Rules & Regulations
Cabarrus County Youth Soccer Leagues
2014 Rules & Regulations
United States Youth Soccer Federation Rules and N.C. High School Federation Rules apply with the following local rule exceptions.
Section 1. Eligibility/Age Division.
Age groups reflect players’ age as of October 15, 2014.
1. 13-15 Division 13, 14, & 15 Years of age.
2. 11-12 Division 11 & 12 Years of age.
3. 9-10 Division 9 & 10 Years of age.
4. 7-8 Division 7 & 8 Years of age.
5. 4-6 Division 4, 5, & 6 Years of Age
Section 2. Field of Play
Associations playing countywide must play field and goal size as set by the league coordinators when field space allows these dimensions to be used. In house associations can use their own field dimensions. See attached field diagrams.
1. Field Size for 4-6 is at the discretion of each association.
2. Field Size for 7-8 and 9-10: Shall be a minimum of 40 X 60 yards.
3. Field Size for 11-12, 13-15: Shall be a minimum of 50 X 100 yards.
4. Regulation goals for 4-6, 7-8 and 9-10: Shall be 12 feet wide X 7 feet high.
5. Regulation goals for 11-12, 13-15: Shall be 24 feet wide X 8 feet high.
6. The penalty area, corner area, goals, and other boundaries will be designated by field markings. A halfway circle will also be added to the field of play.
Section 3. Game Balls
1. 4-6 Divisions: # 3 ball, 23” to 24”, 8 oz. To 11 oz.
2. 7-8 & 9-10 Divisions: # 4 ball, 25” to 26”, 11 oz. to 13 oz.
3. 11-12, 13-15 Divisions: # 5 ball, 27” to 28”, 14 oz. To 16 oz.
Section 4. Players and Substitutions
1. 7-8 Division: 5 players plus a goalkeeper for a total of 6 players on field. Each team must have at least 4 players to start. 1 coach may be on the field during the game for each team.
2. 9-10 Division: 5 players plus a goalkeeper for a total of 6 players on the field. Each team must have at least 4 players to start.
3. All teams in the 7-8 and 9-10 division must play equal number of players at all times regardless of score. Example – Team A shows up with 8 players then Team B must play only 8 players also. Numbers of players should not drop below the minimum number needed to play.
4. 11-12, 13-15 Divisions: 10 players on the field plus a goalkeeper for a total of 11 players on the field. No team is to play a game with fewer than 7 players on the field.
5. If a team gains a 5 goal advantage at anytime during the course of a game and that team has more players than the losing team (ex: Team A has 11 players and Team B has only 9 player) then the winning team must drop back to the same number of players as losing team players at start of game while they have a 5 goal advantage. Once the lead drops to 2 goals the team can replace the players at their next available substitution. Number of players should not drop below the minimum number needed to play. Ejected players cannot be replaced and those teams with ejected players must play down a man.
6. Substitutions shall be unlimited for all age divisions. Substitutions may be made with the consent of the referee at the any dead ball.
7. A mid-period break will be called in the middle of each half only in instances where excessive heat or other weather-related circumstances dictate. Only substitutions are to leave or enter the field during the break.
Section 5. Players Equipment
1. A player shall not wear anything that is dangerous to another player. No plastic cast will be permitted without proper padding and referee approval. No metal braces will be allowed.
2. Uniforms shall consist of shorts and shirts with number on the backs of shirts being at least 8 inches high. Knee socks are recommended. All shirts must be the same color. Sweat pants may be worn.
3. The goalkeeper shall wear a different color shirt than the referee and different color shirt than members of both teams. Mouthpieces are recommended but not mandatory.
4. No metal cleats. No baseball/softball cleats are allowed. Participants wearing baseball/softball style cleats must cut off the center cleat or will not be permitted to play.
5. Shin guards are required for league play and practices.
Section 6. Referees
1. The referee has jurisdiction from the time he enters the field of play until he signals the end of the game. His decisions are final. Three officials should be scheduled for the 11 and up age divisions.
2. The referee shall enforce the Rules of the Game, but shall refrain from stopping the game for an infraction when he is satisfied that by doing so, would be giving an advantage to the offending team.
3. The referee can stop the game for infringements of the rules by blowing a whistle.
4. The referee can suspend or terminate a game whenever he deems necessary. For example, severe weather or interference by spectators or coaches.
5. The referee can caution a player, coach, or parent and shall eject from play any player, coach, or parent guilty of violent conduct or serious foul play, using profanity or foul language, or persistent infringement of the playing rules.
6. The referee acts as the timekeeper and keeps a record of the game.
7. Boys and girls will be allowed to fold arms to provide lower (below waist) and upper body (chest area) protection. This will be a judgment call by the referee.
Section 7. Start of Play
1. The start of play at the beginning of each half and after a goal shall proceed with a kick-off.
2. At the beginning of the game, the choice of the end of field to play from or kick-off shall be determined by the toss of a coin. The team winning the toss shall have the option of the choice of ends or kick-off.
3. After half time, the ends shall be changed and the kick-off shall be taken by the team opposite from the team that took the kick-off at the beginning of the game.
4. On a kickoff, the ball must be stationary on the ground at the center of the field and is considered in play once it has been kicked and has moved forward. The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player.
5. Every player on each team must be in their own half of the field and all players of the team opposing the kicker must be at least 10 yards away from the ball when the ball is put into play. If this rule is violated, the kickoff shall be retaken.
6. A goal cannot be scored directly from a kickoff.
7. After a temporary suspension of play for any reason not otherwise mentioned in these rules, the referee shall restart the game by a drop ball where the ball was when play was stopped. A player may not play the ball until it touches the ground. If this rule is violated, the drop ball shall be retaken. A goal may be scored directly from a drop ball.
Section 8. Ball In and Out of Play
1. The ball is out of play only when:
A. It has crossed the goal line or touch line in its entirety by ground or air.
B. When the game has been stopped by the referee.
C. Referee stops game due to injury
2. The ball is in play from the beginning of the game until the end, even if:
A. It rebounds from a goalpost, crossbar, or corner flag into the field of play.
B. It rebounds off the referee or a linesman when he is in the field of play.
C. An apparent infraction has occurred but the referee has not stopped the game.
Section 9. Method of Scoring
1. A goal is scored when the whole of the ball crosses the goal line between the goal posts and under the cross bar, provided it was not thrown, carried, or intentionally propelled by arm or hand by an attacking player (except the goalkeeper who throws the ball from his own penalty area.). The ball has to cross in its entirety.
2. If a defending player deflects the ball with his hand or arm and the ball goes in the goal, a goal is scored.
3. Each goal scored counts one point. The team scoring the greater number of goals during the game wins.
4. If both teams have scored an equal number of goals during the game, the game ends in a tie.
Section 10. Offside (Age Division 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-15)
1. A player is offside if he is nearer the opposing team’s goal line than the ball at the moment the ball is played unless:
a. The player is in own half of the field.
b. Two opposing players are nearer their goal line than he is (including the opposing goalkeeper).
c. An opponent last touches the ball.
d. Player received the ball directly from a goal kick, corner kick, throw in, or drop ball.
2. A player in an offside position is not offside unless, in the opinion of the referee, he is seeking to gain advantage by being in an offside position.
3. For an offside infraction, the defending team is awarded an indirect free kick from the place where the offside occurred.
Section 11. Duration of the Game
Division 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-15 will play 2 thirty minute halves.
Halftime will be five (5) minutes in length.
A quarter break shall be given at the midway point.
When hot weather exists additional water breaks shall be granted at the referee’s discretion during each half.
Section 12. Fouls and Misconduct
1. Fouls and misconduct are penalized by awarding free kicks to the opponent. The guilty player may also be cautioned or ejected even if a free kick is not awarded due to application of advantage.
2. Direct free kicks are awarded only for intentionally:
A. Kicking or attempting to kick a player;
C. Jumping at opposing players
D. Charging Violently
E. Charging from behind
F. Striking or attempting to strike
I. Intentionally Handling the Ball to Gain an Advantage (except goalkeeper in penalty area)
3. A direct free kick offense committed in the guilty player’s penalty area is a penalty kick.
4. Indirect free kicks are awarded for all fouls, misconduct, and offenses other than the 10 (A-J) direct free kick fouls. Other fouls and misconduct include:
A. Dangerous play
B. Charging fairly when not within playing distance of the ball
D. Charging the goalkeeper.
5. A goalkeeper may handle the ball only in his own penalty area, and the goalkeeper may not delay the game by holding on to the ball. At the discretion of the referee, the penalty for a delay by the goalkeeper is loss of possession and a corner kick for the opposing team.
6. A player shall be cautioned if they
A. Persistently infringes the Rules of the Game.
B. Dissents from any decision by the referee.
C. Is guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct.
D. Enters the game without the referee’s permission.
7. A player shall be ejected from the game if they
A. Is guilty of violent conduct or serious foul play.
B. Uses foul or abusive language.
C. Persists in misconduct after being cautioned. An ejected player may not be replaced.
Section 13. Free Kicks
1. The two kinds of free kicks are
A. Direct free kicks, from which a goal may be scored against the offending team.
B. Indirect free kicks, from which a goal cannot be scored unless the ball is touched by a player other than the kicker before going into the game.
2. Direct free kicks are awarded only for the 10 (A-J) direct free kick fouls. ALL OTHER OFFENSES are awarded with an indirect free kick unless specifically stated otherwise in the rule describing the offense.
3. A free kick is taken from the place where the offense occurred.
4. The ball must be stationary on the ground and is considered in play when it has been kicked or moved forward. The kicker may not play it a second time before being touched by another player.
5. All opposing players must be at least 10 yards away from the ball when the ball is put into play. If this rule is violated, the free kick is retaken.
6. If the offense occurred less than 10 yards from the opponent’s goal line, the opposing players may stand on their own goal line between the goal posts.
7. On free kicks taken within its penalty area by the defending team, all opposing players must be outside the penalty area and at least 10 yards away from the ball. The ball must travel outside the penalty area before being in play.
Section 14. Penalty Kick
1. A penalty kick is awarded if the defending team commits one of the 10 direct free kick fouls in its own penalty area.
2. The penalty kick is taken from the penalty mark, which is centered 12 yards in front of the goal.
3. All players, except the kicker and the goalkeeper, must be outside the penalty area and at least 10 yards away from the penalty mark.
4. The goalkeeper must stand with both feet touching the goal line and must not move his feet until the ball is kicked.
5. The ball must be kicked forward, must travel the distance of its circumference before being in play, and may not be played by the kicker a second time before being touched by another player.
6. A goal may be scored directly on a penalty kick. For any violation of this rule:
A. If by the kicker, an indirect free kick is awarded the defending team.
B. If by the attacking team other than the kicker and goal results, the penalty kick shall be retaken.
C. If by the defending team and a goal does not result, the penalty kick shall be retaken.
7. Time shall be extended to allow a penalty kick to be taken.
Section 15. Throw In
1. A throw in is awarded if the ball passes completely over a touchline, either on the ground or in the air.
2. The ball is thrown in at the place where it crosses the line by a player of the team opposite to that of the player who last touched it.
3. The thrower must face the field and part of each foot must be on the ground either on the touchline or outside the field of play. The ball must be thrown with both hands and must be delivered from behind and over his head.
4. A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw in.
5. If the throw in is improper, a throw in from the same place shall be awarded to the opposing team.
6. The ball is in play immediately upon entering the playing field, but may not be played by the thrower before being touched by another player.
Section 16. Goal Kick
1. A goal kick is awarded to the defending team if the ball passes completely over its goal line, outside the goal, after having last been touched by a player of the attacking team.
2. The goal kick is taken from any point within that half of the goal area nearest the place where the ball crossed the goal line.
3. All opposing players must be outside the penalty area.
4. The ball must travel outside the penalty area before being in play and may not be played by the kicker a second time before being touched by another player.
5. A goal cannot be scored direct from a goal kick.
6. If the ball does not travel outside the penalty area, the goal kick shall be retaken.
7. AGES 7-8 ONLY - All opposing players opposite of the team taking the goal kick must be positioned beyond the mid field line until the ball is kicked.
Section 17. Corner Kick
1. A corner kick is awarded the attacking team if the ball passes completely over the defending team’s goal line, outside the goal, after having last been touched by a player of the defending team.
2. The corner kick is taken from within the quarter circle next to the goal post nearest the place where the ball crossed the goal line.
3. All opposing players must be at least 10 yards away from the ball.
4. The ball must travel the distance of its circumference before being in play, and may not be played by the kicker a second time before being touched by another player.
5. A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick.
6. If the kicker plays the ball before another player touches it, the opposing team shall be awarded an indirect free kick. For any other violation of this rule, the corner kick shall be retaken.
Section 18. Miscellaneous
1. In the event a referee is not present at a game, the coaches of each team shall referee the game or appoint someone by mutual consent.
2. No spectators will be allowed behind the goal lines or on the same side of the field as the teams during the course of the game. The referee shall halt the game to enforce this if necessary.
3. The team side of the field shall be divided into two equal areas separated by the midfield line. Each coach is responsible for keeping his team within his or her respective team area during the game. Teams are prohibited from standing on the spectator side of the field.
4. Only 3 team personnel (coaches, assistant coaches, team mom) will be allowed on the sideline during the game. They must have the proper photo ID badge at all times.
5. Any coach caught playing illegal players or adding players to their roster without prior approval from their league coordinator will be suspended for one year from coaching in all Cabarrus County Youth Athletic Leagues.
Section 19. Participation Rule
1. Every player shall play at least one-half of every game, unless injury or related circumstances prevent such play. All players who attend at least one (1) practice per week must be played according to the participation rule. The coach shall notify the officials and opposing coach if a player will be ineligible due to unexcused absenteeism from practice. Coaches caught not playing his players will be warned by the District Coordinator first and relieved indefinitely of their duties if this action continues.
Section 20. Unsportsmanlike Conduct
1. Any player/coach who receives a yellow card during a game gets a warning. A second yellow card in the same game to a player results in that player being ejected for the remainder of that game.
2. Any player/coach who receives a red card during a game must sit out the remainder of that game plus the teams next game and practices for 1 week.
3. Any coach who receives a 2nd offense of a red card any time during the course of the season is subject to removal from coaching in all Cabarrus County Youth Leagues programs for an indefinite period of time.
4. The host site should report all player red cards and all ejections to the coordinator of the offending team/player.
5. It is the duty of the coordinator to enforce that players sit out and do not participate while serving their suspension.