ERIE SOCCER LEAGUE (ESL)
RULES & REGULATIONS
Revision 1.2 – 05/31/2018
For the Good of the Game Always…
1. Play to win.
2. Play fair.
3. Observe the Laws of the Game.
4. Respect opponents, teammates, referees, officials and spectators.
5. Accept defeat with dignity.
6. Promote the interests of soccer.
7. Reject corruption, drugs, racism, violence and other dangers to our sport.
8. Help others to resist corrupting pressures.
9. Denounce those who attempt to discredit our sport.
10. Honor those who defend soccer’s good reputation.
The Erie Soccer League will compromise the following DIVISIONS: Men’s Open, Men’s Over 30 and Coed.
The main goal of these leagues is for amateur players to enjoy the game of soccer in a fair, structured, safe, and organized manner. Common sense should play a major role in each player’s attitude towards officials, opponents, and their fellow teammates. In short, this is a competitive league but it is recreation rather than professional. Please do your part (attitude and outlook wise) to keep the “adult” in you in these amateur adult soccer leagues.
As adults, we will hold each individual personally accountable for their actions and behavior within the league. We fully support competitive behavior and play but we do not condone or sanction combative attitude and/or play.
The Erie Soccer League Executive Committee officers will consist of the President, Registrar, League Commissioners, and the referee assignors of each league/division. Each playing division will have a commissioner.
The Executive Committee reserves the right to enact & enforce any and all rules set in place by the league. Fines, suspensions, forfeitures, and the like (where not defined in the rules and regulations) may be levied by a two-thirds majority of the members present at any regular or special meeting.
All teams and players must be officially registered with the US Adult Soccer Association (USASA) and paid in full of the “current calendar year” before playing in any league. Registration is performed via the league’s designated registrar and completed through the state association’s USASA database.
Procedure for Initial Registration of the calendar year
The team captain will collect the annual registration fee (currently $25 per individual player). The team captain will provide the league registrar with the player’s first and last name, email address, date of birth and proof of identity. The league registrar enters all of the registered players into the USASA database.
The registrar will create an official roster and will hold that official roster as part of the league record. The registrar will provide the team captain with a weekly line-up card for the season. It is the team captain’s responsibility to provide the referee with a copy of that line-up card for each match.
In the event the team captain has a new player to register, he should write the new player’s info into the line-up card. Additionally, he should collect the required information for initial registration. That supporting information and registration fee shall be forwarded to the league registrar within 24 hours at which time, the registrar will register the new player with the team. If no payment is received within the specified timeframe, the team will be fined the cost of registration for all unregistered players plus $10 per unregistered player. These fees must be paid prior to the team’s next match. Failure to comply with this rule may place the team in bad standing with the league and as such, the team may be ineligible for further activity within league play.
Prior to kickoff, the team captain shall provide the center referee with the team’s official line-up card. This card shall contain the name of every player suited for the match. If a player’s name is not on the line-up card, they do not belong in the match. If a player arrives late, it is the player’s responsibility to check in with the center referee to have his name added to the line-up card before playing (if he is not already listed).
At the end of the match, the line-up card shall be physically given to the league registrar by the referee. The referee shall not photograph, copy, text, or email the player card for any reason at all. The referee can, however, record information he needs to fill out his official match report prior to turning over the lineup card to the league registrar.
Players may transfer between teams as the respective league/divisions rules of competition allow.
Each league or division may establish a free agent pool. Free agents are not part of any one team but are eligible to play for any team that request their services. All players in the free agent pool must be registered with USASA and placed on the line-up card for the match. Free agents may play with only one team per game day even though they are eligible to appear with numerous teams throughout the season. Should a team wish to sign a free agent, they may do so – providing they fall within rostering and registration guidelines.
Referees must enforce the IFAB, Association, League, and Division Laws. They must maintain control of the match, the players, and the officials, as well as the spectators.
Referees must have a current USSF Grade 8 certification level and have had the required training in order to officiate at the amateur adult level.
Three referees shall be scheduled for all games.
In the event that the scheduled referee does not show, an acting referee may be used. However, the acting official must be approved by both team captains and must be a certified USSF Referee. The outcome of the match is final.
Referee reports for all games must be submitted to the proper league official with complete details within two days of the match completion. The referee report must include all red cards, yellow cards, results of the match, and any significant incident. Failure to file the required report will result in the referee being ineligible for future adult matches.
Referees are expected, whenever possible, to advise captains and coaches of any unacceptable conduct to give them an opportunity to correct the situation before taking other corrective action.
The referee assignor must ensure that appropriate crews of officials are assigned to games and that referees properly perform their responsibilities in officiating and reporting.
The 2019 referee fee schedule is as follows for all ESL Men’s League matches. $75 per team per game ($150 total compensation for the referee crew).
Teams who need to pull out of a match must do so by Thursday at 5pm of their game week. In the event a team pulls out of a match after Thursday, the league may impose a fine for rescheduling the match. The fine can be used to pay for field rental, referee fees, and assignor fees.
All league matches must be played. Teams failing to complete their season will be subjected to a $100 fine per unplayed game.
The referee may postpone a match due to unsafe field conditions in his judgement. In that case, the match will be rescheduled. The referee may suspend a match due to inclement weather. However, if the match has progressed past the half time interval mark, the score will stand as final. The referee may, at his discretion, suspend a match due to team misconduct, which would result in a forfeit (if one team is in violation).
The Erie Soccer League & PAWest Adult Soccer Association supports soccer activity that is governed by a strong sense of individual and team sportsmanship. The league, the executive board, the referees, the players, the teams, and the spectators have a reasonable expectation to adult behavior in adult leagues. While some physical aspects of the game cannot be reasonably avoided, antics that are contrary to good sportsmanship and actions that are unbecoming of adulthood will not be tolerated.
With that in mind, players ejected by way of a red card shall, by default be suspended for one (1) subsequent game on their first offense of the calendar year. A second red card incurred in any one calendar year by a player will be banned for at least two matches and fined $50 before they can return to play in good standing. The red card policy stands true for all ejections with the exception of the following offenses (which carry a harsher penalty):
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 subsequent 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.
All disciplinary awards do carry over into consecutive league seasons. Suspensions and bans for violent conduct, referee abuse, and referee assault also carry into other divisions administered by the Erie Soccer League. This means that if you are serving a ban for violent conduct in the men’s division, you are not permitted to play in the coed division while your ban is in place.
Any player receiving four cards during a league’s season shall not play again in that season until a disciplinary board review has taken place.