Recreational League Rules

For more information, please contact the Executive Director, Michelle King, at

Recreational League Rules

Uniform, Equipment, and Dangerous Items
  • The standard uniform of a player shall be the jersey, shorts, and socks issued by the organization. 
  • The application of numbers, lettering, or logos is not allowed without prior approval of the Board of Directors.
  • Shin Guards and Socks: All players will wear shin guards which are commercially produced and specifically designed to provide protection to the shins. Players must wear socks pulled up over the shin guards during all games.
  • Cleats or Sneakers:  Players must wear sneakers or non-metallic cleats for all practices and games.
  • Goalkeeper Shirts: The goalkeeper shall wear a shirt of a different color to distinguish him from the other players and referees.
  • A player will not be allowed to wear anything which could be dangerous to himself or others.  Examples of dangerous items include, but are not limited to, sunglasses, sunshades, jewelry, braces (that contain exposed metal or hard plastics and are not wrapped according to STYSA rules) hard casts (padded or otherwise) or any other item deemed dangerous by the game’s center referee and/or board member or administrator on duty at the time of the game.
Team Roster Sizes and Roster Freeze Deadline

Roster Freeze Deadline: shall be seven (7) days prior to the first scheduled game day of the season.

Team Roster Sizes — Players

Age GroupsMinimum Roster SizeMaximum Roster Size
U13 — U19seven (7) playersfourteen (14) players
U11 — U12nine (9) playerssixteen (16) players
U09 — U10seven (7) playerstwelve (12) players
U04 — U08four (4) playerseight (8) players

Team Roster Sizes – Team Officials

  • A maximum of four (4) people may be rostered to a recreational team as team officials.  This includes coaches, assistant coaches, managers, and assistants. These four (4) officials are the only individuals allowed to coach or instruct players in practices or games.
  • During practices, all other adults must remain away from the practice area.
  • During games, all other adults must remain in the designated spectator area.
Players, Team Officials and Spectators at Games
  • All coaches, assistant coaches and players shall remain on the side of the field assigned to them. A maximum of two (2) rostered team officials may be on the player’s side of the field at any given time.
  • All fans and spectators shall remain on the opposite side of the field, directly across from their team, and must stay behind the restraining line. If there is no restraining line painted, fans and spectators shall remain at least six (6) feet off the field.
  • It will be the head coach’s responsibility to control the behavior of his assistant coaches and his team’s fans in this and all other aspects.  The referee has the power to halt play if the coach does not comply.
  • Fans and spectators are not allowed to enter the team side of the field during the game, including halftime or other game breaks, except to drop off drinks to the players. If a parent is needed on the team sideline, for player injury or any other reason, the coach or referee will ask for the parent to go to the team’s side of the field.
  • No one is allowed to be at the ends of fields or behind the goals. This is a distraction to the goalie and players. There are only three exceptions to this:
    • One person shall be allowed to be at the ends of each field/goal area to retrieve soccer balls for the players. The person must stay at least ten (10) yards behind the goal line and must be silent throughout the game.
    • People parked in the parking lot behind the goals may sit in their cars. These people must also stay silent throughout the game.
    • Spectators at U04—U06 games may sit at the ends of the field, at least 10 feet from the field, when there is no available space on the spectator side of the field. These spectators must not cause a distraction to the players.
Children on the team sideline that are not rostered to the team playing
  • Children aged 12-17: To be on the team sideline, he/she must complete all applicable team official registration steps and wear his/her KidSafe card. This individual’s team official registration will count towards the maximum number of team officials allowed per team.
  • Children aged 11 and younger can only be on the sideline if there is no other responsible adult present to watch the child during the game.
Duration of Games
    Age GroupLength of Half or QuarterHalftimeBreaksAdded Time
    U11—U1930-minute halves5 minutesnonenone
    U09—U1025-minute halves5 minutesnonenone
    U07—U0810-minute quarters5 minutes2-minute breaks between
    –1st & 2nd quarter
    –3rd & 4th quarter
    U04—U068-minute quarters5 minutes2-minute breaks between
    –1st & 2nd quarter
    –3rd & 4th quarter
    Start of Play and Game Forfeits
    Age GroupMax # of Players on FieldMinimum # of Players on Field
    U13—U19seven (7) playersfive (5) players
    U11—U12nine (9) playerssix (6) players
    U09—U10seven (7) playersfive (5) players
    U04—U08four (4) playersthree (3) players
    • Any team which fails to field the required number of players within ten (10) minutes after the scheduled start time, will forfeit the game.  Should neither team have the required number of players, a double forfeit will be declared.
    • If one, or both, teams do not have the minimum number of players to play, the referee shall notify the board member or administrator on duty to determine how to proceed. The board member or administrator on duty shall determine if the game can be altered, such as one team borrowing players from the other team so that the kids can play a scrimmage. The coaches and referee cannot make this decision.
    • Any U09 or older team that forfeits a game will be assessed a $50 forfeit fee
    Additional Modifications to the STYSA General Rules of Play
    • CLUB PLAYER PASS SYSTEM: will not be allowed in recreational league play.
    • FIELD SIZE FOR U13—U19: games shall be played on the U11—U12 size fields.
    • BUILD OUT LINES FOR U09—U10: will not be used.
    • U08 AND UNDER GOAL KICK RULE: On a goal kick, the defending team must be on their own half of the field until the ball is put into play. Once the first pass has been made the defending team may enter the opposition’s half to begin play.
    Game Cancelations and Reschedules

    If games are cancelled due to the weather or another unforeseen circumstance, make-up games will be scheduled as follows:

    • Partial day of games cancelled: the games will be rescheduled.
    • Entire day of games:
      • First occurrence during the season: the games will be rescheduled.
      • Second occurrence during the season: all U09 and older games will be rescheduled. U08 and younger games will NOT be rescheduled.
      • Third (or more) occurrence during the season: games will NOT be rescheduled for any age group. Standings will be adjusted in U09 and older divisions.
    • Make-up games may be scheduled on any of the following:
      • On a Saturday (team may end up playing more than one game that day)
      • On a Sunday afternoon
      • On a weeknight
    • All make-up games must be played as scheduled or will be considered a forfeit.

    Reschedule Requests From Coaches/Teams

    • Reschedule requests will only be accepted through 12:00 PM on the Monday prior to the game. Requests received after this deadline will be automatically denied.
    • The coach/team requesting the reschedule must fill out the REC Game Reschedule Form on the VYSO website and pay the $50 game reschedule fee.
    • If the reschedule request is approved, and the team that requested the reschedule forfeits the game, the team will be assessed a $100 forfeit fee.
    Game Protests
    • No protests will be accepted unless they are made known to the referee and opposing coach immediately after the game. The referee and opposing coach must be advised at this time as to the alleged basis for the protest. The coaches of both teams involved must remain on the site until the board member or administrator on duty is notified of the protest. Within thirty (30) minutes, the protesting coach must provide the board member or administrator on duty with a written report stating the basis for the protest. The required protest fee will be $100 payable in cash, check, or money order. The protest fee shall be refunded if the protest is successful.
    • The protest will only be accepted from the rostered team official present at the game being protested.
    • Protests based on the judgment call of a referee will not be accepted.
    League Standings and Format

    Standings are kept for U09 and older divisions only. Game scores are not recorded for U08 and younger divisions.

    • All standings will be determined by the three (3) point system:
      • Win = 3 points
      • Tie = 1 point
      • Loss = 0 points
    • A win by forfeit results in 3 points for the winning team with the game scored at 3-0.


    • Winner in head-to-head competition (if all teams have played each other); then, if teams are still tied,
    • Highest goal difference (goals for minus goals against) with a maximum of three (3) goals per counted; then, if teams are still tied,
    • Total goals allowed (team with fewest total goals allowed advances); then, if teams are still tied,
    • Kicks from the Penalty Mark (follow STYSA Rules and Procedures).


    • No overtime periods.
    • Kicks from the Penalty Mark (follow STYSA Rules and Procedures).


    • The Board of Directors and/or the Executive Director shall determine the format used for each division each season based on the number of teams in the division.

    • Round Robin Format: Each team plays all the other teams in the division a set number of times. The standings and division winners are determined solely by the point system.

    • Tournament Style Format: Each team plays a set number of games. Then additional games are played based on the point standings after those games. There could be semi-final and final games with this format.

    Progressive Discipline System

    To discourage misconduct, this organization has adopted the Progressive Discipline System as outlined in the STYSA Discipline, Protest, Grievance, and Appeal Procedures.

    • The Board of Directors shall review all misconduct by players, team officials, and spectators.
    • The Board of Directors shall issue sanctions based on reports from referees, board members, administrators, and other competition/league officials.
    Misconduct by Spectators

    Any spectator that is sent away from a game, practice, or from any area at the game/practice location, by a board member, administrator, or other competition/league official, shall receive an immediate two (2) week suspension and may not be present at any VYSO activity including, but not limited to, games, practices, tournaments, clinics, training sessions, or other events.