2018 youth soccer league rules

Apex Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources
1. The goal and objective of the league shall be to provide enjoyment and instruction of the
game of soccer. Good sportsmanship and basic fundamentals should be stressed by all
coaches. Winning games should not be the primary focus. An atmosphere of learning
and fun is the objective of this program.
2. The matters concerning the league of rule interpretation shall be administered by
the Apex Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (APR&CR) Department.
3. All volunteer coaches shall be selected by APR&CR, and governed by the policies
and procedures set forth by APR&CR.
4. All new players shall be selected by the coaches at the pre-season draft. All players
returning from the year before will remain on the same team unless they choose to
enter the draft. Brothers/sisters in the same age division shall be placed on the same
team. Coaches will pick in the reverse order of finish from the previous season.
5. All coaches shall attend each practice or have his/her assistant attend in his/her place.
Players shall not be allowed to practice without supervision. No player that is not
officially registered and on the roster through APR&CR will be allowed to practice.
6. No player shall be dropped from a team without the approval of APR&CR. Coaches
shall report to APR&CR any player that missed practice repeatedly.
7. If any team roster drops below the set roster size for that age division, the first player
on the waiting list may be placed on that team by APR&CR per the waiting list policy.
8. All rules will be governed by USSF rules except for the local rules stated here.
Registration for participation shall be coordinated and conducted by APR&CR. Under
unusual circumstances, individuals may be added or deleted to/from the program at the
discretion of APR&CR. This shall be done only after taking into consideration those involved
and the impact on the league.
Schedules for all regular practices and games (including make-up games), shall be coordinated
through APR&CR taking into account field availability.
 Each team will be provided the same number of practice opportunities per week.
 Any deviation from allotted schedule must be cleared through APR&CR and player
attendance at such practices is not a player requirement.
 Teams will be offered the opportunity to practice based on facility availability.
 Teams may not reserve fields for more than one week at a time and may not do so
before 8:00am Thursday of the week before they wish to practice.
 Schedule permitting, a single-elimination tournament will be held for all divisions
except the Rookies (5-6). The Rookies will play one additional game against a team
with similar results to encourage a competitive final match-up.
Player Assessments
To be organized and operated by APR&CR according to facility availability and weather.
Draft Procedures
To be organized and operated by APR&CR and the league coaches under the following
1. Teams shall draft in reverse order of their finish in the previous season.
2. All teams will be age balanced and have the same ratio of boys and girls (as close as
possible, dependent on the make-up of the league).
3. Each team shall be permitted to keep returning players, sons, and daughters under the
following conditions:
Based on the total number of players needed to equalize the number on each team,
each coach will draft until he reaches this number then withdraw from the draft.
o Exception: When a team reaches 6 players on their roster, that team must
hold until all other teams reach 6 players. Note: Any team that returns 6 or
more players will receive a first round choice, and then have to hold until all
other teams have the same number of players.
If after registration, tryouts, and the draft, a player wishes to be placed on a team,
this shall be done at the discretion of APR&CR. Appointments shall be made per
draft order and waiting list policy.
Options may be awarded to a coach and /or coach’s child who has registered to
participate. All options must be declared in writing prior to the draft. All options on
the oldest age for the league will be protected through the second round. All options
on the next oldest age will be protected through the third round. Brother / sister
options will be protected in the last round. A team is allowed two option players.
Note: A team may not have more than two option players on its roster during a season.
Any player designated an option player the previous year who returns to the same team
will remain an option player.
Pre-Draft: Teams that do not have any returning players will be given a pre-draft
pick. Any team that receives a pre-draft pick will go to the last position in the first
round (only) and then return to their normal spot in all rounds thereafter.
4. Expansion of league shall be conducted in the following manner:
The new team(s) shall assume the number one (and/or two) draft pick. Flip of a coin
shall determine number one position when adding more than one team.
Each new expansion team shall be awarded a pre-draft pick. Selection will be on a
rotation basis with two or more expansion teams.
Length of Games
Rookies (5-6),
Pee Wee (7-8) &
Mites (9-10)
Major (11-12),
Junior (13-14) &
Senior (15-17)
Game Length
Time between quarters
Halftime Length
8-minute quarters
2 minutes
5 minutes
24-minute halves
5 minutes
The official time is being kept on the field by the referees. The stopwatch that is kept by the
timer is not the official game time.
1. Regular Season Games:
Any regular season game that ends in a tie will remain a tie.
Any regular season game that ends in a tie shall be counted as one half a game win in
the league standings.
2. For purpose of the next year’s draft:
If team records are identical, the first tie breaker will be head-to head
competition. This will be followed by a draw if head-to-head results cannot be used.
3. Tournament Ties:
Any tournament game that ends in a tie will play one additional quarter with a half
way break to change sides, (Major, Junior and Senior leagues will play 12 minutes). If
at the end of this quarter the game is still tied, the teams will go to penalty kicks.
Penalty kicks will be handled in the following manner:
o Each team will shoot 5 kicks from the penalty mark.
o If the game is still tied after each team has taken 5 kicks from the penalty mark,
each team will take one additional kick from the penalty mark until the tie is
Cancellations/Inclement Weather/Make-up
In case of inclement weather, a decision will be made by APR&CR. Information may be
obtained by calling (weekdays after 4pm, Saturdays after 8am, Sundays after 12pm):
Make-Up Games:
The department will reschedule games within 3 working days. Please contact us if you have
not received your notification within this time period. If at all possible, all games that are
canceled due to weather or other conflicts approved by APR&CR will be made up. APR&CR
reserves the right to designate which games will be made up. It is the responsibility of the
coach to notify his/her players about the make-up date. APR&CR cannot be responsible for
contacting players on an individual basis.
Regulation Game: Any game that is stopped at halftime or later will be counted as complete.
Field and Equipment
Rookies (5-6)
Pee Wee (7-8)
Mites (9-10)
Major (11-12)
Junior (13-14)
Senior (15-17)
Field Size
Goal Size
Ball Size
Players on Field
(including Goalie)
40 yds x 30 yds
50 yds x 40 yds
70 yds x 50 yds
80 yds x 55 yds
120 yds x 55 yds
80 yds x 55 yds
6’ x 12’
6’ x 12’
8’ x 24’
8’ x 24’
8’ x 24’
8’ x’ 24’
Size 3
Size 4
Size 4
Size 5
Size 5
Size 5
All referees shall be trained and approved by the Department or a contracted booking agent.
The referee will have authority over the game and his/her decisions over goals scored, rules,
etc. shall be final. Please respect their rights and work with them and the field supervisor to
ensure a well-played game.
1. There will be one center official for all games. The Pee Wee, Mites, Major, Junior &
Senior leagues will also have 2 sideline officials.
2. Referee(s) shall:
Make all decisions for infringement of the rules committed within or outside the
boundary lines from the beginning of the game to the end.
See that all kickoffs, free kicks and penalty kicks are taken properly.
Act as timekeeper and allow the full or agreed time, adding any time lost through
injury or other causes at their discretion.
Will caution or issue a yellow card to any player or coach guilty of misconduct or
unsportsman like conduct. In such a case the referee shall give the name of the
offender to the field supervisor who in turn will give a report of the incident to the
Will send off the field of play and issue a red card to any player or coach who is guilty of
violent conduct, serious foul play, the use abusive language, or is guilty of a second
cautionable offense in the same match.
Players and Substitutions
A team will consist of the following:
7 players (6 players and one goalkeeper) for leagues that the Department sets the
official roster at 12 players.
8 players (7 players and one goalkeeper) for leagues that the Department sets the
official roster at 13 players.
9 players (8 players and one goalkeeper) for leagues that the Department sets the
official roster at 14 players.
11 players (10 players and one goalkeeper) for leagues that the Department sets the
official roster at 17 players.
A team will forfeit their game if they are unable to field one fewer player than allowed
(example: 7 players (6 players and 1 goalkeeper) in the 8-player leagues). This
includes the fourth quarter when a team cannot field the minimum players
because of participation time rule infraction.
There will be no grace period given for any scheduled game.
1. Substitutes may be put into the game for any other player.
2. Players that are going into the game must report at the timers table. They should
check-in with their backs turned so the timer can easily see their numbers. Also, please
help them know which players are coming out of the game. All this will help in
charting your players’ time correctly.
3. Any player who has been taken out of the game for any reason other than
disqualification may be allowed to re-enter the game any number of times.
4. Substitutions may occur only when the ball goes out of bounds with approval of the
referee. Team does not have to be in possession of the ball in order to make a
substitution. The referee will not, however, allow a substitution from the bench for
corner kicks or penalty kicks. You may change positions of your players on the field
during a corner or penalty kick, including your goalkeeper with approval from the
5. Goalkeeper substitutions: The new goalkeeper must have all equipment on and ready to
play before they enter the game. This is to prevent teams from stalling for time.
Note: Substitutions must be made at the half way point of the first three quarters
for the Rookies (5-6) and Pee Wee (7-8) Leagues.
The clock will be stopped at the half way point as play allows. All players on the bench
must go in the game and stay throughout the rest of the quarter.
Exception: Injured players can be substituted for as necessary
1. A goal shall be scored when the ball has been legally kicked or passed wholly between
the goal posts and under the cross bar.
2. A goal may not be scored directly from a kickoff, or an indirect kick.
The Game
1. Before the Game:
Coaches shall participate in a coin toss to decide which team shall kickoff and
selecting the goal which team is to defend.
Coaches shall turn a line-up card to the timer before the game starts.
At the beginning of the second half, teams shall change ends and attack the opposite
Goalkeepers must wear the jersey that does not match either team’s jerseys.
2. Beginning of Game:
Game shall start by an indirect kick from the center of the field in the direction of
the opponent’s goal.
After a goal is scored, the team scored against shall kickoff.
3. Players / Goalkeepers Privileges:
A player may dribble, volley, block, trap, or pass the ball. At no time may a player
touch the ball with his/her hands.
Player may play the ball while it is trapped by an opponent, provided there is no
foul. If the player is on the ground, a dead ball is called and the ball is awarded to
the opposing team.
Goalkeepers privileges within the penalty area:
o Pick the ball up
o Punt the ball
o Drop kick the ball
o Throw the ball
o May not delay the game by holding the ball indefinitely
Goalkeeper safety: when a goalkeeper comes out to make a play on the ball, the
offensive player must be within playing distance of the ball to make an attempt on
the ball. Otherwise the offensive player must yield to the goalkeeper regardless of
the distance between the ball and the goalkeeper. (Note: this rule applies only if the
goalkeeper has already made a move towards the ball, including bending to pick the
ball up while standing. It does not apply if the goalkeeper is not attempting to save
the ball.) If the player does not yield, he/she can be called for a dangerous play
(indirect kick) and issued either a yellow or red card.
Note: This rule is in place for the safety of the players, it is however a rule that will be
to the discretion of the referee if the play is fair and safe for all players involved.
4. Offsides
A player is in an offside position when he/she is ahead of the ball while the ball is
being played by a member of his/her team unless the following occurs:
o Player is in their own half of the field
o There are two opponents nearer their goal line than the player in question.
Penalty for offsides: an indirect free kick shall be awarded at the spot where the foul
occurred. A player will not be penalized for being offsides unless, in the referee’s
judgement, he/she is seeking an advantage or is denying the other team an
5. Fouls and Penalties
A player shall not trip, kick, stroke, hold, push or jump at an opponent or use
unnecessary roughness, or handle the ball.
The umpire may suspend any player or players from the game for unsportsmanlike
conduct or unnecessary roughness. A player or players so disqualified may not reenter the game. The team must play short one player the rest of the game if they
have no substitute ready.
A penalty kick shall be awarded if the foul is made by the defensive team in the
penalty area.
6. Slide Tackle: Slide tackling is not allowed.
7. HEADERS – In an effort to protect young players against concussions, the following
rule has been implemented, as recommended by the United States Club Soccer
Players in the Rookie (5-6), Pee Wee (7-8), and Mite (9-10) leagues shall
not engage in heading, either in practice or games.
If any player in the Rookie (5-6), Pee Wee (7-8), or Mite (9-10) league
intentionally heads the ball during a game, the play shall be considered a
dangerous play and an indirect kick shall be awarded to the opposing
team. If the deliberate header occurs within the penalty box, the indirect
kick shall be taken at the nearest point outside of the penalty box.
If a player intentionally heads the ball a second time, the player will be
given a yellow card and sent off the field to review the play with his/her
coach. A substitute player may be inserted in his/her place.
Sideline Area
The only personnel permitted on the sidelines are:
o Players
o Head coach
o 2 assistant coaches
All sidelines should be cleaned by the team that occupied them at the end of the
game. This is the responsibility of the head coach.
Coaches must remain on the sideline when the game is in play.
Exception: To attend an injured player - head coach only, with the specific
permission of the referee.
Conduct / Sportsmanship
1) No coach or player shall belittle or berate the players or coaches of another team.
This type of action will not be tolerated.
First offense:
Second offense:
Ejection from game of offending person and/or head coach.
Penalty: Any coach or player ejected from a game will be suspended for a
minimum of 1 game up to a maximum of the remainder of the season. When a
player is ejected for unsportsman like conduct that team will play a player short
for the rest of the game. Any coach ejected from a game will be required to meet
in person with APR&CR before coaching another game. The coach is responsible
to set up this meeting himself.
2) Harassment of officials and field supervisors will not be tolerated. Questions
should be asked by the Head Coach only and done so calmly about rule
interpretations only. Judgment calls are not to be argued. Failure to comply
with this rule will result in immediate ejection of the guilty party and possible
forfeiture of the game. No warnings will be given.
3) Coaches are accountable for the behavior of their assistant coaches, players,
parents, and related supporters. Game officials may penalize the coach per above
for any unsportsmanlike conduct.
4) Players will be allowed to cheer for their own team and not jeer the other. This
includes songs, cheers, etc.
5) Consumption of tobacco products (including e-cigarettes) or alcohol is prohibited
in the vicinity of any Town-sponsored athletic event, including on the field, the
sidelines, and in the bleachers.
Reminder: The purpose of this program is to teach soccer, have fun, and learn
sportsmanship. Players look to their coaches as role models and the things players see you do
leave lasting impressions as they continue to play the game in later years. We’re all human,
and as such we all make mistakes including referees, coaches and parents. It’s the kids’
games so let them be the ones that benefit most!
It is the philosophy of APR&CR that the emphasis of youth recreation should be on
participation and skill development rather than winning or losing. Given this statement
of philosophy the following guidelines will govern the Youth Soccer season.
1) Minimum Playing Time: Each child must play a minimum of 1 and a half
quarters per game. If they do not have their minimum minutes by the start of the
4th quarter (12-minute mark for Major, Junior & Senior leagues), they must
start the 4th quarter and play at least until this rule is satisfied before they go off
the field.
 If the game is shortened for any reason
 If the player is injured during the game
 If a player is being disciplined by the coach for missing too many
o If a player is not going to play his/her time, the head coach must
inform the field supervisor and head official before the game starts.
Note: A player that has missed repeated practices and is going to be
disciplined by the coach must be informed along with his/her parents of
this action before the game starts. APR&CR must also be notified before
this action can take place.
2) Maximum Playing Time: Each child can only play a maximum of 3 and a half
quarters per game. At the start of the fourth quarter, (12 minute mark for Major,
Junior & Senior leagues), if a player(s) has less than 8 minutes in the Rookies,
Pee Wee, Mites Leagues or 12 minutes for the Major, Junior and Senior Leagues
to reach the maximum, they must sit out at least until the number of minutes
left in the quarter matches the number of minutes the player has before they
reach the maximum level.
Example: At the start of the fourth quarter, a player has 5 minutes before
he/she reaches the maximum playing time, that player will not be allowed in the
game until there are 5 minutes left on the clock.
Exception: If a team does not have enough players present for everyone to sit
out at least half a quarter, the maximum play rule does not apply.
Reminder: please try to rotate players and playing time. Do not get caught-up
in the same rotation of players each and every game. This would cause the same
players to have the minimum amount of time each game. Please do your best to
play the players equal and let them play as many positions on the field as
possible. Remember this is a recreational league that is set-up for the kids to
have fun first.
Note: Substitutions must be made at the half way point of the first three
quarters for the Rookies (5-6) and Pee Wee (7-8) Leagues. Maximum Play Rule
will still apply.
The clock will be stopped at the half way point as play allows. All players on the
bench must go in the game and stay throughout the rest of the quarter.
Exception: Injured player
3) When inclement weather or other circumstances cause the cancellation or
postponement of a game, requirements 1 and 2 will be waived. However, if these
games are made up, all requirements for participation will be in effect.
Note: Any game that is stopped due to inclement weather is considered official if
two quarters are complete (halftime is reached). The final score is the score of the
game when stopped.
4) Failure to comply with these participation rules shall result in forfeiture of the
game in question.
5) Protests shall be the responsibility of the coach and must be submitted in writing
to APR&CR by 12:00 noon the following work day.
6) It is recommended that a coach alternate his substitutes (those who start today
should be a substitute next week and vice versa).
When ruling on a protest concerning participation, the coach’s intent will be taken into
consideration. It is possible circumstances may cause a player to not play the required time.
The coach’s intent is the determining factor in these situations.
Penalty: For failure to abide by the participation rules above (upheld participation protest),
the following penalties shall apply to the head coach:
1st offense:
2nd offense:
suspension of one game
suspension for rest of season
The following procedure shall be used for all protests involving APR&CR Youth
Soccer league.
1) Protests will be allowed for rule misapplication only. No discussion will be
permitted concerning judgment calls or the umpire’s integrity.
2) Protest must be noted by the field supervisor before the coach leaves the field.
3) All protests must be submitted in writing to APR&CR by 12:00noon the next
working day. All protests should include:
A brief description of the play involved and the ruling that was made.
A rule reference (page and statement) detailing what ruling should have been
A $25 protest fee will be returned if the protest is upheld. If the protest is
declined, this money will be set aside to buy equipment for the league.
4) Protests will be ruled on by the Program Supervisor.
5) Notification of protest ruling will be given within one week after submission.
6) APR&CR reserves the right to deny completion of protested game if it has no
bearing on league standings or is not in the best interest of the league.
APR&CR will issue each player of each team a uniform. The uniform will consist of a game
jersey. Each player must wear this jersey, unaltered, to each game. A player not in
uniform or in an altered uniform will be declared ineligible. Each coach will be given
extra shirts, for emergency fill-ins. Shirts must be tucked in during play.
Note: altered uniform is when a player defaces the shirt in any way.
Examples: cutting sleeves or adding name to game jersey.
Coaches are responsible to make sure that every player is wearing an official uniform that will
satisfy this rule.
Players must wear and provide themselves: shorts, shin guards and shoes. No
player will be allowed to participate in a practice or game without shin guards.
Jewelry / Equipment
No jewelry allowed once play has begun. The referee may ask that a player take off all
jewelry. Also by rule they may ask a player with glasses to wear a protective strap while
they are playing. Players with earrings will have to either take the earrings out or wear tape
over them to be able to play.
Note: Taping over earrings is only acceptable in the case of new earrings and must be
approved by the referee and Field Supervisor.
The referee shall not permit any player to wear equipment in his or her judgment, is
dangerous or confusing to other players. This includes, but not limited to, items such as:
A guard, cast or brace made of hard and unyielding leather, plaster, pliable (soft)
plastic, metal or any other hard substance - even though covered with soft padding when worn on the elbow, hand, finger, wrist or forearm. Note: any player wearing a
hard cast will not be permitted to play, no exceptions.
Head decorations, head wear and jewelry, including beads in the hair.
o Head bands no wider than 2 inches and made of nonabrasive unadorned singlecolored cloth, fiber, soft leather or rubber may be worn.
o Head wear worn for religious reasons that is not deemed dangerous to the player
or surrounding players
o Rubber (elastic) bands may be used to control hair.
Equipment which is unnatural and designed to increase a player’s height or reach or to
gain an advantage.