Adult soccer in the Olympia area...

Southwest Washington Soccer Association


If you want the 'short version'

Rules of Play as Amended, January 1997

The Southwest Washington Soccer Association hereby enters into an agreement with the Thurston County Parks and Recreation Department for the purpose of the organization and administration of leagues, tournaments, and clinics. To be a member in good standing with SWSA, each player must completely sign a TCPRD roster for each season or tournament.

Rule 1 - Leagues

  1. It is the intent of SWSA to provide two different leagues for member participation. In each case the maximum game roster size is limited to twenty (20).
    1. Open League - no special restrictions beside SWSA membership.
    2. Women's League - consists of only SWSA female members.
    3. Co-Ed League - At anytime during a game, a team can have no more than six (6) of either gender playing on the field.
  2. It is the intent of SWSA to provide each of the above leagues provided four (4) or more teams register for a particular league.
  3. It is the intent of SWSA to schedule SWSA leagues on different days, to allow players to play in more than one league per season.

Rule 2 - Divisions

  1. In the interest of providing fair and equitable game scheduling SWSA may divide any league into approximately equal sized divisions. These divisions will contain four (4) or more teams. Determination of divisions is based on level of play and/or age of players as decided by the Thurston County Parks & Recreation Department (TCPRD).
    1. Over thirty division players must be thirty (30) years of age on or before the end of the season they are registered to play.

Rule 3 - Teams

  1. To register to participate in a SWSA league a team must comply with the following rules:
    1. Each team must provide a team registration form and complete team roster with player signatures prior to first game to TCPRD or designated representative.
    2. Each team must pay the team league fee as set by the SWSA Board of Trustees by the designated deadline. Teams who do not meet the deadline, risk not competing in a league for that season.
  2. To participate in a SWSA league, a team must comply with the following rules:
    1. Each team is required to provide its own uniforms complete with visible numbers on the back of the uniform shirt.
    2. Each team MUST send a team representative to all general meetings.

  3. To participate in a SWSA game a team must comply with the following rules:
    1. Each team will be required to have a ball of a FIFA approved type and of suitable quality to be used as the game ball.

Rule 4 - Players

  1. To participate in a SWSA game a player must comply with the following rules:
    1. Each player must be at least sixteen (16) years old. Players under eighteen (18) must also sign waiver forms with parent/guardian consent.
    2. Each player must be a duly registered SWSA member, having filled out a permanent player roster.
    3. The player must be dressed in his/her team's uniform. New players may wear color matched jersey acceptable to both the referee and the opposing team.
    4. Under no circumstances should a player wear watches, dangling or dangerous jewelry.
    5. At the discretion of the referee, in cases of inclement weather players may wear sweat pants, gloves, or knit caps, if in the opinion of the referee they are needed and do not constitute a danger to anyone.
    6. The player must be properly entered on the team's roster, which means being an originally registered member of that team or having been properly added to the roster. See rule 5.
  2. Any player may play for multiple teams provided that the teams for which he/she plays must be in separate leagues and those leagues must not routinely play on the same day.
  3. SWSA reserves the right to refuse any player from participation if that player has been expelled from an association or league outside of SWSA.

Rule 5 - Roster Changes

  1. Any player may transfer to the roster of any team provided the player has the permission of the new team. Notification of the old team and the TCPRD must occur 72 hours prior to playing for the new team. Notification of old team is not required if the old team has disbanded.
  2. Any player may only make one transfer per season. Exceptions include: when a player joins a team and had not previously been on a team, or when the previous team has disbanded then the roster change is not considered a transfer.
  3. Any SWSA member not already on a team may be added to the roster of any team that has room on its team roster, provided the player has the permission of the new team, and the new player has signed has signed the team roster at TCPRD.

Rule 6 - Games

  1. A game is properly constituted when two teams of at least seven (7) players each meet at the scheduled field at the scheduled time with an approved referee.
    1. Player/Team Minimum: A properly constituted team shall consist of no fewer than seven (7) eligible team members. Coed teams must comply with league rules (Rule 1.1.3).
  2. Grace Period: A team shall be given fifteen (15) minutes past the scheduled game time to field a team of at least seven (7) eligible team members. The game will begin as soon as seven members from each team are present.
  3. Rescheduling Games. For a team to reschedule, it requires a request to the TCPRD prior to ten (10) days before the scheduled game. The TCPRD will contact the opposing team representative. It is the right of the opposing (requestee) team to allow or disallow the rescheduling. Before any game is rescheduled the new game date, time, and place must be agreed to by all parties.
  4. Moving Games. To move a game to a field other than the one scheduled will be done by the TCPRD at their discretion after a request by either team or other interested party. However, notification of a field change must be provided to both teams and the referee prior to seventy-two (72) hours before the scheduled game, less in an emergency.
  5. Unplayable Field. When in the opinion of the referee, the field is unplayable, TCPRD will try and reschedule at a later date.
  6. No-shows. A team acquiring two (2) no-shows in a single season will be brought to the attention of the Judiciary Committee for appropriate action. A no-show is defined as having less than a properly constituted team. To avoid a no-show a team could make an effort to reschedule the game, according to Rule 6.3.
    1. A game where the scheduled referee does show but one of the teams does not show, will be recorded as a 1-0 win for the team present.
    2. A game where the scheduled referee does show but neither of the teams shows will be recorded as a double forfeit, a loss for both teams. No points will be awarded to either team.
    3. A game where the scheduled referee does not show, the referee no-show must be reported to the Thurston County Soccer Referees scheduler by the TCPRD. At the field the following may occur
      1. The game can be played if a mutually agreed upon substitute referee is found. The winning team will call in scores and name of substitute referee to the TCPRD within 24 hours by phone. In case of a tie, both teams call.
  7. Conflicting Uniform Colors: Where the two teams show up for a game in the same or very similar colors the home team has the responsibility to change. (The home team is indicated on the schedule.)
  8. Game Reports: A post match evaluation form shall be filled out by both teams and sent to the TCPRD within 24 hours of each game.
  9. Game Results/Misconduct Reports: The referee will call in game results and misconduct reports within twenty-four (24) hours of the game time. The TCPRD then contacts both team representatives to advise of players red/yellow cards for the next game.

Rule 7 - Referees

  1. All referees who officiate at any SWSA game are to be guided by FIFA rules and interpretations except as amended in these Rules of Play. Referees will also be required to do the following for any SWSA game officiated.
    1. The Referee will make an equipment check prior to the game. This equipment check must include but is not limited to checking for: proper footgear, inappropriate jewelry, and that each player is in the proper uniform of his/her team. To be considered in uniform each member of a team must have at least identical shirts if not shorts and socks, the shirts must have unique numbers clearly visible.
    2. The referee shall call in any cards/misconduct reports to the TCPRD within twenty-four(24) hours and mail a misconduct report to the Referee Assignor. For physical assault refer to Rule 9.1.

Rule 8 - Rules of the Game

  1. All SWSA players shall abide by those rules established by the FEDERATION INTERNATIONAL DE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION (FIFA) except as modified by these Rules of Play:
    1. Touch Lines/Coaching: During the playing of any league game all substitutes, coaches, players, spectators and other individuals may watch the game from the touchlines provided they do not get any closer to the touchline than two(2) yards. Coaching is permitted but only from the touch lines within twenty(20) yards of the centerline and no mechanical devices may be used.
    2. Substitutions. Substitutions may only be made when the ball is out of play and in your team's possession or for either team following a goal or prior to a goalkick. If play is stopped due to player injury, the injured player must be substituted for and leave the field. In any case substitutions are at the discretion of the referee. No more than three (3) substitutes at any one time. Substitutes must enter and leave the field near the mid-field line using the touchline nearest that player's team area.
    3. Slide tackles are not allowed in Co-Ed leagues: for the first offense a player is given a caution (yellow card). An ejection (red card) will be issued upon the second offense.

Rule 9 - Penalties and Violations

  1. Physical Assault: Any physical assault by a SWSA player or coach against a referee or linesmen will be reported to the SWSA Board of Trustees. The player in question shall be immediately suspended from further participation in SWSA sanctioned events regardless of an appeal, until a decision is handed down by the SWSA Judicial Board.
  2. Red Cards: Any SWSA member given a red card shall be assessed the following.
    1. Suspended until after the next scheduled game for the team on which the player was playing when the red card was issued. The penalty carries over to the following season in the league in which he/she plays. Players may not play in any SWSA sanctioned event until the suspension is lifted.
    2. Policies for misconduct fines and suspensions.
      1. Red cards are NOT appealable.
      2. A red card for fighting will result in a $25.00 fine and minimum of 2 game suspension.
      3. The player may in addition be fined up to $50.00 and/or barred from further participation in SWSA by action of the Judicial Committee. Appeals are to be made to the SWSA Board of Trustees.
      4. Any SWSA member who accumulates two (2) red cards during a scheduled league season shall be barred from further participation in any division for the remainder of the season.
      5. Any SWSA member given a yellow card will have that card recorded and when a SWSA member has recorded three (3) yellow cards within a division, he/she will be assessed the equivalent of a red card. The accumulation of yellow cards may be brought to the attention of the Judicial Board for further attention.
      6. A meeting of the Judicial Committee will take place if the player appeals in writing to TCPRD within 24 hours of the incident. The appeal must be accompanied by a $20.00 filing fee, and will be refunded if the appeal is upheld.
      7. All fines must be paid before a player can play again.
    3. Any undue team violence shall be reported to the TCPRD, who will notify the SWSA President for appropriate action.
    4. Any game abandoned by the referee for just cause shall be considered a game not played until resolved by the SWSA Judicial Committee.
    5. Any team playing with under age players will forfeit all games in which that player participated. The score will be reported as 1-0.
    6. Any behavior of players, teams, or spectators that may be detrimental to SWSA as an organization, shall be brought to the attention of the SWSA Board for action.

Rule 10 - Grievance Procedure

  1. Player protests (underage, or more than one team per league, not on roster) can be done at the game by notification to the referee and in writing within twenty-four (24) hours of the game.
  2. Game Protest: Any game protest must be filed in writing within twenty-four (24) hours following the game to the TCPRD who shall immediately submit same to the SWSA President for appropriate action by the Judiciary Committee within five(5) days of receipt of the protest. A fee of $20.00 must be submitted with each protest and this fee will be returned if the protest is upheld.
  3. Appeals of the Judicial Committee decisions to the SWSA Board of Trustee must be accompanied by a $20.00 fee. It is refunded if the appeal is upheld. Referee judgment cannot be appealed.
  4. Any other grievance shall be filed with the TCPRD.


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