League Rules

Update 10/1/17: II. B. League Registration & Dues

Update 8/15/17: IV. A. Yellow Card Policy

Update 7/11/17: I. No pets allowed; IV C. Fighting and Racially/Sexually Abusive Language: Zero Tolerance Policies, IV D. Scheduling and Holidays

 

Remember, there is NO SLIDE TACKLING (except goalkeepers), NO OFFSIDES, and NO GOALKEEPER PUNTING in ANY of our leagues!

 

Jump to a section:

 

I. General Rules of the Facility
II. Registration and Guidelines
III. League Rules, Rosters, Standings, Promotion/Relegation
IV. Carding and Scheduling Policies
V. Rules of the Game

 

I. GENERAL RULES OF THE FACILITY (link)

 

1. Individuals utilizing any facility owned, operated, or provided by SONS OF PITCHES FC (SOPFC) do so at their own risk. The property owner(s), league operators, officers, owners, and staff of SOPFC assume no liability for any injuries or accidents which may occur. Please reference Liability / Injury Waiver and Release Forms and signage posted within the facility.

 

2. Conduct within the facility should be in the spirit of good sportsmanship as is on the field. Please No Alcohol or Drug use prior to playing.

 

3. Should you find or lose any items please report this immediately to the SOPFC manager on duty, or email SOPFC management. SOPFC does not assume responsibility for any items lost.

 

4. NO alcohol, smoking, glass containers, or gum allowed in the facility area.

 

5. NO food, spitting, or abusive language allowed in the facility area.

 

6. NO dogs, pets or animals of any kind allowed in the facility area.

 

7. All play must be conducted as set forth in the SOPFC League Rules as modified here.

 

8. SOPFC staff reserve the right to refuse play and or service to anyone.

 

Objectives: We wish to encourage friendly competition between local teams, players, businesses, schools, civic groups, soccer supporters, fans, and other organizations.

 

Individuals or groups wishing to form special interest teams (including, but not limited to, physically and mentally challenged players) are encouraged to contact management for more information.

 

It is our sincere hope that all players and spectators enjoy our facility. Our facility is here for your enjoyment, if there is anything we can do to improve it, please let us hear from you. Your comments and suggestions are encouraged and appreciated.

 

SHOULD YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS/ COMMENTS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US:

 

Email info@sonsofpitchesfc.com

 

* Information contained herein is subject to change. SOPFC reserves the right to make changes without notification.

 


 

II. REGISTRATION AND GUIDELINES (link)

 

A. LIABILITY / INJURY WAIVER & RELEASE FORM

 

No individual will be allowed to participate in any league games, practice session, tournament, clinic, open pick-up game, or other activities until a release form has been properly completed and signed.

 

B. LEAGUE REGISTRATION & DUES

 

A non-refundable deposit of $150 will secure a team's position in the league. A team's deposit and/or dues will be refunded only if SOPFC cancels a league entirely, or if a team is not offered a position in a league/division determined to be appropriate for the team. 

 

In order to retain an early registration discount, a team's dues must be paid in full 1 week prior to the scheduled start date, otherwise the team balance will increase to the regular price and a team will then have until the Payment Deadline (midnight the day before the third game) to complete their dues (the deposit will still reserve a league spot and be applied to the total balance).

 

A team's dues must be paid in full by the Payment Deadline. After paying the deposit, Captains can use our TeamPayer function to invite teammates and assign them their share of dues, paid directly toward the team balance. Captains are 100% responsible for making sure their team dues are paid in full - any unpaid team balance after the Payment Deadline will be charged to the Captain's credit/debit card. Teams with delinquent dues unable to be charged for any reason will incur a $50 fine per week, and may incur game forfeits. Teams dropping out of, or disqualified from a league will forfeit their deposit and dues.

 

Existing teams may be given priority registration for the next scheduled season. Approximately 1 month before the next season, registration will be open to all new teams. Teams are registered on a first-come, first served basis. Teams with outstanding dues shall not be allowed to re-register until dues have been paid. Re-registering teams will be assigned to a division based upon availability and performance in past session(s).

 

All registration fees are non-refundable. Registering for a team or league is a commitment to participate in the full season. A player's or team's decision not to participate in a league they have registered for is not grounds for a refund. If players or teams choose not to participate after they have registered and before the season starts, they may request a credit to use towards a future league. Refunds are also not given if a player moves, due to a change in work schedule, or any other non-league related changes. Participation in adult sports, even at the social level, may result in injury unfortunately. SOPFC does not refund players' fees if they are injured. 

 

All requests must be submitted via email to info@sonsofpitchesfc.com.

 

C. EQUIPMENT

 

Molded cleats, turf shoes, or flat-soled soccer shoes are required . Teams MUST be dressed in matching colored jerseys (shirts). Teams are required to have alternate color jerseys for away games when home team wears same primary color. Shin guards are required. Socks must cover shin guards at all times. Goalkeepers must have a different distinctive jersey color from both their teammates, opponents, and the referee.

 

D. SPORTSMANSHIP

 

Individuals are expected to play under control and within the rules of the game, and to the best of their ability, while avoiding causing injury to themselves and other persons using the facility.

 

E. REFEREE STAFF

 

SOPFC management would like to reaffirm that referees appointed to officiate each game have complete authority, and that his/her decisions on points of fact connected with the game are final. Officials are independent subcontractors and are not employees of SOPFC. Officiating will be monitored and assessed periodically to provide quality officiating. Constructive comments regarding officiating are welcomed and encouraged. Please submit any such comments in writing. Complaints regarding officials should be submitted in writing and contain points of fact. Do not discuss officiating or the officials with SOPFC staff during or immediately after your game.

 

F. LEVELS OF COMPETITION

 

The top two and bottom two teams in a division at the end of a season are subject to promotion or relegation to another division. SOPFC reserves the right to make the necessary changes within league divisions to ensure an equal level of ability and competition.

 


 

III. LEAGUE RULES, ROSTERS, STANDINGS, PROMOTION/RELEGATION (link)

 

A. CAPTAIN/PLAYER RESPONSIBILITY

 

It is the team captain's responsibility to be aware of the guidelines, policies, and rules of SOPFC, and to keep his/her team informed. It is the responsibility of each player and the player's team captain to be aware of the total status of their players' infractions. Failure to comply may result in further disciplinary measures which may include suspension of the player/captain and forfeiture of games sanctioned player played in. (This includes the use of illegal players, i.e. those not registered properly on the team roster.)

 

B. TEAM ROSTERS

 

Team rosters must be finalized online by the day before the last game of the regular season. Only players listed on the online team roster by the day before the last game of the regular season will be eligible to play in the playoffs. Max team roster size is 16 players. Roster disputes may be made to the referee or site manager on duty at any time prior to the start of the second half of a game. The league will not hear disputes after the second half has begun, or after games are played. Teams using ineligible players may be subject to an immediate game forfeit.

 

C. COED LEAGUE RULES

 

Two (2) females are required in the field of play at all times in a Coed league. The goalkeeper may count as one of these two. In the event two females are not available for a team at any given time during the match, a team may play down a player, as long as there are at least five total players on the field. If either player receives a yellow or red card, the remaining players on the field cannot exceed five (5) males. All goals will count the same, whether scored by a female or male player.

 

D. OVER-30 LEAGUE RULES

 

Over-30 teams may have up to three players under age 30; one of these three players must already be 29 by the first game date of season, two others must be at least 28 by the first game date of the season. All players must present ID with age verification upon request by the referee or staff in order to participate.

  • 2 players 28 or older
  • 1 player 29 or older
  • Rest of roster 30 or older

 

E. LEAGUE STANDINGS POINT SYSTEM

 

Win = 3 points

Tie = 1 points

Loss = 0 points

 

League games that end in a tie score after regulation play shall remain a tie game.

 

Playoff games ending in a tie will go directly to Penalty Kicks. (See IV. M. PENALTY KICKS)

 

F. PROMOTION/RELEGATION

 

In a division of 8 or 10 teams with a playoff bracket, the two teams that will be promoted are the winner of the regular season (most points), and the winner of the playoffs. If these two teams are the same, the team that placed second in the regular season (second most points) will be promoted. The two teams that relegate are the last place teams (lowest points) after the regular season. If there is no playoff bracket, the two teams that will be promoted are the winner (most points) and runner-up (second most points) of the regular season. The two teams that relegate are the last place teams (lowest points) after the regular season.

 

In a division of 6 teams with a playoff bracket, the winner of the playoffs will be promoted, and loser of the 5th vs 6th place playoff match will be relegated. If there is no playoff bracket, the winner of the regular season (most points) will be promoted, and the 6th place team (lowest points) will be relegated.

 

SOPFC may decide to place teams in appropriate divisions based on skill level.

 

H. LEAGUE DIVISIONS TIES

 

Any league divisions ending in a tie at the end of the league season shall be governed by the following tie breaking system order:

 

1. Goal differential
2. Goals for
3. Power Index

 


 

IV. CARDING AND SCHEDULING POLICIES (link)

 

A. YELLOW CARD POLICY

  • A player receiving a yellow card must sit out for 2 minutes, starting after that player has exited the field and play resumes. During that time, the carded player's team must play down a player; a sub may NOT replace the carded player. After the referee has acknowledged that 2 minutes have elapsed, the carded player's team may send any one player (including the carded player if desired) back onto the field immediately at the midfield line.

 

B. RED CARD POLICY

  • A player or coach sent off in (or after) a game by a referee (red carded) will automatically be suspended from the next game in the season. In addition, a player will be banned from playing on any other team until the suspension has been served. If a player is ejected in the last game of a season he/she will be prohibited from playing in the first game after he/she registers for another season.
  • A player or coach red carded for the offense of "foul and abusive language" will be suspended as outlined in red card policy.
  • A player red carded for the offense of "persistent infraction of the rules after receiving a 2nd caution (yellow card) will be suspended as outlined in red card policy.
  • A player or coach red carded for the offense of "violent conduct" (including, but not limited to: spitting, threatening, continued rough play, etc.) will be suspended as outlined above and, in addition, will be suspended for one additional game and subject to further disciplinary action as decided by the facility management.
  • A player accumulating a second red card over a one year period will be suspended for a minimum of 2 games and will be fined $35.
  • A player accumulating three red cards over a one year period will be banned from SOPFC.
  • A player or coach red carded for "assaulting an official" will be suspended from any further activities at SOPFC. (An "Assault on an Official" shall be defined as an attempt to commit a battery upon an official; and an act which is close to accomplishment shall be sufficient to constitute an assault upon an official. Local authorities will be notified.)
  • Any player or coach who accumulates three cautions (yellow cards) during league matches per season will be suspended as outlined in red card policy.
  • "Bench Clearing" - If any player enters the field to break up or participate in a fight, the Team will be fined $50. Fines must be paid prior to a team continuing the season schedule. Team will then be put on Team Probation.
  • "Team Probation" - A two-month period during which any incident, major or minor, will be grounds for dismissal from play. No refund will be given.
  • If for any reason an official at SOPFC asks that a person leave the premises, the person must leave.

 

C. FIGHTING AND RACIALLY/SEXUALLY ABUSIVE LANGUAGE: ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY

 

Anyone fighting or using racially or sexually abusive language will be ejected and suspended for a minimum of 2 games and up to permanently. Anyone threatening or stalking another player, coach, staff, official or spectator will also be ejected, and reported to the local authorities.

 

D. SCHEDULING & CANCELLATIONS

 

Game Lengths - 7v7 Leagues consist of two 25-minutes halves, plus a 2-4 minute halftime. Halftimes may be shortened in the interest of time constraints at the discretion of referee when trying to stay on time for the next match. Games not starting as scheduled as a result of team delay will still end at the scheduled time (minutes deducted from match) in order that the next game starts as scheduled.

 

Weather Policy - For games played on turf fields, we seldom if ever have rainouts. For extremely heavy torrential downpours, we may delay games to wait for it to subside. We will also delay (and potentially cancel) games for lightning in the area. Players should clear the field and seek shelter in cars if necessary. The manager on site will have more information about procedure at the field. For games played on grass fields, rainouts typically occur if there is a substantial amount of rain the night before or the day of the game. Players may log on to the website for weather update alerts (posted at the top of all pages). Players may also sign up for text message cancellation updates through their online dashboard. Typically an email and/or text message will go out as soon as possible to all players on the team roster if activities are cancelled.

 

Abandoned Match - If a game in progress is cancelled or abandoned for any reason, the game will be considered a completed match if at least one half of time has been played. If one half has not been played, the game will be rescheduled and start with the remaining time and score from when the match was called. If a game is cancelled at any time during penalty kicks, the game will be rescheduled and start from the beginning of penalty kicks.

 

Divisions - Primary game days are assigned to divisions. Divisions may be assigned to play on alternate game days depending upon; the length of the session, the number of teams participating, and recognized holidays over the course of a session. Divisions may be assigned to play on any other day(s).

 

Holidays - Leagues will not play on the following recognized holidays: Winter Holiday Break (day before Christmas through New Year's Day), Easter Sunday, Memorial Day Weekend (Sat-Mon), July 4th (including weekend), Labor Day Weekend (Sat-Mon), Thanksgiving Weekend (Wed-Sun).

 

E. MAKE-UP GAMES

 

The team requesting to re-schedule a match must request a re-schedule in writing one week prior to subject game. Failure to do so will result in the game being forfeited. If a team is unable to play a scheduled game the opposing team may choose to accept a 3-0 forfeit. If both teams agree to a make-up, they will be offered possible times from the facility management office. It will be the team manager's or representative's responsibility to coordinate and select one of the available times. (See III L. FORFEITURES.) There will be no re-schedules of an already re-scheduled game. Web schedules are to be used as a reference. Changes may occur from time to time. The staff or facility shall maintain the most current official game schedules.

 

F. TERMINATION OF PARTICIPATION

 

The facility management reserves the right to terminate an individual's and team's participation at the facility for violation of the facility policies.

 

G. FORFEIT POLICY

 

A forfeit will be incurred if a team has failed to field the minimum number of players within 10 minutes into the game, or with 15 minutes remaining in the first half. If the minimum # of players is not met at game start time, the game clock will start. A team forfeiting a game(s) during any one season will be subject to the following penalties:

 

First Forfeit - Warning to Captain

Second Forfeit - $30 fine added to team balance

Third Forfeit - Termination of team participation for the rest of the season and loss of re-registration priority

 

Fines for a Second Forfeit must be paid by midnight the day prior to a team's subsequent game, otherwise it will be treated as a Third Forfeit. Teams incurring at least two forfeits during a season shall not be eligible for a registration discount in the following season.

 

If both teams forfeit, then no points will be awarded.

 

H. PROTEST

 

Intention to file a protest must be noted in writing immediately following the game. A formal written protest must be submitted to SOPFC within 48 hours after the end of the game. ONLY A VIOLATION OF THE LAWS OF THE GAME, RULES OR GUIDELINES OF THE FACILITY AS PUBLISHED ARE MATTERS FOR PROTEST. VIDEO TAPE WILL NOT BE VIEWED AS EVIDENCE IN A PROTEST. Disputes regarding fielding of illegal players, or non-roster players (as outlined in Section III B), must be brought to the attention of the game officials or site manager prior to the start of the second half of a game.

 

I. FIRST AID

 

The facility has a limited first-aid kit. It shall be the responsibility of each team to maintain their own first-aid kit for treatment of their players.

 


 

V. RULES OF THE GAME (link)

 

A. THE FIELD OF PLAY

 

1. Dimensions: Field measures 60 x 35 yards minimum, up to 70 x 50 yards.

 

B. THE BALL

 

1. Size 5 soccer balls will be used for all adult games.

 

C. NUMBER OF PLAYERS

 

1. Seven players, one of whom shall be a goalkeeper.

 

2. Minimum of 5 players needed to start and continue a game.

 

3. Team roster is limited to 16 players.

 

4. If minimum # of players is not met at game start time, the game clock will start, and if the team does not meet the required number of players by 10 minutes into the game, game will be recorded as a forfeit. The game MUST start as soon as 5 players are present; a team may not delay the start of play to wait for additional players to show up after the game start time.

 

D. PLAYER EQUIPMENT

 

1. Players must dress in matching jerseys.

 

2. Shin guards are mandatory and must be totally covered by socks.

 

3. Molded cleats, turf shoes, or flat-soled soccer shoes may be worn (no studded or screw-in shoes).

 

4. Goalkeepers must wear colors which distinguish them from all other players and referees.

 

E. DURATION OF GAME

 

1. A game shall be played in two equal halves of 25 minutes each.

 

2. A half time interval shall be 2-4 minutes at the discretion of the referee.

 

3. The clock shall only be stopped for serious injuries.

 

4. During playoffs only, a tie will be decided by penalty kicks. (See IV. M. PENALTY KICKS.)

 

5. Time will be extended for the taking of a penalty kick.

 

6. Duration of Playoff games may be shortened. Refer to schedule.

 

F. START OF PLAY

 

1. Kickoff will be given to the home team. Visitors will have kickoff at the start of the second half.

 

2. A kickoff will start the game and restart the game after a goal has been scored.

 

3. Teams will change direction at half time and alternate kickoff.

 

4. A goal can be scored directly from a kickoff.

 

5. The ball does not have to go forward from a kickoff.

 

6. Player has 5 seconds to put ball back into play.

 

G. GOALKEEPERS

 

1. Outdoor FIFA rules apply when passing back to the goalkeeper.

 

2. Goalkeeper may slide tackle inside the penalty box leading with either hands or feet if done safely and with intent to play the ball, subject to the referee's discretion.

 

3. Goalkeeper may not punt or drop-kick the ball.

 

H. PLAYERS

 

1. NO SLIDE TACKLING (first slide results in a team warning, any subsequent slide results in yellow card)

 

2. NO TWO-FOOTED TACKLES (automatic red card)

 

I. SUBSTITUTIONS

 

1. Unlimited substitutions may be made during the game on DEAD BALL SITUATIONS ONLY.

 

2. Substituting players must enter/exit within 3 yards of the midfield line.

 

3. Any player may change places with the goalkeeper, provided that the referee is informed before the change is made, and provided also that the change is made during a stoppage of the game.

 

4. Substitute players are to remain in the player bench area.

 

5. A player receiving a yellow card must sit out for 2 minutes.

 

J. OUT OF BOUNDS

 

1. The ball is out of play when the entire ball crosses the sideline/end line, or contacts the overhead netting.

 

2. A throw-in, corner kick, or goal kick will be awarded when the ball goes out of bounds.

 

3. A throw-in may not go directly into the goal.

 

4. Player has 5 seconds to put ball back into play.

 

K. FOULS

 

1. FIFA soccer rules apply to all infractions, including but not limited to: kicking, pushing, tripping, hand balls, etc.

 

2. No Sliding or Slide Tackling - Sliding will be defined as anything other than the feet touching the ground.

 

3. Goalkeepers may slide tackle inside the penalty box leading with either hands or feet if done safely and with intent to play the ball, subject to the referee's discretion.

 

L. FREE KICKS & GOAL KICKS

 

1. All free kicks are direct, except for own team backpass to the goalkeeper or goalkeeper punting infractions, which are both indirect.

 

2. Ball is in play when it moves from foot contact by the initial player.

 

3. Opposing players shall be 5 yards (15 feet) from the ball.

 

4. Player taking a kick cannot play it again until someone else touches the ball.

 

5. If an opponent refuses to move back 5 yards (15 feet) on referee's request, he may be given a yellow card for unsportsmanlike behavior.

 

6. If a player taking the kick delays for longer than five (5) seconds after having been signaled to do so by the referee, the opposing team will be awarded the kick.

 

7. Opposing players must stand outside of the penalty box during a goal kick.

 

8. Goal kicks may be taken from anywhere inside the penalty box.

 

M. PENALTY KICKS (SHOOTOUT)

 

1. If necessary, time shall be extended at the end of each period to allow the taking of a penalty kick.

 

2. The ball shall be placed at the spot at the top of the penalty box.

 

3. Only the goalkeeper is allowed in the penalty box.

 

4. In the event of a tie (during playoffs only), penalty kicks will be taken (no overtime). Winner will be decided by the best of 4 kicks by each team. If still tied after both teams have taken 4 kicks, then additional players will take the kicks in a sudden death kick off. Only players who were on the field at the end of the game will be allowed to participate.