RULES AND REGULATIONS
Soccer For Adults (SFA) exists for the purpose of providing a safe, fair, and fun soccer league for the participants and their families. To this end, SFA requires all players to sign a Conduct Form prior to being registered in the league where they agree to act in a positive , friendly, and sporting manner. SFA in turn provides both a committee and referees who understand and abide by these principles and ensure that violations of these principles are addressed and resolved.
Classification of Teams
- Premier (Top Level)
- D1 (Intermediate Skill Level)
- D2 (Mix of Skill Level)
- D3 (Beginning Skill Level)
- 35 Division (females over 29, males over 34)
Men and Women: must be 16 years age or older to register
Teams will be rated based on behavior displayed by the players and the team. This rating system applies to all games played, even scrimmage/friendly games played after a forfeit is declared. Evey team begins with a “perfect” team sportsmanship score of 10 points. To the extent that a team’s sportsmanship behavior deviates from model sportsmanship behavior, the league will deduct points from a perfect 10 according to the table shown below.
|Fails to control or clean-up team sideline||-1|
|Fails to help set-up or take-down equipment and return to POD||-1|
|Fails to return equipment to POD (Home Team Only)||-3|
|Has spectator dismissed from team sideline||-2|
|Receives yellow card, each occurrence||-2|
|Receives straight red card, each occurrence||-4|
|Uniform Non Compliance (after third game)||-1|
Teams are required to maintain an average of 8 or better Sportsmanship Points (SP) during a season. Teams that do not meet this requirement during a season will not be eligible to participate in the playoffs.
Teams that miss two consecutive playoffs for low sportsmanship marks will not be allowed to return for a full year. If that team receives low sportsmanship marks in any following season they can be excused from participating in the league at all.
The latest version of the FIFA Laws of the Game as described in the United States Soccer Federation website (http://www.ussoccer.com) with the following additions:
A. Fields: SFA uses multiple fields in Tempe and Crossroads in Gilbert (Saturday nights). The current list of fields and maps to these can be found on the league’s web site under fields.
B. Ball: Each team is required to supply at least one #5 FIFA regulation soccer ball for each game.
C. Players and Substitutions:
C1. Players: Teams consist of eleven (11) players. A minimum of seven (7) players is required to start a game. Teams must maintain a minimum of four (4) female players (includes goalkeeper) at all times (coed only).
C1.1. If a team cannot field a minimum of two (2) female players (coed only) in accordance with Section E1. Forfeit Time, the game is forfeit
C1.2. A female player can play in lieu of, replace or substitute for a male player at any time.
C2. Check-in: All registered players must be listed and have a valid photo on the game sheet. Both teams shall be checked-in prior to the game by the referee. Players arriving after the start of the game MUST check in with a game official. Players not on the printed Game Sheet are not considered registered players and therefore cannot play. Any player who violates the league’s check in procedure by entering the field of play without first checking-in with a member of the referee crew, shall be removed from the game and cautioned (shown the yellow card) by the referee. After being removed and cautioned, the player can subsequently re-enter the game at the next substitution opportunity.
C3. Substitutions: Substitutions may be requested with the approval of the center referee at any stoppage of play. However, the referee may disallow a substitution request if the possession team appears to be preparing for a quick restart, the request was delayed so as to prevent a timely restart or if the referee deems multiple substitution requests are an attempt to waste time.
C4. Guest Players: Teams are allowed to have guest players up to the playoffs once they meet the 16 player paid roster requirement.
C4.1. The team employing the guest player(s) must provide these players with a matching (or nearly matching) color jersey with a unique number. The suitability of the jersey for use by the guest player(s) is subject to referee approval.
C4.2. All yellow or red cards shown to guest players have the same impact on a team’s sportsmanship points as those given and shown to rostered players. In addition, players earning yellow or red cards while acting in a guest player capacity are subject to the same sanctions (suspensions, fines, etc.) as if they were earned while playing for the team with whom the player is registered. Note: The team employing the guest player incurs the consequences of the guest player’s misconduct; the team with whom this player is registered does not incur these consequences.
D. Player Equipment
D1. Shin Guards: All players are required to wear shin-guards at all times on the field, NO EXCEPTIONS!
D2. Uniforms: The league will provide each team with a set of uniforms
D2.1. The Team Manager will be the responsible to collect and redistribute at each game/season. It will be up to each player to ensure these are returned to the team manager after every game/season. If uniforms are not returned and a team needs replacements the team/player (in need of) will be responsible for ordering their teams jersey via the league online store. If a jersey is no longer available due to discontinued the league will proceed to buy a replacement set of jerseys for the team.
D2,2. All players on each team must have the same color and style jersey.
D2.3. Uniforms must have numbers permanently affixed. No duplicate numbers, no taped or written numbers.
D2.4. All teams must comply with this rule by the third week of each new season
D2.5. Teams NOT in compliance after the third week may lose one more sportsmanship points per game until the team complies.
D3. No Jewelry or Casts Allowed: Exception: Wedding bands, obvious religious items (e.g. Cross, Star of David, etc.) and medical alert bracelets and activity tracking devices are permitted provided they are taped-down OR OTHERWISE COVERED with no sharp edges exposed. Activity tracking devices include “FITBITS” and similar devices. If worn on the wrist they must be completely covered by a sweatband, tape, or similar covering. With respect to a permitted item’s cover, the referee’s decision regarding the acceptability of that covering is final. Wedding bands/rings with protrusions, earrings, necklaces, watches, hard or soft bracelets, hard plastic/metal hair clips, or any other item deemed dangerous by the referee are not permitted and must be removed prior to the player entering the field of play. A cast on a hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm, or shoulder may be allowed with the approval of the referee if it is completely covered with closed cell, slow-recovery foam padding no less than 1/2” thick. However, if the referee determines that at any time players are placed in a dangerous position due to the cast, the player will be required to substitute out for the remainder of the match.Players refusing to remove prohibited items will not be allowed to play. NO EXCEPTIONS!
D4. Rain- Out / Cancellation Procedure: Please check this website for any cancellations. If nothing is posted, please proceed to the playing field. After arriving for the first scheduled game, referees are required to stay at the field until the start of the last scheduled game even if the weather does not permit the games to start or finish. Referees are permitted to leave the field only after the last scheduled game is played to full time or terminated early for weather or other cause.
D5. Lightning Policy: Games will be played unless one of the following occurs:
- There is lightning close to the field. If you see the flash and hear the thunder less than 30 seconds after the flash the match will be suspended until it is safe to play. You must wait a minimum of 30 minutes from the LAST event where the light to sound is less than 30 seconds. The Referee may wait longer if he/she decides it is still dangerous to play.
- If you are surrounded by lightning on 3 or more sides, the match MUST be suspended even if the light to sound is greater than 30 seconds. You must wait at least 30 minutes after lightning no longer appears to surround the field.
The game clock will continue to run during the suspension. No additional time will be added in the case of suspension due to weather.
D6. Score and Timekeeping: Scorekeeping and Timekeeping will be performed on the field by the referee, or by an assistant referee.
E. Game Duration: Two 45 minute halves with running time. Officials may stop the clock for injury if excessive time is required to attend to the injured player, provided schedule constraints permit. The game clock will start after all players present at the referee’s arrival have been checked in with the required minimum rostered players, the captains meeting has occurred and the referee has signaled for the teams to take the field.
E1. Forfeit Time: A 10 minute grace period will be given to a team not able to meet the minimum player requirements of paragraph C1 at game time. A forfeit will result in a 1-0 loss for the forfeiting team. After forfeiture, the game can still be played as a scrimmage or “friendly” between the two scheduled teams. Even if it is a forfeit, Referees are required to stay and officiate the game if both teams still want to play. Teams can share players between the two scheduled teams or any team scheduled at their field, if the game is a forfeit. All players playing in a forfeited game must be registered players on the game cards at the field that game is being played at, and check in before they play.
E1.1. Forfeit Sportsmanship Points: If a team forfeits at the field and the game can NOT be played as a friendly, the Forfeiting team gets 0 sportsmanship points. If a team forfeits but a friendly is played, both teams get the Sportsmanship points they actually earn by the referee’s judgment.
E1.2. Multiple Forfeits: If a team has more than one forfeit in a season they can be excused from registering their team the next season. If a team is excused and sits out a season for excessive forfeits they can apply as a new team after sitting out a season.
E1.3. Advanced Notice: If a team expects to call down a game and can make arrangements with the board and their opposing team in advance (1 week or more), the game will be awarded to the opposing team but the sportsmanship points for that week will not count towards the running total of either team. A call down will not count towards a teams forfeit total.
E1.4. 72 hours Notice: If a team contacts the league about forfeiting a game, giving 72 hours notice, then the team will not lose any sportsmanship points. An arranged forfeit still counts as a forfeit, but the team keeps their sportsmanship points. If a team forfeits a game giving less than 72 hours notice then the team forfeiting will receive a zero for sportsmanship points and the team being forfeited against will receive a 10 in sportsmanship points for that game.
E1.5. Forfeit procedure: To contact the board about a forfeit, the team rep can email the team rep coordinator through the league email. Teams can be emailed through the “teams” page at the top.
E2. Halftime: Halftime period is 10 minutes long. Teams should be ready to restart play when halftime is over. The clock will start at the end of half-time even if the teams are not ready to start.
F. Scoring: 1 points are awarded for female goals and 1 point is awarded for male goals. One point is awarded for either a female or male penalty kick or own goal (Playoffs Only).
F1. Mercy Rule: If one team goes up by 5 goals they must remove (1) male player. For every additional goal over 5 goals, the team in the lead must remove (1) player of either gender down to the minimum required number of players of (7). During this reduction of players, the player requirements of paragraph A above must be maintained.
G. Fouls and Misconduct
G1. NO SLIDE TACKLING: Whether accidental or not, slide tackling is not allowed and will result in an indirect free kick for the opposing team, and may result in a misconduct (yellow or red card, depending upon the degree of danger to or contact with the opponent) for the player who committed the slide tackle. Sliding in open field space with no other players in the active area of play is allowed. The goalkeeper is the only player allowed to slide tackle near an opponent provided it is performed within the penalty area and is performed only in a manner that does not pose a danger to the opponent or to him/herself.
G2. Cautions (Yellow Cards) and Sendoffs (Red Cards): Cautions and sendoffs are administered in accordance with Law 12, Fouls and Misconduct. The SFA Discipline and Rules Committee will review these incidents to determine if further disciplinary action is necessary.
G3. Cautions (Multiple Yellow Cards): Three cautions given during any given season will require a one game suspension. A warning email will be sent out on the second caution given during any given season. Each subsequent yellow card received after the third of each season will result in a one game suspension. If an excess of three yellow cards are received by one player in any given season the SFA Discipline and Rules Committee will review these incidents to determine if further disciplinary action is necessary.
G4. Field Conduct: In order for the referee to keep better control of the game, all teams must observe the following:
- While the ball is in play, no coach/manager, player or spectator shall interfere and/or approach a referee.
- Children must be supervised at ALL times. Children are required to stay off the field of play.
- If the Referee feels he/she cannot control the game for the safety of the players, he/she has the right to terminate the game. If the game is terminated after the first half is completed it is considered a full game.
H. Penalty Kicks
The goalkeeper is determined at the time of the penalty kick. Kicks from the mark to determine the winner of a tournament match may be either male or female without regards to the gender of the goalkeeper. A penalty kick is only worth 1 point no matter who takes it.
- Schedules will be posted on the web site throughout the season. Please check regularly for updates or field changes.
- Make sure the league has a correct e-mail address for your team at all times.
- Game times are not guaranteed. Games will be scheduled around field availability.
- Games canceled due to rain, field problems, or other factors beyond our control will not be rescheduled unless the field and referee availability allow. Due to our year round soccer schedule, it is unlikely rained out games can be rescheduled.
Roster size is 16 players minimum, including at least 5 females (coed only). The league generates Match Reports each week with the complete, up to date roster for each team. IF A PLAYER DOES NOT APPEAR ON THE PRINTED ROSTER, THAT PLAYER IS NOT OFFICIALLY REGISTERED AND CANNOT PLAY.
SFA will provide a maximum of 21 player prizes or recognition awards at the end of any one season.
Players are not permitted to play on more than one team in the same division, nor are they allowed to play if their name does not appear on the printed game report with the exception of a team forfeiting.
A. A referee or SFA Committee Member may check your team roster at any time. If an illegal player is suspected, the referee or SFA Committee Member has the right to take appropriate action. At a minimum, the illegal player must be removed for the duration of the match. A violation could cause a game forfeiture.
B. Players in violation of this rule, as well as the team representative of the team in violation, will be reported to the SFA Committee for sanctioning. The SFA Committee has the final decision as to the extent of any punishment.
The League reserves the right to accept or reject a player’s registration. PLAYERS SUSPENDED FROM OTHER LEAGUES BECAUSE OF HABITUAL OR EXTREME VIOLENT CONDUCT OR SERIOUS FOUL PLAY WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SOCCER FOR ADULT SOCCER LEAGUE. (SFA).
ALL FORMS OF VIOLENT CONDUCT AND SERIOUS FOUL PLAY WILL WARRANT AUTOMATIC EJECTION WITH NO WARNINGS GIVEN. Sendoffs (receiving a red card or two yellow cards in one game) will warrant automatic ejection of said player from the playing field. Spectator violent conduct will warrant automatic ejection of said person from the vicinity of the playing field. The match will be SUSPENDED while the player or spectator leaves the premises. If an ejected player or spectator does not leave the premises within two (2) minutes, the match can be TERMINATED.
A. Any player or coach/manager ejected from a game will be reported to the SFA Committee for disciplinary action. At a minimum, there will be a one (1) game, in addition to the game in which player or coach/manager was suspended.
B. The SFA Committee will review each case and assess the proper disciplinary action in accordance with the SFA Disciplinary Guidelines (LINK TO PAGE).
C. No coach/manager, player, or spectator shall:
- Threaten an official or another player, coach/manager or spectator
- Lay a hand upon, shove, or strike an official or another player, coach/manager or spectator
- Be guilty of objectionable demonstrations or verbal dissent at official’s decision
- Refuse to abide by official’s decision
- Physically or verbally attack any player, official, coach/manager, or spectator
D. Any player removed from a game must leave the playing field immediately.
E. Officials have the authority to give warnings to players, substitutes, and spectators and suspend/eject if necessary. The Field Marshal or 4th Official reserves the right to make the final decision in all matters if the referee is incapacitated.
F. Players guilty of Violent Conduct are subject to termination from the SFA upon review by the SFA Committee.
G. MASS CONFRONTATION – Teams involved in a mass confrontation will be sanctioned with a MINIMUM one game suspension, based on the referee’s report. If it can be established that the majority of the players of either team become involved, OR that the behavior of the few involved is such that the game must be terminated for safety reasons, either or both teams are subject to suspensions. Cases involving mass confrontation will be evaluated and decided upon by the SFA committee for administration. Decisions made by the SFA Committee regarding mass confrontation MAY NOT be appealed.
Mass confrontation is defined as involvement by one or more players from either team with a situation on the field that does not directly involve them. Mass confrontation is usually occurs following serious foul play or violent conduct and may or may not require a match to be terminated.
H. The league reserves the right to evaluate reports of unsporting conduct or failure to uphold the league’s standards of conduct as defined in the Mission Statement. Player’s behavior or actions may be evaluated for compliance, even if no sanctions have been taken against them by the referees. In the case where violations to these principles occur, the SFA Committee, through the D&R Committee, will take the necessary corrective actions, ranging from friendly reminders of the rules to player suspension.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND TOBACCO PRODUCTS
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are NOT allowed at any playing field at any time. Teams are responsible for their spectators. Drinking or use of tobacco products is not allowed in recreation programs.
First Offense – Team: Forfeiture of next game. Player: Suspension from next game
Second Offense – Team and/or player suspended or terminated from the league.
The league maintains a standings page to reflect the wins, losses, and draws for each team. League standings and scores will be updated and available on this website.
The league maintains a Sportsmanship Points page to reflect the total points each team has incurred.
100% refund before the 1st scheduled game. 50% refunds can be given up to week 4. The amount of the partial (50%) refund will depend on when the refund is requested. Partial refunds are based on how many weeks of play remain in the current season. Refunds can not be given after a season has ended. Requests to the treasurer for a refund must be received via email.