Important Policies

Skyline League Procedures and Policies

**** NEW FALL 2016 ****

Special U11 Division Rules and Procedures:

No heading is allowed in matches.

Whenever the ball strikes a player in the head, play is stopped.  The proper restart depends upon whether the player deliberately played the ball with his or her head.  If deliberate, the proper restart is an indirect free kick to the opposing team.  If this occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the end line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.  If the play by the head is deemed inadvertent, then the proper restart is a dropped ball.

There will be no Goalkeeper punting or drop-kicking of the ball during play.  Goalkeepers may either distribute the ball with their hands or play the ball from the ground as a field player.

When a goalkeeper gains possession of the ball, all opposing players shall retreat behind an invisible build out line located roughly at the top of the center circle on the half of the field where the ball is.  Players may advance past this invisible restraining line once the ball is initially played.

The same build out line shall be used for opposing players on all goal kicks.

Goakeepers who have the ball in hand may appeal to the referee to move defenders back to the invisible build out line prior to restarting the play.  However, they may also restart the play quickly and don’t need to wait for players to retreat if they don’t want to.  As soon as the ball is released from the goalkeepers hands, even to drop the ball to their feet, it is considered live and defenders may advance.

If a ball is passed back to a goalkeeper and they are playing it with their feet, play is still live and defenders may defend as normal.  Only when a goalkeeper has the ball in hand or in the case of a goal kick must defenders retreat to the top of the center circle.

The restart for an illegal punting of the ball is to give the ball back to the goalkeeper’s hands for a redo from where the illegal punt occurred.

Consecutive illegal punts will result in a drop kick from the point of the punt.

Continued illegal punting or delay and/or refusal to retreat to the build out line may be punishable as unsporting behavior for delay of game.

There is no retreat rule in effect for free kicks even if taken from within the defensive box.  The standard ten yard allowance is to be enforced.

U11 Divisions will no longer record standings on the Skyline website or declare champions in order to put more focus onto player development.

In divisions where teams of different age groups are combined such as a U11/U12 division, the standard rules of play for the older teams are normally applied in the division.  Younger players and teams are considered to be playing up to the age group of the older team and the default age group rules are those of the oldest player.  As with half lengths and some other rules, the Skyline League will evaulate division compositions on an individual basis to determine if an exception to the standard age group default rules should be made.  The average age of the teams in the division will be considered and in cases where the predominance of players and teams in a division are of the younger (U11) age group, the no heading rules may be applied for that division.

All divisions will play by the same rules within their divison.  If a division is playing with no heading rules, those rules apply to all games including any potential U12 v U12 games that may occur within a divison.  The same is true for divisions that allow for heading but feature some younger teams playing up.  Rules are made by division and special rules will not be applied for individual teams that are in a divison or for individual players that may be playing up on an older team.  Referees are to apply the rules of each division consistently across all participants.

Click on the tab below on the left to read about a Skyline policy

  • Weekly Contact Procedure

    To ensure that the season unfolds smoothly it is important that weekly contact is made between opponents to confirm game times and locations, review directions, agree upon uniform choice, establish a weather contingency and communication plan and clarify any unresolved questions.  This happens in one of two ways depending on the division the team is in.

    For teams in Premier Divisions that are part of clubs involved in block scheduling, the club Directors of Coaching will make weekly contact with one another prior to each set of games.  They will review and confirm the full slate of games for the weekend and pick a uniform kit for all of their teams to wear.  Each DOC will communicate these confirmations and any potential changes directly to the teams in their club.  If weather issues arise, the home club DOC will contact the visiting club DOC as soon as possible to notify them of cancellations.  The visiting club DOC is in charge of communicating this with their teams.

    Teams participating in Classic Divisions that are not part of block scheduling will make contact with their opponents each week.  In Classic Divisions the weekly contacts are made on the team level rather than the club level.  All team contacts for Classic Divisions will be posted on the Skyline Website and team managers and coaches should use the list to make contact with their opponent prior to games.  They should confirm game times and locations, review directions, agree upon uniform choice, establish a weather contingency and communication plan and clarify any unresolved questions.

    By following these procedures we can ensure that games come off smoothly without unnecessary trips and lost and confused participants.

  • Schedule/Re-Schedule Policy

    The Skyline League has two distinct schedule processes.  One is for Premier Divisions and one is for Classic Divisions.  See below for a description of both.

    Scheduling in PREMIER DIVISIONS is done on a club to club or “block” basis.  Clubs participating in Premier Divisions are expected to field a team in every age group that is offered for both boys and girls.  The Fall Season will be age groups U11-U18/19 and the Spring Season will be age groups U11-U14.

    A minimum of two months prior to the season the League will publish a Master Schedule of club match ups, dates and home/away assignments.  The League Commissioner will work with Club DOC’s as necessary to create the Master Schedule.

    The Directors of Coaching will create the daily schedules for teams within the framework of the Master Schedule of club v club matchups.  All of a club’s teams will play all of their opponent’s teams on the same day.  One entire club will travel to another club on the same day for a set of games between the clubs in all age groups.

    Once the Directors of Coaching have completed the daily schedules they will distribute them to their teams.  Premier Division schedules are not posted onto the League website.  A master schedule is posted on the Calendar Page but the daily schedules are distributed directly by the clubs to their participants.  Any changes to the schedule are to be worked out by the Directors of Coaching.  The League is not involved in the schedules of individual teams.  Once a change has been made it should be communicated by the DOC’s to the teams.  The League Commissioner does not need to be notified of schedule changes in the Premier Divisions.

    Scheduling in CLASSIC DIVISIONS is done on a team basis.  The League Commissioner creates the Classic Division schedules using information provided by the teams and clubs.

    Prior to the season the League Commissioner will publish a schedule by a date approximately 1 month prior to the opening weekend.  This schedule will accommodate predetermined “no play dates” for each team (in addition to the announced off dates such as Easter) that can be for any reason ie. tournaments, school conflicts etc.  There are 4 no play dates allowed in the fall and 2 in the spring.  These no play dates can be taken either as a full weekend (counting for 2 dates) or as individual dates (taking off a Saturday but playing on the accompanying Sunday).  Columbus Day weekend is a regular game weekend and must be declared a “no-play” date if a team does not want to play over that weekend due to tournament commitments.

    Games can be scheduled either on Saturdays or Sundays but they tend to be weighted to Saturdays.

    Once the schedule has been published the League Commissioner will reschedule games for two reasons:

    1)  Game conflicts with a State Cup match
    2)  Game is canceled due to weather

    These reschedules will be considered “official league reschedules” and will be scheduled and communicated by the League Commissioner through the league office.  Both teams must make themselves available for the rescheduled match which will be fit into an available date during the season.

    Teams wishing to make changes to the schedule for reasons outside of the above list may do so on their own provided

    1)  Their opponent agrees to the reschedule
    2)  They notify the League Commissioner promptly of the change
    3)  Referee availability and field availability are adequate

    A team wishing to reschedule a match for a reason outside the sanctioned list of two “official league reschedules” should contact their opponent directly and negotiate a new play date.  The opposing team however, is under no obligation to agree to a reschedule request for any reason outside of the two noted “official league reschedules”.  If the game can not be rescheduled and is not played during the time indicated on the “final schedule”, the team not able to make the match as originally scheduled will be deemed to have forfeited.  If both parties agree to a reschedule, the League Commissioner should be notified immediately of the schedule change.

  • Player Passes

    Player passes are the means by which the league ensures that all players participating in league matches are officially registered players.  Teams may only field players that are rostered to their team and have a player pass signed by a VYSA Registrar.  (The only exception is the use of guest players.  See the policy on this page for a complete description of this.)

    In Premier Division games the Skyline Premier League has waived the mandatory checking of player passes prior to matches effective Fall 2015.  Teams must still have their player passes at all matches and if requested by their opponent they must be able to produce a roster and pass for each player.  However, the pre-game check will be waived and we will operate on an honor system.  A pass check would only be requested if something irregular was suspected.

    In Classic Division games player passes from both teams should be checked by the Referee or Assistant Referee prior to the scheduled start of the match. Teams which cannot produce their player passes by the end of the match may be subject to forfeiture of the match. Player passes may be kept by the referee or assistant referees during the game. After the game, the passes will be returned to the coach or a team representative. If a referee fails to check player passes, it is the responsibility of both coaches to remind him of this SCSL requirement. If a referee refuses to check player passes, the teams should immediately report this to the league. A coach has the right to check an opposing teams player passes before or after the match.

    A referee does not have the authority to forfeit matches for player pass issues.  Only the match’s sanctioning body (the league) has the authority to declare a forfeit.  In situations where passes are not present at the start of a match, referees are advised to play the match as normal.  In their Official Match Report they are to note any and all circumstances including the absence of passes or the lodging of a protest by either team.  The information is to be turned over to the league at the match’s conclusion so that it can make a determination on the status of the match.  No coach, team manager, registrar, parent, player, spectator or club official is invested with the power to unilaterally declare a forfeit.  That authority rests with the league and its Commissioner.

  • Substitution Rules

    Substitutions may be made at the following stoppages:
    goal kicks
    after a goal has been scored
    at a stoppage for an injury
    at a stoppage for issuance of a caution
    on throw-ins by the team taking the throw.
    On throw-ins, if the team in possession makes a sub, the opposing team may also make a sub.
    On stoppages for injuries and cautions, opposing teams may also sub if the first team decides to do so.

    The number of players to be substituted during a substitution is unlimited.  Substituted player re-entry is allowed.

  • Red Cards

    All red cards issued in Skyline League play incur the following penalty:

    1)  The offending player or coach must leave the match in which the card is issued.  Players can not be substituted in that match and the team of the offending player must play down a man for the remainder of the match.

    2) The offending player or coach can not participate in the next league game.  Their team however, may play with a full 11 in that game.  Offending players can not guest play with any team until the day after they have served their suspension with their regular team.

    Additional notes – Players who receive a red card must attend the following league match and sit on the team bench in street clothes.  This is true for both home and away games.  This is required so that the suspension can be properly served by the player, observed by the opposing team and recorded by the referee.

    Coaches who receive a red card must stay away from their team’s following league game.

    Two yellow cards equal a red card.  There is no “soft” red.  Two yellows issued in the same match to the same player are treated the same as a straight red card and incur the same penalty.

    Red cards are to be reported to the League Commisioner each week with the weekend scores.  It is the responsibility of both participating teams/clubs to report any red cards issued in their match to the League.  The player’s name, jersey # and the offense committed should be reported.  The League Commissioner will then notify the offending team’s next opponent of the pending suspension so they can ensure it is properly served.

    Red cards are only relevant within the competition they are issued in.  Red cards issued in tournaments do not carry over into league play.  Red card suspensions issued in league play can not be served in tournaments.  If a player receives a red card in their last league match prior to a tournament they may play in the tournament unencumbered by the suspension but must then serve the suspension in their next league match after the tournament.  If a team wishes to suspend a player on their own from their tournament match it does not exonerate the player from also serving the suspension in their next league match.   If a red card is issued to a player in the final game of a season, the suspension must be served in the first game of the following season.

    The Skyline League does not track yellow cards.  There is no point accumulation for yellow cards issued over the course of the season.  Clubs do not need to report yellow cards, only reds.  Clubs are expected to control the behavior of their teams and players through internal measures.  The League may impose sanctions in cases where clubs fail to demonstrate proper internal controls.

    If a red card is deemed serious enough, additional sanctions may be levied by the league.  Clubs will be encouraged and given the chance to take action first themselves.

  • Guest Playing

    Some guest playing is allowed in the Skyline League.  The use of guest players enhances the role of the club in player development by allowing clubs the chance to provide additional opportunities for member players.  Guest playing can be used to help a team in need of additional players or to provide a player with a needed match opportunity vs. different competition than they would normally encounter.  The rules governing guest playing are different for Classic Division matches and Premier Division matches.

    In both Classic and Premier Division games, all guest players must be registered to a team in the same club they are guest playing for.  No one may guest play who is not registered to a VYSA team and no one who is registered to a VYSA team may guest play for a team in another club.  All teams fielding guest players must use guest players from within their own club.

    Premier Division guest playing has been simplified.  In Premier Division games any player carded to a club may guest play with an age appropriate team from their club.  There are no restrictions pertaining to the level the player is carded to.  Players are eligible to guest play regardless of the level they are carded to including in house Recreational Leagues, other travel leagues such as CCL or BRSL or other levels or age groups within the Skyline League.  For instance, a player carded to a U18 team who is truly U16 could guest play with their club’s U16 team in Skyline Premier play.

    In situations where two teams of different age groups are playing each other (for example a U16 team vs. a U17 team in a High School Premier Division) guest players may be utilized of the higher age group by either team.  ie. the U16 team could use U17 guests in this case.

    The limit to the number of matches a player can play on the same day is two.  A player may guest play with a team and still play for their own team during a club match day.

    Teams may use a maximum of 5 guest players during 11v11 matches and 3 guest players during 8v8 matches in Skyline Premier play.  The maximum number of players to be dressed and eligible to play a match including guest players is 14 in 8v8 games and 18 in 11v11 games.

    In Classic Divisions, age groups U14 and below, guest players may come from any team within the club regardless of its level provided the guest player is not of an age group older than that which the guest team’s opponent is registered as.  This means players from lower tier travel teams may play with teams of a higher tier (B to A) and players from higher tier travel teams may play with teams of a lower tier (A to B).  Furthermore, players registered to Recreational teams within the club may guest play with Travel teams in their age group.  Players registered to travel teams playing in other leagues (such as the CCL) may guest play with Skyline teams provided all other requirements are satisfied.  Players of one age group who are registered to play on an older team may guest play with teams in their own age group at U14 and below.

    In age groups U15 and above, guest players may come from any team that is carded at a lower level than the team the player is guest playing for and the age group of their opponent.  Players may come from Recreational teams or from Travel teams that are of the same or younger age group and the same or lower tier of play (B to A).  Players may not guest “down” with a team of a lower tier (A to B) or of a lower age group even if the player him/herself is actually of that age group.   “A” level players may guest play with “B” level teams in U15 and above age groups only provided the following two stipulations are met; 1) The “B” team that the “A” level player is guest playing for is competing against a team of an older age than the player in question (ie. U15 player guest playing for a U15 team competing against a a U16 or older team) and 2) no more than 3 “A” level guest players are used in the match.

    In no age group (U11-U19) may a team field a guest player who is of an older age group than either of the two competing teams are carded as.  If the opposing team is of an older age group, you may use a guest player of their age group.  For instance, in a game with a  U12 team playing against a U13 team, U13 guest players may be used by either team.

    Guest players may play in a maximum of two matches each day.

    Guest players are to be announced prior to the match in which they are being used.  Directors of Coaching (or another designated representative in cases where the club does not have a DOC) must contact their opposing club prior to the match to notify the opposing club of the guest players.  Out of courtesy this contact should be made the week prior to the game, however it can be made on the field at the time of the game if necessary.

    On game day the guest players must have their official current year player pass and this is to be presented to the referee prior to the game at the time of the standard player pass/roster check.  All guest players are to be displayed on the game day roster.  The game day roster may not exceed 18 for U13-U19 teams and 14 for U11-U12 teams including guest players.

  • Standings Tiebreaker Policy

    The following methods are used to break ties in the standings:

    In divisions without a playoff, ties will remain and co-champions will be declared.

    In divisions with a post-season playoff where seedings must be established to organize the tournament, the following tie breakers will be used in order:

    #1 – Total goal differential accumulated in all games over the course of the season.

    #2 – The aggregate score between the two teams in the two games played between them.

    #3 – The fewest goals allowed in all games over the course of the season.

    #4 – The highest total away goals scored in all games over the course of the season.

    #5 – Coin flip

  • Uniform Numbers

    All players competing in Skyline games are to have a number present on the back of their jersey.  The number should be a unique number not duplicated by any teammate.  This will allow for clear and proper identification of players by match officials.  If two players on the same team are seen wearing the same number, the referee should ask that one of the players step off the field and not play until they have procured a unique number that does not conflict with a teammate.  Using tape or ink on the jersey to create a unique number (ie. changing a “7” to a “71”) is acceptable.

  • Field Standards & Goal Sizes

    Field Standards

    Each club must provide adequate quantity and quality of soccer fields for league matches.  One full day of field availability for one field must be provided for every four teams entered in the league.  Fields should be 1 1/2 times longer than they are wide.  Therefore the ratio of width to length should be 2/3.

    Fields should meet the following guidelines:

    U12/U11 fields for 8v8 play should be 75-80 yards long with a width of 55-50 yards.  The small goal box should be 6 yards off of the goal posts and the big box is 14 yards off of the goalpoasts.  The penalty spot is 10 yards from the center of the goal line and the semicircle at the top of the box is to be 8 yards from the penalty spot.  The center circle is 8 yards in radius.

    U13-U19 fields for 11v11 play should be no less than 100 yards long by 66 yards wide.  Maximum length and width should be 115 by 75.

    Fields must be well maintained.  Grass should be kept trim and evenly cut.  Lines should be well marked.  Goals must be anchored.  Nets need to be in good condition and securely fastened to the goal.

    Goal Sizes

    Goals in U12/U11 8v8 divisions should be 7×21.  If a 7×21 is not available, a full size set of goals should be used.  Do not use 6×18 size goals for U12/U11 play.

    Goals in U13 and older 11v11 divisions should be full size (8×24)

    Goals must be anchored.

     

  • Game Length and Timing

    Length of halves for matches are as follows.

    U18, U17 – 45 minutes

    U16, U15 – 40 minutes

    U14, U13 – 35 minutes

    U12, U11 – 35 minutes

    Half length is determined by the age group of the division rather than the individual team.  If a U16 team is playing in a U17 division, the half length is 45 minutes.  The age group of each division is determined by the majority of teams in the division.

  • League Fees

    League Fees are assessed on a team by team basis.  Clubs may pay for all of their teams with one check and are encouraged to do so.  The Registration deadline is published prior to the season and all Registration Fees must be received at the league office by the registration deadline for teams to be included in the upcoming season.

    Once the Registration Deadline has passed, League Fees are non-refundable.  The Fee is representative of the team’s and club’s promise to play in the upcoming season.  Schedules and season plans are prepared based upon teams who have paid.  If a team withdraws from the league after the the Registration Deadline the fee will not be refundable.

    The League Fee includes all VYSA Registration dues for each individual player on the team including insurance.  It also includes money for awards and League Admin Fees.  The League Fee is assessed each season a team plays (fall and spring).

  • Referees

    Qualified, certified USSF referees will officiate all League matches.  The responsibility for assigning and paying the referees rests upon the home club.  Visiting teams have no responsibility toward payment or procurement of referees.  All games are to be refereed with a three man referee crew.  This includes 8v8 divisions as well as 11v11.

    In cases where part of a referee crew is not present, club linesman should be appointed to run the lines.  USSF does not allow a “two man” system with no linesman to be used.

    If no referees are present, an effort should still be made to play the match with the coaches agreeing upon a stand-in referee.

  • Spring U15/8th Grade Policy

    The Skyline League allows 8th Graders who are technically U15 age appropriate to guest play in the spring with their club’s U14 team provided the player does not have the option of playing for their high school team.  This would apply in instances where the player is ineligible to tryout for their high school JV team because the school prohibits 8th graders from playing junior varsity soccer or if the player tries out and does not make the JV team.

  • Weather/Field Closing Policy

    Communication is essential to preventing unnecessary trips to closed fields and cancelled games.  When in doubt, over communicate with your opponent so there is no question of whether fields are open and games are being played.  The Skyline League encompasses a large geographical area in the state of Virginia.  Weather in one part of the league is not the same as in other places so you must check with your opponent to see if fields are dry and games are playable.

    In Premier Divisions communication should be made from the club director of the home club to the director of the visiting club with weather updates as necessary.  Once the visiting club has received notice of a cancellation, they can communicate that information with their teams.

    In Classic Divisions when a rainout occurs and a club closes down its fields, it is the responsibility of the home team to contact their opponent and relay this information so the visiting team knows the field is closed and does not travel to the game.  Typically, if it is questionable one way or the other, it is a good idea to confirm whether the game is still being played the morning of the game.  Visiting teams are also authorized to reach out to their counterpart to confirm if they have a question.  The Team Contact list is posted to the Skyline website and team managers and coaches should utilize this and communicate throughout the week and the day of the game with weather updates.

    Sometimes weather will occur in the middle of a game day and games will need to be cancelled on short notice.  Field closing determinations should be made and communicated as soon as possible but weather is unpredictable and uncontrollable so it is possible teams will travel to fields and have games cancelled on site.  Given the travel distances involved in games, home clubs should make every effort to make a sensible decision on game playability prior to the visiting club leaving for the game.  However, visiting clubs must understand that prohibitive weather and field conditions may develop at or during game time.

    Games that reach half time are considered complete if they are abandoned due to weather after the midway point.  Games that do not reach halftime before they are cancelled will be replayed in their entirety, starting at 0-0.

    Weather cancellations in Classic Divisions are to be reported to the Skyline Commissioner via the club rep.  The league will then reschedule rained out matches in Classic Divisions.

    Premier Division reschedules are handled by the club directors.

  • Heading Policy

    Special U11 Division Rules and Procedures:

    No heading is allowed in matches.

    Whenever the ball strikes a player in the head, play is stopped.  The proper restart depends upon whether the player deliberately played the ball with his or her head.  If deliberate, the proper restart is an indirect free kick to the opposing team.  If this occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the end line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.  If the play by the head is deemed inadvertent, then the proper restart is a dropped ball.

    There will be no Goalkeeper punting or drop-kicking of the ball during play.  Goalkeepers may either distribute the ball with their hands or play the ball from the ground as a field player.

    When a goalkeeper gains possession of the ball, all opposing players shall retreat behind an invisible build out line located roughly at the top of the center circle on the half of the field where the ball is.  Players may advance past this invisible restraining line once the ball is initially played.

    The same build out line shall be used for opposing players on all goal kicks.

    Goakeepers who have the ball in hand may appeal to the referee to move defenders back to the invisible build out line prior to restarting the play.  However, they may also restart the play quickly and don’t need to wait for players to retreat if they don’t want to.  As soon as the ball is released from the goalkeepers hands, even to drop the ball to their feet, it is considered live and defenders may advance.

    If a ball is passed back to a goalkeeper and they are playing it with their feet, play is still live and defenders may defend as normal.  Only when a goalkeeper has the ball in hand or in the case of a goal kick must defenders retreat to the top of the center circle.

    The restart for an illegal punting of the ball is to give the ball back to the goalkeeper’s hands for a redo from where the illegal punt occurred.

    Consecutive illegal punts will result in a drop kick from the point of the punt.

    Continued illegal punting or delay and/or refusal to retreat to the build out line may be punishable as unsporting behavior for delay of game.

    There is no retreat rule in effect for free kicks even if taken from within the defensive box.  The standard ten yard allowance is to be enforced.

    U11 Divisions will no longer record standings on the Skyline website or declare champions in order to put more focus onto player development.

    In divisions where teams of different age groups are combined such as a U11/U12 division, the standard rules of play for the older teams are normally applied in the division.  Younger players and teams are considered to be playing up to the age group of the older team and the default age group rules are those of the oldest player.  As with half lengths and some other rules, the Skyline League will evaulate division compositions on an individual basis to determine if an exception to the standard age group default rules should be made.  The average age of the teams in the division will be considered and in cases where the predominance of players and teams in a division are of the younger (U11) age group, the no heading rules may be applied for that division.

    All divisions will play by the same rules within their divison.  If a division is playing with no heading rules, those rules apply to all games including any potential U12 v U12 games that may occur within a divison.  The same is true for divisions that allow for heading but feature some younger teams playing up.  Rules are made by division and special rules will not be applied for individual teams that are in a divison or for individual players that may be playing up on an older team.  Referees are to apply the rules of each division consistently across all participants.

     

  • Weekly Contact Procedure
  • Schedule/Re-Schedule Policy
  • Player Passes
  • Substitution Rules
  • Red Cards
  • Guest Playing
  • Standings Tiebreaker Policy
  • Uniform Numbers
  • Field Standards & Goal Sizes
  • Game Length and Timing
  • League Fees
  • Referees
  • Spring U15/8th Grade Policy
  • Weather/Field Closing Policy
  • Heading Policy

Weekly Contact Procedure

To ensure that the season unfolds smoothly it is important that weekly contact is made between opponents to confirm game times and locations, review directions, agree upon uniform choice, establish a weather contingency and communication plan and clarify any unresolved questions.  This happens in one of two ways depending on the division the team is in.

For teams in Premier Divisions that are part of clubs involved in block scheduling, the club Directors of Coaching will make weekly contact with one another prior to each set of games.  They will review and confirm the full slate of games for the weekend and pick a uniform kit for all of their teams to wear.  Each DOC will communicate these confirmations and any potential changes directly to the teams in their club.  If weather issues arise, the home club DOC will contact the visiting club DOC as soon as possible to notify them of cancellations.  The visiting club DOC is in charge of communicating this with their teams.

Teams participating in Classic Divisions that are not part of block scheduling will make contact with their opponents each week.  In Classic Divisions the weekly contacts are made on the team level rather than the club level.  All team contacts for Classic Divisions will be posted on the Skyline Website and team managers and coaches should use the list to make contact with their opponent prior to games.  They should confirm game times and locations, review directions, agree upon uniform choice, establish a weather contingency and communication plan and clarify any unresolved questions.

By following these procedures we can ensure that games come off smoothly without unnecessary trips and lost and confused participants.

Schedule/Re-Schedule Policy

The Skyline League has two distinct schedule processes.  One is for Premier Divisions and one is for Classic Divisions.  See below for a description of both.

Scheduling in PREMIER DIVISIONS is done on a club to club or “block” basis.  Clubs participating in Premier Divisions are expected to field a team in every age group that is offered for both boys and girls.  The Fall Season will be age groups U11-U18/19 and the Spring Season will be age groups U11-U14.

A minimum of two months prior to the season the League will publish a Master Schedule of club match ups, dates and home/away assignments.  The League Commissioner will work with Club DOC’s as necessary to create the Master Schedule.

The Directors of Coaching will create the daily schedules for teams within the framework of the Master Schedule of club v club matchups.  All of a club’s teams will play all of their opponent’s teams on the same day.  One entire club will travel to another club on the same day for a set of games between the clubs in all age groups.

Once the Directors of Coaching have completed the daily schedules they will distribute them to their teams.  Premier Division schedules are not posted onto the League website.  A master schedule is posted on the Calendar Page but the daily schedules are distributed directly by the clubs to their participants.  Any changes to the schedule are to be worked out by the Directors of Coaching.  The League is not involved in the schedules of individual teams.  Once a change has been made it should be communicated by the DOC’s to the teams.  The League Commissioner does not need to be notified of schedule changes in the Premier Divisions.

Scheduling in CLASSIC DIVISIONS is done on a team basis.  The League Commissioner creates the Classic Division schedules using information provided by the teams and clubs.

Prior to the season the League Commissioner will publish a schedule by a date approximately 1 month prior to the opening weekend.  This schedule will accommodate predetermined “no play dates” for each team (in addition to the announced off dates such as Easter) that can be for any reason ie. tournaments, school conflicts etc.  There are 4 no play dates allowed in the fall and 2 in the spring.  These no play dates can be taken either as a full weekend (counting for 2 dates) or as individual dates (taking off a Saturday but playing on the accompanying Sunday).  Columbus Day weekend is a regular game weekend and must be declared a “no-play” date if a team does not want to play over that weekend due to tournament commitments.

Games can be scheduled either on Saturdays or Sundays but they tend to be weighted to Saturdays.

Once the schedule has been published the League Commissioner will reschedule games for two reasons:

1)  Game conflicts with a State Cup match
2)  Game is canceled due to weather

These reschedules will be considered “official league reschedules” and will be scheduled and communicated by the League Commissioner through the league office.  Both teams must make themselves available for the rescheduled match which will be fit into an available date during the season.

Teams wishing to make changes to the schedule for reasons outside of the above list may do so on their own provided

1)  Their opponent agrees to the reschedule
2)  They notify the League Commissioner promptly of the change
3)  Referee availability and field availability are adequate

A team wishing to reschedule a match for a reason outside the sanctioned list of two “official league reschedules” should contact their opponent directly and negotiate a new play date.  The opposing team however, is under no obligation to agree to a reschedule request for any reason outside of the two noted “official league reschedules”.  If the game can not be rescheduled and is not played during the time indicated on the “final schedule”, the team not able to make the match as originally scheduled will be deemed to have forfeited.  If both parties agree to a reschedule, the League Commissioner should be notified immediately of the schedule change.

Player Passes

Player passes are the means by which the league ensures that all players participating in league matches are officially registered players.  Teams may only field players that are rostered to their team and have a player pass signed by a VYSA Registrar.  (The only exception is the use of guest players.  See the policy on this page for a complete description of this.)

In Premier Division games the Skyline Premier League has waived the mandatory checking of player passes prior to matches effective Fall 2015.  Teams must still have their player passes at all matches and if requested by their opponent they must be able to produce a roster and pass for each player.  However, the pre-game check will be waived and we will operate on an honor system.  A pass check would only be requested if something irregular was suspected.

In Classic Division games player passes from both teams should be checked by the Referee or Assistant Referee prior to the scheduled start of the match. Teams which cannot produce their player passes by the end of the match may be subject to forfeiture of the match. Player passes may be kept by the referee or assistant referees during the game. After the game, the passes will be returned to the coach or a team representative. If a referee fails to check player passes, it is the responsibility of both coaches to remind him of this SCSL requirement. If a referee refuses to check player passes, the teams should immediately report this to the league. A coach has the right to check an opposing teams player passes before or after the match.

A referee does not have the authority to forfeit matches for player pass issues.  Only the match’s sanctioning body (the league) has the authority to declare a forfeit.  In situations where passes are not present at the start of a match, referees are advised to play the match as normal.  In their Official Match Report they are to note any and all circumstances including the absence of passes or the lodging of a protest by either team.  The information is to be turned over to the league at the match’s conclusion so that it can make a determination on the status of the match.  No coach, team manager, registrar, parent, player, spectator or club official is invested with the power to unilaterally declare a forfeit.  That authority rests with the league and its Commissioner.

Substitution Rules

Substitutions may be made at the following stoppages:
goal kicks
after a goal has been scored
at a stoppage for an injury
at a stoppage for issuance of a caution
on throw-ins by the team taking the throw.
On throw-ins, if the team in possession makes a sub, the opposing team may also make a sub.
On stoppages for injuries and cautions, opposing teams may also sub if the first team decides to do so.

The number of players to be substituted during a substitution is unlimited.  Substituted player re-entry is allowed.

Red Cards

All red cards issued in Skyline League play incur the following penalty:

1)  The offending player or coach must leave the match in which the card is issued.  Players can not be substituted in that match and the team of the offending player must play down a man for the remainder of the match.

2) The offending player or coach can not participate in the next league game.  Their team however, may play with a full 11 in that game.  Offending players can not guest play with any team until the day after they have served their suspension with their regular team.

Additional notes – Players who receive a red card must attend the following league match and sit on the team bench in street clothes.  This is true for both home and away games.  This is required so that the suspension can be properly served by the player, observed by the opposing team and recorded by the referee.

Coaches who receive a red card must stay away from their team’s following league game.

Two yellow cards equal a red card.  There is no “soft” red.  Two yellows issued in the same match to the same player are treated the same as a straight red card and incur the same penalty.

Red cards are to be reported to the League Commisioner each week with the weekend scores.  It is the responsibility of both participating teams/clubs to report any red cards issued in their match to the League.  The player’s name, jersey # and the offense committed should be reported.  The League Commissioner will then notify the offending team’s next opponent of the pending suspension so they can ensure it is properly served.

Red cards are only relevant within the competition they are issued in.  Red cards issued in tournaments do not carry over into league play.  Red card suspensions issued in league play can not be served in tournaments.  If a player receives a red card in their last league match prior to a tournament they may play in the tournament unencumbered by the suspension but must then serve the suspension in their next league match after the tournament.  If a team wishes to suspend a player on their own from their tournament match it does not exonerate the player from also serving the suspension in their next league match.   If a red card is issued to a player in the final game of a season, the suspension must be served in the first game of the following season.

The Skyline League does not track yellow cards.  There is no point accumulation for yellow cards issued over the course of the season.  Clubs do not need to report yellow cards, only reds.  Clubs are expected to control the behavior of their teams and players through internal measures.  The League may impose sanctions in cases where clubs fail to demonstrate proper internal controls.

If a red card is deemed serious enough, additional sanctions may be levied by the league.  Clubs will be encouraged and given the chance to take action first themselves.

Guest Playing

Some guest playing is allowed in the Skyline League.  The use of guest players enhances the role of the club in player development by allowing clubs the chance to provide additional opportunities for member players.  Guest playing can be used to help a team in need of additional players or to provide a player with a needed match opportunity vs. different competition than they would normally encounter.  The rules governing guest playing are different for Classic Division matches and Premier Division matches.

In both Classic and Premier Division games, all guest players must be registered to a team in the same club they are guest playing for.  No one may guest play who is not registered to a VYSA team and no one who is registered to a VYSA team may guest play for a team in another club.  All teams fielding guest players must use guest players from within their own club.

Premier Division guest playing has been simplified.  In Premier Division games any player carded to a club may guest play with an age appropriate team from their club.  There are no restrictions pertaining to the level the player is carded to.  Players are eligible to guest play regardless of the level they are carded to including in house Recreational Leagues, other travel leagues such as CCL or BRSL or other levels or age groups within the Skyline League.  For instance, a player carded to a U18 team who is truly U16 could guest play with their club’s U16 team in Skyline Premier play.

In situations where two teams of different age groups are playing each other (for example a U16 team vs. a U17 team in a High School Premier Division) guest players may be utilized of the higher age group by either team.  ie. the U16 team could use U17 guests in this case.

The limit to the number of matches a player can play on the same day is two.  A player may guest play with a team and still play for their own team during a club match day.

Teams may use a maximum of 5 guest players during 11v11 matches and 3 guest players during 8v8 matches in Skyline Premier play.  The maximum number of players to be dressed and eligible to play a match including guest players is 14 in 8v8 games and 18 in 11v11 games.

In Classic Divisions, age groups U14 and below, guest players may come from any team within the club regardless of its level provided the guest player is not of an age group older than that which the guest team’s opponent is registered as.  This means players from lower tier travel teams may play with teams of a higher tier (B to A) and players from higher tier travel teams may play with teams of a lower tier (A to B).  Furthermore, players registered to Recreational teams within the club may guest play with Travel teams in their age group.  Players registered to travel teams playing in other leagues (such as the CCL) may guest play with Skyline teams provided all other requirements are satisfied.  Players of one age group who are registered to play on an older team may guest play with teams in their own age group at U14 and below.

In age groups U15 and above, guest players may come from any team that is carded at a lower level than the team the player is guest playing for and the age group of their opponent.  Players may come from Recreational teams or from Travel teams that are of the same or younger age group and the same or lower tier of play (B to A).  Players may not guest “down” with a team of a lower tier (A to B) or of a lower age group even if the player him/herself is actually of that age group.   “A” level players may guest play with “B” level teams in U15 and above age groups only provided the following two stipulations are met; 1) The “B” team that the “A” level player is guest playing for is competing against a team of an older age than the player in question (ie. U15 player guest playing for a U15 team competing against a a U16 or older team) and 2) no more than 3 “A” level guest players are used in the match.

In no age group (U11-U19) may a team field a guest player who is of an older age group than either of the two competing teams are carded as.  If the opposing team is of an older age group, you may use a guest player of their age group.  For instance, in a game with a  U12 team playing against a U13 team, U13 guest players may be used by either team.

Guest players may play in a maximum of two matches each day.

Guest players are to be announced prior to the match in which they are being used.  Directors of Coaching (or another designated representative in cases where the club does not have a DOC) must contact their opposing club prior to the match to notify the opposing club of the guest players.  Out of courtesy this contact should be made the week prior to the game, however it can be made on the field at the time of the game if necessary.

On game day the guest players must have their official current year player pass and this is to be presented to the referee prior to the game at the time of the standard player pass/roster check.  All guest players are to be displayed on the game day roster.  The game day roster may not exceed 18 for U13-U19 teams and 14 for U11-U12 teams including guest players.

Standings Tiebreaker Policy

The following methods are used to break ties in the standings:

In divisions without a playoff, ties will remain and co-champions will be declared.

In divisions with a post-season playoff where seedings must be established to organize the tournament, the following tie breakers will be used in order:

#1 – Total goal differential accumulated in all games over the course of the season.

#2 – The aggregate score between the two teams in the two games played between them.

#3 – The fewest goals allowed in all games over the course of the season.

#4 – The highest total away goals scored in all games over the course of the season.

#5 – Coin flip

Uniform Numbers

All players competing in Skyline games are to have a number present on the back of their jersey.  The number should be a unique number not duplicated by any teammate.  This will allow for clear and proper identification of players by match officials.  If two players on the same team are seen wearing the same number, the referee should ask that one of the players step off the field and not play until they have procured a unique number that does not conflict with a teammate.  Using tape or ink on the jersey to create a unique number (ie. changing a “7” to a “71”) is acceptable.

Field Standards & Goal Sizes

Field Standards

Each club must provide adequate quantity and quality of soccer fields for league matches.  One full day of field availability for one field must be provided for every four teams entered in the league.  Fields should be 1 1/2 times longer than they are wide.  Therefore the ratio of width to length should be 2/3.

Fields should meet the following guidelines:

U12/U11 fields for 8v8 play should be 75-80 yards long with a width of 55-50 yards.  The small goal box should be 6 yards off of the goal posts and the big box is 14 yards off of the goalpoasts.  The penalty spot is 10 yards from the center of the goal line and the semicircle at the top of the box is to be 8 yards from the penalty spot.  The center circle is 8 yards in radius.

U13-U19 fields for 11v11 play should be no less than 100 yards long by 66 yards wide.  Maximum length and width should be 115 by 75.

Fields must be well maintained.  Grass should be kept trim and evenly cut.  Lines should be well marked.  Goals must be anchored.  Nets need to be in good condition and securely fastened to the goal.

Goal Sizes

Goals in U12/U11 8v8 divisions should be 7×21.  If a 7×21 is not available, a full size set of goals should be used.  Do not use 6×18 size goals for U12/U11 play.

Goals in U13 and older 11v11 divisions should be full size (8×24)

Goals must be anchored.

 

Game Length and Timing

Length of halves for matches are as follows.

U18, U17 – 45 minutes

U16, U15 – 40 minutes

U14, U13 – 35 minutes

U12, U11 – 35 minutes

Half length is determined by the age group of the division rather than the individual team.  If a U16 team is playing in a U17 division, the half length is 45 minutes.  The age group of each division is determined by the majority of teams in the division.

League Fees

League Fees are assessed on a team by team basis.  Clubs may pay for all of their teams with one check and are encouraged to do so.  The Registration deadline is published prior to the season and all Registration Fees must be received at the league office by the registration deadline for teams to be included in the upcoming season.

Once the Registration Deadline has passed, League Fees are non-refundable.  The Fee is representative of the team’s and club’s promise to play in the upcoming season.  Schedules and season plans are prepared based upon teams who have paid.  If a team withdraws from the league after the the Registration Deadline the fee will not be refundable.

The League Fee includes all VYSA Registration dues for each individual player on the team including insurance.  It also includes money for awards and League Admin Fees.  The League Fee is assessed each season a team plays (fall and spring).

Referees

Qualified, certified USSF referees will officiate all League matches.  The responsibility for assigning and paying the referees rests upon the home club.  Visiting teams have no responsibility toward payment or procurement of referees.  All games are to be refereed with a three man referee crew.  This includes 8v8 divisions as well as 11v11.

In cases where part of a referee crew is not present, club linesman should be appointed to run the lines.  USSF does not allow a “two man” system with no linesman to be used.

If no referees are present, an effort should still be made to play the match with the coaches agreeing upon a stand-in referee.

Spring U15/8th Grade Policy

The Skyline League allows 8th Graders who are technically U15 age appropriate to guest play in the spring with their club’s U14 team provided the player does not have the option of playing for their high school team.  This would apply in instances where the player is ineligible to tryout for their high school JV team because the school prohibits 8th graders from playing junior varsity soccer or if the player tries out and does not make the JV team.

Weather/Field Closing Policy

Communication is essential to preventing unnecessary trips to closed fields and cancelled games.  When in doubt, over communicate with your opponent so there is no question of whether fields are open and games are being played.  The Skyline League encompasses a large geographical area in the state of Virginia.  Weather in one part of the league is not the same as in other places so you must check with your opponent to see if fields are dry and games are playable.

In Premier Divisions communication should be made from the club director of the home club to the director of the visiting club with weather updates as necessary.  Once the visiting club has received notice of a cancellation, they can communicate that information with their teams.

In Classic Divisions when a rainout occurs and a club closes down its fields, it is the responsibility of the home team to contact their opponent and relay this information so the visiting team knows the field is closed and does not travel to the game.  Typically, if it is questionable one way or the other, it is a good idea to confirm whether the game is still being played the morning of the game.  Visiting teams are also authorized to reach out to their counterpart to confirm if they have a question.  The Team Contact list is posted to the Skyline website and team managers and coaches should utilize this and communicate throughout the week and the day of the game with weather updates.

Sometimes weather will occur in the middle of a game day and games will need to be cancelled on short notice.  Field closing determinations should be made and communicated as soon as possible but weather is unpredictable and uncontrollable so it is possible teams will travel to fields and have games cancelled on site.  Given the travel distances involved in games, home clubs should make every effort to make a sensible decision on game playability prior to the visiting club leaving for the game.  However, visiting clubs must understand that prohibitive weather and field conditions may develop at or during game time.

Games that reach half time are considered complete if they are abandoned due to weather after the midway point.  Games that do not reach halftime before they are cancelled will be replayed in their entirety, starting at 0-0.

Weather cancellations in Classic Divisions are to be reported to the Skyline Commissioner via the club rep.  The league will then reschedule rained out matches in Classic Divisions.

Premier Division reschedules are handled by the club directors.

Heading Policy

Special U11 Division Rules and Procedures:

No heading is allowed in matches.

Whenever the ball strikes a player in the head, play is stopped.  The proper restart depends upon whether the player deliberately played the ball with his or her head.  If deliberate, the proper restart is an indirect free kick to the opposing team.  If this occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the end line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.  If the play by the head is deemed inadvertent, then the proper restart is a dropped ball.

There will be no Goalkeeper punting or drop-kicking of the ball during play.  Goalkeepers may either distribute the ball with their hands or play the ball from the ground as a field player.

When a goalkeeper gains possession of the ball, all opposing players shall retreat behind an invisible build out line located roughly at the top of the center circle on the half of the field where the ball is.  Players may advance past this invisible restraining line once the ball is initially played.

The same build out line shall be used for opposing players on all goal kicks.

Goakeepers who have the ball in hand may appeal to the referee to move defenders back to the invisible build out line prior to restarting the play.  However, they may also restart the play quickly and don’t need to wait for players to retreat if they don’t want to.  As soon as the ball is released from the goalkeepers hands, even to drop the ball to their feet, it is considered live and defenders may advance.

If a ball is passed back to a goalkeeper and they are playing it with their feet, play is still live and defenders may defend as normal.  Only when a goalkeeper has the ball in hand or in the case of a goal kick must defenders retreat to the top of the center circle.

The restart for an illegal punting of the ball is to give the ball back to the goalkeeper’s hands for a redo from where the illegal punt occurred.

Consecutive illegal punts will result in a drop kick from the point of the punt.

Continued illegal punting or delay and/or refusal to retreat to the build out line may be punishable as unsporting behavior for delay of game.

There is no retreat rule in effect for free kicks even if taken from within the defensive box.  The standard ten yard allowance is to be enforced.

U11 Divisions will no longer record standings on the Skyline website or declare champions in order to put more focus onto player development.

In divisions where teams of different age groups are combined such as a U11/U12 division, the standard rules of play for the older teams are normally applied in the division.  Younger players and teams are considered to be playing up to the age group of the older team and the default age group rules are those of the oldest player.  As with half lengths and some other rules, the Skyline League will evaulate division compositions on an individual basis to determine if an exception to the standard age group default rules should be made.  The average age of the teams in the division will be considered and in cases where the predominance of players and teams in a division are of the younger (U11) age group, the no heading rules may be applied for that division.

All divisions will play by the same rules within their divison.  If a division is playing with no heading rules, those rules apply to all games including any potential U12 v U12 games that may occur within a divison.  The same is true for divisions that allow for heading but feature some younger teams playing up.  Rules are made by division and special rules will not be applied for individual teams that are in a divison or for individual players that may be playing up on an older team.  Referees are to apply the rules of each division consistently across all participants.