THE CONCEPT OF “LOCAL RULES”
In general, soccer referees learn the FIFA Laws of the Game, how the Laws are properly interpreted, and how the Laws are to be applied during a match. If the Laws are modified in any way for any given league, organization, or competition, then they are said to be subject to “local rules.” The referees must be informed of local rules in advance of any particular match being played. It is both unreasonable and inappropriate to expect that referees will know the modifications to the Laws for numerous jurisdictions. Accordingly, these jurisdictions should print copies of their modifications to the FIFA Laws to be presented to referees by the coaches as soon as possible prior to the start of a game.
Examples of modifications to FIFA Law used as local rules include:
Law 2 – Ball Size
Law 3 – Number of Players
Law 3 – Substitutions
With the approval of the referee, substitutions may be made…
*other team may substitute a like number
No substitutions in the last one-minute of play.
Law 4 – Equipment
Law 5 – Referee Signals
Referees are to use hand signals and announce verbally to identify both the type of foul and the direction of the kick.
Law 7 – Duration of the Match
Law 8 – Restart of Play after Temporary Suspension
If one team had clear possession of the ball when play was stopped within the field of play, for an injury or unusual event (e.g., loose dog), play will be restarted by that team with an indirect free kick.
Law 11 – Offside
Only flagrant offside violations will be called in U-9 and below recreation games.
Law 12 – Handling by Females
Girls in all programs U-14 and below will not be penalized for Handling if they perform proper technique for protection of the chest. Proper technique involves crossing the arms and holding them tightly to the chest. Moving the arms away from the chest to propel or influence the path of the ball is to be called for Handling.
Law 12 – Goalkeeper Privileges
A goalkeeper may not be charged while in possession of the ball.
Law 12 – Goalkeeper 6-second Release
Only flagrant violations will be called in U-9 and below recreation games.
Law 12 – Ejections
Spectators or other team fans or supporters are to be controlled by the Coach. Spectators who do not maintain appropriate decorum may be ejected from the grounds.
Law 15 – Throw-Ins
Improper throw-ins may be retaken once in U-9 and below recreation games.
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