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THE RULES OF SOCCER
Interpretation for C.L.C.F. SOCCER
The rules of soccer are basically simple. However, the interpretation and application of the rules to playing situations can be complex. They can also vary substantially from referee to referee. What is most important in a game is that the rules are applied evenly to both sides.
The rules explained herein are interpreted in non-technical language. The intent is to explain the rule, not to cite it exactly. For the exact wording of the rule, refer to the annual F.I.F.A. "Laws of the Game". The Youth Referees trained by C.L.C.F. Soccer have been schooled in these interpretations. Any questions regarding the rules as they are defined herein are to be directed to the C.L.C.F. "Rules Interpreter".
REFEREES AND COACHES
These are not the titles of two opposing forces on a battlefield. Referees and coaches are essential components of the same game, each with a very different job to perform. The best and most enjoyable games occur when players play, coaches coach, and referees officiate. Avoid confusing the role you are playing in the game.
CALLS BY THE REFEREE
Unlike most other sports, penalties for infractions of the rules do not have to be called by the referee in soccer. The decision to interfere with the flow of the game for an infraction is the prerogative of the official. Because the infraction is not called does not mean that it did not occur or that the official did not see it. The referee may have cited the "advantage rule" which allows the game to continue if the offended team has retained possession of the ball.
The decision to make the call or not rests entirely with the referee. If the referee improperly cites a rule his/her call may be questioned through the proper channels, which may be as simple as politely bringing the referees attention to the possible error. If the game has been stopped this must be done before the game has been restarted. However, no call made, or not made, on the basis of the referee's judgment may be challenged.
LAW 1: THE FIELD OF PLAY
CLCF Under 10 and Under 12 Divisions provision: all areas within the field are two-thirds regulation size. The field used is one-half of the regulation field. Fields for Under 8 are smaller. The goal size is the same for all of these divisions, @ 6'x12'.
LAW 2: THE BALL
LAW 3: NUMBER OF PLAYERS
Maximum: 11 on the field. CLCF Under 8, Under 10, and Under 12 use either 6 or seven players per team.
Minimum: 7 of 11 on the field. No game may begin with less than 7 players for each team. If a team is reduced to less than 7 on the field at any time for any reason the game is terminated by the referee. CLCF requires 4 of 6 or 5 of 7. Teams must have a designated goalkeeper regardless of the number of players on the field.
Teams do not have to have an equal number of players on the field. If one team must play shorthanded for any reason the opposing team may continue to play with a full roster on the field.
Substitutions: In order to help guarantee half-game playing time for all substitutions are unlimited at any appropriate time with the explicit consent of the referee. Substitutions may take place at the following times:
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