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CYSL 2016 Rule Changes

re: USSF/MYSA heading policy --

- Heading, and Attempted Heading, are being limited and/or prohibited in some form for all children under age of 13 per USSF.  From an administrative perspective, CYSL has adopted a game rule prohibiting heading in games for all children in age groups U12 and below.

See Mass Youth Policy statement:


See USSF for entire policy context -




- Note the policy and the penalty apply not only to situations of actual heading of the ball, but **attempts** to head the ball as well.  At referee's interpretation.  Not protestable.

- Note the heading ban from Mass Youth applies to age 10 & younger players, which means a number of U11 players. That is why in CYSL it is being applied to the entire 2-yr U12 band (which includes U-11 players (some 10 yr olds), as well as U10.

- The final CYSL rule is : 

- All players in U12 and below age groups shall not engage in heading in either games or practices.  

- An indirect kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player, in the opinion of the referee, deliberately heads or attempts to head the ball at the point of the infraction.  

- If, in the opinion of the referee,  a deliberate header or attempt to head the ball occurs in the penalty area, the indirect free kick will be taken on the penalty line parallel goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurs.

- If, in the opinion of the referee, a player does not deliberately head or attempt to head the ball, then play should continue.  

- re: the restart

- the restart for violations in goal area specified by MassYouth policy is an indirect from the goal box.
- This is only 6 yards in full-field, even closer in small-sided.
- This seemed likely to lead to "big kicks" creating more risk of being struck in the head given the short distance - defeating the purpose of the rule & the call made bty the ref.
- Therefore -- For CYSL play, a revised rule that differs from Mass Youth has been adopted that changes this to entire penalty area, with restart on the penalty area outer line (not the penalty spot), as opposed to just the goal box. (see wording in the minutes)
- CYSL may revert to the Mass Youth policy once CYSL playoffs being, as the Mass Youth policy will be in effect at MTOC.


re: Coaches: Passcards, max on sidelines, etc.

- The following applies to coaches of all age groups (U10-U19) in all divisions (Div I, II, and Coastal Cup).

- Rosters can have up to 3 coaches listed on them.

- A max of 3 coaches can be present on sideline for a game.

- All coaches on sideline must have a photo passcard. (Signed by league official, photo, laminated, etc.)

- A coach with a passcard must be present in order for a team to play.  If a team is missing all of its coaches, another adult with a valid passcard can coach for that game, even if not on the roster.  Even if not from the same town. But they MUST have a passcard.

- Adults without a passcard are no longer allowed to step in and coach.

- For these reasons, more than 3 individuals per team can have coach passcards (i.e., a league may choose to issue passcards to some parents beyond the base coaching staff) (but only 3 can be on sideline at one time, and only 3 can be listed on the roster)

- A team that cannot field a coach with a passcard forfeits the game.

- Coaches and league administrators will be responsible for understanding these requirements and educating their membership as appropriate.

- Referees will be responsible for enforcing these requirements.

[This is primarily driven by risk management concerns and our state association's ability to retain insurance coverage for all of its member associations, without which the state youth soccer climate would suffer]


re: Passcards:

- All coaches of all teams in all divisions must have passcards (as mentioned above)

- All players on Div I or Div II teams must have passcards (i.e., MTOC-eligible teams). U12, U14, U16, U19 teams in Div I & II must have passcards.

- Players in U10 and players on U12/U14 teams in Coastal Cup divisions do not require passcards.

- Passcards must be complete with respect to all requirements for use in 1st game of season (Sat 4/2 for U10-U14) (color photo, 1" from top of head to chin; laminated; signed by league official)

- Referees will be responsible for enforcing these requirements.


CYSL 2015 Rule Changes

Distribution by the Goal Keeper for U10/U12 - The goal keeper may not directly distribute the ball into the opponents PENALTY AREA for U12 and other half of the field for U10. Directly means in the air, without having touched anyone else on the field. This can be thrown, punted, or taken from a goal kick (including defenders). The proper restart is an indirect free kick from wherever the ball went over the mid-field line (for both U10/U12).

Cautioned Players - must be substituted out before play resumes. They may substitute back in at the next legal opportunity.

Ejected Players - must leave the field complex (out of sight and sound) before the game may resume. When dealing with young players, the coach must decide if there is a responsible adult who can escort them out of the complex. When there is no responsible adult available, the player may remain in the technical area and any further misconduct will result in the head coach being sanctioned.

Misconduct by Team Officials - that warrants an ejection must have a red card shown. This is to ensure clarity of the call being made. If a referee feels that ejecting a coach will lead the game into further disrepute, the game may be abandoned, and a report filed stating the circumstances.

Passcards - are required for Divisions 1 and 2 for U12 and up (this includes coaches). They are not required for U10 and below as well as Coastal Cup (Division 3) for all age groups. Note: all passcards must be laminated with a picture from the start of the season, there is no grace period.