2007 NCAA Soccer Rules Changes Interpretation

NISOA prepared the following official interpretation of the 2007 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer rules changes. Please be aware of the new rules and implement them for the upcoming season.


By:Kenneth G. Andres, Jr., Esq.

NISOA National Rules Interpreter

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules Committee has approved the following changes for the 2007 season.Note: The page references are from the 2006 Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules and Interpretations Book.

The Field of Play, Dimensions(Rule 1-1-b, page 9) – A.R.1. Is it legal to conduct a collegiate soccer game in an indoor facility? RULING: Yes, provided the dimensions are in compliance with Rule 1-1-b and an outdoor facility is not available.

Coaching and Team Areas.(Rule 1-12-c, page 15) – A member of the coaching staff who is part of the official traveling party and listed on the game roster is permitted to view the game from the press box or other areas, provided a press box or other suitable area is available and there is no communication in any way with other bench personnel in the coaching and team areas. Exception: Communication and/or contact is permitted during halftime, overtime intervals and/or any time the staff member returns to the coaching and team area.

Style, Shape and Material.(Rule 2-2, page 17) – A.R. 8. The ball becomes defective during play and the referee stops the game. How is the game restarted? RULING: In the event a ball becomes defective, the ball is replaced and the game is restarted with a drop ball at the location where the ball was when play was suspended, subject to the restrictions of Rule 9-3-b.

Substitutes, When Allowed. (Rule 3-4-I, page 21) – A.R. 22. A player from Team A is instructed to leave the field for an equipment change and is not replaced at that time. Provided a player from Team B is ready to enter the game, is it permissible for that player to enter the game when the player from Team A returns? RULING: Yes. Team B player may enter the game at the same time Player A returns to the game, provided Team B player has already checked in at the scorer’s table. If the player from Team A does not return to the game, Team B player shall wait until the next allowable time for substitution set forth in Rule 3-4.

A.R. 23. An injured player is removed from the game, is not replaced at that time and it is determined a substitute is needed. When can the substitute for the injured player enter the game? RULING: Provided the substitute has checked in, at the next stoppage of play or any allowable time for substitutions.

Player’s Equipment. (Rule 4-1-b) – Players shall wear shinguards under the stockings in the manner intended, without exception. The shinguards shall be professionally manufactured, age and size appropriate, and not altered to decrease protection. The NCAA will require (effective date pending) players to wear shinguards that meet the standards established by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). (Visit www.nocsae.org.)

Scorekeeper. (Rule 6-4, page 40) – Note: Once given, and once the scoresheet is signed and released for publication, coaches, players and bench personnel bear the burden of the infractions.

Restarts. (Rule 9-3-b, page 48) – After temporary suspension of play (in case of temporary suspension of play due to an injury or any other cause) there shall be a drop ball at the spot where the ball was located when play was suspended, provided the ball was not in the goal area.

Protests. (Rule 10.9, page 54) – If a game ends (legal contest, e.g., minimum of 70 minutes played) and a situation can be protested, the coach lodging the protest, provided it is a protest of misapplication of a rule of conduct (e.g., a referee requiring teams to continue playing after a legal goal has been scored in any overtime period) shall do so before the officials sign the official scoresheet and leave the site of the competition. The protest shall be recorded on the Soccer Protest Form (see form at the back of the rules book) and forwarded to the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Secretary-Rules Editor. Protests shall not be received or considered if they are based solely on a decision involving the accuracy of the referee’s judgment. The decisions of the referee regarding facts of play are final.The decisions pertaining to protests shall be final and shall be reported to the respective teams and/or conference. If the protest is valid, and the game result clearly delineates a winner, there shall be no replay and all statistics, except the modified score, shall remain. If the protest results in a decision to replay the game, it shall be replayed in its entirety. Further, all statistics in the previous game shall not count; however, cautions and ejections occurring in the protested game are subject to the procedures stated in Rules 5.5.1, 12.16, 12.17 and 12.18. Note: Decisions to replay a valid protested game shall be made with the two opposing teams and their conference(s).If the protest involves a possible scorekeeper error (e.g., failure to record an obvious red card ejection), the referee and protesting coach shall make an immediate determination based on all information available at the game site. The protest shall not be resolved on a delayed basis by the Secretary-Rules Editor. All rulings by the Secretary Rules Editor are final and there shall be no right of appeal.

Lightning Safety Policy, Expiration of Time. (Rule 10-11, page 55) – If available, electronic detection devices should be used as additional tools to determine the severity of the weather. However, such devices should not be used as the sole source when considering terminating play.

Game interventions and waiting time – With reference to game interruptions and the length of waiting time beyond which the game cannot be started and/or restarted: No contest may be started or resumed that has not been restarted before an additional 90 minutes after the conclusion of a regulation 90-minute game. For example: A game that begins at 2:00 p.m., if interrupted, shall be suspended for that day if it cannot be resumed before 5:00 p.m.

Ejections. (Rule 12-15-g, page 77) – Engages in hostile or abusive language or harassment that refers to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or national origin, or other abusive, threatening or obscene language, behavior or conduct.

Official NCAA interpretations can be obtained at a website addressing frequently asked questions and rule interpretations answered by Secretary-Rules Editor C. Cliff McCrath at: NCAA.org. Go to Sports and Championships and follow the prompts to Interpretations to access this benefit.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 at 8:51 am and is filed under General with keyword(s) . You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Comments so far

  1. John Puglisi says:

    Please note that A.R. 80 for Rule 9 on page 50 of the 2007 NCAA Rules Book is correct as written. Please note the restart for the incident described in the approved ruling.

    A.R. 80. The goalkeeper, in possession of the ball, has been hurt in a goal-mouth scramble, but no foul has been committed. RULING: Stop the game and clock, treat the injury and restart the game with an indirect free kick by the team in possession.

  2. John Puglisi says:

    Here is another approved exemption of the goalkeeper from drop ball restarts from the 2007 NCAA Soccer Rules Book.

    Rule 12.11 A.R. 117 (pg. 76) A goalkeeper appears to sustain an injury while making a save while maintaining possession of the ball, during which time the six-second limitation elapses. The referee determines the goalkeeper is able to continue play. Ruling: Award an indirect free kick to the goalkeeper and restart play.

  3. John Puglisi says:

    There has been some discussion about the applicability of these two administrative rulings. Please note the drop ball exemption is only applicable when the goalkeeper is the injured player. If the goalkeeper is in possession of the ball when play is temporarily stopped due to an injury to another player, play is restarted by the referee dropping the ball at the spot where the ball was when play was temporarily suspended.