SMOKY MOUNTAIN MIDDLE SCHOOL SOCCER

LEAGUE RULES

Revised: September 17, 2015 in red letters

I.             GENERAL

A.           The Smoky Mountain Middle School Soccer League is operated by volunteers and all situations involving league rules are decided by a board based on the information at hand and to the best interest of the majority of the teams involved.

II.           TEAM MAKEUP

A.           No Player may be 16 at anytime during his or her soccer season.

B.           Smoky Mountain Middle School Soccer League is limited to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.  Beginning with the Spring 2014 season, no 5th graders are permitted to play in this league.

C.           Schools containing 6th, 7th, and 8th graders: Players must play for the school they attend.  If a player attends a school that does not field a team, then the player may try out for another team in the immediate area with prior approval by the league commissioner, and the school the player is trying out for has held tryouts and has been unable to fill their roster. The school may not cut any player attending their school in order to add a player from another school.

D.           Schools that have split grades between 6th, 7th, and 8th graders: A team must be composed of only 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.  Players that are in the 9th grade and attend the same school as 8th graders are not permitted to play in this league.  The split schools must combine 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to form the middle school team.  Players must play for the school they attend.  If a player attends a school that does not field a team, then the player may try out for another team in the immediate area with prior approval by the league commissioner.  And, the school the player is trying out for has held tryouts and has been unable to fill their roster. The school may not cut any player attending their school in order to add a player from another school.

E.           Home schooled students may participate in this league provided ALL of the following conditions are met.

1.            They must play on the team for the public school for which they are zoned or would normally attend.

2.            They cannot play on a private school team.

3.            If the school for which they are zoned and would normally attend does not have a team then they will be eligible for play for the nearest public school with prior approval by the league commissioner.

4.            They can only be added to a roster if the school has held tryouts and has been unable to fill their roster. The school may not cut any player attending their school in order to add a home schooled player

5.            Once all of the above conditions are met, the home schooled player becomes one of the available players in the pool and can be placed on any of the teams for that school at the discretion of the coach

F.           Girls may play on a Boys team in order to make a minimum roster of 15 players.  A team cannot cut boys from the roster in order to make room for the girls.  Girls can only be added to max out the roster at 15 players.  No more than one third (33%) of a boy’s roster can be composed of girls.  Boys are not permitted to play on a Girls team.

1.            Schools with multiple teams: Girls cannot be added to any team if there are enough boys to create a roster of 15 boys on each team.  The first team and subsequent teams must contain a maximum of 15 boys before adding girls to the last team.

G.          No player shall be registered on more than one team, or play for more than one team at any time during his/her season including the season end tournament.  There shall be no guest players for the season or tournament.

H.           A team can declare a maximum of 20 registered players (except when adding girls to a boys team) for the official game roster and the game roster cannot change after the Add/Drop deadline.  You may register more than 20 players on your team, however only 20 may be designated as game players.  All others will be listed as “Practice Players” and cannot participate in the league or tournament games.  The practice players must be indentified on the team registration form.

III.          PRACTICE TIMES, GAMES, AND FIELDS

A.           Practice begins February 1st for the boys spring season and July 1st for the girls fall season.  Insurance is in effect at these times.  Practices times are unlimited however teams are encouraged to schedule practice times in consideration of club players.

B.           Games will be scheduled on Monday and Thursday evenings.  It may be necessary to schedule some games on other days.  All teams may reschedule a game for whatever day and time they can agree with their opponent in case of a conflict.  The home team will be responsible for notifying the referee in the event of a rescheduled game.

C.           Game start times will be 5:30 PM, however a team may change the start time due to travel complications provided the opposing team agrees.

D.           Regular season games are 35 minute halves with a 10 minute halftime break.  The Referee may shorten any halve to allow for completion of the game if needed.  Tie games stand during the regular season.  Games completed to halftime are considered complete in the event of a necessary game stoppage.  All scheduled games must be played during the season.  Cancelled games must be rescheduled ASAP.  A team that fails to play a rescheduled game for reasons other than weather will be penalized by forfeit.  Any team that has refused to play a maximum of three regular season games will be disqualified for play in the season end tournament.  No refund will be given to a team that does not play in the tournament for any reason.  Season end tournament rules may differ.

E.           The HOME team is responsible for the following prior to the start of each game.

1.            Prepare playing field properly lined.

2.            Nets, corner flags, size 5 game ball, and uniform change.

3.            Provide a certified center referee (USSF or AYSO).

4.            Assistant referees are optional.  If parents are used, there must be one from each team.  Tournament games will have full certified referee crews assigned by the league

5.            Contact the opposing team at least 24 hours prior to the start of the game.

F.           The minimum field size for all league and tournament games must be 50 yards wide by 90 yards long.

G.          All players must wear shin guards.  No jewelry is allowed. Safety goggles are permitted and preferred if necessary.  If a player wears regular glasses during the game, a waiver of liability must be shown to the opposing team and the referee prior to the start of the game.

H.           Only the registered Head Coach and Assistant Coaches for the teams playing the game may be present in the coaching area. The Team Manager may be present in the coaching area if either or all of the coaches are not available.  No substitutes for coaches or managers allowed.  Only the registered players for the game being played are permitted on the team side of the field.  All other individuals must remain on the spectator side of the field.

I.             All rules applying to the game itself, or not contained herein, or any resulting disputes regarding rules, shall be resolved under USYSF rules.

IV.         POINT SYSTEM AND DIVISIONS

A.           The point system for the regular season division standings will be 3 points for a win; 1 point for a tie; 0 points for a loss.

B.           Teams will be grouped in the regular season based on various criteria including competition history of the school, location, size, and input from the coaches.

C.           Beginning with the Spring 2014 season, there is no longer a junior varsity (JV) division in the regular season or tournament play.  Schools are free to place 6th, 7th and 8th graders on any team.

D.           Team placement for tournament bracketing will take into account the standings within their regular season division, points in the division, head to head competition, cross divisional game results, and goal differential with opposing teams in league play.  The tournament committee reserves the right to move teams up or down from their regular season placement as needed to create competitive matchups in each tournament division and/or to balance the number of teams in each division.

V.          CONDUCT

A.           Good behavior by all parties is critical to the development of this program and its participants.  This is and will continue to be raised as safe haven for good soccer.  Bad sportsmanship shown by coaches, or observed from parents or players will not be tolerated.  The league will not hesitate to punish, or even remove a team from the league if problems of this nature occur.  It is up to each group to make sure that all interested parties police themselves in this area.  The league Code of Sportsmanship and Behavior policy and form must be signed by both players and parents, and kept with the team.  Please remind parents that this program is volunteer and not officially affiliated with the schools administration in any way.  Please bring all comments, conditions, situations and problems to league commissioner through the coach or manager.  Issues will not be discussed with the parents until it is addressed through the team coach and/or manager first.  Failure for a team, coach, manager, player, or parent to comply with the Code of Sportsmanship and Behavior policy can result in warning, suspension, banned from post season tournament play, or removal from the program.  In case of possible team or player removal, an independent board will convene, review the complaint and make the judgment for punishment.  Please do not take this lightly and follow up with your individual groups to make sure that all coaches, managers, players, parents, and fans understand this policy

B.           Coaches and managers shall review the dates and deadlines as set forth by the league.  Any team that forfeits the tournament or drops out of the tournament after the Monday prior to the tournament weekend is in danger of being banned from the tournament the following year.