General Rules for Referees for the SOCCA Organization 

For more details on SOCCA rules and regulations, see our website

  1. The Official’s ruling is final (at the time of the call). Any questions or concerns may be brought to the attention of a Board member for review. Board members may dictate officiating guide lines and rulings for any game at any time beyond the call in question. This means that how a call is made can be changed by a board member until further review by SOCCA can be done. SOCCA Board Members have final say in guidelines and rulings for SOCCA games played at Lake Park and reserve the right to run the program in a fashion that is best suited for the safety of all involved. 
  2. SOCCA follows FIFA or OHSAA rules with one exception, “Slide Tackling”. There is NO slide tackling permitted in SOCCA games played at Lake Park with two exceptions; the goal keeper who may slide into players in an attempt to block a shot and or protect themselves and Travel Teams levels. The keeper must be (in the Official’s opinion) obviously making an attempt at the ball or to protect themselves and not just to take down the attacking player. One warning per team then a Yellow Card should be shown. Travel Team levels should be governed by OHSAA rules. and or FIFA. On Fields 4, 5 and 6, players should be encouraged to stay on their feet as much as possible.
  3. Slide kicks, Bicycle Kicks or Air born kicks are permitted as long as the action is taken away from other players and is not deemed dangerous play. Any of these kicks near (any) other players is dangerous play. One warning per team then a Yellow Card should be shown. On Fields 4, 5 and 6, players should be encouraged to stay on their feet as much as possible. 
  4. Dangerous play is, any action deemed by the Official to be dangerous to any participants in the SOCCA Program. The SOCCA policy for dangerous play can be found on our website at
  5. Off Sides is called on fields 1, 2 and 3 only. (Off Sides Position is NOT off sides), see “FIFA Laws of the Game” for examples of off sides and off sides position. A player may be in off sides position but is off sides only if they interfere with the keeper as shown in the booklet or affect the play. Revisions: Laws of the Game, FIFA 2006. This call is at the Official’s discretion within the OHSAA or FIFA Law. 
  6. Substitutions on fields 1, 2 and 3 should be made from the center line during a dead ball with the Official’s permission and direction however, they may be made (on the fly) provided the player being replaced is off the field before the replacement enters (and) that live play is not close enough to be interfered with. This will be at the discretion of the Official. Fields 4, 5 and 6 should be relaxed and as necessary following the same basic rules with no live play close at the time.
  7. Coaches other than pre-game warm-ups, are to coach from one half of the sideline area on one side or the other of the field and not enter the field unless a player is injured. Parents, coaches or coaches assistants are to be off the field and away from the goals following the same guidelines for coaches. Only if an injury occurs or an Official requests a coach or other responsible person may they enter the field. The exception is on Fields 4, 5 and 6 where we encourage coaches to be on the field of play coaching and officiating a half of the field to better help their players learn the game. One adult (per team) is permitted on the field to coach and officiate. Guidance from the goal box areas is permitted (one person only), on fields 4, 5 and 6 and should be done from off the field.
  8. Throw-Ins are done when a ball is kicked out of bounds on either of the long sides of the field. Throw in is given to the team that did not kick the ball out of bounds. The ball must be thrown in with both hands straight over the thrower’s head with both feet making ground contact. At the discretion of the Official, a warning may be given for the first offense each team, any offense from there should result in a turnover. Opponents can not interfere with the thrower. There is no “off sides” (during) the throw in. On fields, 4, 5 and 6, teaching the players the proper method of a throw in is more important than the previous details of this paragraph. 
  9. Corner Kicks are done when the team defending the goal knock the ball out of bounds on their short end of the field. There is no “off sides” (during) a corner kick. 
  10. Goal Kicks are done when the attacking team knocks the ball out of bounds on the short end of the field near the opponent’s goal. The ball is placed on the small box line and must leave the large box area to be played again by (any) player. The kicker gets two opportunities to clear the ball or it is turned over to the attacking team as an indirect kick from the 18 yard box. On fields 4, 5 and 6, teaching the proper method of goal kicking is more important than previous details of this paragraph.
  11. Direct, Indirect and Penalty Free Kicks are done when an infraction or foul occurs. The Official will indicate whether an direct, indirect or penalty kick is to be taken. For all kicks, the ball must be stationary prior to the kick and must be touched by another player before touching the ball a second time. The (Indirect Free kick) can not enter the goal without being touched by (any) other player to count. No goal is awarded. A (Direct Free Kick) may be kicked directly into the opponents goal with a point awarded. The (Penalty Free Kick) is a one on one competition between the Goal Keeper and the kicker and is taken from 12 yards away from the goal line. There are no Direct or Penalty kicks on fields 4, 5 and 6. For more information, see FIFA Laws of the Game. 
  12. Yellow Cards may be shown a player who commits a foul or action deemed by the Official to be dangerous or illegal. Red Cards may be shown to any player or Coach for an action that shows un-sportsman like conduct after a warning or if particularly heinous, immediately. All Red Cards require Board review. Yellow and Red Cards may be shown to anyone participating in the game, players, coaches, or assistants. There is no use of Cards on Fields 4, 5 and 6. 
  13. Un-sportsmanlike conduct. SOCCA believes that the game of soccer should be more than athletically competitive, it should be fun! We therefore do not tolerate foul language, intentional fouls, over-aggressive behavior or any other actions that could injure anyone participating in the program. It is at the discretion of an Official or Board Member as to whether this conduct has occurred. Poor or over-aggressive conduct should be reported to a Board Member as soon as possible. Disciplinary action including expulsion from the program without monetary refund will be at the discretion of the SOCCA Board. See (Dangerous Play, Yellow & Red Cards, Un- Sportsmanlike Conduct) for more details.
  14. Remember, this is a (recreational) league excepting traveling teams. 
  15. Play Soccer!, HAVE FUN!

FIFA = Federation Internationale De Football Association. 

OHSAA = Ohio High School Athletic Association.

Form-04A SOCCA General Rules for Referees 9/15/06