League Rules and Disciplinary Policy

District Sports has implemented a NEW Disciplinary Policy, starting in December 2013. Check it out by clicking here.

League Rules - Updated 3/9/17

For specific Indoor Soccer and Outdoor 5v5 Rules, click here.

Foreword

First and foremost all District Sports soccer leagues are purely recreational! Anyone registering to play with us should recognize that they are playing in a: 

  • COED (mostly)
  • Recreational
  • Adult soccer league. 

We are simply about providing friends, neighbors and co-workers in Washington, DC with the opportunity to join together to get some exercise, share experiences and make new connections.

Please note that District Sports reserves the right to excuse from the league any player who engages in any sort of violent conduct or persistently verbally abuses referees or other players. Fair play and sportsmanship are essential if District Sports is to achieve its stated aims.

District Sports considers the in-game decisions of referees to be final. While we appreciate and welcome feedback on all elements of our league, including referees,  challenges to both calls and non-calls will not be reviewed by league management. Decisions made by referees in District Sports matches cannot be reversed and will not serve as justification for a game to be replayed.

  
Section I: League policies and Guidelines for indoor and outdoor soccer.

A. Individual and Team Registration

  • Eligibility - All players must be 21 years of age or older

Registration Requirements: 

  • Waiver Form
  • Individual or Team on-line registration
  • Team Rosters - Team Captains for single payer teams are required to submit team roster complete with player names and emails to the league before league play begins.
  • Payment - Throughout the registration process for each season, payment deadlines are made clear. By signing a team up for a District Sports league, teams captains commit to covering the full team fee, either through individual player payments or paying the full team fee. Any individual player's dues that have not been paid by the end of the season will become the team captain's responsibility. The team captain must make payment equal to the cost of the remaining unpaid dues.
  • Player Refunds - If a player has signed up for a season and cannot participate, due to injury or change in availability, District Sports will honor refund requests made before the start of league play. In the case that a player is refunded, the portion of the team fee he or she was responsible for covering still must be paid, either by a replacement player or an existing roster member.

B. Rosters 

Teams rosters may be as small or as large as the team like. For teams that register as individuals, District Sport retains the right to place non-aligned free agents on the team. District Sports suggest that teams carry the following amount of players per category:  

  • 11v11 outdoor soccer- 18 players
  • 9v9 outdoor soccer- 14 players
  • 7v7 outdoor soccer- 12 players
  • 5v5 indoor soccer- 10 players

During regular season, play teams may pick-up registered players from other District Sports teams. This should only be done should the team not have enough of its own players present at the games. Captain discretion is requested in these cases.

The players that a team may choose to pick-up on a temporary basis for regular season games must wear either the host team's assigned District Sports jersey or a shirt that is identical in color to the host team's assigned jersey.  Players wearing shirts that are a different shade of the host team's jersey color or are wearing another color entirely may be excluded from games by referees. 

Only Registered District Sports players are allowed to play on a given team. District Sports retains the right to suspend any team playing with un-registered players. 

C.  Rosters: Male to female ratio 

The following are the maximum amount of men and women that may be on the field at any given time for each format. Please consider this when putting together teams. 

  • 11v11- Teams may have no more than eight (8) players of the same gender on the field at any one time.
  • 9v9- Teams may not have more than six (6) players of the same gender on the field at any one time.
  • 7v7 -Teams may not have more than five (5) players on the field of the same gender on the field at any one time.
  • 5v5 indoor- Teams may not have more than four (4) players on the field of the same gender on the field at any one time. This does not include the goalkeeper. For instance, if a team has a female goalkeeper they must also have a female field player to satisfy the coed requirement. 

D. Equipment- Please consider when preparing for the season 

  • Shin guards (must be totally covered by socks to reduce risk of injury) are mandatory and are an absolute requirement for all players.
  • Footwear - Only soccer/athletic shoes are acceptable. No street shoes or metal cleats. Referees' decisions on footwear suitability are final.
  • For outdoor soccer each team shall be responsible for providing a game ball. For indoor soccer District Sports will provide game balls. 
  • Field Preparation and Clean up - Where possible, we ask that players assist referees with field setup and clean up. Please do not leave trash and personal items at the fields. 
  • First Aid - It is recommended that team captains bring First Aid materials (tape, ice packs, etc) to games, in case of injury. District Sports referees are not medical professionals and, as such, do notprovide First Aid. 

    District Sports is not responsible for any items lost or stolen during games or at District Sports field sites.
     

E. Uniforms 

F. Regular Season Schedule

  • Schedules will be created based on the amount of teams playing in each league. While we will make every attempt to reschedule games lost for weather related reasons, it is possible for a few games to be lost because of inclement weather. The league makes no ultimate guarantee of any certain number of games- If conditions beyond the control of the league are present, including but not limited to, excessive inclement weather conditions.
  • Schedule Adjustments - Adjustments to the schedule require the agreement of BOTH teams, and are not final until approved by District Sports. However, it should be understood that adjustments are not guaranteed. Teams cannot reschedule games, only the District Sports league administrator has the authority to reschedule a game.
  • District Sports reserves the right to change field locations and times during the course of the season, as needed. Every attempt will be made to give as much advanced notice as possible to affected teams.

G. Forfeit Policy

  • If a team needs to forfeit a league game, they must alert District Sports a minimum of 3 hours before a scheduled kickoff. Confirmation of forfeits should be sent to info@districtsports.com.
  • If a team shows up in good faith but for some reason is unable to field a full team they will not be subject to a penalty.
  • Teams who do not alert District Sports of a forfeit within 3 hours of their match will be subject to a $75.00 penalty. Monies collected for forfeits will be donated to one of the league's charitable partners.

H. Weather Related Closings-   District Sports Game Hotline: 202-263-1143 

  • Game Cancellations -  Games played on turf fields will go on even in the event of rain. At points we may make a decision to cancel games due to extreme weather such as  snow, freezing rain or  extreme temperatures. We do this out of concerns for player safety. 
  • Cancellation Notification - District Sports makes every effort to provide as much advanced notice as possible when forced to cancel games. Notification will go out via email and text (to those who've provided this detail when registering) along with our Game Hotline (202.263.1143).  It in encouraged that players check for communications before leaving for games.
  • Suspended Games - If, due to weather conditions, safety conditions, or referee discretion a game is halted prior to halftime, it will be replayed, field time  permitting. A game halted at halftime or later can stand as indicated by the score when the game was halted, if a replay is not possible.
  • Rescheduled Games - If a game is cancelled for any reason, the league will reschedule if possible. Up to two (2) games may be cancelled without a rescheduled game. If more than two games are cancelled without rescheduling then players will receive a reimbursement. See fees & reimbursements.

I. League Standings 

  • Game statistics (wins and losses) will be recorded and posted on the District Sports web page.  Teams are encouraged to review their respective League Standings page periodically.  The team captain should notify the League Administrator of any errors. 
  • A 3-3 draw will be posted for games cancelled and not rescheduled at the end of the regular season.
  • A 3-0 loss will be posted for a team that forfeits a game.

When setting playoff draws, District Sports will first consider team's overall record in the regular season. Should two teams be tied on points the first tiebreaker will be goal differential, followed by head to head and then goals allowed. 

J. Playoff Specific Rules 

  • Individual player may not play on two playoff teams, regardless if they are fully registered for both teams. This rule applies to goalkeepers and field players.
  • In order to respect field permits  and effectively manage schedules across the various District Sports leagues, game lengths may be altered for playoffs.  Generally speaking, District Sports referees will adhere to the following:  11v11 playoff games will be 60 minutes in length and 5v5, 7v7, and 9v9 will be 40 minutes in length.
  • Extra-time and/or penalty kicks will follow games that end in draws. The exact format will depend on the league. Generally speaking the District Sports referees will adhere to the following: 

** 5v5 and 7v7 Leagues:  Games that end in a draw will be decided with one 5 minute golden - goal overtime followed by 3 penalty kick if necessary. In coed games one member of the opposite sex will be required to shoot. 

** 9v9  Leagues: Games that end in a draw will be decided with one 5 minute golden - goal overtime followed by      5 penalty kick if necessary. In coed games one member of the opposite sex will be required to shoot in the first 3  shooters.  

** 11v11 Leagues: Games that end in a draw will be decided only with 5 penalty kicks.   In coed games one member of the opposite sex will be required to shoot in the first 3 shooters.  

K. Fans and Pets

  • Spectators are allowed and encouraged to attend District Sports games. Please be aware that certain facilities have limits on the number of people allowed on the field at any point in time. We ask that all District Sports affiliated players and fans do their best to respect the specific rules set forth by individual facilities.
  • Pets are not allowed on the premises of any DCPS or privately owned field. Rules for pets at fields controlled by DC Department of Parks and Recreation vary. District Sports players and affiliated fans are asked to refrain from bringing any animal (with the exception of registered service-animals) to games. 


Section I: Outdoor Soccer Games Rules
 

Generally speaking all games should be played in accordance with the FIFA rules of the game.  

District Sports considers the in-game decisions of referees to be final. While we appreciate and welcome feedback on all elements of our league, including referees,  challenges to both calls and non-calls will not be reviewed by league management. Decisions made by referees in District Sports matches cannot be reversed and will not serve as justification for a game to be replayed.

A. Game Time 

  • 11v11 - Two 35-minute halves with a 1-5 minute half time or as required due to adjusted game times per field allocations.
  • 9v9- Two 25 -minute halves with a 1-5 minute half time or as required due to adjusted game times per field allocations.
  • 7v7 - Two 25-minute halves with a 1-5 minute half time or as required due to adjusted game times per field allocations.
  • 5v5- Two 25-minute halves with a 1-5 minute half time or as required due to adjusted game times per field allocations.

B. Equipment

  • Shin guards (must be totally covered by socks to reduce risk of injury) are mandatory and are an absolute requirement for all players.
  • Footwear - Only soccer/athletic shoes are acceptable. No street shoes or metal cleats. Referees decisions on footwear suitability are final.
  • Each team shall be responsible for providing a game ball. District Sports is not responsible for said game ball should it be lost or stolen. 

C. Coed Rule 

  • 11v11- Teams may have no more than eight (8) players of the same gender on the field at any one time, and must have at least one player of each gender on the field at any one time.
  • 9v9- Teams may not have more than six (6) players of the same gender on the field at any one time, and must have at least one player of each gender on the field at any one time.
  • 7v7 - Teams may not have more than five (5) players on the field of the same gender on the field at any one time, and must have at least one player of each gender on the field at any one time.
  • 5v5 indoor- Teams may not have more than four (4) players on the field of the same gender on the field at any one time. This does not include the goalkeeper. For instance, if a team has a female goalkeeper they must also have a female field player to satisfy the coed requirement.

D. Forfeits 

Teams must be ready to play their game within 10 minutes of the scheduled game time. 

If a team does not have the following amount of players for each of the particular formats then they are considered to have forfeited.

  • 11v11- 8 players, including at least one rostered player of each gender.
  • 9v9- 6 players, including at least one rostered player of each gender.
  • 7v7- 4 players, including at least one rostered player of each gender.
  • 5v5- 3 players, including at least one rostered player of each gender.

For all leagues, in order to start a match, a team must have at least one female rostered player on the field. If there are no female players available to play at the start of the match, a forfeit will be enforced. 

E. Adding players from other teams

Should teams have enough of their own players that they don't need to forfeit but not enough for a whole team, they may pick up players from another team provided that they are registered District Sports Players. If remaining players from the scheduled team arrive after the start of the game then any players who have been picked up from another team should leave the game. Any team who picks up players should not add more players than can play on the field at any given time. This means that the team should not have any substitutes.  This does not apply to goalkeepers or in some cases to teams that have a limited number of players of either gender.    Teams may add additional players if they are needed to properly satisfy the coed rule or if they do not have their own goalkeeper present. 
 

F. Substitutions 

Generally speaking, unlimited Substitutions may be made with the consent of the referee at the following times:

  • Throw In - your possession or when the opposing team substitutes
  • Goal kick - either team
  • Goal - either team
  • Injury- when the referee stops play that team is allowed to substitute for the injured player. The opposing team is then allowed to substitute a single player.

Yellow Card - Referee may choose for an immediate substitution of carded player. Carded player will remain on the sideline until referee determines that they may re-enter the game.  

For 7v7 and 5v5, field player substitutions may be made at any point during game play or stoppages, with the exception of free kicks. Players must enter and leave the field from the halfway line. Failure to do so will result in an automatic yellow card. Goalkeeper substitutions can only be made during stoppages in play with the consent of the referee. 
 

G. Slide Tackling 
Slide tackling is NOT permitted. Performance of a slide tackle, may be grounds for a yellow card on the part of the referee. A slide tackle is defined as sliding for a ball when in the close proximity of another player (no matter where on the field). Players may slide when not creating a dangerous play, i.e. sliding to keep a ball in play. 

H. Free kick Distance

  • 7v7 - 8 yards
  • 9v9 - 10 yards
  • 11v11 - 10 yards
  • 5v5 - 5 yards

I. Off-sides

  • Off-sides is always in effect for  11v11 outdoor games
  • Off-sides is always in effect for  9v9 outdoor games. 
  • There will be no off-sides in 7v7 or 5v5 play.

J. Athletic plays

  • Athletic plays (i.e. bicycle and scissor kicks) are allowed in the run of play, so far as they do not put another player at risk. 

K. Goalkeepers

  • Goalkeepers may punt, throw, or send goal kicks as far as they like across the half-line.
  • Goalkeepers are allowed to slide but may be cautioned if they do so in an aggressive manner. 

L. Misconduct

  • Yellow Card - Referees will immediately substitute player out for a minimum of two (2) minutes.
  • Red Card - A player receiving a red card, or two yellow cards in the same match, must leave the field premises, sight and sound,  without substitution.
  • Effective December 2013 District Sports has put in place enhanced penalties surrounding caution cards. For details on those penalties click here.

M. Team Conduct

  • Discipline - The Team Captain assumes the responsibility regarding team leadership and maintenance of order and discipline. District Sports expects each Captain to set a positive example for their players in promoting good sportsmanship and self- control. If a player not registered with District Sports receives a Red Card during a game, the Captain will be asked to serve the player's suspension.
  • Sideline Control - The Captain is responsible for the behavior of his/her bench area. After being verbally warned or cautioned (yellow card) by the referee for unsportsmanlike behavior from his/her bench area, the Captain will receive a red card if the situation persists. The referee also has the power to eject any spectator at any time at his or her discretion.

N. Player Suspension

  • In the event that a player receives a red card. They will be asked to sit-out a minimum of one game (more should league management see fit). It is the responsibility to captains to ensure that this suspension is served.
  • District Sports will refuse registration to any player currently on suspension from any Washington DC-area league.
  • District Sports also reserves the right to suspend players from league play. This is at the sole discretion of District Sports and cannot be appealed. Registration fees will not be refunded to suspended players. 

District Sports reserves the right to modify these rules at any time.

Questions? Contact District Sports at  info@districtsports.com.



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