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SWSA Modified Rules for Soccer

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					                             SWSA Modified Rules for Soccer


I.       DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

The Southwest Soccer Association is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization whose guiding principles
evolve around the idea that youth soccer belongs to the children in an environment where personal
enrichment, self-achievement, and – most importantly - fun take overwhelming precedence over adult
desires for “winning,” “championships,” and “glory.” Adults are merely the facilitators to ensure a safe,
educational environment for the children.

Southwest Soccer Association subscribes to and accepts as fact the policies, rules, and guidelines of Ohio
South Youth Soccer Association (OSYSA) and U.S. Youth Soccer; therefore functioning with these
guiding principles in mind.


II.      MISSION

To teach youth of the Southwest Soccer Association (SWSA) the fundamentals of soccer, sportsmanship,
and fair play – as well as to provide the opportunity for each child’s growth in the sport. Every youth
participating in soccer should have an equal opportunity to participate in every game and will feel that
he/she has an equal chance of playing for a winning team.


III.     PROGRAM STRUCTURE

SWSA offers two outdoor soccer programs:

The travel program is offered for children who want to compete against travel teams from other
associations. Generally, a greater commitment is required to participate in this program. Practice
schedules, player positioning, and playing time are all at the coach’s discretion.

The recreational program is designed for children who desire a less demanding, through personally
enriching opportunity. Recreational coaches are required to give each child equal playing time (all
players must play 50% of each game). Coaches are also required to rotate players into different positions
(forward, midfield, fullback and goalkeeper) to provide equal playing opportunity at each position.

Both recreational and travel programs further divide the participants by age/birth date into divisions.
When necessary, SWSA combines divisions to form more teams. The governing state association, the
Ohio South Youth Soccer Association (OSYSA) establishes the date ranges for each division. July 31 is
currently the cut-off for each age group. Children born after July 31 play down in the next younger
division.

Parents may request that their child be moved up a division. However, no child may be moved down a
division for any reason. The Board of Directors also reserve the right to require a player to move up if
their size is significantly above average for the division and presents a safety issue.

The Recreational program is currently divided into six (6) divisions: U-4 (age 3), U-6 (4-5), U-8 (6-7),
U-10 (8-9), U-12 (10-11), and U-14/16 (12-15). Boys and girls have the opportunity to play together in a
co-ed recreational league.


REVISED: 30 March, 2007                                                                               Page 1 of 10

This version of SWSA Modified Soccer Rules supersedes all previous versions as of the revision date
                             SWSA Modified Rules for Soccer


IV.      RULE MODIFICATIONS FOR RECREATIONAL SOCCER

The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) defines the rules of soccer, including those
of Southwest Soccer Association. A web link to FIFA’s Laws of the Game can be found on our web site
at www.southwestsoccer.org. Per the recommendations of OSYSA and U.S. Youth Soccer, SWSA has
modified several of FIFA’s rules to make the game more conducive to youth play. The remainder of this
document describes these modifications.


V.       UNDERSTANDING THE RULES

Parents, guardians, and other adults – be they coaches or spectators – shall avail themselves to review and
understand both the SWSA Modified Rules for Soccer and the Laws of the Game, as published by the
governing body of soccer worldwide, The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).
Further, parents shall avail themselves to ensuring that their child player(s) understand the rules.

The absence of such a review does not indemnify players, coaches, parents, or other adults from being
sanctioned for a violation of any of these rules (including dismissal from the playing, spectator, or
technical area) for any action involving violence, threatening, menacing, dissent, or otherwise
unsportsmanlike behavior witnessed by a referee, coach, or member of the Board of Directors.

In the event anyone is dismissed from the field of play (pitch, spectator area, or technical area) and the
person dismissed refuses to leave, all players shall be withdrawn from the field immediately by their
coaches and shall not be permitted to return until the dismissed person retires – as instructed – to the
parking lot or concession stand area. Play will resume when the offending party clears the area of play.


VI.      ADULT BEHAVIOR at SWSA EVENTS

The mainstream media in recent years has been publicizing many examples of the alarming trend of
improper, inappropriate, and sometimes criminal behavior of adults at youth sports games. The
overbearing attitudes of competitive parents intent on making their child a superstar; coaches intent on
winning at all costs to ensuring bragging rights; and a collective belief that every little Johnny or Jane is
the second coming of any number of millionaire athletes has put onto the radar the intent, conduct, and
purpose of youth sports in the United States.

SWSA exists not to provide adults with a platform under which their child is evaluated for
recommendation to one of the U.S. National teams, nor do we exist as a facilitator for adults attempting to
re-live their own childhoods through their children. We exist strictly for the kids, and those adults who
want to impart onto children the perspective that youth soccer is a wonderful experience in which children
learn a sport and sportsmanship, make new friends, gain confidence within themselves, and learn that it is
OK to make mistakes – even in the most competitive environments.

With this in mind, adults are required at all SWSA events to accept that sideline coaching, screaming at
players, arguing with referees, or otherwise creating a less-than-enriching environment for the children is
unacceptable conduct that could result in removal from the program.



REVISED: 30 March, 2007                                                                               Page 2 of 10

This version of SWSA Modified Soccer Rules supersedes all previous versions as of the revision date
                             SWSA Modified Rules for Soccer


U-4 DIVISION

      No official scores or standings will be kept.
      Games will be played with three (3) players per-side.
      Coaches MUST employ a man-to-man playing format AT ALL TIMES during match play. The
      benefits of educating players on the technical aspects of the game (dribbling, ball control, spatial
      awareness in and away from pressure) and the physical attributes associated with constant
      movement outweigh any needs for systems of play (tactical) at this age level. This will afford all
      players the opportunity to possess and/or intercept the ball; and learn how to control the ball through
      and away from pressure.
      Coaches shall assign an opposing player at the start of each quarter to a member of their team. To
      ensure the man-to-man format does not confuse the players, colored wrist bands provided by SWSA
      shall be worn so players from both teams can identify throughout the quarter who they are
      “marking.”
      There shall be no goalkeepers used in the U4 age division. Because the man-to-man format requires
      constant movement, there shall be no positioning of any players in front of the goal (inside or
      outside the goal box) as a de-facto goalkeeper AT ANY TIME.
      Games shall consist of 4 quarters, 6 minutes each, with a 2-minute break between each quarter, and
      a half-time break of 5 minutes. There shall be no overtime.
      All free-kicks (including kick-off) shall be played as in-direct kicks. The offense is entitled to and
      may ask the referee for 9 feet (3 yards) of undefended distance from the ball.
      All out-of-bounds over the touch lines will result in a kick-in at the spot where the ball left the field.
      There shall no throw-ins at the U4 age division.
      All out-of-bounds over the goal line in which the attacking team last touched the ball will result in a
      goal kick from the further part of the “6-Yard Box” for the team whose goal was under attack.
      All out-of-bounds over the goal line in which the defending team last touched the ball will result in
      a corner kick from the nearest corner arc for the team who was on the attack.
      All infractions will be vocalized to the players by the referees. The referee will further explain the
      infraction, if in their opinion, the players do not fully understand the infraction. Coaches may, and
      are encouraged to, coach from the field while refereeing, but are not allowed in the penalty area.
      There will be no penalty kicks taken during games.
      Head-balls are not permitted.
      All games will be played with a Size 3 ball.
      Offside rule will not be in effect.




REVISED: 30 March, 2007                                                                               Page 3 of 10

This version of SWSA Modified Soccer Rules supersedes all previous versions as of the revision date
                             SWSA Modified Rules for Soccer


A.       U-6 DIVISION

      No official scores or standings will be kept.
      Games will be played with four (4) players per-side.
      Coaches MUST employ a man-to-man playing format AT ALL TIMES during match play. The
      benefits of educating players on the technical aspects of the game (dribbling, ball control, spatial
      awareness in and away from pressure) and the physical attributes associated with constant
      movement outweigh any needs for systems of play (tactical) at this age level. This will afford all
      players the opportunity to possess and/or intercept the ball; and learn how to control the ball through
      and away from pressure.
      Coaches shall assign an opposing player at the start of each quarter to a member of their team. To
      ensure the man-to-man format does not confuse the players, colored wrist bands provided by SWSA
      shall be worn so players from both teams can identify throughout the quarter who they are
      “marking.”
      There shall be no goalkeepers used in the U6 age division. Because the man-to-man format requires
      constant movement, there shall be no positioning of any players in front of the goal (inside or
      outside the goal box) as a de-facto goalkeeper AT ANY TIME.
      Games shall consist of 4 quarters, 8 minutes each, with a 2-minute break between each quarter, and
      a half-time break of 5 minutes. There shall be no overtime.
      All free-kicks (including kick-off) shall be played as in-direct kicks. The offense is entitled to and
      may ask the referee for 9 feet (3 yards) of undefended distance from the ball.
      All out-of-bounds over the touch lines will result in a kick-in at the spot where the ball left the field.
      There shall no throw-ins at the U6 age division.
      All out-of-bounds over the goal line in which the attacking team last touched the ball will result in a
      goal kick from the further part of the “6-Yard Box” for the team whose goal was under attack.
      All out-of-bounds over the goal line in which the defending team last touched the ball will result in
      a corner kick from the nearest corner arc for the team who was on the attack.
      All infractions will be vocalized to the players by the referees. The referee will further explain the
      infraction, if in their opinion, the players do not fully understand the infraction. Coaches may, and
      are encouraged to, coach from the field while refereeing, but are not allowed in the penalty area.
      There will be no penalty kicks taken during games.
      Head-balls are permitted, though not encouraged, so long as safe play is overarching. Dangerous
      play will be strictly enforced.
      All games will be played with a Size 3 ball.
      Offside rule will not be in effect.




REVISED: 30 March, 2007                                                                               Page 4 of 10

This version of SWSA Modified Soccer Rules supersedes all previous versions as of the revision date
                             SWSA Modified Rules for Soccer


B.       U-8 DIVISION

      No official scores or standings will be kept.
      Games will be played with six (6) players per-side, including a goalkeeper.
      The games will consist of 4 quarters, 12 minutes each, with a 2-minute break between each quarter,
      and a half-time break of 5 minutes. There shall be no overtime.
      All free-kicks (including kick-off) shall be played as in-direct kicks. The offense is entitled to and
      may ask the referee for 9 feet (3 yards) of undefended distance from the ball.
      All out-of-bounds over the touch lines will result in a throw-in at the spot where the ball left the
      field. If the first throw-in is made incorrectly, the referee/coach will instruct the player as to why it
      was incorrect and a second throw-in will be given. If the second attempt is made incorrectly, a turn
      over will result and the opposing team will receive a throw-in at the spot.
      All out-of-bounds over the goal line in which the attacking team last touched the ball will result in a
      goal kick from the further part of the “6-Yard Box” for the team whose goal was under attack.
      All out-of-bounds over the goal line in which the defending team last touched the ball will result in
      a corner kick from the nearest corner arc for the team who was on the attack.
      Coaches MAY NOT coach from the field under any circumstance.
      There will be no penalty kicks. If a foul or penalty is committed within the penalty area, the free
      kick will be taken from the penalty line at the spot closest to where the foul occurred.
      No slide tackling or slide kicks are allowed, if others players are within proximity to the ball. Any
      sliding on the ball will result in a free kick for the opposing team, and may result in a yellow card
      for the offending player if play was deemed dangerous to other players by the referee.
      Offside rule will not be in effect.
      All games will be played with a Size 3 ball.
      To prevent the all too common occurrence of short goal kicks leading to shots on goal for the
      opposing team, the ball must first be touched by the possessing team before the opposing team can
      attack on the ball.




REVISED: 30 March, 2007                                                                               Page 5 of 10

This version of SWSA Modified Soccer Rules supersedes all previous versions as of the revision date
                             SWSA Modified Rules for Soccer


C.       U-10 DIVISION

      No official scores or standings will be kept.
      Games will be played with seven (7) players per-side, including a goalkeeper.
      The games will consist of 2 halves, 25 minutes each, with a 2-minute break between each quarter,
      and a half-time break of 5 minutes. There shall be no overtime.
      Free Kicks: Conform to FIFA with the exception that all opponents are at least eight (8) yards from
      the ball until it is in play.
      All infractions will be vocalized to the players by the referees. The referee will further explain the
      infraction, if in their opinion, the players do not fully understand the infraction.
      All games will be played with a Size 4 ball.

D.       U-12 DIVISION

      No official scores or standings will be kept.
      Games will be played with eight (8) players per-side, including a goalkeeper.
      The games will consist of 2 halves, 30 minutes each, with a 2-minute break between each quarter,
      and a half-time break of 5 minutes. There shall be no overtime.
      Free Kicks: Conform to FIFA with the exception that all opponents are at least eight (8) yards from
      the ball.
      When required, infractions will be explained to the players by the referees.
      All games will be played with a Size 4 ball.

E.       U-14/16 DIVISION

      No official scores or standings will be kept.
      Games will be played with nine (9) players per-side, including a goalkeeper.
      The games will consist of 2 halves, 35 minutes each, with a 2-minute break between each quarter,
      and a half-time break of 5 minutes. There shall be no overtime.
      Free Kicks: Conform to FIFA with the exception that all opponents are at least eight (8) yards from
      the ball.
      When required, infractions will be explained to the players by the referees.
      At the discretion of the league officials, teams may be required to play a man down, or allowed
      additional players on the field to even out teams, if a team’s age or size should play a major factor in
      the outcome of a game.
      All games will be played with a Size 5 ball.




REVISED: 30 March, 2007                                                                               Page 6 of 10

This version of SWSA Modified Soccer Rules supersedes all previous versions as of the revision date
                             SWSA Modified Rules for Soccer


VII.     ALL DIVISIONS

       Unless a league administrator or referee hold-up a game for safety reasons, or a game has been
       previously rescheduled, games must start within 10 minutes after the official start time.
       If a team is short on players, the other team must sit up to one player to match the opponent more
       evenly, or if previously arranged, may call up players from a lower division team of the same name.
       Coaches are required to rotate their kids through all lines (front, middle, back) during the season.
       Rotations can be done at any time (quarter, half, game, other) as long as the coach makes an effort
       to play each child an even amount of time (more or less) at each line.
       The goalkeeper position should not be a primary position for any player. In any one game, a player
       may not play this position more than 25% of the game at U-8’s, 50% at U-10’s, 75:% at U-12’s, and
       75% at U-14/16’s. Coaches are encouraged to allow all players to play this position.
       All spectators must be on the opposite side of the field from players and coaches during the game
       (Maximum of 2 coaches per team at any time).
       NO ONE is allowed on or behind the goal line or around the corners during match play.
       If the ball exits the field of play and a determination cannot be made on whom the ball last touched,
       the re-start will be done with a drop ball.
       If a team is up by 4 or more goals, the other team shall add one additional player on the field. If at
       any time the lead becomes less than a 4 goal lead the extra player must be removed.
       Substitutions: With the exception of the oldest division, both teams may substitute when the team
       with possession of the ball decides to substitute players when the ball leaves the pitch. The oldest
       division will conform to FIFA.




REVISED: 30 March, 2007                                                                               Page 7 of 10

This version of SWSA Modified Soccer Rules supersedes all previous versions as of the revision date
                             SWSA Modified Rules for Soccer


VIII.     SAFETY AND CONDUCT RULES

        Yellow cards may be awarded to players, coaches or parents for dangerous play infractions,
        unsportsmanlike-like behavior, or dissent, among others. This includes arguing calls or creating an
        environment under which the guiding principles of SWSA are deemed to be in violation.
        Red cards may be awarded to players, coaches or parents for intentional dangerous play infractions,
        violent conduct, spitting, deliberate fouling to prevent a goal, and using offensive language, among
        others. A red card requires the ejection of that player, coach, or spectator from the game and that
        player, coach or parent must sit out for that team’s next game by FIFA rules.
        Two yellow cards issued to the same player in one game equal one red card. A team receiving a red
        card must remove the offending player from the game and play down a man. A coach receiving a
        red card will be required to immediately proceed to the concession stand. A parent receiving a red
        card will be required to proceed to the parking area. If any combination of a team parents and
        coaches receive two yellows or one red card, the team will be required to play down one player.
        The game will not restart until the offender has moved to the proper location.
        Cleats are not required, but if they are worn, they must not have a cleat at the tip of the shoe (i.e.
        baseball cleats).
        Shin guards must be worn at practice as well as games to participate. Players without shin guards
        will not be permitted to participate in SWSA games or trainings until shin guards are used.
        Shin guards MUST be worn underneath the socks and must be touching the playing skin. The act of
        pulling socks up above the knee, placing the shin guard overtop the top and pulling the excess
        length of the sock down over the shin guard IS NOT PERMITED under any circumstance and shall
        result in the offending player being required to sit out until this FIFA violation is remedied. This
        rule applies to all age divisions.
        No earrings, nose rings, or other body piercing jewelry allowed on either the playing or practice
        field. Players may not wear watches or wrist bands (except those employed for man-to-man
        identification at the U4 and U6 age group) during match play.
        Players may not participate in games with open and/or bleeding wounds. First aid supplies are in
        the storage shed.
        The stoppage of play for a player injury is solely at the discretion of the referee, who may elect to
        allow play to continue (a) if there is no imminent threat posed to the injured player; (b) the injury
        does not appears to be serious; (c) is deemed to be an “act” to stop play to allow the player’s team to
        re-group; or (d) is deemed an “act” to prevent the attacking team from maintaining its advantage. In
        these cases, play will stop upon the ball leaving the pitch or the attacking team loses advantage
        (provided there is no imminent threat posed to the injured player). In the event the referee
        determines sustained injury is serious (head injury or obvious fractured bone), play will be stopped
        immediately.
        Coaches are not permitted to huddle their team during an injury time-out. Violating this provision
        will result in a yellow card to the coach.
        Unless a free kick was awarded for committing an infraction, injury re-starts will be done with a
        drop ball.



REVISED: 30 March, 2007                                                                               Page 8 of 10

This version of SWSA Modified Soccer Rules supersedes all previous versions as of the revision date
                             SWSA Modified Rules for Soccer


IX.      COACHES

      Any member of the SWSA Executive Board has the authority to suspend coaches for not adhering
      to SWSA policies or violating game rules.
      All U4 through U6 coaches are required to referee their own games. No more than one referee per
      team is allowed on the field at one time. Coaches are permitted to have a qualified parent or an
      assistant coach fulfill their refereeing duties. Failure to referee, or provide a referee will result in a
      forfeit, U-10, U-12, and U-14/16 coaches should be prepared to referee in the case that the assigned
      referees do not show.
      Coaches of the first game each day are responsible for setting up flags, clearing the field of debris,
      and painting the fields, if necessary. Coaches of the last game each day are responsible for taking
      down flags and returning these to the storage area, as well as removing the trash from the field and
      spectator areas and taking the trash to the designated trash receptacles. Stopwatches should also be
      returned to the storage shed.
      Coaches are responsible for turning in ALL their equipment after the last scheduled game of the
      season.




REVISED: 30 March, 2007                                                                               Page 9 of 10

This version of SWSA Modified Soccer Rules supersedes all previous versions as of the revision date
                             SWSA Modified Rules for Soccer


X.       SUGGESTIONS FOR REFEREES

1.       Read FIFA’s Laws of the Game.
2.       Read SWSA’s documented rule modifications.
3.       Bring your own whistle to games.
4.       Arrive 15 minutes before game time.
5.       Obtain a score card and pencil from the concession stand.
6.       Introduce yourself to the coaches.
7.       Line up players to check shin guards, body piercings, open wounds and cleats.
8.       When making a call, blow the whistle forcefully and use hand signals as much as possible.
9.       Ask each coach to sign the scorecard.




REVISED: 30 March, 2007                                                                               Page 10 of 10

This version of SWSA Modified Soccer Rules supersedes all previous versions as of the revision date

				
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