The Erie Soccer League takes the game of soccer seriously. We aim to provide a safe, fun, yet competitive environment at all our matches. We believe that there should be a mutual level of respect between players, teams, spectators, and officials.
As an organization, we are committed to taking the adult game to the next level in this area. We are committed to identifying opportunities where we as a group can grow and/or better ourselves. An example of such is that all referees have the proper certification and are getting access to proper and appropriate education in addition to getting game experience to apply their education into the real-world game of adult soccer. This is a continuous process.
As players, teammates, opponents, and spectators, we must strive to conduct ourselves in a manner that is appropriate for the game and the league. We should respect our fellow players and teammates, as we’re all sharing in the game that we love. We all deserve better than what we’ve had for the past several years in this area in the Erie, PA Adult Soccer World. Knowing that, each and every player in this league – striving for and deserving “better” automatically deserves respect. Every match official and referee – regardless of whether they get the play “right” or “wrong” in your eyes deserves your respect. They are doing the best they can to keep the game safe, so respect them and respect the game. Also keep in mind, only the team captain and coach should address the referee during play.
Without your fellow players and our officials, we have… well, we have what we’ve had for the past several years in this area and quite frankly, that is not nearly good enough. So please, when you come to an Erie Soccer League match – whether as a player, spectator, or match official – respect one another. Respect the facility, respect the play, respect the vision, respect the game, respect the vision, and respect yourself.
With that in mind, the Erie Soccer League staff will not hesitate to take action on those who do not adhere to what we deem as acceptable and appropriate behavior. For in-game situations, the various ESL Disciplinary Boards meets to address situations that arise. Our disciplinary board may meet to go over a referee report, a captain’s report, identify situations that need to improve by way of additional training, to address player feedback, and we meet to make rulings on red cards.
Red Cards & How the Process Works
When a player is sent off, his (or her) name appears in the referee report and his player card is placed under suspension. The player must leave the facility before the match will be permitted to resume. Failure to leave after being asked to leave by an Erie Soccer League staff member can result in additional sanctions, fines, or a telephone call being placed to assist the staff in ensuring that the ejected player complies with the request to leave the grounds.
When the official referee report is filed, the team captain will be notified of the official charge against the player (via the “suspension list”). The team captain and the player will have 72 hours from the completion of the game to respond to the charges and/or ask for an appeal. Any appeal and/or response must be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If an appeal is received in the proper timeline, the disciplinary board will convene to hear the appeal and render a decision.
The decision of the disciplinary board will be communicated via email or text message to the team captain. The decision of the disciplinary committee is final and binding. Should you wish to appeal the committee’s ruling, you may do so in writing to the PAWest Adult President along with a non-refundable $150 fee (payable to PAWest Adult).
All fines issued will go into the league prize fund. (Added 21 July 2016 – not a policy change but a policy clarification) All fines must be “approved” or endorsed by the league disciplinary committee. (End 21 July 2016 addition).
Player offences will be tracked across all leagues in the Adult Association and sanctions/fines may accumulate from offences in different leagues. The suggested punishments and fines may be altered by the Executive Board as circumstances warrant.
Any red card involving specifically violent conduct and/or referee abuse as well as anything administrative in nature shall go before the division disciplinary committee.
If a player or team is brought up on charges, the player shall be officially notified in writing by the League Administrator of the charges as well as the possible consequences. The player has 72 hours from date of notification to respond to the charges. Upon response to the charges or 72 hours, the disciplinary board will convene. Two thirds majority must be reached in order to overturn a charge.
A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following offences:
• unsporting behavior
• dissent by word or action
• persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game
• delaying the restart of play
• failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in
• entering or re-entering the field of play without the referee’s permission
• deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission
FIGHTING / VIOLENCE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED AT ANY ADULT ASSOCIATION MATCH. THE ADULT ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO BAR ANY PLAYER OR COACH FROM PARTICIPATING IN ANY OR ALL LEAGUE MATCHES.
PLAYERS SHALL BE SHOWN THE RED CARD AND EJECTED FROM ADULT ASSOCIATION MATCHES FOR THE FOLLOWING (per FIFA law):
• serious foul play
• violent conduct
• spitting at an opponent or any other person
• denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area)
• denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
• using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures
• receiving a second caution in the same match
• persistent protests against decisions by the referee and assistant referees
• leaving the field of play without notifying the referee
• extremely unethical (ungentlemanly) conduct
• repeated gamesmanship
• insulting players, team officials or any other person present at the match
• other serious acts of unsporting behavior
PLAYERS EJECTED FOR THE ABOVE REASONS (except violent conduct and spitting) SHALL BE SUSPENDED FOR ONE (1) SUBSEQUENT GAME WEEK (in that division) IN ADDITION TO MISSING ANY REMAINING PORTION OF THEIR MATCH DAY (on the day that the red card offense occurred).
REPETITION: (even if it is not the same type of infringement): suspension for at least two match weeks and FINED $50.00
A PLAYER SHALL BE SHOWN THE RED CARD AND EJECTED FROM AN ADULT ASSOCIATION MATCH FOR INSULTING THE REFEREE AND / OR ASSISTANT REFEREE(S) AND SHALL BE SUSPENDED FOR TWO (2) SUBSEQUENT GAME WEEKS AND FINED $25.00
REPETITION: suspension for at least four matches and FINED $50.00
A PLAYER SHALL BE SHOWN THE RED CARD AND EJECTED FROM AN ADULT ASSOCIATION MATCH FOR VIOLENT CONDUCT OR SPITTING AGAINST ANOTHER PLAYER, TEAM OFFICIAL OR ANY OTHER PERSON AT THE MATCH AND SHALL BE SUSPENDED FOR FOUR (4) SUBSEQUENT MATCH WEEKS AND FINED $100.00
REPETITION: Disciplinary hearing, suspension for at least four match weeks and FINED $200.00
A PLAYER SHALL BE SHOWN THE RED CARD AND EJECTED FROM AN ADULT ASSOCIATION MATCH FOR SERIOUS VIOLENCE AGAINST THE REFEREE AND / OR ASSISTANT REFEREE(S) AND SHALL BE SUSPENDED FOR FOUR (4) GAMES AND FINED $100.00 WHICH MUST BE PAID BY THE PLAYER DIRECTLY TO THE ADULT ASSOCIATION BEFORE THE PLAYER MAY BE RE-INSTATED. (The player pass will not be returned until the fine is paid.)
REPETITION: lifelong ban
Protests will be submitted in writing to Adult Vice President with appropriate fee ($150.00) within 7 days of the suspension (U.S. Postal Service postmark shall determine the timeliness of the protest). A copy of the protest must also be submitted to the League Administrator.
Appeals committee guarantees prompt and impartial hearings within 28 days of the appeal
All disciplinary procedures carry on to consecutive League Seasons
Any player receiving two red cards during a league season (Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter), shall not play again in that season (including playoffs) until reviewed and cleared by the Disciplinary Board.
Team managers and captains should make every effort to controls their players and ensure they comply with the rules and referee instructions. Spectators must not interfere with matches, players or officials and teams and their managers must ensure that their spectators in attendance comply or the Executive Board will impose sanctions against the offending team.
Players may file an appeal of the disciplinary board’s findings to the appropriate board. For the EPIC coed Division, the first line of appeal is the EPIC coed Divisional Board. The second line of appeal is the ESL Executive Board. For the Men’s Division, the first line of appeal is the ESL Executive board. All appeals at the local level will be heard within 72 hours of receipt.
Further appeal is done by submitting $150 check payable to PA West along with a written appeal. This appeal must be postmarked within 72 hours of exhausting all other appeals. The League Administrator shall be contacted (by the player filing the appeal) by email when and if this appeal process is pursued.
Divisional Corrective Action Boards
Formation – Each team will designate one player(it can be a team captain but does not “need” to be) as their team’s representative on their division’s Corrective Action Board. The designated members of the disciplinary committee shall elect a chairman. This chairman shall assist the league administrator in convening the disciplinary committee as it becomes necessary. Anytime a red card is issued that involves a monetary fine or that involves an appeal, the disciplinary shall hear the charges and the response by the player. After hearing from both sides of the argument, the committee members shall vote. A two-thirds majority shall be required to overturn a charge. Likewise, a two-thirds majority shall be required to endorse a fine.