ESSL (Eastern Southern Soccer League) 2017 Rules
Eastern Southern Soccer League
111 Glenville Road
Churchville, Maryland 21028
www.esslsoccerleague.com
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I. LEAGUE AND ELIGIBILITY
A. The Age Groups of the Eastern Southern Soccer League for the 2017 Season will be:
Girls & Youth U-8 (8v8); U-10 (9v9); U-12 (11v11), U-15 (11v11)
B. Age determination for the 2017 season is August 1 to July 31.
C. Children may play in a higher age bracket, but not a lower age bracket.
D. Teams will be put in the age group of the oldest reported player on the team. Example:
Your team has ten 11 year olds and four 12 year olds, the team would play in the Under
15.
E. A team or player may play in an age group higher than their age, but not lower. If a
player or team plays in an age group higher than their age in the regular season they will
stay within that age group for the tournament. This would be for a single player or
team.
F. A player who “Plays Up” during 2017 will not jeopardize eligibility in his/her regular age
group in the future.
G. Each player must be listed on only one (1) valid roster in only one ESSL area. A valid
roster is the roster that has been submitted, by age bracket, to the league.
H. No team may have more than two (2) active carded travel or club players (carded for
that current calendar year) on its roster for U12/15, and one (1) for U10/U8. These
players must be checked off on your roster as a carded player. Rosters must be
submitted by the third game of the season to the league. All players may not miss any
more than 3 games of play in a season to be eligible to play in the ESSL Fall Classic
Tournament. Exceptions (injury & illness) must be voted on.
I. New Council Areas entering the ESSL will be on a twelve (12) month probationary period
beginning upon the start of the season.
II. ROSTERS
A. Any additions or changes to the roster are to be made in writing and submitted to the
league.
B. Each council will determine roster size for their teams.
C. A team may make individual player changes until rosters are due on Monday,
September 18, 2017. NO ADDITIONS AFTER THIS DATE.
Eastern Southern Soccer League
111 Glenville Road
Churchville, Maryland 21028
www.esslsoccerleague.com
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III. PLAYING RULES
A. The League will use FIFA Laws of Game except as modified herein. These laws shall
apply to this League.
B. Under 8 goal kicks will be taken from penalty spot distance (9 yards); Under 8 corner
kick from penalty box. Under 10 corner is to be taken from the corner flag. Goal kick
will be taken from the goal box.
C. In full sided age groups (girls & youth U-12 through U-15), there must be a minimum of
nine (9) players present to begin a game. If a team has nine (9) players present, the
game must begin. A team can finish with less than nine (9) players (i.e. injuries). Any
team that does not have a minimum of nine (9) players present at the start will forfeit.
It is recommended that each player receive an equitable amount of playing time. U-10
must have seven (7) players and U-8 League teams must have six (6) players present,
minimum, to start a game. U-10 and U-8 may finish with less than minimum
requirement as above.
D. Under 8 will play 8 vs.8 and Under 10 will play 9 vs. 9 and is designed for soccer players
in both GIRLS and YOUTH league format where instruction continues throughout the
game. A maximum of one coach per team in the Under 8 age group is to be on the field
instructing and encouraging their players. Coaches are not allowed in the penalty box
while the ball is in play. Coaches should also show sportsmanship by recognizing the
play of the other team. No coaches are allowed on the field in the Under 10 age groups.
A referee will be assigned by the home team for Under 8 and Under 10 age groups. The
referee will also instruct, especially the why and how of fouls and what the impact is to
the game. In Under 8 games, incorrect play will be redone or replayed until corrected.
Children should experience and play all positions. Offsides will not be called in Under 8;
however, players will be discouraged from stationing themselves in an advantageous
scoring position (cherry picking) in the opponents half of the field when the ball is in
their defensive zone. Offsides will be called in the Under 10 age group.
E. Forfeit time will be five (5) minutes after scheduled game time.
F. Advance notice is 48 hours for cancellation; the League President must be notified so
the referees can be notified. No changes to the schedule (non-weather related) will be
made without approval from the League President.
Eastern Southern Soccer League
111 Glenville Road
Churchville, Maryland 21028
www.esslsoccerleague.com
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G. The length of periods will be:
1. Under 8 and Under 10 Four 12 minute quarters
2. Under 12 and Under 15 Two 30 minutes halves
H. Game Balls:
1. Under 8 through Under 12 #4 ball
2. Under 15 #5 ball
I. For the safety of players, all players must wear shin guards, worn under socks, to be
eligible to play (also during practices). Any rubber soled, soft toed, non-metallic, nonscrew
in spike is legal. Jewelry, (i.e. rings, earrings, watches, fitness bands and wrist
worn items) may not be worn during the game; band aided earring studs are NOT
acceptable. It is recommended that other safety equipment (i.e. mouthpieces, eye
protection, cups, etc.) be worn. No hard casts allowed unless padded adequately and
meets official’s approval.
J. The “HOT HEAD” rule will be in effect for all league games. Any player who receives a
yellow or “caution” card shall immediately be substituted out of the game with another
player, and may at any time thereafter be substituted back into the game, without
liability or penalty.
K. PROHIBITED CONDUCT AND EJECTION BY REFEREE
1. Profanity, obscene gestures, gross misconduct and physical violence, or the threat of physical
violence will not be tolerated and are not permitted during any game, or at any site, whether on
or off the field, by any participant, player manager, coach, parent or any other spectator.
2. The referees shall eject from the game and from the field site any such person who violates this
rule. The ejectment by a referee of any player on the field that violates this rule constitutes the
issuance of a “red card,” whether or not the referee actually displays a red card. A Referee may
eject any person from the site without necessity of actually displaying a “red card.” Coaches
shall be responsible for the conduct of their spectators. Referees shall have the discretion to
suspend play or to end any game for any violation of this rule. The referee’s judgment shall be
final and may not be reversed or appealed.
3. Any player who is ejected from a game and any other person who is ejected from the site, shall
immediately leave and vacate the site of the game, but may remain no closer than the parking
lot only until the conclusion of that game, and may not that day thereafter re-enter the site of
the game. The “site” means all public grounds and facilities where the game is being played,
whether at a Harford County Park, or at a Harford County Public School, other Recreation
Council fields or other park or field or complex of multiple fields.
Eastern Southern Soccer League
111 Glenville Road
Churchville, Maryland 21028
www.esslsoccerleague.com
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L. CONSEQUENCES OF EJECTION FROM A GAME
1. A player who is ejected from a game may not be replaced with a substituted player for that
game. Any player who is issued a red card, or otherwise ejected from any game shall be
suspended and ineligible to participate in the next scheduled league and/or tournament game,
and may further, the discretion of the player’s local area council, the Program Chairperson, or
the ESSL, or any of them, be deemed ineligible to participate on any team in this league for the
balance of the season, including participation in the tournament. Any suspension that is not
completed during a season shall carry over to the following season, if applicable.
2. A Coach, manager or any other adult participant on any team who is ejected from a game shall
be suspended and ineligible to participate in the next two (2) scheduled league and/or
tournament games, and may further, in the discretion of the player’s local area council, Program
Chairperson, or the ESSL, or any of them, be deemed ineligible to participate in this league for
the balance of the season, including the tournament, or may be permanently removed. Any
suspension that is not completed during a season shall carry over to the following season, if
applicable.
3. All Program Chairpersons, all ESSL Area Representatives and all coaches shall be responsible for
ensuring these League Rules are followed with regard to red cards, ejections and suspensions.
4. All ejections of any player, coach or other person shall be reported by the coach of the team
receiving the ejection to their respective local area ESSL Area Representative and to their
Program Chairperson within 48 hours after the game. The local area ESSL Area Representative
shall report the ejection to the ESSL League within 48 hours of the receipt of notification. Each
program Chairperson shall immediately notify the player or coach of the suspension.
5. If a player is ejected from a game for use of profanity, making obscene gestures, gross
misconduct, physical violence, or the threat of physical violence, or if a player refuses to leave
the game, the field or the site after being ejected from a game, or who later re-enters the site,
or for any other act of gross misconduct, the player’s local area council, the player’s Program
Chairperson, or the ESSL, or any of them, may further determine that player to be ineligible to
participate on any team in this league for the balance of the season, including participation in
the tournament, and may permanently prohibit the player from future participation in this
league.
6. If a coach or assistant coach is ejected from any game, or refuses to vacate the site after being
ejected, or who later re-enters the site, the player’s local area council, Program Chairperson, or
the ESSL, or any of them, may immediately or any time thereafter remove that person as a
coach for the balance of the season, including the tournament and may permanently ban that
person from again participating as a coach (or as an assistant coach) of any team in this league.
Any other person who is ejected from a game may be prohibited from attending future games at
any site, if so directed by the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Eastern Southern Soccer League
111 Glenville Road
Churchville, Maryland 21028
www.esslsoccerleague.com
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7. Any coach or assistant coach who has been suspended, but who continues to coach or attempts
to coach or communicate with any team during any game during the period of the suspension,
shall be immediately removed as coach, and shall be permanently prohibited from again
coaching (including as an assistant coach) in this league.
8. If, after returning from a suspension, a player receives another red card or is again ejected
during the same season, including the tournament, that player shall be suspended from league
play for the balance of the season, including the tournament, and shall also be suspended from
participation during the entire following season, including the tournament.
9. Any coach or assistant coach who receives two (2) ejections in the same season (regardless of
when or why the first was issued) shall immediately be removed as coach, and shall be
prohibited from again coaching in this league for the remainder of the season and the following
season.
10. In the event of an inconsistency between a local area council, a Program Chairperson, or the
ESSL with any suspension or other sanctions imposed against the same person for the same
violation of these rules, the most severe punishment imposed shall control over the others and
be binding.
M. Substitutions shall be allowed for all age groups on all throw-ins or all goal kicks.
Substitutions cannot be made on the fly. Substitutions are at the discretion of the
referee and players should be waiting at the midline to be substituted.
N. All coaches and assistant coaches of any team in this league may be temporarily
suspended, removed or permanently banned from future coaching of any team in this
league by either their local area council, by their Program Chairperson, or by the ESSL,
for any violation of these Rules or for other good cause.
IV. REFEREES
A. The association agrees, manpower permitting, to provide competent soccer Officials for
the council’s Saturday League programs, according to the following: Under 13, Under 15
= 2 Officials per game
1. If the assigned association’s referee fails to show up, the coaches can either reschedule the
game or mutually agree on volunteer referees, one (1) from each team. If volunteer referees
are used, the event shall be considered an official game. Home teams need to report no shows
of officials to the ESSL President.
B. It is required that local councils provide officials for Under 9 and Under 11 age brackets.
It is required that these referees attend a clinic prior to the beginning of the 2017
season.
Eastern Southern Soccer League
111 Glenville Road
Churchville, Maryland 21028
www.esslsoccerleague.com
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C. Every effort should be made to have 2 referees per field in each age group with one of
the referees being an adult referee.
V. FIELDS
A. Under 8 and Under 10 League will be scheduled to play on small fields (80 yards length x
50 yards breadth, where possible and no longer than 6 foot x 18 foot goal posts). Under
12 and Under 15 fields must be at least 100 yards length x 60 yards wide where
possible.
B. Where possible, team areas should be on one side of the field and spectators on the
other side. Coaches must stay in their area as defined by FIFA rules.
VI. CANCELLATIONS
A. The local representatives notify each other by 7:30 a.m. and all teams involved before
8:00 a.m. Saturday if the field is unplayable because of weather. The local
representative will then notify the Official’s Association by phone no later than 8:00
a.m. Host site is responsible for notifying the visitors of the cancellation.
B. The soccer league will not be responsible to schedule make up games – this is the
responsibility of the local chairperson.
C. If the first game of the day is called due to weather, at any site, all games will be
cancelled at that site as well for the remainder of the day.
VII. PROTEST PROCEDURE
A. If a team wishes to contest the eligibility of a player, the concerned coach must arrange
a meeting with the program chairperson.
B. The decision of the program chairperson may be appealed to the league and all league
decisions are final.
Eastern Southern Soccer League
111 Glenville Road
Churchville, Maryland 21028
www.esslsoccerleague.com
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VIII. BLOW OUTS
A. We encourage teams to not let the score differential in a game become too large. If a
team is trailing their opponent by 4 goals (For Example 5 - 1 or 6 - 2) they are permitted
to add a player on the field. For each additional goal above 4 the trailing team can add
another player. When the trailing team scores a goal to narrow the 4+ goal differential
they must pull one of the extra players from the field. If the trailing team does not or
cannot add players, then the winning team must pull players from field and play
shorthanded in an effort to make the game more even. Coaches are encouraged to use
their best judgment in trying to keep the score reasonable while maximizing playing
time for the players and should use tactics with their team to prevent the score
differential from becoming excessive.
B. If the final score of the game has a differential of 7+, the first offense will result in a
written warning by the league to the coach. The second offense will result in a one
game suspension of the offending coach. The third offense will result in an indefinite
league suspension of the offending coach.
C. Both coaches should get a score report from the referee before leaving the field after
their game.
D. The program chairperson will be responsible for reporting the final score of each game
to the ESSL by Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. following each game.
IX. HEADING THE BALL
A. Per USA Soccer, intentional heading of the ball from U10 and under is prohibited. The
restart for an intentional headed ball will be an indirect free kick. In the opinion of the
referee, if a headed ball is played unintentionally the restart will be a drop ball.
Eastern Southern Soccer League
111 Glenville Road
Churchville, Maryland 21028
www.esslsoccerleague.com
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X. Roster Checks
A. If requested by the coach, referees will ask carded and travel players to present
themselves verbally prior to each game. If a player is a carded or travel player and is not
indicated as such on the league roster they may not play in that game. The coaches
should then report the situation to the ESSL President.
B. Once the league has been notified, if it occurs at a second game the coach will be
suspended from the league for the remainder of the current season as well as the next
season.