Rules of Play

2024 NIRSA Soccer- Region V Rules of Play

Region V Soccer will be governed by NCAA rules with the following modifications:

Running time will be used throughout the entire regular season and regional tournament. All regular season games will consist of 45 minute halves separated by a ten-minute halftime. All tournament games will consist of 40 minute halves separated by an eight-minute halftime.

OVERTIME: Regular Season Play: Matches that are tied at the end of regulation time will end in a tie. There is no overtime for regular season matches. Each team is to earn one point for the league standings.
Tournament Play: Overtime play will consist of one 15 minute, sudden victory overtime period for regional tournament matches that must have a winner. If a winner is not mandatory (i.e. pool play), a tied match will end in a tie with no overtime period. If regional tournament games are still tied at the conclusion of the overtime period, kicks from the penalty mark will be taken to determine a winner. Please note that the tournament format and game length may change due to a lower number of entries in that division.

FORFEITURES: Teams failing to report ready to play within (5) minutes of scheduled kick-off time may forfeit their match. All teams must have a minimum of (7) players present to start the match. Teams who have forfeited may continue on in the tournament.

FORFEITED GAME GOAL DIFFERENTIAL:A forfeited game will result in a 2-0 win for the winning team, which produces a +2 goal differential. In the event that both teams forfeit a game, they will both receive a loss, with no effect on goal differential.

HOME TEAM: The Home Team will wear light jerseys. The Home Team will use the team bench on the North or West side of the scorer’s table. The Home Team is the first team listed in pool play and is indicated by HOME once bracket play begins.

PLAYERS’ EQUIPMENT: All players are required to wear shin guards under socks. No jewelry may be worn in competition, except medical alert or religious necklaces (taped to chest). Players shall wear approved footwear (no center cleats). All players must wear matching uniforms. All players must have a permanent number (minimum 6”) on the back of their uniform, with no duplicate numbers on a team. Uniforms with taped or hand written numbers will not be allowed. NO unpadded hard casts permitted. If a player has a soft cast, the player must have a doctor’s release and approval from the referee to play. NO knee braces made of hard, unyielding material are permitted, unless hinges are covered on all sides with approved padding, and all its edges are overlapped. Players not in compliance will be CAUTIONED (yellow carded) and sent off the field until the changes are made and the requirement is met.

SUBSTITUTIONS: Substitutions are allowed during goal kicks (by either team), for an injured player (one for one), for a yellow card (one for one)although not mandatory, and after a goal has been scored. Substitutions by the team with possession of the ball shall be permitted prior to a restart by a throw-in and corner kicks. If the team in possession chooses to substitute, the team not in possession may substitute as well. If the team in possession chooses not to substitute, the team not in possession may not substitute. Substitutes entering before goal kicks, corner kicks or throw-ins must wait at the half-way line prior to the ball going out of play, so that a team may not stall by sending a substitute in after the ball is already out of play. All substitutes must wear a colored jersey/vest that distinguishes them from all other field players.

COACHES & BENCH PERSONNEL: All Coaches have total responsibility for the conduct of their players, substitutes, friends and spectators at all times. Coaching from the sidelines (giving direction to one’s own team on points of strategy and position) is permitted, provided:□ No mechanical devices are used;□ The tone of the voice is instructive and not derogatory;□ Each coach or substitute remains within 10 yards on their team bench side of the half-way line; □ No coach, substitute, or spectator makes derogatory remarks or gestures to the referees, other coaches, players, substitutes, or spectators;□ No coach, substitute, or spectator uses profanity or incites disruptive behavior of any manor. A team may have a maximum of 3 coaches and 1 athletic trainer in their team area during the game. Any additional team personnel will be restricted to the spectator side of the field.

CAUTIONS AND SEND OFFS: A player or coach receiving two cautions (yellow cards) in a single game is considered to have been sent off (red card). A player who has been sent off will not be replaced. A player or coach who has been sent off will not return for that game and will not be allowed to participate in the next scheduled game. A player or coach who is sent off may be removed for more than one game, following the game when the sending off occurred, depending on the severity of the infraction. A Coach can be carded. A team will be disqualified from the Tournament if any player or coach fails to comply with the provisions of this section. Any player that receives three yellow cards during the course of the tournament will be ineligible for the team’s next game, and pool play card accumulation carries over to bracket play.

SUSPENDED AND TERMINATED GAMES :If in the opinion of match officials, a regional tournament game must be suspended (for reason), the game may be resumed but is subject to being ended not less than five (5) minutes prior to the scheduled start of the next game. If in the opinion of tournament officials, a game must be terminated for misconduct of players, bench coaches, or spectators, the offending team may be suspended from further play and forfeits that game and all remaining games. All previous points earned remain as played. Additionally, the sponsoring University will be contacted as appropriate. If a game is terminated due to problems associated with the fields, including lighting for a night game, or due to the serious injury of a player (see the next section entitled “INJURY”) the resumption of play for that game will be at the discretion of the tournament officials. Tournament officials may at their option conclude the game, require completion of the game or utilize kicks from the penalty mark to determine the winner of the game depending upon the circumstance and taking into account the potential effect of the game results on the standings of the teams.

INJURY: Delays of the game will only be allowed for an injury requiring professional medical attention and the inability to remove the injured player from the field until and while the medical attention is being provided to the player. The delay will result in appropriate time being added to the full game time, based on the judgment of the referee. Otherwise, each game will be played with a running clock and no suspension of the clock time. However, all preliminary games will be terminated not less than five (5) minutes prior to the scheduled start of the next game. The failure to complete any game due to a serious injury requiring suspension of the game play shall be controlled by the preceding section,” SUSPENDED AND TERMINATED GAMES.” The team captain, coach and/or manager must advise the referee of critical medical conditions of any player. Referees are instructed to stop the game immediately and summon medical staff in the event that a player with a critical condition requires medical assistance.

DETERMINING LEAGUE STANDINGS AND TOURNAMENT POOL WINNERS/POSITIONING :Teams will be awarded points on the following basis: Three (3) points for each Win One (1) point for each Tie Zero(0) points for each Loss
In the event of a tie in points at the end of pool play, the teams to advance will be determined as follows:

  • 1. The winner in head to head competition
  • 2. High goal differential (goals scored minus goals allowed)□ Maximum of 5 points from any one match
  • 3. Most goals for
  • 4. Fewest goals against
  • 5. Most total wins
  • 6. Most shutouts
    In a tie breaking scenario involving more than 2 teams, once one team is identified as higher, the procedure is repeated to identify the remaining teams.

REGIONAL TOURNAMENT PROTESTS: Only protests of eligibility and misapplication of the Rules of the Game will be considered. PROTESTS OF JUDGMENT CALLS BY THE REFEREE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED! To be valid and eligible for consideration, each protest:1) Must be verbally lodged with the referee, field marshal and opposing coach at the game site before entering the field of play or before leaving the game site.2) The Tournament Director must be verbally notified of the intent to lodge a protest within 30 minutes of the end of the match or decision being protested.3) Must be filed with the Tournament Director within 1 hour after the completion of the game being protested and include: a) A legibly written copy of the protest, which must include full particulars of the grounds on which the protest is lodged b) A legibly written copy of any information to be presented by witnesses The Tournament Appeals Committee will meet in closed session within a reasonable time after the receipt of the protest. If any documentation or “proof” is provided, it will be the sole discretion of the Committee on how to view/consider the proof/documentation. The decision of The Tournament Appeals Committee will be considered final and not subject to further review. The Tournament Appeals Committee reserves the right to adjust the schedule when the formal protest is received. A game upon which a protest is upheld will be replayed at the earliest possible date. The date, time and location of the match will be determined by the Tournament Appeals Committee. Any sanctions levied by the Tournament Appeals Committee can only be effective at the championships. Recommended sanctions that would apply to future tournament(s) must be referred to the NIRSA Championship Series Committee – Standards of Competition for review and decision.

REGIONAL TOURNAMENT: INCLEMENT WEATHER OR ACT OF GOD :In the event of inclement weather or act of God that occurs once the games have begun, winners will be decided based on points earned up to that point, with any tie breakers being determined using the protocol outlined above in numbered paragraphs 6 and 7 of the section entitled, “DETERMINING WINNERS”.

FAILING TO PLAY GAME: Teams voluntarily choosing not to play a game during the regular season will be subject to discipline by the league commissioner(s) according to their leagues guiding documents. Teams voluntarily choosing not to play a game during the Region V tournament will be removed from the tournament. Teams will receive a one-year sanction (Not allowed in the 2023 NIRSA Regional Soccer Championships). The team will also receive a $200 financial sanction that must be paid prior to participating in future tournaments. Notice of this will also be sent to the institution’s club administrator.

REGIONAL SANCTIONS: Regional Coordinators may sanction teams they oversee that have participated in regional league play and regional tournaments. Examples of possible behaviors that could lead to sanctions may include: failing to play all scheduled games, demonstration of poor sportsmanship, and destruction of property and violation of the NIRSA Code of Conduct. This list is not all inclusive. Team sanctions may include: removal from league play, removal from regional tournament, withdrawal of invitation to regional tournament, removal from National Championships.

NIRSA WILL FOLLOW THE NCAA RULE IN REGARD TO CONCUSSIONS: If a game official suspects a player may have a concussion, they will stop play and direct the player to leave the game with an eligible substitute replacing them. At that time, the player will be examined by a tournament athletic trainer. That trainer will determine whether the player may continue to play or be prohibited from playing due to concussion. Only the tournament trainer may clear players of suspected concussion to return to participation.