The primary goal of SOCCA is to provide the youth of our county with a sport in which they can develop physically and mentally in an atmosphere that builds a positive self-image. To accomplish this, we stress that all players should be allowed to play and equal amount of time regardless of ability. They should also play all positions equally. As coaches and parents, it is our job to create an atmosphere of good sportsmanship and fun, rather than simply stressing the competitive side of soccer. The players naturally become more competitive as they grow older without being pressured by adults. Concentrate on making the game fun. We do not keep score of the games, nor do we keep win/loss records. There are no tournaments and no stats.

SOCCER - Introduction:

Soccer is an international game that differs somewhat from traditional American sports. It’s primary concern is for development and enjoyment of the players and not as much emphasis is placed on the needs of the spectators. It is a fast moving game in which there are very few stoppages for timeouts, substitutions, etc. Referees give little or no explanation of calls to the spectators in terms of elaborated hand signals. In soccer the ball size, field size, goal size, number of players, and the length of the game are proportioned to the age of the players. Officiating rules will follow FIFA or OHSAA guidelines.

There are many different kinds of soccer balls in use today, and in a sense all are regulation, since there is no single “official” style of ball used in soccer. Any ball is acceptable if it is round, made of real or synthetic leather, and is sufficiently lively. The balls in SOCCA are a number 4 size ball for the younger and middle ages, and a number 5 size ball for the older players. The soccer ball is supposed to weight 14 to 16 ounces. It is important that the ball doesn’t get too heavy because of a wet or muddy field.

The field on which soccer is played varies from significantly smaller than a football field to slightly larger than a football field. Regardless of the size of the field, the goal, penalty areas, and other markings remain proportionately the same. The field is separated by the half-way line. Each half of the field as a penalty area, goal area, goal, penalty kick line, and each corner has a corner flag and corner kick line.

As the start of each game, the officials will inspect each team’s equipment. Since feet and legs often end up in a tangle during the game, the rules control the size and shape of the cleats on a soccer shoe. Cleats must not be less than 1/2” in diameter and may not project more than 3/4 “ from the sole of the shoe. NO METAL CLEATS are permitted. One thing to keep in mind, if you buy soccer shoes they can be used for baseball but, the baseball shoes can not be used in soccer. Look for a good soccer or all purpose shoe with soft cleats within the above guidelines. Players are require to wear shin guards and will also be asked to remove watches, rings, or any other item that the referee feels might be dangerous. Casts or braces much be wrapped so that no hard part or metal shows.


SOCCER - Playing the Game:

The joy of soccer is that it is such a simple game. The purpose of this section is to explain the basics of how soccer is played. The only object is to score more goals than the opposing team. This is done primarily by kicking the ball. While one player has the ball he can use it to his team’s advantage by passing it to a team-mate, by dribbling with it or by shooting at the goal. His opponents will try to reclaim possession by taking the ball away using their feet, by intercepting his pass, or stopping a shot on the goal.

A goal is scored when the whole ball passes over the goal line between the two goalposts and under the crossbar, and of course the ball has to be directed through the goal by a method acceptable within the rules of soccer. This brings to point one of the basic rules of playing soccer. Hand balls, players must not intentionally use their hands or arms to play the ball. If they do, they concede a direct free kick to the other team. The one exception to the handball rule is the goal-keeper. Within the confines of his own penalty area he may catch the ball, pick it up or in any way use his hands, and arms either to stop a goal or to clear the ball when he has possession. But, if he goes outside the penalty area he is subject to the same rules as everyone else.

While playing, a player may not deliberately kick or attempt to kick an opponent however, if an attempt at the ball was made with contact first to the ball resulting in the attacking player being tripped or getting knocked down and (not being considered “dangerous play”) by the referee to be for the purpose of knocking a player down, no foul is called. Tripping or jumping at another player is not permitted, neither is pushing or charging dangerously. Other fouls include obstruction another player from playing the ball, holding an opponent, or disputing any of the referee’s decisions. A penalized player immediately concedes a free kick to the opposition, which may be a direct kick, and indirect kick or a penalty kick. The following are definitions of dangerous play and the different free kicks.

Dangerous Play: is, (any action) deemed by the official to be dangerous to (any participants) in the SOCCA Program and include but are not limited to the following: Slide tackling from any angle, intentional tripping or pushing, charging dangerously at any participant, kicking, hitting or stomping on any participant, high kicks close to any participant. Any act by any player that caused or could cause harm to any participant of the SOCCA games.

Indirect kicks are awarded for fouls that are not particularly serious, such as incorrect play or a dangerous play. When a player takes an indirect kick, the ball must be touched by another player on either team before it can enter the goal and score. An example of an incorrect play is obstruction, which is blocking an opponent from getting to the ball. An example of a dangerous play is high kicking, or anything else the referee feels could result in an injury to another player. An indirect kick is also given for offside, which is a relatively complicated rule and is better explained at under “Regulations and Directories” selecting Laws of the Game. Indirect kicks are taken from the point of the foul. Any player legally on the field of play may take this kick.

Direct kicks are awarded for hand-ball violations and other more serious fouls. Direct kicks may be shot straight into the goal for a score. Direct kicks are given for holding, pushing, intentional tripping, kicking, striking, kneeing and opponent, or charging and “leaving his/her feet”. Players can not run and jump at an opponent. Direct kicks are taken from the point of the foul. Any player legally on the field of play may take this kick.


Penalty Kicks: If a foul for which a direct kick would normally be awarded is committed by the defense inside it’s own penalty area, the referee will call a penalty kick. The purpose of a penalty kick is to eliminate intentional fouls against players who are about to score. A penalty kick is taken from the penalty line directly in front of the goal. The penalty kick is a showdown between the kicker and the goalkeeper. The kicker may place the ball anywhere on the penalty line. The waiting goalkeeper’s feet must always be on the goal line until the ball is struck. All other players must be outside the penalty area and at least 10 yards sway from the ball and may not distract the kicker. The kicker may not play the ball twice in a row on a penalty kick without the ball being touched by an opponent or team member.

Yellow and Red Cards: For persistent infringements, the referee may caution (yellow card), and finally remove the player if necessary from the game (red card).

Yellow Cards may be shown a player who commits a foul or action deemed by the official to be dangerous or illegal. Two (2) yellow cards in the same game are equivalent to a red card removing the player from the remainder of the game and require board discussion as to any course of action needed to be taken. This could result in the player being forced to sit out the next game as well. The decision will be made by the SOCCA board in light of the facts pertaining to the cards issued. Any player that is red carded must be present in uniform for next game they are to sit out for the infraction. The team receiving the red card may not cancel the next game due to the loss of the player or players. If the number of players remaining does not complete the normal field of play (# of players), the opposing team can choose to play down in number to even the field of play.

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. Players receiving a red card will be required to sit out the next game. Any player that is red carded must be present in uniform for the next game they are to sit out for the infraction. All Red Cards require Board review.

Red Cards shown in Travel Team Games will be forwarded to the Ohio Athletic Association for record. The following game or two, may be forfeited.

Yellow and Red Cards may be shown to anyone involved in the game, players or coaches.

For more information about SOCCA rules and regulations, see our website at Also see, “General Rules for Referees for the SOCCA Organization as well as “Dangerous Play, Yellow and Red Cards, Unsportsmanlike Conduct”. Also visit, for the “Laws of the Game” as called out by the Federation Internationale de Football Association or OHSAA, Ohio High School Athletic Association.

Spectators: As a not for profit organization that is purposed to help our children develop many skills from the sport of soccer, we recognize the importance of parents, grandparents, family, friends and coaches. We ask that all involved in this recreational program be respectful and supportive in a positive manner with good sportsmanship to each and everyone else involved. This in turn will help guide our children and our future.

Have Fun!      

Play Soccer!

Form-006 SOCCA Introduction to Soccer 2/3/08