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Pompton Lakes - Riverdale Soccer Association: Rules – Fall, 2017

The following rules were adopted at the May 10, 2010 meeting of the association. The only two changes from the 2009 Rules are in paragraph 2 and item D. Coach’s Ethics

1. Coaches should always remember that the primary mission of this association is not to win but to provide a positive environment for kids to learn and enjoy soccer. The Association is committed to this mission and all coaches are expected to conduct themselves not only according to the letter of the rules, but also within the spirit of the rules, thereby promoting the goals and objectives of the Association. Coaches are expected to know the rules of the game and of this association. Ignorance of these rules is not a defensible argument for their violation.

2. This is a participation association. Every player in the In-town program must play one-half of each and every game barring injury or disciplinary action. In-town players should not be excluded from games for simply missing practices. Every player in the traveling program must play one-third of each game that he/she attends barring injury or disciplinary action. If at all possible try to play your players equal time, particularly when ahead.

3. Coaches who do not conduct themselves according to the letter and spirit of the rules, constitution, and by-laws of this association are subject to disciplinary action by the Ethics Committee. Coaches will set the standard for treating referees with respect. Coaches are also responsible for the behavior of their players and fans. Coaches that receive a red card will automatically be suspended for the next game, and may be suspended for more games at the discretion of the Ethics Committee. Coaches receiving Yellow Cards will also be reviewed by the Ethics Committee (also see L. and M. below).

4. Coaches are prohibited from using profanity, including swearing under their breaths.

5. There will be no consumption of alcohol or use of tobacco products at or near the soccer fields 

A. All United States Soccer Federation rules shall apply unless superseded below 

B. Time: The duration of each match shall be as follows:Minor Division Four 12-minute quartersMiddle Division Two 30-minute halvesMajor Division Two 35-minute halvesCompetitive matches of this Association shall be started according to the league schedule. Any team which is unprepared to play ten minutes after the scheduled time (see C. below), shall forfeit the match to the opposing team. Half time for all matches shall be no longer than 5 minutes. The quarter breaks shall be no longer than 2 minutes.

C. # Players: The number of players (including the goalkeeper) on the field in each division will be as follows:
                   Division #         Minimum to start game     Minimum to continue play
Minor          8 players           6 players                           5 players
Middle        11 players         8 players                           7 players
Major         11 players          8 players                           7 players

No match shall be started unless each team has the minimum # of players listed above. Teams in each of the regular divisions (Minor, Middle and Major) may be allowed to play with an advantage of players as long as the team with the least number of players has: 1) the minimum # of players to continue play, and 2) is not losing by 3 or more goals. After the team with more players has a three-goal advantage, the game must be played even sided. A coach with an advantage of the number of players may play even sided if she or he chooses if the goal differential is less than 3 goals in her/his favor. In the case of an ejection of a player or players (see Rule M) this rule shall remain in effect.Additional players may enter the match on their arrival at the field, subject to the substitution rules in D. below, until each team is at full strength. If a player is injured during the match and the team falls below the minimum # to continue play, the game shall continue.

D. Substitutions: The number of players involved in substitutions shall be unlimited.

  1. Substitutions can occur at any stoppage of play and with the consent of the referee except where specified otherwise in the rules and regulations defined. 1)Unrestricted substitutions are provided by either team after a goal, end of the half, goal kick, before a drop ball, and injuries.

2)Unrestricted substitutions are provided for the attacking team when in possession of the ball from a restart (i.e. throw-in, corner kick, fouls, misconduct, and offside). 3)The defending team can substitute at any opportunity where the attacking team is making a substitution (i.e. throw-in, corner kick, fouls, misconduct, and offside).

Coaches are reminded that players should be “up and ready” when requesting substitutions. 5) during a referee’s time-out to assess a yellow card (caution) or red card, including mandatory removal from the field for player(s) receiving a yellow card. A yellow-carded player may reenter the game according to the substitution rules above.

E. Playing time: Every player in this Association shall play a minimum of one half of each and every match for in-town teams. In the Instructional and Minor Divisions a player must not play more than one half of the game as the goalie and must play at least one quarter in some position other than goalie. Any coach who intends to withhold a player from any match due to injury or for disciplinary reasons must, prior to the opening kickoff, or at the time that the injury or problem occurs, inform the opposing coach and the referee, otherwise all players in attendance at a given match shall play the minimum time as indicated above. Any violation of this rule shall result in a forfeiture of the game(s) to the opposing team. In the case of a question about playing time, independent auditors appointed by the Executive Board shall determine a player’s times. Additionally the coach(es) involved may be suspended for the remainder of the season and not allowed to coach the next year after review by the Executive Board.

F. Injury: The referee shall suspend play in the event of an injury to any player. At the resumption of play, the ball shall be awarded to the team in possession of the ball at the time play was halted by an indirect free kick at the position of the ball when the game was stopped. If possession is uncertain, a dropped ball shall occur at this position. If the match is stopped for an injury then the injured player (including the goalie) or players must leave the field until the next opportunity to substitute as per D. above. In the case of any injury where blood has been shed, the player or players must be removed from the game and may not reenter the game until the bleeding has been stopped and suitable medical treatment (bandages, etc.) have been applied to prevent further bloodshed. All affected players must remove all bloodstained clothing.

G. 1. Player on ground: A player may play the ball while on the ground if, in the referee’s judgment, the play is not dangerous.2. Slide tackling: Slide tackling is prohibited. Penalty: direct kick awarded to the opposing team if contact with the player is made, if no contact is made it is a dangerous play and an indirect kick is awarded. For the first offense a warning to the player; second offense - yellow card; third offense - red card.

H. Goalie:1. The goalie, after control of the ball is gained, shall within six seconds, dribble, throw or kick the ball and may not handle the ball again until the ball has either: 1) touched an opposing player (either inside or outside of the penalty area), or 2) touched a player on the same team outside of the penalty area.Penalty: Indirect free kick from the point of the infraction.2. The goalie must wear distinctive clothing, that is a jersey which is of different color from his/her teammates, the opposing team, and the referee.3. Charging the goalie: Players may not charge the goalie when the goalie is in possession of the ball, nor may a player interfere in any manner with the goalie in the act of kicking or throwing the ball.Penalty: Direct free kick and a caution to the team. A second offense of this rule by the same team, not necessarily the same player, shall result in the ejection of the second player involved.4. Goalie substitution: Any substitution of the goalkeeper must be recognized by the referee prior to such substitution. The goalie for whom a substitution has been made, may not return as a goalie until the next opportunity to substitute as in D. above. At the start of each half or quarter, and after each goal scored, the referee shall acknowledge both goalies. This shall constitute the recognition of substitution in all cases.5. The goalie may be replaced with another player on the field prior to a penalty kick on notification of and recognition by the referee.6. The goalie may not play a throw-in from a teammate by using his/her hands. (Penalty: indirect free kick from the point where the goalie touches the ball)7. The goalie is allowed to move his/her feet along the goal line, but not forward, during a penalty kick.8. In the Minor and Instructional Divisions, each player shall play a maximum of one-half of the game as goalie.

I. Tie matches: In regular league play, if the score is tied at the end of regulation playing time, the match shall end in a tie. League championship, Cup Play-off, and Cup Championship matches ending in a tie at the end of regulation playing time shall be resolved as follows:1. One sudden death 8-minute period shall be played. If the match is still tied, another sudden death 8-minute period shall be played.2. If the match is still tied at the end of the two overtime periods, each coach shall present a list of 11* players (8* in the Minor Division) to the referee. Alternate penalty shots shall be taken by players for each team in order according to the list presented. Which team shoots first or last will be determined by a coin toss with the team winning the coin toss having their choice whether to shoot first or last. The first team to obtain an insurmountable lead after the fifth player shoots shall be declared the winner. If the score is still tied at this point, then a sudden death situation shall occur (with both teams having an equal number of shots), starting with the sixth player on the list and proceeding to the seventh, eighth, etc. on the list if needed. The goalie may be changed prior to each attempt.* If fewer than 11 players (8 players in the Minor Div.) are available for either or both teams, then the shoot-out will consist of the number of players available for the team with the least # of players available. If still tied after all of these players have taken shots, the shoot-out will continue with the first player on each list, and continue in order until the tie is broken. The players selected for the shoot-out do not have to be playing at the end of the overtime period.

J. Referee Duties: The appointed referees shall report for duty on the field of play not later than 10 minutes before the scheduled match time. If the referee(s) do not appear by match time, the Chief of Referees or Division Supervisor, or by mutual agreement of the opposing coaches, shall appoint qualified referees for the match. There shall be two referees on the field. All referees shall wear distinctive clothing in colors different than worn by the players of either team.

K. Protests: A referee’s decision shall be final except in case where a protest is lodged. Only the application of a rule may be protested; judgment decisions may not be protested. At the point of disagreement in a particular match, the coach must immediately notify the referee that the match is being played under protest. The referee shall record the score and playing time remaining in the match at the point when the protest is lodged.One copy of the protest is to be submitted within 24 hours of the conclusion of the match to the Association President or any other - member of the Executive Board, accompanied by a $5.00 fee. A three member committee shall be appointed by the President and must render a decision within one week of the time when the protest was filed. No coach from the same division of the protested game shall serve on the protest committee. All games where the upholding of the protest requires further play shall be continued from the point of protest. The initial score of the continued game shall be the score of the original game at the point that the protest was lodged contingent upon the actions of the protest committee. The decision of the protest committee shall be final. Only if the protest is upheld, shall the $5.00 filing fee be returned.

L. Conduct: Coaches are responsible and accountable for the conduct of their players, fans, and coaching staff. No coach shall be allowed on the field unless invited by the referee. Swearing or the use of improper language in an unsportsmanlike manner on the part of any player or coach shall lead to ejection for the game (also see M. below). In the case of continued harassment and unsportsmanlike conduct by one or more spectators, the referee shall issue a caution (yellow card) to the team represented by the spectator(s). A second offense by that spectator or any other spectator associated with a player of the same team shall mean termination of the game and the game shall be forfeited to the other team. Also see 3. above under Coach’s Ethics and M. below. Decisions of the Ethics Committee may be appealed to the Executive Board of the association.

M. Ejections (Red cards) and Cautions (Yellow cards): No substitute for an ejected player shall be allowed for the remainder of the match. Fighting on the part of any player or the issuance of a second yellow card to the same player shall result in a red card and the automatic ejection of that player from the game. Players, coaches or assistant coaches who receive a red card for a game shall be automatically suspended for the next game as well and shall be reinstated only after review by the Ethics Committee. Coaches receiving a yellow card shall also be reviewed by the Ethics Committee (also see 3. above under Coaches Ethics and L. above).

N. Cancellation of Matches: Before the match begins, the responsibility of canceling a game because of darkness or inclement weather is, in order of authority (and depending on availability), that of 1) Chief of Referees, 2) the President, 3) the Vice President, or 4) the Division Supervisor. The referee has jurisdiction over halting an individual game once the game has begun. If during the regular season one half or more of a match has been played and the match has been halted for the above reasons it shall stand as an official match. If the game is halted prior to the conclusion of the first half (or at any point in a play-off match), the match shall be played from the point and score at which the game is suspended. All play-off matches shall be played in their entirety.

O. Corner kicks: Corner kicks in the Minor (and Instructional) Divisions shall be taken from the point where the goal line and penalty box meet.

P. Forfeiture: The score of a game forfeited by one team shall be considered to be 1-0. In the case of a game where both teams forfeit, both teams shall receive no points.

Q. Scoring, Team Standings / the Slaughter Rule, Reporting Scores1. Intentional ‘own’ goals will be disallowed and will result in a yellow card for the player who scored the goal. 2. Division standings shall be determined by the following point system: 3 points for a win by a goal differential of 5 or fewer goals, 2 points for a win by a goal differential of 6 or more goals (goals scored by a player into the player’s own goal will not count toward this 5 goal differential); 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss. Division standings shall be determined by the following (in order of application): 1) most points, 2) most wins, 3) most points in head-to-head competition. If there is still a tie for first place and with time permitting a game (or games, in case of 3 or more teams), shall be played between the tied teams to determine the regular season champion. Time not permitting, the teams may be declared co-champions by vote of the Executive Board. If there is a tie in the standings for teams other than first place, position for the play-offs shall be decided by a coin toss.3. Reporting Scores: All scores must be reported by the winning coach (or his/her designated representative) via e-mail to the appropriate supervisor within 5 days of the completion of the game. In the case of a tie the coach whose team # is the smallest shall be responsible for reporting the score. Penalty: No points will be awarded to the winning team or, in the case of a tie, to the team responsible for reporting the score.

R. Play-offs: All teams in each division shall participate in the playoffs (with the exception of the Instructional Division where no playoffs will be held; see IE. under Instructional Div. below). Also see I. above for tie matches.

S. Practices: Practices shall be limited to two practices per week.

T. Schedule changes: No schedule changes will be made (other than for inclement weather) except by written request or by e-mail of a coach to the division supervisor at least six days in advance of the game that the coach wishes to reschedule. The written request or e-mail must carefully explain the reason for the change request and indicate the number of players involved. No request will be honored if the team still has the minimum number of players needed to play at full strength. Any game played at a date and/or time not approved by the division supervisor will result in a double forfeit. The responsibility of obtaining referees will lie with the coach requesting the change.

U. Equipment and Safety: All players shall wear jerseys, shorts, socks, shin guards (which must be worn under the socks), and all purpose athletic shoes (with plastic or rubber cleats) or sneakers. Recommended equipment include: all purpose athletic shoes, elbow and kneepads, mouth guards, and cups for boys. Players shall not wear long pants, hats, hoods, or gloves unless permitted by the referee in case of cold or inclement weather. No jewelry of any type may be worn including jewelry that is taped. No players shall be allowed to play with any food (including gum, candy, etc.) in their mouth.

V. Rule Changes:1. All rule changes shall be introduced at the March meeting and voted on at the April general meeting of the Association. No changes (other than the exception in

V.2 listed below) in the rules will be made after the rules are adopted at a regular meeting of the association unless there is a clear and present safety issue involved. The rules may only then be altered by a 3/4 vote of the Executive Board.2. The only exception to

V.1 listed above is that the sizes of the teams (# players per team) in a division may be modified by a subsequent vote of the Executive Board if the number of registrants in the division warrants a change in the team size. Instructional Division RuleAs for all our divisions, the emphasis in the Instructional Division shall be on the development of skills, teamwork, and good sportsmanship. However, for this division particularly, emphasis should be on providing equal playing time for all players, and not on winning!

Instructional and Minor divisions :

IA. Each match shall consist of four quarters. Each quarter shall be 10 minutes long. All games shall be played within ‘real’ time according to the following schedule (as for example):1st Quarter: 9:00-9:10 2nd Quarter: 9:12-9:22 3rd Quarter: 9:27-9:37 4th Quarter: 9:39-9:49Games, which start late, shall be adjusted so that the finishing time is as in the above schedule.

IB. Each team shall consist of 8 players including the goalkeeper; a # 3 ball shall be used.

IC. In the instructional division Scores of each match shall be kept; but there shall be no league standings, play-offs, or other awards for winning. Since there are no standings no scores need be reported to the division supervisor.

ID. Teams shall meet and play at the scheduled times on Saturday morning (or at another time as designated by the Division Supervisor in case of inclement weather). An exhibition match (or matches) at the end of the season for players graduating to the Minor Division may be played at the discretion of the Executive Board.

IE. In the instructional division Only one coach from each team shall be allowed on the field during the match to help with instruction as long as there is another coach or team parent on the sidelines with the other players. The coaches on the field are prohibited from touching the ball or interfering with play in any other way.

IF. Since all players should have equal playing time, each player, if possible, should play a minimum of three quarters. A player shall play a maximum of one-half of each game as a goalkeeper.

IG.  Goalie Punting:

  1. The goalie may not punt or drop kick the ball at any time.
  2. Goalie from the defending penalty area cannot distribute the ball directly (not touched by another player)into the opponents’ penalty area.

Restart: Indirect free kick (IDK) at the halfway line (midfield)


  1. Build out Line:


The build out line will also be used to denote where offside offenses can be called.

Players cannot be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the buildout line.

Players can be penalized for an offside offense between the build out line and opposing goal line.


 Application of the build out line:

When the goalkeeper has the ball in his or her hands during play from the opponent, the opposing team must move behind the build out line until the ball is put into play.

Once the opposing team is behind the build out line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw or roll the ball into play (punts and drop kicks are not allowed).

After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper, the opposing team can cross the build out line and play resumes as normal.

the opposing team must also move behind the build out line during a goal kick until the ball is put into play


Build out Line Practical Applications:

Ideally, the goalkeeper will wait to put the ball into play once all opponents are past the build out line, However, the goalkeeper can put the ball into play sooner but he or she does so accepting the positioning of the opponents and the consequences of how play resumes.

To support the intent of the development rule, coaches and referees should be mindful of any intentional delays being caused by opponents not retreating in a timely manner or encroaching over the build out line prior to the ball being put into play.

IH. Corner kicks shall be taken from the point where the goal line and penalty box meet.

II. The number of practices for a team shall be limited to 10 for the entire season

.IJ. Player on ground: A player on the ground, other than the goalie, may not play the ball. Penalty: Indirect free kick from the point of the infraction.

IK. Matches postponed due to inclement weather shall be rescheduled for the next day, Sunday, if possible, at the discretion of the Instructional Division Supervisor.

IL. All other rules of the PLRSA, not superseded above, shall apply to the Instructional Division.

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