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MTSA RULES
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MIDDLE TENNESSEE SOCCER ALLIANCE

LEAGUE RULES

COVID-19 Regulations

  1. ROSTERS
  1. All players must be registered with Middle Tennessee Soccer Alliance (MTSA) for the current season. Each team must provide the most recent printed TSSA roster for each game.
  2. A player cannot be rostered on more than one team in the same division.
  3. Players cannot transfer between teams in the same division after the second week of play.
  4. Maximum roster size is 25 for 11v11 divisions.

All leagues are open to male and female players and are considered coed. Since there is no gender requirement, they are not referred to as such.

  1. MATCHES
  1. 90 minute matches consisting of (2) 45 minute halves for 11v11 divisions.
  2. 3 USSF certified referees will be provided for each 11v11 match.
  3. Scores, bookings, and sending-offs shall be recorded
  4. Scheduling
  1. The league will provide the schedule for each division
  1. Any potential conflicts need to be communicated before the schedule is published
  2. The league will work to avoid any conflicts prior to publishing the schedule but may not satisfy all conflicts
  1. If a team needs to reschedule once the schedule is published, the two teams must agree to reschedule.
  1. The team responsible for requesting the reschedule must inform the Division Commissioner and Executive Director 72 hours prior to the original game scheduled time.
  2. The two teams must agree on date, time and location for the rescheduled game subject to the league guidelines (the league will help in securing fields and referees).
  3. If the game can not be rescheduled within the constraints of the league season, the team requesting the reschedule will forfeit the game in question. This includes any game that is used for seeding purposes prior to seeded game play.
  4. Any fees associated with the reschedule will be paid by the team requesting the reschedule.
  1. DEVIATION FROM FIFA RULES
  1. Substitutions
  1. Unlimited substitutions are permitted during throw-in (own team), goal kicks, halftime, injury, yellow cards (not mandatory), and after a goal is scored. On a throw-in, if the team taking the throw substitutes a player, then the opposing team may also substitute a player already waiting in the technical area.
  2. Players may only substitute if they are waiting in the technical area (10 yards either side of midfield) when a stoppage occurs that allows for a legal substitution. Players not wishing to substitute may not stand in the technical area and may be considered to be delaying the match if they do so.
  1. Slide tackling

Slide tackling is defined as a safe challenge for the ball on an opponent wherein the player attempting the challenge goes to ground prior to making contact with the ball.

  1. OPEN LEAGUE - Permitted
  2. OVER 40 and OVER 30 Division 2 - Not Permitted
  3. OVER 30 DIVISION 1 - if both team captains agree to allow slide tackling at the pregame meeting with the referee. If there is no agreement or the topic is not discussed then slide tackling will not be permitted during that match.

A legal slide tackle committed in a match where slide tackling is not permitted shall result in an INDIRECT FREE KICK

  1. STANDINGS AND TEAM PLACEMENT
  1. Division champions in all divisions will be recognized.
  2. Final team standings are determined by
  1. Points
  1. WIN = 3 points
  2. DRAW = 1 point
  3. LOSS = 0 points
  1. Tie-Breaking Procedures
  1. Points
  2. Head to head
  3. Head to head Goal Differential (GD) - Maximum of +/-3 per match
  4. Goal Differential - Maximum of +/-3 per match
  5. Goals Allowed - Maximum of +/-3 per match
  6. Shutouts
  7. Coin Toss
  1. Overtime rules for matches that need a result
  1. Two (2), ten (10) minute overtime periods to be played in full
  2. Kicks from the penalty mark

Applies to Fall and Spring seasons only

  1. New teams will be placed in the lowest division based on their age group. Teams who return from a hiatus will return to the division they would have played in prior to their hiatus.
  2. Relegation & Promotion
  1. Teams who finish in last place will be relegated the following season to the next lower division.
  2. Teams who win their division will be allowed to be promoted to the next higher division the following season.
  1. If a team chooses against promotion, the team who finished in second place will be offered the option to be promoted.
  2. If a team wins their division two consecutive seasons, they are required to be promoted.
  1. The league reserves the right to adjust divisions as needed by promoting more than one team prior to the season to assist in scheduling balance.
  1. EQUIPMENT
  1. In the event of a jersey color conflict, the two teams are urged to contact each other and work out a solution. If a solution cannot be worked out, the team listed FIRST (on the left) will be required to change jersey colors.
  2. A player must not use any equipment that is deemed dangerous to himself or another player. All equipment must be worn properly with all straps and fastenings secured correctly.
  1. PRE-GAME CHECK-IN
  1. Player check-in will be performed by the match referees prior to the scheduled game time.
  2. Each team must present the most recent printed TSSA roster to the referee at check-in with unique uniform numbers recorded for each player. Referees will verify all players through photo verification.
  3. Players arriving late must check-in with the referee or assistant referee before entering the match.
  4. If a team does not have at least 7 (11v11) rostered players at the field at game time, they will be allowed a 10 minute grace period from the scheduled kick-off time.

A match is official and shall begin if each team has at least 7 players at the scheduled kick-off time.

  1. Teams are permitted to use currently registered MTSA players as guest players in order to equal the number of players on the opposing team up to 12 players.
  1. Guest goalkeeper may be used regardless of the number of players present.
  2. Any Guest player must be registered at the level equal or lower than the game at issue.
  3. Guest players are ineligible until the opposing team is informed of their use prior to their participation.
  4. If a team wants to use a guest player from a higher division, the opposing team must approve prior to the player’s participation.
  5. A guest player must bring a printed copy of their MTSA team’s current photo roster and give it to the referee. Any team who uses guest players on multiple occasions will be subject to league intervention
  1. Players whose name appear on the “MTSA Ineligible Player List” are not permitted to participate in the indicated match, even though their name appears on their team’s roster.

A suspended player may not participate as a guest player in another match in the same division during their suspension.

  1. FORFEITS
  1. If the grace period (IV. D) ends without the required numbers of players for an official match, the game will be declared a forfeit against the team short the required number of players at the conclusion of the grace period.
  2. Teams who forfeit are subject to pay referee fees, field costs and other fees associated with that game.
  3. If a team determines they will not be able to field a team before the day of the match. The captain must notify the league Executive Director, the opposing team captain, and their league commissioner no later than 48 hours prior to the scheduled match. By providing notice prior to 48 hours the forfeiting team will not be subject to the fees and costs associated with a forfeiture.
  4. The league reserves the right to declare a game as a forfeit based on rescheduling conflicts, in-game issues, and ineligible player usage.
  5. The score of a forfeited match will be recorded as F 3-0 with the following exception:
  1. If the team causing the abandonment of the match is trailing by a margin greater than 3, then the score at the time of abandonment will stand.
  2. If both teams are determined to be equally at fault, the match will be declared either:
  1. Double forfeit (F3-0)
  2. Score at time of abandonment will stand
  1. DISCIPLINE
  1. Red Cards
  1. Player is sent off for the remainder of the match, and may not be replaced, is suspended for the next scheduled match with the same team (in the same division), and actions will be reviewed by the Disciplinary Committee for consideration of further suspensions.
  2. A player failing to serve the suspension in the next scheduled team match will be suspended for the team’s next three team matches (in the same division).

A player who is red carded will not be allowed to participate in any subsequent MTSA matches on that given day.

  1. Individual Player Disciplinary Review and Action
  1. Players are assigned disciplinary points in the following manner:
  1. Yellow card = 1 point
  2. Red card = 2 points
  1. Red card as a result of a second yellow card = 2 points for that match
  2. Straight Red card while already on a yellow card = 3 points for that match
  1. Upon accumulating 5 points, a player is suspended for the next scheduled match
  1. A red card suspension does not satisfy a suspension for accumulated points
  2. Once a player reaches 5 points, they are suspended for each additional 3 points accumulated and they may be subject to further suspension beyond one match.
  3. Suspensions shall carry over from one season to the next
  1. All actions of players and spectators are subject to review by the Disciplinary Committee and may result in further player and/or team sanctions
  2. The team captain will be responsible for assuring all players who participate in any game are eligible according to MTSA rules. Any team that uses ineligible players will be subject to review by the Disciplinary Committee and may result in further sanctions including but not limited to suspension of the team captain.
  3. Players who are Indefinitely Suspended may petition the Disciplinary Committee for reinstatement according to the time table set by the Disciplinary Committee.The Disciplinary will review each petition on a case by case basis and either provide a new timetable for petition for reinstatement or reduce the Indefinite Suspension.
  1. Team Disciplinary Review and Action
  1. The league reserves the right to discipline any team who forfeits a game.
  2. The league reserves the right to discipline a team based on the actions of its individuals.
  3. The league reserves the right to discipline a team based on persistent issues with said team.
  4. League discipline for teams may include but are not limited to point penalties, forfeits, fines, or team suspensions.

7v7 Rule Variations

I. B.        Maximum Roster Size of 20

II. A.        60 minute matches consisting of (2) 30 minute halves for 7v7 divisions.

II. B.        1 USSF certified referee will be provided for each 7v7 match.

III. B.        Slide tackling is not permitted

III. C.        Throw-ins will be replaced by indirect kick-ins on the touchline.

III. D.        Goal kicks will be played from the goal line inside the penalty box

III. E.        Substitutions for both teams may be made on the fly, from midline ONLY. The player coming off must leave the field before the substitute may enter.

III. F.         The distance an opposing team must yield on a free kick is 8 yards

III.G.        Penalty Kicks will be taken 10 yards off the goal line.

III.H.        Goalkeepers may not punt or drop kick the ball (results in an indirect free kick from the spot the

goalkeeper released the ball). The ball is live when the goalkeeper releases it from his/her hands.

III.I.        The offside rule does not apply.

IV. D.        If a team does not have at least 5 (7v7) rostered players at the field at game time, they will be allowed a

10 minute grace period from the scheduled kick-off time.

A match is official and shall begin if each team has at least 5 players at the scheduled kick-off time.

8v8 Tournament Rule Variations

I. B.        Maximum Roster Size of 20

II. A.        50 minute matches consisting of (2) 25 minute halves for 8v8 divisions.

        II. A. 1. Co-Ed teams must field 2 female players at all times.

II. B.        1 USSF certified referee will be provided for each 8v8 match.

III. B.        Slide tackling is not permitted

III. C.        Throw-ins will be replaced by indirect kick-ins on the touchline.

III. D.        Goal kicks will be played from the goal line inside the penalty box

III. E.        Substitutions for both teams may be made on the fly, from midline ONLY. The player coming off must leave the field before the substitute may enter.

III. F.         The distance an opposing team must yield on a free kick is 8 yards

III.G.        Penalty Kicks will be taken 10 yards off the goal line.

III.H.        Goalkeepers may not punt or drop kick the ball (results in an indirect free kick from the spot the

goalkeeper released the ball). The ball is live when the goalkeeper releases it from his/her hands.

III.I.        The offside rule does not apply.

IV. D.        If a team does not have at least 5 (8v8) rostered players at the field at game time, they will be allowed a

10 minute grace period from the scheduled kick-off time.

IV. D. 1 All Co-Ed teams must have at least 2 female players to play

A match is official and shall begin if each team has at least 5 players at the scheduled kick-off time.

5v5 Rule Variations

II. A.        50 minute matches consisting of (2) 25 minute halves for 5v5 divisions.

II. B.        1 USSF certified referee will be provided for each 5v5 match.

III. B.        Slide tackling is not permitted

III. C.        Throw-ins will be replaced by indirect kick-ins on the touchline. In addition, any ball that hits the top net will be played as an indirect free kick from a spot directly below where it hit the net. If the spot is inside the Penalty Arc, the ball will be moved to a spot outside the arc, closest to where it hit the net.

III. D.        Goal kicks will be played from the goalkeepers hands in their penalty area.

III. E.        Substitutions for both teams may be made on the fly, from midline ONLY. The player coming off must leave the field before the substitute may enter.

III. F.         The distance an opposing team must yield on a free kick is 3 yards

III.G.        Penalty Kicks will be taken from the top of the penalty area. The shooter is allowed a one-step approach to the ball.

III.H.        Goalkeepers may not punt or drop kick the ball (results in an indirect free kick from the spot the

goalkeeper released the ball). The ball is live when the goalkeeper releases it from his/her hands.

III.I.        The offside rule does not apply.

III.J.        A futsal ball shall be used when available.

IV. D.        If a team does not have at least 4 (5v5) rostered players at the field at game time, they will be allowed a

10 minute grace period from the scheduled kick-off time.  

A match is official and shall begin if each team has at least 4 players at the scheduled kick-off time.

VIII. A.

        3. A team may replace a red carded player with another eligible player after a 2 minute penalty period directly following the removal of the red carded player. If the opposing team scores during the 2 minute penalty period, the penalty period shall end immediately.

                                                                                Modified January 2021