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HOPEWELL SOCCER CLUB

Rules & Regulations

Approved: October, 2015

The Board of Directors of HSC may adopt or amend any rule or regulation in addition to those set forth in the By-Laws in order to conduct the activities of the Hopewell Soccer Club, but shall not adopt any such rule or regulation that is inconsistent with any provision of the By-Laws.

SECTION 1: IN-HOUSE
 

Playing rules followed shall be those of the United States Soccer Football Association and PA West; and as modified by HSC general rules.

SECTION 1: PHILOSOPHY
 
1.1  As stated in the HSC By-Laws, Article V, Section 1.1; "The philosophy of the In-House program is to have "FUN." The program is structured to emphasize maximum participation of every player, develop soccer skills and instill the value of good sportsmanship. HSC does not keep score or league standings either by teams or individuals."

The coach is solely responsible for preventing "lopsided" scores. Besides providing opportunities to develop more "complete" soccer players, this display of sportsmanship is in keeping with the objectives of the HSC as stated in its Constitution and By-Laws. Several ways to achieve this include:

Shooting and dribbling with the weaker foot.
Require a certain number of passes before shooting.
Have the goalie pass the ball out to teammates instead of punting it.
Have all players play all positions, including the goalie. Goalies can be substituted at the same time as any other player of the same team.
Ensure your weakest player is given opportunities to score by having your better players feed them the ball.
It is certainly feasible to start the game with some restrictions, so as to not give the impression of pulling back later on.

All children are to play at least 50% of every game.
Throughout the course of the season, all children should be given the opportunity to play all areas of the field, including goalkeeper.
Goalkeepers must be changed at least every half.
Players and coaches are to participate in the traditional "good sportsmanship" handshake immediately following every game.
 
1.2  TEAM FORMATIONS
 
In-House teams are formed using the following guidelines:

U5 Co-ed
U7 Co-ed
U9 Co-ed
 
1.3  PRACTICE SESSIONS
 
In-House Practice sessions are to follow these guidelines:

U5 once per week, maximum 1 hour.
U7 once per week, maximum 1 ½  hour.
U9 once per week, maximum 1 ½ hour.
 
1.4  GAME FORMAT
 
In U5, U7 & U9, HSC plays under "modified" rules, which are intended to allow the players to more fully enjoy the game, without burdening them with the rules (i.e. laws) of the game, which they are not ready to comprehend, much less execute. "Modified" laws are typically instituted with some variation throughout youth soccer.  
 
U-5 games consist of four (3),ten (10) minute periods.
Field size: reduced to be within recommendations.
Substitutions: either team may substitute one or more players prior to a throw-in.
Except for the kick-off (which is a "direct" kick that may result in a goal), all kicks are "indirect," meaning a goal cannot be scored until a second player touches the ball prior to the ball entering the goal.
Keepers are not used, "direct" kicks and "penalty" kicks are not taken, "offside" is not called.
Maximum number of players on the field is four (4) per team, (no goalkeeper).  
 
U7 games consist of four (2), twenty (20) minute halves.
Field size: reduced to be within recommendations.
Substitutions: either team may substitute one or more players prior to a throw-in.
Except for the kick-off (which is a "direct" kick that may result in a goal), all kicks are "indirect," meaning a goal cannot be scored until a second player touches the ball prior to the ball entering the goal.
"Direct" kicks and "penalty" kicks are not taken. "Offside" is not called.
Maximum number of players on the field is five (4) per team, (no goalkeeper).
Keepers are not permitted to 'punt' the ball. Upon playing the ball with his/her hands within the goal box, the keeper must keep the ball in play by either dribbling, passing or throwing the ball.
 
U9 games consist of two (2), twenty-five (25) minute halves.

Field size: reduced to be within recommendations.
Substitutions: either team may substitute one or more players prior to a throw-in.
Except for the kick-off (which is a "direct" kick that may result in a goal), all kicks are "indirect," meaning a goal cannot be scored until a second player touches the ball prior to the ball entering the goal.
"Direct" kicks and "penalty" kicks are not taken. "Offside" is not called.
Maximum number of players on the field is five (7) per team, (including goalkeeper).
Keepers are not permitted to 'punt' the ball.  Upon playing the ball with his/her hands within the goal box, the keeper must keep the ball in play by either rolling the ball past the new "Build Out Line" to allow for continuance of play, all players from both teams must be beyond this "Build Out Line" prior to the goalkeeper sending the ball, a teammate must touch the ball before play can continue (opposing teams cannot be the first to touch the ball after goalie).  Offsides is now modeled like Hockey with the player carrying the ball being the only player who can pass the Build Out Line with the ball before teammates enter this area.  A player can receive a pass prior to reaching the Build Out Line and not be considered offsides now. (THIS IS U10 ONLY- US YOUTH SOCCER RULES WERE HANDED DOWN IN 2017)



 
1.5  RULES
 
General

Slide tackling is prohibited.
Games are played in inclement weather. However, safety concerns such as lightning, field conditions and low temperatures may be cause for cancellation.

Player Assignments:

Players will be equally distributed among all teams within a given age group: by age, experience and skill level, as best as can be determined.
Siblings, and/or children of the coaches, will be placed on the same team if age and gender appropriate.
The intent of HSC is to create equally competitive teams.
Previous team experience and requests for specific coaches should not have any bearing on team assignment.
Teams shall be formed at the beginning of each Fall season and may remain as rostered for the Spring season at the discretion of the In-House Age Group Commissioner.
Players shall play within their age group as defined by PA West.

HSC provides for the following exceptions in allowing players to play one age group beyond their own. The coach, Age-Group Coordinators and the HSC Board of Directors, will use the following criteria to make this determination:

It is in the best interest of the player.
The player consistently dominates in games such that his or her development is being impaired.
His/her physical size creates a high risk of injury to the other players.
HSC must obtain parental consent.

Uniform:

The HSC jersey will be provided by the Club at no charge.
Shoes may be turf shoes, or soccer spikes.
Shorts may be of the athletic style, sweatpants are permitted in cold weather.
For personal safety concerns, jewelry is not permitted; earrings must be removed or taped. Hair accessories such as metal barrettes and plastic headbands must be removed before a game.

Equipment:

Shinguards are mandatory for practices and games.
U-5 & U-7 use a size "3" soccer ball.
U-9 use a size "4" soccer ball.

Coaches:

Coaches shall be selected based on experience, training and willingness to abide by the Constitution, By-Laws and Rules and Regulations of HSC.
Apply training techniques ('F'/'Y'/'E' licensed classes) to all practices and games.
Instill the spirit of sportsmanship in all players.
Respect the judgment and interpretation of the rules by the officials.
Make every effort to obtain training, within PA West or HSC.
Make a concerted effort to understand the laws of the game.
Are responsible for his/her spectators adhering to the Constitution, By-Laws, and Rules and Regulations of the HSC.
Are responsible for communicating to parents and players the philosophies of HSC.
Are responsible for communicating to parents and players such things as practice/game times, concession help, field painting, net placement, etc.
Are to remain on their half of the field and within any outlined coach's box.
Use of profanity, alcohol and tobacco products during practices or games is not permitted.
Be prepared to treat injuries.
Are to do whatever is necessary to prevent "lopsided" scores.
Maximum number of coaches/adults permitted in the bench area is two (2).
Are not permitted on the playing field during play except to attend to injuries or equipment issues as directed by the referee.

Referees:

It is of utmost importance that HSC develop and retain referees at both the travel and in-house levels.
Any and all complaints are to be directed to the Head or Assistant Head Referee of HSC or any other officer of the Club in a discreet manner.
The referees of HSC are typically youth, who, even though they have been trained and have passed an exam, are nevertheless, in the process of developing their skills as referees. Positive reinforcement from spectators and coaches is of great value in their development.

Spectators:

Disputing or verbally abusing the referees and/or assistant referees will be cause for ejection.
Refrain from coaching players during the game.
Make an effort to understand the laws of the game.
Must view the games from the opposite side of the bench area and behind any designated 6' boundary. Spectators are prohibited in the bench area and/or behind the endline/goal. This is to ensure and promote:

Safety of the players and spectators.
Player development
Proper Officiating

Understand that soccer is a game of risks and mistakes. Players must be willing to chance "failure," keeping in mind it is only temporary.
The referees of HSC are typically youth, who, even though they have been trained and have passed an exam, are nevertheless, in the process of developing their skills as referees. Positive reinforcement from spectators and coaches is of great value in their development.

SECTION 2: TRAVEL
 

PA West Soccer Association governs HSC Travel Teams. PA West classifies, organizes and oversees all travel leagues.

2.1  PHILOSOPHY
 
As stated in the HSC By-Laws, Article V, Section 2.1; "The philosophy of the travel program emphasizes winning, competition, and team standings." However, player development is of the utmost importance and continues to be the primary objective.
 
2.2  TEAM FORMATION
 
Travel teams are formed within the following traditional age-groups:

U10 Boys and U10 Girls
U12 Boys and U12 Girls
U14 Boys and U14 Girls
U16 Boys and U16 Girls
U19 Boys and U19 Girls

Non-traditional age-groups are also available:

U19
Participation in these age groups is at the discretion of the HSC Board of Directors.
Consideration should be given to available participants, interest, level of play, the impact on the traditional age groups and any other issue deemed relevant by the respective HSC Board Members.

PA West offers the following levels of play within each age group. Division 1/A provides the highest level of competition:

Division 1 Boys/A Girls
Division 2 Boys/B Girls
Division 3 Boys/C Girls

If the quantity of players is of such a number that more than one team for any given division can be formed, the HSC Board of Directors may consider balancing the players between the teams based upon skill.
Travel teams are gender specific, however co-ed play is available based upon PA West Rules. Co-ed teams will compete in the Boys Travel League.
 
2.3  PRACTICE SESSIONS
 
Coaches are encouraged to practice twice a week at 1 ½ hours each.

2.4  GAME FORMAT
 
U10 games consist of two (2), twenty-five (25) minute halves.
Maximum/minimum number of players on the field for a game is seven (7) per team, including the goalkeeper.
U11/U12 games consist of two (2), thirty (30) minute halves.
Maximum/minimum number of players on the field for a game is nine(9) per team, including the goalkeeper.
U13/U14 games consist of two (2), thirty-five (35) minute halves.
U15/U16 games consist of two (2), forty (40) minute halves.
U17 / U19 games consist of two (2), forty-five (45) minute halves.
Maximum number of players on the field for a game is eleven (11) per team, including the goalkeeper.
Field size is to be within recommendations.
 
2.5  RULES
 
Player Assignments


Teams shall be formed at the beginning of each Fall season and may remain as rostered for the Spring season at the discretion of the HSC Board of Directors. 
Team placement will be at the sole discretion of the Hopewell Soccer Club Board of Directors.

If a player is new to HSC Travel, his or her placement on a travel team will be determined by the HSC Board of Directors using the following criteria:
Determine at what level his or her most recent team competed.
An evaluation from his or her previous coach.

Players shall play within their age group as defined by PA West.

HSC provides for the following exceptions in allowing U12 players and older to play beyond their own age-group. The coach, and the HSC Board of Directors will use the following criteria to make this determination:

It is in the best interest of the player.
In order to facilitate team formation.
Verbal parental consent is required to move one age-group beyond their own.
Written parental consent and HSC Board approval is required to move two age-groups beyond their own.

Uniform:

HSC requires club jersey, shorts and a pair of socks, which are to be used for both Fall & Spring seasons.  These items can be purchased at our Club Shop page.
Shoes may be turf shoes, or soccer spikes.
For personal safety concerns, jewelry is not permitted; earrings must be removed. Hair accessories such as metal barrettes and plastic headbands must be removed.

Equipment:

Shinguards are mandatory for practices and games.
U10 through U12 use a size "4" soccer ball.
U14 and above use a size "5" soccer ball.

Coaches:

Coaches shall be selected based on experience, training and willingness to abide by the Constitution, By-Laws and Rules and Regulations of HSC.
Apply training techniques (PA West licensed classes) to all practices and games.
Instill the spirit of sportsmanship in all players.
Respect the judgment and interpretation of the rules by the officials.
Make every effort to obtain training, within PA West or HSC.
Make a concerted effort to understand the laws of the game.
Are responsible for communicating to parents and players such things as practice/game times, concession help, field painting, net placement, etc.
Are responsible for his/her spectators adhering to the Constitution, By-Laws, and Rules and Regulations of the HSC.
Are to remain on their half of the field and within any outlined coach's box.
Use of profanity, alcohol and tobacco products during practices or games is not permitted.
Be prepared to treat injuries.
Maximum number of coaches/adults permitted in the bench area is three (3).
Are not permitted on the playing field during play except to attend to injuries or equipment issues as directed by the referee.

Referees:

It is of utmost importance that HSC develop and retain referees at both the travel and in-house levels.
Any and all complaints are to be directed to the Head or Assistant Head Referee of HSC or PA West.

Spectators:

Disputing or verbally abusing the referees and/or assistant referees will be cause for ejection.
Refrain from coaching players during the game.
Make an effort to understand the laws of the game.
Must view the games from the opposite side of the bench area and behind any designated 6' boundary. Spectators are prohibited in the bench area and/or behind the endline/goal. This is to ensure and promote:

Safety of the players and spectators.
Player development.
Proper Officiating.

Understand that soccer is a game of risks and mistakes. Players must be willing to chance "failure," keeping in mind it is only temporary.