Outdoor Rules

GENERAL RULES FOR OUTDOOR SOCCER
WEST MILFORD YOUTH SOCCER ORGANIZATION – Updated Fall 2023

WMYSO follows IFAB Laws of the Game as well as having it’s own Modifications for the Recreational program.

For full IFAB LOTG, visit:  www.theifab.com

Table of Contents (click topics to advance):

Player Equipment

Game Length

BAD WEATHER/FIELD CLOSURES/GAME RESCHEDULE/HEAT ADVISORY/LIGHTNING PROTOCOL

Referee(s)

Build out lines for Stopper Division

Goalie Position and Playing Time

Hand Balls

Fouls

Direct and Indirect Free Kicks

Throw Ins

Goal Kicks / Corner Kicks

Yellow and Red Cards

Penalty Kicks

Offside

Substitutions

Number of Field Players

Playdown Rule

Forfeits

Scoring

Playoffs

Coaches, Parent/Spectators

Sportsmanship Clause

Mission Statement


PLAYER EQUIPMENT

  • All team players must wear team Jersey as supplied by the WMYSO. Jersey must be worn OVER any other garment.   If a sweatshirt is being worn, it must be worn under the team Jersey.  If there is any hood, the hood must be tucked in under the team Jersey.
  • Shin guards are REQUIRED to play in both practices and games. Socks must be worn OVER the shin guards.   NO SHIN GUARDS = NO PLAY.
  • Soccer cleats, soccer shoes, sneakers can be worn. Cleats should be molded soccer type cleat.  Toe cleats are not acceptable.  Examples of these are…track, baseball, football cleats.
  • No jewelry of any sort is allowed unless it is of medical or religious requirement. Even if for example a parent says a child has starter earrings in, they must be removed for that game.  For the short time of playing, the holes won’t close up.  No taping of earrings allowed.  This is a safety rule used around the Nation as well as around the world.
  • Casts are allowed as long as they are adequately padded and covered.
  • Braces (knee type for example) are allowed as long as they have not been altered from their original state (packaging).
  • No caps allowed unless it is religious in nature and the player is not allowed to remove it. The cap just can’t be a danger to themselves or any other player.
  • It is recommended that players can wear mouth guards, especially those with braces.
  • Eye protection – this is at the discretion of the parent of any child that wears eyeglasses while playing soccer. It is recommended that if a player does wear eye glasses during play that they secure them with some type of sport band so they don’t fall off.
  • In cold weather, sweatpants are allowed to be worn but should not have any zippers on them that can possibly injure another player. 

GAME LENGTH

Games will be played as showing below.  5 minute breaks between quarters (if quarters are being played), and a 5 minute half-time break for all divisions.  Teams should always switch sides at the end of the half-time (for Mini & Super Strikers it would be at the end of the 2nd quarter).

  • Mini-Strikers Division          4×10 minute Quarters         Size 3 ball used
  • Super-Strikers Division       4×10 minute Quarters         Size 3 ball used
  • Stopper Division                  4×12 minute Quarters         Size 4 ball used
  • Keeper Division                    2×35 minute halves            Size 5 ball used

START OF THE GAME AND RESTART OF THE GAME AFTER THE HALF or AFTER GOAL IS SCORED

  • The ball must be kicked in any direction and clearly moves
  • The player that touches the ball on the kickoff can’t touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player.
  • A goal can be scored directly from the kickoff

Special Rule – in the Mini & Super Strikers divisions, a goal cannot be scored directly off a kickoff start.

END OF GAMES

Both teams are to line up and to shake hands / high five each other with commenting “good game” to all.  Coaches are to do the same.  It is also recommended that the players tell the referee(s) “good game” as well.  This is a showing of good sportsmanship to all.

BAD WEATHER/FIELD CLOSURES/GAME RESCHEDULE/HEAT ADVISORY/LIGHTNING PROTOCOL

  • Weekdays: Parks and Recreation will send notification of field closures between 3-4pm. No one contacts P&R as all communication will come from your Division Head.  DO NOT cancel games on your own without consultation of your DH (there’s referee considerations that need to be thought of.)
  • Weekends: Since Recreation Center is closed on weekends, it will be up to the Division Heads and at least 1 of the Coaches from the first games on Saturday to make the decision on this (each field drains differently, so one may be closed while the other field locations are open).  They will meet an hour before the first scheduled games and make the decision to cancel the 9am and 10:15 games and communicate accordingly to their coaches.  Then at 10:30AM one of the coaches from the 11:30 game would make the call for the 11:30 and 12:45PM games and communicate accordingly to their coaches.  This way if it cleared up and the later games were playable we only had to reschedule half the games.
  • How to reschedule a rainout: Coaches should coordinate with each other and look about a week out from their current point in time, try to agree on a new date and time and communicate to their Division Head.  (IE, today’s game should not be made up tomorrow, we can’t promise refs that fast!)  Division Heads will notify the Recreation dept & Eli, this way we can communicate to everyone effectively and get ref(s) assigned.
  • Heat Advisory Protocol: With heat and humidity way above average; we had a few kids leave games in past with symptoms that could lead to heat exhaustion.  Please keep a few strategies in mind to ensure the kids safety.
    • Coaches can agree (and advise referee) to a water break half way through the period, mainly for the Sweeper and Keeper divisions (since they play 2 halves).  The other divisions play quarters so there is time to sub more frequently and therefore not the need to stop during any quarters to take a water break. When taking a break, take a few minutes to get all the kids to catch their breath and rehydrate.  It doesn’t matter if the games run 10 minutes late for the kids safety.  But the clock doesn’t stop when taking water breaks.
    • Instruct your parents to pre-hydrate the kids at home an hour before the game.
    • Substitute more often with shorter shifts.
    • Instruct your kids to take a knee if they feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous.  With the larger fields it’s hard to tell if your kids are struggling all the way across the field..
    • Have sandwich bags of ice in a small cooler on your sideline and apply to neck when child is showing signs of over-heating.
    • Do not put kids back in game once they have shown signs of overheating.
    • Inform parent of overheating symptoms during game so they may address with cool water and rest at home.
    • Obviously just use your best parenting common sense when it comes to the safety of all the kids in the league.
    • Thunder and Lightning is automatic clear field and wait 20 minutes.  If there is no thunder or lightning for 20 minutes, game can resume.  Each time there is a thunder or lightening a new 20 minute window must be observed.  After two windows then the game will be called

REFEREE(s) 

A coach WILL NOT stop play to discuss a call made by the referee(s).  The referee’s decision will be final.  Games cannot be protested and are not to be challenged by anyone.  If a coach has a questions or issue that needs to be brought to the referee’s attention, this can be done in between quarters or at halftime.  This would be done with both coaches present with the referee(s) and constructive feedback can be provided in a non-intimidating manner.   Coaches should wait for the referee(s) to come off the field first, and then at the midline on the side of the field, the coaches can speak to the referees.   Coaches should not approach the referee(s) on the field and should wait for the referee(s) to come off the field before beginning the conversation.

If an issue arises with a referee(s) that needs to be further looked into, the coach or coaches should contact the appropriate WMYSO division head or executive board members via email after any game and the issue will be looked into and handled accordingly.

The referees (or referees-in-training) are KIDS and everyone needs to remember that.  These kids are being given the opportunity to learn how to referee games and to see the game from a different perspective (other than as a player or fan of the game).  They are learning to do this particular job and will always make mistakes.  So it’s expected of the coaches to act properly with the referees.  Same goes with parents.  If any coach sees a parent (or parents) making ANY comments to the referee(s) that are negative, degrading, or abusive, the coach must stop it immediately.   Players should be reminded to RESPECT the referees and to just play the game.

BUILD OUT LINE FOR STOPPER DIVISION

The build out line promotes playing the ball out of the back in a less pressured setting.  When the goalkeeper has the ball, either during play (from the opponent) or from a goal kick, the opposing team must move (retreat) behind the build out line until the ball is put “in play”.  Once the opposing team is behind the build out line, the goalkeeper can put the ball back into play by passing it (putting the ball on the ground and then making the pass/kick), throwing, or rolling it (no punting or drop kicking is allowed).   REMINDER….if the goalie chooses to put the ball on the ground to make the pass/kick, the goalie CAN’T pickup the ball again.  If the re-start is a goal kick,  the ball does not have to leave the penalty area for it to be considered “in play”.   The ball is “in play” once it is kicked and clearly moves.  The kicker can’t touch the ball again until it has been touched by a 2nd player.  After the ball is put “in play” by all of the above situations, the opposing team can then cross the build out line and play resumes as normal.   Ideally, the goalkeeper should want to wait to put the ball “in play” once all opponents have moved (retreated) behind the build out line.   However, the goalkeeper can put the ball “in play” sooner but does so accepting the positioning of the opponents and the consequences of how play resumes.   If in the event that the opposing team player(s) does not move (retreat) back to the buildout line and encroaches (interferes with) the restart of the goalkeeper distribution of putting the ball back “in play”, the restart will be an INDIRECT free kick at the middle of the buildout line.   Offside will also be called but with use of the build out line as the “midfield line”.   Players CANNOT be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the build out line.  Players CAN be penalized for offside between the build out line and the opposing team’s goal line.

GOALIE POSITION & PLAYING TIME

For Stopper & Sweeper Divisions, a goalie is only permitted at most to play 1/2 of the game in that position.   Then the player needs to be playing on the field in other positions for the remainder of the game.   As this is youth recreational soccer, it’s best that the kids have the opportunity to play all positions so that they can eventually find which position they will like and will excel at.   For the Stopper Division, all players are encouraged to play goalie at least one time during the season.  For the Keeper Division, a goalie is not limited to the “ ½ of game playing in that position rule”.   A player is allowed to play the goalie position for the entire game as long as they are not preventing another player from being able to play that position if the need/request is there.  A player shouldn’t be forced to play goalie the entire game but if the player wants to play goalie for an entire game then that is fine.

REMINDER FOR STOPPER DIVISION NO PUNTING OR DROP KICKING IS ALLOWED.

1. HAND BALLS

Only the goalie is allowed to use their hands during play.

First, the rule for a hand ball includes the using of any part of the body from the fingertips to the shoulder (the hand and arm).

Second, the proper way to look at this soccer rule is that a player cannot “handle” the ball.  A ball that is kicked and hits a player’s hand or arm, while the hand or arm is in a “natural position”, is not a “handled” ball unless the player redirects the ball and provides a distinct “handling” of the ball.  This means that the referee must use his/her own judgement to some extent in determining whether or not a hand ball is accidental contact or a purposeful attempt to handle the ball.  In the end, it’s the referee’s final call.

Third, there is also a situation in which the goalie cannot use their hands.  This is called the “pass back”.  The goalie cannot pick up a pass that comes directly from their teammate as an intentional passing to them.  In this situation the goalie could only use their feet and play the ball like a field player.  The infraction results in an indirect free kick from the point of the infraction (unless the infraction happens inside the goal area, then the ball would be placed on the goal area line closest to where the infraction occurred).   It is NOT a Penalty Kick.  A ball that is glanced off of a foot or not intentionally passed to the goalie by their teammate can be picked up with use of hands.   If a teammate heads the ball to their goalie or chests the ball to their goalie, the goalie is allowed to use their hands to take possession of the ball.

2. FOULS

A player cannot kick, trip, jump at, charge, strike, push, hold, spit, or use foul/abusive language to any opponent, teammate, or referee.

Soccer can be and is a physical, contact sport.   When two opposing players both want the ball and there is bumping or going shoulder-to-shoulder contact while challenging for the ball (this is called Charging), the foul is not occurred until the hands or elbow come up to ward off the opponent.  This is a bit of a judgement call and not all referees will call it the same way.

Advantage:  A discretionary judgement which allows a referee to permit play to continue rather than stopping play to call the foul.  This concept is based on the premise that the foul did NOT put the offended team at a disadvantage, or the foul, if called, may take away a favorable opportunity for the offended team.  The foul may be subsequently called back if the advantage does not materialize.   Again, this will be in the referee’s judgement to call advantage or not.

Slide Tackling:  There is NO SLIDE TACKLING allowed in WMYSO.   Players should do their very best to stay on their feet.   A player can slide to save a ball from going out of bounds if there is no other player around for where there is no danger to any other player.

Spitting:  Any player spitting at another player or referee or coach will be immediately ejected from the game.

Special Rule:  In Mini and Super Strikers all fouls will be re-started with an INDIRECT FREE KICK.

3. DIRECT and INDIRECT FREE KICKS 

On a DIRECT free kick you can score by kicking the ball directly into the goal.  On an INDIRECT free kick you cannot score directly off your kick; the ball must be touched by a 2nd player (other than the kicker) before it can go into the goal.  On the taking of the INDIRECT free kick, the ball must be kicked and moves.  Tapping of the ball (if it does not move) will not be recognized as the first touching of the ball.   So if a player taps a ball and it doesn’t move, and then the 2nd player kicks the ball directly into the goal, the goal does not count and the re-start will be a goal kick.

The referee signal for a DIRECT free kick is the pointing of the arm out, slightly at an angle up, and to the direction of the kick.  The signal for the INDIRECT free kick is the pointing of the arm straight up into the air and staying at the position until the ball has been touched by the 2nd player.

Direct Free Kicks consist of:

Attempting to or kicks an opponent                                  Attempting to or trips an opponent

Jumps at an opponent                                                      Charges an opponent and makes the illegal contact

Attempts to or strikes an opponent                                   Pushes an opponent

Tackles an opponent to gain possession of the ball          Holds an opponent

Spits at an opponent                                                          Deliberately handles the ball

Impedes an opponent with contact

Indirect Free Kicks consist of:

Goalie controlling the ball with hands for more than 6 seconds (for WMYS the referee will be lenient with the time)

Goalie touches the ball again with hands after releasing the ball and before it has touched another player

Goalie touches the ball with hands after is has been deliberately passed back to him/her

Goalie touches the ball with hands after receiving directly from a throw-in taken by a teammate

Player playing in a dangerous manner

Player preventing the goalie from releasing the ball

Player impedes the progress of an opponent

Basically any other foul not listed

On the taking of a free kick, the opponents must be 10 yards away from the ball and not interfere with the kick.

Special Rule:   In the Mini Strikers, Super Strikers, and Stopper Divisions there is no deliberate HEADING of the ball allowed.  If the ball is

deliberately headed then an INDIRECT free kick will be awarded.   If the team on the OFFENSE heads the ball, the free kick will be given to the opposing team from the spot where the infraction occurred.  If the team on the DEFENSE heads the ball, the kick will be given to the opposing team from the spot of the infraction, unless the infraction takes place inside the goal area and in that situation the ball will be placed on the goal area line nearest to the point of the infraction for the free kick to be taken.

In the Keeper Divisions, NO PLAYER FROM ANY TEAM is allowed to directly head the ball when receiving it from a goalie’s punt (from either team).  If a player heads the ball from a goalie’s punt, then the opposing team (the player’s team that didn’t head the ball) will take possession of the ball from that part of the field where the heading took place and the re-start will be an INDIRECT free kick.

4. THROW-INS

A throw-in is taken when the whole ball completely crosses the touch line (side lines) and leaves the field.   The two basic soccer rules for a proper throw-in are to have both feet on the ground and to throw the ball with both hands over the head.  A throw-in is a method of restarting play.

  • A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in
  • There is no offside on a throw-in
  • The player’s feet can be on or behind the touchline on the taking of the throw-in

At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower:

  • Faces the field of play
  • Has part of each foot either on the touchline or on the ground behind the touchline and uses both hands to deliver the ball from behind and over their head. Ball must be released from over the head and not when hands are directly parallel to the ground (arms facing straight outward)
  • Once the thrower releases the ball, they can’t touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player or an indirect free kick will be awarded
  • A ball that is thrown but never makes it back onto the playing field will be re-taken by the same team

Special Rule:   In Mini & Super Strikers Divisions the players get unlimited tries until they get the throw done correctly.  For Stopper Division  the teams are given their first 2 games with one re-try attempt.   Then after, no second throw will be allowed.  For Sweeper &            Keeper Divisions, no second throw-in will be allowed. 

5. GOAL KICKS / CORNER KICKS

A corner kick or goal kick is taken when the ball leaves the field across the goal line.  If the offensive team kicks it out, play is restarted with a goal kick.  If the defensive team kicks it out, the play is restarted with the corner kick.

The goal kick is taken anywhere inside the goal area.  It can be taken by any player.   The kicking team can have as many people as they want standing anywhere inside the penalty area.   The opposing team cannot have anyone standing inside the penalty area for where the goal kick is being taken.  The ball does not have to leave the penalty area on the taking of the kick.   The ball is “in play” when it is kicked and clearly moves.   The kicker cannot touch the ball again until it has been touched by a 2nd player.

The corner kick is taken from the corner nearest to where the ball went out of play.  The opposing team must be 10 yards away from the kicker taking the corner kick.   On the taking of the corner kick, once the ball has been kicked and moves, the kicker cannot touch the ball again until another player has touched the ball.  If the kicker does touch the ball again prior to a 2nd player touching the ball, then an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the infraction.

Special Rule:   In Mini and Super Strikers, when doing a GOAL KICK, the opposing team (the team NOT taking the goal kick) must go back to the midline, wait there, and when the goal kick is taken, the opposing team (the team that did NOT take the goal kick) can then go ahead and start to attack the ball.  This idea gives the team taking the goal kick a chance to possess the ball and work it out from the back and would actually be leading up to when they get to the Stopper division and use of the Build Out Line.

6. YELLOW and RED CARDS

YELLOW CARD – Discretion of Referee

  • attempts to deceive the referee, e.g. by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled (simulation)
  • denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by an offence without attempting to play the ball and the referee awards a penalty kick.
  • serious foul play – checking, pushing to ground, flagrant trip
  • slide tackling
  • biting or spitting at someone (Can go right to Red Card)
  • violent conduct – slap, kick, punch (Can go right to Red Card)
  • using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or action(s)
  • persistent offences (no specific number or pattern of offences constitutes ‘persistent’)
  • receiving a second Yellow card in the same match (Red Card)
  • Once a player receives 3 yellow cards or 2 red cards would receive one game suspension.
  • Coaches can be carded for abusive behavior or language or unsportsmanlike conduct.

Follow Up Process:

Referee marks down player number and name (confirm with coach) on Referee Sheet.  Game sheet forwarded to Director of Training/Referees (Dan Trout) and Division Head.  Dan Trout will Log and Forward onto Parks and Rec.

7. PENALTY KICK

A penalty kick results from a foul being called inside the penalty area that results in a direct free kick.  The ball is placed on the penalty mark.  All players must remain outside of the penalty area (behind the ball) and behind the penalty arc.  The goalkeeper must be standing in the goal and on the goal line.  The goalie can move side-to-side on the goal line prior to the kick, but can’t move forward until after the kick has been taken.  On the taking of the penalty kick, the ball must be kicked and moves forward.   Once the ball is kicked, the kicker can’t touch the ball again unless it hits the goalie or another player.  But the ball is “in play” once it is kicked and moves forward.  If the kicker does touch the ball a 2nd time without it being touched by the goalie or another player, play would be stopped and an indirect free kick will be given to the opposing team.

Special Rule:  For Mini & Super Strikers divisions, there will not be any penalty kicks taken.   All free kicks are INDIRECT FREE KICKS.

8. OFFSIDE

A player in an OFFSIDE POSITION is only penalized if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his/her team, the player 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

It is not an offense in itself to be in an OFFSIDE POSITION.   A player is in an OFFSIDE POSITION if he/she is nearer to his/her opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second to last opponent.

A player is NOT in an OFFSIDE POSITION if:

  • They are on their own half of the field
  • They are level with the second to last opponent
  • They are level with the last two opponents

There is no offside offense on a throw-in, on a goal kick, or on a corner kick.

Special Rule:  There is no offside in the Mini & Super Strikers Divisions.   There is offside in all the other divisions.

9. SUBSTITUTIONS

For Super Striker – Teams can substitute at any stoppage with either team subbing (or both can sub at the same time).

For Stopper and Keeper Divisions:  Any team may request to sub on goal kick, or before restart after a goal.  You may request sub on your possession of a throw in.  Once sub request is granted BOTH teams may sub players.  No subbing on corner kicks. Players should be up at the midline and ready to sub and not just subbing from the bench.   All subbing will be done at the referee’s discretion.

10. NUMBER OF FIELD PLAYERS

Mini-Strikers:   min 3  max 4     Game format being played:  4v4 no goalies (see note below)

Super-Strikers:  min 3  max 5     Game format being played:  5v5 no goalies (see note below)

Stopper Div:     min 6 max 8       Game format being played:  8v8  (7 players + 1 goalie)

Keeper Div:      min 7  max 11     Game format being played:  11v11

  • For Mini & Super Strikers: If both teams have 8 players each on game day, the game will be played 4 v 4.  IF at least ONE team has 9 players show up on game day, the game will be played 5 v 5 and still with no goalies.

Teams MUST field equal numbers of players.  Every player should play at least 2/3 of the game.  If a team has less than the minimum amount of players for any game, and the other team has at least two (2) more players, the team with the add ’l players will give the other team the add ‘l player(s) needed to bring up to the minimum number of field players required to play the game.  The player(s) given can then switch back to their team at the end of each quarter/half and then different player(s) can be given again so to field the equal minimum number of players being played.  This is also required with the team giving the additional ‘l player(s) to also give add ‘l player(s) for use as sub(s) if possible.   The idea here is for both teams in either case to get to the minimum number of field players required to play in that division and to try and have subs too.  If teams can even get to the maximum number of field players required to play in that division, then that is the preferred choice of play.

If a team has the minimum amount of players (and no subs) and the other team has at least two (2) more subs, the team with the subs will give the other team the additional player(s) needed to try and bring the number of field players up to as close to the maximum number of field players fielded in that division.  The player(s) given can then switch back to their team at the end of each quarter/half and then different player(s) can be given again so to field the equal minimum number of players being played.   This is also required with the team giving the add ‘l player(s) to also give add ‘l player(s) for use as sub(s) if possible.   The idea here is for both teams in either case to try and get to the maximum number of field players required to play in that division and to try and have subs too.

An example how this should work is:  Super Strikers game where its 4v4 and min to play is 3 players. Team A has 3 players to start the game.  Team B has 8 players to start the game.  We want to try and reach the maximum field players for this game which is 4v4.   Team B should give Team A 1 player.  Then Team A can field the maximum 4 players, and Team B will have 3 subs instead of 4.   Team B having 3 subs can then give team A another player and then each team would have a sub.   By doing this, it provides the best opportunity for as many kids to play as possible and in the spirit of the game; we would like to see more kids playing than actually sitting.  Again, we want to try and play with the maximum number of field players on each team, so if there are more kids available on one team to make it happen, then let’s make it happen.

Players that are registered in the league but not on a team’s roster are not allowed to play on another team in order to help that team field an even number of players.  NO un-rostered players can play on any other team other than their own. No un-registered players can play at all.

These rules try to provide the best opportunity for as many kids to play as possible (rather than having kids sitting).   We are not looking to forfeit games and want to get all games played when possible.   We know that it may not be fair to the coach whose team has all their players to not allow them to play a full maximum # of players on the field and to have the other team play short, but in the spirit of the game (and at this recreational level) we feel this is the fairest thing to do in order to get games played, as evenly as possible, and to get kids as much playing time as possible.

Special Rule:  If playoffs exist in a season, then these rules won’t apply during the playoffs and in any final/championship games.  During playoffs and any final/championship games, if a team has less than the minimum amount of players to field in order to play the game, then that team will forfeit the game.   This call will be made 10-15 minutes after the game time was to have started.  If a team has only the minimum amount of players required to field and play the game, then they will play with only their players and with that minimum

amount.   The other team can field with and play up to the maximum amount of players allowed.

  • Mini & Super Strikers:  There are NO goalies in these divisions.  Because of this, coaches are instructed to be sure that no player “goal hangs” inside their own penalty area and in front of the goal and “acts” like a goalie.  While play is in a team’s offensive part of the field,  no player from that offending team is allowed to have a teammate stand in their own defensive side of the field inside their own penalty area.   All players are to be trying to get the ball and play soccer.  Once the play gets into the team’s defensive part of the field, players are still supposed to be trying to get the ball or maybe marking a player, but should refrain from putting themselves directly into their penalty area and “goal hang” as trying to protect the goal like a goalie.   We understand that as play gets closer to a player’s goal, that players will then end up inside the penalty area “during play” in trying to defend and that is fine.  But it is the RESPONSIBILITY of EACH COACH to ensure that none of their players use the “goal hanging” strategy to try and take away from what is being taught in these divisions…which is having all kids play soccer and touch the ball as much as possible, and to increase goal scoring opportunities (as per the directive of U.S. Soccer and their small sided initiative).

11. PLAY DOWN RULE

A team that is down by 5 goals will either add a player if subs are available or have the other team remove a player so they play one player down.  The removal of the player will be at the choice of the losing team’s coach.  We suggest that if the losing team has subs, that the first optional choice is for them to add a player as we always want to try and have players in the game as much as possible rather than sitting.  The idea of this play down rule is to try and hope that the game can become more competitive rather than staying one-sided.

Once a goal is scored to where the lead is now a 4 goal lead, the losing team can remove their extra player (if they had chosen to add a player) or the winning team can bring on a player (if they had to remove a player by the losing team’s choice).   If the coaches agree for where the losing team had added a player and they want to continue playing with the added player, then that is also fine.

If the lead is still 5 goals and the winning team scores another goal, then the goal will not count and the re-start will be an INDIRECT free kick from the Midline for the losing team.  We want it to be known that with a 5 goal lead, scoring of more goals does nothing for the game other than to show that the winning team may have the better skilled team/kids and so we need the coach(s) of the winning team to ease up on the scoring and find other options to play the game.   The winning coach can work on certain skills, plays, and ball control with their team that can help with not scoring goals.  This is helpful with the spirit of the game and for good sportsmanship.  If a player was chosen to be removed at the scoring of the 5th goal, that player can only sit out for no more than ¼ of a game (if quarters are being played) or no more than 10 mins if 2 halves are being played.   Once that player returns, it is asked that the player is put in a defensive position in hopes that their ability that changes the game can be eased on so that they don’t continue to be the “goal scorer” if they are the one that has scored all the goals or the main “ball handler” if they are the one that is totally controlling the game.

Again, as this is recreational soccer, we need to always keep good sportsmanship in mind.  Because the majority of kids aren’t natural goal keepers and most kids don’t like playing the goalie position, it is very easy in outdoor soccer to just keep scoring goals on players that aren’t goalies.  Again, this takes away from the spirit of the game and so this is why we ask the coach(s) to find other ways to play the game when they have the 5 goal lead.

Special Rule:  If playoffs exist in a season, then this play down rule will not be in effect during the playoffs or in any final/championship games.

12. FORFEITS

It is sincerely hoped that NO games will be forfeited during the season.  See Rule #10.   During playoffs and any final/championship games, see Rule #10.

13. SCORING

The scoring system is as follows:  WIN = 3pts    TIE = 1pt    LOSS = 0pt

Special Rule:   For Mini & Super Strikers divisions, there will be no keeping of the scores.

14. PLAYOFFS:

For Stopper and Keeper divisions…if playoffs exist in a season, in all playoff games, if a game ends in a tie, the game will go into one overtime period (Stopper 12 mins /Keeper 15 mins) with sudden death (Golden Goal)…meaning…the first team to score in that overtime is the winner.  If no goal is scored at the end of that overtime, then the game will go to Kicks  From The Penalty Mark (penalty kick shootout) to declare the winner.   For the Final Championship games the same overtime rule applies.  See below on how this works:

** For any tie-breakers for seeding purposes for playoffs, the following would be used:

Tie Breaker 1:  Team with more overall wins

Tie Breaker 2:  Head to Head

Tie Breaker 3:  Goal Differential

Tie Breaker 4:  Who had more goals during entire season

Tie Breaker 5:  Who allowed the least amount of goals during entire season

Tie Breaker 6:  Who had more shut outs against opposing teams during entire season

Tie Breaker 7:  Who was shut out less times against opposing teams during entire season 

Kicks From The Penalty Mark (penalty kick shootout) works like this:

The higher seeded team would be considered the “home” team and the lower seeded team would be considered the “away” team.   So for the coin toss on choosing who would kick first, the ref would have the “away” team choose the heads/tails of the coin toss.   The winner of the coin toss would choose if they want to kick first or second.  Rules for taking the penalty kicks:

  • Only the players on the field at the end of the game can take part in the penalty kicks. Referee will freeze field at end of OVERTIME and 5 players from each team are chosen for the first round of kicks.  So it’s 5 kickers plus the goalie.
  • Any of the eligible players can change places with the goalkeeper at any time (in reference to playing goalie)
  • The kicks are taken alternately by the teams and each kick is taken by a different player (goalie can also be a kicker)
  • Kicks are taken from the penalty mark spot (12 yds from the goal line)
  • Once the referee blows their whistle, the shooter can then take the kick. If the shooter kicks before the referee blows their whistle,

the shot does not count and must be re-taken again (shooter must wait for referee’s whistle)

  • Once the kicker shoots the ball, he/she cannot touch the ball again. The kick is completed when the ball stops moving, goes out of play, or the referee stops play for any reason
  • If, before both teams have taken 5 kicks, one has scored more goals than the other could score, even if it were to complete it’s 5 kicks, no more kicks are taken and the team with those more goals is declared winner
  • If, after both teams have taken 5 kicks, both have scored the same number of goals, or have not scored any goals, kicks continue to be taken in the same order until one team has scored a (1) goal more than the other from the same number of kicks.  These continuing kicks would be taken by the remaining eligible players and all players must take a kick before any player can take a second kick.

15. COACHES, PARENTS/SPECTATORS

Parents and spectators must always sit on the opposite side of the field of the players.   They can’t sit or stand behind any of the goal lines or the goals.  Coaches should be coaching on the side of the field where the players are sitting and always being opposite of the parents.   Coaches should coach only on their half of the field with the mid-line being the stopping point.   We don’t want coaches interfering with each other when trying to coach their teams and we also don’t want coaches to be causing any issues with each other that would take away from the game.  ANY PARENT(S) OR SPECTATOR(S) THAT ARE BEING UNRULEY OR CAUSING ANY PUBLIC DISTRACTIONS THAT IS TAKING AWAY FROM THE GAME, CAUSING ANY PROBLEMS WITH THE PLAYERS, CAUSING ANY ISSUE(S) FOR THE REFEREES, OR CAUSING ISSUES WITH ANY OTHER PARENT(S) OR SPECTATOR(S) COULD BE SUBJECT TO REMOVAL FROM THE FIELD AND OR/THE LEAGUE IF PERSISTANT ISSUES CONTINUE.   It is IMPORTANT that we keep a safe and friendly environment for our players during game time.

Special Rule:  In Mini Strikers, the coaches are allowed to walk the touchline to help assist in coaching the kids.   Coaches can even

enter the field and help coach the kids if needed and if doing this, must try not to interfere with the game or any other players.

16. SPORTSMANSHIP CLAUSE

WMYSO will make every effort to insure this is an enjoyable experience for the players, coaches, and fans.

  • Any player, coach, or fan that distracts from the competition by using abusive, derogatory, vulgar, or profane language or physical threats directed at a player, coach, or fan will be ordered to leave the game site for the remainder of the game
  • Refusing an order to leave by a referee or any site coordinator will result in the termination of the match and the disqualification of the team with which the offender is affiliated with. If the offending team is winning or tied, points will be awarded 1-0 with loss going to the offending team.  If the offending team is losing then the score would stand as is. 

WMYSO’s goal is to provide a safe/fun environment where players are taught the fundamentals and sportsmanship of the game.  The league is recreational and we want to help develop the kids and their learning of all aspects of the game.  We want to make the playing experience a positive one and for the kids to have fun!    Any coach not adhering to the General Rules of WMYSO will be subject to suspension or removal from the league.   Any parent(s) not adhering to the General Rules of WMYSO could also be subject to removal from the league along with their registered child/children as long as approved by the WMYSO and the Recreation Dept. 

MISSION STATEMEMENT: 

WMYSO aims to provide youth soccer players the opportunity to play soccer and to try having a fun and positive learning experience in which players can gain an understanding of soccer while trying to develop skills in all positions that will help them enjoy the game. 

LAST UPDATED:   9/7/2023

Dan Trout