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Rules



Rules Governing the SMSL


1.1 SMSL Modifications to the Laws of the Game

IFAB “Laws of the Game” shall apply to all games played within the jurisdiction of the SMSL, except as specifically modified by USSF and SMSL game rules.

1.1.1 LAW 1 – The Field of Play

1.1.1.1 9U/10U

a. Dimensions: The field of play shall be rectangular, its length being not more than 65 yards or less than 55 yards and its width not more than 45 yards or less than 35 yards.

b. Markings: A center circle with 8-yard radius; four corner arcs with a 3-foot radius.

c. Penalty area: 8 yards out from the goal line x 22 yards wide. No penalty spot, or penalty arc.

d. Goal area: The penalty area shall also serve as the goal area.

e. Goals: Minimum: 6 feet high and 12 feet wide, maximum: 6.5 feet high and 18.5 feet wide.

f. Build Out Lines: Equidistant between the top of the penalty area and halfway line. On artificial turf fields where lines can’t be altered, cones or flags shall be placed 1 yard off of both touchlines to indicate where Build Out Lines would intersect. Where other markings cannot be redrawn, existing markings should be used and the game played under normal rules.

1.1.1.2 11U/12U

a. Dimensions: The field of play shall be rectangular, its length being not more than 80 yards or less than 70 yards and its width not more than 55 yards or less than 45 yards.

b. Markings: A center circle and two penalty arcs with 8-yard radius; four corner arcs with a 3-foot radius.

c. Penalty area: 10 yards out from the goal line x 28 yards wide. A penalty mark on the penalty area line, 10 yards from the midpoint between the goalposts and equidistant to them. An arc of a circle with a radius of 8 yards from the penalty mark is drawn outside the penalty area.

d. Goal area: Within each penalty area, a goal area 5-yards out from the goal line x 14 yards wide.

e. Goals: Minimum 6.5 feet high x 18.5 feet wide, Maximum 7 feet high x 21 feet wide.


1.1.2 LAW 2 – The Ball

a. 9U–12U: Size 4

b. 13U and older: Size 5

 

1.1.3 LAW 3 – The Players 1.1.3.1 9U/10U

a. Number of Players

1. Maximum: 12 players on match roster

2. Maximum: 7 players on the field, one of whom must be the goalkeeper

3. Minimum: 5 players on the field, one of whom must be the goalkeeper

b. Substitution: substitutions allowed at any stoppage of play, with permission of the referee, in any small-sided game

 

1.1.3.2 11U/12U

a. Number of Players

1. Maximum: 16 players on match roster.

2. Maximum: 9 players on the field, one of whom must be the goalkeeper

3. Minimum: 7 players on the field, one of whom must be the goalkeeper

b. Substitution – substitutions allowed at any stoppage of play, with permission of the referee, in any small-sided game.

 

1.1.3.3 13U and older

a. Number of Players

1. Maximum: 18 players on match roster

2. Maximum: 11 players on the field, one of whom must be the goalkeeper

3. Minimum: 7 players on the field, one of whom must be the goalkeeper

b. Substitutions for League Play - Substitutions shall be unlimited. Substitutions may be made, with the consent of the referee at the following times:

1. Prior to a throw in, by the team with possession of the ball, if the team in possession is substituting, both teams may substitute.

2. Prior to a goal kick, by either team.

3. After a goal, by either team.

4. After an injury, by either team, when the referee stops play.

5. At half time.

 

1.1.4 LAW 4 – The Players’ Equipment

a. The referee has the final decision on the safety of players’ equipment or clothing. The referee shall not permit a player to wear or use any equipment or clothing which, in the opinion of the referee, would likely risk injury to the player or others.

b. Visible undergarments must be the predominant color of the uniform of the player's team.

c. Players must have their own numbers on jerseys with no numbers being shared by players on the same team.

d. Jerseys must be tucked in at all times.

e. Players must be uniform in appearance with respect to jersey, shorts, and socks (socks on both legs must be the same color; player cannot wear one color on one leg and another color on the other leg).

 

1.1.5 LAW 5 – The Referee

a. All officials must be currently certified.

b. Referees will be subject to disciplinary action if they allow violations of SMSL policies.

c. A three-person system (diagonal system of control) must be used except for 9U and 10U age levels, which must have at least 1 certified referee.

d. The referee must not referee at his/her age level or above.

 

1.1.6 LAW 6 – The Other Match Officials Use of club assistant referees (club lines) is allowed in the event that certified officials are not available.

 

1.1.7 LAW 7 – The Duration of the Match

a. 10U: Two 25-minute halves

b. 12U: Two 30-minute halves

c. 14U: Two 35-minute halves

d. 16U: Two 40-minute halves

e. 18U: Two 45-minute halves

f. All games shall be complete when at least one half (of the game) and 50 percent of the second half have been played. The referee is the official timekeeper and sole judge on the amount of time played.

g. All ties during the season will remain ties with no overtime halves.

 

1.1.8 LAW 8 – The Start and Restart of Play 9U–12U: Opponents of the team taking the kick-off must be at least 8 yards from the ball until it is in play.

 

1.1.9 LAW 9 – The Ball in and out of Play No modifications.

 

1.1.10 LAW 10 – Determining the Outcome of the Match No modifications.

 

1.1.11 LAW 11 – Offside 9U/10U: The Build Out Line also serves as an offside line. Attackers cannot be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the Build Out Line.

 

1.1.12 LAW 12 – Fouls and Misconduct

 

1.1.12.1 9U/10U All free kicks classified as indirect.

 

1.1.12.2 9U-10U

a. Heading: When a player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense. If the deliberate header occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.

b. Build Out Zones: When the goalkeeper has the ball, either during play or from a goal kick, the opposing team must drop back behind the Build Out Line. After the ball is put into play, the opposing team can then cross the Build Out Line and play resumes as normal. At any time, the goalkeeper may put the ball into play, but the goalkeeper does so accepting the positioning of the opponents and the consequences of how play resumes. Referees may issue misconduct if players do not drop back in a timely manner or encroach over the Build Out Line prior to the ball being put into play. In enforcing the 6-second rule counting the time of possession should only begin when all opponents have moved behind the Build Out Line. Where no Build Out Lines are marked on the field, e.g. turf and 10U fields, the nearest point of the center circle should be used as a reference point. Cones or flags should be placed just off the touchlines to indicate where Build Out Lines would intersect.

c. Punting: An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team at the spot of the offense if a goalkeeper punts or drop-kicks the ball. If the punt occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred.

 

1.1.13 LAW 13 – Free Kicks 9U–12U: Opponents must be 8 yards away from the point of kick. Free kick by the attacker within the Goal Area must be placed on top of the Goal Area Line parallel to the goal line and closest to the point of infraction.

 

1.1.14 LAW 14--The Penalty Kick

1.1.14.1 9U/10U No penalty kicks awarded.

 

1.1.14.2 11U/12U Taken from the penalty mark 10 yards from the goal line. The players other than the kicker and goalkeeper must be 8 yards from the penalty mark.

 

1.1.15 LAW 15 – The Throw-In No modifications.

 

1.1.16 LAW 16 – The Goal Kick 9U–10U: Opponents must drop back behind the Build Out Line until the ball is in play. The ball is in play when it is kicked directly out of the penalty area. The team taking the goal kick may choose to restart play before the opponents have retreated behind the Build Out Line but they do so accepting the positioning of the opponents and the consequences of how play resumes. Where no Build Out Lines are marked on the field, e.g. turf and 10U fields, the nearest point of the center circle should be used as a reference point. Cones or flags should be placed just off the touchlines to indicate where the Build Out Lines would intersect.

 

1.1.17 LAW 17 – The Corner Kick 9U–12U: Opponents must be 8 yards away from the ball.

 

1.2 SMSL Match Protocols

 

1.2.1 Pre-Game

 

1.2.1.1 HOME TEAM RESPONSIBILITIES

a. The home team is responsible for scheduling referees through a registered referee assignor, marking fields, placing corner flags, anchoring goals, securing nets, and providing a ball that is acceptable for play.

b. The technical area for both teams will be on the same side of the field.

c. In the case that the color of uniforms conflicts (as determined by the referee), the home team must change to an alternate color.

 

1.2.1.2 ROSTERS, PASSES AND CLUB PASS PLAYERS

a. Each team must present rosters and member passes in the approved SMSL format (including digital rosters and check in) to the referee before the start of each game. Rosters must include player jersey numbers.

b. Each team must have a minimum of one registered adult administrator with a pass at the field.

c. Club Pass Players: An age eligible player may be added to the roster to play for another team than that to which they are registered an unlimited number of times under the following conditions:

1. Both teams are registered with the same Club / Organization

2. A player must get approval from his/her club Director of Coaching or designee before playing for another team.

3. There may not be more than five Club Passes in a single game.

 

1.2.1.3 PROTESTS

a. A team may play a game under protest due to field conditions or referee qualifications.

b. A team must tell the referee that it is playing under protest before the initial kickoff. The referee will note the protest and the reason for the protest in the report to SMSL.

c. SMSL will take appropriate action regarding the protest. Appropriate action may include a fine equal to the cost of referees or $200 depending on if the home or away team is found in violation.

 

1.2.2 During Game

a. Spectators shall be at least one yard from the touch line and at least 20 yards from the goal line.

b. Team personnel are to remain in the technical area and at least one yard from the touchline.

c. No spectator, coach or player may place himself or herself behind a goal.

 

1.2.3 Post-Game

a. The referee must report the score and any disciplinary actions.

b. The designated home club is ultimately responsible for reporting the score through their assigned referee.

 

1.3 SMSL-Administered Leagues

 

1.3.1 Levels and Seasons of Play

a. Black/Blue leagues at 12U, 14U, 16U and 18U, with Black being the higher play level. Black/Blue league games may be scheduled in Fall and Spring Seasons.

 

1.3.2 League Placement

a. Black/Blue: Club-Select – League Qualified

1. 12U – Rosters may include any birth year 12U and younger.

2. 14U– Rosters may include any birth year 14U and younger.

3. 16U– Rosters may include any birth year 16U and younger.

4. 18U– Rosters may include any birth year 18U and younger.

b. 10U and younger Developmental  – Include clubs’ individual players who participate in a club program that may or may not be organized as teams.  Appropriate scheduling of intra and inter club games and events are controlled by clubs.  Teams may obtain passes to play in open tournaments outside the SMSL. 

c. Recreational – Include clubs’ individual players who participate in a club or organizations recreational programming or inhouse league or cooperative league. 

d. Tournament Teams – Are teams that are organized by birth years 9U through 19U and are not placed in leagues.

 

1.3.3 League Scheduling

 

1.3.3.1 NUMBER OF GAMES SMSL provides leagues with a minimum of five games for fall season and a minimum of eight games for summer season.

 

1.3.3.2 START AND END DATES

All games must be scheduled and played within the timeframe set by SMSL.

 

1.3.3.3 RESCHEDULING

a. All rescheduling for anticipated conflicts must be made within the preseason period determined by SMSL.

b. Games can only be rescheduled after the preseason period for cases of: adverse weather, referee availability, a decision by the owner to close the scheduled field, or unforeseen circumstances as determined by SMSL.

c. Willful refusal to play any game will be subject to sanctions and fines as determined by SMSL.

 

1.3.4 League Standings

a. League Standings are posted for 12U, 14U, 16U and 18U.

b. To determine league standings, the following criteria shall be used in sequence:

1. Highest number of points. Win = 3 points, Tie = 1 point, Loss = 0 points.

2. Winner of head-to-head competition (this criterion is not used if more than two teams are tied, even if one team is not participating in post-league play).

3. Winner of most games.

4. Goal differential (goals scored minus goals against) in all games, with a maximum of a three-goal differential per game.

5. Fewest goals allowed.

6. Most goals scored in all games, with a maximum of three goals per game.

7. Kicks from the penalty mark.

c. A forfeit will result in a 3–0 loss for the forfeiting team.

d. In the event that an unequal number of games are played, standings will be determined by point percentage. The total number of points will be divided by number of games played.



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