Central Mass Over 35 Soccer League Rules
Rule 1 - The Field of Play
Fields may have a minimum width of 50 yards and a maximum width of 100 yards, and fields
may have a minimum length of 100 yards and a maximum length of 130 yards.
Rule 2 - The Ball
The official Game ball
will have a circumference of 27" - 28" and a weight of 14 oz.- 16 oz.
Rule 3 - Number of Players
Each team consists
of 11 players, one of whom must be the goalkeeper. An unlimited substitutes could be made on:(a) Goal Kick, (b) Goal Scored,
(c) Half-time, (d) When the ball is stopped for injury and the injured player is substituted, (e) On OFFENSIVE throw-ins.
Rule 4 - Player Equipment
A player's uniform must consist of shirt, shorts, socks, shinguards and shoes. The goalkeeper
must wear colors which distinguish him from the other players.
Rule 5 - Referees
One referee is appointed for each
match by Referee Assignor. A referee is responsible for control of the game and his/her decisions regarding facts connected
with play are final. A referee must send a game report to the League President after the game with score and red cards if
Rule 6 - Referee's Fee
The referee's fee for the game is $60.00 and should be paid before the game by home team.
Rule 7 - Duration of the Game
The game shall be divided up into two equal periods of 45 minutes each.
Rule 8 -
The Start of Play
Games shall be played on Sunday morning at 9:30 AM. A flip of a coin decides which team will kick off.
Each team must stay in its own half of the field and the defending players must be at least 10 yards from the ball when it
After a goal, the team scored upon will kick off. After half-time, the teams change ends and the kickoff will
be taken by the opposite team to that which started the game.
Rule 9 - Ball In and Out of Play
The ball is out of
play when (a) it has wholly crossed the goal line or touchline, whether on the ground or in the air, or (b) when the game
has been stopped by the referee.
Rule 10 - Method of Scoring
A goal is scored when the whole of the ball has passed
over the goal line, between the goal posts and under the cross bar, whether on the ground or in the air.
Rule 11 - Offside
A player is in an offside position if he is nearer to his opponent's goal line than both the ball and the second last
he is in his own half of the field of play, or
he is level with the second last opponent or two last
opponents. A player shall only be declared offside and penalized for being in an offside position, if, at the moment the ball
touches, or is played by, one of his teammates, he is, in the opinion of the referee:
interfering with play or with an
gaining an advantage by being in that position.
A player shall not be declared offside by the referee
merely because of his being in an offside position, or
if he receives the ball direct from a goal-kick, a corner-kick,
a throw-in, or when it has been dropped by a referee.
If a player is declared offside, the referee shall award an indirect
free kick, which shall be taken by a player of the opposing team from the place where the infringement occurred, unless the
offense is committed by a player in the opponent's goal area, in which case the free-kick shall be taken from any point within
the goal area.
Rule 12 - Fouls and Misconduct
A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits
any of the following 10 offenses in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:
(a) kicks, (b) trips, (c) jumps at, (d) charges violently, (e) strikes, (f) pushes, (g) holds, (h) spits, (i) intentionally
handles the ball, or (j) tackles an opponent to gain possession of the ball, Our League is slide tackle free! (an indirect
A penalty kick is awarded if any of the above 10 offenses is committed by a player inside
his own penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball, provided it is in play.
An indirect free kick is awarded
to the opposing team if a player, in the opinion of the referee, commits any of the following offenses: (a) dangerous play,
(b) impedes the progress of an opponent, or (c) prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands.
kick will also be awarded if the goalkeeper: (a) Takes more than six seconds while controlling the ball with his hands before
releasing it from his possession, (b) touches the ball again with his hands after it has been released from his possession
and has not touched any player, (c) touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate,
(d) touches the ball with his hands after receiving it directly from a throw-in taken by a teammate, or (e) wastes time.
player is cautioned and given a yellow card if he commits any of the following offenses: (a) unsporting behavior, (b) shows
dissent by word or action, (c) persistently infringes the Laws of the Game, (d) delays the restart of the game, (e) fails
to stand the required distance for a corner kick or a free kick, (f) enters or re-enters the field without the referee's permission,
or (g) deliberately leaves the field of play without the referee's permission. (h) slide tackles.
A player is sent off
and shown the red card if he commits the following offenses: (a) guilty of serious foul play, (b) guilty of violent conduct,
(c) spits on an opponent or any other person, (d) denies an opponent a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately
handling the ball, (e) denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player's goal by an offense
punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick, (f) uses offensive language, or (g) receives a second caution in the same match,
(h) slide tackle w/ violent contact or intent.
Red Card penalties: $25.00 first offense - miss one game, $50.00 second
offense - four game suspension, $100.00 third offense - one year (12 months from date of offense). Red cards may be appealed
to red card Committee.
Rule 13 - Free Kick
Free kicks are classified into two categories: "Direct" (from which a goal
can be scored directly against the offending side) and "Indirect" (from which a goal cannot be scored unless the ball has
been touched by a player other than the kicker before entering the goal). For all free kicks the offending team must be at
least 10 yards from the ball or the goal line until the ball is kicked.
Rule 14 - Penalty Kick
A penalty kick is a
direct free kick taken at the penalty mark. All players except the player taking the kick and the goalkeeper must stay outside
the penalty area and be at least 10 yards from the ball (hence the arc at the edge of the penalty area).
Rule 15 - Throw
When the ball has wholly crossed the touchline, it is put back into play by a throw-in from the spot where it went
out and by a player from the opposite team to the player who last touched it. A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in.
Rule 16 - Goal Kick
When the ball has wholly crossed the goal line after being last touched by a player from the attacking
team, it is put back into play by a kick from the goal area by the defending team.
Rule 17 - Corner Kick
ball has wholly crossed the goal line after being last touched by a player from the defending team, it is put back into play
by a kick by the attacking team from the corner on the side the ball went out.
Rule 18 - Eligibility of Players
players are 35 and older, but each team can carry on its roster up to three players between 30 and 35. Player's age is considered
within calendar year of season (January 1st - December 31st).
Rule 19 - Team Rosters
New Players: Rosters are frozen
after 3rd game of the season.
Rule 20 - Cancellations:
All games must be played, or may result in forfeit. Only cancellations
due to weather are allowed. Make-up games should be played after the last game of the regular season
Rule 21 -Inter League Players
Suspension from any other league carries over to the CMO35 league.
League Specific Rules and Regulations
Revised as of 9/10/04
All teams are required to have a Team Coordinator or designee at all league meetings. Any team not sending a Team Coordinator
or representative will be assessed a $25 fine, payable to the league. Two consecutive meetings missed will result in a vote
for that team being suspended from the league.
The league may elect any officials or structure in order to meet its business needs at its annual meting in the spring.
Rules and fines are approved by a majority of the member clubs present as stakeholders in the organization. Other rules changes,
business, concern or items required voting may also be taken up at the fall supplemental meeting. The league designated the
following management structure at its spring 2003 annual meeting:
- President Oversees all business, is the primary contact for the league, is the final arbitrator for league decisions and
delegates tasks and responsibilities when required to meet league needs. The President will ensure that all players submitted
for membership who are eligible for league play are provided a players pass card and that all team rosters are certified each
- Treasurer Handles all league finances, verifies payment of any bills, including team payments and fines, follows through
with any paperwork or correspondence required for league affiliation and reports semi-annually at the league meetings on income,
expenses, fines and league finances;
- Secretary Takes and records meeting minutes including business issues and votes, prepares and updates league rules and
- Website Coordinator manages and updates league website and keeps information current, including scores and standings,
disciplinary information and league contact information;
- Competition Committee Responsible for investigating and completing reports on all red cards or major league rules infractions,
reviewing league rules and practices and recommending changes and/or improvements at league meetings, addressing, in a timely
manner any appeals requested by a team coordinator;
- Team Coordinators each team must designate at least one representative to represent that team at all league business meetings,
will be the liaison to the referees at scheduled matches, will report scores back to the league president and will request
any appeals on behalf of team members;
- Referee Coordinator will act as the liaison between referees and the league, will schedule qualified, certified referees
for each scheduled match.
Payments and Fines
All league fees, payments and outstanding fines must be paid to the league prior to the first game of each spring or fall
season or that team cannot officially play in the league. Special circumstances may be granted by the league president. Any
fines generated during the season must be paid to the league prior to the next scheduled game or either the team being assessed
will forfeit the following fame or the player assessed will be ineligible to play.
All players must be registered to the league through the team due to fairness, safety and insurance reasons. The league
is a recreational mens league and tries to be as accommodating as possible to allow players to play in a safe and fair manner
in the spirit of recreation and fair play. Registering players allows the league to control players for conduct and fouls,
gives accountability to the league and referees and conforms to standard state and nationwide league practices.
The CMO35 League will honor any sanction or suspension given to a player from any other recognized league and will not
allow that player to join the CMO35 league until the circumstances of their suspension is positively resolved or period of
sanction is completed. The league reserves the right to not admit any player whom the league believes may pose a danger or
threat to any other player registered in the league.
- All players must be registered with the league and possess a valid pass card. Pass cards are available through the league
president or his designee and should be readily available within a few days of a player becoming placed on a teams roster.
- All teams must have a valid roster approved by the league. The league requires proof of identity and age for new players
not previously registered to the league. There is no roster minimum or maximum for players, however, each team is responsible
for paying insurance fees required by the league for any registered player.
- All players must turn 35 within the playing year (April to December) in which they are on a teams roster. Each team is
allowed an exception of three players who must be 30 or older during the playing year (April to December). All under 35 players
must be clearly identified on each teams roster.
- Rosters are frozen and cannot be added to after the third game of each season. Exceptions may be requested to the league
only as a replacement for an injured rostered player who will then be ineligible for the remainder of that season. New players
may use a drivers license or other picture ID for their first week only. These players must be registered in advance with
the league so that they are listed on a teams roster and are under the league insurance. No player can play without league
consent through advance registration. These players must have a valid pass cared by the second week of eligibility or else
will not be eligible to play.
- The fine for playing with an illegal player, either underage or unregistered, is $100 and any game that the player appeared
in during active play is forfeit.
- Each team must have 2 copies of a valid roster and give these, and team pass cards to the referee at least 10 minutes
prior to the start if each game. In the event of failure to have on hand required pass cards or rosters, the following rules
are in effect. These are to promote safety and discourage teams to have a player "panic drive" home to retrieve forgotten
pass cards or rosters.
6a. Any team unable to produce pass cards due to error may submit picture IDs for all eligible, rostered players to the
referee prior to the game. Any player unable to produce a valid license or picture ID will be ineligible for play in that
match. The names will be noted and sent in to the league for verification against that teams master roster. There will be
a $25 fine, payable to the league for the first offense of failure to have valid pass cards and $50 for any subsequent violations
in a season. This fine must be paid prior to the teams next game.
6b. Any team unable to produce 2 copies of a valid roster may hand the referee two hand written rosters. As in the pass
cards, there will be a $25 fine for the first offense and $50 for any subsequent offenses within a season. Any handwritten
rosters will be checked against the leagues master roster for that team.
- All matches start at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings as scheduled unless a different start time is agreed upon by both teams
and called into the league president and referee assignor at least 14 hours in advance of the match. There shall be a 15 minute
grace period if any team cannot field the minimum (7) rostered players by start time. If the team cannot field a legal team
by the end of the grace period (9:45 a.m.) that club shall forfeit the match.
- Forfeiting team will be responsible for paying the referee (see section below).
- The match may be played by mutual agreement as a "mixed squad" or other arrangement, however, the game will still be recorded
by the league as a forfeit. The game will not be a sanctioned CMO35 League match but a "pick up friendly." It is up to the
referees discretion to stay as they will then be an independent agent and may not be fully insured by their state association
to referee the match. Regardless of their decision, the referee must be paid.
3a. Any player receiving a caution or send-off, playing in a violent manner, or any other reportable manner of play shall
not incur fines/penalties under the CMO35 League rules. However, any conduct by a player either immediately prior, during
or after a match, either sanctioned or "friendly" as defined by the above circumstance shall be reported to the league Competition
Committee which may recommend sanctions against that player(s) for conduct detrimental or inconsistent with membership to
3b. Any action of severe nature, including assaultive behavior or obvious intent to injure will be dealt with harshly by
the league and may also be reported to the statewide sanctioning authority.
- In the event of a referee no show, the teams have THREE options: 1. Abandon and reschedule the match; 2. Play with a designated
referee mutually agreed upon by both teams; and 3. Play without a referee and allow players to call fouls. This decision must
be agreed upon by both teams prior to the start of play and any match started will be considered valid and played by the league.
Any referee no-show must be reported to the league a soon as possible after the game.
5. The winning team is responsible for calling in the match score to the league within 24 hours after the conclusion of
Team No-Shows or Forfeits
- Referee will be paid for any game that is not cancelled at least 2 hours in advance due to team cancellation. This does
not apply to weather cancellations. The team on the field should pay the referee and they will be reimbursed by the league
which will assess the no-show team. In addition, there will be a $50 fine, payable to the league of any team that is a no
- A second no-show in a season will result in the team being dropped from the league for the following season.
- Teams are not considered a no-show if they show up short, with a minimum of 5 rostered players at game time. This team
will still be required to pay the referee but will not be assessed a league fine. Teams that do not have the minimum players
(7) for two games in a season will face review by the league and may be dropped from membership.
- Teams may re-schedule or cancel matches if mutually agreed upon and the league president and referee assignor are contacted
at least 14 hours in advance of the match (7 p.m. the night prior to the match). There are no league fees or penalties for
re-scheduling or canceling a match, however, teams that re-schedule or cancel two or more matches in a season will face review
by the league and may be sanctioned.
As a recreational league, the CMO35 has adopted several modified rules to control the level of play and to best ensure
the safety of all players. It is important to remember that this league has no formal standings or championship, is intended
to be friendly match play for adults and it is the intent of the league to minimize risks toward players as possible, without
diminishing the quality, enthusiasm or effort of each player in the match. Referees have been asked to adhere to the level
of play and the spirit of recreation in their game and foul calling.
- Referees have been advised that there are absolutely NO sliding tackles allowed. Players may slide to keep a ball from
going out of bounds or to gain control of a ball but are not allowed, within CMO35 rules, to slide within playing distance
with another player, as determined by the referee. Sliding tackles will be sanctioned with a caution and an automatic yellow
card. A flagrant sliding tackle or a sliding tackle with injury will be sanctioned with a send-off and a red card.
- Excessively hard, but otherwise legal challenges are not allowed by the CMO35 League. First offense will be signaled as
a foul and a warning given to the offending player. Subsequent challenges of this manner may be sanctioned as a caution or
send-off at the discretion of the referee.
- A yellow card given in a match does not carry over to subsequent games and there is no fine or sanction imposed by the
league. Players who receive frequent yellow cards will be reviewed by the league Competition Committee and that player may
be sanctioned. Two yellow cards in a match, resulting in a send-off (red card) will be sanctioned with a $25 fine and the
player must sit out the following scheduled match. Two yellows may be appealed to the league, with the approval of the referee,
if the cards were for a technical or minor nature. (Excludes physical contact with the referee, violent action or intent toward
- A send-off will result in a $25 fine for the first offense in a season and the player must sit out the following scheduled
match. The sanction will carry over to the next season if required. The number of games penalized may be increased by agreement
by members of the league Competition Committee. The fine must be paid before the player will be eligible to play in any subsequent
- A second send-off in a season will result in a $50 fine being assessed and that player penalized by sitting out the remainder
of the season (minimum suspension 5 games). This suspension will carry over to the subsequent season if required. The number
of games penalized may be increased by agreement by members of the league Competition Committee. The fine must be paid before
the player will be eligible to play in any subsequent matches.
- No player will be allowed to resume play until their suspension is served and any assessed fine is received by the league
prior to their next allowed start.
- In the event of an appeal of any disciplinary action to the league, the player(s) suspension as required by the stated
rules will be in force until the appeal is heard and an agreement of the Competition Committee is reached. The League President
has the right to act on an appeal only when unable to reach at least 2 members of the Competition Committee after 3 consecutive
days of attempts and within 24 hours of when the action being appealed goes into effect.
- Violent assault on a player, referee or spectator will result in the player(s) suspended for a minimum of one year and
a maximum of permanent ban from the CMO35 League. All players sanctioned for this offense will also be reported to state league
- In an "unsanctioned/friendly match" as prior defined, any player receiving a caution or send-off, playing in a violent
manner or any other reportable manner of play shall not automatically incur fines/penalties under the CMO35 League rules.
However, any conduct by a player either immediately prior, during or after a match, either sanctioned or "friendly" as defined
by the league rules shall be reported to the league Competition Committee which may recommend sanctions against that player(s)
for conduct detrimental or inconsistent with membership to the league.
Threat to a Referee
The league will impose a minimum of a one year (two playing seasons) and a $100 fine for any action meant to threaten the
safety, seriously intimidate or harm a referee. The following actions are sanctionable, but not exclusive:
- Hard Contact
- Verbal threat or abuse
- Intimidation such as following a referee to their car
- Damage or threat of damage to referees property
All reports of threat, intimidation or abuse toward a referee will be reviewed by the leagues Competition Committee and
taken very seriously. The league reserves the right to assess additional sanctions toward a player(s) or a team to protect
referees and the league.
Findings of actionable offense toward a referee will be reported to state authorities, who may take further action.
Referees may also have legal options under Massachusetts General Laws to file legal complaints against offending parties
and will receive any necessary cooperation from the CMO35 league.
Referees will be paid $60 per game.
Each team will, upon request, will be sent a copy of the leagues insurance binder.
There will be a fee assessed each season of $15.00 per team which will be payable by the league to the referee assignor.