operations@centralleague.org P.O. Box 832 Devon, PA 19333

Central League Soccer

Laws of the Game

Please note— CLS will be using the Law of the Game as adopted by International Football
Association Board (IFAB), US Youth Soccer (USYS), and Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer
(EPYS) with adaptations for small-sided games.

Complete laws can be found on the EPYS website at https://www.epysa.org/news/laws-rules

 
Section 1.01 – Playing Rules: The playing rules of the League’s games will be in accordance with IFAB,
USYS, and EPYS as applicable, except as modified herein the By-Laws of Central League Soccer. Such
rules and regulations SHALL NOT be modified by member teams or League referees. All Clubs, teams,
and coaches are required to be familiar with the rules currently in force at any time. Posting to the CLS
website shall be considered proper notice to all.
Section 1.02 – Field Preparation: The home Club is responsible for providing adequate goals, nets, corner
flags, and field markings in accordance with IFAB laws of the game, EPYS and CLS modified playing rules.
Section 1.03 – Field Inadequacy: Any inadequacy in the condition of the field, goal post, goal cross bar,
goal nets, corner flags, or field markings must be reported to the Referee prior to the start of the game.
If the Referee believes the inadequacy is sufficient to require correction the Referee may require the
home Club to correct this inadequacy. If corrections are not satisfactory to the Referee the game will not
be played. Any irregularity in field conditions must be included in the Referee’s game report.
Section 1.04 – Separation of Teams/Supporters: The home team selects one end of one sideline, along
which all its players and coaches must remain. All visiting team players and coaches must remain along
the other half of the same sideline. Only carded coaches and players are permitted in the team areas.
Supporters of both teams must remain on the opposite side of the field. The teams may not change the
sideline positioning. This rule will be reported to the Referee Assignors as a League rule. The Referee
may alter this positioning, if in his/her opinion, it is necessary to maintain order.
Section 1.05 – Control of Teams/Supporters: Coaches of both teams must control their coaches, players,
and supporters and shall not allow anyone to enter the field while the game is being played.
Section 1.06 – Payment of Officials: Referee fees are established for each season by agreement between
EPYS and the Referee Association. The current season referee fee schedule will be posted to the EPYS
website prior to the start of each season. Teams will each pay 50% of the total fee. Only the fee for
referees who appear for the game will be paid. If only two officials show, then the center referee fee
and one assistant referee fee will be paid. Referees who appear as scheduled will be paid the full fee
even if the game is terminated by a cause over which neither Club has control, such as darkness or the
Referee declaring the field unplayable. The full fee must also be paid whenever a game is terminated
because of actions or conditions over which either Club could or should have had control, and whenever
either team forfeits a game. When a Referee declares a field unplayable before the game commences
only half the fee for the first game scheduled on that field must be paid. Referees do not have to be paid
when notice of a cancellation has been delivered to the Referee Assignor.
Section 1.07 – When Referees Fail to Appear: If the assigned Referee(s) has not arrived by the scheduled
start time for a game, the home team will contact the relevant Referee Assignor. If a replacement
Referee is not provided, the coaches of both teams should mutually agree on an individual to perform as
a substitute Referee. If mutual agreement cannot be reached on a single person, each team may
nominate one individual to act as substitute Referees, who then will then jointly officiate the game. Each
substitute Referee will have the authority of the regular Referee and will be compensated with the
appropriate fee.
Section 1.08 – Forfeit: Every team is required to appear at every game for which it is scheduled during
the regular season. A team that must forfeit a game must notify the opposing coach and the CLS
Director of Operations. A team that is not prepared to play on the scheduled field 15 minutes after the
scheduled start time must forfeit the game to the opposing team, unless the delay has been mutually
agreed upon by the coaches of both teams. Play may begin with seven players (5 players for 7v7 games
and 6 players for 9v9 games). When a game is forfeited under this condition the forfeiting team must
pay the entire Referee fee(s). Any team forfeiting a game without cause, as determined by the Executive
Committee, may be subject to additional sanctioning.
Section 1.09 – Abandoned Games: An abandoned game is a game for which play starts, but the game
must be terminated before completion. Games can be abandoned by the Referee for any of the
following reasons: weather, if the field becomes unplayable or continuing lightning strikes. Also due to
the actions of one or both of the teams, such as no carded coach on the sideline, failure of ejected
player/coach to leave the premises, failure to field a team, or for any other reason that a Referee feels
jeopardizes the safety of the players or the integrity of the game. If a game must be abandoned due to
weather conditions and the second half has already started, then the game is counted as being official
and the score at the time the game was abandoned will stand. If a game must be abandoned due to
weather conditions and the second half has not started, then the game must be replayed in its entirety.
All decisions of the Referee are final.
Section 1.10 – Pre-Game Formalities:
A. The coach of each team must submit a coach’s pass for all coaches who are on the sideline, and
player passes for all players who are on the game lineup form, and two copies of the lineup form, which
must contain each player’s name and uniform number. If a team is using a player with a Club Pass, that
player’s name and uniform number must be handwritten on the lineup form and the pass must be
available for inspection. The referee will hold the coach’s pass for the duration of the game.
B. Each coach may request to check the opposing team’s roster against the lineup form and the player
pass of each player. This exchange may be waived by mutual consent of both coaches. Any irregularity in
a roster, player pass, or lineup form must be reported to the Referee prior to the game so that it may be
corrected prior to the game or included in the Referee’s game report. If any ineligible player is
identified, then that player will not be allowed to play in the game. Each coach shall have the official
approved team roster form and player passes at the field for all games.
C. Any player who arrives as the game is in progress, and whose name appears on the lineup form, may
substitute in the normal manner upon presenting a player pass to the Referee, subject to a later
verification by the opposing team.
D. The Referee will keep the pass of any coach or player who is sent off prior, during, or after the game.
All passes taken will be forwarded to the Director of Operations, along with the Referee’s game report.
A copy of the game report should also be submitted to the League Referee Assignor.
Section 1.11 – Uniforms: Teams must wear regulation soccer uniforms. When the colors of opposing
teams are so similar as to cause conflict in the Referee’s opinion, the home team is required to change
to a contrasting color. All players, except goal keepers, must wear numbers not less than 6 inches high.
Each player MUST have a unique number, no duplicates are permitted. Players must adhere to all FIFA
and EPYS rules, as applicable, regarding uniforms. In cases of extreme cold the Referee, at his/her sole
discretion, may allow modification of the uniform regulations.
Section 1.12 – CLS Modified Playing Rules: Each game will be played in accordance with IFAB Laws of the
Game, with modifications prescribed by USYS, EPYS, and/or CLS below:
A. 7v7 (U9 and U10).
1. CLS will record scores but not track standings for any 7v7 games.
2. The field shall be between 55 and 65 yards long.
The field shall be between 35 and 45 yards wide.
3. Goals shall ideally be no larger than 6’6” high and 18’6” wide (As some clubs are still
transitioning from old goals, because of financial considerations, CLS will allow goals no larger
than 7’ high and 21’ wide for the Fall 2019 season)
Goals must be securely anchored to the ground.
4. Build out lines shall be equidistant between the penalty area and the midfield line. All 7v7
fields MUST have build out lines. If the build-out line is not painted on the field cones may be
placed on the touchlines as markers.
5. There shall be a spectator buffer line a minimum of one yard from the touch line to separate
the spectators of each team. Spectators shall not be permitted to stand from the top of the
penalty area to the goal line.
6. The technical area shall be one yard from the sideline and shall extend 10 yards from a point
beginning one yard from the midfield line.
7. The spectator buffer line and technical area are to be dashed lines to avoid confusion with
field markings (when available).
8. The ball is size 4. The home team will supply game balls.
9. Duration of the game – Two 25 minute halves, 5 minute halftime no added time
10. Teams play 7v7 (6 field players and a goalkeeper).
11. A team must have at least 5 players on the field to start or continue playing a game.
12. Substitutions are unlimited and both teams may substitute on any goal-kicks, before a kick
off, their own throw-ins and may piggyback of the other team’s throw-in when it occurs.
13. Heading is not permitted in 7v7 games for U9/U10.
14. If a player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick should be awarded to
the opposing team from the spot of the offense. If the deliberate header occurs within the goal
area the indirect free kick shall be taken at the edge of the penalty area line parallel to the goal
line at the nearest point to which the infringement occurred. In all other instances the free kick
shall be taken from the point of the infraction. Deliberate heading of the ball WILL NOT, in any
instance, be penalized as misconduct. The only time advantage will be played is if a defensive
player deliberately heads the ball into his/her own goal. In the event there is an incidental head
ball then play will continue.
15. When the goalkeeper has possession of the ball in his / her hands, the opposing team must
immediately retreat behind the build out line. The opposing team may not re-enter that area
until the goalkeeper has put the ball back into play. If the defending team repeatedly fails to
move behind the build out line, they may be penalized for misconduct.
16. The goalkeeper can pass (put the ball on the ground and kick), throw or roll the ball into play
at any time. Punting, drop kicking, or half volley kicking by the goalkeeper is not allowed.
17. On goal kicks the opposing team must move behind the build out line. The team in
possession does not have to move beyond the build out line. The ball is in play once it is touched
and moves. At this point the opposing team may cross over the build out line. If the defending
team repeatedly fails to move behind the build out line, they may be penalized for misconduct.
18. If the goalkeeper punts, drop kicks, or half volleys the ball an indirect free kick will be
awarded to the opposing team. The indirect free kick will be taken on the penalty area line
parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred.
19. Players can only be penalized for offside between the build out line and the goal line.
20. Goal kicks for U9 in CLS League play are to be taken from anywhere within the penalty area.
21. Corner kicks are taken from the corner of the field.
22. Penalty kicks are taken from the penalty mark – 10 yards from the goal for U9/U10.
23. Defenders must be at least 8 yards from the ball on all free kicks unless the kick is less than 8
yards from the goal line and then the defenders only must retreat to the goal line.
24. If a player is suspected of having a head injury the referee MUST immediately stop playing to
allow for treatment/evaluation as needed. If the player leaves the field of play for additional
evaluation the player may be substituted for, and the opposing team may also substitute a
player.
25. A player with the suspected head injury may not return to the game unless a Health Care
Professional (HCP) or Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) has cleared the player.
26. If a coach insists on returning the player to the game without approved clearance by either
an HCP or ACT the referee can decide to end the game.
B. 9v9 (U11 and U12)
1. The field shall be between 70 and 80 yards long.
The field shall be between 45 and 55 yards wide.
2. Goals shall be 7’ high and 21’ wide.
Goals must be securely anchored to the ground.
3. Teams must be on the same side of the field, half of the field given to each team. Spectators
must be on the other side of the field from the teams and must be across the field from their
team. Spectators may not cross the mid-field line on their side.
4. There shall be a spectator buffer line a minimum of one yard from the touch line to separate
the spectators of each team. Spectators shall not be permitted to stand from the top of the goal
area to the goal line.
5. The technical area shall be one yard from the touch line and shall extend 10 yards from a
point beginning one yard from the center of the field (2 yards apart).
6. The spectator buffer line and technical area are to be dashed lines to avoid confusion with
field markings (when available).
7. The ball is size 4. The home team will supply game balls.
8. Duration of the game – Two 30 minute halves, 5 minute halftime, no added time.
9. Teams play 9v9 (8 field players and a goalkeeper).
10. A team must have at least 6 players on the field to start or continue a game.
11. Substitutions are unlimited and both teams may substitute on any goal-kicks, before a kick
off, their own throw-ins and may piggyback of the other team’s throw-in when it occurs.
12. Heading is not permitted at U11. Heading is allowed at U12 without limitations.
13. If a U11 player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick should be awarded
to the opposing team from the spot of the offense. If the deliberate header, by either team,
occurs within the goal area the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to
the goal line at the nearest point to which the infringement occurred. In all other instances the
free kick shall be taken from the point of the infraction. Deliberate heading of the ball WILL NOT,
in any instance, be penalized as misconduct. The only time an advantage will be played is if a
defensive player deliberately heads the ball into her own goal.
14. Goal kicks are taken from within the 5 yard box.
15. Corner kicks are taken from the corner of the field.
16. Penalty kicks are taken from the penalty mark – 10 yards from the goal for U11/U12.
17. Defenders must be at least 8 yards from the ball on all free kicks unless the kick is less than 8
yards from the goal line and then the defenders only must retreat to the goal line.
18. If a player is suspected of having a head injury the referee MUST immediately stop playing to
allow for treatment/evaluation as needed. If the player leaves the field of play for additional
evaluation the player may be substituted for, and the opposing team may also substitute a
player.
19. A player with the suspected head injury may not return to the game unless a Health Care
Professional (HCP) or Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) has cleared the player.
20. If a coach insists on returning the player to the game without approved clearance by either
an HCP or ACT the referee can decide to end the game.
C. 11v11 (U13-U19)
1. The ball size is 5. The home team will supply game balls.
2. Duration of the game:
a) U13/U14 – Two 35 minute halves, 5 minute halftime, time added at the discretion of the
referee.
b) U15/U16 – Two 40 minute halves, 5 minute halftime, time added at the discretion of the
referee.
c) U17 to U19 -Two 45 minute halves, 5 minute halftime, time added at the discretion of the
referee.
3. A team must have a minimum of 7 players on the field to start or continue a game.
4. 4. Substitutions are unlimited and both teams can substitute on any goal-kicks, before a kick
off, their own throw-ins and may piggy back off the other team’s throw-in when it occurs.
Section 1.13 – Score Reporting – The home team should report the score online, no later than 8:00 pm on
the Monday following the game, following one of the procedures set forth below. Scores are to be
reported by logging into the CLS website with your team login.
Section 1.14 – Protests: There are no protests of the outcome of CLS games or of referee decisions.
Teams may only protest the use of an illegal player prior to a game pursuant to the provisions of Section
1.10B above.
Section 1.15 – Game Postponement and Rescheduling:
A. Rescheduling Due to Inclement Weather: Games should not be postponed for light rain or
wet fields. Should postponement due to inclement weather be necessary, the home Club must
notify the Referee Assignor, the visiting teams, and the CLS Director of Operations. Notification
to the Referee Assignor must be made no later than 3 hours prior to the first scheduled game or
the Club will be responsible for paying the referee fees for the first scheduled game at each field
affected. Postponed games should be rescheduled as soon as possible. The teams should agree
on a new date/ time/location and then notify the CLS Director of Operations. The League has
the final authority to reschedule any game.
B. Rescheduling Not Related to Weather: Once the final schedule is released games will be rescheduled
only in the case of loss of fields. Once a Club knows that a game must be rescheduled for loss of field
they must notify the CLS Director of Operations immediately. The League will reschedule the game and notify the teams and Referee Assignor.