Rules, Regulations, and Code of Conduct (MCAMSL)
The rules, regulations, and code of conduct for the league may be reviewed periodically and modified as agreed by the Board Members.
1. Player eligibility
- Divisions are organized by age. For purposes of eligibility, a player’s age is the age he or she has attained on December 31st of the year the match is played.
Each division has a minimum age requirement.
- The OPEN Division has a minimum age of 17. Matches in 2020 are open to any individual born on or before December 31, 2003. However, only a limited number of players who are under 18 years old on game day may compete on each team and will require approval by the league.
- The OVER-30 Division has a minimum age of 28. Matches in 2020 are open to any individual born on or before December 31, 1992. An exception allows goalkeepers to be as young as 17 by the end of the year.
- The OVER-40 Division has a minimum age of 38. Matches in 2020 are open to any individual born on or before December 31, 1982. An exception allows goalkeepers to be as young as 28 by the end of the year.
- Players who have not filled out a Player Registration Form and signed the Hold Harmless Agreement will not be eligible to play under any conditions.
- To be eligible for playoff participation on any given team in a division, a player must be currently on that team's roster, and have played in at least two regular season games for that team (one-regular season game for summer divisions).
- The League reserves the right to inspect, at any time, any player's photo id to confirm a player's identity, age, and other information in order to validate his or her eligibility to play. Game officials are empowered to check player id's and deny participation if the age requirement is not met. The League President has final authority to determine a player's eligibility at any time.
- Teams that recruit players, especially at the last minute, who have not fully met these fundamental eligibility requirements, will be penalized and possibly banned from the League.
2. Code of Conduct
- All participants will abide by the rules of the league and act with honor, respect, and safety with regard to the game, the players, the officiating team, league officers, spectators, and the field and facilities. Respect is understood to be the collective responsibility
of everyone involved to create a fair, safe and
enjoyable environment in which
the game can take place.
- Participants and their guests, will NOT smoke or consume alcohol or engage in any behavior that reflects poorly on the League at any time while on property where matches and practices are scheduled.
- Participants will abide by the rules and regulations governing the use of fields and facilities made available to the League and are also expected to leave such property at least as clean as when they arrived.
- Players who exhibit a pattern of misconduct by receiving multiple cautions within a season, or who are sanctioned for serious foul play, violent conduct, spitting, or insulting, offensive, or abusive language and/or gestures will be deemed to have violated the Code of Conduct and be subject to additional penalties.
- The Board reserves the right to educate and penalize both individuals and teams as they see fit for both individual and collective breaches of the code of conduct, including the right to ban participants (players, managers, coaches, officials, and teams) from the league temporarily or permanently based on their conduct or the conduct of their guests.
3. Player and Team Registration & Rosters
- The League requires every player to fill out a Player Registration Form and sign the Hold Harmless Agreement. The combined form is available on the League web site. Returning players must submit a new Player Registration Form and Hold Harmless Agreement annually. The information must be submitted to the League office, typically through the Team Manager, before the individual is eligible to play.
- The player registration form must clearly indicate name, birth date and place, contact information (mailing address, email, phone), and emergency contact information.
- The Hold Harmless Agreement must be understood and signed by each player in the presence of a witness, who must countersign the form.
- Players may only be on the roster of one team at a time. The rosters submitted to the League by each team manager will be used to resolve any disputes. Rosters will be locked before playoff games begin. Team managers must bring to every game a current roster of players and assist the referee in reporting any red card violations. The league does not currently require team managers to maintain and bring to every game an individual, signed pass for each player, but may in the future.
- If a team wishes to "borrow" an eligible player from another team for a given regular season game, they must request the approval of the opposing team manager, who is under no obligation to grant the request. However, the sharing of keepers is encouraged, as is sharing a few reasonably skilled players in order to field a full side of 11 players and up to 2 substitutes.
- During the course of the season, teams are allowed to add additional players, but may only remove players from the roster with the consent of the League. Roster size may not exceed a maximum of 25 players. Managers are encouraged to forward prospective player names to other teams to keep the league competitive.
- A team will be registered in the League once they have fulfilled the following requirements:
- Provided the League President with a roster of at least 15 players and no more than 25 players who fulfill the eligibility requirements.
- Provided the League President with completed Player Registration Forms and Hold Harmless Agreements for each player assigned to their team, as well as the contact information for a team manager and one alternate team manager.
- Paid in full the Team Registration Fee. The fee covers expenses related to soccer field rentals, officiating fees, liability insurance, web site maintenance, and other items approved by the officers of the League.
- Teams must provide an initial deposit of at least 20%, or the minimum set by the League President, before the first week of play, and must be completely registered (all forms and fees in full) by the third game of the season. Teams unable to meet the deadline will be assessed an additional late fee of $50 for each week beyond the deadline.
4. Rules of Competition
All games shall be played under the “Laws of the Game” approved by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and recognized by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and this Association with the following modifications and specifications:
- On game day, the team managers will bring a hard copy of their team’s roster, which will indicate which players are present and eligible to play that day. We recommend team managers keep several copies of their roster and simply check-off exactly who is present on game day. A sample roster is available on the League web site.
- The referee, opposing team manager, or a League officer may request a roster from a team manager at any time. Additionally, he may request proof of identity and age of any player.
- Opposing team managers, referees or League officers may challenge a player's eligibility before, during, or after a game. If the player and his team manager cannot confirm his identity, age, and eligibility, then he may not play unless the opposing team manager agrees to allow his participation or a League officer decides he is eligible. For games that have already been played, the team fielding the ineligible player may be charged with a forfeit (see rules of the game for more on forfeits) at the discretion of the League President.
- Games are played on regulation size soccer fields and will consist of 2 halves of 40 minutes each separated by a 5 minute halftime. Only significant injury time or delay of game will be taken into account at the end of the regulation play at the discretion of the referee. Teams are allowed unlimited substitutions during any stoppage in play when recognized by the referee. For playoff matches that require a winner and that end in a tie, there will be ONE additional over-time period of 10 minutes (golden goal). If the game is still tied, or there is insufficient time available to add an overtime period, then the game will be decided by FIFA kicks from the mark.
- Game clocks should start 5 minutes after the scheduled start time, regardless of whether the teams are ready to play. This is absolutely necessary for fields with back-to-back games and for fields where the lights are on a fixed timer. If a team delays the start of a match more than 15 minutes, it will be considered a forfeit. If both teams are at fault, both teams will be charged with a forfeit. The referees or League may choose to further postpone the start time due to unplayable field conditions, weather or unusual circumstances, but no more than 30 minutes unless both captains agree and the field is available for extended play. Referees have final decision on whether a match can start or proceed safely.
- Every team shall identify to the referee a team captain who may be identified during the game by means of an armband. Only the teams' captains are authorized to approach the referee, in a respectful manner, without questioning the integrity of his decision. The referee has no obligation to engage the captain or any player in a conversation. The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play are final and may not be changed once play has stopped and restarted.
- Slide tackles in OPEN and OVER-30 Division are allowed. Properly executed slide tackles are characterized by contact that is "laces on the ball" using minimal sweeping force from an angle visible to the other player with the legs down and only one leg extended. Poorly executed slide tackles may be treated as playing in a dangerous manner or as a direct kick foul and possibly misconduct at the referee's discretion. [See discussion titled "Fair Tackle: Not a Foul" which discusses slide tackles in detail.]
Slide tackles in OVER-40 Division are NOT allowed, except by goalkeepers inside their own penalty area. Properly executed slide tackles, other than by the goalkeeper, are to be treated as "playing in a dangerous manner" resulting in an indirect free kick to the opponent. Sliding by field players is OK when no one else is near, for instance to keep a ball in-play, or to block a ball moving toward a goal.
- Players receiving a yellow card, except goalkeeper, must leave the field until the next substitution opportunity. If the team at fault does not have an eligible substitute, then the team will play shorthanded during that time. Yellow cards will be reported by the referee on the official game report, and 1-point will be added to the team’s misconduct tally for the season. Players who receive multiple yellow cards during a season may be subject to additional sanctions after review by League officers.
- League Sanctions for Sending-Off Offenses (aka red card violations): Players who are guilty of a sending-off offense may not participate further in the current match, may not be substituted, and must be clearly identified and reported by both the referee and the captain to the League within 24 hours of the end of the match. 3-points will be added to the team’s misconduct tally for the season. For players receiving a second caution in the same match, the combined misconduct points for that player will be recorded as 3 in total.
A player, substitute or coach who is sent off is subject to minimum suspensions outlined below and will be subject to additional sanctions upon review by the league. The minimum suspension is not subject to appeal or reduction.
SENDING OFF OFFENSE
|Receives second caution in same match
|Denies obvious goal scoring opportunity
by handling the ball
|Denies obvious goal scoring opportunity
|Is guilty of Serious Foul Play
|Uses offensive, insulting, or abusive language or gestures
|Is guilty of Violent Conduct
|Spits at a player, coach, official or spectator
*The league will consider the severity of the incident, including its physical nature and the degree of pre-meditation, as well as the individual’s pattern of behavior during previous matches in order to determine whether additional sanctions are warranted, which may include a longer suspension or even a permanent ban from the league.
Anyone who receives a second send-off within a 12-month period or a third send-off within a 24-month period, for any reason, will receive at least double the minimum sanctions for the latest offense, and perhaps more as determined by the League.
Captains are held accountable for players who return to play after a suspension and who are subsequently sent off and suspended within the next 4 games they play. The captain will receive the minimum suspension for his player’s conduct. If a player is caught playing while under suspension, the captain of the team will be suspended for 2 games, and the player's suspension will be doubled.
- Forfeits: A team failing to show for a scheduled game with at least 7 players will lose the game by forfeit and its opponent will granted the points for a win. In addition the final score, for purposes of a fair goal differential, will be computed by the League. If a team forfeits more than once a season, it may be ejected for the remainder of the season at the discretion of the League.
- Canceled and Terminated Matches: There is no guarantee that matches canceled in advance or terminated after kickoff will be rescheduled. If a game must be terminated (e.g. for dangerous weather or field conditions), the score will stand if the first half has been completed. If a game is abandoned for misconduct, the League president will decide how the match will be recorded or whether it will be replayed. There are no refunds for canceled, terminated, or abandoned matches.
- Awarding of points & Goal Differential: the League will be played according to a championship format with each team playing each of the other teams at least once. A win will be granted 3 points, a tie will be granted 1 point. When teams have not played the same number of matches in a season, the standings will be ranked by points per game played. The maximum allowed goal differential in a single game for the purpose of tracking standings is 7 (aka Mercy Rule).
- Tie-breaking rules: in case two or more teams have the same number of accumulated points in the standings, they will be separated by the criteria below ranked by order of priority:
- Overall goal differential (total goals scored minus goals given up).
Larger differential ranks higher.
- Misconduct tally (number of yellow and red cards issued): A yellow card gives the team 1 bad point; a straight red card gives 3 bad points. Fewer points rank higher.
- Best attack (number of goals scored): Larger number of goals ranks higher.
- Head-to-head match analysis (matches involving tied teams only) in the following priority:
- Greater number of points accumulated
- Larger goal differential
- Greater number of goals scored
- FIFA Kicks from the penalty mark or a playoff match at League's discretion.
- Game report card: At the end of the game, the referee will write down the following information on the game report card:
The report cards will be submitted to the League President. In turn the President will publish the results and standings on the League web site.
- Final score as well as any significant injuries or unusual incidents.
- Number of yellow cards and red cards issued during the game for each team.
- Identity of the players who received a red card, as well as facts associated with the misconduct.
5. Matters Not Covered
In the event of matters not covered in the rules and regulations of the league, the Constitution or the Bylaws, the League President shall have power to provide for it and such rulings shall be standing and binding until approved, rescinded or varied by a vote at the next Board of Directors meeting.
6. League format
The envisioned format will be a series of matches that may span seasons followed by some kind of play-off format at least annually. The definite schedule and format will be defined and shared with the team managers once the exact number of teams is known for any given season.
7. Notice to Team Managers
We have a gentleman's league with a history of fair-play and very few serious incidents. The League has noticed that some incidents are triggered by players who are unaware of league or FIFA rules and consequently think they have been unfairly treated by either the referee or their opponent.
The League expects team captains and managers to brief their teammates on applicable rules AND either provide them with a copy of these rules OR direct them to the League website where these rules are posted.
Our referees will continue to apply their seasoned judgment in accordance with FIFA rules for safe and proper slide tackling. Careless slide tackling will be whistled, reckless slide tackling will be cautioned, and if considered violent, the player will be ejected.
Referees must hold a current NFHS, NISOA, or USSF certification. While the League follows FIFA Laws and USSF interpretations, with a few alterations, we recognize that our referees officiate in leagues governed by other rules, such as NFHS and NCAA, and may occasionally apply a rule from another association. Such mistakes are to be expected and accepted, but will be brought to the attention of the referees subsequent to the game as appropriate. For reference, see a comparison of the rules (pdf).
9. For more information