Soccer Updates

Laws of the Game


A goal is scored when the entire ball passes over the goal line between the goal posts and below the crossbar. 



  1. If the ball was illegally propelled by an attacker's arms or hands.
  2. The kick was indirect and was not touched by anyone on either team other than the original kicker.
  3. If a free kick by the defending team goes directly into its own goal without touching any other player.  (A corner kick is awarded to the other team in this case.)
  • If the ball deflects into the goal from a defender as the result of legal play or a defender's illegal play following an advantage call a goal is scored for the attacking team.
  • If the goalkeeper carries the ball into the goal following a catch or puts the ball into the goal as part of a throw, a goal is scored.
  • Each goal counts as one point.




This is one of the most misunderstood or least understood of all soccer rules.

General Interpretation:  A player is offside if he/she is nearer to his/her opponent's goal line than the ball at the moment the ball is played. 


  1. There is never offside on your own side of the field.
  2. There are two opponents as close as the attacker to the goal line.  ("Even is on.")
  3. The ball was last played by an opponent.  Playing the ball does not include mere deflection.  Playing implies a controlled or intentional playing of the ball.
  4. The ball was received directly from one of the following:  a. goal kick, b. corner kick, c. throw-in, d. drop ball.  Once any other player other than the kicker or thrower has played the ball then all offside rules are in effect. 
  5. Offside Position:  If, in the opinion of the referee, an attacking player is in an offside position but is not seeking to gain an advantage by being in that position, then the player is not offside.  This usually is interpreted to mean that the player is beyond reasonable playing distance from the ball and was not an intended participant in the play or the player has the ability to play the ball but does not attempt to do so and does not interfere with the defenders ability to play the ball.



  • An injured player making no attempt to play the ball;
  • A player on the far side of the field or significantly away from play; 
  • A player fixing equipment and making no attempt to be part of the play; 
  • A player running alongside or ahead of a teammate who is playing the ball as long as the player never receives or touches the ball. 
  • If any of these players become a part of the play they may be called for offside.         


Penalty:  Indirect kick to the other team.  The ball shall be kicked from the place where the player was located when the infraction occurred.


  • In CLCF short field games and in the Under 8 division there are no offsides at any time.




A foul or misconduct is any action, which causes harm or offense to an opponent or participant in the game.  Some fouls and misconducts are more serious than others and are dealt with more severely.

A foul or misconduct could result in a free kick to the offended team.  It could also result in a caution or ejection for the offending player. 



The following nine offenses are considered serious and always result in a direct kick for the offended team.  If the offense is committed by the defending team in its own penalty area the penalty is always a penalty kick.  The foul must be intentional.

  1. Kicking or attempting to kick an opponent.
  2. Tripping
  3. Jumping at an opponent.
  4. Charging violently.
  5. Charging from behind.
  6. Striking or attempting to strike (includes spitting).
  7. Holding an opponent.
  8. Pushing an opponent.
  9. Handling the ball illegally.
  • (Quick memory:  all involve some violence and end in "-ing")


  •  In CLCF Under 8 games there are no Direct Kicks.  All kicks are Indirect.



  1. Dangerous play.
  2. Charging fairly when not within reasonable playing distance from the ball.
  3. Obstructing an opponent from getting to the ball when you are not attempting to play it yourself.
  4. Charging the goalkeeper or kicking the ball when the keeper has possession of it.
  5. Violations of the restrictions on the goalkeeper in the penalty area.  (see below)
  6. Encroachment:  A player kicking a free kick has an absolute right to do so unimpeded by defenders.  All defenders must remain 10 yards from the ball until it is kicked.  A defender entering this free zone before the ball is kicked is encroaching.  This free kick zone is 5 yards in half-field games.
  7. A player throwing the ball into play has an absolute right to do so.  A defender attempting to block or obstruct the thrower is encroaching.
  8. If the referee stops play in order to issue a caution or an ejection, an indirect kick is awarded to the other team from the point of infraction.  (This would be for a non-violent infraction, which occurs away from the play.)
  9. Fouls by attackers occurring in the penalty area will restart with an indirect kick from the center of the line defining the penalty area (or 5 yards from the goal if there is no marked penalty area).


Special privileges of the Goal Keeper in his/her own penalty area:

  1. The keeper may handle the ball.
    Restriction:  Once the ball is in control the keeper must put it into play within six (6) seconds.  The keeper may take as many steps as desired within this six (6) second period.  He may not delay the game by holding the ball (Penalty: indirect kick for the opposing team).  Once released into play by being kicked or thrown the keeper may not handle the ball again unless an opponent inside the penalty area or any player outside the penalty area plays it.
    If the ball is kicked to the keeper by a teammate the keeper may not touch the ball with his hands.  The keeper may play the ball with the feet, body, or head only.  Should the keeper touch the ball with his/her hands the opposing team shall be awarded an indirect kick from the point of infraction.  The keeper may use his/her hands if the ball is passed back from the head or body of a teammate.  No player may kick the ball to his/her own head in order to pass it to the keeper.  Penalty:  Caution to the player; indirect kick if the keeper touches the ball with the hands.
  2. The keeper may not be charged while going for the ball or while in possession of it.  "Possession" means control by either or both hands.  A ball pinned to the ground by one hand is in control.
  3. Outside the penalty area the Keeper must obey all rules as any other player on the field.
  • In CLCF short field games no throw or kick by the keeper or a kick by any other player from within the penalty area may go past mid-field in the air.  The penalty is an Indirect Kick for the opposing team from the mid-field position.



CAUTIONS (Yellow Card):

  1. A player is guilty of serious misconduct.
  2. A player continually commits violations of the laws of the game.
  3. A player dissents from any decision of the referee.
  4. A player acts in any unsportsmanlike manner.
  5. A player enters the game without permission from the referee.
  6. A player is guilty of unsportsmanlike behavior.
  7. A player deliberately delays the game by refusing to put the ball in play or by preventing the opponent from putting the ball in play.


EJECTION (Red Card):

A player is guilty of violent or very serious misconduct.
A slide tackle from behind is considered a very serious misconduct at all times even if no one is injured.  Ejection from the game is the standard penalty.
CLCF allows slide tackles in the Under 14 and above divisions only.  Players in the Under 8, Under 10 and Under 12 Divisions are to stay on their feet when playing the ball.  A slide tackle is considered tripping; a slide tackle that does not touch the opponent may be regarded by the referee as an attempted trip.

  1. A player uses foul or abusive language.
  2. A player is fighting or attempting to fight.
  3. A player spits at another player or the officials.
  4. A player continues to commit an infraction after having been previously cautioned.
  • It is not necessary to have received a caution before an ejection may be issued.  A second caution for any reason is the equivalent of an ejection.  An ejected player may not be replaced during the remainder of the game.
  • A coach may be cautioned or ejected for the same reasons listed above.
  • A player who is ejected (red card) from a game may not continue to play in that game.  The player is also prohibited from playing in the team’s next game, even if that game is in championship play.
  • A player who receives three (3) cautions (yellow cards) during the season is prohibited from playing in the team’s next game, even if that game is in championship play. 
  • In CLCF Under 8 division games there are no Yellow or Red cards given for infractions.  The referee shall speak to the coach concerning problems.


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