Soccer Laws of the Game

Team Roster

  • Each team can carry on its roster no more than 22 players. FXA suggests having at least 16 males to ensure you can field a team every week

Jersey Numbers 

  • All Players (except the goalie) must have a PERMANENT # on the back of their shirt/jersey. Players without #s will not be allowed to play! Failure to do so will result in a forfeit match. The goalie must be listed as 0 on the team roster.
  • Team captains must bring a copy of their roster to the field. There will be a pre-game check-in for all players, where photo IDs will be validated against the roster. Any guests must present government-issued photo ID, and all players must match their jersey number to the roster.
  • All players must wear shin guards and a shirt/jersey with a number on it that corresponds to their number on the teams official roster. If a player does not have a jersey with a number on the back or shin guards, they will not be allowed to play. If there is a conflict in shirt color, the away team will change shirt colors or wear pinnies.

Substitutions

  • Either team may substitute during a kick off from the center mark and a goal kick.
  • During throw-ins, the team in possession can substitute. If that team elects to substitute, the opposing team may also substitute. Teams can substitute as many players as they wish.
  • If an injured player is substituted, then the opposing team may substitute one player.
  • Neither team can substitute on a corner kick

Guest Players

For regular season (non-playoff) matches, each team may use up to four (4) guest players (an individual not listed on the official team roster) in a match. Before the match kicks off, each guest player must identify themselves to the referee and present a valid form of identification (license, passport) with a photograph. If a guest player does not have a valid form of identification, they cannot play in the match. Additionally, the guest player MUST HAVE a permanently numbered shirt/jersey that is the same color as the team.

Slide Tackling

Slide tackling is prohibited in all matches. Players are permitted to slide to play a ball provided they are NOT in proximity to any other player. If in the referees opinion the slide tackle is reckless and could injure a player, a Caution (Yellow Card) MUST be issued. If in the referees opinion a slide tackle is violent with intent to injure a player deliberately, the player will be ejected (Red Card).

Further Clarification of Slide tackling: The League does not allow slide tackling; this is a safety rule for the League. Does that mean that a player can never leave their feet? No! A player may slide to make a play on the ball, provided there are no other players within playing distance of the ball. Like with most other soccer laws, it is the judgment of the referee that will determine whether another player is within playing distance of the ball when a slide tackle is taken. Thus, you don't have to touch or make contact with another player to have violated the leagues law on slide tackling.

Enforcement of 10 Yards for Free Kick Explanation / Clarification

Referees are taught NOT to interfere with the retaking of a kick by enforcing the 10 yard law because they may rob a team of a quick restart. Some teams like to restart very quickly to catch the defense off guard. A referee who interrupts their restart to enforce the 10 yards would thus penalize the team taking the kick. Likewise, technically any player can request the 10 yards be enforced, but most referees are trained to heed the request only from the one or two players setting up to take the restart. Why? Well just imagine a winger 12-14 yards away screaming for 10 yards, but the player taking the kick sees the opportunity for a quick restart to score a goal because the defense and goalie are out of position. The referee, hearing the winger yell for 10 yards, attempts to halt play just as the person taking the re-kick takes the kick and scores! Now the referee has to disallow the goal and bring it back to enforce the 10 yards. The kicker is furious, the team is protesting, and suddenly that winger is nowhere to be found or owning up to his requesting 10 yards be enforced. Hence, a smart referee will watch what the player taking the re-kick is doing, and will take his cues from that player alone.

Foul Language / Dissent

  • The League endorses a zero tolerance approach to foul, abusive, or degrading language. Foul and abusive language includes, but is not limited to, profanity, racial/gender/religious/ethnic slurs or degrading comments, and harassing or demeaning words, phrases, or gestures. Regardless of whether it is directed at another player, a teammate, the referee, or a spectator, referees will automatically issue a Red Card ejection to the player. The ejected player must immediately leave the field complex. In addition to sitting out the remainder of the match the player was ejected from, the player will be required to sit out two additional matches. Additional match suspensions will be added for such things as continuing to use foul and abusive language, failing to leave the field complex immediately, and other actions which bring the game into disrespect. In the event of expletives used in frustration (missed shot, etc) that is muttered under the players breath, the referee is NOT required to Caution the player. Rule of thumb if the foul language can be heard by spectators on the sideline, it MUST be result in a Yellow Card.
  • The League endorses a zero tolerance approach to dissent of a referee's call. When a player or a substitute on the bench persistently dissents, regardless of whether foul, abusive, or degrading language is used, the referee will eject the player/substitute. When a player on the field is ejected for dissent, the team may replace that player and DOES NOT have to play down a player. When either a player or a substitute on the bench is ejected for dissent, they must immediately leave the field and the surrounding area. The referee will not restart play until the offending player has left, but the clock will continue to run. To avoid the loss of playing time, teams are strongly encouraged to urge the offending player to immediately leave the field complex. In addition to sitting out the remainder of the match for which the player was ejected, the player MUST also sit out the teams next scheduled match. Additional match suspensions will be added for such things as continuing to use foul and abusive language, failing to leave the field complex immediately, and other actions which bring the game into disrespect.
  • If a player strongly dissents a referee's call, it MUST result in a caution. If the player uses foul, abusive, or degrading language in a dissent, it MUST result in an Ejection (Red Card).

Cautions / Ejections / Red Card Fines

  • Referees will report ALL Cautions (Yellow Cards) and Ejections (Red Cards) to the Referee Coordinator.
  • If a player receives two cautions in one match, he/she will receive a Red Card and MUST sit out the remainder of the match. The player MUST also sit out the teams next scheduled match.
  • If a player is ejected from a match (Red Card), he/she must sit out the remainder of the match AND the teams next two (2) scheduled matches. This law applies only to hard Red cards, i.e. not an ejection that results from two cautions in the same match per Law # 2 above.
  • If a player is ejected for fighting or striking another player, he/she must sit out the remainder of the match AND they MUST sit out (at minimum) the teams next 4 scheduled matches.
  • Team captains must provide a Red Card Sit out Report to the referee documenting any player sitting out a match due to a Red Card. If a player fails to sit out any of the games he/she is required to sit out, the League will require the player to sit out two additional games beyond the required sit out.
  • The Referee Coordinator will keep track of all Cautions and Ejections. Should a player persistently received Cautions during multiple matches, the Referee Coordinator will report this to the League President who will determine whether the player must sit out one or two matches.
  • All Player Cautions (Cards) will be visible on the website using the Player Cautions (Cards) / Goals tab. The Key Code for all Cards received is as follows:

Caution (Yellow Card)

  1. Unsporting Behavior (USB)
  2. Dissent
  3. Slide Tackle
  4. Persistent Infringement
  5. Interfering with the goalkeeper
  6. Fail to Respect the Required Distance (10 yard rule)
  7. Enter/Leave the field of play without the referees permission
  8. Attempt to deceive the referee (faking an injury, taking a dive

Ejection (Red Card)

  1. Double Yellow
  2. Persistent Dissent
  3. Foul and Abusive Language
  4. Serious Foul Play
  5. Violent Conduct
  6. Denying a goal scoring opportunity
  7. Spitting at, Hitting, Striking
  8. Fighting

Further Clarification on Fighting

  • Automatic ejection from the game
  • Once ejected, a player must leave the field. If the player does not leave the field his/her team may be charged a forfeit for that game, regardless of the score or time remaining. Any player ejected from a game may not play in any other games that day.
  • The ejected player may not play in future games without league approval.
  • An official may call a forfeit for unsportsmanlike conduct. Even if the game has ended, an official may call a forfeit.
  • The League has the authority to suspend and/or expel a player or team from the league and/or future game(s) at its discretion with no refund of monies for such acts.

NEW Temporary Dismissal Policy (“Sin Bin”)

Beginning in 2018, FIFA and USSF have adopted a new policy regarding Temporary Dismissals for players who are cautioned in a match. In accordance with FIFA Guidelines (IFAB Laws of the Game, pgs 26-29), “A temporary dismissal is when a player commits a cautionable (Yellow Card) offence and is punished by an immediate “suspension” from participating in the next part of that match. The philosophy is that an “instant punishment” can have a significant and immediate positive influence on the behavior of the offending player, and potentially, the player’s team.

  • Temporary Dismissals apply to ALL players (including the goalkeepers) but not for cautionable offenses committed by a substitute or substituted player.
  • The referee will indicate a temporary dismissal by showing a yellow card and then clearly pointing with both arms to the temporary dismissal area (herein referred to as the “Sin Bin”. For all FXA games, this area is defined as the furthest part of the team’s technical area away from mid-field. A temporarily dismissed player should remain in the Sin Bin, unless ‘warming up’ (under the same conditions as a substitute.)
  • The length of the temporary dismissal for all FXA games is 10% of the match (6 minutes for 8v8 games). The length of the dismissal is the same for all offences.
  • The temporary dismissal period begins when the referee restarts play AFTER the offending player has left the field of play and is in the Sin Bin. The offending player’s team will play short for the entire temporary dismissal period.
  • The offending player must serve the entire time, regardless of whether the opposing team scores one or more goals during this period.
  • If a player’s temporary dismissal period has not been completed at the end of the first half (or the end of the second half when extra time is to be played), the remaining part of the temporary dismissal period is served from the start of the second half (and/or the start of extra time). A player who is still serving a temporary dismissal at the end of the match is permitted to take part in kicks from the penalty mark.
  • The referee has the final decision as to when the player can return to the field. Once the temporary dismissal period has been completed, the player can return from the touchline with the referee’s permission, which can be given while the ball is in play, but not until the referee acknowledges the player and beckons them onto the field.
  • A temporary dismissed player cannot be substituted for until the end of the temporary dismissal period.
  • A temporarily dismissed player who commits a cautionable or a Send Off offence during their temporary dismissal period will take no further part in the match and may not be replaced or substituted. That player’s team will play short for the remainder of the game following the player’s permanent dismissal from the match.
  • ALL cautions (Yellow Cards) are punished with a temporary dismissal.
  • A player who commits a 2nd cautionable offence in the same match will receive a second temporary dismissal and then cannot return to the match, but may be replaced by a substitute at the end of the second temporary dismissal period.
  • If a team falls below the five player minimum for a match due to Sin Bin sit outs, the referee will suspend the match until the earliest player’s time in the Sin Bin expires and has served their full suspension.
  • Moving Forward, any player receiving a straight Red Card for Violent Behavior (to include fighting, striking, attempting to strike, and referee abuse/assault) will receive a $100 fine which must be paid before the next game, otherwise the team will forfeit every game until the fee is paid.

New ZERO Tolerance Policy

To help the League emphasize that it will no longer tolerate dissent of a referees calls, the League is instituting a new ZERO TOLERANCE policy. The new law, which will allow a referee to eject a player who persistently dissents calls without penalizing the overall team, will state:

  1. The League endorses a zero tolerance approach to foul, abusive, or degrading language. Foul and abusive language includes, but is not limited to, profanity, racial/gender/religious/ethnic slurs or degrading comments, and harassing or demeaning words, phrases, or gestures. Regardless of whether it is directed at another player, a teammate, the referee, or a spectator, referees will automatically issue a Red Card ejection to the player. The ejected player must immediately leave the field complex. In addition to sitting out the remainder of the match the player was ejected from, the player will be required to sit out two additional matches. Additional match suspensions will be added for such things as continuing to use foul and abusive language, failing to leave the field complex immediately, and other actions which bring the game into disrespect. In the event of expletives used in frustration (missed shot, etc) that is muttered under the players breath, the referee is NOT required to Caution the player. Rule of thumb if the foul language can be heard by spectators on the sideline, it MUST result in a Yellow Card.
  2. The League endorses a zero tolerance approach to dissent of a referee's call. When a player or a substitute on the bench persistently dissents, regardless of whether foul, abusive, or degrading language is used, the referee will eject the player/substitute. When a player on the field is ejected for dissent, the team may replace that player and DOES NOT have to play down a player. When either a player or a substitute on the bench is ejected for dissent, they must immediately leave the field and the surrounding area. The referee will not restart play until the offending player has left, but the clock will continue to run. To avoid the loss of playing time, teams are strongly encouraged to urge the offending player to immediately leave the field complex. In addition to sitting out the remainder of the match for which the player was ejected, the player MUST also sit out the teams next scheduled match. Additional match suspensions will be added for such things as continuing to use foul and abusive language, failing to leave the field complex immediately, and other actions which bring the game into disrespect.

So to summarize the new policy, the referees now have the power to eject a player without punishing the entire team by having them play short. If a referee ejects a players due to foul, abusive, or degrading language, the team can substitute in another player to replace the ejected player, thus not penalizing the entire team. In the past, referees would take A LOT of verbal abuse from players, because they didn't want the team to play short. They now have the power to replace problem players, and remove them from the pitch.