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Jonesborough Soccer Association

Jonesborough Soccer Association

Jonesborough Soccer Association

League Rules



1.       Registration

·         All players must be registered for play by the registration deadline. Players will have the option to register up to 7 days beyond the registration deadline but will be subject to a late registration fee of $30. No players will be eligible to register for the season after late registration.

·         Parents registering multiple children will receive a $5 discount on all children registered after the first child.

·         Players will have the option to register for their own division or a division one level higher based on their age group. i.e., If a player is 7 years old, they can register for the 7-8 division or 9-11 division. They would not be eligible to register for 12-15 division.  

·         Players are only allowed to register for one team.

·         Players will have the option to sign up as a pool player and will be eligible to be used as a guest player for any team in their age group who fails to meet the minimum player threshold for any game.

·         Players are not considered registered until all Registration fees have been paid, and all required documents have been signed and returned.

·         Included in Registration Fee:

·         Your child will be provided with a jersey, shorts and socks. (The player is responsible for providing their own shin guards and soccer cleats)

·         Registration and Insurance through Tennessee State Soccer Association.

Please note: The insurance through TSSA is a secondary medical that covers injuries incurred during an JSA sanctioned practice, game, camp or training session.  This insurance will pay out after your primary medical insurance has paid and after you have paid a deductible.  This is not intended to be a primary medical insurance policy.

·         Medals for each age group at the end of the season.


2.       Rosters

·         Maximum roster size for 11v11 division is 15.

·         11v11 Division

·         Ages 12-15

·         Maximum roster size for 9v9 division is 12.

·         9v9 Divisions

·         Ages 9-11

·         Maximum roster size for 7v7 division is 11.

·         7v7 Division

·         Ages 7-8

·         Maximum roster size for 5v5 division is 9.

·         5v5 Division

·         Ages 5-6

·         Ages 3-4 (4v4) (No Goalkeeper) (Coaches on Field)



3.       Matches

·         60-minute matches consisting of (2) 30-minute halves for 11v11 divisions.

(3 USSF assigned referees will be provided for each 11v11 division games)

·         50-minute matches consisting of (2) 25-minute halves for 9v9 divisions.

(3 USSF assigned referees will be provided for each 9v9 division games)

·         40-minute matches consisting of (2) 20-minute halves for 7v7 divisions.

(1 USSF assigned referees will be provided for each 7v7 division games)

·         30- minute matches consisting of (2) 15-minute halves for 5v5 division.

(1 JSA assigned referee will be provided for 5v5 division games. Note 4U games are coach called) 

·         Scores will be recorded by the referees and must be signed by a member of each coaching staff following the game to be considered valid.

·         During gameplay of every match, any all spectators are required to stand/sit in their designated areas. Designated Area includes appropriate sideline opposite of the teams and should remain at least 8ft off the field of play. This is for the safety of our players, coaches and referees who are moving about the sidelines.

·         At no time during a match should a player (not currently in the game), coach or spectator enter the field of play or stand behind the goal line. This includes standing behind the goals.



4.       Scheduling

·         The league will provide the schedule for each division.

·         Any potential conflicts need to be communicated prior to the schedule being officially published by the Recreational Coordinator.

·         The league will work to avoid any conflicts prior to publishing the schedule but may not be able to satisfy all conflicts.

·         If a team needs to reschedule a game once the schedule has been officially published, the two teams must both agree to reschedule.

·         The team responsible for requesting the reschedule must inform the Team Coordinator and the Recreational Director 48 hours prior to the original games scheduled start time.

·         The two teams must agree on a date and time for the scheduled games subject to league guidelines (the league will help in securing fields and referees).

·         If the game cannot be rescheduled within the constraints of the league season, the team requesting the reschedule will forfeit the game in question. This includes any game that is used for seeding purposes prior to tournament play.

·         The league Risk Management Coordinator may reschedule any game due to inclement weather or other field condition issue that may arise.


5.       Playing Rules

·         Equipment

·         All players must have approved soccer cleats. No toes cleats or metal cleats are permitted.

·         All players must wear approved shin guards while at practice and during all games.

·         Players must wear long socks that completely cover their shin guards during play.

·         Players must use the appropriate ball for each division/age.

·         11v11 Divisions

·         Ages 12-15 (Size 5 Ball)

·         9v9 Divisions

·         Ages 9-11 (Size 4 Ball)

·         7v7 Division

·         Ages 7-8 (Size 4 Ball)

·         5v5 Division

·         Ages 5-6 (Size 3 Ball)

·         Ages 3-4 (Size 3 Ball)


·         Pre-Game Check In

·         Player check-in will be performed by the match referees up to 10 minutes prior to the start of each match.

·         Referees will check that all players have the appropriate cleats, shin guards and socks per league regulations.

·         All items of jewelry (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands, etc.) are forbidden and must be removed. Using tape to cover jewelry is not permitted.

·         Players may play in a soft cast on the arm, hard cast are not permitted by rule of US Youth Soccer Association.

·         Any player not meeting the check-in requirements will not be allowed to enter the field of play until the issue is resolved and approved by the referee.

·         Players arrive after check-in, but before the start of the match, must personally visit the referee to be approved before being allowed to play.

·         During check-in, the referee will verify that both teams have the required number of players to play the match.

·         11 v 11 divisions require a minimum of 11 players.

·         9 v 9 divisions require a minimum of 9 players.

·         7 v 7 divisions require a minimum of 7 players.

·         5 v 5 divisions require a minimum of 5 players.

·         If either team does not meet the minimum number of players required to play the match, the referee may grant a grace period of up to 15 minutes before starting play. During this time the team not meeting the required players may wait for late players to arrive or pick up guest players from the player pool to meet the minimum number of players.

·         If picking players from the player pool, you are not allowed to pick up more players than the minimum required to play. Substitutes are not required to start a match.

·         Any players arriving after the game has started will not be permitted to play in that half of the game. All players must be approved by the referee before the game starts or during halftime. Referees will not grant approvals during any other time of the match.


·         Pool Players

·         Teams are permitted to use currently registered pool players from their own division as guest players in order to meet the minimum number of players required to play a match.

·         Guest goalkeepers may not be used regardless of the number of players that you have.

·         Any guest player must be registered as a pool player for the league they will be guest playing in.

·         Guest players are ineligible until the opposing team has been notified of their participation in the match.

·         Any team who uses guest players obsessively, will be subject to league intervention.

·         A suspended player may not participate as guest player in another match during their suspension.

·         A team may NOT pick up a pool player to fill in for a suspended player.

·         It is the responsibility of the coach using the guest player, to ensure that the guest player is eligible to play in their match.


·         Forfeits

·         If the grace period ends (Section B, Row f) without the required number of players for an official match, the game will be declared a forfeit against the team short the required number of players at the conclusion of the grace period.

·         A team who does not meet the minimum number of players required to start the match, may request to play shorthanded if approved by the referee. In this case, the opposing team is NOT required to play an even number of players.

Example: Team A only has 6 players but requires 9, They can request to play 6 v 9. Team B does not have to play below the minimum number of required players.

·         If a team determines they will not be able to field a team before the day of the scheduled match, the coach must notify the league Recreational Director and the opposing coach to attempt to reschedule the match.

·         The league reserves the right to declare a game as a forfeit based on rescheduling conflicts, in-game issues or ineligible player usage.

·         The score of a forfeited match will be recorded as a 3-0 Win for the opposing team with the following exceptions:

·         If the forfeit occurs mid match and the team causing the abandonment is trailing by a margin of more than 3 goals, the score at the time of the abandonment will stand.

·         If both teams are determined to be equally at fault, the match will be declared as a 0 – 0 Loss for both teams.




·         Starting and Restarting Play

·         The team that wins the coin toss and elects to take the opening kickoff will take a free kick from the center spot. The player to takes the opening kick is not allowed to touch the ball again until it is touched by another player on either team.

·         If a team concedes a goal, they will restart normal play with a kick-off taken from the center spot.

·         A throw-in is used to restart play after the ball completely crosses a boundary touchline.

·         Goal kicks restart play if the whole ball passes over the goal line outside the goalmouth after touching an offensive player.

·         Corner kicks result when the entire ball crosses the goal line after contacting a player from the defending team (if a goal was not scored)


·         Ball in Play and Out of Play

·         The ball is always considered in play unless the referee stops the game or for a short period immediately after a team scores a goal.

·         The ball is out of play when:

·         It has wholly passed over the goal line or touchline on the ground or in the air.

·         The referee stops play for any other reason (i.e., if a player is injured)


·         Substitutions

·         Unlimited substitutions are permitted during throw-in, goal kicks, halftime, injury stoppage, yellow cards and after a goal is score, but only while play is stopped by the referee.

·         On a throw-in, if a team is taking a substitution, then the opposing team may also substitute a player already waiting in the technical area (10 yards on either side of midfield).

·         No Substitutions are permitted during Corner Kicks.

·         Players may only substitute if they are waiting in the technical area when a stoppage occurs that allows for a legal substitution. Players not wishing to substitute may not stand in the technical area.


·         Free Kicks

·         An indirect free kick is a free kick that must touch another player before a goal is allowed to be scored.

·         A direct free kick may be kicked directly into the goal for a score without needing to be touched by another player.





·         Direct Free Kick

·         A direct free kick will be awarded if a player commits any of the following offences against an opponent in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:

                       A handball offence (except for the goalkeeper within their penalty area)

·         charges

·         jumps at

·         kicks or attempts to kick

·         pushes

·         strikes or attempts to strike (including head-butt)

·         tackles or challenges

·         trips or attempt to trip


·         If an offence involves contact, it is penalized by a direct free kick.

·         Careless is when a player shows a lock of attention or consideration when making a challenge or acts without precaution. No disciplinary sanction is needed.

·         Reckless is when a player acts with disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, an opponent and must be cautioned

·         Using excessive force is when a player exceeds the necessary use of force and/or endangers the safety of an opponent and must be sent off


·         Indirect Free Kick

·         An indirect free kick is awarded if a player commits any of the following offenses: 

·         Holds an opponent

·         Impedes an opponent with contact

·         Bites or spits at someone on the team rosters or a referee

·         Throws an object at the ball, an opponent or referee, or contacts the ball with a held object


·         An indirect free kick is awarded if a player: (The distance an opposing team must yield on a free kick is 6 yards).

·         Plays in a dangerous manner

·         Impedes the progress of an opponent without any contact being made

·         Is guilty of dissent, using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or actions(s) or other verbal offences

·         Prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from the hands or kicks or attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing it

·         Commits any other offence, not mentioned in the rules, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player

·         Commits any other unmentioned offense deemed by the referee.


·         An indirect free kick is awarded if a goalkeeper, inside their penalty area, commits any of the following offences:

·         Controls the ball with the hand/arm for more than six seconds before releasing it

·         Touches the ball with the hand/arm after releasing it and before it has touched another player

·         Touches the ball with the hand/arm, unless the goalkeeper has clearly kicked or attempted to kick the ball to release it into play, after:

·         It has been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a team-mate

·         Receiving it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate



·         A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball with the hand(s) when:

·         The ball is between the hands or between the hand and any surface (e.g. ground, own body) or by touching it with any part of the hand or arms, except if the ball rebounds from the goalkeeper or the goalkeeper has made a save

·         Holding he ball in the outstretched open hand

·         A goalkeeper cannot be challenged by an opponent when in control of the ball with the hand(s)


Note:  After any referee stoppage that does not include a foul, the team with possession prior to the stoppage will retain possession with an indirect free kick.


·         Penalty Kicks

·         A Penalty Kick will be awarded when any player commits any offence inside of their own penalty area (the square box in front of the goal)

·         A Penalty Kick will result in a Direct Free from the goal line inside the penalty area. The defending team may not have any players between the player taking the free kick and the goal other than the goalkeeper.


·         Goal Kicks

·         A goal kick is awarded when the offensive team plays the ball out of bounds over the defensive team’s goal line.

·         After the ball is out of play, the defender or the goalkeeper may place the ball anywhere within the goal box to kick the ball back into the field of play.

·         The ball must be kicked within 5 seconds of being placed down by the referee.

·         Once the ball is kicked; the kicking player may not touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player.


·         Corner Kicks

·         A corner kick will be awarded to the offensive team when the defensive team plays the ball out of bounds over their own goal line.

·         The ball is placed withing the marked corner area and kick back into the play by the offensive team. Players may score directly from taking of a corner kick.

·         Once the ball is kicked; the kicking player may not touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player.


·         Throw Ins

·         A throw in is awarded when the team in possession of the ball plays it out of bounds (over a touchline). While taking a throw-in, a player must (both)

·         Release the ball with both hands simultaneously

·         Both feet must remain in contact with the ground at the time the ball is released to avoid making a ‘foul throw’

·         If these conditions are not met, play is stopped and would result in a throw-in being awarded to the opposing team. Players are not allowed to score directly off a throw-in.

·         The ball must be thrown into the field of play within 5 seconds after the throwing team has gained possession of the ball, unless held by the referee. If the referee holds play, the ball must be thrown into the field of play within 5 seconds after the referee has resumed play.

·         Once the ball has been thrown in, the throwing player may not touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player.



·         Goalkeeping

·         A goalkeeper must get rid of the ball within 5 seconds of gaining possession of the ball.

·         Once a goalkeeper touches the ball with their hands, they may not use their hands again until the ball has been contacted by another player of the opposing team. Doing so will result in a handball inside the penalty area.

·         A goalkeeper may not use their hands to contact the ball, unless it was last touched by an opposing player. This does not include incidental contact by a goalkeeper’s team, only an deliberate pass.

·         Offsides

·         For a player to be in an offsides position, they must be nearer to the opponent’s goal line than both the second last opposing player (a defender and a goalkeeper) and the ball.

·         Offsides cannot be penalized unless the ball is passed to him/her by a teammate while they are in offsides position. This is determined by the offensive players position at the time of the kick.

·         Players cannot be considered offsides on their own side of the field of half line (midfield line)

·         If a player commits an offsides penalty, the opposing team will be awarded an indirect free kick from the spot of the field that the offsides occurred.

·         Offsides only pertains to the 11 v 11 and 9 v 9 divisions containing players that are 9 years of age or older. Players or divisions including players under the age of 9 years old will not be penalized for being offsides.

·         There is no offsides offence if a player receives the ball directly from:

·         A goal kick

·         A throw-in

·         A corner kick


·         Slide Tackling

·         Slide tackling is defined as a safe challenge for the ball on an opponent wherein the player attempting the challenge goes to the ground prior to contacting the ball. No part of the opposing player may be touched during a legal slide tackle. If the opposing player is touched, a penalty for tripping will be issued.

·         Slide Tackling is only permitted in the 11 v 11 divisions containing players that are 12 years of age or older. Players or divisions including players under the age of 12 years old are not permitted to slide tackle.


·         Heading

·         Heading is the act of a player intentionally contacting the ball with any part of their head.

·         A player may not dip their head below waist level to head the ball.

·         Heading is only permitted in the 11 v 11 divisions containing players that are 12 years of age or older. Players or divisions including players under the age of 12 years old are not permitted to head the ball.

·         Goals

·         A goal is scored when the ball crosses entirely across the goal line inside the goalmouth. Regardless of which team contacted the ball prior to the ball crossing the goal line while either on the ground or in the air.


·         Outcome of a Match

·         The team who scored the most goals once the match is over will be declared as the winner.

·         If the game has an equal number of goals, the match will be declared as a draw (This excludes Tournament Play).

·         Games ending in a draw during Tournament Play will be decided by penalty kicks.

·         Penalty Kicks will be taken in rotation by 5 players from each team.

·         If there is a tie in penalty kicks, the teams will do another round of rotating penalty kicks to decide the winner. Players must be rotated after the first round of penalty kicks. If a team does not have 5 new players to rotate, they must rotate the available players, then start rotating through the original 5 players.

·         If after 2 rounds of penalty kicks, there is no winner, the teams will go into sudden death.

·         Sudden death consists of a player from each team taking a Penalty Kick. If one team scores and the other doesn’t the game is over.  Sudden Death will continue until a winner is declared.

·         The goalkeeper that was in place at the end of regulation, must remain as the goalkeeper through the completion of Penalty Kicks or Sudden Death. A substitution will only be allowed if the goalkeeper in injured and unable to continue play during Penalty Kicks or Sudden Death.


·         Standings and Team Placements

·         Division Champions in all divisions will be recognized at the conclusion of tournament play.

·         Tournament Seeding will be determined by Final Team Standings

·         Final Team Standing are determined by the following:

·         Points

·         Win = 3 Points

·         Draw = 1 Point

·         Loss = 0 Points

·         Tie Breaking Procedures

·         Points

·         Head-to-Head Matchups

·         Head-to-Head Goal Differential (GD) – Maximum of +/- 3 per match

·         Goal Differential (GD) – Maximum of +/- 3 per match

·         Goals Allowed (GA) – Maximum of +/- 3 per match

·         Shutouts

·         Coin Toss

·         Discipline

·         Red Cards

·         Player is sent off for the remainder of the match, and may not be replaced, is suspended for the next scheduled match and actions will be reviewed by the Disciplinary Committee for consideration of further suspension.

·         A player failing to serve the suspension in the next scheduled team match will be suspended for the team’s next three scheduled matches.


·         Individual Player/Coaches Disciplinary Review and Action

·         Players Player/Coaches are assigned disciplinary points in the following manner:

·         Yellow Card = 1 Point

·         Red Card = 2 Points

·         Red Card as a result of a second Yellow Card = 2 Points

·         Straight Red Card while already on a Yellow Card = 3 Points

·         Upon accumulating 5 points, the player or coach is suspended for the next scheduled match.

·         A Red Card suspension does not satisfy a suspension for accumulated points.

·         Once a player or coach reaches 5 points, they are suspended for each additional 3 points accumulated and they may be subject to further suspension beyond one match after league review.

·         Player suspensions shall carry over from one season to the next and include Tournament Play.

·         Coaching suspensions must be reviewed by the Disciplinary Committee before being allowed to return to coaching duties.

·         Suspended players are still eligible to practice while they are suspended.

·         All actions of players and spectators are subject to review by the Disciplinary Committee and may result in further player and/or team sanctions.

·         The team coach will be responsible for assuring all players who participate in any game are eligible according to the JSA rules. Any team that uses ineligible players will be subject to review by the Disciplinary Committee and may result in further sanctions including but not limited to suspension of the team coach.

·         Players who are Indefinitely Suspended may petition the Disciplinary Committee for reinstatement according to the timetable set by the Disciplinary Committee (7 Days). The Disciplinary Committee will review each petition on a case-by-case basis and either provide a new timetable for petition for reinstatement or reduce the Indefinite Suspension.


·         Team Disciplinary Review and Action

·         The league reserves the right to discipline any team who forfeits a game.

·         The league reserves the right to discipline a team based on the actions of its players or coaches.

·         The league reserves the right to discipline a team based on persistent issues with said team.

·         League discipline for teams may include but are not limited to point penalties, forfeits or team suspensions.


·         Jonesborough Soccer Association reserves the right to update or amend the rules at any time after a vote from the Executive Board. Any changes that are made to the rules will be communicated and copies of the amended rule will be given to each team.




Jonesborough Soccer Association
123 Boone St 
Jonesborough, Tennessee 37659

Phone: 423-431-9415
Email: [email protected]

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