty: Behave loyally. Don’t criticize colleagues in public. Don’t reveal your opinion in public. Talk with the referee afterwards.




Ref yellow card
Eastern PA Soccer Association Referee Committee
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Foul Handout

Understanding the LAWS OF THE GAME!

FIFA LAWS OF THE GAME
The rules of soccer (called the Laws of the Game) are quite simple, because soccer is a simple game.

The Laws were written by people who understand the game, for people who understand the game.

Behind the Laws is a very straightforward philosophy of “fair play”, often called the spirit of the game.

It is assumed that the game itself is more important than any particular match, player, coach, referee, or fan. Participants who don’t “play fair” are subject to disciplinary action.
Within this spirit of fair play, there are 17 laws. Some of them may be modified for younger, older and female players.

Law 1 – The Field of Play
Specifies the field, markings and goal sizes (all lines are part of the area they define); therefore, the ball is in play until the entire ball crosses the entire line. See the Small Sided & Game Guideline for field sizes appropriate for differing age levels.
Corner flags may not be moved (e.g., to take a corner kick).

Law 2 – The Ball
Specifies the shape, size, weight, and pressure of the ball.

Law 3 – The number of Players
Specifies the maximum and minimum number of players to have a legal game. Sets the number of substitutions at 3 or 5, with no re-entry allowed. This rule is almost universally modified to allow unlimited substitutions with unlimited re-entry. Regardless of what substitution rules are used, the process is the same:

Substitutions take place at mid field. The sub must be ready to enter before the ball goes out of play. The sub must ask (and get) permission from the referee. The exiting player must completely exit the field before the sub can enter.

Additionally, if changing goalkeepers (either with a substitute or by changing places with one of the field players), first get permission from the referee. Goalkeeper substitutions must occur at a stoppage in play.

Law 4 – Players’ Equipment
All players must wear a shirt, shoes, and shinguards with socks completely covering the shinguards. Players may not wear anything dangerous, including cleats with sharp edges. GHYSA Youth Soccer has extended this rule to ban all jewelry, hard casts and items which may injure the player or others on the field. Hair fasteners must be soft. Goalkeepers may not wear baseball-style caps with a stiff brim. Medical Alert Bracelets must be taped. The use of protective head gear is a referee decision at game time.

Law 5 – The Referee
Authorizes the referee to control the match by:

Calling fouls

Cautions and send off any participant

Stop play when necessary (e.g. for an injured player)

Keep time and record of the game

The referee is also instructed to not stop the game for slight injuries, and to not call fouls of trifling or dubious nature. The referee is also allowed to apply advantage to any call. This means that if the referee determines that stopping play would take away an advantage from the offended team, he can choose to not stop play.

Law 6 – The Assistant Referee
Authorizes two Assistant Referees to assist in controlling the match. They may call fouls to the attention of the referee, and signal off sides for the referee.

Law 7 – The Duration of the Game
Specifies that each period of play is of equal length.

Law 8 – The Start of Play
Specifies that the referee shall conduct a coin flip with a representative from each team. The team winning the toss chooses which end of the field to attack; the other team chooses to kick off. At halftime, the teams switch ends, and the opposite team kicks off.

Each half of the match is started with a kick-off from the center spot. The ball must travel forward. All players must be in their own half. A goal can be scored directly form a kick-off.

If the referee must restart the match for any reason not specifically mentioned in the Laws, a "dropped ball" is used. The ball is in play once it touches the ground.

Law 9 – Ball in or out of Play
The ball is "out of play" when the whole ball passes over the whole of a boundary (goal or touch) line or when the referee signals to stop play.

The ball is "in play" at all other times, including: when part of the ball passes over a boundary line, when the ball rebounds from the goal post, a corner flag, the referee, or assistant referee, and stays on the field; and most emphatically, when the players assume an infraction is going to be penalized, but the referee has not yet blown the whistle.

Law 10 – Method of Scoring
A goal is awarded when the whole ball passes completely over the goal line, between the goal posts, under the crossbar, and no infringement has occurred. The keeper catching the ball and carrying it across the goal line while falling is counted as a goal. No other method of scoring is authorized.

Law 11 - Offside
Offside is a very simple law, but is almost universally misunderstood. The intent of this law is to penalize the player who tries to camp near the opponent’s goal, to try to capitalize on easy scoring chances. The law is NOT intended to make up for poor defense.

A player is in an offside position if he or she is ahead of the ball, and ahead of the second-to-last opponent, and in the attacking half of the field. It is not an infraction to be in an offside position.

If a player in an offside position, at the moment the ball is played by a teammate, and becomes involved in active play, then the referee shall punish that player for being offside.

It should be obvious that offside must be re-judged every time the ball is played. A player may be in an offside position and never interfere with play (so there is no offside, even if a goal results), or a player may momentarily return to an onside position just as the ball is played (so there is no offside), or the ball may go to another area of the field where the attacker was not in an offside position (so there is no offside). Also, a player passing to himself is never offside. A player coming back to an onside position to receive the ball is still offside, provided he was in an offside position when the ball was last played by
a teammate.

Two very good video's; "Making the call" and "Myths of the Game" cover off sides.

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct
Law 12 is rightfully considered the heart of the Laws. It defines both the letter of the Law and the spirit of the game. Law 12 is also exhaustive: If it is not listed here, it is not an infringement. For example, it is legal for players to play the ball with their head (or chest or knee etc.), because Law 12 only forbids playing the ball with the hand or arm.

Law 12 describes two different kinds of infringements: fouls (punishable by some sort of free kick (see Law 13), and misconduct (punishable by some color of card).

Fouls are further subdivided into penal and technical fouls. Penal fouls are punishable by a direct free kick or penalty kick, and technical fouls are punishable by an indirect free kick. Penal Fouls are fouls of a physical nature; there are 10 of them (listed below).

If, in the opinion of the referee, a player commits any of the following offenses in a careless, reckless, or excessively forceful manner;

Kicking (or attempting to kick) an opponent

Tripping (or attempting to trip) an opponent

Striking (or attempting to strike) an opponent

Unfairly charging an opponent

Jumping at an opponent

Pushing an opponent

Unfairly tackles an opponent

Holds an opponent

Spits at an opponent

Deliberately handles the ball

A direct free kick is awarded to the fouled team at the spot of the infringement (unless the foul is committed by a player in his own defensive penalty area, in which case a penalty kick is awarded).

A few notes on Penal Fouls:
Jumping at refers to a cleats-up, foot-first jump at an opponent, regardless of the position of the ball. If there is contact, there is a foul.

A fair charge is shoulder-to-shoulder, non-violent, both players have at least one foot on the ground, and the ball must be within playing distance (two strides). If any of these conditions is not met, it is an unfair charge.

An unfair tackle is an otherwise legal play to gain possession of the ball, but the tackler makes contact with the player before making contact with the ball.

Handling the ball is possibly the most misunderstood (and most frequently miscalled) foul. The law requires that it be deliberate, not incidental. A ball moving swiftly toward a 8-year olds face may cause that player to involuntarily protect her nose with her arm. This should not be considered deliberate, even if the ball goes straight down to her feet, and she dribbles away with it. If the players is 14, it should be called. The referee makes the decision in either case.

There are a number of technical fouls. These infractions do not involve physical contact.

A second touch by the same player at a restricted restart

Offside

Dangerous play

Impeding an opponent

Interfering with the goalkeeper putting the ball into play

Goalkeeper infractions:

Taking excessive time to release the ball after gathering it with the hands.

Handles the ball twice without releasing it into play.

Handles the ball after a teammate kicks it to him/her.

Handles the ball direct from a teammate’s throw-in.

Wastes time.

Technical fouls are punishable by an indirect free kick.
A few notes on technical fouls:

The foul is called dangerous play, as opposed to “high kicking”. A high kick is only dangerous if another player is within playing distance. If a player is trying to head a waist-high ball that an opponent is kicking, who is playing dangerously? The foul should be called on the “heading” player. Trying to play the ball while laying on the ground when an opponent is trying to play it is another common form of dangerous play.

Impeding an opponent is interpreted as playing the man, not the ball (think of a screen in Basketball).

Attempting to prevent an opponent from playing the ball without putting yourself in a position to play the ball (regardless of whether you actually touch the ball) is considered impeding.

There are 7 "cautionable" (Yellow card) offenses, and 7 "send off" (Red card) offenses.
Yellow Card - A caution given for misconduct:

Unsporting behavior
These are violations of the spirit of the game. Examples are any of the first six penal fouls
committed in a reckless manner, any penal foul to break up an opponent’s attack, deliberately
handles the ball to score a goal, verbal distraction of an opponent, and interfering with an
opponent’s throw-in.

Persistent infringement of the Laws
This is continuous infringement of the laws, not at a level serious enough for any one incident to warrant a caution.

Dissent
This is defined as showing disagreement, by word or gesture, with any decision of the referee.
Coaches are responsible for the conduct of their team’s fans.

Delaying the restart of play
This refers to sending the ball away to prevent the opponents from taking a quick kick or throw.

Failing to respect the required distance at a restart of play
This refers to a player not retiring 10 yards to allow the opponents to take a free kick or corner kick.

Entering the field without permission

Leaving the field without permission (except during the ordinary course of play)

Red Card - A participant sent off for:

Violent conduct

Serious foul play

Receiving a second caution in the same match

Offensive, insulting, or abusive language

Spitting at another person

Denying an opponent a goal-scoring opportunity by committing an offense punishable by a
free kick

Denying an opponent a goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball.
In conclusion, note that a foul must be an offense by a player (one of the 11 on the field), against an opponent (or the ball, if handling), on the field, while the ball is in play. None of these restrictions apply to misconduct.

Law 13 - Free Kicks
There are two kinds of free kicks, direct and indirect. A goal can only result from a direct free kick (that is, is not touched by another player) and if it is scored against the opponents. The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves (unless it is a goal kick taken from inside a team’s own defensive penalty area, in which case it must exit the penalty area).

The kicker may not touch the ball again until another player has touched it.

The location of the free kick is determined by the location of the offense. If the offense was in the kicking team’s defensive goal area, the free kick can be taken from anywhere inside the goal area. For an indirect free inside a team’s attacking goal area, the free kick is located on the 6-yard line closest to where the offense occurred. For a direct free kick inside a team’s attacking penalty area, the kick is taken from the penalty mark (see law 14). In all other cases, the free kick is taken from the spot of the offense.

All opposing players must retire 10 yards from the spot of the free kick, unless they are on their own goal line and between the goal posts; if the indirect free kick is inside a team’s defensive penalty area.

When the kick is from the penalty mark, the opponents must retire 10 yards and be outside the penalty area.

The referee will signal an indirect free kick by holding one arm up until the ball is touched by another player.

Law 14 – Penalty Kick
A direct free kick awarded to a team inside their attacking penalty area is taken from the penalty mark.

All players except the goalkeeper and the person taking the kick must be outside the penalty area, outside the penalty arc, and behind the ball (so no offside position).

The goalkeeper must remain on the goal line until the ball is played (he may move laterally, but not forward). The ball is in play as soon as it is kicked and moves forward. The kicker may not play the ball again until another player has touched it.

Law 15 – Throw–In
When the ball goes out of play over either touchline, a throw-in shall be taken. By an opponent of the player who last touched the ball. From the spot where the ball went out of play
Thrown from behind and over the head. Using both hands. With at least part of each foot touching the ground on or behind the touchline.

The thrower may not play the ball a second time until touched by another player.

A goal can not be scored directly from a throw-in.

Law 16 – Goal Kick
When the ball goes out of play over the goal line, not between the posts and under the bar, last touched by an attacker, the defending team is awarded a goal kick. The goal kick may be taken from any point inside the goal area, and is in play when it leaves the penalty area (whole ball over whole line).

Opponents must be outside the penalty area. The kicker may not play the ball a second time until it is touched by another player.

Law 17 – Corner Kick
When the ball goes out of play over the goal line, not between the posts and under the bar, last touched by a defender, the attacking team is awarded a corner kick. The corner kick may be taken from any point inside the nearest corner arc, and is in play when it is kicked and moves. The corner flag may not be moved. Opponents must be 10 yards away from the ball. The kicker may not play the ball a second time until touched by another player.
A goal can be scored directly from a corner kick, but only against the opponents.



Referee Code of Conduct
Taken from the USSF Referee Administrative Handbook
I will:
• 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 the assignment or any other contractual obligation
• Attend training meetings and clinics so as to know the Laws of the Game, their proper
interpretation and application
• Always strive to achieve maximum team work with my fellow officials
• Be loyal to my fellow officials and never knowingly promote criticism of them
• Be in good physical condition
• Control the players effectively by being courteous and considerate without sacrificing fairness
• Do my utmost to assist my fellow officials to better themselves and their work
• Not make statements about my games except to clarify an interpretation of the Laws of the Game
• Not discriminate against nor take undue advantage of any individual group on the basis of race,color, religion, sex, or national origin
• Consider it a privilege to be a part of the United States Soccer Federation and my actions will reflect credit upon that organization and its affiliates

Referee Commitment:
• Officiate matches in a fair and safe manor that ensures player and spectator enjoyment
• Maintain my physical fitness for peak performance
• Faithfully keep all appointments assigned to and accepted by me
• Support my fellow officials with loyalty, pride, and dignity
• Conduct myself in a way to be ethically and morally beyond reproach
• Grant players and coaches dignity and self-respect
• Contribute to the overall development of the National Program for Referee Development
• Remain committed to contributions to continuous learning and an improvement process that
enables me to perform to my full potential


Referees and the Laws
How to Become a Referee
Most referees are players and/or coaches, or former players and/or coaches. To become a referee, a person needs a passion for the game. The referee takes a lot of abuse, and must evaluate multiple possibilities before making every call. Was it a foul? Was there an advantage? Did the offended team end up with an advantage despite the foul against them? Should the foul be called, or allow them to "play on"?

If you still want to become a referee, check this web site. Courses offered in the local area will be posted on the website.

Referees need:
A desire to comprehend the rules and the game.

The fitness to keep up with play.

The ability to make correct decisions quickly.

The strength of personality to make their decisions accepted by the players.

The ability to stay calm in the midst of chaos.

A passion for the game.

To become a referee, you must attend a 16 hour training course, pass a test on the Laws of the Game, and register with USSF. When classes are offered information is posted on the web.

Dealing with Difficult referee situations
Being human, referees are not all alike. What was a foul or caution last week isn’t even worth a pause in play this week. If a referee seems to be applying the rules in strange and wonderful ways for your game, the correct approach is to make note of this and call your league’s referee coordinator. Trying to change the referee’s call during the match is not only counter-productive; it is against the rules (see Law 12, the section on Dissent).

If you believe the referee is engaging in misconduct (e.g., swearing, favoring one team, physical or verbal abuse), You need to make a report to the GHYSA Board. The matter will be investigated. GET WITNESSES. Your report will be taken seriously. The referee community is very interested in keeping the reputation of accountable to the highest standards.

The Role of the Referee
As you probably realize, some referees are better than others. There are very few great ones. The one thing that is (or should be) true of all referees is that they don’t care who wins. This means they see the game differently than the players and coaches. For example, during a match, two players are challenging for the ball. After the challenge, one is dribbling away, and believes he made a great play.

The other is sitting on the ground, and believes he was fouled. Everyone else who saw that play agrees with one or the other of those players, based on what team they are supporting. The sole exception is the referee(s). The referee’s point of view is centered on identifying any infringement of the Laws in that challenge, and determining whether or not it was significant enough to affect play, and then whether to stop play or apply advantage. The single most important phrase in the Laws is “If, in the opinion of the referee,…”. Yes, this gives the referee a huge amount of authority over the match; it is intended to.
Arguing with, or lobbying the referee is forbidden. They call what they see, as they interpret the advantage rule.

Soccer is an all weather sport we do play in the rain and snow. ALL GAMES WILL BE PLAYED ON SCHEDULE.

If the Board of GHYSA determines conditions to play are unsafe we will contact the coaches and cancel all games for that day. Coaches will contact parents to notify them that the game is cancelled. Parents and coaches should check this web page prior to reporting for the game. The cancellation or delay will be posted in the above notice.

If the coach arrives at the field and feel it is not safe to play i.e. "Lightning" you are authorized to call the game. If you do call your game contact the other team (see coaches issues page) and your Age Group Commissioner and the League Scheduler to let them know what has happened and begin planning a make up game. For information to contact your Age Group Commissioner select the "League Officials" button on the left.