PYSL Rules
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Petaluma Youth Soccer League Rules

Section 1: Introduction

  1. Scope

    This document contains all rules that the Petaluma Youth Soccer League have instituted. It does not include the rules of governing organizations under whose rules, the Petaluma Youth Soccer League must also operate.

  2. Definitions

    1. Rules: An authoritative, prescribed direction for conduct, and regulations governing procedure. Rules are intended to stand as written until formally amended.
    2. Policies: Plans or courses of action, intended to influence and determine decisions, actions, and other matters. Policies are guidelines to determine how we execute the affairs of the league.
    3. PYSL: Petaluma Youth Soccer League
    4. Board of Directors: The governing board of the PYSL as defined in the PYSL Bylaws.
    5. Caution: When a referee cautions a player, substitute, or coach. The equivalent of a yellow card, whether a yellow card is displayed or not.
    6. Send-off: When a referee sends a player, substitute, or coach from the playing field or playing field area. The equivalent of an ejection and red card, whether a red card is displayed or not.
    7. PAD or PAD Committee: Protest, Appeals, & Discipline Committee. The committee within PYSL responsible for setting discipline levels and hearing protests and appeals.
    8. Parent Organizations: California Youth Soccer Association - North (CYSA), United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA), United States Soccer Federation (USSF), and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

Section II: General Rules

  1. Modification to Rules
    These rules may only be modified by a majority vote of the PYSL Board of Directors.
  2. League Colors
    The representative colors of this league shall be Red, White, and Blue.

Section III: Registration

  1. League & Club Boundaries

    1. League Boundaries: The territory of the PYSL shall consist of all areas located within the City limits of Petaluma and those outlying areas associated with the City of Petaluma. To the North, the boundary shall include all areas up to Formschlag Rd. in Penngrove. To the South, the boundary shall include all areas to the Marin County Line. To the East, the boundary shall include all areas East of Hwy 101. To the West, the boundary shall include all areas to the coast including: the Coast Guard Station at Two Rock, Bodega Bay, and Tomales.
    2. Club Boundaries: Players living within the boundaries of the PYSL shall be divided into playing clubs as specified in the PYSL Bylaws. The Club boundaries are defined as follows:
      1. Class I, II, III (Competitive). United Club: All areas within the boundaries of the PYSL
      2. Class IV (Recreational & Developmental): Within the prescribed boundaries of the PYSL:
        1. Coastal Club: All areas west of Highway 101
        2. Adobe Club: All areas east of Highway 101 and north of East Washington Street.
        3. Valley Club: All areas east of Highway 101 and south of East Washington Street.

  2. Registration

    1. The PYSL will hold an open registration for all players in the spring of each year. All players signing up for Class IV play during the official registration period will be placed on a team on a first come, first serve, space available basis. All players registering after the close of registration will be placed on a waiting list and appointed to the first team with an available position within any playing club.
    2. All players must register in the club in which they live.

  3. Player Transfers

    Once team rosters have been submitted to the Registrar, players may not move from one roster to another roster except in the case of extreme hardship. An extreme hardship will not be pre-defined by the PYSL board, but instead, reviewed on a case by case situation. All requests for transfer shall be submitted, in writing, to the Registration Secretary and the current Club Director stating the reason for the request. If the request for transfer is granted by a majority vote of the Board of Directors, the player will be placed by the Registrar on the team in greatest need of an additional player.

Section IV: Team Formation/Organization

  1. Adult Supervision

    All PYSL team activities shall be supervised by a legal adult, eighteen (18) years of age or older.

    1. The head coach must be registered with the league and be an adult, eighteen (18) years of age or older.
    2. The assistant coach must be registered with the league and may be under eighteen years of age.

  2. Class IV Team Formation

    1. All PYSL class IV recreational teams (age groups U-10 through U-19) shall be formed in a manner to support parity of size and strength of teams.
    2. All PYSL class IV developmental teams (age groups U-6 through U-8) should  formed on the basis of school attended and/or neighborhood.

Section V: Class IV Common Rules

  1. Player Equipment

    1. At league games, all players shall be attired in the official PYSL uniform consisting of:
      1. PYSL approved reversible jersey
      2. Blue soccer shorts
      3. Red soccer stockings
    2. Shinguards must be worn under and be completely covered by the stockings.
    3. Players shall wear soccer cleats (no toe cleat) or soft soled tennis shoes only. Cleats shall not have metal studs.
    4. Players shall not wear anything that may be injurious to themselves or others. This may include bracelets, necklaces, watches, ear rings, etc. The Referee shall be the governing authority to determine issues of safety. Hair ties must be made of soft material.
    5. Home team shall wear red jerseys, visiting team shall wear blue jerseys. Goalkeepers shall wear jerseys which differentiate the goalkeeper from the players of both teams.
    6. Players (including goalies) may not wear hats with a rigid brim (no baseball caps).

Section VI: Specific Rules - Developmental
(U-6 through U-8)

  1. 1.0 League Organization

    1. Each club shall form separate U-6 and U-7 divisions.
      1. U-6: Teams shall be formed with U-6 players and the team shall play in a U-6 division. U-6 teams shall not play in the U-7 division.
      2. U-7: Teams shall be formed with U-7 players and shall play in the U-7 division. U-7 teams shall not play in the U-6 division.
    2. A city wide playing division(s) shall be formed for U-8 teams. Separate divisions hall be formed for boys and girls teams.
    3. U-6 and U-7 teams shall be co-ed (boys and girls together). U-8 teams shall be sex segregated.

  2. Roster Size

    1. U6/U7 shall have seven (7) or fewer players per roster unless a specific exception is approved by the PYSL Board of Directors.
    2. U-8 teams shall have nine (9) or fewer players per roster unless a specific exception is approved by the PYSL Board of Directors

  3. General Developmental Playing Rules

    Law 1 - Field of Play
    Sized as shown for the specific age group. For all age groups, there are no penalty areas, penalty spots, corner arcs, or center circles.
    Law 2 - The Ball
    Size 3 ball
    Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play
    Opponents must be 5 yards from the ball while kick off is in progress. A goal may not be scored directly off a kick-off. Following a stoppage a drop ball may not be used; instead possession is given to one team and play is restarted in the most appropriate alternative manner.
    Law 11 - Offsides
    There are not offsides in developmental soccer.
    Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct
    All fouls result in an indirect kick. Slide tackling is not allowed and results in a foul.
    Law 13 - Free Kicks
    Opponents must be 5 yards away from the ball before kick is allowed. All free kicks shall be indirect.
    Law 14 - Penalty Kick
    No penalty kicks are allowed.
    Law 16 - Goal Kick
    Opponents must be outside the goal area and 5 yards away from the ball before kick is allowed.
    Law 17 - Corner Kick
    Opponents must be 5 yards away from the ball before kick is allowed.

  4. U-6/U-7 Specific Playing Rules

    Law 1 - Field of Play
    The exceptions for the field of play are listed here. All other markings comply with appropriate rules.
    1. Dimensions
      1. Length: 30 yards
      2. Width: 20 yards
    2. Field Markings:
      1. Goal Area: 6 yards into the field of play joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line.
    3. Goal Size: 9 feet wide.
    Law 3 - Number of Players
    Three on the field, one of whom is the sweeper/keeper.
    Law 5 - Referee
    Stays on the sideline. The home coach is the referee and the visiting coach is the Assistant Referee.
    Law 7 - The Duration of the Match
    Ten (10) minute quarters with one (1) minute substitution break between quarters and five (5) minute break between halves.
    Law 10 - Method of Scoring
    The ball must pass under the top of the flags to be considered a goal. A ball traveling above the flags is out of play across the goal line and is restarted as such. No game score shall be kept.

    1. Sweeper/Keeper: Can handle ball behind 6 yard. No drop kicks allowed.
    2. Field Setup: Each team has half of the equipment to set up the field.

  5. U-8 Playing Rules

    1. FIFA Rule Modifications

      Law 1 - Field of Play
      The exceptions for the field of play are listed here. All other markings comply with appropriate rules.
      1. Dimensions
        1. Length: 40 yards minimum, 45 yards maximum
        2. Width: 25 yards minimum, 30 yards maximum
      2. Field Markings:
        1. Goal Area: 8 yards into the field of play joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line.
      3. Goal Size: 9 feet wide.
      Law 3 - Number of Players
      Five on the field, one of whom is the goalkeeper.
      Law 5 - Referee
      The home coach is the referee in the first half and the visiting coach is the referee in the second half. Parent volunteers serve as Assistant Referees.
      Law 7 - The Duration of the Match
      Twenty (20) minute halves with five (5) minute break between halves.
      Law 10 - Method of Scoring
      No game score shall be kept.

    2. Goalkeeper: Can handle ball behind 8 yard.
    3. Field Setup: Home team sets up and tears down field.

  6. Awards

    All participants in developmental play shall receive a trophy. The trophy for the U-8 age group shall be differentiated from the U-6/U-7 trophy to reinforce the players growth in soccer.

Section VII: Specific Rules - Recreational
(Class IV, U-10 through U19)

  1. Game Play

    1. No overtime periods are played; games ending in a tie are recorded as a tie.
    2. A team must field the minimum number of players required to start or continue a game:
      1. U-12 through U-19: Seven (7)
      2. U-10: Five (5)
      3. CYSA Rules 3:06:11 and 3:06:12 regarding forfeiture shall apply if the minimum number of players is not achieved. The game shall be started as soon as the minimum required number of players is achieved.
    3. The referee is in full charge from the time he/she arrives at the field until he/she retires from the field, whether or not play is underway. Send offs (ejections) may be issued before, during, or after the game is played.
    4. Only a player designated as Captain may ask for clarification of a decision at a stoppage of play. No person, coach, or player shall interfere with, challenge or question the referee before, during, or after the game.
    5. A coach, team official, or spectator may not enter the field during a game unless permission is granted by the referee. This includes, but is not limited to, aiding an injured player.
    6. Each rostered player present at the game shall play at least one half of the game. Exceptions are allowed for injury, conditioning, or discipline. The coach shall keep a written record of players who are unable to play at least half of the game, along with the reason.
      1. Coaches who use reduced playing time for disciplinary purposes must have the approval of the their club director and must explain the situation to the child's parents.
    7. Teams shall position themselves on opposite sides of the field. Exceptions require the agreement of both coaches and approval by the referee. The home team shall have choice of the side of the field.
    8. Both teams are required to report the game score to the appropriate scorekeeper within one week. The official game score is the score recorded by the referee. Failure to report a score may result in forfeiture of the game. Disputes in reported scores shall be settled by review of the game card.
    9. Both teams shall supply a game ball to the referee before the start of the game. The referee shall select the most appropriate ball. The referee may request another ball if neither are considered adequate.

  2. Rule Modifications for U-10

    The FIFA "Laws of the Game" are modified for U-10 play in accordance with the following:

    Law 1 - Field of Play
    The exceptions for the field of play are listed here. All other markings comply with appropriate rules.
    1. Dimensions
      1. Length: 70 yards minimum, 80 yards maximum
      2. Width: 40 yards minimum, 50 yards maximum
    2. Field Markings:
      1. Center Circle: 8 yards radius
      2. Corner arcs: 2 foot radius
      3. Goal Area: 6 yards from each goal post and 6 yards into the field of play joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line.
      4. Penalty Area: 14 yards from each goal post and 14 yards into the field of play joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line
      5. Penalty Spot: 12 yards from goal line
    3. Goal Size: 7 feet high and 21 feet wide.
    Law 2 - The Ball
    Size 4 ball
    Law 3 - The Number of Players
    Shall consist of not more than eight players, one of whom is the goalkeeper.
    Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play
    Opponents must be 8 yards from the center mark while kick off is in progress
    Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct
    Only an independent neutral referee may issue cautions or send. Coaches or parents who are not licensed referees and are refereeing a game because a referee was not available may not caution or eject a player.
    Law 13 - Free Kicks
    Opponents must be 8 yards away from the ball before kick is allowed.
    Law 14 - Penalty Kicks
    Opponents must be 8 yards away from the ball before kick is allowed.

  3. Game Protests and Appeals

    A protest or an appeal will be made using the following procedure:

    1. All protests and appeals should be recorded on the game card prior to the protesting party leaving the field of play in order to be heard.
    2. Protest and appeals must be in writing (typed or printed) and mailed to the league PAD Committee Chairperson and must be accompanied with the fee of fifty dollars ($50.00). Such protests or appeals must be postmarked within seventy-two (72) hours of the competition being protested (Sundays and postal holidays excluded).
    3. The protest or appeal fee shall be returned if the protest or appeal is upheld. This fee shall be retained if the protest or appeal is denied, unless the PAD Committee is overruled by a higher authority.
    4. The outcome of the protest or appeal may be further appealed in the following order: A) District Commissioner, B) CYSA, and C) USYSA Region IV.

  4. League Standings

    1. A point system shall be used to determine the league standings. Teams shall be awarded three (3) points for a win, one (1) point for a tie, and zero (0) points for a loss.
    2. All teams shall be scheduled an equal number of games. The league shall make every effort to ensure that every scheduled game is completed.
    3. Position in league shall be determined by the average points per game as determined by the total number of points divided by the number of games played.
    4. Awards shall be given to all league participants, regardless of finishing position. The awards presented for teams finishing first, second, or third place shall indicate their finishing order.
    5. Ties that must be broken for purposes of recognition or advancement shall be broken using the following formula:
      1. Fewest send-offs, ejections, or red cards (players and coaches)
      2. Head to head competition. If three or more teams are tied, all teams must have played each other an equal number of times to apply this tiebreaker.
      3. Fewest goals against.
      4. Most goals for. A maximum number of four goals may be counted from any ame.

Section VIII: Disciplinary Rulings

  1. PAD Committee

    1. The PAD committee shall consist of the following positions of the PYSL Board:
      1. Vice-President - PAD Committee Chairperson
      2. Coaching Coordinator
      3. Head Referee
      4. Recreational Coordinator
      5. An at large committee member
    2. The PAD Committee shall act on all disciplinary matters and shall have discretionary powers in setting disciplinary levels in excess of the minimums required by PYSL's parent organizations.
    3. PAD Committee members who have vested interests in the outcome of a ruling shall not participate in the proceedings and may, if needed, be replaced by someone approved the PYSL Executive Board.
    4. The PAD Committee shall be considered a quorum when three or more members are present for a scheduled meeting.

Appendix A

  1. Revision History AUTHOR DATE APPROVED DESCRIPTION OF CHANGES 1998/9 Rules Committee 12-Apr-99, Restructured rules for ease of use; eliminated rules redundant to CYSA; rewritten to reflect club structures for Adobe, Coastal, & Valley; rewritten to reflect elimination of class IV tryouts; incorporated developmental rules previously approved Petaluma Youth Soccer League Rules