This guide is to assist new or returning referees and coaches during Windham
Youth Soccer (WYSA) in-house games.
The objective of W.Y.S.A. is to develop, promote, serve, and administer the
game of soccer among youth under the age of 19 within the town of Windham.
Emphasis is on teaching the kids to have fun while learning the game of soccer.
As a referee/coach, you should add to this learning experience by taking a few
moments to explain infractions of the law to the offending player, without a
lengthy conversation that unnecessarily delays the game.
Any serious violation of the laws or harassment of the officials or
players by coaches or spectators should be reported immediately (preferably in
writing) to the referee coordinator or soccer board member.
The rules by which soccer is played are referred to as laws.
Recommended procedure for start of the game:
- Arrive 10 minutes early to the assigned field.
- Introduce yourself to the other referee. (In rare cases,
certified referees may officiate a game without a second referee in which
case, a parent from each team will be used as linesmen, one on each side of
- Decide which referee will keep the time and which side of the field each
- Check field - cones in place, goal net attached securely, ball available.
- Call captains of each team to center of the field.
- Have captains shake hands with each other.
- Select one captain from each team to call the coin toss.
- The winner of the toss selects either side of
the field to defend.
- Timekeeper resets watch to track time.
- Spot the ball in the center of the field, count the players of each team
on the field and insure both teams are on their half of the field.
- Call to each goalie to determine if they are ready to start play.
- Move back away from the ball (approximately 6-10 yards away) and whistle
to start the game.
Note: as soon as practical after starting the game, the timekeeper should
insure the clock has started and is running correctly.
LAW I FIELD OF PLAY
- The length and width of the fields are pre determined.
- Goal areas and penalty areas are marked. Keepers may handle the ball
in the penalty area.
- No one is allowed behind the goal during the game.
LAW II BALL
- The ball used will be provided by WYSA.
- If the ball becomes deflated during the game, you may use any suitable
ball available, restart play with a dropped ball at the point where the ball
first became deflated.
Ball sizes used:
Ages 4 (Pre School) through
Grade 2 - size 3
Grades 3 through
6 - size 4
through 9 - size 5
LAW III NUMBER OF PLAYERS
- Numbers of players: may vary each year depending on number of sign-ups in
that age group.
- A player sent off under LAWXII may be substituted for immediately.
- Substitutes may be made by either team after a goal has been scored.
- Substitutes by either team may be made anytime the ball is out of play
(throw-ins, goal-kicks, corner kicks, or injury.)
Substitutes will enter the field
at the MID-FIELD line and must be at MID-FIELD when the ball goes out
Each player on a team must play
a MINIMUM of one-half of the game.
LAW IV PLAYER EQUIPMENT
- Team Jersey, shin guards, stocking that cover the shin guards,
shorts or sweat pants, and footwear are MANDATORY for
- Sweatshirts etc., may be worn as long as the team jersey stays on the
- Jewelry is not permitted. This includes: rings, watches, bracelets,
necklaces, NO EARRINGS OF ANY KIND. Medic alert
necklace or bracelets must be taped to the body.
- Any item that may be dangerous to the player or other players will not be
- Due to cold weather, wool hats (no tassels) & gloves may be worn at
the discretion of the referee (exception is goal keeper gloves may be worn
during to whole game.
- BASEBALL CAPS WILL NOT BE WORN BY FIELD PLAYERS BUT MAY BE WORN (BRIM
FORWARD) BY THE GOALKEEPERS TO SHIELD THEIR EYES FROM THE SUN.
LAW V REFEREE
- If no referee is available, a neutral coach or parent may be used.
- The referee's decisions are final and are not to be contested by coaches.
players or spectators.
- The referee's authority begins when he or she enters the field of play and
continues until both teams have departed the field of play.
- Referee will explain incorrect play to the offending player whenever
practical so as not to delay the game.
- The referee (or person assigned by the referee)
will keep the time.
- The referee will stop the game any time an injury occurs or when weather
conditions are dangerous.
LAW VI LINESMEN
- Linesmen may be used if two referees are unavailable. The referee will
request a parent from each team and assign them to a sideline.
- Linesmen if used will only signal when the ball is in or out of play. The
referee will decide which team is being awarded the ball and will decide all
fouls and misconduct.
LAW VII DURATION OF GAME
GAME TIME IS AS FOLLOWS
PRESCHOOL and Kindergarten (NO
REFEREES, COACHES WILL BE ON THE FIELD DURING PRACTICE AND
60 minutes consisting of 1Ú2 practice
and 1Ú2 game, with A 5 to 10 minute break at the half.
All Other Divisions
2 halves of 25 minutes
5 minute break at the half
All games are scheduled and should be
played during allotted time slot. A horn will be blown at
the top of the hour indicating end of game in play and start of next game. Game officially
ends with the referee's whistle.
NO OVERTIME IN THE REGULAR SEASON
PLAYOFFS WILL BE BASED ON THE WORLD CUP FORMAT
FIFA bracketing means you play everyone in your bracket (division) once.
Season placement results will be based on points earned under the World Cup
format as outlined below. Regular season game scores are not recorded and have
no bearing on the playoffs.
If there are more than six teams in a division there will
be two pools of equal teams where each team plays every team in their respective
pool. Pool winners will play each other in one final championship game.
Division placement (first, second, third,.etc.) will be determined by the World Cup Format point
system as follows:
3 FOR A WIN
1 FOR A TIE
0 FOR A LOSS
TIE BREAKERS will be decided by the following criteria:
- Head to head
- Fewest goals given up
- Goal differential (4 goal maximum per game)
2 halves of 25 minutes with a 5 minute break at the half
Referee may add time on any period as necessary to account for injuries or
LAW VIII START OF THE GAME
Just prior to the start of the game, a coin toss by the referee and both team's
captains will determine which team defends and which starts with the ball.
The winning team of the coin toss will choose which goal they will defend and
the opponent will start with a kickoff.
Start of Play:
If play is stopped for any reason not identified elsewhere, play will
begin with a dropped ball at the point where the ball is when play was
1. At the referee's signal, the game shall be started by a
kickoff with a player taking a forward kick (any ball movement is sufficient)
into his/her opponent's half of the field of play (a forward pass). All
players shall be in their team's half of the field and all players of the
opposing team of the kicker shall be outside the center circle until it is
kicked. The kicker may not play the ball again on the kickoff until it has
been touched or played by another player on either team. A false start (kick backwards
or a second consecutive kick by the same player)
should be called back and retaken.
2. After a goal is scored, the team scored against shall restart
play by a kickoff.
3. At the start of the second half, teams will exchange sides to
defend and the team who started with the ball for the first half will defend for
the kickoff of the second half.
LAW IX BALL IN & OUT OF PLAY
- The ball is out of play when it COMPLETELY crosses
the touch (side) or goal (end) lines on the ground or in the air.
- The ball is out of play when the referee has suspended play for any
LAW X METHOD OF SCORING
- A goal is scored when the ball COMPLETELY crosses the goal
line between the goal posts and under the cross bar
- A goal will be awarded if any player other than the goalkeeper
intentionally handles the ball in the goal area to prevent a goal.
- A goal cannot be awarded for any other situation.
LAW XI OFF-SIDES
- TO BE AN OFF-SIDE PLAY, A PLAYER MUST BE IN AN OFF-SIDE POSITION AND BE
INVOLVED IN THE PLAY.
- A PLAYER IS IN AN OFF-SIDE POSITION WHEN THEY ARE NEARER TO THE OPPONENTS
GOAL THAN THE BALL WHEN THEIR TEAMMATE PASSES THE BALL UNLESS:
- SHE/HE IS IN HER/HIS OWN HALF OF THE FIELD, OR
- SHE/HE IS NOT NEARER THE GOAL THAN AT LEAST TWO DEFENDERS.
- A PLAYER IS INVOLVED IN THE PLAY IF HE RECEIVES A PASS FROM HIS/HER
- THE PENALTY FOR AN OFF-SIDE PLAY IS AN INDIRECT FREE KICK TO THE DEFENDING
TEAM FROM THE PLACE WHERE THE PLAYER WAS OFF-SIDES
- OFF-SIDE EXCEPTION: ALL 2ND GRADE AND BELOW DIVISIONS WILL PLAY WITH
NO OFFSIDE RULE, THEY ARE EXEMPT FROM THIS RULE. THESE YOUNGER PLAYERS ARE OFTEN CONFUSED BY THE OFFSIDE
LAW XII FOULS & MISCONDUCTS
- No caution (yellow ) or send-off (red) cards will be used
- All intentional fouls will result in an indirect free kick with the
opponents no closer than six yards to the kicker.
- Infractions should be explained to the offending player.
- Repeat infractions may result in the player being sent out of the game
through the end of the period.
- Serious foul play or repeated infractions may be punished by removal of
the player through the end of the game.
- SLIDE TACKLES WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.
- Fouls that will result in an indirect free kick are:
- Handling the ball, except goalie
- Violent charging
- Charging from behind
- Dangerous play
- Arguing with the referee
- Slide tackle
- Foul language
- Intentionally kicking the ball back to the goal keeper, if the keeper
handles the ball, is considered wasting time and will result in an indirect
free kick from where the keeper plays the ball. However, keeper may use his
or her feet to pass the ball.
LAW XIII FREE KICK
- All free kicks will be indirect.
- An indirect free kick must be touched by another player (teammate or
opponent) before a goal can be scored.
- All defending players must remain six yards from the ball prior to the
- For any free kick awarded within six yards of the goal line, the ball will
be moved out six yards from the goal line and defenders will be allowed to
stand on the goal line.
- No whistle is needed to start play after award of a free kick.
LAW XIV PENALTY KICK
- Penalty kicks are not allowed in W.Y.S.A.
- Penalty kicks may be taken during tournament games, depending on the
particular season's playoff format.
Penalty (direct) kicks are allowed after overtime
periods have been played to break a tie.
- Five players from each team will meet at mid-field.
- All others, coaches and spectators will be off the field.
- First kick will be determined by flip of a coin, winner of flip may
choose to kick first or last.
- Teams alternate kickers from center to an open goal. Yelling at the
kickers or any other action by players, coaches or parents to
interfere with the kick should not be allowed.
- Winner will be the team scoring more goals after five attempts each.
- If teams are tied after five attempts, a sudden death version of the
above to apply with winner having scored more goals after an equal
number of shots by both teams.
- NO PLAYER MAY ATTEMPT A SECOND PENALTY KICK UNTIL ALL PLAYERS ON
THAT TEAM HAVE HAD A KICK.
- The ball is dead when it completely stops moving or when it crosses
the goal line.
LAW XV THROW-INS
- The player taking the throw-in must have both feet touching and outside of
the touch line.
- The ball must travel from behind the thrower's head, directly over his
head and be released towards the field of play.
- Both of the thrower's feet must remain on the ground during the throw.
- For an improper throw-in, a throw-in is awarded to the opposing team.
(exception: a second throw-in will be given in the divisions of juniors or
below, by the same player, after an explanation to the
- A ball that does not go onto the field from a throw-in will be thrown in
LAW XVI GOAL KICKS
- Goal kicks will be taken with the ball in the goal area, after the ball
goes over the goal line outside of the goal post by the attacking team.
- The ball may be placed anywhere within the six yard (goal area) box for
- All defending players must remain outside the penalty area.
- If a player touches the ball inside the penalty area, the kick will be
- Exception to the Goal Kick rule for all 2nd grade teams and below as
- Opponents must be in their own half of the field when the kick is
taken for all divisions 2nd grade or below.
The following excerpt is from a memorandum from Soccer Maine dated September
16, 2000 concerning RULE 16:
"In regards to LAW 16, the defending team must retreat to its own end
before the kick is taken. Once the kick is taken the defense may push forward in
its attempt to win the ball back. In the more traditional setup, a wall of
defenders often forms at the edge of the penalty area waiting for the kick.
Because younger players are not physically mature, the kicker often has trouble
kicking the ball beyond the wall of defenders, and consequently, a goal kick is
something like a punishment for the kicking team. The defenders steal the kick
right in front of the goal, and either score, or kick the ball out of bounds to
begin the process over again. It's hoped that by having the defending team
retreat to its own end, the kicking team will be able to move the ball a
significant distance away from its goal before it gets put under real heavy
The rule change is significant, and contributes to an improved caliber of
play, because it affords the kicking team a fair chance to establish at least
one pass or two of possession, and we believe that it is important to well
played soccer. It also helps to get the defending team organized behind the
Again, this "fall back" exception only applies to 2nd grade and
below teams of W.Y.S.A..
LAW XVII CORNER KICKS
- Corner kicks will be taken, when the ball goes over the goal line outside
of the goal post by the defending team.
- THE BALL MUST BE PLACED ON THE FIELD WITHIN ONE YARD OF THE CORNER (INSIDE
- THE CORNER MARKER (CONE / FLAG) WILL NOT BE MOVED FOR THE KICK.
- A GOAL CAN BE SCORED DIRECTLY FROM A CORNER KICK.
- DEFENDING PLAYERS MUST BE AT LEAST SIX YARDS FROM THE CORNER MARKER.
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