Soccer

Soccer Rulebook 

Payment
Credit card payments are accepted on our encrypted, secure site. Individual payments or corporate sponsors are welcome. For sponsored teams, any fees paid by an individual for a team may be refunded upon an equal payment provided by a third party.  Payments cover permitting, equipment, officiating, management, credit card fees, and general insurance costs.  75% of team payments must be paid online to be put on the schedule.  All remaining payments are due prior to each team's 1st game.  Cash and check will be accepted prior to each team's 1st game.  Free agents must register and pay prior to being assigned to a team.  

Registration Periods:  Teams are not considered complete until all players and payments are received.  Therefore, any players registering after the original period in which the team was registered, will incur a higher cost.  Which is based on the increased cost of the team fee.  Each player will pay the individual portion of the increase and not be responsible for the entire cost of the increase (typically $5-6).   

Operation/Refund Policy 
SFCS leagues are viable with a minimum of 4 teams per league. Pre-season cancellation fees are 30% of total fees due and cancellation MUST be requested IN WRITING via fax, email, or USPS mail at least three (3) business days (Monday - Friday) prior to the start of the league.  There are no refunds for any league already started or ready to start within three (3) business days. If a league does not become viable, full refunds will be given if team does not want, or cannot, be placed in another SFCS league. SFCS reserves the right to change specific league locations and operating times as necessary due to any required scheduling changes either on a weekly or seasonal basis.  SFCS also reserves the right to shorten any league due to multiple weather cancellations or unforeseen circumstances without any refund or credits provided.  Failure to abide by SFCS rules and regulations will result in forfeiture of league/event participation and void any refunds.

Schedules/Holidays
Start/end dates and game times are posted online.  Start/end dates and game times are subject to change based on field availability, rainouts, and unforeseen circumstances, which may arise. Schedules are posted after registration is closed and all payments have been received.  Schedule requests must come from team captains, and must be submitted in writing at least three [3] business days prior to the start of Week 1 games.  SFCS reserves the right to schedule any team for any of the advertised dates and game times posted on the league homepage.  Bye requests will likely result in teams playing doubleheaders before or after their week off.

The following holidays will be automatic byes for all leagues:
New Years Day (Jan. 1)
Memorial Day Weekend (Friday-Monday)
Fourth of July (July 3 & 4)
Labor Day Weekend (Friday-Monday)
Thanksgiving Weekend (Wednesday-Sunday)
Christmas Eve through New Years Eve (Dec. 23 - Dec. 31)

Unless parks/venues are closed, games will be scheduled for the following holidays unless a majority of teams request a bye prior to Week 1: MLK Weekend, Valentine's Day, Easter Sunday, St. Patrick's Day, Cinco De Mayo, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Columbus Day, Halloween, & Veteran's Day.

Eligibility/Rosters
All participants must be in good health to participate.  SFCS reserves the right to deny participation to any individual or team without explanation. Every participant must follow  SFCS rules and regulations. All participants of each league/tournament/event/season must accept an online waiver of liability to participate. Failure or refusal to waive liability will result in the denial of participation for that individual and will void any refund. All SFCS leagues and social events have a minimum age requirement of 21 years old.

Every player must preregister online, accept the league waiver, prepay in full (if applicable), wear a SFCS uniform, and provide a photo ID before playoff games. Registration will be open up to the last day of the regular season.  Players will not be accepted after registration has closed.  Every player is limited to one roster per league per season.

Uniform & Equipment
Every player must wear a Play Hard Play Social uniform on the field (goalies will wear an appropriate goalie uniform).  Team captains can submit color preferences in writing.  If one or more players do not bring their uniform on a given week, they may exchange shirts on the sideline in order to participate.  Players cannot wear uniforms inside-out.  Additional uniforms may be purchased for $10 each. Teams must give SFCS staff advance notice if they wish to purchase/acquire additional uniforms.  If a team is shorthanded and picks up other league members, those other league members must wear their own team uniform. 

Shinguards are required for all leagues and tournaments.  SFCS does not supply/sell shinguards. It is the responsibility of each player to provide his/her own shinguards.  Shinguards must be made of a durable plastic material and must not pose a danger to anyone on the field.  Metal spikes/cleats are prohibited. Sandals, watches, jewelry, and other items deemed dangerous are prohibited while participating in sports with SFCS. 

Scores/Standings
Standings/Rankings are based on 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss, and -1 point for a forfeit. There is no overtime or extra period for regular season games that end in a tie.  In the event that two or more teams have equal points at the end of the regular season, the first tiebreaker will be head-to-head competition.  The second tiebreaker will be season goal differential (difference of goals scored and goals allowed).

Game Stoppage (Rainline & Mercy Rule)
Call the Rainline (800.497.1852 ext. 4) for weather updates and cancellation information before every game. In the event of dangerous/harmful conditions, darkness, serious injuries, or any circumstances out of SFCS control, the following will constitute a legal game (includes playoffs): 

(11v11) 15 minutes into 2nd half
(9v9, 8v8, 7v7, 6v6, 5v5) 5 minutes into 2nd half

 If one team leads by the following margin, and one or both team captains elect to end the game, the game will end as a result of a mercy rule:
(11v11, 9v9, 8v8, 7v7) 8 goal difference at 45 minutes
(6v6, 5v5) 16 goal difference at 45 minutes

Legal Game/Forfeit
A forfeit will not be declared until 10 minutes after the scheduled starting time.  For a game to be legal in a Co-Ed league, every team must have at least 1 female teammate on the field.  Also, for a game to be legal in a Co-Ed or Male league, a team must have at least 8 (11v11), 7 (9v9), 6 (8v8), 5 (7v7), 4 (6v6), or 3 (5v5) teammates on the field at all times.

Shorthanded teams may pick up other league members up to 11 (11v11), 9 (9v9), 8 (8v8), 7 (7v7), 6 (6v6), or 5 (5v5) players on the field.  Picking up additional league members once a team is at full strength is prohibited.  Late arrivals must replace fill-ins from other teams, not teammates. Fill-ins must wear their own team uniform, which will allow the opposing team and  SFCS staff to determine player eligibility.  Opposing captains may waive any and all of these restrictions.

Team captains must contact/notify a SFCS Director when his/her team is going to forfeit.  Failure to contact/notify a  SFCS director regarding a team forfeit could result in a $25-$50 fine and possible expulsion from the league with no refunds.  Two forfeits by any team during a single season will result in expulsion from the league with no refunds.  A team using a suspended or ineligible player forfeits all games that the suspended/ineligible player participates in. Teams knowingly using such a player may face additional sanctions.

Protest
Eligibility protests must be made before the game begins, or immediately following the entrance of a protested player. During a game, a verbal protest must be made to an official or staff member once play ceases and before the next live ball situation.  Using vulgar/abusive language will invalidate a captain's protest. Protesting a judgment call is prohibited.  If the official or staff member finds the protest valid, they will overturn the call.  If the protested call is not overturned, the team captain must submit a written protest via email to a SFCS Director within 24 hours of the protested game.  Captains must protest a score within 24 hours of its posting.

Every official strives for perfection, and player feedback is essential in making improvements.  However, during or immediately after a game is not an ideal time to provide feedback to an official.  Rather, we encourage all players (not just captains) to submit written evaluations of league officials to SFCS Directors.

 

Regulation Game

  • (11v11 Mens Leagues) A three-referee system will be utilized, including a center referee and two assistant referees.
  • (11v11 Co-Ed, 9v9, 8v8) A two-referee system will be utilized, with equal responsibility in rule enforcement.
  • (7v7, 6v6, 5v5) One referee will be in charge of rule enforcement. 
  • Game time will be kept on the field by a referee. Stoppage time will be added at the referee’s discretion.
  • (11v11 Mens Saturday @ KSP) A game will be divided into two (2) periods of forty (40) minutes each. At twenty (20) minutes into each period, the referees may grant a water break for excessive heat.
  • (11v11 Co-Ed, 9v9, 8v8, 7v7, 6v6, 5v5) A game will be divided into two (2) periods of twenty five (25) minutes each.  At eleven (11) minutes into each period, the referees may grant a water break.
  • Time runs continuously unless there is an injury or unexpected interruptions. There are no time outs.
  • There will be 2-5 minutes between halves.
  • There is no overtime/shootout for regular season games.

Overtime/Shootout

  • All games are subject to the "Game Stoppage" rules listed above.   
  • Playoff games that are tied at the end of regulation time will proceed into overtime and, if needed, a shootout to determine a winner. 
  • SFCS reserves the right to shorten games in order preserve the best possible outcome for a game (such as skipping overtime period and proceeding directly to a shootout).   
  • Overtime will consist of one 5-minute “golden goal” period. The first team to score a goal will win the game. The choice of ends and the kickoff will be decided by a coin toss. 
  • If the game remains tied at the end of the overtime period, the game will proceed into a 5-person shootout. The winner of a coin toss will choose which team shall kick first in the shootout. Each team captain shall designate five (5) players to shoot for his/her team. The goalkeeper may be one of the shooters. Goalkeeper changes may occur only at the beginning of the shootout.
  • (11v11) The designated players must have been on the field of play (in the game) at the end of the overtime period. (9v9, 8v8 7v7, 6v6, 5v5) Any player, on the field or on the sideline, may participate in the shootout. 
  • Each team has a total of five (5) shots. Teams will alternate after each shot. Each shot shall follow the procedure for a penalty kick.  (Co-Ed Leagues) A minimum of 2 women must participate in the shootout.
  • If the score remains tied following the first shootout, a sudden victory shootout will occur in which the game is won if, after ANY equal number of shots, the tie is broken.
  • (Male Leagues) During the sudden victory shootout, teams may use any player(s) in any order.
  • (Co-Ed Leagues) During the sudden victory shootout, a woman must kick every shot or every other shot.

Substitutions

  • Substitutions must be announced to the referee.  The referee will determine when it is appropriate to grant entry.
  • Teams may request a substitution on a goal kick, corner kick, kick-in/throw-in, after a goal, after an injury, after a caution, or at half-time.
  • Players entering and leaving the field must do so at the halfway line.
  • There are no substitutions for an ejected player.

Kickoff

  • A coin toss will determine possession and choice of ends. Possession and ends will change in the 2nd half. All players shall be within his/her half of the field. (11v11, 9v9) Opponents of the kicking team must be outside of the 8-yard center circle until the ball is kicked. 
    (8v8, 7v7, 6v6, 5v5) Opponents of the kicking team must be 5 yards from the ball until it is kicked.
  • The ball must be kicked forward, one revolution, for the ball to be in play (penalty- rekick).The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until a teammate or opponent has touched the ball (penalty- indirect free kick)
  • (9v9, 8v8, 7v7, 6v6, 5v5) A goal cannot be scored by a kickoff.

Goal

  • A goal is scored when the entire ball crosses the goal line (within the posts and cross bar).
  • (9v9, 8v8, 7v7, 6v6, 5v5) A goal cannot be scored from beyond the halfway line.  The ball must contact an offensive player in the opponent’s half of the field.
  • (Co-Ed Leagues) A male goal is worth one (1) point. A female goal is worth two (2) points. A female goal is scored as a direct result of a female kick or header. Deflections off of a female are worth one (1) point.
  • (Co-Ed Leagues) An “own goal” by a female is worth one point
  • After a goal, the opposing team will have possession from the halfway line.

Penalty Kick

  • A penalty kick is awarded after a serious or intentional rule infraction takes place in the penalty area by the defensive team. A penalty kick can be awarded regardless of the position of the ball, if the infraction by the defending team is committed in the penalty area. It is not awarded for infractions that call for an indirect free kick.
  • (11v11, 9v9) The penalty kick shall be taken from anywhere on the penalty mark, twelve yards from the goal line. 
  • (8v8, 7v7, 6v6, 5v5) The distance of the penalty mark is determined by the size of the field and the size of the goals. Restrictions on the number of steps for the kicker may be imposed by the referee.
  • The penalty kick may be taken by any player of the offended team on the field of play at the time of the offense.
  • (Co-Ed Leagues) If a female is awarded a penalty kick, and she takes the penalty kick and scores, the penalty kick is worth two (2) points.
  • All players except the goalie must stay outside the penalty area. 
    The goalkeeper must stand on the goal line and may not move forward until the ball is kicked. The goalkeeper may move laterally.
  • The kicker must wait for the referee’s whistle. The kicker must kick the ball forward. Any action to deceive the goalkeeper by the kicker is illegal.
  • Following the kick, the ball shall be deemed in play if it remains on the field of play. The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has touched another player (either team). 
  • For any infringement by the defending team, the kick shall be retaken if a goal has not resulted. For any infringement by the attacking team other than by the kicker, the kick shall be retaken if a goal has resulted.

Free Kick

  • An indirect free kick is a free kick from which a goal may not be scored unless the ball is touched by another player from either team.
  • (8v8, 7v7, 6v6, 5v5) All free kicks are indirect.
  • (11v11, 9v9) A direct free kick is a free kick from which a goal may be scored against the offending team.
  • A free kick may be taken by any offensive player.
  • When a player is taking a free kick from within his defensive penalty area, the ball must be kicked beyond the penalty area and all opponents must be outside the penalty area.
  • The ball must be stationary when a free kick is taken. The kicker shall not play the ball again until it has been touched by another player (either team). The ball may be kicked in any direction.

Kick-In

  • (8v8, 7v7, 6v6, 5v5) After the ball has wholly crossed the sidelines, hit the net out of play, or struck the wall above the line, the team that did not touch the ball last shall be awarded the kick-in.
  • On a kick-in, the ball must be placed on the sideline at the point the ball crossed, and the ball must be stationary before being kicked (penalty- rekick).

Goal Kick

  • A goal kick is awarded when the ball crosses the goal line, either on the ground or in the air, and was last touched by an offensive player.
  • The ball is then placed anywhere within the goal area (box).
  • The ball is not in play until it has gone outside the penalty area (penalty- rekick).
  • The player taking the goal kick cannot retouch the ball until another player has touched it.
  • (8v8, 7v7, 6v6, 5v5) A goal kick cannot cross the halfway line without touching a teammate/opponent(penalty- indirect free kick).

Corner Kick

  • A corner kick is awarded when the ball crosses the goal line, either on the ground or in the air, and was last touched by a defensive player. The ball must be placed on the ground on the quarter circle near the corner post.
  • The kicker cannot retouch the ball until it is touched by another player (either team). Corner posts (flags or cones) cannot be removed to take a corner kick.

Free Kick (Defenders)

  • (11v11, 9v9) On all free kicks and corner kicks, every defender must be at least 10 yards away from the ball until it is kicked, unless the defender is standing on their goal line between the goal posts.
  • (8v8, 7v7) On all free kicks, corner kicks, and kick-ins, every defender must be at least 6 yards away from the ball until it is kicked, unless the defender is standing on their goal line between the goal posts. 
  • (6v6) On all free kicks, corner kicks, and kick-ins, every defender must be at least 3 yards away from the ball until it is kicked, unless the defender is standing on their goal line between the goal posts.
  • (5v5) On all free kicks, corner kicks, and kick-ins, every defender must be at least 1 yard away from the ball until it is kicked, unless the defender is standing on their goal line between the goal posts.

Throw-In

  • (11v11, 9v9) After the ball has wholly crossed the sidelines, on the ground or in the air, the team that did not touch the ball last shall be awarded the throw-in.
  • The thrower must face the field of play and have both feet touching the ground out of bounds or on the sideline when the throw is made.
  • The thrower must use both hands equally and shall deliver the ball from behind and over the head.
  • A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in.
  • An improper throw-in will result in the award of the throw to the other team.

Offsides

  • (11v11, 9v9) Offsides is determined by the referees according to current FIFA definitions and guidelines.
  • (8v8, 7v7, 6v6, 5v5) Offsides is not enforced.

Suspension of Play

  • Except on a free kick or throw-in, the team that was clearly in possession of the ball at the time of the suspension shall be awarded an indirect free kick from the spot the ball was at the time of the suspension.
  • If neither team was in clear possession of the ball, the referee shall drop the ball at the place where it was when play was suspended, and the ball is in play when it touches the ground.
  • If play was stopped with the ball in the goal area, the ball is dropped at the nearest point outside the goal area.

Goalkeeping

  • The goalkeeper has possession (control) of the ball when he or she is touching the ball.
  • From the moment the keeper takes control of the ball with his/her hands within his own penalty area, he/she must release the ball into play within 6 seconds (penalty- indirect free kick).
  • (11v11, 9v9, 8v8, 7v7) A keeper may not, after releasing the ball into play, touch the ball again with his hands before it has been touched by another player of the same team outside the penalty area or by an opposing player either inside or outside the penalty area.
  • (11v11, 9v9, 8v8, 7v7) If the goalkeeper plays the ball to a teammate and the teammate passes the ball back to the goalkeeper, he/she may not use their hands to play the pass (penalty- indirect free kick).
  • (11v11, 9v9, 8v8, 7v7) The goalkeeper shall not touch the ball with his/her hands via a throw-in/kick-in from his/her own team or a deliberate kick by a teammate (penalty- indirect free kick).
  • (6v6, 5v5) A goalkeeper may use his hands/hands on any ball inside the penalty area, including pass-backs from teammates and kick-ins.
  • (6v6, 5v5) A goalkeeper cannot repeatedly pass back and forth between a teammate, while using his/her hands to stall or run the clock out (penalty- indirect free kick).
  • (8v8, 7v7, 6v6, 5v5) After handling the ball, a goalkeeper cannot  pass/punt/drop-kick the ball from his/her penalty area to the opponent's half before contacting a teammate/opponent (penalty-indirect free kick).

Slide Tackling

  • Slide tackling is prohibited in all soccer leagues and tournaments. A slide tackle occurs when a player (including a goalie outside the penalty area) leaves his/her feet and leads with his/her feet to play the ball while the ball is in the proximity of another player (contact is not required).
  • If a slide tackle is deemed malicious (playing the player and/or playing the ball from behind an opponent), a red card will be issued to the offending player.

Fouls and Misconduct

  • Dangerous Play - all high kicks above the waist in a dangerous manner (penalty- indirect free kick).
  • Charging (No Possession)- No player may charge an opponent not in possession of the ball, including the goalkeeper (penalty- indirect free kick).
  • Obstruction - the intentional act by a player, not in possession of the ball or not attempting to play the ball, running between an opponent and the ball or using the body as an obstacle (penalty- indirect free kick).
  • Goalkeeper holding the ball longer than six (6) seconds after he/she receives it (penalty- indirect free kick).
  • (11v11) Goalkeeper touching the ball with his/her hand when received by throw-in or deliberate kick from a teammate (penalty- indirect free kick).
  • Interference (goalkeeper) - No player of the opposing team shall interfere with a goalkeeper in possession of the ball (penalty- indirect free kick).
  • Delay of Game - No player or team shall unnecessarily delay the playing of the game (penalty- indirect free kick).
  • Kicking/Striking an Opponent – No player may intentionally attempt to kick or strike an opponent. The goalkeeper may not intentionally strike or attempt to strike an opponent by throwing the ball at the opponent (penalty- direct free kick).
  • Tripping/Jumping- No player may intentionally jump at nor trip an opponent (penalty- direct free kick).
  • Charging (Possession) – No player may charge an opponent. Offenses include violently and/or dangerously charging a player or charging from behind (penalty- direct free kick).
  • Holding/Pushing/Impeding – No player may use his/her hands or arms to hold, push, or impede an opponent (penalty- direct free kick).
  • Intentional Hand Ball – No player may handle, carry, strike, or propel the ball with a hand or arm (penalty- direct free kick).

White, Yellow, and Red Cards
(9v9, 8v8, 7v7, 6v6, 5v5) A player who receives a white (advisory) card must exit the game without a substitution for two (2) minutes or an opponent’s goal, whichever comes first.  White cards are issued for minor violations of general soccer rules.

(All Leagues) A player who receives a yellow (caution) card must exit the game without a substitution for five (5) minutes.
(All Leagues) Two (2) yellow cards in the same game or one (1) red card will result in an ejection and/or a suspensionAn ejected player may not be replaced by a substitute. Teams will play (finish the match) a player down for each ejection.  An ejected player but must abide by all spectator rules. If an ejected player, while on the sideline or in the stands, uses vulgar/abusive language toward a referee, spectator, or opponent, then that player will be ejected from the park/facility. That player must vacate the premises of the park/facility within one (1) minute, or his/her team shall forfeit the game.


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