League Rules

League Rules

WPL League Rules

Washington Premier League (WPL) & Washington Recreational League (WRL) Rules

NOTE: These rules are updated 07/01/2019 and in effect for 2019-2020 league play for ALL WPL and WRL leagues unless superseded.

Change Log:


Rules affected

Brief Description


Rule 202 Division Formations and League Stds

Added reference to updated League Standards


Rule 204 Playing season

Fine amount increased to $1000


Rule 210 Scheduling

Added clarity around scheduling requests and times and locations


Rule 401 No Show of Officials

Added requirement that league is notified within 24 hours


Rule 302 Player Pass

Limited player options for WNPL and Super League players

Quick Links to Key Rules

Washington Recreational League (WRL) specific Rules

Rule 207 Playing Venue & Game lengths

Rule 210 Scheduling

Rule 302 Player Pass

Rule 530 Game-Suspension Procedures

Miscellaneous Reporting Forms  

General Governance 

Rule 101--Board 

The league’s board is governed by the WPL bylaws.

Rule 102 --Territories 

No club has exclusive territory rights in the WPL/WRL

Rule 103 -- Conditions for Removal of a Team or Club 

Violation of performance conditions set forth by the league may lead to removal of a team or club from the WPL/WRL.

Rule 104 -- Conditions for Competition in Leagues 

Following each season, the competition committee shall review the compliance record of each team in their specific division. The committee may find that compliance with the standards is insufficient and recommend action to the league office. In extreme cases of repeated non-compliance the respective executive committee may recommend the removal of the team or club in question.

Rule 105 -- Conditions for Team Acceptance into League 

Any club in good standing with US Club Soccer may apply for acceptance into our current leagues. Priority will be given to teams that are part of clubs that commit most of their teams to participate in WPL & WRL leagues. Please note that each league may have additional requirements. Please check the specific league descriptions and standards on our website for additional information. Team  placement is based on competition and location.

Rule 106 – Requirements for returning WNPL teams

To retain status as a WNPL team from season to season the team must retain 9 players from their previous season roster (for 11 aside teams only)

League Structure 

Rule 201 -- Governance 

All competition in the WPL & WRL are governed by regulations approved by the league office.

Rule 202 -- Division Formations and League Standards

Competitive divisions will be structured according to the competitive level of teams as determined by the Competition Committee, which has final authority on all placement issues. Should the WPL & WRL determine that there are an insufficient number of teams to constitute an age group division the teams affected may be allowed to temporarily or partially compete in a different division of play.  All WNPL teams must follow special league standards/policies (found under “League Resources” )

Rule 203 -- Playing Rules 

All games under league jurisdiction shall be played according to the rules and regulations recognized by the WPL which shall be the same rules set by FIFA/ U.S. Soccer (USSF) except for those modifications authorized by the WPL, WRL, FIFA or USSF.

Rule 204 -- Playing Season 

The “League” is designated by the WPL & WRL for the season in which the league is played. Example, spring, summer, fall or winter, but shall not be limited or restricted to a season.

All league games must be played on or by the last day games are scheduled by the league for the current season. No games will be played after that date unless approved by the League. If prior to the original scheduled game date teams are not able agree to a reschedule, the league office must be notified to arbitrate, or the match is played as originally scheduled.

Any games not played by the last day of the league season may be scored as a loss for both teams and a minimum fine of $1000 assessed to both teams. Please contact the league immediately if a scheduling issue arises that cannot be resolved. If fines are assessed, Clubs have 10 days to pay the fine. Clubs will not be able to register teams for Cup or League play until the fine is paid. 

Note: At League registration: all WNPL teams are required to pre-register to play in Washington Cup (end of the season State Championship tournament).

Rule 205 -- Point System 

The WPL & WRL shall operate under a point system. The point system shall award three points for a win, one point for a tie and no points for a loss.

In the event where an unequal number of games have been played by teams within a division due to a schedule change driven by the league, the final standings will be determined by average points per match played. . 

Forfeits will be scored by league office as 1-0. (see Rule 307A)

For Developmental Leagues & Recreational Leagues game scores will be listed with a maximum 5 goal difference between teams in addition to tiebreakers. All forfeits must be reported to the league and will be scored by league as 1-0 FT. (see Rule 307A)


·Head-to-head Points (win/lose/draw) between teams

·Head-to-head Total goal differential of each team

·Goals Against

·Goals For (up to 5 per game)

·In the event all tiebreakers are equal, the winner shall be decided by coin toss.

·If 3 or more teams are tied, the tiebreaker criteria listed will be used in order above to first eliminate or second promote one team. Teams remaining will then be compared again starting with first tiebreaker.

Goals will be capped at 5 for the determination of tiebreakers in all leagues. 

For Developmental Leagues & Recreational Leagues game scores will be listed with a maximum 5 goal difference between teams in addition to tiebreakers

Rule 206 -- League Standings 

Official standings of teams, which is the responsibility of the league office, are tabulated on a regular basis, and displayed on the Washington Premier League website. For score reporting see Rule 306

Rule 207 -- Playing Venue, Game Lengths, USSF mandates

The playing field used by each team must be lined according to FIFA standards with goals nets and flags. Teams in WNPL and Super league may have additional expectations per standards set for teams in those divisions.

Home teams are responsible for marking the field of play, providing an adequate game ball (modified as follows):



Game Duration 

Ball Size 

Field Size Mandate width x length

Field Size Range  width x length

Goal Size (height x width)



4 x 10 min quarters, 3 min breaks


20 yds x 30 yds

15-25 yds wide x 25 – 35 yds long

4' x 6'
Pugg Style goal



4 x 10 min quarters3 min breaks


20 yds x 30 yds

15-25 yds wide x 25  35 yds long

4' x 6'
Pugg Style goal



2 x 25 min halves, 5 min halftime


40 yds x 60 yds

35-45 yds wide to 55-65 yds long

6’.6” x 18’.6” ideal  6' x 18' and portable style acceptable2



2 x 25 min halves, 5 min halftime


40 yds x 60 yds

35-45 yds wide to 55-65 yds long

6’.6” x 18’.6” ideal  6' x 18' and portable style acceptable2



2 x 30 min halves, 5 min halftime


50 yds x 75 yds

45-55 yds wide to 70-80 yds long

7 x 21ideal  6’.6” x 18’.6” and  portable style acceptable2



2 x 30 min halves, 5 min halftime


50 yds x 75 yds

45-55 yds wide to 70-80 yds long

7 x 21ideal  6’.6” x 18’.6” and  portable style acceptable2



2 x 35 min halves, 5 min halftime


75 yds x 112 yds

60-80 yds wide to 100- 130 yds long

8' x 24'



2 x 35 min halves, 5 min halftime


75 yds x 112 yds

60-80 yds wide to 100- 130 yds long

8' x 24'



2 x 40 min halves, 5 min halftime


75 yds x 112 yds

60-80 yds wide to 100- 130 yds long

8' x24'



2 x 40 min halves, 5 min halftime


75 yds x 112 yds

60-80 yds wide to 100- 130 yds long

8'x 24'



2 x 45 min halves, 5 min halftime


75 yds x 112 yds

60-80 yds wide to 100- 130 yds long

8' x 24'



2 x 45 min halves, 5 min halftime


75 yds x 112 yds

60-80 yds wide to 100- 130 yds long

8'x 24'



2 x 45 min halves, 5 min halftime


75 yds x 112 yds

60-80 yds wide to 100- 130 yds long

8' x 24'

1Refer to   WPL current Birth year Chart

2BowNet, style goals are allowed at 7v7(9U/10U) and 9v9 (11U/12U) for all leagues except WNPL,  and Super League

SKLZ # USSF Heading Mandate All WPL and WRL leagues have adopted the USSF Heading mandates  For 11U and under leagues players may NOT engage in heading in either games or practices.  Limited heading in practice for players in 12U and 13U ages of 30 min maximum per week.  

Rule 208 – Heading Game Rule

Referees are instructed for all 11U and under games to apply the following rule:

When a player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick (IFK) should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense. If the deliberate header occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.

A. No Re-Entry Protocol (for Head Injury)

In accordance with the US Soccer return to play guidelines, any player removed from the field for a suspected head injury will not be allowed to return to the field of play unless cleared by a Healthcare Professional.

B. Health Care Professional

A health care professional is defined as “a licensed healthcare professional such as an athletic trainer certified (ATC), or a physician (MD/DO), with a skill set in emergency care and sports medicine injuries and with knowledge and experience related to concussion evaluation and management.”  It will be up to each club to decide whether they will provide a healthcare professional at their matches, and to ensure that this individual has the correct certification to be evaluating players for head trauma. If a club plans to use a healthcare professional to evaluate suspected head injuries during a WPL/WRL match, the healthcare professional must be presented to the referee prior to the start of the match.  Referees will not allow the re-entry of players removed from the field of play for suspected head injuries unless they are informed of the presence of, and meet with, a healthcare professional prior to the start of the match.

Rule 209 -- Rosters 

·All teams may list up to 26 players on their US Club Official Roster.

·Players can be only rostered to one team that is affiliated with US Club Soccer and the WPL/WRL.  

·As a requirement to register a valid team for a WPL league, each team must follow the minimum roster sizes listed below (exception for 15U and provide their Official US Club team roster to the league office approximately 20 days before the start of league play.

·For game days, the WPL Game Day sheet has limits to the number of players that can be listed. See below:

Roster Size Chart


Number of Players


Min. to register team

Game Day Roster max.













15U trapped




Note: The US Club Official Roster is printed from the US Club team page and the WPL game day sheet can be found in the team manager’s handbook and on our website.

Rule 210 -- Scheduling 

A. League Schedules and scheduling requests prior to a season beginning

Scheduling has become a major issue each season. The commitment to play games when scheduled has become a priority since in most areas field availability is limited. All games scheduled by the WPL are expected to be played on the scheduled date. Home teams are not obligated to reschedule games

·Schedule requests must be submitted via the schedule request web form  by the registration deadline for the specific league. Schedule requests must be limited to no more than 2 requests (see form).

·The Schedulers will do their best to honor scheduling requests submitted by the deadline but cannot guarantee that all requests will be honored.  Please prioritize your requests.

·All games scheduled by the WPL are expected to be played on the scheduled date.

·In the event the posted schedule cannot be met please refer to Rule 211.

·Teams unwilling or unable to attend a game will forfeit points from the unattended game.  Please see Rule 307A for more information on forfeits.

·The league will schedule certain “black-out” dates to allow players to attend WPL sanctioned events and trainings.

·The WPL Dev. leagues (9U – 10U) will be scheduled through the WPL office. Teams will play on Saturday and/or Sunday based on field availability across multiple locations.

BTeam Scheduling (times and locations)

·Please post game time and location as soon as known as a courtesy to all impacted.

·The home team manager is responsible for posting the time and location of the game no later than 72 hours prior to the game. For teams traveling either direction over the Cascade mountain passes, the game time and location must be posted no later than 6:00pm on the Sunday prior to the scheduled date.

·Posted contact information for both Coach and manager must be kept current on the WPL team site. It is the responsibility of the home team to inform the visiting team of any changes that may occur.

  • Please see section C. for specific rules on scheduling double headers.
  • When games are cancelled for weather related or field issues which causes limited availability of fields, these game time restrictions may be superseded. The league must be informed of all of these situations prior to rescheduling the games.
  • For teams traveling three hours or more, games may not be scheduled earlier than 11 am or after 5pm unless agreed upon by the visiting team. 
  • For teams that have 2 to 3 hours of travel, games may not be scheduled earlier than 10 am or after 6pm unless approved by the visiting team. 
  • For all local games (60 miles or less) scheduled outside of the WPL Development League it is the expectation that games will not be scheduled earlier than 9 am on Saturdays or 10 am on Sundays unless agreed to by the visiting team. 

·If field and/or times are changed (because of unplayable field situations), the listed home team  official is responsible to contact the opposing team listed manager and the league office as soon as possible.

C. Double-header Schedules (league specified)

·When one team travels across the state and is playing two away games, the home teams must schedule their games within the following time frame: a late Saturday afternoon beginning no earlier than 1 p.m. and an early morning Sunday start, kicking off between 9 am and noon.

·The league office reserves the right to approve the double-header schedules in case of disputes between both parties. Please be forewarned: to maximize the competition and minimize travel, there will be very little flexibility for home teams hosting traveling teams, particularly traveling across state. This applies mainly to WNPL and Super league teams, but may apply to Classic Division when appropriate. 

D. Developmental League specific 

·For the WPL Development League, games will be scheduled and posted by the league scheduler for ALL matches.

·The league will assign the referees for all Developmental League matches.

·Due to field availability constraints, no rescheduling of developmental matches will be entertained.

Rule 211 -- Rescheduling Games

·The league schedule is intended to be played as initially posted.

·Games can be rescheduled without the approval of the league unless it involves a double header weekend (see Rule 210C). Please be aware that Rule 204 applies, and Clubs may incur fines and forfeits if the games are not played.

·Once schedules are published, games may not be moved to a different date/time without the express written approval of the opponent.  Any changes to the published schedule must be finalized and completed at least 2 weeks prior to the original scheduled date of the game. Any reschedule negotiations not agreed upon prior to the 2-week window will cause the game to be played on its originally scheduled date.

·If prior to the original scheduled game date, teams are not able agree to a reschedule, the league office must be notified to arbitrate, or the match is played as originally scheduled.

·All charges related to fields and Referees are borne by the home team unless alternate arrangements have been made with visiting team.

·In the event the match is not played for any other reason not addressed in the rules, the league must be notified within 24 hours by the home teamThe WPL will decide regarding the disposition of the match.

Rule 212 -- Uniforms 

All teams must post their jersey colors on their team page or contact the visiting team no less than 72 hours prior to the game to confirm jersey colors.  In the event of a jersey color conflict, the home team is required to wear or change to an alternate color. Every player must have a unique number on their jersey. A minimum size of 6” tall on the back of the jersey.  

For WNPL teams only, taping or altering of jersey numbers is prohibited.  Players without a proper jersey will not be allowed to play. 

Registration and Game Day Procedures 

Rule 300-- Team Management Requirements 

·When registering, each team must list a team manager and supply contact information including a current email address and phone number. The listed phone and email must be checked daily and be updated on the event of a change.

·The team manager and/or head coach are responsible for responding to all communications regarding teams, league business, reporting scores and all communicationwith the appropriate league officials. All teams must have access to email, and a telephone number connected to a 24 hour answering system during the season. All teams are responsible for maintaining their contact information on their WPL team page.

Rule 301-- Eligibility 

Official US Club Rosters and Player cards

A. Players, coaches and managers shall be registered according to US Club rules.

B. A copy of the US Club Official roster must be e-mailed to the league office 20 days before the start of league play. There is no limit to the number of changes made to the roster provided the players are registered to the club.  All players must be listed with complete information including jersey number. Changes may be made to the roster during the season, but an updated roster must be e-mailed to the office prior to the player playing in any games. Players not listed on the roster most currently held at the WPL league office, are considered illegal and will constitute a forfeit for the team that has not e-mailed an updated roster. This procedure must be done by 6pm the Friday before the scheduled game the player(s) in question would play in. 

C. All players and coaches must present their valid US Club Player/Coach Identification Card to the referee prior to the match. The individual’s picture must be on the ID card and the card must be laminated.  Club officials (Coaches, managers, DOC’s) are required to visibly display their card on a lanyard while in the technical area (max. of 3 team officials in area).

·The individual will not be eligible for the match if the ID card is not valid. No exceptions. Players must be printed on the US Club Official Roster with correct jersey numbers listed. If for any reason jersey numbers are incorrect, team manager/coach must inform the other team prior to the start of the game. Failure to do so will result in a minimum $100 fine assessed to the offending Club.

·No handwritten players are allowed on the official US Club Roster. The player must be assigned to the Club and be listed on the WPL Game Day Roster Sheet. Players may be handwritten (must be legible) on the WPL Game Roster Sheet and match those players on the official US Club Roster.  All Game Day Roster Sheets must be completely filled out.

·3 copies of WPL Game Day Roster Sheet must be presented to the referee prior to the game. A fourth copy of WPL Game Day Roster Sheet and one copy of the team’s US Club Official Roster(s) must be provided to the opposing team prior to the game. It is the responsibility of each team to ask for this documentation. If neither team asks for the documentation, there is no recourse after the game has been started.

·If a team is not able to provide an US Club Official Roster(s) and Game Day Roster Sheet prior to the start of the game, it may be grounds for forfeit and further sanctions.

D. Any player that does not appear on the US Club Official roster shall be considered an illegal player. Any team using an illegal player shall forfeit any games in which the illegal player participated. In addition, the guilty team may forfeit an additional three points in the standings.  A fine of up to $1000 may also be assessed against a team using illegal players. Any team found using illegal players may be expelled from the league.

E. Players may only play for one US Club Soccer club during any league season. Guest players are not allowed in league play. (A Guest player is any player not currently rostered to your club)

F. WPL leagues from 9U through 19U are defined as either boys’ or girls’ leagues.   In the WPL, players must play on teams of their same sex.

G. Players may change clubs at any point in the season if they adhere to the WPL and US Club transfer policy. Players requesting transfer between two clubs must complete the following prior to be eligible to play:

·Serve a seven-day waiting period from the time an updated league roster is received by the League Office showing the player has a valid US Club player card.

·Have their US Club Player Card released from former club or is approved by the Competition Committee.

·Have met all financial obligations agreed to with their former Club.

H. All players registered with a Club participating in the WPL shall receive a US Club Soccer player id card which shall allow a player to play on any team within that club with the following exceptions:

·Players can play-up or play at their age.

·Players must adhere to Rule 302 “Player Pass”

Please note: 

·Younger players can play up in age if the club determines they are capable. To be eligible to play, players must be printed on either the US Club Official roster for that team or another team’s roster within the club. Players can only be rostered on one team in their club. Any players within the club handwritten on the US Club Official roster may not be eligible to play. Eligibility is determined by the player’s name being printed on a US Club Official roster from that club.

·Players rostered to a club's Recreational team may “player pass” to any "on age team" or may "play upat any age level as long as they have been rostered and carded to that team! Their primary team of record will be their Rec team and must be noted as such on the competitive team roster that is submitted to the league office.

·Teams/Clubs violating this rule will be put on notice by the league and may face sanctions and possibly expulsion from the league.

·Exceptions to Age and Gender rules may be considered. Please see the "Exception Form" on WPL website.

Rule 302 - Player Pass

The intent of the "player pass" rule is to provide a tool for coaches to give players an opportunity to play at a level that is developmentally appropriate for the player and to provide a way of getting more minutes for players needing them. The "player pass" is not to be used unethically.

·Each team may use the “player pass” for a limit of 4 players in a single match. These players must be noted on the Game Day Sheet along with providing copies of the Official US Club roster(s) these players are rostered to. 

·Violation of the "Player Pass" rule will constitute one or all the following, a fine, forfeiture of all games these players played in, a suspension of the offended coach and sanctions against the Club involved.

“Player Pass” Restrictions

All on age rostered WNPL and Super League players are eligible only to be “player passed” on age to the Super League or WNPL divisions. All eligible WPL players may be “player passed up” to older ages above Copa in all affiliated WPL leagues except the WRL. 

·WNPL and Super League Players that are rostered “play up” (playing on older age group team) may NOT play “on age” at any level of play.

·Players rostered to a club’s Recreational team may “player pass” to any “on age team" or "play up" at any age level if they have been also rostered and carded to that team! Their primary team of record will be their Rec team and must be noted as such on the competitive team rostered submitted to the league office.

·All Classic division players are unrestricted beyond adhering to age, gender, and player pass limit requirements.

·There is no player pass restrictions for the WPL Development leagues.

Refer to chart below for summary of Player Pass eligibility:


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Rule 303 -- Substitutions 

Free substitutions will be allowed in all age groups. Teams may substitute with the referee’s permission at on any stoppage. Player substitutions and reentry are unlimited

Rule 304 -- Personnel on the Bench 

·ALL non-playing personnel in the team technical area MUST have a current US Club card.  Team or Club Officials (limit of 3) are required to visibly display their card on a lanyard.

·Only uniformed players (and legal “player pass” players) listed on the team's US Club Official roster(s) and WPL Game Day sheet can be on the bench during the game and only players eligible and listed on game day sheet maybe in uniform. Players listed on the Team’s US Club Roster but not in uniform (in street clothes) can be on the bench during the game.

Rule 305 -- WPL Game Day Sheet 

·Each team is required to provide the referee, 2 copies of the WPL Game day sheet. (The league recommends providing 3 copies).

·Managers must have complete US Club Official roster(s) with ALL players listed, available at each game.

·Prior to start of the match each team must provide a copy of the US Club Official roster, and one copy of their completed Game Day sheet to the opposing team. If a team is not able to produce a US Club Official Roster, the game shall be played with potential for forfeiture and/or a fine. See Miscellaneous Forms and end of the rules. It is the responsibility of each team to ask for this documentation. If neither team asks for the documentation, there is no recourse after the game has been started.

·“Player pass” players must be noted on the WPL Game Sheet in the box provided and must be highlighted on their US Club Official Roster.

The WPL Game Day Sheet can be downloaded from the Washington Premier League web site, located at http://WPLsoccer.com/formsThe WPL Game Day Sheet has been updated. Please use the updated version. At the end of the game, the referee will complete the document and return the Home Team Game Day Sheet to the visiting team and vice versa. These documents shall serve as the Official Score Report and should be retained through the completion of league play.

Rule 306 -- Official Score Report 

The game score as reported on the Game day sheet shall be recorded on the WPL web site after each match by the winning team. Ties are to be reported by both teams. Both teams should keep and file the Game Sheets for future possible reference.  For the WRL match scores are capped by the system to reflect a 5-goal differential.

Rule 307 – Team “No-Shows”

Games must start no later than 10 minutes from the posted start time on the WPL website. Teams must start the game with the required minimum number of players for that age group.

·For 7U & 8U teams, a minimum of 3 players must be on the field to start and end a game.

·9U and 10U teams, a minimum of 5 players must be on the field to start and end the game.

·11U and 12U a minimum of 6 players must be on the field to start and end the game.

·13U and above, a minimum of 7 players must be on the field at the start and the end of the game or the game will be deemed a forfeit. Games not starting by the time the “grace period” has ended will be deemed a forfeit.

If a team or referee have communicated to the opposing team that they are on route, and there is a time restriction, the clock will be started at the end of grace period. Games must start no later than 30 minutes from the scheduled start regardless of the situation.

Rule 307A -- Forfeits

Forfeited games will result in a 1-0 loss for the team forfeiting the match.  These games must be reported to the league office who will determine if forfeit was warranted.  Additionally, Teams/Clubs that forfeit a match may be levied up to $1000 fine and possible removal from further league play for a period determined by the league office. The team causing the match forfeit will be responsible for all field and referee costs incurred by the home team. The league also reserves right to impose other penalties if it is deemed necessary. See Rule 210 Scheduling for travel league specific requirements and penalties. 

Rule 308 -- Incomplete Games 

In the event a game cannot be completed, the game counts if at least the first half of the game was completed. If the match is suspended prior to the expiration of one half, the game shall be replayed at a time agreed upon by the competing teams. An agreement must be made within 4 days of the date that the incomplete game was played. In the event the teams cannot agreethe league office will reschedule the game.

Rule 308A – Game Abandonment 

Any game that has been abandoned by the Referee for issues outside of an “act of God” will result in a forfeit and fine imposed upon the team causing the abandonment. The league office must be informed and will determine whether score stands or forfeit and fine is assessed.

Rule 309 -- Sideline Etiquette 

If field space allows, coaches and players will be on the same sideline opposite spectators. Coaches are responsible for the behavior of their parents/sideline.  Spectators are expected to behave appropriately and respectfully at all times during the match. Unruly or irresponsible behavior identified by a referee could lead to expulsion of the Teams’ coach, a team’s forfeit of points and/or a monetary fine. If the league receives reports of unsportsmanlike conduct from any spectators on a sideline the league reserves the right to fine the club or take further action as necessary.

Game Officials

Rule 400 -- Match officials 

The match officials are assigned by contracted referee assignors. Officials are to be USSF certified for the current calendar year. Use of non-certified referees in anything other than a "no show" situation may be considered a forfeit by the home team and subject to a $1000 fine from the league for each occurrence.

Clubs must report and post their Referee Assignor contact information in the Club Directory.  Failure to utilize contracted referee assignors and certified referees will result in club sanctions and/or fines.

For WPL Dev league 9U & 10U and WRL 12U and below only a center referee is required.   For all other leagues and levels, the expectation is 3 officials will be assigned to each match. 

Note:  If a full crew is not available games will still stand if a single certified referee is available. 

Rule 401 – No show of Officials 

Failure of a match official to appear will not constitute canceling of a match. If both teams can agree on a substitute, coaches must sign the game sheet prior to the start of the game. Neither team may protest the outcome of the match. If a coach feels that playing the match without a licensed referee is a safety issue for the players, then both teams must work to reschedule the match (Refer to Rule 211 for reschedules). It is the responsibility of the home team to reschedule the match at a time agreed to with the visiting team and bear the costs associated with hosting the match. If the team cannot find a time the league office will assist.

In cases where the Officials are a “no show” and teams cannot agree to play, the league must be notified within 24 hours of the scheduled game. The game will be rescheduled at the traveling team’s venue with the fees incurred to play the game paid by the original home team. The game will be scheduled by the league if the teams cannot agree on a date within 6 days of the originally scheduled game day.

Rule 500 -- League Discipline 

A. Red Cards

A player sendoff (red card) will result in a minimum of a one (1) game suspension. A send off as a result of two cautions will result in the player being suspended for the next match. If a player is sent off during the weekend, they may not play the remainder of the weekend. Games sat out that weekend count against the suspension, if noted on the game day sheet and/or Referee Game Report as such. Any team using suspended players will be disciplined the same as using illegal players. The League office must be notified of the sendoff within 24 hours by the home team. For more information on red cards please see rule 530.

Coaches and or Club Officials that have been ejected from a game may be subject to additional disciplinary action as determined by the league office. At a minimum, the coach/club official will receive a two-week suspension. All team expulsions apply to ALL teams that coach or team official is associated with.

B. Appeals / Hearings

No Appeals of league discipline will be considered.  See Rule 530 for procedures.  A coach, club or league official has a right to a hearing within 30 days if the suspension is more than 5 weeks. Coaches are not to be present on the sideline or at the field during the time of their suspension, nor anywhere near the field. If a coach is ejected more than twice in one season, or found to be present on the sidelines during the suspension, the club will be fined up to $500 and the particular team will lose points.

Rule 501 - Assault or Abuse of Participants 

A. When any person shall assault or abuse a participant (as defined by B) below) within WPL the matter shall be brought directly before the WPL Discipline Committee. (Note that assault or abuse of a referee by a player, coach, manager, club official or game official is subject to the jurisdiction of the WPL Discipline Committee under the specific definitions and procedures of USSF Policy 531-9 -- Misconduct toward Game Officials.) Nothing herein shall prevent a referee from carding a player or cautioning/ejecting a participant, or from the WPL Disciplinary Committee imposing sanctions against a participant under its rules, even if the incident involved assault or abuse.

B. A participant, for the purposes of this specific rule, shall be defined as a registered player, the parent, relative or guardian of a registered player, a coach, assistant coach, trainer or team manager, a spectator, an officer of a Club, Association, or member of the Board of Directors of WPL, Association, referee, and any other person required to have Risk Management acceptance.

C. (1) (i) Assault is an intentional act of physical violence at or upon an individual.

(ii)For purposes of this specific rule, “intentional act” shall mean an act intended to bring about a result which will invade the interests of another individual in a way that is socially unacceptable.

(iii) Outside of practice and match activity, a “socially unacceptable” act includes (but is not limited to) touching which the victim considers invasion of personal space or makes the victim feel uncomfortable or threatened. Unintended consequences of the act are irrelevant.

(iv) During practice or games, “socially unacceptable” acts include violent acts during games and practices which exceed all reasonably acceptable sporting behavior.

(2) Assault includes, but is not limited to the following acts committed upon an individual: hitting, kicking, punching, choking, spitting on, grabbing or bodily running into an individual; head butting; the act of kicking or throwing any object at an individual that could inflict injury; damaging an individual’s clothing or personal property, i.e. car, equipment, etc.

D. (1) Abuse is a verbal statement or physical act not resulting in bodily contact which implies or threatens physical harm to an individual or their personal property.

(2) Abuse includes, but is not limited to the following acts committed upon an individual: using foul or abusive language toward an individual that implies or threatens physical harm; spewing any beverage on an individual’s personal property; spitting at (but not on) an individual; or verbally threatening an individual.

(3) Abuse shall include, but not be limited to, racial, ethnic, religious or gender slurs directed at one or more individuals.

(4) Verbal threats are remarks that carry the implied or direct threat of physical harm. Such remarks as “I’ll get you after the game” or “You won’t get out of here in one piece” shall be deemed abuse.

E. (1) Assault or abuse may be grounds for suspension or ban from further participation and membership in WPL or any affiliated Member Association, club or team. Such authority shall supersede any and all other penalty codes or rules. A temporary suspension will be imposed immediately upon the verification of an allegation of assault or abuse until a hearing is held and the decision is published by the hearing chair. Minimum penalties and periods of suspension shall be as follows:

(i) Except as provided below, for any assault, at least one (1) year from the time of the assault;

(ii) For a minor or slight touching of the individual or their personal property, a minimum of three (3) months;

(iii) For an assault committed by an adult upon an individual seventeen (17) years of age or younger, at least three (3) years;

(iv) For a minor or slight touching committed by an adult upon an individual (17) years of age or younger, at least 6 months/years.

(v) For an assault when serious injuries are inflicted, at least five (5) years.

(vi) In the case of assault, shorter periods may not be provided but, if circumstances warrant, a longer period may be provided (e.g., habitual offenders with two (2) or more incidents of suspension).

(vii) The minimum suspension for abuse shall be three (3) matches. Longer periods may be provided when circumstances warrant (e.g., habitual offenders with two (2) or more incidents of suspension).

Disciplinary regulations

Rule 520 – Violating League Rules

The WPL Disciplinary Committee and the WPL League Office shall have the authority to suspend, fine, disqualify or otherwise impose sanctions on, players, team officials or competing clubs for violating league rules, the WPL Ethics policy or for any action or conduct not in the best interest of soccer or the WPL. For more information on red cards please see rule 530.

Any breach of WPL Rules, Ethics or allegations of individual or team misconduct should be reported to the league via the violation report form.   violation report form.   

Rule 521 -- Disciplinary Panel 

A panel of individuals from the league office shall conduct the review of disciplinary issues. Such panels will consist of at least one licensed referee official.

Rule 530 -- Game-Suspension Procedures 

Team Responsibility - Teams are responsible for ensuring that any of their players (Red Card) or coaches (Expulsion) who have received a red card or “expulsion” serves the appropriate suspension immediately. The referee who issued the red card or “expulsion” (of a coach) is required to file their report within 48 hours detailing the infractions leading to the red card or “expulsion”.

The WPL Disciplinary Committee will determine the length of the suspension from the referee’s report and the severity of the infraction. Again, the suspension is immediate, and the player or coach is suspended from (at minimum) the next game either the coach or player is involved with regardless or not if the offender receives notification from the WPL of the suspension. Following any further investigation, the WPL Disciplinary Committee will indicate if any changes to the length of the suspension were made in the charging letter/e-mail sent to the team/club.

Club officials may submit evidence related to misconducts directly to discipline@washingtonpremierleague.com  prior to Wednesday of the week following the match. The discipline committee will consider any evidence and may, at their discretion, determine if a hearing is required. A charging record will be sent to the coach and manager of the team (for player send-offs) and to DOC / club president for Team official expulsions.discipline@washingtonpremierleague.com  by Thursday of the week following the match. 

Referee Responsibility - All Club referees must provide misconduct report via Ridgestar web reporting to the WPL. If you do not report through your Referee Association on-line you can directly from the Referee reporting featureInstructions for electronic reporting are on the WPL website.

Note: All suspensions are to be served with the team player is officially rostered.

Players may not utilize the "player pass" to;

- play for another team prior to the suspension being served and documentation returned

- document serving their suspension with a team they are not officially rostered.

Coaches’ expulsions are an automatic 2-week suspension with the Disciplinary committee review that could bring additional suspensions.

Please note: for Coaches, the suspension carries over into all WPL/WRL age groups and/or Games the coach is coaching. In the case of a coach who coaches multiple teams, if Coach A receives a sendoff for his/her 12U Girls game and Coach A has a game with his/her 15U Boys team – Coach A is unable to coach that match.

Rule 531 –Matters Not Provided For

Any matter not provided for in these Rules shall be decided by the WPL Competition and Rules Committee Chair and Disciplinary Chair.  All such decisions are final.

Code of Conduct 

Do not tarnish the game of soccer, the WPL, US Club Soccer, USSF, your club, your team, yourself, your family.


Washington Recreational League (WRL) and Development League Supplemental Rules

(These rules are in addition to League rules and are specific to recreational and development divisions 10U and under)

These Rules are in effect as of the following date 07/01/2019 until superseded.

Modified Soccer (7U – 10U) – Rules and Procedures

Rule 601 – Small sided application of USSF Guidelines

7U & 8U

·Field sizes the same for all age 8U and younger- 20 yds wide by 30 yds long

·Game Duration – 4 x 10 min Quarters, 5 min break after second quarter

·4 v 4- no goal keepers

·No off-sides will be called

·No direct free kicks

·No intentional heading (indirect free kick if determined to be intentional)

·Goal sizes-Same size goal for both ends of the field. A Pugg style goal may be used. Recommending the larger size (yellow). 4 ft high by 6 ft wide as the recommended goals size if using Tekk or BowNet types. A Lacrosse style goal is okay to use, too.

·Portable goals must be secured (eg. Sand bags or staked-down to ensure player safety at all times)

9U & 10U

·Field size- 40 yds wide by 60 yds long (see below for internal dimensions)

·Game Duration – 2 x 25 min halves5 min break 

·7 v 7- including goalkeepers

·Build out line / Off-side line will be used (equidistant from Penalty Area to Halfway line)

Goal Keepers will not “punt” or ‘drop kick’ the ball. They may distribute via throw, pass or roll on the ground after opponents retreat behind the build out line.  If they choose to play prior to players retreating behind the line there is no infraction of the rule. After the ball is put into play, the opposing team can then cross the build out line and play can resume as normal. Goal Kicks require players to retreat behind the build out line prior to the kick being taken. 

Note:  The ball is “in play” once it is kicked  If opposition team crosses the build out line prior to this the kick is retaken.

Off-sides will be called.  The build out line will be used in determination of off-sides vs using the center line. Players between center line and build out line are not to be considered as off-side.

·Direct free kicks will be called

·No intentional heading ( indirect free kick if determined to be intentional)

·Goal sizes- 6.5’ x 18.5’ (6’ x 18’ allowed)

·Portable goals must be secured (eg. Sand bags or staked-down to ensure player safety at all times)

Summary Table 


Field size
(WxL in yds)

Goal size
(max feet HxW)

Ball Size

Field Players

Roster Size (recommended)

Game Duration
(Minutes per period)


20 x 30

4’ x 6’




4 x 10


20 x 30

4’ x 6’




4 x 10


40 x 60

6.5’ x 18.5’ (6’ x 18’ allowed)




2 x 25


40 x 60

6.5’ x 18.5’ (6’ x 18’ allowed)




2 x 25

Field Dimensions for 9U & 10U 7v7 with Build out line       

Bar chart

Description automatically generated  

Note: Build out line is equidistant from Half to Penalty

Field Dimensions for 11U & 12U

Chart, bar chart

Description automatically generated  

WRL -- Recreational Specific Rules 

Rule 602 – Mercy Rule for ages 10U and below

If the score differential reaches 5 goals then the coach of the team with fewer goals may add one player to the field. If the goal differential returns to 4 goals then the additional player must be removed from the field. Adding and removing the player must be done according to substitution rules.

It is the responsibility of the coaches to adhere to this WRL policy. The referees may remind the coach, but it is not their responsibility to bring this to the coach’s attention or force the coaches to take the necessary steps.

Rule 603 – Mod Substitutions

A. Substitutions may be made, with consent of the referee:

Prior to a throw-in; by either team

Prior to a goal kick, by either team;

After a goal, by either team;

After an injury, when the referee stops play, by either team;

At half time;

When the referee stops play to caution a player, only the cautioned player may be substituted, prior to the restart of the game.

B. The number of substitutes shall be unlimited. Each player should play a minimum of 50% of the total playing time. Substitutions will be allowed in order to give an opportunity for all players to get equal playing time and to balance rather than to run up the score.

Rule 604 – Mod Player Equipment

A. ALL PLAYERS SHALL WEAR SHINGUARDS. Socks must be worn up and over the shin guards.

B. All players shall be in uniform to play. A minimum “official” uniform is shirt (with a number). Goalkeepers shall wear shirt/vest colors that distinguish them from field players.

C. Standard approved soccer shoes or gym shoes must be worn by all players.

D. A player shall not wear anything that may be dangerous to other players or to themselves.

E. A player may wear extra protective clothing against the cold, including gloves without dangerous, protruding or hard objects, provided that:

The proper team uniform is worn outermost; and any hat should be without peak, bill or dangling or protruding object of any kind; however, the goalkeeper may wear a soft-billed hat; and

Referee discretion may be used to determine if an item of protective clothing is considered to go beyond the purpose of providing a means of retaining body heat.

F. A player wearing a cast or splint may be permitted to play with doctor’s note approving and the cast or splint is completely covered by a thick layer of soft material.

G. No player shall be allowed to play with an injury or a known medical condition, which can be aggravated by playing.

H. Protective orthopedic devices, prosthetic devices and any equipment, gear, appliance or apparatus that is protective for a known medical condition may be provided that:

·The equipment, gear, device appliance or apparatus has been approved by a licensed physician, prosthetics, therapist or other practitioner trained or licensed to prescribe, design, select and/or fit such devices;

·A letter is on file with home club officials and team coach from a licensed physician, prosthetics, therapist or other practitioner trained or licensed to prescribe, design, select and/or fit such devices, stating

i. that he or she is licensed to prescribe, design, select and/or fit such devices; that the device is properly fitted; and

ii. that the device is suitable for use in youth soccer competition; and

iii. The referee determines that the device conforms to Law 4 of the Laws of the Game.

Rule 605 – Modified Officiating for Rec Leagues

The home team will be responsible for providing referees. In the event that a referee is not present, both coaches will mutually agree upon one. If one cannot be agreed upon, each coach will referee one-half.  Assistant Referees may be used whenever possible to assist the referee.

Rule 606 – Charging the Goalkeeper

In all 10U and below games: No player shall make physical contact with the goalkeeper, harass the goalkeeper or attempt to play the ball once the goalkeeper has control of the ball in any manner and to any degree whatsoever.

Note: Also included in “having control of the ball” is the goalkeeper holding the ball on the ground with one or both hands.

Rule 607 – Basic and Modified Game Procedures

 A Start of Play:

1. The ball will be placed at the center of the field by the referee and the game will start with one player kicking the ball in any direction, after a given signal by the referee. At the time of the kickoff, every player will be in his/her half of the field but outside the center circle.

2. The ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves. The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player. 

3. A goal shall not be scored directly from a kickoff without the ball being touched by at least one other player on either team.

B. Restart of Play:

1. After a goal has been scored, the game shall be restarted in like manner by a player of the team that gave up the goal.

2. To start the second half, the game will be restarted with the kickoff by a player of the opposite team to that of the player who started the game.

3. Restarting play after temporary delay: In the case of a temporary suspension due to an injury or any unusual situation, there will be a drop ball at the spot where the ball was declared dead. The ball shall be deemed “in play” when the ball has touched the ground.

Ball in and Out of Play:

4. The ball is out of play when it has wholly crossed the goal line or whole touchline, whether it is on the ground or in the air.

5. The ball is out of play, when the referee has stopped the game.

Goal Kicks: (9U and 10UUtilize the build out line

6. Opponents are required to drop back behind the build out line prior to the taking of a goal kick.  Once the ball is kicked into play  the opposing team may cross the build out line and play resumes as normal.  If players encroach across build out line prior to ball being in play the kick is retaken.

C. Method of Scoring:

1. A goal is scored when the whole of the ball has crossed the whole of the goal line on the ground or in the air between the goal posts and under the cross bar.

2. A goal may not be scored from a team’s defensive half. 

D. Offside Rule:

1. While the offside rule will not strictly apply to any 8U and below game, the intent of the rule will be followed. Positioning a player in front of the opponent’s goal irrespective of the location of the ball on the field is contrary to the aims of the program. The referee shall take appropriate action to prevent this kind of play (an indirect kick to the offended team and instructional statements to the violating players and coach.

2. 9U and above teams will play with the off-side’s rule. The referees will call the rules and the proper penalties will be assessed. 

Note: for 9U and 10U the build-out line is used as the off-side line vs. the center line.

E. Fouls and Misconduct:

1. FREE KICKS: Free kicks shall be classified under two headings: “Direct,” from which a goal can be scored by a direct kick against the offending side and “Indirect,” from which a goal cannot be scored unless the ball has been played or touched by a player other than the kicker before passing through the goal.


3. Any intentional header at 11U and below will warrant an indirect free kick for the opposing team.  If the header occurs within the goal area the kick is to be taken at the point closet the infraction on the goal area line.

4. No Penalty Kicks will be granted at 8U and below

5. A DIRECT KICK (9U AND UP) shall be awarded for the following nine intentionally committed offenses:

·Kicking an opponent

·Tripping an opponent

·Jumping at an opponent

·Charging an opponent in a violent or dangerous manner

·Charging an opponent from behind

·Striking an opponent

·Holding an opponent

·Pushing an opponent

·Handling the ball, with the exception of the goalie, in the designated area

 Rule 608– Coaching

A. The coach is responsible for his own behavior as well as that of his players and spectators. Discuss what you expect of parents during games. Remember this is just for fun.

B. Every player must play in each game at least 50% of the playing time unless they are not able to play due to illness or injury.

C. All coaches should attend an appropriate level-coaching clinic prior to the start of the regular season.

D. Coaching must be done in a civil manner and the tone of voice will be informational and encouraging, not demanding or critical.

a. It is every coach’s obligation and duty to attend coaching and referee clinics in order to acquire information that, in turn, may be passed on to the players. Refer to the WPL website for Referee Clinics offered.

E. Contact the visiting coach at least three days before the scheduled game to reaffirm the time, directions to the field, and to share team colors (home team changes jersey color if visiting team is the same color). If the visiting coach is not contacted he/she should contact the home team coach.

F. Make sure that you have a game ball properly inflated before the game starts.

G. Make sure that all of your players are properly equipped, fit and emotionally ready to play.

H. In case of injuries during the game, assure that the player is properly attended to. Check his/her condition after the game and follow up with a call to the home in the evening.

I. In the event an injured player requires medical attention, he/she must have a written release from the doctor before returning to practice or play with the team.

J. Proper warm up of all players should take place for approximately 20-30 minutes prior to the start of the game.

K. At home games, you are responsible for field preparation (check with your club officials)

L. Prior to the start of the game, meet and greet the visiting coach. After the game, exchange with them some friendly, positive comments. Be sure to thank the referees and shake their hands. Have the player’s line up at the center of the field to shake hands with the opposing players.

Rule 609 – Modified Official Score Report

The game result is to be reported by the winning team via update on their team page or via the score reporting system.   In event of a tie both teams should report the score.  Report actual scores of the match but note standings page will be capped at 5 goals.

Miscellaneous Reporting Forms 

Reports of Rules Violations 

Any complaints against another team for violations of league rules or administrative policies must be submitted within 48 hours using the Misconduct and Violations Form found on the WPL homepage. All information must be completed in full prior to the league office reviewing.

Protests (Misapplication of the Laws of the Game) 

Any protest must be documented on the game day sheet and noted by the Referee no later than the completion of the match. The notice of protest must be submitted to the league office within 48 hours. A Protest Form, found on the WPL home page, must be submitted to the league with the approval of the DOC accompanied by a $150 non-refundable administration fee

Exception Request 

If a team seeks an exception to any league rule they must submit an Exception request Form found on the WPL Homepage. The request will be reviewed by the appropriate committee and a response will be sent within seven days.

Puget Sound Premier League (PSPL) Rules