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The goal of the Saline FC Youth Soccer Program is to provide an enjoyable, healthy, experience for program participants. Participants should be learning new skills and improving them throughout the season with the support of their coaches and parents. The outcomes of the matches are not to be stressed. We will not keep standings in the youth soccer league.  Winning is not everything nor is it the only thing. The main objective of the program is to provide each participant with an equal opportunity to learn the game, to develop a love for soccer and to have fun.

The main objective of the program is to provide each participant with an equal opportunity to learn the game and to have fun. It is the intention that games are played as close as possible to a tie score. Division managers will be notified where the score differential is 4 goals or greater.

For the U6 division, one coach from each team may be on the field to coach players. For the U8 division, one coach from each team may be behind the goal to coach the goalie and defense only. Coaches must emphasize good sportsmanship and behavior before, during and especially after the game during the ritualistic handshake. Parents, coaches and referees are to contact their Division Manager if players and/or coaches are not properly demonstrating good sportsmanship.

Players and spectators are asked to refrain from kicking balls around the side­lines while a game is in progress. Unsporting conduct or foul language will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Offending players, coaches and spectators will be dealt with under Saline FC & MSYSA (Michigan State Youth Soccer Association) rules. Yellow cards (cautions) and red cards (ejections) will be enforced..

In keeping with the spirit of the program, coaches, parents, and players are expected to refrain from dissenting from the officials' calls during the game. Dissent from coaches, parents, or players will not be tolerated. Coaches are responsible for their own behavior as well as that of parents. Coaches may be cautioned for dissent from the sidelines. Teams are asked to cooperate in providing line judges if requested by the referee.

All players must be registered with Saline FC. Unregistered players will not be permitted to play. Coaches are not permitted by Saline FC to add and/or switch players to their rosters. All players will be assigned by the Saline FC Division Managers.

There will be no minimum limit of players for a game. Teams in all divisions are not required to play down. Playing down will be left to the coach's discretion. Games should be coached to be close to a tie score. In the event of a 3-goal differential, the losing team may add 1 player. This player must be removed if the losing team brings the score back to a 2-goal differential.

The chart identifies the playing time of the game and of the players on a team in that game. Only in the case of injury to a player can the difference in playing time between any two players on a team be greater than ¼ of a total game.  Parents are to contact the Division Manager if coaches are not abiding by this rule.

All games are to begin promptly. Referees have the option of shortening the game time if teams arrive late and the end of the game will conflict with the beginning of the next game on the field. U6 games will be 32 minutes long; U8 games will be 40 minutes; U10 games will be 50 minutes; U12 and U14 games will be 60 minutes; Open games will be 70 minutes. There are 5-minute breaks between halves and 1-2 minutes between quarters. At the referee's discretion, he/she may shorten breaks if the game is running long.

A team may forfeit a game whenever it is clear that they are not in a position to field a suitable team for that game. The referee will declare a game forfeited whenever a team fails to arrive for a scheduled game. Once a game has been forfeited, players from the teams scheduled to play may engage in a scrimmage game for the rest of their allotted time period in which the assigned referee will officiate. This forfeited contest will not be rescheduled.

All players on a team are expected to wear their team shirts for the league games. Players are asked to wear black shorts for the games except in inclement weather. Sweatshirts or jackets may be worn under the team shirts in bad weather as well. Players may wear soccer shoes, but sneakers are sufficient. Shin guards are mandatory, and socks must be worn over the shin guards. Mouth guards are highly recommended. Goalkeepers must wear the goalie jersey provided to each team or any other suitable goalie shirt. Jewelry of any kind is not allowed: all jewelry must be removed. No tape over pierced earrings is allowed.

A size 3 ball is used in the U6 and U8 divisions. If both coaches agree, a size 4 ball may be used in U8. A size 4 ball is used in the U10 and U12 divisions. A size 5 ball is used in the U14 and Open divisions.

Play is stopped in the case of an injury but seldom in other circumstances. However, referees are advised to stop play when in their judgment a player's safety is jeopardized. Players or coaches do not call timeouts; it is the referee who calls timeout when it is not possible to continue play. Play will restart with a dropped ball at the place where it was located when play was stopped, outside of the penalty area. If the ball was already out of play, the restart will be used, indicated by the situation (e.g. throw-in, goal kick, etc.).

Coaches must give their players the opportunity to play different positions throughout the season. Players should have the opportunity to play goalie if they wish. Players must not play the same position the entire game.

Substitution will only be made when a team has ball possession. This will apply to all divisions. Both teams may substi­tute at goal kick and kick-off restarts.

In the U6 division there will be no throw-ins, a kick-in will be used instead. In the U8 divisions, a team making an incor­rect throw-in will have one chance to do it again correctly. A second violation will result in the ball being awarded to the other team. Violations in the U10, U12, U14, and Open divisions will result in turnovers.
In the U6, U8 and U10 divisions, kickoffs are to be treated as indirect kicks. Goals resulting from kick-offs played as a direct kick will be disallowed. In the U12, U14 and Open divisions, kick-offs are direct kicks. Goals resulting from kickoffs are allowed.

In the U6 and U8 divisions, goal kicks will be treated as a live ball, with the ball in the possession of the goalie, who may throw the ball or kick it as though she or he had just stopped a shot on goal. In the U10 and up divisions, goal kicks will be dead ball restarts, i.e. on the ground restarts. Players on the goalie's team may be anywhere they want, including in the penalty area. The opposing team must be outside of the penalty area. The ball does not need to leave the penalty area before it can be touched by another player. Once the player kicks the ball, however, the ball is live and in play.

Heading is not allowed in the U6, U8, U10 and U12 divisions. An infraction will result in an indirect kick for the opposing team.

Slide tackling is strictly prohibited in all divisions. Any attempt to slide tackle will be treated as a foul, which will result in an indirect kick. Coaches are to instruct their players that slide tackling is not allowed in games or practices.

Once a goalkeeper has gained possession of the ball, even by having just one finger on it, no opposing players are allowed to go after it or interfere with the goalkeeper putting the ball back into play.  Goalkeepers may not be charged within their own penalty or goal area. Goalkeepers will not be utilized in the U6 division.

There will be no offside infractions called in the U6, U8, or U10 divisions. However, in the spirit of fair play and coaching to develop, coaches should not encourage "cherry picking" to gain an advantage. That tactic does not help players learn the game. Offsides can be called in the U12, U14 and Open divisions.

Direct kicks will not be awarded in the U6, U8 and U10 divisions. An indirect free kick from the spot of the foul will be awarded for any violation of the rules at those ages.
Corner kicks will be considered indirect kicks for the U6, U8 and U10 divisions, and direct kicks for the U12, U14 and Open divisions.
In the U6 division, indirect kicks awarded for fouls inside the goal area should be taken from a spot on the goal area line closest to where the foul occurred.

In the U6, U8 and U10 division, indirect kicks awarded for fouls inside the goal area should be taken from a spot on the goal area line closest to where the foul occurred. Penalty kicks will be awarded in the U12, U14 and Open divisions only.

Coaches should be prepared to furnish a game ball for the league games. Coaches should also bring their practice cones to each game to aid in marking the fields when necessary.

The scheduled games are occasionally cancelled due to inclement weather. Referees have the authority to cancel games if weather or field conditions are not suitable to play. Lightning and/or thunder constitute automat­ic stoppage of the games. Players, parents, coaches and referees will leave the field and can return to the field 30 minutes after the last lightning was seen and/or the last thunder was heard. For games that are canceled, Saline FC will coordinate messages getting out via email, our website and social media to let parents and coaches know, and will take care of communication with our referee assignor.

Changing scheduled games will not be allowed except for unplayable field conditions (this includes thunder or lightning). If a game is cancelled, coaches may reschedule a game during the week, possibly during their practice time at their own convenience.  Arrange­ments must be made with the Division Manager to reschedule games. Please check with the Rec. League Director or Administrative Assistant for field availability. If enough notice is given (3-4 days), the Referee Director will assist with finding a referee for a rescheduled game, but coaches must use the originally scheduled referee(s) if available.

Coaches are individually responsible for holding or canceling practice based on inclement weather, so long as the practice fields are open. If the weather is sufficiently bad, Saline FC staff will close the fields by communication through email and with updates to our website and social media presence, thereby forcing the cancellation of practices.

The coaches are not to penalize players who play other sports.

No more than one practice at no more than 1½ hours per week for Rec. League teams.

Saline FC recommends that children not be left unat­tended at practices or games.  It is the responsibility of the parents to pick their children up on time and to plan for inclement weather.

It is highly recommended that at least two (2) adults, one of which must be a registered coach of the team, must be at all practices at all times.

The coach should designate an assistant or team parent to watch the time. 15 minutes prior to game time the referee should be present at the field. If there  is no referee 10 minutes prior to the game, notify the Director of Referees or another Board Member at the field, and begin an active search for a qualified replacement referee. 5 minutes prior to the game, if no replacement can be found, coaches should toss a coin and begin to split referee duties. Begin the game on time. Coach of the team winning the coin toss will referee the second half of the game. In the event of a referee late show, at the coach’s discretion, and in a manner least disruptive to the game, the referee may be allowed to assume responsibilities on the field. If a substitute referee has started the game, in most instances, this referee should remain in place until game completion.


Registered rec players may not play as a substitute on other rec teams that same season unless (1) the substitution will not affect that player’s ability to play on his/her assigned team that week; and (2) the Division Manager or Director of Rec is notified of the proposed substitution, why it is needed, and either or both of them approves of the substitution before the game. Coaches in need of substitute players should first reach out to the coach of the potential substitute player before reaching out to the substitute player.

The intent of this Rule is to allow substitute players to play when truly needed, but not to unfairly upset the balance of teams in the division nor to interfere with the substitute player’s ability to play on his/her assigned team that week.

SALINE FC has a zero-tolerance policy against any physical, emotional, sexual or substance abuse by or to any coaches, players, parents, volunteers or other members (reference the MSYSA Risk Management website). Failure to comply will result in immediate suspension with an appeal process.



April 2019

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