Recreational Program:  Rules

Basic Rules

The Laws of the Game, as prescribed by FIFA, will be used for the Intermediate, Major and High School Divisions, with the exceptions and amendments specified below. The United States Youth Soccer
8 V 8 Official Laws for the under 10 age group with the exceptions and amendments set forth below will be used in the Minor Divisions - which will play 9 v 9. Other amendments to FIFA's Laws of the Game or U.S.Y.S.A. 8 V 8 Official Laws may be made for the PELE CUP, and these will be made available before that competition.

2 Conduct at Games

Coaches will be responsible for the conduct of their players and parents. Verbal abuse of referees and players is unacceptable in our program. All comments from the sidelines should be of a positive and encouraging nature. The overriding theme should be “Let the players play, and the referees call the game”.

3 Referee Decisions are Final

Referees have complete control of the game. ALL REFEREE DECISIONS ARE FINAL. There will be no protests in regard to the referee's interpretation of the Laws of the Game or judgment calls.

4 Length of Game
 Minor Divisions
10 v 10 (min. 7 v 7)
 2 x 20 minute halves
 Size #4 ball
 Intermediate Divisions
 9 v 9    (min. 6 v 6)   2 x 25 minute halves
 Size #4 ball
 Major Divisions
 11 v 11 (min. 7 v 7)
 2 x 25 minute halves
 Size #5 ball
 High School Divisions
 11 v 11 (min. 7 v 7)
 2 x 25 minute halves
 Size #5 ball

Note: Commissioners may change number of players on the field at their discretion. Allowance MAY be made for time lost through accident or other cause at the discretion of the referee. Referees are advised to keep the game day schedule in mind and in case of game time overruns, can shorten games- no game will be longer than one hour total to keep the schedule.

5 Substitutions

It is the coach's responsibility to ensure that every player plays at least half a game. No player on a team may play more than one quarter more than any other player on that team. In other words, each player must play three quarters before any player may play all four quarters. Substitutions may be made at the quarter, half and three-quarter points of the game. In the case of the quarters, the referee will halt play at a normal stoppage point (e.g. ball out of play), nearest to the mid-point of the half. Note that this may result in one quarter being marginally longer than the other. There are no exceptions to this rule, except for lateness as follows, and failure to comply may result in the game being forfeited .  

 Time of Arrival
 Minimum Playing Time
 1st Quarter
 2 Quarters
 2nd Quarter
 1 Quarter
 3rd Quarter
 Coach's Discretion

Note:  In the event of an injury requiring a player to be removed from the field, a substitute may be introduced. However, the injured player may be brought back into the game at the next stoppage by notifying the referee. In the interest of player safety, it is recommended that all injured players be taken out of the game temporarily to ensure they are fit to continue.

6Rule Amendments & Grace Periods – Minor Divisions Only

Throw-ins:  Leniency on throw-ins will be allowed for the first two regular season games in the Minor Divisions only. On an illegal throw-in, the team committing the infringement will be asked to re-take the throw. If the second throw in is also illegal, the ball will be handed to the opposition.

Goalkeepers' 6-second rule: Goalies may take an unlimited number of steps within the box, as long as they release the ball within six seconds after gaining possession. As with throw-ins, leniency will be granted in the first two regular season games in the Minor Divisions only.

7Restarting Play by Drop Ball

Certain situations (usually an injury) require play to be restarted by dropping the ball between two players. The FIFA rule states that the ball is to be dropped at the ball's location when the game was stopped. To avoid the possibility of cheap goals, if the ball is inside the penalty area at the time of stoppage, the ball will be dropped at the nearest point outside the penalty box.

8 No Show of Referee at Game

If the assigned referee is not present at game time, the participating teams must, between them, provide a referee. There may be either one referee for the whole game, or each team may provide a referee for half the game. In any event, the game MUST be played.

9 Suspensions

Rule infractions will be strictly enforced by referees – e.g. dangerous play, unsportsmanlike behavior, violence, abusive language, dissent, etc. Red and yellow card offenses are set forth in FIFA rule (see below). In addition, a red card will be issued to any player vandalizing the goals, nets or corner flags (swinging on the crossbar, climbing on the netting, etc.). A substitute player cannot be brought on to replace an ejected player; the team must play short-handed. The Referee Coordinator will make the final decision about suspensions after the game day and may increase a penalty depending on how egregious the offense was.

 Red Card
 Ejection from game and suspension from next game
 Two yellow card in one game
 Ejection from game and suspension from next game
 Three yellow card during season
 (excluding two in one game)
 suspension from next game

10 Standings and Tiebreaker Criteria

Three points will be awarded for a win and 1 for a tie. In the event of a tie for a place in the standings at the end of the season, the following criteria will be used in sequence until a winner is determined:
  1. Head to head (only applies if a number of teams are tied). If head to head games are played, and each team wins one, the total goal difference will decide winner.
  2. Most wins.
  3. Goal difference (goals scored less goals allowed - maximum differential is three per game).
  4. Most goals (maximum three per game to count).
  5. Fewest goals allowed.
11Running Up the Score (Minors, Intermediates, Majors)

Notwithstanding the tie-breaker procedure described above, the League strongly discourages needlessly running up the score. It is humiliating and disheartening to the team on the receiving end, especially to young players and to goalies. There is no reason for the goal differential in any game to exceed five goals. 
Coaches can avoid violation of this rule by discreetly and creatively instructing their team to use strategies such as playing two or three touch soccer or taking first-time shots from crosses only, before the goal differential is reached. It is not acceptable for coaches or teams to shout, “No more shooting” from the sideline. Once a five goal differential has been reached, the referee will inform the coaches. If the leading team scores again, it will be at the commissioner’s discretion to decide whether the team will be awarded only one point instead of the three points it would normally receive for a win.
12 Rainout Procedure

Do not assume that a game will be cancelled. Instruct players to proceed to field, unless you have been informed by a League Official that the game is off. Where field availability permits, postponed Saturday games will be played at same time, same field on the next day ( i.e. Sunday).
 If a referee terminates a game due to inclement weather, the game is replayed if the termination took place in the first half. If the game terminated in the second half, the game is considered finished and the score stands.

13 Teams Showing up Short of Players

FIFA rules state that no fewer than 7 players can be on the field at a time.  Therefore, for divisions playing 10 v. 10 and 11 v. 11, there must be 7 players to play a game without forfeiting.  For divisions playing 9 v. 9, there must be 6 players.  A team may have the minimum number of players and still choose to forfeit the game.  Once the game has been forfeited, the teams are free to mix up and scrimmage, but the forfeit score will stand.

14 Forfeits & Suspended Games
  • In the event that a team forfeits a game (either as a result of a substitution rule violation, or because they are unable to field the minimum number of players required to play the game – as described in Rule 13 above), the opposing team will be awarded a win with a 2-0 score.
  • In the event that a game is stopped while in progress due to adverse weather or field conditions, the game will be replayed in its entirety at a later date with the score reset to 0-0, regardless of the score at the time of the stoppage.
15.   Attire
  • Jerseys, shorts and socks are supplied for each team member. Players must wear shin-guards UNDER their socks. Baseball cleats, jams, boxer shorts, and cut-offs are not permitted.
  • In the interests of player safety, NO jewelry may be worn. Tape over jewelry, such as earrings, does not enable the player to wear the jewelry; excuses that the ears were recently pierced are not a valid reason to allow the player to wear jewelry.
  • Hard casts are NOT allowed under any circumstances.

16.   Heading and Safety

Larchmont Soccer Club follows the restrictions introduced by U.S. SOCCER in 2016:  Heading of the ball is NOT allowed for players 12 years and younger. Therefore there is no heading allowed in Minors, Intermediates or Majors.

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