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7. League Rules
I just discovered you guys, is it too late for me to sign up a Team, or join a team as a Free Agent?
We play year-round and always have new leagues open for registration and starting soon. Registration for upcoming seasons is typically open at least a month or two in advance, and typically closes on the Signup Deadline 6 days prior to the start date. If you're dying to play immediately, check out all the ways to connect with Captains as a Free Agent, including as a sub for leagues already in progress.
I just moved to Atlanta and I don't know enough people to put together a team but I want to play, what should I do?
Sign up as a Free Agent to be added to the pool of players Captains can invite when they're looking for additional team players, and then join our "Free Agents & Captains" group on Facebook too. It is FREE to sign up as a free agent - you will only be asked to pay your part of team dues if you join a team. This is a great way to meet new people - many of our teams recruit Free Agents every season.
I know a ton of people who want to play but I am not sure about being a Captain. I'm nervous asking people for money and also scared of not being able to get enough players from week to week.
Being a Captain can sound intimidating, but SOPFC makes it as easy, and we're always here to support our Captains via email and phone throughout the season. You don't have to put up ANY MONEY to register your team and start adding teammates. Our TeamPayer tool allows you to invite and simultaneously invoice teammates for their share of team dues, which are then paid directly to the league and lower your team balance accordingly. As a Captain, you'll also have access to our "Recruit Free Agents" button which will show you a list of players who are looking for teams - just click to invite them to play for your team! We suggest using a team group on GroupMe as a tool for communicating with teammates and managing RSVPs for games. Check out our Tools for Captains page for even more info on managing your team, paying dues, and finding players. If all that seems too much for you, ask a teammate to sign up the team and take the reins instead :)
How old do I have to be to participate?
All SOPFC leagues require participants to be 18 or older. Youth players 16 and older may be allowed to participate with the permission of a parent or guardian as part of our community programming.
What age are most of the people who play?
People of all ages and skill levels play in our leagues! We have 53-year-old former semi-pros, 20-year-old players new to the game, 31-year-old weekend warriors just looking to stay in shape, 26-year-old ballers, 41-year-olds who've played weekly leagues for years, you get the idea. Our Division 1 teams tend to skew a little younger (20's and 30's), our Over-30 league is strictly 30+, and our Over-40 league is strictly 40+, but those are the only generalizations we could make.
What are the rules of the league?
View all of our League Rules here. Remember, there is no slide tackling and no offsides in ANY of our leagues.
How do I create a profile on SOPFC's website?
To create a profile, you must register for a league. After your first registration, you will have a permanent profile on our website.
There are three ways to complete registration for a league:
What if my Team invitation link doesn't work?
When a Captain creates a team, they can send email invitations to friends and coworkers with a link that will allow them to join the team directly. These links expire after a certain length of time though, at which point players may get an error saying the link is no longer valid. Don't worry, if this happens players can still sign up for the team by:
What do my league registration dues include?
Team dues must be paid in full by the Payment Deadline, specified in the league details.
Standard Soccer League Registration typically includes:
- 8 Guaranteed Games
- 1-3 Playoff Games for Qualifying Teams
- 25 Minute Halves + 5 Minute Halftime
- New Artificial Grass Turf Fields
- Stadium Lighting for Night Games
- Championship T-Shirts for All Division Winners
- Engraved Team Trophy for All Division Winners
- Trained, Paid Referees
- Quality Turf-Specific Game Balls
- On-Site League Managers
- League Scheduling & Customer Support
- Support for Youth Community Programs (A portion of all player dues goes directly to support the athletic programs of the high schools where we play, as well as after school soccer programs for local community middle and elementary school youth.)
Check your specific league details for any modification to these items.
* SOPFC reserves the right to change the length of a season due to excessive rainouts, field scheduling issues, and other unforeseen circumstances. We also reserve the right to change of day, time and location of games in order to complete games.
Do you offer refunds?
No, all registration fees are non-refundable. Our refund information is outlined in the player waiver, which is agreed to during the registration process. 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.
IMPORTANT: Read our Tools for Captains page for full details on paying team dues, managing your team, and finding players. These FAQs do not cover all essential information or tips you'll need as a Captain.
How much do I have to pay to register my team?
NOTHING! You can register your team with no money down, and then invite and invoice your teammates for their share of team dues using our TeamPayer tool. As a Captain, you are responsible for making sure a minimum of $150 is paid toward your team's dues by your league's Signup Deadline, and that your team dues are paid in full by the Payment Deadline, typically the day before your third game at midnight. However, if for instance, you invoice your teammates for their share of team dues, and at least $150 is paid by the Signup Deadline, and then your team's full dues are covered by additional teammates' payments by the Payment Deadline, you will not be charged any money :)
When do my team dues have to be paid in full?
Team dues must be paid in full by the Payment Deadline, typically the day before your third game at midnight. All leagues also require a minium of $150 paid toward a team's dues by the Signup Deadline to confirm a team's spot.
When do my team dues have to be paid in full to keep the early registration discount?
By midnight on the Signup Deadline for your league, listed on your league's registration page. If team dues haven't been paid in full at that point, dues will increase to the regular price and you'll then have until the Payment Deadline to pay in full. Note that in order to give Captains maximum payment flexibility, full remaining team dues will NOT be automatically charged on the Signup Deadline - Captains must pay off any remaining balance on their own by logging in to their Player Page.
How do I split my team balance with teammates?
Use our TeamPayer tool to invite all of your teammates and invoice them for their share of team dues.
What is TeamPayer?
TeamPayer is a way to help your teammates pay for their team fee without you having to worry about collecting cash, Venmo, PayPal, or checks. View more info on TeamPayer.
Is it possible I could lose my $150 minimum team payment?
Yes, your team's minimum payment of $150 towards full team dues is non-refundable, secures your spot in a league, and serves as a commitment to play the season (many of our leagues have limited spots available). A team's minimum payment 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.
My teammates stiffed me. One left town and the other paid me with expired gift cards. Can you just call them and get their money?
No. Next time try using TeamPayer tool at the beginning of the season to prevent any payment issues between friends.
Can I pay by personal check?
No. Only if it’s a company check and it’s mailed to our office or delivered to an SOPFC staff member at the field (you must contact us to arrange this first - do no just show up unannounced at the field with a check).
So can I get an invoice to get my company to pay for some or all of my team?
Absolutely! Printable invoices are available from your Player Page via the "View Invoice" text link above the "Manage Team" button.
My team is really good, can we start in D1?
No, teams joining a league for the first time, or returning after taking a season(s) off, will be placed in the lowest division (if there is only one division, this is already D1). We use promotion and relegation between divisions to facilitate the natural balance of competition. Teams switching from other leagues within SOPFC, or from other Atlanta soccer leagues, may email email@example.com anytime prior to the Signup Deadline with supporting evidence of their current skill level (i.e. end of season standings and season records) in order to be considered for specific division placement. However, assuming most teams return season to season, we typically are unable to add new teams directly to higher divisions.
What is a Free Agent signup?
Free Agents are players who don't have a team yet but are looking to play on one. Every season we connect players who sign up as Free Agents with Captains who are looking for additional players for their team - it's a win-win! When you click the "Free Agent" button on a league, you will be asked to describe yourself and what type of team you're looking for. Captains from that league will then be able to view this info and invite you to join their team. It does not cost anything to sign up for the Free Agent pool; you will only be asked to pay your share of team dues if you agree to join a team.
When could I expect to be invited to join a team?
It all depends how many Captains are looking for players during that particular season, in the specific league you signed up for as a Free Agent. Typically, as the league Signup Deadline approaches, Captains more actively recruit Free Agents to join their team. But the sooner you sign up, the better your chances of being invited to join a team, since some Captains begin building their roster early on. If you are available on multiple days/leagues, be sure to sign up as a Free Agent for EACH LEAGUE SEPARATELY. You can also post in our SOPFC "Free Agents & Captains" Facebook group to connect with Captains.
My friend and I both want to play and sign up together, but only if we’re on the same team. How can we do that?
When you sign up as a Free Agent, be sure to include info or details about friends you may want to play with. Captains are often looking for several new players, so this could help your chances of being invited to join a team.
What type of footwear is recommended?
In general, we recommend regular molded grass cleats, for both our artificial grass turf fields and our grass fields. However, players are free to wear any boot they'd like, as long as they don't have metal studs. Some players wear turf cleats, a few even wear flats. Our artificial grass fields are fairly thick (like real grass) and have a rubber pellet base.
Are shin guards required?
Yes, all leagues require shin guards to be worn at all times during games. You must also wear long socks to cover them completely.
What color shirt should I wear?
After you have been invited to join a team, your Captain will advise you what color shirt to wear to games.
I’m not sure if I should play, I’m not that good…
While at least a tiny bit of experience playing soccer is recommended even for our lower divisions (even if it was way back in 6th grade), by no means do you have to be "good"! Our lower Open divisions and Coed leagues are very accommodating to players without much experience, players with no experience but who are either athletic or willing to put forth their best effort, or those who haven't played in a while. The atmosphere is welcoming and friendly in general.
I want to play, but I may have to miss a game because of work/vacation/etc.
If you have to miss a game or two, that’s not a problem. Captains typically carry extra people on their rosters since everyone can’t make the game every week. However, if you need to miss more than half the season, it’s probably best to pick another league.
When can I see a schedule for my league?
Generally we do a schedule for the first week of the league about 2-6 days prior to the start date. After the first day of the league, we’ll put together and post a schedule for the full season.
Why the two separate schedule release dates?
Waiting to release the full season schedule gives us the chance to potentially accommodate any teams who may register a little late. By only scheduling the first week, we can add them without going back and changing all of your game times to accommodate them. It also allows us to make any necessary adjustments to league details if necessary.
My team can’t make a certain week at all. Can we just get a bye week and make up that game later?
Sometimes. Generally if a league fills up, a make-up is not possible as our field space is maxed out. Contact us as soon as possible (and minimum 1 week in advance) with a schedule request.
Do you ever cancel for rain?
We play in rainy or wet conditions on our turf fields! So if you've seen some rain and are wondering if games are still on, the answer is YES! If there is lightning in the area, the field manager will delay play and advise players on site. We will make every effort to give at least two hours notice via text and email if we need to cancel for any reason.
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.
What holidays do you cancel leagues for?
Due to field availability constraints, we can’t cancel leagues on every day that is considered a holiday.
View the "Scheduling & Cancellations" section of our League Rules for an updated list of specific holidays and events that we do and don't cancel for.
How do you determine who makes the playoffs?
Generally the top four teams always make the playoffs, and other teams may play a consolation game. Sometimes, depending on the league's specific format or total number of teams, more teams may make the playoffs - the format for playoffs and qualification are typically listed on the league's schedule. The standings page will have info on how we determine ranking and tiebreakers for teams with the same ranking points. Sometimes it's possible you may even make the playoffs with a losing record. Basically it’s never a good idea to assume you made the playoffs, and it’s never a good idea to assume you didn’t. The best thing to do is check the schedule on the website a couple of days after the last game of your regular season to see if you made the playoffs or have a consolation game.
I left something at the field, did anyone find it?
Sometimes our field managers or other players find an item likely left behind by an SOPFC player. If so, and it's something like a ball, water bottle, clothing item, or similar, they will put it in the locked equipment bin at the field. Items of greater value will be reported to management, NOT left in the bin.
How can I see about getting my item back?
Your best bet is to return to the same field during the next scheduled activity there, tell the field manager (in red SOPFC gear) what you lost, and ask them to check the equipment bin for it. You can see upcoming leagues by location here, and view upcoming pickup sessions by location here.
Feel free to try again, and be sure to grant the requested privileges.
Feel free to try again, and be sure to grant the requested privileges.
These are the accounts with the same email address as your Facebook account ().
If you'd like to use a different account, log into that account using your email (or username) and password, then connect your Facebook account from your Player Page.
*NOTE: In order to keep your site and player info safe, Admin and Staff accounts cannot be linked to Facebook.