Constitution of An Open Soccer League



Adopted September 1, 1976           As Amended March 1, 20XX

1       PURPOSE

To establish and operate a men’s “open” soccer league under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan D.C.-Virginia Soccer Association. All appropriate rules of the State Association, and of the United States Soccer Federation (U.S.S.F.) are hereby incorporated by reference.


2.1                  Direction

A.         In accordance with the Bylaws of the Capital Soccer League, Incorporated (CSL or the League), the Member Clubs shall elect a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Registrar who may appoint such other Commissioners and assistant officers as may be deemed necessary for the management of the Corporation. The Board of Directors shall also elect a non voting, 2nd Vice-President for the purpose of acting as a Registered Agent, if needed. One of these officers shall act as “scheduler.”

B.         These officers and assistants shall be responsible for the daily operation of the League and shall be known as the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall hold meetings when notified by the Secretary as called for by the President.

C.         The Executive Committee, together with one representative of each Member Club, shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of the Constitution and all Rules of the League and shall be known as the League Council. The League Council shall hold meetings when notified by the Secretary as called for by the Executive Committee. Member Clubs are required to send a representative to all League Council meetings.

D.         All League Council meetings shall be conducted under Robert’s Rules of Order with a quorum of 75% or more of the Member Clubs present and represented necessary to conduct business. Each Member Club shall have one vote. All motions shall be decided by simple majority vote except for changes to the Constitution, or to the Rules, or admission or expulsion of Clubs, which shall require a 75% majority.

E.         There shall be a League Council meeting not more than two weeks prior to the start of each  competition season.  The Executive Committee may establish competition venues which charge admission fees.  All income and expenses associated with such venues adhere to the League only, and not to Member Clubs, unless directed otherwise by a 75% majority vote of the League Council.

2.2      Commissioner-Committee-Council Decisions

A.         Any questions or situations not covered by these Rules or written   interpretations thereof shall be referred to the League Council.

B.         Decisions of a Commissioner or the Executive Committee may be appealed to the League Council. Decisions of the League Council may be appealed to the Board of Directors whose decisions shall be final.

C.         In the event of an appeal under this rule, the decision appealed shall not take effect until all appeals are decided; otherwise, it shall be applied retroactively.

2.3      Fees

A.         Each Member Club of the CSL shall be assessed a League fee for each team prior to each segment of a competition year as proposed by the Treasurer and approved by the League Council. The Treasurer shall establish appropriate deadlines for payment of fees prior to expenses being incurred.

B.         Each team shall post a forfeit bond with the Treasurer sufficient to cover one half of the referees fees for three games. If a team forfeits a game, then its opponent shall be reimbursed for expenses from the bond. The forfeiting team shall then reimburse the League within two weeks. If any team forfeits three games in a season and/or fails to maintain the full amount of the bond, is shall be immediately suspended from League play and face the possibility of sanctions under Rule 13 or suspension or expulsion under Rule 1. If a team leaves the League in good standing financially, upon request, the amount of the bond shall be refunded. Otherwise, it shall be applied to the debts of the team.  (Member Clubs may have more than one team.)

C.         The Treasurer shall credit team accounts in the following order when partial payments are received:

1.         Past debts

2.         State team fee

3.         State registration materials

4.         CSL fees and one time charges

5.         Referee fees forfeit bond

6.         Referee game fees.

D.         No team shall be scheduled or allowed to play games if there are insufficient funds in its account to cover its Referee game fees in advance of it playing in any given League game. No trophies or credit for trophies shall be given to teams in debt to the League.

2.4      Registration

A.         Each player on every participating Club must be properly registered through the League and in good standing with their respective State Soccer Associations and the United States Soccer Federation.

B.         Each player shall be required to sign a League Liability Release form prior to participation.  The Registrar shall maintain a permanent record of all players ever participating in the CSL to especially include conduct information such as suspensions and expulsions.

2.5      General Conduct of Club Personnel and Clubs

A.         If at any time the conduct of a coach or other Club official or a player or a Club taken as a whole is determined by the Executive Committee to be detrimental to the CSL or to the Good of Soccer, such person or Club shall be liable for suspension or expulsion.

B.         Club Managers and Coaches shall be responsible for the conduct of their Club’s players and supporters while at a game or practice field or other facility while meeting as a Club. Improper conduct on the part of players, coaches, managers, other Club officials or supporters may result in penalties against the individual, including expulsion from the field or facility, and suspension or expulsion under Paragraph A of this Rule, or against the Club, including forfeiture of a game, or against the Club Manager. At a game, the referee has full jurisdiction over the game in accordance with Laws V and XII of the Laws of the Game. In all such cases, however, the League Council and the Board may assess any penalties deemed appropriate in accordance with the procedures in Paragraph A of this Rule. No member of the League Council or Board who is affiliated with a Club involved in matters covered by this Rule may participate in any vote which may be taken.

C.         No discrimination, intimidation, racial, ethnic and/or religious, verbal and/or physical demonstrations shall be allowed in CSL competition. Observers shall immediately report any violation to the Executive Committee, which shall call a special meeting to resolve the case. Observers are defined as both team managers or any alternate who was present. Penalties for players: a. Two game suspension from League competition upon first offense, b. One season suspension from League competition upon second offense, c. Expulsion from League competition upon third offense. Penalties for Managers, Assistant Managers, Coaches, and/or any team official: a. Suspension from attending his team’s games for two consecutive League games upon first offense, b. Suspension from the League upon second offense.

2.6      Player’s Conduct

A.        Any player ejected from a CSL game by the referee shall be immediately suspended until the completion of two league games by his team. Any player assaulting a referee shall be immediately suspended for the remainder of the current season and is subject to the sanctions of Rule 5. The player may appeal to the League Council and then to the Board. The circumstances surrounding a player’s ejection shall become a permanent part of the player’s record with the CSL.

B.         Any player who has been frequently cautioned by referees is also subject to sanctions by the League Council in which case Paragraph A of this Rule shall apply.

C.         In all matters covered by this Rule, members of the League Council or Board affiliated with the Club whose player is involved may not participate in any vote which may be taken.


3.1      Registered Players

A.         A player not registered in accordance with Rule 4 shall be inelgible to participate in any CSL competition.

B.         Releases: Releases shall not be withheld.

C.         Transfers: If a player is released from a CSL Club and is signed by another CSL Club during a competition, that player shall not participate in the next game of the new Club immediately following the date of signing. No player may transfer more than once between CSL teams within one Fall or Spring competition.

D.         No Club Manager or other Club personnel may approach a player for another CSL Club and suggest a transfer. Players are free, however, to contact other Clubs at any time.

E.         No team shall sign new or transfer players for regular season games with fewer than three regular games remaining in that season.

3.2      Use of an Ineligible Player

A.         If, upon protest of a Club, another Club is found to have used an ineligible player, the penalty shall be forfeiture of the game and of any points which the offending Club’s team may have gained in that game.

B.         The offending Club’s opponent shall receive the points for the game and the League Council may apply any other such penalty it deems appropriate.

C.         The League Council, on it own motion in the absence of a proper protest, may find a Club to have used an ineligible player and may assess such penalty, if any, as the Council deems appropriate.


4.1      Jurisdiction

A.         The League Council shall have full jurisdiction over the conduct of a Fall competition, a Winter Indoor tournament, a Spring competition and a Summer tournament, the aggregate of which will be considered a competition year, running from August 1 to July 31. The Executive Committee shall propose appropriate formats and schedules to the League Council. Individual trophies shall be awarded to the Coach, Manager and players of the winning team of the Fall and Spring competitions. The Executive Committee shall determine any other trophies or awards.

B.         Standings shall be decided by 1.) Points (3 for a win, 1 for a tie), 2.) Net Goal Average (Goals For minus Goals Against divided by Games Played), 3.) Head to Head Game, then 4.) Playoff.


5.1      Playing Rules

A.         Playing rules are incorporated in the Appendix to this document.

5.2      Game Procedures

A.         Each team shall complete an official game report form, in advance of any League games, to be presented, along with its players and their passes, to the referee at least 15 minutes prior to the start of a game. A team claiming a win by forfeit must have at least seven eligible players listed on the official game report form and ready to play at the time the game is abandoned. If neither team has seven eligible players ready to play, the game shall be rescheduled and both teams shall be charged an equal share for additional expenses.

B.        During scheduling, teams shall be designated as “home” or “visitor.” Home teams shall supply a League approved game ball to the referee, together with the League-provided card describing the CSL “local rules.” Club Managers should confirm their games with each other at least two days in advance of the game.  Teams must have at least two sets of dissimilar jersies.  The scheduler shall determine which teams set up and take down equipment, and mark fields, if necessary, at any game site.

C.         All teams shall be responsible for maintaining field areas in a clean and neat appearance, properly disposing of all trash before leaving the field. No alcoholic beverages shall be allowed at any CSL games unless prior approval is obtained from the League Council and it is otherwise legal.

D.         Decisions as to whether a field is not fit for play shall be made by the President or scheduler. This decision will be announced at least two hours prior to the scheduled starting time of the first game at the field for that day; otherwise, the game shall proceed subject to the referee’s discretion.

E.         All Club Managers shall report game scores, win or lose, to the scheduler before 9:00 p.m. the day of the game.

F.         All makeup games shall be played within two weeks of the originally scheduled date.

5.3      Referees

A.         All games should be officiated by a single referee and two assistant referees.

B.         Referees shall be obtained from an appropriate association assigning U.S.S.F.-certified referees.

C.         If all of the assigned referees fail to appear within 15 minutes after scheduled game time, the teams may (but need not) appoint a substitute referee(s) by mutual agreement. Such appointment shall be binding for the game unless mutually withdrawn. If any of the assigned referees appear subsequent to the appointment of a substitute(s), the teams may, but need not, allow them to replace the substitute(s), but only upon mutual agreement of the teams.

D.         The League shall make available a standardized Referee Rating System for voluntary use by Club Managers.

5.4      Forfeits

A.         Any Club involved in forfeits shall be subject to action by the League Council and the provisions of Rule 3.

5.5      Protests

A.         No protests will be allowed on game situations involving the judgment of the referee.

B.         Only protests of game situations involving (a) player eligibility, or (b) refusal of the referee to follow the Laws of the Game and/or CSL local rules will be allowed.

C.         A team shall be allowed forty-eight (48) hours after a game to file a protest as to the results of that game.  The protest shall be in writing to the League secretary and to the Club Manager of the opposing team within the forty-eight hours, unless mailed. If mailed, the protest must be postmarked within the forty-eight (48) hour period.

D.         The Club Manager of the opposing team shall submit a written response to the League secretary and to the Club Manager of the protesting team within forty-eight (48) hours after receipt of the protest by the League secretary.

E.         The Executive Committee shall utilize the written documents and answers to verbal inquiries to determine the results of all protests.

F.         In all matters covered by this Rule, members of the League Council affiliated with the Clubs involved may not participate in any vote which may be taken.


A.         The Capital Soccer League, Inc. and each Member Club shall carry Public Liability and Property Damage insurance.  Players should have their own health or accident insurance coverage.  All players must sign the CSL medical release form before being allowed to participate in any CSL events.  The CSL assumes no liability for players’ participation.


A.         Any manager wishing to have a team admitted to the League must make a formal application in writing, using a League¬-approved entry form, and must make a formal, oral presentation at the League meeting preceeding a competition. No teams shall be admitted during a competition. Potential teams may, however, be scheduled by the Executive Committee to participate in scrimmage, practice, or exhibition games with existing CSL teams. Admission shall be voted upon in accordance with Rule 1.

B.         Club membership shall be granted or withdrawn by the League Council only.  Memberships shall be designated as belonging to one specific individual who shall be known as the Manager of Record and who shall be held accountable by the League for all actions on the part of the Club. No Manager of Record shall sell, subdivide, transfer or assign his membership without the advice and consent of the League Council.

C.        Managers of Record may appoint field managers or coaches who shall be considered by the League to be agents of the Manager of Record. Managers of Record need not have Clubs actively participating in League competitions. The Secretary of the League shall maintain a current list of all active and inactive Managers of Record, including the date membership was granted. For all inactive Managers of Record for whom membership has been withdrawn, the Secretary of the League shall also maintain a description of the reasons for the withdrawal, including the date membership was withdrawn. All inactive Managers of Record who are in good standing with the League may re enter an active team in League competition at the start of any season.

D.         New Clubs accepted for admission shall pay the League a non refundable entry fee of $500.00, payable in two installments of $250.00, an installment being due in each of the first two League competitions participated in by the new Club. The Treasurer shall establish appropriate deadlines for payment of the entry fee.

E.         Each team in the League shall have an officially recognized team name.


A.         This Constitution and Rules shall be subject to amendment only twice each competition year, at the League Council meeting just prior to the initiation of the Fall competition and at the meeting just prior to the initiation of the Spring competition. (All rule changes shall require a 75% majority vote as set forth in Rule 1.)



(Incorporates all changes as of March 1, 20XX.)

The game rules of the Capital Soccer League are the most current version of the seventeen Laws of the Game adopted by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), with the following changes:

Law 01-The Field of Play

A.          It is the intent of the Capital Soccer League to do everything in its power to ensure that games are played. Unless the goals are missing or damaged in such a way as to render them useless, or exterior lines are missing entirely, games shall be played as scheduled, with or without nets or flags. Games shall not be subject to protest based on field conditions. Team managers shall do as much as possible to improve field conditions, including the use of practice disks for markings.

Law 02-The Ball

A.          All Capital Soccer League games shall be played with the same make, standardized game ball, to be provided by the League as part of fees before the start of each competition.  In the absence of a League approved ball, any ball approved by the referee is acceptable.

Law 03- The Players

A.         Minimum: A team shall have a minimum of seven players to start or to continue a game.  A game with a team which falls below seven players shall be ended and is subject to forfeit.

B.         Maximum: A team shall have a maximum of twenty two players, subject to State Association regulations.

C.         Substitution: A team shall be allowed to substitute and re substitute up to eighteen of its players at a game, under the following conditions:

– At halftime,

– After a goal is scored,

– Upon an injury to its own player,

– Upon a throw in in its own favor,

– Upon a goal kick in its own favor,

– Between fulltime and the start of overtime periods, and

– Between overtime periods.

D.         If a team fails to provide seven players before fifteen minutes after the scheduled start of the game, it shall forfeit.

E.         If both teams fail to provide seven players before fifteen minutes after the scheduled start of the game, the game shall be abandoned.

F.         If a team is playing with fewer than eleven players, upon accounting for any ejections, with acknowledgement the referee may allow any additional players arriving late to enter the game without stoppage.

Law 04 – The Players’ Equipment

A.         Protective glasses or goggles shall be allowed. Padded casts and splints shall be allowed if, in the opinion of the referee, they are sufficiently softened and covered so as to not cause injury to the wearer or any other player.

B.         With the exception of the goalkeeper, all players for a team shall have matching jerseys, shorts and socks and the jerseys shall have unique numbers at least four inches high on the front and eight inches high on the back.  Players’ numbers shall match those identified with their names  on game forms.  The designated “home team” shall change jerseys if there is a conflict.

Law 05 – The Referee, and
Law 06 – The Other Match Officials

A.         Games should be officiated by a certified three person team, one referee and two assistant referees. If only two officials show up for a game, they shall use the “two man system.” If only one official shows up for a game, then each team shall supply one linesman, even if it means that one or both teams play short. If no official arrives, the game may be abandoned or both managers may mutually agree to appoint a volunteer. If a volunteer is used, the outcome of the game will be considered to be official and it is not subject to protest.  Volunteer linesmen shall only assist in making calls as directed by the referee.

Law 07 – The Duration of the Match

A.         For single-elimination playoffs, if a game is tied at the end of regulation play, both of two fifteen-minute overtime periods shall be played, with teams changing ends in between periods. There shall be no interval. If, at the end of both overtime periods, the game is still tied, the “five-kick penalty kick procedure” shall be used to determine a winner.

Law 08 -The Start and Restart of Play

A.         The team identified as the designated “visiting team” shall call the toss of the coin.

© Copyright, John C. Harves