Palestine YMCA Rules 

 NTSSA Rules and Regulations  

1.  General 

Play in Palestine YMCA Soccer league shall be in accordance with the official laws of North Texas Soccer Association.    In addition, the following rules are adopted by Palestine Soccer to serve in addition to North Texas Soccer rules and regulations. 

1.1  Wins/Losses/Forfeits 

A forfeit will be declared 15 minutes after a scheduled start if a team is unable to field the minimum number of players to start a game.  Minimum number to start u-13 and up will be 7 players u-12 and up will be 6 players, for U-10 will be 5 players, for u-8 will be 3 players and for U-6 the minimum will be 3 players. 

1.2  League standings will be determined by points as follows:  2 for a win, 1 for a tie, 0 for a loss.  Ties in a league will be decided by Head to Head, Net goals with a maximum of 5 per game, fewest goals allowed, fewest caution points, Penalty kicks will be the final tie breaker. 

1.3  Inclement weather:  Field conditions and playability will be determined by Soccer Committee and teams will be notified of cancellation.   In the absence of such notification, teams will be expected to play.  Forfeit rules will be in effect if teams do not show up to play in the absence of cancellation notification by the soccer committee. 


2.  Playing time 

Each player must play ½ of each game.   A coach may reduce a player’s time for disciplinary reasons, provided the coordinator and the parent is notified in writing prior to the start of the game.   

2.1  Practice hours:  U-4 to U-10 leagues shall limit their practice to four hours per week.  All other leagues shall limit their practices to 6 hours per week. 


3.  Game Protocol 

3.1  Coach:  Prior to the game, coach will introduce himself and his assistant to the referee.  Coaches may issue verbal instructions to the players on the field.  Coaches in U-6 and below may position players during game and provide tactical assistance, provided their position on field does not interfere with game play.    Coaches must not allow parent or spectator to do any coaching during the game. 

3.2  Spectators:  Coaches will be responsible for the behavior of spectators and be advised to refrain from using abusive or offensive language, contesting referee decisions, or otherwise displaying displeasure to actions on the field and will be responsible for cautioning spectators regarding such behavior.  Inappropriate conduct can result in penalties and possible abandonment of the game.  Any spectator comments directed at members of the other team or coach are strictly prohibited.   Coaches are subject to be cautioned or ejected by the referee.  If a coach is ejected, he must leave the vicinity of the game and will not be allowed at next game.   

3.3    Home team is listed first on schedule and must change jersey in case of color conflict.  In U-6 and up, players and coaches will be on one side and spectators will be on opposite side of the field. 

3.4  Five foot rule:  All spectators, coaches, and players shall remain 5 feet from the touchline.   



4.  Protests 

4.1  Rules for protest 

All games protests must be filed within 48 hours after the incident with the chairman of the soccer committee.  The protesting coach must clearly indicate in writing the nature of his/her complaint.  A protest must not be made simply to voice a complaint, or suggestion to bring about a rule change.  Should the protest be upheld, the disputed game will have to be replayed. 

4.2  Protests on judgment calls 

Protest based on judgment calls made by referee will not be entertained.  There are 2 acceptable causes for protest: 

1)  A team plays an unregistered, ineligible or suspended player 

2)  There has been an obvious error made in the application of the Laws of the game that directly affects the outcome of the match, and the referee admits it.   

A game cannot be protested because a coach feels the referee was incompetent.   


5.  Players 

5.1  Age Grouping for youth league:  U-19, U-16, U-14, U-12, U-11, U-10, U-9, U-8, U-7, U-6, U-5, U-4. 

Age will be determined by age on July 31 of the current soccer year.  Minimum age is 3 years old on July 31st to participate.   

Players who turn 3 by December 31st will be allowed to register for spring season of that soccer year. 

5.2  Reassignment, Drafting 

Players registering prior to the end of registration , who played on a team in the previous season, will be assigned to that team unless they have requested to reenter the draft pool.  All players registering after the end of regular registration are subject to being placed back in the draft pool. 

5.2.1  Players in U-4 to U-6 will be drafted until a team has a minimum of 6 players and a maximum of 8 players.  Teams may be required to take 7 players.    

5.2.2  Players in U-7 to U-8 will be drafted until such a time that each team has a minimum of 6 players and a maximum of 8 players.   Teams may be required to take 7 players. 

5.2.3  Players in U-9 to U- 10 will be drafted until each team has a minimum of 10 players and a maximum of 14 players.   Teams may be required to take 12 players 

5.2.4  Players in u-12 will be drafted until each team has a minimum of 12 players and a maximum of 16 players.  U-14 will be drafted until each team has a minimum of 14 players and maximum of 18 players.  U-16 will be drafted until  each team has a minimum of 14 players and maximum of 22 players.   

5.2.5  Players in the draft pool:  Players in the draft pool will be subject to draft by existing teams as long as players are required to fill the rosters on those teams, after which new teams will be formed.  If there are no coaches for these new teams at the time of the draft, the age commissioner will assign players to form the new teams.  Players on these new teams will be notified of the assignment and the need for a coach.  A U-4, U-6, or U-8  player may invite a friend who has not been a roster for a team for the previous 2 seasons to join their team. 

**The number of players that a team is required to take may be adjusted by the age commissioner of the league in order to allow participation by all registered children based on the total number of registrants. 


6.  Assignment to former team 

Players registering by the end of registration, who were rostered on a team in the previous soccer season, will be assigned to that team unless they have expressed the desire to reenter the draft.  All players who register after registration ends will be placed on a waiting list.  Any player who does not register for a season will not be on the roster, and may not return directly to the team the next season, but will be placed in the draft.   

6.1  A player may not request not to be placed on a specific team if that request will guarantee them a spot on another team.  There must be greater than 4 teams in the draft in order for a player to request not to be drafted to a particular team. 


7.  Non-Registered Player may not practice 

No coach, assistant coach, trainer, or team representative may practice any soccer related activity with any NTSSA registered player that does not appear on his current NTSSA roster or any non-registered player by current NTSSA rules and regulations.  Discipline for failure to comply with this rule may result in the coach being suspended from soccer activities for a period of not less than one year.  If a player is registered, however, is not rostered to a team because no team is available, the player may practice with a team at a younger age group that they may be playing in a tournament with.   


8.  Roster players: 

Roster players are players currently on a team roster.   


9.  Academy Players 

9.1  A soccer academy is a group of under 7 to under 10 registered NTSSA Recreational Players who desire to participate with other players for the purpose of playing with other players with similar soccer goals and obtaining training from more experienced coaches.  

9.2  Soccer academy play is in the addition to recreational play.  Players may join any soccer academy within their age group, and are not required to obtain a release to participate.   


10.  Competitive players 

A competitive player is obligated to his team for the soccer year for competitive players from the time he/she signs a contract until the end of the soccer playing year.  August 1st  through May 31st.  


11.  Registration 

11.1  Registration times will be set by the soccer committee at the end of the previous soccer season.  Registration shall end on the Friday prior to the beginning of the drafts.  After registration is ended, all registrants will be placed on a waiting list with their date of registration noted.  The team with the next draft pick from the regular draft shall be offered the first player on the waiting list. 

11.2  Placement of players registering after draft:  The first player placed on a team from the waiting list shall be the player of the earliest date and so on.  There will be absolutely no choices from this list. 


12.  Teams 

12.1  Age pure teams:  

 All teams will be formed age pure, if the numbers of registered players in a division allow so.  A player may participate in an older division.  Players may not play up more than 2 age pure divisions.  An exception will be made for U-15 and up who may play up to U-19 if needed to maintain adequate numbers for a team.   

12.2.1  Requirement for a team to stay together season to season:  

 A team shall consist of a minimum of 3 returning players.  In U-8 a team will consist of 2 returning players.  As long as this requirement is met, the team may stay together as a team from season to season.   In order for a team to stay together, all players from the returning team must be offered the opportunity to remain on the team.  All players from an existing team must be contacted by the coach and given the opportunity to stay with the team.  Any coach who willfully tries to withhold said opportunity may be subject to punishment by the league. 

12.2.2  In the event that  2 or more returning teams in an age group do not have enough players to meet the minimum number of players to form a team, teams in the age group can actively seek players to be added to the player pool.  If on draft day, this situation is present, the draft will not take place.  The involved teams will have 1 week from the date of the draft to seek players to be added to the player pool.  If enough players are added to the pool at that time the draft will proceed per draft rules.   

In the event that the player pool is still not large enough to draft the teams up to the minimum number of players, the team with the fewest number of players will have their players returned to the player pool and those players will be drafted by the remaining teams to form a full roster.  In the event that both teams have the same number of returning players, a coin toss will decide the team that will stay together.  The players from the disbanded team will be drafted first prior to any new registrants or players on the wait list.  If the players from the disbanded team choose to not enter the draft, their registration fees will be refunded, minus any administrative costs and uniform costs as outlined below.   



12.3  New Coach who wishes to form a team:   

If a coach wishes to take a team he will be allowed to draft a new team from the player pool.  Said coach will only be allowed to take his child/children on the team.   

12.4  League play:  Although teams will be formed on an age pure basis, League play will consist of U-4, U-6, U-8, U-10, U-12, U-14, U-16 and U-19.  As team number allows, the younger teams may be split into 2 divisions according to age purity. 

12.5  Tournament attendance 

A 2 week notice must be given if a team is going to attend a soccer tournament and cannot make a season game.  Maximum of 2 schedule changes per season will be allowed.  Proof of tournament entrance may be required.   

12.6  Concession stand rule 

Teams will be required to work concession stand as scheduled. 

12.7  Team request to be off 

Within 1 week after the draft, a coach may request a maximum of 2 weekends off per season.  If the request is made after this time period, the request will not be granted.  After this period, absolutely no schedule changes will be entertained for any reason, except as noted above for tournament play.   


13.  Transfers 

13.1  In the event that our organization does not have a team in a particular age group, players may be allowed to transfer to another organization that does have that age group available following a written request to the committee requesting transfer for that reason. 

13.2  If a team of the age group is available for a player within the  boundaries of our association, players will be registered within our association.   Request to transfer to another association for any reason other than as noted in 13.1 can be submitted to the soccer committee in writing.  The only reason for automatic acceptance of transfer will be as noted in 13.1, all other requests will be evaluated on a case by case basis. 

13.3  Players or teams will be allowed to transfer in to our organization if they present paperwork from their home association granting their release.  These players or teams will be entered into the player pool and drafted per draft rules 

13.4  A team can request a release from our organization to play in another league if we have less than 3 teams in a particular age group.   

14.  Guest Players 

Guest players shall be governed by rule 4.7 of NTSSA.   Guest player release form must be completely filled out prior to being presented to the releasing coach and player to sign.  Form will not be accepted by home association to sign until form is completely filled out and all signatures and dates are completed.  Guest player release form is not valid until signed by home association.  Practice with the team that the player is guest playing for is only allowed on the dates that are listed on the form and agreed upon by the releasing coach.  A separate release is required for each tournament that a player will be playing in. 


16.  Drafting rules 

Coaches shall draft players from the available player pool. Player pools will be age pure as the number of players allows.  Also, if the number of players allow, Player pool may be grouped by gender as well.  Drafting will be a pure blind draft.  Player names will not be revealed to any coaches until the draft is completed. 

Drafting will start with the returning team which has the fewest number of players until that team reaches the number of players of the next team with the next fewest number of players.  Teams will draft in that manner until all the teams have the same number of players and then will proceed in alternating order from that point. 

Example:  Team A has 10 players, Team B has 12 players, Team C has 14 players 

Team A will draft 2 players to reach 12 players, then Team B and A will draft until they reach 14 players, then A, B and C will alternately draft until they reach the maximum players allowed.  Teams may stop at the minimum number allowed if they desire, however, they will not be eligible to pick up any players from the wait list if they choose to stop drafting prior to the maximum allowed number.   


16.1.1  U-4 to U-6 may stop drafting at a minimum of 6 and must stop at a  maximum of 8 players.  Team may be required to take up to 7 players.  In the event that U-4 is played 3 v 3, the minimum shall be 5, with a maximum number of 6 per team. 

16.1.2  U-7 and U-8 may stop drafting with a minimum of 6 players and must stop at a maximum of 8 players, Team may be required to take up to 8 players. 

16.1.3  U-9 to U-10 may elect to stop drafting at a minimum of 10 players and must stop at a maximum of 14 players.   A team may be required to take 12 players. 

16.1.4  U-12 may elect to stop at a minimum of 12 players, and must stop at a maximum of 16 players, U14 to U-19 may elect to stop at a minimum of 14 players and must stop at 22 players.  A team may be required to take up to 16 players. 

16.1.5  No coach can pass at his/her turn in the pool and then request players from the waiting list without good cause such as injury, or player moving. 

16.1.6  Under no circumstances may a team roster more than the maximum number as allowed above.  To go over the maximum number would by definition not be compatible with the 50 percent play rule of recreational soccer. 

16.2  Carpool rule 

Up to 2 players may be drafted as a group to accommodate carpooling.  Request can only be made with other players in the draft.  A request cannot be made for a player already on a team, unless that player on an existing team chooses to reenter the draft pool. 

16.3  Sibling rule 

Siblings can request to be on the same team, or added to a team that a sibling is already on. 

16.4.  New team rule 

A parent starting a new team can only take their child to that team.  A head coach cannot designate an assistant coach until the team is drafted.  

16.5.1  No request for team 

No request for a team will be allowed.  The recruiting of players for the benefit of an individual, team or organization is prohibited.  Recruiting is an action or statement, made by anyone, either verbally or in writing that encourages a player to register with a particular coach, or team.  

16.5.2  Ask a friend (U-4, U-6, U-8) 

A player on an existing team in U-6 to U-8 may invite a friend to play on their team providing the approval of the coach and providing that player has not been on the roster of an NTSSA team for the previous 2 seasons (fall/spring) 

16.6  Draft attendance 

Attendance to the draft will be by the coach and assistant coach (if a returning team) only.   

16.7  Refusal to play 

Once players have been placed on a team through the draft procedure, the player must play on that team.  That player may not place themselves on the waiting list, and may not be traded to another team, as this will be construed as the recruitment of a player as noted previously.  If the player chooses not to play, the player may sit out the season and will receive a refund.   

16.8  Players not assigned in draft 

Players not assigned in the draft when there are not enough to form a new team will be offered to all teams up to the maximum number of players allowed.  In no coach takes the players, the player will be assigned to the team with the least number of players up to the number of players as stated above. 

16.9  U4-U-6 team formation 

A new U4 to U-6 team may be formed by players who have never registered in any NTSSA association with a maximum of the allowed roster size, as long as the team provides a coach. 

New U4 to U6 teams can be formed with a player who has registered previously  up to a maximum of 3 players.  These players must consist of the teams coach, assistant and manager. 

16.10  Player pool 

In the event there are not enough players in an age group to form a team, the coaches of that age group may actively seek players to join the player pool prior to the draft.  The players added to the pool will be drafted in accordance with the draft rules outlined above.  Players that are added to the player pool will in no way be assigned to a particular team, doing so will be considered recruiting and the team will no longer be a recreational team.   

In the event that players are added to the wait list after the draft is completed, the players will be randomly assigned to the teams if roster space allows.  Players from the wait list will be assigned based on their date of registration and players on the wait list will not be guaranteed a team to play on.  Coaches may not seek players to be put on the wait list pool and give them any assurance of placement on a particular team.  The first player on the wait list will be offered to the next team in the draft order. 

17.  Modified rules by age group 

17.1.1  U-4  

-U-4 games will be played 4 v 4, if deemed necessary by the age commissioner the games can be played 3 v 3.   

-Field size will be 30 by 20 yards 

-All free kicks, kickoffs and kick ins are indirect 

-No offsides 

-No goalkeepers 

-size 3 ball 

-Games will be played in 4 quarters.  Each quarter of 8 minutes duration.   There will be a 2 minute break between quarters, and a 5 minute half time. 

17.1.2  U-6 

-U-6 games will be played 4 v 4 

-Field size will be 30 by 20 yards 

-All free kicks, kick offs, and kick ins are indirect, there are no penalty kicks 

-All players must be 5 yards away from the ball on any restart(goal kick, corner kick,  free kick, Kick in) 

-No offsides 

-No goalkeepers 

-Games will be played with a size 3 ball. 

-Games will be played in 4 quarters.  Quarters will be 10 minutes in duration in U-5, U-6.  There will be a 2 minute break between quarters and a 5 minute half time. 

17.2  u-8 

-Games will be played 4v4  

-No offsides 

-All free kicks are indirect.  Opposing team must be 5 yards from ball when it is played. 

-No penalty kicks 

-Field size will be 20 by 30 yards  

-Game duration will be 4 quarters of 10 minute duration.  There will be a 2 minute break between quarters and a 5 minute break at half time.   

-Ball is size 3 

17.3  U-10 

-Games will be played 7 v 7 

-Offsides law per FIFA in effect with build out lines 

-Field size will be 40 by 60 yards 

-Ball will be size 4 

-Game will be played in 2 halves of 25 minute duration. 

17.4 U12 

-Games 9v9 

-30 minute halves 

-Size 4 ball 

-Field 50 by 80 max 


18.  Criminal Background Checks 

All coaches must complete, and be cleared through a background check provided through GotSoccer prior to coaching a practice, game or holding any organized activity with their team.  


19.  Disciplines 

The following disciplinary actions will be adopted by Palestine YMCA soccer association for failure to comply with the rules of NTSSA, FIFA and the rules as outlined above by the Palestine YMCA soccer association. 

19.1  Improperly dismisses player from a team:  up to 2 year suspension 

19.2  Falsifies the number of players on a team:  2 year suspension 

19.3  Allows an unregistered player to play or practice with a team: 

Suspension from all soccer activity for a period up to a year for the first offense. 

19.4  Refuses to accept players to a maximum number required by the league committee to enable a registered player to be assigned to a team: up to 2 year suspension. 

19.5  Fails to comply with playing time rules 

First offense:  forfeit of game 

Second offense:  Forfeit of game and a suspension up to a year. 

19.6  Hold practice in excess of the limits established:  Suspension up to a year 

19.7  In any way holds tryouts to establish membership:  Suspension of minimum of a year 

19.8  Ejection of player/coach/assistant coach: 

19.8.1  One ejection in same season:  one game suspension.  Names of offender will be listed on the minutes of next board meeting 

19.8.2  Two ejections in same season:   two game suspension.  In addition, a coach or assistant coach receiving two ejections will take a Referee Clinic within the next 6 months.  Failure to complete the course during this time will result in suspension of coaching until said time that the referee clinic is completed.  Name will be placed on minutes of next board meeting. 

19.8.3  Three ejections in same season:  Suspension until A and D committee inquiry.  Name will be placed on minutes of next board meeting. 

19.9  Misconduct of spectators/parents:  If a coach/assistant coach is unable to control the chronic misconduct of an spectator, a written complaint outlining the offenses’ of the spectator/parent will be submitted to the board to be dealt with.   

19.10   Striking a player:  Players who receive a red card for striking a player on the field will receive an automatic two game suspension.  For the second red card or striking a player, the player will be suspended from the league for the remainder of the season. 

20.  Clinics 

20.1  Referee clinic:  ½ of the fees for the referee clinic will be reimbursed by Palestine YMCA soccer association after the referee participates in refereeing 5 games.  In addition, a referee kit will be issued to the referee with the understanding that a minimum of 5 games will be refereed in the current season. 

21.  Tournament of Champions 

The first place team in the division will go to the tournament of Champions.  If the division consists of teams of 2 age pure divisions playing varied schedules, the age pure team of the older age with the best record shall be deemed the winner of the division.  If age purity is not taken into account in the division, then no challenges will be accepted.  If a challenge is requested, and the teams played head to head in the season, the results of that game will count for the challenge game.  If they did not play head to head during the season, the challenge game time will be set.  Challenge game must be requested no longer than 3 days after the end of the season. 

Once all teams are drafted, the age commissioner of that league shall determine if 2 playing divisions are possible based on the number of age pure teams.   

22.  Refunds issued by association 

In the event that a player qualifies for a refund and full refund will be given at the discretion of the soccer committee and the YMCA program director.  In the event that a player requests a refund after uniforms have been issued, the refund will be the program cost minus $20.