LWYSA Rules of Competition

Special Note on Earrings, Rubber Bracelets

Coaches and parents are reminded that jewelry of any kind is NOT permitted to be worn during soccer matches. Every year, parents and players try to stretch these rules, with tearful results at the field. Players may NOT wear earrings. If earrings cannot be removed, for any reason, the player cannot play. Taping of earrings is NOT an acceptable alternative to removing them. Also, this year, FIFA sent out a circular reminding referees that the leather and rubber bracelets people have taken to wearing (such as the rubber yellow "Live Strong" bracelets, and various forms of leather "friendship" bracelets) are a form of adornment and are therefore jewelry and cannot be worn. The need to reinforce this requirement stems from multiple reports of broken fingers resulting from fingers getting entangled in these items during play. PLEASE leave them home so there is no risk of losing them.

U7-U9 (as of 9/11)

Rules of Competition (2011): These rules are prepared as a "handbook" to assist coaches and volunteer referees. As such, we have avoided presenting rules as a set of "legal" statements. Rather, they are intended to give practical guidance as to how the game should be officiated. Remember that the U7-U9 age is NOT about competition. It is about the players having fun and learning the basic rules of this great sport while doing so.

Rule Tutorial: The Referee Services Team has prepared this online tutorial. You will see many diagrams, as well as a few interactive screens to help you understand how the rules are applied to very young players. This short tutorial (about 15-30 minutes if you take your time) is appropriate for any parent, referee, or coach working with U7-U9 players.

Classroom Education: The Referee Services Team offers short classes of 1 to 1 1/2 hours at various times during the year. These sessions are free. During these sessions, we go through the basic Rules of Competition, but more important, attendees have a chance to ask all those "but what about..." or "what should I do if..." questions that inevitably come up. See the LWYSA Home page for a list of the currently scheduled classes:

U10-U13 Recreational

Rules of Competition (2011): Beginning at the U10 age, all LWYSA teams play in accord with the Rules of Competition published by the WSYSA in the Administrative Handbook. These rules are basically the same as the FIFA Laws of the Game with some modifications for youth. LWYSA may further modify or clarify these rules. Persons wishing to learn the rules are encouraged to do the following:

  1. Obtain a copy of "The Laws of the Game - Made Easy" from the US Soccer Federation
  2. Read and review "LWYSA Modifications/Clarifications to U10-U12 Rules"

Rule Tutorial: There isn't really a complete tutorial available for these rules. However, you may find the information in this rule tutorial of some use, especially if you are new to soccer. It is part of the package we use to "warm up" people before they come to the Grade 9 Class referenced below.

Classroom Education: The proper education for this level of play is the US Soccer Federation Grade 9 "Recreational Referee" clinic. You can find information about these classes by clicking on the "Classroom Education" heading and reading the requirements for a U10-U13 referee.

Questions or Issues about Rules?

We make every reasonable effort to review and edit the materials we prepare, checking for consistency and updating each year to address questions or issues that have come up in prior years. However, we know that we will never be perfect. If you find something that you believe is unclear, incorrect, inconsistent, about any of the documents above, please send a note to refereedirector@lwysa.org and we'll make sure it gets to the right team members so we can get things fixed in the next version.

If you have questions about the Laws of the Game, we encourage you to use our Ask a Ref facility. One (or more) of our referee mentors will usually respond with 24-48 hours.