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Referee Guide

Number of Players

Equipment/Game Ball

Duration of game

Home Team/Visitors

Referees

Coaches

Coach Misconduct

Players Misconduct

Mercy rule

Substitutions

Throw Ins

Goalkeeper

Offside

Freekicks/Goalkicks

Teams/Spectators

Cancellations/Make-Up Games

Referee Guidelines

Showing Up for Games

Recordkeeping/Getting Paid

Game Cancellation

Critical Coaches/Spectators

Game Day Responsibilities

 

 

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NUMBER OF PLAYERS / ELIGIBILITY Back to Top
Pre-K and Kindergarten Leagues: each team fields 6 players one of whom is the goalkeeper. Eligible players are children in Kindergarten and Pre-K (age 4 prior to the start of the season).

First Grade League: each team fields 7 players one of whom is the goalkeeper. Eligible players are children in First Grade and Kindergarten.

Second Grade League: each team fields 8 players one of whom is the goalkeeper. Eligible players are children in Second Grade and First Grade.

If a team has less than the regulation number of players at game time, the other team should field the same number of players to equalize the number of on-field players on each team.

EQUIPMENT/GAME BALL Back to Top
Coaches shall have scrimmage vests of a color different than their team jersey for their players to wear when both teams have similar colored jerseys.  Shinguards are compulsory equipment for all players. Players cannot wear anything that is a danger to themselves or other players including a hard cast or jewelry. Game ball is a #4 ball.

DURATION OF GAME Back to Top
Pre-K games consist of ten minute quarters with two minutes between quarters.

Kindergarten coaches have the option of playing ten or twelve minute quarters with two minutes between quarters.

First Grade games consist of twelve minute quarters with two minutes between quarters.

Second Grade games consist of twenty-five minute halves with five minutes between halves.

Play is suspended and the game clock stopped when a player is injured on the field. On field players on both teams should take a knee when a player is injured on the field.

EQUAL PLAYING TIME Back to Top
All players shall receive an equal amount of playing time.

HOME TEAM / VISITORS Back to Top
Home team is the first team listed numerically on each weeks schedule.  Home team should furnish game ball.  Home team is responsible for wearing scrimmage vests of contrasting color when both teams have similar colored jerseys. Home team takes the kick-off to start the game and the third quarter. The visiting team chooses which goal it will defend at start of the game. Pre-k, Kindergarten and First Grade teams will not change ends at half-time. Second Grade teams will change ends at half-time.

REFEREES Back to Top
Each game is controlled by the referees who have full authority to enforce the rules. Their decisions are final and shall not be challenged or criticized. Coaches are encouraged to make constructive comments to the referees when play has stopped or after the game. A referee evaluation form is available on the website to advise the League Commissioner of any complaints about the officiating. If the referee doesn't show up for a game, the game will still be played with the on-field coaches refereeing the game.

COACHES Back to Top
Each team is permitted to have one coach on the field and another coach next to (not behind) their goal to provide instructions to the goalkeeper.  On-field coaches should be careful not to interfere with ongoing play. On-field coaches are not allowed in the penalty area. Please refer to the Coaches Code of Conduct for more.

COACH MISCONDUCT Back to Top
A coach that exhibits unsportsmanlike conduct will be suspended or expelled from the league. Unsportsmanlike conduct includes verbally abusing a referee, player or opposing coach; the use of profanity; and repeated violations of league rules. Coaches are held responsible for the unsportsmanlike conduct of their players and spectators.

PLAYER MISCONDUCT Back to Top
A player who exhibits unsportsmanlike conduct will be warned, along with his/her coach, that if the conduct continues, the player will be ineligible to continue to play and a substitution must be made for that player. Unsportsmanlike conduct includes negative comments, hitting, kicking, spitting, committing numerous fouls, committing an intentional foul, or committing a serious foul such as a high kick or slide tackle or any action that reflects harmful intent. Coaches should remove a player exhibiting aggressive play for a brief period to give them an opportunity to calm down.

MERCY RULE (This rule shall be enforced by the coaches.) Back to Top
When a team is down by 4 goals, that team may add one field player. If that team does not have additional players then the other team must remove one field player. If a team is down by 6 goals, that team may add a second field player. If that team does not have additional players then the other team must remove a second field player.
If the score differential is reduced to 2 goals, the teams return to the regular number of field players. 
The coach of a team that attains more than a 6 goal lead should take additional creative steps to avoid running up the score.

SUBSTITUTIONS Back to Top
Unlimited substitutions for both teams may be made when play has stopped with the permission of the referee. Coaches shall make quick substitutions to facilitate the continuous flow of the game.

THROW - INS Back to Top
Players will be allowed a second attempt to make a correct throw-in. Play will continue if player makes a foul throw-in on second attempt to avoid delays with on-going play.

GOALKEEPER Back to Top
Opposing players must not interfere with the goalkeeper when releasing the ball. Goalkeeper may go to end of penalty area to release the ball. Steps will not be called on goalkeeper. Goalkeeper has no time limit when controlling the ball with his/her hands. Goalkeeper should wear colors which distinguish him/her from the other players.

OFFSIDE Back to Top
Offside will not be called unless it is a flagrant violation.  For example, a player that is more than 15 yards offside.

FREE KICKS / GOAL KICKS Back to Top
There are no penalty kicks, indirect kicks or dropped balls. All free kicks are direct kicks. If a foul is committed in the penalty area the free kick shall be taken 5 yards outside the penalty area. All other fouls will result in a free kick taken from the location of the foul. Goal kicks are taken at the corner of the penalty area. If play is stopped due to an injury or unusual situation, the game shall be restarted by a direct kick by the team in possession of the ball at the place of the ball when play was stopped.

TEAMS/SPECTATORS  (This rule shall be enforced by the coaches.) Back to Top
Spectators should be on the opposite side of the field from the players and coaches.  Spectators should remain a minimum of 5 yards from the side lines and are not allowed behind the goals. 

CANCELLATIONS / MAKE-UP GAMES Back to Top
Game cancellations due to unplayable field conditions or weather conditions will be posted on the website. Coaches should contact the League Commissioner if they have concerns about playing a game (not canceled) due to weather or field conditions. The final decision to play a game with questionable field conditions is made by the coaches. See the General Information page on the website for Make-Up Game information.

CYC RULES Back to Top
Apart from these rules, the CYC Soccer Rulebook will apply.


REFEREE GUIDELINES Back to Top
1. You have full authority to control the game by enforcing the rules. Don’t be afraid to blow your whistle. Blow your whistle with confidence to show that you are in charge of the game. A barely audible "tweet" indicates that you're not sure of your call. Whereas, a firm/loud whistle will show you are confident about your call. After blowing your whistle always announce what the call is "foul on blue" "red throw-in" and announce whose ball it is "yellow ball" and point in the direction of the play. Blow your whistle and announce every call loud enough so the players and coaches can hear the whistle and your call.

2. Always explain to the offending player and his/her coach why a foul was called.

3. The ball is out of play when the whole ball crosses the goal-line or touch-line.

4. A goal is scored when the whole ball passes over the goal line. Don't call a goal if goalkeeper has possession of the ball but steps behind the goal line, but instruct him/her to avoid doing that.

5. Don't call a foul if goalkeeper only goes a few steps out of the penalty area with the ball but instruct him/her to avoid doing that.

6. Don't be too technical on hand-ball calls, call only clearly intentional hand-balls.

7. Players cannot kick at ball when goalkeeper has possession and must give him/her room to release the ball. Goalkeeper is considered in possession of the ball if he or she has a hand on the ball even if it's still on the ground. Blow your whistle if necessary to prevent players from kicking at the ball to protect the goalkeeper.

8. Corner kicks must enter the playing field or it is to be taken over. The kicker cannot play the ball a second time until it has touched another player. If that occurs, the corner kick should be taken over.

9. Advantage Rule: If a foul is committed but the non-offending team has the advantage, don’t blow your whistle, tell them to “play on”.

10. A free kick should be given for any of the following fouls or misconduct:
a) Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent;
b) Trips or attempts to trip an opponent;
c) Jumps at an opponent;
d) Charging an opponent;
e) Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent;
f) Pushes an opponent;
g) Tackles an opponent to gain possession of the ball, making contact with the opponent before touching the ball;
h) Holds an opponent;
i) Handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper in the penalty area);
j) Prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his/her hands;
k) Pulls opponent's jersey.
l) Slide-tackles opponent (strictly prohibited).

SHOWING UP FOR GAMES
1. If you can't make a game you are scheduled to referee, with or without a partner, you should call, text or email me as soon as possible.
2. If you fail to show up for a scheduled game without contacting me, you may be replaced for future games. I have asked the coaches to let me know if a referee fails to show up for a game.

RECORD KEEPING/GETTING PAID Back to Top
1. You must submit your Referee Worksheet on the website before the end of each day of reffing or risk not getting paid for those games. You should print a copy for your records in case there is a discrepancy regarding your pay at the end of the season. I will keep track of your submitted Referee Worksheets and send you a check a few weeks after the season for all the games you refereed this season.
2. You will not be paid for games where you are a second (unscheduled) referee at a game.
3. You will not get paid if you show-up for a game that is canceled. You will get paid the full amount for a game that starts but does not finish beause of weather conditions.
4. There is only one referee at each game.
5. Referee pay scale is as follows:
a) Pre-K games - $15.00
b) Kindergarten games - $16.00
c) First Grade games - $17.00
d) Second Grade games - $20.00

GAME CANCELLATION Back to Top
1. You should check the website for updated game cancellation information before going to your games.

CRITICAL COACHES/SPECTATORS Back to Top
1. Only the coaches are allowed to talk to you about the officiating but not while the game is being played. They can make suggestions about your officiating as long as they do it in a polite manner. They are not allowed to criticize or berate you about your officiating. Let me know if anyone gives you a hard time.
2. If a coach is criticizing you or acting in an unsportsmanlike manner, you can tell him/her that unless they stop you are going to report them to Judge Dowd.
3. If you are being criticized by a spectator or a spectator is acting in an unsportsmanlike manner, inform the coach that it is his/her responsibility to make them stop.
4. Don't allow the coaches to argue with each other.
5. Always be polite and respectful when dealing with coaches and spectators.

GAME DAY RESPONSIBILITIES
1. You should bring the following items to each game:
a) A loud whistle
b) Watch
c) Copy of the rules d) Copy of schedule
e) Water bottle
f) Pen to write down the score of the game

2. You should wear a referee shirt so you look official at the games.

3. Before each game introduce yourself to each coach.

4. You should arrive at the field 15 minutes prior to the game and start the game on time and act as strict timekeeper throughout the game. Do not cut time off a game even if you are running behind schedule. Only stop the game clock if there is an injury on the field.

5. If a team has less than the regulation number of players at the start of the game, ask the coach of the other team to play with the same number of players.

6. Before the game starts, ask the coach of the visitor’s team which goal they want to defend at start of the game. Home team takes the kick-off to start the game and the third quarter. Visitor's team takes the kick-off for the second and fourth quarter. There is no coin toss at start of the game.

7. Kick-off - technical rules don't apply, any kind of kick-off works. Blow your whistle 5 minutes before game time to signal the start of the game and kick-off is ready to be taken.

8. Before the game starts, ask the coaches to inform their spectators (if necessary) not to be in the areas reserved for players and coaches. Spectators are also not allowed right behind the goals.

9. Goal kicks - get the ball quickly, and place it at the corner of the penalty box. Blow your whistle when goal kick is ready to be taken.

10. Corner kicks - get the ball quickly, and place it at the corner of the field. Blow your whistle when corner kicks are ready to be taken.

11. Throw–ins – get the ball quickly, stand where throw-in is to be taken, announce who has possession, ("Red-Ball") indicate the direction of the ball by raising your arm and pointing in that direction until throw-in is made. If a player makes a foul throw-in on their first attempt, you should explain to them what they did wrong or provide a quick demonstration on how to make a proper throw-in to the player and give them a second chance. Throw-in must enter the playing field or it is to be taken again. Play continues even if player makes a foul throw-in on the second attempt.

12. After a goal is scored, get the ball quickly, and place it at the center-off spot.

13. Keep track of the score for purposes of the Mercy Rule and Referee Worksheet. See League Rules for explanation of Mercy Rule.

14. Stop play when player falls on the ball to avoid player getting kicked. Restart play with a free kick to the team that had posession of the ball when play stopped.

15. Blow your whistle to stop play when a player is injured. Restart play with free kick to team who had possession of the ball when play was stopped.

16. Check throughout the game to make sure that each team has the correct number of players on the field.

17. Move with the play so that you are always in a position to call all fouls, ball out of bounds, goals, etc. You should not be more than 10 yards away from the ball at anytime. If you are not moving with the play, you are not doing your job.

18. When a player engages in unsportsmanlike conduct, you should warn player and the coach that if the conduct continues, player won’t be able to continue to play and a substitute must be made.

19. Unsportsmanlike conduct includes:
a) Commits numerous fouls.
b) Delays the restart of play.
c) Fails to move back 5 yards when goalkeeper has the ball, a free kick or corner kick is taken.
d) Commits a serious foul such as high kicking or slide tackling.
e) Hits or strikes an opponent.
f) Spits at an opponent.
g) Uses offensive, insulting or abusive language. (Trash talking)
h) Commits an intentional foul.

20. Teams do not change ends at half-time. Except if both coaches agree, Second Grade teams will change at ends at half-time.

21. Inform goalkeeper that he/she can run out to end of penalty box to release the ball.

22. When a foul is committed, get the ball quickly and stand where the free kick is to be taken, announce your call and point in the direction of the offending team’s goal.

23. Move players back 5 yards when a throw-in, free kick, goal kick or corner kick is taken.

24. When and how to blow your whistle:
1) One long whistle for the following:
a) Stand at mid-field - blow your whistle to alert coaches that game should start.
b) When there is an injury on the field to stop play.

2) One short whistle for the following:
a) When ball goes out of bounds.
b) When a goal is scored.
c) When a foul is committed.
d) Anytime to stop and restart play.

3) Two long whistles at the end of the first, second and third quarters.

4) Three long whistles at the end of the game.

5) Continue to blow your whistle if players do not stop play after you have blown your whistle.

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