Rules & Conduct
Posted May 30, 2014

Rules of Play and Conduct
Ashland Youth Soccer and Rockville Soccer League

Revised: Fall 2006


    We are a recreation, non-competitive, league. Each player on a team shall play a minimum of ½ of each match, unless suspended, sick/injured, or disqualified. Players with a medical condition (ie. hard cast) which could endanger others may be disqualified at the discretion of the referee, if not properly padded.

    Participation in the matches should be restricted to players having duly registered with the league. Players should only play for the teams to which they have been assigned. If during the course of a season an imbalance in the number of players assigned to the teams in a division becomes apparent, the league may reassign players to different teams.


    Matches scheduled for a particular day may be cancelled due to inclement weather (downpour, thunder and/or lightning) or unsafe playing conditions. When possible, such decisions will be made as early as possible on game day. Contact the weather hotline (804) 257-0722 for game status.

    Occasionally, threatening weather or unsafe playing conditions may develop after the teams arrive or after a match has already begun. In these situations, the referee shall assume responsibility for determining whether a match will be played. In making his determination, the referee shall take into consideration:

    1. Coaches opinions
    2. Conditions of the playing field
    3. The forecast for the day

    The referee may suspend a match for a period of time or cancel the match. The referee should not suspend a match for a period of time that significantly encroaches upon the time for another match. The referee may shorten the playing time of a match.

    Rescheduling of cancelled matches shall be at the discretion of the coaches involved. Coaches should check with their age division commissioner for field and referee availability.

    Forfeits- A team may play with 1 less player than the required number. If a team has more than 1 short, that team must forfeit to the opposing team.

    1. Coaches

      Coaches are volunteers providing a service to the children in the league. They should be treated with respect by players and parents. Coaches should report to their age division commissioner  any player or parent whose presence or behavior is disruptive to the practices or matches.

      Coaches should set a positive example of behavior for the players and parents associated with their teams. They should conduct themselves with dignity and treat the referees respectfully, displaying good sportsmanship at all times.

      Coaches may address the referee only:

      1. prior to the start of the match
      2. to make a substitution
      3. to report an injured player
      4. if addressed by the referee
      5. if the coach wishes to have the referee clarify a ruling. Clarification is not dispute!!

      Coaches are responsible for maintaining discipline for their players and respective parents on both sidelines.

      Coaching should be done from the sideline. No one shall be located beyond the goal line at either end of the field.

      At no time after the start of play is the coach permitted on the field of play unless invited by the referee.

      The home team coach must:

      1. Agree to change shirts (use pennies) if a color conflict occurs.
      2. Provide a suitable game ball


    2. Referees

      Referees are recruited among the ranks of parents, volunteers, and older players. Referees should be treated with respect due them as persons providing a service to the league and its participants. Verbal criticism or abuse of referees at any time by players, coaches, parents or other spectators will not be tolerated. Referees may caution or dismiss from the fields any abusive individuals at a match.

      DO NOT TALK TO THE REFEREES. The referees will make mistakes on the field, just like your son or daughter will. Refereeing is a lot harder than it looks!  The only way referees or your child will learn anything is by having the freedom to make mistakes. There is a referee shortage, and the reason is quite logical. If you were repeatedly verbally attacked every game by coaches, players, parents, spectators, etc. you would not continue to officiate. Realize, that your actions on the sideline can chase aspiring young referees away from the game, which doesn't help anyone in the big picture. Be a part of the solution, NOT THE PROBLEM!!!

      The opinion of the referee shall be considered the final judgment regarding any matters in the match. When the coaches mutually agree upon a matter (weather interruptions, unsafe playing conditions, or deviations from the normal playing time or number of players in a match), the referee will generally support that decision.

      In the event that the assigned referee does not appear at a match, the home team will appoint a referee with the agreement of the opposing coach.

      When a single referee is assigned to a match, the referee may appoint linesmen from among the spectators present. Such linesmen shall determine possession when the ball crosses the goal line or touch line, but they shall not have the responsibility of determining offside or other fouls.

      The referee keeps the official time and score.


    3. Spectators

      Any AYSL spectator determined by conduct and affirmed by the Board, engaged in creating a disturbance at any AYSL function will be banned from all AYSL activities for a designated period of time determined by the Board. Creating a disturbance may be:

      1. Referee abuse-physical or verbal
      2. Player abuse-physical or verbal
      3. Addressing any referee in a negative or abusive manner
      4. Addressing any player in a negative or abusive manner
      5. Addressing any coach in a negative or abusive manner
      6. Addressing any parent in a negative or abusive manner
      7. Engaging in fighting at practice or game

      Spectators are expected to behave in a manner that is respectful to the coaches, players, referees, and each other.

      Failure to abide by the decisions of the AYSL Board may result in the removal of the abusive spectator’s child from the program and forfeiture of all fees with possible criminal prosecution and civil action of the abusive spectator. All complaints will be taken by the Soccer Board and presented to the AYSL Board for immediate investigation.


    Player safety is of paramount consideration in a match. In recreational league play, the referee will totally disregard any advantage and immediately suspend play upon discovery of a player injury. Coaches and spectators may bring to the attention of the referee the injury on the field out of the referee’s view.

    When play is suspended for an injury, all players should remain at their location on the field and assume a kneeling or sitting position. The referee should examine the injured player and summon the coach or parents to the field if appropriate.

    Substitution for injured players is permitted. The opposing coach is afforded the privilege of the substitution for an equal number of players.

    Play should resume with a drop ball at the spot where the ball was when the injury was discovered, with possession of the ball by a goal keeper if a goal keeper had possession at the stoppage, or with an appropriate throw-in or free kick if the ball is out of play or if a foul is called.

      1. Shin guards must be worn at all games and practices.
      2. Shin guards must be covered entirely by socks at all times. Shoes must be soccer cleats (molded cleats only). No metal, or  removable cleats or spikes of any kind are permitted.
      3. No jewelry of any kind is allowed. Medical alert jewelry must be taped securely to the player. Pierced earrings must be removed. Taping over earrings is not acceptable.
      4. No wire rimmed glasses unless completely covered by approved sports goggles: plastic frames acceptable-a strap should be worn to secure glasses.
      5. No hard casts are allowed; covering casts with foam or other substances may be allowed, but must be approved by the referee.
      6. Players may wear sweat pants in lieu of shorts when cold weather dictates. Jerseys should be tucked into shorts/pants.
      7. Players may wish to consider mouth pieces as part of their safety equipment. These are especially important for goal keepers and for players with braces.
      8. Goalkeeper must wear different color jersey from all other players.



Summary of the Laws of the Game for AYSL Recreation League

Note: In all cases where no specific reference is made concerning any aspect of the Laws of the Game herein: current FIFA laws and rulings will apply together with current modifications of those laws set out by the United States Youth Soccer Association.


U6 20 X 30; U8 25 X 40; U10 40 X 60; U12  50 X 70

The area behind the goal box should be free of spectators, players, parents, and coaches.

U6 - U12: Players and coaches from both teams will occupy the same side of the playing field. Parent and spectators will occupy the opposite side of the playing field.


U6 SIZE 3; U8 SIZE 3 ;U10-U12 SIZE 4; U13-U17 SIZE 5


U6 3 no goalkeeper 
U8 4 no goalkeeperr
U10 6 goal keeper (7v7)

U12-U17: 11 max 7 min

Unless otherwise specified AYSL and Rockville will use the following # players

U10 7v7

U12 8v8

U14 11v11

U6 - U12 Unlimited substitutions any time at the discretion of the referee.


See previous section.


See previous section.


  1. U8-U10: No assistant referee, single man or dual referee.
  2. U12-U17: 1-2 assistant referees (linesmen)


DIVISIONGAME LENGTHU64 (8) minute qtrs.U84 (12) minute qtrs.U102 (25) minute halvesU122 (30) minute halvesU142 (35) minute halvesU16-U172 (40) minute halves


  1. U6 - Two minute quarter break; five minute half time.
  2. U8 - Two minute quarter break; five minute half time.
  3. U10 - U12 - Five minute half time.



  1. Kickoff
  2. Drop ball


  1. When ball has wholly crossed touch line
  2. When ball has wholly crossed goal line
  3. When ball has been stopped by the referee


  1. A goal is scored when the whole of ball passes over the goal line between the goal posts and under the crossbar provided no infringement of the game has occurred.
  2. The team with the greatest number of goals at the end of the match is declared the winner.
  3. Matches ending in a tie will be complete and end tied


No offside for U6-U10.

A player is in the offside position if he is:

  1. Nearer to his opponents’ goal line than the ball.
  2. In his opponents half of the field, and
  3. Nearer the goal line than at least two of his opponents

It is not an offense in itself to be in an offside position.

A player shall only be penalized for being in an offside position if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:

  1. Interfering with play, or
  2. Interfering with an opponent, or
  3. Gaining an advantage by being in that position

A player receiving the ball from a teammate directly from a throw-in, goal kick, or corner kick shall not be judged offside.

When offside occurs, the referee awards an indirect kick to the other team at the point where the infraction occurred.


direct free kick shall be awarded to the team opposing a player who intentionally:

  1. Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
  2. Trips or attempts to trip an opponent
  3. Jumps at an opponent
  4. Charges an opponent
  5. Strikes of attempts to strike an opponent
  6. Spits at an opponent
  7. Holds an opponent
  8. Pushes an opponent
  9. Handles the ball deliberately with hand or arm except for a goalkeeper in his own penalty area
  10. When tackling an opponent, makes contact with the opponent before contact is made with the ball

penalty kick shall be awarded for any of the above fouls committed by the defending team in its own penalty area.

An indirect free kick shall be awarded to the team opposing a player who:

  1. Plays in a dangerous play (i.e. slide tackle in U8 & U10)
  2. Charges fairly away from the ball
  3. Intentionally obstructs an opponent
  4. Interferes with a goalkeeper clearly in possession of the ball
  5. As a goalkeeper, takes more than 6 seconds before releasing the ball into play or intentionally delays the game
  6. Goalkeeper touches the ball with his hands after a teammate deliberately kicks it back to him

A player shall be cautioned (yellow card) if he:

  1. Guilty of unsporting behavior
  2. Enters or leaves the field of play without the referee’s permission
  3. Persistently infringes the Laws of the Game
  4. Shows dissent by word or action
  5. Delays the restart of play
  6. Fails to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick or free kick

A player shall be sent off (red card) if he:

  1. Is guilty of violent conduct
  2. Is guilty of serious foul play
  3. Uses offensive, insulting, or abusive language
  4. Spits at an opponent or any other person
  5. Denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (with the exception of the goalkeeper in his own penalty area)
  6. Denies the obvious goal scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
  7. Receives a second caution (yellow card) in the same game

Players sent off may not be replaced. Players or coaches sent off may not attend the next game played. Games cancelled due to weather or postponed for any other reason are not considered played for this purpose. A player or coach who has been sent off will be allowed to participate in all practices proceeding the game.




  1. Ball must move to be in play
  2. A goal may be scored directly


  1. Ball must move to be in play
  2. A goal may be scored only if the ball has touched another player before it crosses the goal line

For U6-U8, treat all fouls as indirect kicksThere are no penalty kicks in U6-U8.



  1. From within penalty area, 2/3 of the distance from the goal line to penalty area line, centered; this is generally 12 yards from the goal line
  2. Only goalkeeper and kicker may be in the penalty area
  3. Goalkeeper’s feet must touch goal line and he may move laterally but not forward
  4. Only the keeper can be less than 12 yards from the goal line


U6 - U10 - 2 attempts - possession change

U12 - 1 attempt - possession change


  1. When offensive team propels ball over goal line outside the goal
  2. Ball is placed anywhere within the goal area and kicked into play
  3. Ball must clear penalty area to be in play
  4. Opposing team may not have a player in the penalty area at the time of the goal kick


  1. When defensive team propels ball over goal line outside the goal
  2. Ball is placed in and kicked from the arc at the corner of the field on the same side as it was played out of bounds
  3. All opponents must be 5 yards (U8), 8 yards (U10) and 10 yards (U11-U17) away from the ball.
  4. A goal may be scored directly



  • Opposing coaches and players should shake hands after each game.
  • Parents/coaches, non-playing players, and spectators should be there to enjoy and encourage the activity of the youngsters
  • No alcoholic beverages or smoking will be consumed or allowed near the playing area