Soccer League Rules

View the complete rules and regulations of the Des Moines International Soccer League below.

1. Nature of the League

The International Soccer League of Des Moines, Iowa, was incorporated in March of 2006, and is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the sport of soccer in our community. We are a group of individuals coming together so that we may, in an organized manner and in accordance to FIFA regulations, our organization’s internal rules and the resolutions assumed by the League’s General Assembly, realize two soccer tournaments between the months of April and October.

As an organization, we are affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the United States Amateur Soccer Association (USASA) and the Iowa Soccer Association (ISA), and are responsible for following and meeting all of their statutes, rules and requisites per their indication or as they demand.

We have an internal structure through which we manage the participation of all teams, either through their delegates or their individual members, so that we may work together towards the responsible development of diverse activities to realize the goals and objectives of our League.

We are not affiliated to any political or religious organization or group, and manage ourselves independently.

2. Goals and Objectives

  1. Organize two soccer tournaments per year.
  2. Promote the participation of all team members in the tournaments.
  3. Take soccer as good, clean fun, and cultivate sportsmanship through honest and fair competition.
  4. Promote unity among League members, and closer relationships between our families.
  5. Showcase our organizational skills and set an example for our children and young people.

3. League Organization

The Executive Committee shall be composed as follows:

  1. General Assembly:
    1. President
    2. Vice President
    3. Secretary
    4. Treasurer
    5. Registrar
  2. Committees:
    1. Discipline
    2. Arbitration

4. General Administration

  1. The General Assembly is the highest authority in our organization, even above the Board of Directors. Decisions made therein shall be final. Such decisions shall be made whenever high-priority situations require the participation of the entire assembly, especially if there are parties in dispute. To this end, the Assembly shall make decisions before the start of the tournament, with the decisions being final at least until the end of the tournament. The rules, regulations and decisions must be made before the tournament starts, and before it can be known who is benefited or harmed by them.
  2. For the security of the League and the people responsible, payments to the League shall be made by check or money order payable to the International Soccer League. Payments must be made at regular meetings only, and not outside them. Delegates must request a receipt for each payment.
  3. The treasurer of the League shall present a detailed, written, year-to-date income and expenditure report to each team. This shall take place at every regular meeting of the League.
  4. Teams must pay their dues to the League on the agreed dates, or delinquent teams shall not be scheduled for matches until they are current on their payments. Missed matches shall be considered lost, and three points shall be given to the opposing team. If both competing teams are not current on their dues, the date shall be considered played, with no points or goals for either one.
  5. If a team decides to withdraw from the League during the season, points shall be given to the teams that have not played against the withdrawing team. The scoreboard shall be the team’s goal average in all games played. This shall be done to prevent some teams from unduly benefiting from the situation.
  6. If a team decides to withdraw from the tournament before the tournament ends, whether on the first or second round, and then wants to re-enter in the same or following season, such team must pay a deposit of $500.00 before re-entering. Deposit reimbursements shall be made only when teams have met all their commitments to the League, or the security shall go to the general fund of the League.

5. Meetings

  1. The main purpose of the meetings is to provide general information to the Assembly and an opportunity for members to express their ideas for improving our League.
  2. All delegates shall have a commitment and an obligation to attend meetings, whether ordinary or special. Otherwise, their team shall lose one point for this absence. To avoid justifying non-attendance, all teams shall be asked to have a minimum of two principal delegates, in case one is not able to attend. Three late arrivals by a delegate to a meeting shall count as an absence.
  3. Regular meetings shall be held every two weeks, and special meetings whenever necessary. Special meetings shall have to be called by the Board of the League when the Board considers that there is a high-priority situation affecting the League or its interests.
  4. The meeting time and place shall be set by the Board, which shall be responsible for giving notice of meeting to members, at least two days in advance.

6. Delegates and their Functions

  1. Each team shall be responsible for appointing two delegates, named on their respective registration certificates, to serve as the registered delegates of the team. A notice shall be given to register or deregister a delegate.
  2. The delegates shall form the General Assembly, the supreme governing body of our League.
  3. Registered delegates shall have the right to opine and cast one vote per team in making decisions. Delegates attending the meeting shall be able to exercise the authority inherent in their role, especially in regard to voting.
  4. It is the responsibility of delegates to attend both ordinary and special meetings, and to inform their team members of decisions made, agreements reached, and matters discussed at the Assembly. Delegate communication with team members is crucial for the smooth running of the League, or too much confusion and unfounded claims may result.
  5. No person other than the delegates on the registration list, may actively participate in meetings through comments, decisions or voting.
  6. People attending League meetings as observers or guests may not participate in the development of the meeting, unless the Board requests or approves such participation. Observers or guests having a comment to make must communicate their comments to their delegates, who shall in turn voice such comments to the Assembly and thereby avoid prolonging League meetings.

7. Delegates shall be solely responsible to register and deregister their teams and players.

  1. Pay registration fees, insurance and fines incurred by their teams.
  2. Keep track of yellow and red cards received by their players, and of sanctions imposed upon them.
  3. Ensure that players comply with their sanctions.
  4. Keep track of player and team statistics (points, goals in favor, goals against, etc.)
  5. Be aware of possible schedule changes for their games (unexpected and unannounced cases at meetings) as well as uniform changes when the uniform is a close match with that of the home team.
  6. Represent their teams at meetings convened by the League.
  7. Submit written complaints made by their teams regarding arbitration or League administration.
  8. Delegates or players using the media to speak ill of the League, draw attention or otherwise complain about something they do not agree with, but directly involves the League, shall be summoned to a League meeting to justify their comments, failing which, they shall be banned from participating in the League. Wrongdoings must be openly reported, with improvement suggestions for the good of our organization. This is not intended to deprive anyone of their right to free expression, but to ensure that League participants are responsible people and that League meetings are our first tool to solve any conflicts affecting or involving the interests of our organization.
  9. The League does not support any kind of betting involving delegates or players. Team members found to be involved in this activity shall be sanctioned with five game suspensions.
  10. As a prerequisite for participation in the League, delegates must attend a training course on the rules of soccer. The course shall be taught in English on the date indicated by the Board.

7. Registration and Number of Players

  1. Teams can register a minimum of 13 players and a maximum of 22.
  2. The minimum age to participate in our League shall be 16 years of age. Any player under age 18 must provide written permission signed by their parents or guardians to participate in the games scheduled by the League.
  3. To be considered as registered in the League, teams must present: registration records with the names of every player on the team, signed registration forms with the personal data of each player, and recent passport-size photographs of each player. They must also fill out any additional forms required or requested by the League.
  4. The registration deadline is the date set by the Board of the League. Teams that have not met all registration requirements by that date, shall lose their first game.
  5. Delegates shall be the only people authorized to register o deregister a member of their team, and for this to be on the record, they must do it at the meetings of our organization.
  6. When players have signed their registration form, they shall be considered as registered and subject to the rules of FIFA, ISA and the internal rules of the League, accepting the decisions, penalties and punishments from the Board of the League.
  7. Players registered in our League may not participate at the same time in another league being organized. Players participating in another league in Iowa shall not be accepted in our League. This means that no one may participate in two leagues at the same time.
  8. For a player from another league to be accepted in our League, such player must first show a written release from such league, and have no outstanding debt and no suspension in force in the previous league.
  9. When a delegate meets all requirements for registering a player, and the Board of the League cannot, for some reason, provide the ID for the player, the League shall issue a written permission allowing that player to play on his/hear team.
  10. If for any reason, a team decides not to continue in the tournament, and the League is still in the registration and deregistration period, players can join other teams, provided they have no outstanding balance due with the League.
  11. A maximum of seven changes per team shall be allowed during a match.
  12. For players who have been expelled during a regular tournament, the final games shall count toward fulfilling their sanctions.
  13. The captain of each team is responsible for reading and reviewing the game report and signing it at the end of the game. The captain shall be the sole party responsible for signing the game report. The captain of each team must be clearly identified during the match by his captain badge.
  14. To be eligible to play in the final matches, players must have participated in at least eight games during the regular season with their team.

8. ID Cards

  1. Players, coaches and delegates must have ID cards identifying them as such, or they cannot play in any match. The ID card must be carried in a visible place for easy identification by referees.
  2. ID cards must be properly laminated. Each card must include the player's jersey number.
  3. To participate in League matches, players must show their ID to the referee at the start of the game or when entering the field as a substitute; otherwise, they may not participate in that game. No other type of ID shall be accepted, including driver's licenses, voter registration cards, work IDs, etc. Team captain or representative agreements shall not be accepted either.
  4. To prevent ID cards from getting lost when a player is cautioned or sent off, the referee shall note this on the match report, and shall return the ID cards to the team captain. Team captains shall be asked to verify the number of returned ID cards before signing the match report. After that, the responsibility for ID cards shall lie with the team.
  5. If a player is caught participating in a League match without being properly registered (Cachirul), the team shall be sanctioned with the loss of the match if it wins, or a fine of $250.00 if it loses.

9. Ball and Field of Play

  1. The home team is responsible for submitting two Size 5 balls to the referee, under the conditions laid down by FIFA rules and regulations. (Law 2).
  2. The visiting team must submit one Size 5 ball, under the conditions laid down by FIFA rules and regulations. (Law 2).
  3. The referee shall be the person authorized to decide which ball shall be played in the game. Out of courtesy, the referee shall allow team captains to check balls before the start of the game.
  4. The referee shall report the team not complying with this requirement. Such team shall be fined $20.00, payable at a League meeting.
  5. The field of play must have the minimum measurements required by FIFA: 45 m wide and 90 m long. (Law 1). It must also be properly marked with visible lines. Goals must have nets, so placed that balls cannot penetrate through holes or gaps. Four flagposts must be placed in each corner of the field.
  6. The field must have two technical areas marked on one side of the field for team substitutes, coaches and delegates. These people may not leave this area, except for player warm up or assisting an injured player. All must be properly identified and must only address their players to cheer them on or give them instructions, but not the referees or the players of the opponent team, or they may be sanctioned.
  7. No other persons shall remain in the technical area. If there are people other than players, delegates or coaches in this area, the referee shall indicate the anomaly to the team captain, who shall be responsible for having his fans moved to an appropriate place. The team shall have two minutes to correct this situation, or the game shall be abandoned and considered lost for the infringing team.
  8. Technical areas are considered part of the field of play. Therefore, the presence of fans within this area shall be considered field-of-play invasion. Fans must remain on the opposite side to the players, at a distance not interfering with the development of the match.
  9. It is the responsibility of the referee to review field-of-play conditions. Once he has verified that everything is in order, he shall allow the match to take place (Law 5). If he cancels the game, he shall notify the League in writing.

10. Uniforms

  1. All League teams are responsible for wearing a full uniform. Uniform colors must be registered on the registration certificate and shall be considered the team’s official uniform and colors. A second uniform should be available when the colors of both teams are the same for the same match. The visiting team shall be required to change uniforms when this happens.
  2. Players must be in full uniform for the first match of the League, or the infringing team shall lose the match.
  3. The uniform must be the same color for all players on the same team, excepting the goalkeeper. The uniform shall include shirt, shorts and socks, regardless of brand or quality. No player can play if he does not wear the same colors as his teammates. The infringing player shall be instructed to leave the field of play to correct his equipment. Once the correction is made, the player may re-enter the field of play (Law 4).
  4. A player shall not be allowed to use dangerous objects to others, including rings, watches, chains, head scarves, etc.
  5. The shirt must be worn tucked into the player’s shorts, and the socks must fully cover the shinguards.
  6. All players must visibly wear on their shirts a number distinguishing them from the rest of the team for the season. If a player enters the field of play and does not have another shirt, he can use the same pinny but changing the number with markers or tape before entering the field.
  7. The use of shinguards is mandatory. If a player is not wearing them, he cannot take part in the match, this for the protection of the player and the League. Referees shall be required to review the players before and during the match to ensure that shinguards are being used.

11. Schedule of Play

  1. Matches start at the time and on the day set by the League. Both teams must be ready with their ID cards at least 5 minutes before the scheduled time.
  2. There shall be no waiting time for any team. Matches shall start promptly. For a team to win a match by forfeit, at least seven players shall be ready at the set time in the field of play for kickoff.
  3. A team not showing up to play should pay for the total refereeing fee for both teams and a $500.00 deposit to participate in the next League tournament. This deposit shall be refundable once the equipment fulfills, without fail, all its commitments to the League, or the deposit shall go to General Fund of the League.
  4. A referee who is late (for more than 15 minutes) shall be fined accordingly. If the referee does not show up at the game, the fine shall double and the money shall be split between the League and the teams involved.
  5. A match suspended for weather reasons (thunderstorms, hail, snow, etc.) must be played full length at the later date and time set by the League.
  6. A match suspended because of a brawl between the teams or team members shall be abandoned. The referee shall prepare and file a report with the Disciplinary Committee to determine appropriate sanctions and punishments.
  7. A match suspended over physical aggression to the main referee and / or his assistants, either by players or fans, shall be dealt with in the manner outlined above.

12. Yellow Cards

  1. The accumulation of five yellow cards shall be sanctioned with one game suspension. If the player does not comply with the sanction on the date specified, he shall be given another game suspension and his team shall be sanctioned with the loss of the game.
  2. When a player receives two yellow cards in the same game, he shall be sanctioned with a game suspension, but these cards do not count as cumulative.
  3. For final games (playoffs), yellow cards received in previous and final games shall count.

13. Red Cards

  1. Receiving a red card results in an immediate one game suspension. The sanction may be increased by the League according to the seriousness of the offense.
  2. Sanctions shall increase for the following actions:
    1. An extra game suspension when, after being sent off, the player shows unsporting behavior against the referees or players, with offensive words, claims and/or aggressive attitude.
    2. An extra suspension game when, once the game is over, the player shows an aggressive attitude against the referee expressing offensive or vulgar language without getting physical.
    3. Two suspension games when a player receives a straight red card.
  3. A player who is sent off must carry out his punishment starting with his team’s next game, not necessarily with the next team in the schedule list.

14. Team and Player Discipline

  1. Each delegate or coach is responsible for keeping track of yellow and red cards received by their players and for ensuring that sanctions are carried out so that they and their teams do not receive other kinds of sanctions.
  2. Any player who fails to carry out his punishment in one season has to carry it out in the next, regardless of punishment type, whether number of games or fines.
  3. When a League team starts to be known for its hostility and aggression against referees, players and the general public, such team may be punished with several suspension games, including expulsion from the League.
  4. The above measure shall also apply to players who individually take the same attitude.
  5. No player can take part in the game while intoxicated or with alcohol breath, and may not drink alcoholic beverages on the premises where games take place, or they shall receive one year suspension and a fine of $250.00 before returning to play. Players caught a second time infringing this rule shall be permanently expelled from the League.
  6. The player or team upon whom the League has imposed a disciplinary sanction shall have the right to appeal. This appeal shall not apply in cases of yellow and red card accumulation, but only in cases where the player or team considers the sanction to be unfair and the League negligent in applying the rules.
  7. The appeal shall be made in writing and within 7 days of the penalty or suspension notice. In no way, the appeal guarantees the automatic revocation of the punishment or suspension; it only acknowledges the right to appeal.
  8. The appeal process shall be the responsibility of the General Assembly, which shall summon the parties involved for a hearing and then issue a decision and inform those affected. The decision taken by the General Assembly shall be final.

15. Aggression Toward the Referee

  1. Physical aggression shall be considered any contact or attempted physical contact against the referee, including throwing any object striking or not the referee. The intention is what counts. The offender shall receive a minimum one year suspension.
  2. The use of foul language, insults, profanity, threats, etc. shall be considered verbal aggression toward the referee. In fact, every word expressed in anger with the intention of offending shall be considered verbal aggression. The person who verbally attacks the referee shall receive three game suspensions.
  3. In accordance with ISA and USSF rules, spitting at the referee is considered physical aggression deserving one-year punishment.
  4. When fans show a hostile and aggressive attitude against the referee or his assistants, the referee shall call the captain associated with those team fans and shall make him aware of the situation. The captain shall be responsible for calming down his fans, or, at the discretion of the referee, the game may be suspended and declared lost for the team. The referee alone is authorized to decide if the match is resumed or not.
  5. If, after resuming the game, the fans show the same attitude, then a sanction for field-of-play invasion shall be applied.
  6. A team shall lose the game if one or more of their players physically assault the referee or get involved in a pitched battle or field-of-play invasion. Each of the following shall be considered field-of-play invasion: 1) the fans enter the field assaulting a player or referee; 2) The reserves enter the field assaulting a player or referee.
  7. The referee must send a very detailed report of the acts of aggression against him, and an explanation of the game suspension.

16. Fights Between Players

  1. The player who physically attacks another player and is the first to hit shall be sanctioned with a ten game suspension. The player responding to physical aggression shall also receive, for this very reason, the same punishment as his attacker.
  2. The player participating in a fight started or not by him shall suspended one year. The player participating in a fight for a second time shall be suspended indefinitely. The League shall severely punish any form of violence.
  3. A pitched battle shall occur when there is a fight between two players, with another player (or players) joining in to attack one or both players in conflict. It also occurs when the reserves or the fans get involved.
  4. Players, delegates and individuals participating in a pitched battle shall be suspended indefinitely from our League, and the offending team or teams shall be expelled from the League.
  5. All players who are members of an expelled team, but who did not participate in the pitched battle, may play at the start of the following season on another team. However, more than half of them are not allowed on the same team.

Summary

These rules and agreements are based on discussions held at General Assembly meetings and are written to serve as a basis for League decision-making and organization. The key in this is the intention of agreement, and no team or person may interpret them literally for their own convenience. The General Assembly of the League reserves the right to interpret the rules as it deems fair and appropriate for the teams or individuals involved.

FIFA rules govern the procedure for each game, unless otherwise stated by the League’s internal rules.