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CCSL Playing Rules

ARTICLE ONE: Authority

  1. The rules of play for all competitions sanctioned by the CYSA Cal Soccer League (CCSL) shall be the "Laws of the Game" as published by USSF with modifications made by CYSA-Cal North and CCSL contained herein.
  2. The rules contained herein shall govern members of CCSL in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they are consistent with the By-Laws and Constitution of Cal North.
  3. Each Registration League shall be responsible for the conduct of its players, team officials, parents and spectators.


  1. Maximum Roster is defined as the maximum number of players on the team’s official roster ("goldenrod")
  2. Match Day Roster is defined as the maximum number of players, including guest players, eligible to participate in a match.  The complete and accurate Match Report ("game card") and Cal North player passes shall be surrendered to the referees for team check-in prior to the start of the match and may not be subsequently amended.
  Team Age Group Maximum Roster Match Day Roster
For 8 v 8 Teams U9 – U11 18 Players 14 players
For 11 v 11 Teams U12 – U13 18 Players 18 players
  U14 – U19 22 Players 18 players


  1. Definitions:
    1. Playing Level:  State, Region or Section.
    2. Division:  Premier, Gold, Silver Elite, Silver, Bronze, Copper
    3. Bracket:  A group of teams in a division selected to play one another on the basis of age, gender, ability and geography.(e.g., Coast Section GU14 Copper North)
    4. Guest Player: A player who is registered with Cal North on a team other than the team on which the player is playing
    5. Guest Official: An adult who is registered with Cal North with a team other than the one for which the adult is acting in the capacity of a team official
  2. Cal North Guest Rules:
    1. Cal North Guest Player Policy: Guest players may be used per the Cal North Guest Player Policy (PIM 09-3) with exceptions stated below.  PIM 09-3 includes these provisions:
      1. The Guest player must be rostered on a team within the same registration District as the team on which the player will be guesting.
      2. The soccer age of the guest player must be the same soccer age or younger than the age group of the team on which the player will be guesting. 
      3. The credentials for the guest player must be from the same season as those being used by the team on which the player will be guesting.
      4. The coach of the borrowing team must have in his/her possession the player's approved member pass and the current Cal North Membership Form (Form 1601) for the guest player with the medical release and the hold harmless section signed in original ink by the parent or guardian or by the guest player if the player has reached eighteen (18) years of age.
    2. CCSL Specific Guest Rules:

    3. The purpose of the CCSL Guest Player rules is to allow player development and to assist teams to field a full roster when needed.
    4. Teams should not use guest players to significantly impact a game’s result.
    5. The maximum number of guest players allowed within each CCSL section shall be determined by the section committee, not to exceed the Cal North maximum.
    6. A player may be on a Match Report (including guest play) for a maximum of two CCSL matches per day.
    7. Players on the roster of a U10 and younger team may guest play on any team, in any Division, at their soccer age or older.
    8. Players on the roster of a U11 and older team may guest play at the same Division or higher (e.g. a player rostered on a Bronze team may guest play on any Bronze, Silver, Silver Elite or Gold bracket team) at the player’s true soccer age, or the age of the team the player is rostered on.
      • Example:  A U13 aged player who is rostered on a U14 Silver team may guest play to any U13 Silver, Silver Elite or Gold team, (true age) or to any U14 Silver, Silver Elite or Gold team (age of the team the player is rostered on). 
    9. A player on the roster of a U11 and older team may guest play to an older  aged team at any level, with the exception of Copper.  A guest player in a Copper match may only guest FROM a Copper team in their own age or younger, or a younger Bronze team.
      • Example: A U13 aged player who is rostered on a U14 Silver team may guest play to any U15 or older team at any bracket level except Copper. (In addition, they are elgible to guest to any U13 or U14 Silver, Silver Elite, or Gold team, per #4)
      • Example: a U12 age player, who is rostered on a U12 Bronze team may guest play to any U13 or older team, including teams in the Copper bracket.  
    10. Guest Team Official
      1. Guest team officials must surrender their official Cal North member pass to a match official to be allowed in the technical area.
      2. No more than five (5) total team officials, including DOC and guest officials, may be allowed in the technical area for any given match.
  3. All teams shall bring to each CCSL match
  4. Current laminated player and team official passes
  5. Original signed Cal North Membership Form (Form 1601) for each player
  6. The official team roster  ("goldenrod")
  7. The Cal North Membership Form (Form 1601) and player pass for any guest players.
  8. Player and team official passes, the official team roster and official match report shall be surrendered for inspection upon the request of any member of the CCSL Committee.

ARTICLE FOUR: Match Scheduling

  1. See CCSL Procedures for Match Scheduling and rescheduling rules.
  2. Each Section Board will set its own policy for home, away, and neutral field use. Acceptance of out of section teams into a section may be subject to a variance of the home and away match policy, as determined by the accepting Section Board.

ARTICLE FIVE: Match Length and Ball Size

Age Group

Match Length

Ball Size

Minimum Schedule Periods

U9 – U10

2-25 minute halves


1-1/4 hours


2-30 minute halves


1-1/4 hours


2-35 minute halves


1-1/2 hours


2-40 minute halves


1-3/4 hours


2-45 minute halves


2 hours

NOTE: Coast Section U10 games are 2-30 Minute halves


NOTE: The rest period between halves shall be a minimum of ten (10) minutes.

  1. Divisions of teams in multiple age groups will play match lengths consistent with the oldest age group (e.g., an bracket with both U12 and U13 teams will play 35-minute halves).
  2. Divisions of teams in multiple age groups will use the ball size consistent with the oldest age group in the division.
  3. CCSL matches that are tied at the end of regulation time shall stand as ties and no extra-time periods are to be played.

ARTICLE SIXE: Fields and Field Equipment

  1. The Home Team Club or Registration League is responsible for supplying an adequate field for play. The field shall be in safe condition and appropriate size as determined by the referee. The field shall have proper markings, properly anchored goal nets, and comer flags. Failure to provide adequate field and equipment may result in sanctions, including forfeiture of match(es).
  2. CCSL acceptable size:
    Length Width
11 v 11 teams Minimum 100 yards (Goal Size 8’x24’) 50 yards
  Maximum 120 yards (Goal Size 8’x24’) 80 yards
8 v 8 teams Recommended Field Size 80 yards 50 yards
  Maximum Goal Size 7’x21’  
  1. The technical area for both teams may be established on one side of the field and the spectator areas may be established on the opposite side of the field. Each bench area shall be limited to an area two (2) yards from the touchline and extending twenty (20) yards in one direction from the halfway line, each team in a different direction.  The referee shall have authority to adjust the location of the team bench area.
  2. Both teams shall have a ball available for play. The referee shall select the ball from the home team as the match ball unless it is not up to standards.

ARTICLE SEVEN: Player Uniform and Equipment

  1. The appearance of players is a vital extension of the game. A player’s team uniform confirms the identity of the club or organization that the player represents. It should be worn with pride. 
  2. Stockings/socks must be of the same color (e.g., a player must wear stockings/socks of a matching color) and should be correctly worn in the pulled-up position covering shin pads or guards. 
  3. The two teams must wear contrasting sock colors.
  4. Shirts/ jerseys shall be neatly tucked into their shorts. 
  5. Each field player shall have a unique number on the back of the jersey.
  6. The wearing of tracksuit trousers or long tights in a color that coordinates with the team’s colors is permissible in adverse weather. 
  7. Cyclists’ pants, tights, etc., may be worn under a player’s shorts if they are the same color as the shorts. 
  8. The wearing of long sleeve base-layer garment, in a color that coordinates with the team’s colors, beneath the uniform jersey, is permissible in adverse weather
  9. Home teams will change jerseys in the event of a conflict in jersey color.
  10. The referee will have final determination as to when a team must change jersey or base-layer garments due to conflicting colors.
  11. The referee shall not allow participation of any player with a bleeding or oozing wound or wearing blood-soaked clothing. A wound shall be adequately covered. Use of blood by a player as a means to assault another person shall be punished as serious foul play/violent conduct.
  12. Player equipment: refer to Cal North PIM 12-1 for Player Equipment, including orthopedic supports

ARTICLE EIGHT: Substitutions and Coaching

  1. Players may be substituted at the following times:
    1. Prior to a throw-in, in your favor. If the team in possession of the ball substitutes, the other team may substitute players as well.
    2. Prior to a goal kick, by either team.
    3. After a goal, by either team.
    4. After an injury, when the referee stops play, by either team.
    5. At half time.
    6. When the referee stops play to caution a player, only the cautioned player may be substituted, prior to the restart of the game.
    7. The number of substitutes shall be unlimited. A substitute shall not enter the field of play until he/she has been given a signal to do so by the referee.
  2. Refer to Cal North Pim 10-3 for specific rules regarding coaching

ARTICLE NINE: Game-Day Procedures

  1. Final specific game-day procedures shall be posted on the CCSL website.
  2. The coach/manager of the home team shall provide three (3) completed copies of the match report to the referee prior to the start of the match.
  3. Team officials for both teams shall clearly indicate the full name and Cal North number for all players prior to the start of the match.
  4. Team officials shall clearly indicate any guest players and include full name and Cal North number.
  5. At least one team official or guest official with a valid member pass shall be present and responsible for the team during the entire match.

ARTICLE TEN: Notification of Match Results

  1. At the completion of the match, the referee shall check the match report for accuracy before signing all three (3) copies.  The home and away team officials shall also sign all three copies.  The home team shall retain one (1) completed copy of the match report signed by the referee and shall also provide one (1) copy to the away team and one (1) copy to the referee. This document shall be the official report of the match and shall include the official score and any incidents that may have occurred.
  2. In the event of a sendoff, the referee will follow CCSL procedures, including sending one signed match report to the appropriate PAD Chair or Referee Administrator (see CCSL website for full instructions).
  3. The home team official shall retain the official match report until three (3) weeks after the conclusion of the last game of the season and shall surrender the report upon request from any member of the CCSL Committee.
  4. The home team shall electronically report the score within 24 hours of the conclusion of the match. Any conflicts in the score should be reported to CCSL Director (for Premier and Region) or CCSL Section Director. Teams that fail to report scores may be subject to league discipline.
  5. The CCSL Director (for Premier and Region) or CCSL Section Director are the only persons authorized to enter a forfeit or "no game" result.  See CCSL Procedures for specific information regarding forfeits, abandoned and terminated matches.
  6. Sections may establish a separate match result reporting policy.


  1. Standings in a bracket shall be determined by standing points based on three (3) points given for a win, one (1) point given for a draw and zero (0) points given for a loss. Forfeits and other disciplinary action may result in loss of points.
  2. Team officials are responsible for the accuracy of reported match results.
  3. In case of a tie, the following procedure will be used in sequence to break the tie:
  4. Results of head-to-head match results
  5. Most wins
  6. Goal difference (goals scored minus goals allowed to a maximum difference of four (4) per match)
  7. Most goals scored to a maximum of 4 per match
  8. Least goals allowed to a maximum of 4 per match
  9. Team with best head-to-head goal difference
  10. First place awards will be made in each bracket. Additional awards may be given at the discretion of the CCSL Executive Committee. If teams remain tied after items 1 through 6 above, they will both be awarded 1st  or 2nd  place.
  11. Sections may decide to give additional awards.
  12. The tie-breaker rules outlined in Section C 1-6 above will be applied for bracketing, relegation and promotion.
  13. Sections may impose rules, including point deductions for excessive goal differential in a match, that may impact standings.
  14. Final CCSL standings will be based on the total number of points earned for matches played by the end of the season, with adjustments for discipline. Should an unplayable field situation interrupt the schedule and teams have not played an equal number of matches as a result, the final standings may be determined by dividing the total number of points earned by the number of matches played. The team with the higher average number of points earned per match shall have the higher standing.


  1. CCSL matches shall be officiated by thee (3) USSF referees holding a license of grade eight (8) or higher grade; they will exercise the Diagonal System of Control. The officials shall be currently licensed, adequately experienced and physically fit for the match level they are to officiate.
  2. Referees officiating CCSL matches shall be familiar with the rules that govern CCSL play; team officials may bring a copy of these playing rules to each match for reference.
  3. Referees shall inspect each player's equipment prior to the start of play.
  4. The referee shall collect the passes of all players and team officials participating in the match. The referees shall verify the identity of each player and team official with his/her laminated member pass. Any player who does not have a valid member pass shall not play in the match. Any player whose name is not entered on the match card at the start of the match shall not play in the match.
  5. Officials assigned to the match shall not be affiliated with either team through personal relationship or functional role (e.g., relative or team official). Any affiliation of officials with a team, whether they are assigned to officiate or stepping in under provisions outlined below, must be disclosed to the opposing team before the start of the match. A club affiliation shall not be construed as an affiliation with the team (e.g., the parent of a player on another club team or a player on another club team is not deemed to be affiliated with the team playing the match).
  6. Definitions:
    1. Federation Referee: referee holding a USSF license of grade eight (8) or higher grade not affiliated with either team (see 12.E)
    2. Club linesman: a person not registered as a federation referee; a club linesman is limited to calling the ball out of play only.
  7. Premier and Region matches must be officiated by one federation referee and two federation assistant referees assigned by a Cal North licensed referee assignor.  If three federation referees are not available, the match may be played if both teams agree to one of the alternatives H.2-6.
  8. For Section matches, per USSF GUIDELINES, if three game officials fail to appear, the following alternatives in order of preference are accepted:
    1. One federation referee and two federation assistant referees.
    2. One federation referee, one federation assistant referee and one assistant referee who is unrelated to either team and not registered as a referee acting as club linesman. 
    3. One federation referee and two assistant referees who are unrelated to either team and not registered as referees acting as club linesman.
    4. One federation referee and two assistant referees who are not registered federation referees and who are affiliated with the participating teams acting as club linesmen.
    5. If the assigned referees fail to appear fifteen (15) minutes after the posted match start time, and a suitable replacement can be found and agreed to by both coaches, the game can be played and will be considered official. No protest will be allowed based on the use of an emergency official.
  9. Failure of the hosting club to provide three (3) qualified officials not affiliated with the hosting team shall be noted on the match report prior to the start of the match, and both teams shall report this to the PC or AGC for resolution.  See CCSL Procedures (Forfeits, Abandoned or Terminated matches).
  10. For Section Age groups U9-U10 a minimum of one (1) currently licensed referee and two (2) club linesmen is acceptable


  1. Coaches and other registered team officials are responsible for maintaining order on the team bench (technical area) and among the team’s spectators during matches.
    1. No substitute player, member of the coaching staff, or spectator shall enter the field of play without permission from the referee.
    2. Artificial noisemakers are not allowed at any CCSL match.
  2. Should an incident escalate beyond the coaches’ control (e.g., mass confrontation) and result in match abandonment, all players and credentialed team officials present at the match (including guest players or guest team officials) shall be subject to a PAD hearing.


  1. CCSL discipline procedures and red card/send-off reports shall be posted on the CCSL website.
  2. The CCSL By-Laws define the duties and procedures of the CCSL PAD Committee.
  3. Player and team official names shall not be disclosed outside of the PAD Committee; individuals shall be identified by Cal North number. 
  4. If a player is sent off or team official is dismissed, the referee shall, retain a copy of the match report and within twenty-four (24) hours of the match, file a send-off report using the current CCSL Send-off report procedure.
  5. Decisions that adhere to the Cal North minimum suspensions may be rendered by the PAD Chair or Referee Administrators and shall be posted electronically within forty-eight (48) hours of the decision. Cal North minimum suspensions are posted on the Cal North website: Specific Rule 4:05 Disciplinary Rulings.
  6. The PAD Chair or Referee Administrator will forward a copy of the disciplinary action report to the President of the Registration League or District Administrator/Commissioner of the suspended team official or player.
  7. The Registration League President or District Administrator/Commissioner of the suspended player or team official shall follow established Registration League or District procedures for ensuring the player or team official serves the suspended games.  A sample procedure and form is available on the CCSL website.
  8. Suspension of a player or team official above the Cal North minimum number of matches shall require a decision by the CCSL PAD Committee
  9. The CCSL PAD Committee may impose action beyond Cal North minimums, including:
  10. Declaring a "no match" (neither team receives or is deducted points).
  11. Special assignment of referees to home matches or allowing visiting teams to bring their own currently licensed referees.
  12. Allowing scheduled "visiting teams" to provide the field without any effect on the remainder of the scheduled home and visiting designations.
  13. Forfeit of any CCSL matches already played.
  14. Suspension of the team from participation in CCSL activities and CCSL matches for any portion of the CCSL's currently scheduled season with all matches scheduled during the period of suspension being declared a forfeit
  15. Suspension of a team from participation in CCSL activities and/or CCSL matches for all or any portion of a playing season.
  16. Declaring a team to be in bad standing for CCSL play and request from the District or Registration League that the team be ineligible to play in any Cal North sanctioned tournaments, Cup play, or other play.
  17. Any and all suspensions shall apply to CCSL play as well as any Cal North-sanctioned event.
  18. Penalties and suspensions imposed by CCSL may be appealed following CCSL By-Laws.
  19. Ineligible player: If a player participates in a match without a valid member pass, or is not on the official match report, or is otherwise ineligible to play (e.g., guest rule limitations), the team shall forfeit the match. Other disciplinary action may be imposed on the player and/or the team official. Any suspicion relating to the use of ineligible players shall be addressed to the CCSL League Director or Section Director.
  20. Any coach or credentialed adult (e.g., manager, trainer) accumulating two (2) red cards/sendoffs during a CCSL season shall be suspended for a minimum of six (6) games.
  21. Any player accumulating three (3) red cards during any CCSL season shall be suspended from CCSL play indefinitely and the PAD Chair shall make a recommendation regarding the player’s status to the CCSL Executive Committee.
  22. Any team that accumulates five (5) red cards or send-offs during any CCSL season shall forfeit six (6) points in CCSL standings.
  23. Any team that accumulates six (6) red cards or send-offs during any CCSL season shall be dismissed from CCSL.  The CCSL PAD Chair may recommend appropriate action for the following season for any team, player or team official to the CCSL Executive Committee.
  24. Any player sent-off for fighting (striking with closed fist) prior, during, or after an CCSL game will be suspended for a minimum of 5 games and their CCSL playing status reviewed by the CCSL Board.
  25. Any coach or other credentialed adult (e.g., manager, trainer) sent off for fighting before, during, or after a CCSL game shall be suspended from participating in CCSL for a minimum of one (1) year from the date of the incident, with his/her participation status reviewed by the PAD Chair and the CCSL Executive Committee after the one-year period.

ARTICLE FIFTEEN: Appeals and Comments

  1. Appeals of any PAD Disciplinary Action may be appealed to CCSL following procedures set forth in the CCSL By-Laws.
  2. There are times when a protest is not in order but when a formal complaint should be filed. Any individual is invited to make a formal complaint regarding playing fields, spectator or team official behavior or referees.
    1. Complaint should include bracket name (age, gender, playing level), match information (date, time, location), and any specific and relevant information.

A copy should be sent to your Club and/or Registration League President, your CCSL District Representative and AGC with a copy to the CCSL Director.

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Pleasanton, CA 94566
Office: 925.426.KIDS (5437) Fax: 925.426.9473

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