Orange Soccer Association: OSA House Rules

Saturday, June 22

PLAYER EQUIPMENT:

Players will be provided uniforms at the beginning of the season. Uniforms consist of a jersey, shorts and socks. Players are responsible for maintaining their uniforms throughout the season.

All players must wear shin guards under their socks. Referees have been instructed not to allow players without shin guards to participate in games. Approved footwear is as follows: soccer shoes with molded cleats, soccer shoes with turf soles, soccer shoes with an indoor sole, or tennis shoes. Soccer shoes with screw in studs are not approved for player use at the house league level.  There is not a single best soccer shoe for recreational play. Comfort and cost should be the primary considerations for parents as children between the ages of 5 and 16 experiences definite growth spurts that can require frequent changes in footwear. Baseball/football cleats are not allowed. Shoe laces will not be wrapped around the ankle as it poses a liability to the player’s Achilles tendon located directly above the heal of the foot. Extra lengths of shoe laces should be wrapped around the instep and the sole of the foot or tucked inside the shoe.

BRACES, GLASSES, JEWELRY, AND CASTS:

Mouth guards are recommended for players having braces or other orthodontia on their teeth. Players with glasses should have the eyewear secured by safety straps that will prevent the glasses from falling off the face and onto the ground. If a player with contact lenses wears a safety shield or goggles, they must be held in play with a safety strap as well.

No jewelry will be worn during play. Please note that this includes starter pierced earrings therefore; parents are cautioned against having their players ears pierced just prior to or during the soccer season. Officials will inspect players prior to the start of each game and will identify any object that must be removed for the player’s safety. Players with casts may participate if the official is satisfied that the protecting equipment is not dangerous and will not pose a liability to any player during the game. The official will inspect the cast and any protective covering as part of their pre-game inspection. The official’s decision is final and cannot be appealed to the board. 

PLAYING TIME:

The house league is an instructional league that stresses “Fun and Fundamentals.” Each player in good standing will be given the opportunity of equal playing time for each game. The coach will be responsible for monitoring playing time and substitute players with the referee’s permission, during any stoppage of play. A player in good standing is one who attends practices, works as a team player, practices good sportsmanship during games and practices, and tries their best. 

SIDES OF THE FIELD:

Parents and spectators will be on one side of the playing field and players and coaches will be on the opposite side of the field. Only 2 official team coaches may be on the player/coaches side of the field for each team. No one will be allowed to stand behind the goal area, including coaches and parents. In the event a field cannot accommodate this set up, each team will occupy one half of the sideline with the center line being the dividing line. Referees will make the decision if the field will or will not accommodate the player-spectator set up. The referee may delay the start of the game if parent/coach cooperation to this rule is not occurring.

PLAYER SAFETY- SLIDE TACKLING:

To maximize player safety, OSA has instructed its’ officials to consider slide tackling to be a dangerous play. Under the laws of the game, any dangerous play is considered a foul and results in an award of an indirect free kick to the opposition. It is the opinion of the Board, that slide tackling in our recreational environment could foster reckless play by unskilled players, possibly injuring youngsters unable to protect themselves from the challenge, thus slide tackling is prohibited at the younger levels ( U-12 and below). It is not the intent of OSA to inhibit the development of its players. This ruling is made for the general safety of all players and will allow them to learn the game without the fear of injury. Referees are charged with supporting this decision.

FIELD DIRECTIONS:

Directions to fields outside of Orange County are available on the web site or from your coach.

CANCELLATION OF GAMES AND TRAINING:

The board may cancel games and practices if field conditions or weather condition make for unsafe conditions. Coaches may not cancel games. The Orange County Parks and Recreation Department also may decide that the fields at the complex are unsafe and make the decision to close the fields. In the event of lightning, OSA will follow the Parks and Recreation Department’s policy which is: All spectators and players must vacate the fields immediately when lightning is a threat and thunder is heard. Spectators and players may return to the fields 30 minutes after the last sighting of lightning. Spectators and players should go immediately to their cars. No one should remain on the field or in the parking lot during a lightning storm.

In the event that games or practices are cancelled, the league will notify parents and players of the cancellations by one of these methods: (1) Inserting a cancellation message on the OSA voicemail messaging system at 540-395-3033 by 7:30am game day; or (2) Posting the cancellation on the OSA website by 7:30am at www.orangesoccerassociation.com. 

For individual team practices, parents should contact their coaches if they are concerned about cancellation.  Please remember that rain does not necessarily mean that games and practices are cancelled. Games may continue to be scheduled if there is not the threat of lightning and thunder.

COACHES:

Coaches are required to attend any pre-season meetings and clinics provided by OSA.  They are encouraged to attend license coaching clinics and will be reimbursed for any such training upon successful completion of the course and after coaching two seasons with OSA.

Coaches will be responsible for following all schedules set up by the board including but not limited to: game schedules, practice schedules, field marking schedules, picture schedules, and fundraising schedules. Coaches are responsible for contacting opposing coaches no later than Wednesday prior to Saturday’s game to insure that no change of scheduling has occurred. This will help eliminate teams arriving at a game site at the wrong time or at the wrong game site. Coaches are responsible for monitoring and controlling the behavior of players and parents during practices and games. Coaches are expected to take an active role in the enforcement of any and all rules and regulations that are set forth by OSA to preserve a healthy sporting environment for the youth participants.

Coaches are required to submit a KidSafe background check through the VYSA website. 

PARENTS/Spectators:

Parents are asked to provide encouragement and support to their children as they participate in the OSA program. Parents are expected to be models of good sportsmanship and influence their children to follow their positive examples. Parents are expected to help and support the coaching staff when requested by: making sure their child has the appropriate equipment needed for games and practices, making sure their child attends practices and arrives at practice on time, making sure their child arrives at least 30 minutes prior to the start of each game, supporting OSA by taking part in fundraising activities, providing snacks or drinks during games and helping to monitor the safety of the players.

Parents will be responsible for insuring that their family and visitors adhere to the following rules:  NO PETS WILL BE BROUGHT TO PRACTICE OR GAMES, NO GLASS CONTAINERS, SMOKING IS PROHIBITED AT THE COMPLEX. SMOKING IS ONLY PERMITTED IN PERSONAL VEHICLES.  POSSESSION OR CONSUMPTION OF ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES IS PROHIBITED.  ALL SPEED LIMITS AND PARKING RESTRICTIONS AT PRACTICES AND GAME LOCATIONS WILL BE OBSERVED.  SPECTATORS AT NO TIME WILL ENTER THE PLAYING FIELD. IF A CHILD IS INJURED, THE SPECTATOR MAY WALK AROUND TO THE COACH’S SIDE OF THE FIELD AFTER THE CHILD HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE PLAYING FIELD TO CHECK ON THEIR STATUS.

OSA is serious about creating and preserving a proper environment for its youth players. OSA will restrict or prohibit individuals from participating as players, coaches, or spectators, if they cannot abide by the afore mentioned rules.

REFEREES:

Referees must maintain their FIFA certification, keeping abreast of all changes in the Laws of the Game. Officials will enforce the Laws of the Game as they apply to each age group. Officials are expected to be professional in appearance and conduct, both on and off the field while performing their duties.

The Center Referee is empowered to suspend play when player safety is jeopardized. If play is suspended and the game is abandoned, there will be no result. Replay is at the discretion of the Vice President of House and the Referee Manager. Weather conditions, violent play or foul/abusive language is considered legitimate threats to player safety. A safe playing environment is one that is free from physical and emotional intimidations. Referees have been instructed to abandon play whenever players, coaches, or spectators cannot or will not control their actions or speech. Once a game is abandoned, the referee will leave the field of play and game cannot restart. Games scheduled after the abandoned contest will be evaluated by the officials assigned to that game.

The decision to play will be made by the center referee assigned to the next contest. No parent, coach, player or spectator should approach a referee during or after a game concerning his refereeing. If there is a question or concern about a referee’s decision, they must contact the OSA official at the field or the referee manager.

TRAVEL:

OSA has seen a steady growth in its soccer program over the past two years. Travel teams are formed whenever sufficient interest is shown within an age group. The Vice President of Travel is responsible for organizing a new travel team. Parents interested in having their player try out for a travel team should contact the Vice President of Travel. Travel teams sponsored by OSA are required to outfit their teams in uniforms using blue, orange, and/or white colors. All travel coaches are encouraged to have at least an E coaching license when they first become a travel coach. Once they become a travel coach, they are required to pursue a D license through a VYSA sponsored course. The travel board may be contacted through the OSA website.

SPONSORSHIP:

OSA has developed a sponsorship program. Businesses can sponsor a team for fall and spring seasons. The cost for a sponsorship ranges from $375.00 to $450.00. The fee helps to defray the cost of uniforms, equipment, patches, and training offered by OSA. Anyone interested in sponsoring a team should contact OSA.

SMALL SIDED GAMES:

OSA has adopted the Small Sided Game for all age groups up to U-14. The concept of small sided games is supported by VYSA and USYS. The following guidelines will be followed for each age group: U-6 and below: 3 v 3 players, no goalie U-8 4 v 4 players, no goalie U-10 6 v 6 players, with a goalie U-12 8 v 8 players, with a goalie U-14 and above 11 v 11 players, with a goalie These numbers will be strictly enforced by the referees and OSA officials.

Advantages of Playing Small- Sided Games- Benefits to the Child:

• More time with the coach

• More practical space to be successful

• Increased number of touches with the ball

• More actual playing time

• Energetic workouts due to playing both offense and defense

• Required to make more quality decisions

• Experience repeating game situations more frequently

• The work rate and involvement of a player stays consistent

• While learning both offense and defense, a player will become more complete and will understand more readily the roles and importance of teammates.

• The small ball is lighter and more easily kicked, trapped, dribbled and passed.

Player’s Rights:  

1. The right to decide when to participate in soccer.  

2. The right to play in every game. At younger ages, every child should have the opportunity to play at least 50% of every game. No child should have to stand and watch practice.

3. The right to be taught the fundamentals of soccer.

4. The right to participate in a safe and healthy environment.

5. The right to not hear disagreements with the coach or officials from adults. They do not belong on the soccer field. Questions, input, and positive suggestions should be voiced to the coach and/or club in an adult atmosphere. (The youth player should not be present.)

6. The right to play as a child and enjoy participation in the sport.

Referee’s Responsibilities:

Before the game starts, ask the opposing coaches:

1. Duration of the game?

2. Quarters or halves?

3. When will they make substitutions? Remind them it should take place when the ball is out of play.

Before the game starts, talk to both teams:

1. Let them know who you are and what you will be doing during the game.

2. Do a coin toss-the team winning the toss chooses the goal they will defend; the other team kicks off.

3. Remind them that soccer is FUN and safety is your primary concern.

Start of Play:

1. Both teams should be in their own half of the field.

2. Ball is in the center on the halfway line.

3. Opponents of the team kicking off must be 4 yards from the ball for U-6 and U-8 until it is touched by the kicking team.

4. Tell the teams to wait until you whistle or signal.

During the Game:

1. After the ball is in play, you follow play close enough to see what is going on but not so close as to interfere with the players.

2. If the ball goes completely over one of the longer boundary lines, you whistle to stop play and indicate that the restart will be a kick in for U-6 or a throw in for U-8 and older.

3. If the ball goes over the shorter boundary line (goal line), and no goal is scored, the restart will be either a goal kick or a corner kick- remember Law # 16 or #17.

4. During play if you see a player carelessly commits one of the fouls in Law #12 you whistle to stop play, explain to the offender what was done wrong and let the opponent restart play with an indirect free kick from the spot of the foul.

5. At this level of play, clumsiness, inexperience, lack of skill, and eagerness are the most common fouls.

6. Use your watch to keep track of time and stop play when time runs out.

Adult Participation:

1. Provide transportation to and from practice and games ensuring that the player is prompt not only in arriving but also in departure.

2. Stay and watch practices as well as games and lend the young players your support in a positive manner. Do not point out their mistakes, leave that up to the coach, but dwell on their accomplishments as well as their efforts.

3. If unable to attend the practice or game, encourage child not to talk with or leave practices or games with strangers.

4. Ensure child brings equipment to and from all soccer games and practices when appropriate.

5. Be available to kick the ball around with your child when you are invited to do so.

6. Avoid material rewards. Build an attitude of “the rewards lie in the fun of being able to play.”

7. Be a good listener. Make players feel important and let them know that they are contributing to a team effort.

8. Be positive. Never criticize. Suggest an alternate way if they are not performing correctly. “Hey, that is pretty good, but why don’t you try it this way.”

9. The overall purpose is to enjoy the game and the opportunity to be with your child at the field of play.

10. ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO BE A CHILD.