SWSA Rules

By and large, the Southwest Washington Soccer Association (SWSA), like most soccer leagues, follows the standard FIFA Laws of the Game. On top of that, SWSA also has a number of league specific rules that differ from the official FIFA set. It is the captain's responsibility to ensure that all of their players are aware of both FIFA's rules, as well as the SWSA changes and exceptions.

Coed:  A team may have no more than 6 players of either gender on the field. This rule holds regardless of the total number of players on the field or the players' positions. This requirement may be changed or adapted at the discretion of both captains and with consultation of the referee.

Slide Tackling: Slide tackles are not allowed. A caution (yellow card) will be given for the first offense, ejection (red card) for a second offense. The rule applies to all players, including the goalkeeper. A player may slide, although not if it in any way endangers other players. This safety determination is at the referee's discretion.

Uniforms: Players on a team must wear  color-matched shirts that are acceptable to both the referee and the opposing team. The 'home' team, as shown on the schedule, has the responsibility to change in the case of a uniform conflict.

Game Start: Per FIFA, a team is required to have a minimum of seven players to field a team. SWSA provides a grace period of up to 15-minutes for a team to have enough players to start. However, at the referee's discretion, the game clock may start at the scheduled game time. 

Substitutions: SWSA allows unlimited substitutions, including sub-on-the-fly, where players do not need to alert the referee or wait for a dead ball situation in order to make substitutions. Substituted players are also allowed to sub back onto the field, unlike FIFA regulations. It is expected that players will sub out where possible at or near the center line. It is against both FIFA and SWSA regulations for a player to sub off at one part of the field and another to sub on and immediately affect play. Whether or not a substitution was made that adversely affected the play or not is at the referee's discretion, though since our referee's don't need to be alerted to substitutions, the burden of fair play is on the teams. 

Age Requirements: SWSA currently has three basic divisions, which each have their own age requirements. A player is considered to be of age provided their birthday occurs within the calendar year in which the game is taking place. This means that a person who turns 30 on December 31st is eligible to play in our Over 30 division for the entire year leading up to that day. This does not apply to underage players. 

  • All Ages- Players must be 18 or older. Players who are 16 and older may play with a signed permission slip from their parents.
  • Over 30- All Players must be 30 or older, with the exception that each team is allowed two female players aged 28 or older. This requirement may be changed or adapted at the discretion of both captains and with consultation of the referee.
  • Over 40- All Players must be 40 or older, with the exception that each team is allowed two female players aged 35 or older. This requirement may be changed or adapted at the discretion of both captains and with consultation of the referee.

Blue Card: SWSA has implemented a "blue card" rule, similar to the rule that is commonly used in indoor soccer, wherein a referee may elect to send a person off the field for a period of several minutes, at the referee's discretion, before they are allowed back on. This rule can be used in addition to a yellow card, if the referee feels it necessary. The intention of this rule is for the referee to provide players with a cooling off period if a player has become too physically or verbally aggressive, or if the referee feels that they may soon become so. The player may be substituted for another player on the sideline, thus keeping the team at 11 players. The carded player will be allowed back on when the referee feels that they have calmed down and no longer represents a threat to themselves or others.



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