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A.      General

B.      Affiliation

C.      Club Entry and Obligations

D.      Registration

  • Administration
  • Team Rosters
  • Player eligibility and team composition
  • Age Division
  • Player Passes
  • Club Pass System
  • Scheduling

E.       Referees

F.       Standings and Awards

G.      Game Information

  • General: Duration/Ball Size/Player Counts/Field Size
  • Field Set Up/Take Down
  • Substitutions
  • Throw-ins
  • Kick-off
  • Touchlines
  • Heading
  • Goal Keepers
  • Player Equipment
  • Official roster and coach/team player passes
  • Referee no-show
  • Cancellation and Rescheduling

H.      Team Obligations

I.         Forfeits

J.        Score Reporting

K.       Game Conduct

L.       Disciplinary Action

M.    Protests and Appeals

N.      Rules and Discipline Committee



A.  General

  • The CMSSL President serves as coordinator for the combined Central Maryland league.
  • FIFA Laws of the Game shall apply accept as amended herein. Lack of knowledge of the CMSSL Rules will not relieve any Coach, Team Official, Parent of Player of a team participating in CMSSL or seeking entry in CMSSL from the responsibilities and possible penalties herein.
  • The USYS Seasonal Year runs from August 1 through July 31 of the following calendar year and shall be comprised of two (2) CMSSL seasons of play, Fall and Spring.
  • The Fall CMSSL season of play commences with the first league game of the season and terminates with the completion of the last CMSSL league game. The Spring CMSSL season of play commences with the first league game of the season and terminates with the completion of the last spring game or play-off game.
  • The USYS Registration Pass is for the seasonal year - August 1 - to July 31.

B.  Affiliation

  • CMSSL shall be affiliated with the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association (MSYSA) or their successor organization with respect to United States Youth Soccer (USYS).


C.  Club Entry and Obligations

  • Entry of a new Club into CMSSL must be approved by the present CMSSL Club Representatives.
  • New clubs must provide the following information: Club name, geographic location, and the number of teams to be entered. In addition, the Club must have fields available for use by the league (fields must be of appropriate size and in sufficient number to support the number of teams entered in the league).
  • A club must have fields and goals within the tolerances established by CMSSL. Specifically, Under 10 fields should not exceed 80 yards in length nor be less than 70 yards in length. The width of the field should not exceed 50 yards in width nor be less than 45 yards in width. The goals should be 6.5 feet high by 18.5 feet wide and securely anchored. Under 9 fields should not exceed 70 yards in length nor be less than 65 yards in length. The width of the field should not exceed 45 yards in width nor be less than 40 yards in width. The goals should be 6.5 feet high by 18.5 feet wide and securely anchored.
  • The CMSSL Board of Directors has allowed for some flexibility in goal size, but full size goals are not allowed.
  • ALL teams are expressly prohibited from recruiting players from other CMSSL teams. Clubs with participating teams in the league are expressly prohibited from recruiting teams.

D.  Registration

  • Administration
    • CMSSL will utilize MSYSA registrars.
    • Each team representative shall be responsible for registering participating teams in MSYSA. Teams should contact their MSYSA club administrator for details.
  • Team Rosters
    • The MSYSA Official Team Roster shall be used for CMSSL play. The roster shall be submitted, to the CMSSL President, at least 2 weeks prior to the league start date for processing. All rosters for play must be approved and activated by a registrar prior to the season's opening day.
    • Every team must designate at least one (1) participating adults to assume responsibility for the team as team officials.
    • Teams will pay MSYSA rostering insurance in accordance with the MSYSA rules. This is payable to MSYSA when the roster and cards are submitted to the registrar.
    • Teams will register for league play using the designated on-line system and pay online. Checks can be sent, made payable to CMSSL. Teams must register for fall and spring play and pay fees on or before league fall and spring deadlines.
  • Player Eligibility and Team Composition
    • U9 & U10 - Seven a side. A maximum of twelve (12) eligible players may be listed on   a roster at any time. Each player listed must be registered with the MSYSA.   A minimum of four (4) players must be listed on a roster in order for a team to be duly constituted.
    • U8 teams are welcome to join the league but may compete in the U9 age group divisions, based on the number of teams registered.
    • A team official is any non-participating person whose name appears on the Official State Roster.
    • Any player in CMSSL must have a valid current USYSA Player Pass.
  • Age Divisions
    • U8/U9 (Boys and Girls)
    • U10 (Boys and Girls)
  • Player Passes
    • Teams will obtain MSYSA approved player passes for each player prior to their first game of the season. Player passes will be available for inspection by the opposing team manager and referee prior to each game.   Any irregularities or questions will be reviewed by the referee at the game, who will have final say over the eligibility of the player in question.
  • Club Pass System
    • Carded players on CMSSL teams are permitted to guest play on any other CMSSL teams within their Club for which they are age qualified.  The main objective of the Club Pass System is to allow coaches to move players freely within their own Club based on specific team needs and in the interest of player development. However, no player may play more than one game in one day.
  • Scheduling
    • All age groups will be scheduled for eight (8) league games each season based on the number of teams entered and the alignment of the divisions within the respective age groups. Every effort is made to accommodate schedule relief requests submitted by the deadline. No game rescheduling will occur except for (a) rain-outs/dangerous field condition cancellations, or (b) in exceptional circumstances and with the prior approval of league officials.


E.  Referees

  • For all league games, the home team is based on the league schedule and the field where the game is played. Referee assignments for CMSSL home games will be made by the home team (with the exception of SAC).
  • For all CMSSL games, referee fees are to be paid on the field, in cash, in advance of each game, directly to the referee.   Referees will be paid $40.00 per game ($20.00 per team).
  • CMSSL will generally utilize junior referees (aged 16 and below). 
  • Abuse of referees by coaches or spectators will not be tolerated. Any such behavior will be referred to the CMSSL or OBSL Rules and Disciplinary coordinator for investigation and possible sanctions. All game results will be final, and no game result will be subject to protest.


F.  Standings and Awards

  • No standings are kept in CMSSL for dissemination to the public.
  • For seeding purposes only, a team’s standings in its division will be determined by the number of points it receives based on its win/loss record during the season. Points will be awarded as follows: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss.
  • No championship or runnerup trophies are awarded.
  • If a team withdraws from CMSSL during the season of play, all scores and point records for or in connection with that team shall be nullified and all games played or scheduled to be played shall be recorded as a “BYE” for the opposing team. 
  • If a team forfeits more than two (2) games during the CMSSL season of play, that team will be considered to have withdrawn from the league.

G. Game Information

  • General: Ball Size/Player Counts/ Field Size
    • U8 through U10. Thirty (30) Minute Halves.
    • There will be a five (5) minute half-time interval in all games.
    • CMSSL will schedule games on Saturdays with makeups and/or double headers played on Sundays.
    • Games will start 9:00am or later on their scheduled game date (with few exceptions, when absolutely necessary).
    • Only size 4 balls are allowed for league play.
    • Players on the field; U8-U10 will play 7v7.
    • Field size: 70 yards long, 50 yards wide.
  • Field Set Up/Take Down
    • For CMSSL home fields, field set up and take down is the responsibility of the home club. The field is to be properly cut and lined, the goals and flags in good condition and properly positioned, and the field safe for play. The home team is to provide the game ball. The recommended field and goal size is detailed on the website.
    • There will be a build out line.
  • Substitutions
    • Except as noted, substitution shall be unlimited with the prior consent of the referee at the following times: Substitutions are unlimited with regard to the number of players and reentry.  Substitutions may be made from MIDFIELD with the consent of the referee at any stoppage of play.  Players leaving the game should come off the field prior to new players entering the field.  If a sub is made before a penalty kick only the players on the field at the time of the infraction may take the kick.
    • A substitution may be made for a player who receives a caution (yellow card) at the time the caution is issued.
  • Throw-ins
    • Referees will only allow one opportunity to throw a ball into play correctly.
  • Kick-offs
    • No goal may be scored directly from a kick-off.
  • Touchlines
    • Both teams are to take position on the same touchline, separated by the mid-field line. Coaches and players may not cross the mid-field line. Spectators are to take position on the opposite touchline. Teams and spectators are to remain between the top of the two penalty areas and behind the spectator lines three (3) to five (5) yards from the touchline
  • Heading
    • No heading will be allowed for U8 through U10.  If a player heads the ball it will result in an indirect free kick.
  • Goalkeepers
    • Goalkeepers may not punt or drop-kick the ball for U8 through U10.
  • Player Equipment
    • Player safety is the responsibility of the referee and shall remain so. Necklaces, earrings and other jewelry must be removed before a player will be allowed to play. Players wearing “soft” arm casts will be allowed to play. It is highly recommended that players wearing eye glasses wear sports glasses for protective measure. Mouthpieces are not required for players having tooth braces.
  • Official Roster and Coach/Team Official Player Passes
    • Each coach must have a current Official Roster, USYSA Player Passes, and appropriate Coach/Team Official Passes at every game. Prior to the start of the game, the referee or assistant referee is required to check player passes against each player. This requirement is not optional and a referee’s refusal to check player passes shall be immediately reported to the League following the game. A coach has the right to check the other team’s player passes against the roster, before or after the game.
  • Referee No-Show
    • If an assigned referee fails to appear within fifteen (15) minutes of the scheduled kick-off time, the game will be played with a volunteer referee. The results of the game will be official. All games will be played regardless of whether or not a certified referee officiates the game.
  • Cancellations and Rescheduling
    • The CMSSL President, or his designee, is authorized to cancel an entire day’s schedule due to inclement weather. Whenever possible, Club Representatives and referees will be notified of cancellations, at least two (2) hours prior to kick off. The Club Representatives are responsible for notifying their teams involved.
    • A Club Representative may determine that fields under their jurisdiction are unplayable due to weather or other conditions. If this situation occurs it is the Club Representatives responsibility to notify the CMSSL President, or designee, at least three (3) hours prior to kick-off. Club representatives are also responsible for notifying their coaches as well. The home team coaches must then notify their opponents. If a team has not been notified of a cancellation, the coach should assume the game will be played as scheduled.
    • All rescheduling of games will be done under the guidance of the President of CMSSL or his designee. No rescheduling will be done by individual coaches.
    • Once the schedule has been published the only changes that will be made will be the result of cancellations due to inclement weather or for field permit changes. Such changes are to be communicated by the home team to their opponent(s) at the time the change has been accepted by the league.


H.  Team Obligations

  • The home team is to contact the opposing coach no later than Wednesday of each week to verify game time, location and team colors.
  • If there is a color conflict in the uniform, the home team PRIOR TO THE GAME, shall be responsible for resolving the conflict.
  • Player uniform shirts (except that of the goalkeeper) must clearly display a unique player number which corresponds to the player number for that player on the Official State Roster. The player number on the uniform jersey must be displayed on the back and sized between six (6) and eight (8) inches high. A team’s failure to comply with this rule may result in forfeiture to the opposition by a score of 1-0.
  • In accordance with FIFA Laws of the Game, shin guards will be MANDATORY equipment for all players in all CMSSL games.
  • The home team is to provide the game ball; a properly sized field, lined and cut complete with a spectator line; goals/portable goals, nets and corner flags.
  • Fields must be safe for game play in the judgment of the referee.
  • Violations due to a lapse in responsibility may result in game forfeiture or loss of the opportunity to host future home games.
  • If on game day, a game is moved from the scheduled field to another field – with the agreement of both coaches and the referee – the home team for that game remains responsible for the preparation of the replacement field. The home coach is also responsible for notifying coaches who are scheduled for later games on the original field of the change.
  • Sidelines
    • Both competing teams, together with their coaches and team officials (rostered only), are to take position on the same touch-line, separated by the mid-field line; coaches and teams may not cross the mid-field line; spectators shall take the opposite side of the pitch.
    • Coaches of each team may provide instructions to their players during a game from their respective half of the sideline only.
    • All spectators, coaches and sideline players must stay clear of the touch line between the corner of the 14 yard extension of the penalty box and clear of the goal line.
    • The referee or assistant referee may, at any time, restrict the sideline movement of coaches, players, and spectators.
    • A spectator line must be placed three (3) to five (5) yards behind the touchline to keep coaches, spectators and sideline players back from the field and out of the assistant referee’s line of movement. All coaches, spectators, and sideline players are required to stand behind this spectator line.
  • Each team will select a Team Sportsmanship Liaison (TSL). The selected TSL will have the following responsibilities:
    • Prior to each game the TSL from both teams will identify themselves to each other and to the referee.
    • Prior to each game the TSL will discuss with the referee and coaches what role the TSL will take in the event the sidelines begin to negatively impact the match or the referees ability to do his/her job.
    • Ensure team spectators/parents comply with the spectator line rule.
    • Be the “cooler head” should sideline behavior become extreme.
    • Be the first point of contact should the referee feel he/she needs help due to extreme behavior.
    • In the event an incident occurs which requires Rules and Disciplinary Committee involvement, the TSL will attend the hearings.
  • Players
    • Necklaces, earrings and other jewelry must be removed before a player will be allowed to participate in the game.
    • Players wearing “soft” arm casts will be allowed to participate in the game.
    • It is highly recommended that players wearing eye glasses wear sports glasses for protective measure.
    • Mouthpieces are not required for players having tooth braces.


I.  Forfeits

  • If a team cannot field a minimum of four (4) players (U9 & U10), or five players (U11 & U12), within fifteen minutes after the scheduled kick-off time, that team will forfeit the game. The game will be entered in the standings as a 1-0 loss for the forfeiting team.
  • In the event that neither team is able to field the minimum number of required players, the record will show a 1-0 loss for both teams.
  • Any team found to be responsible for the referee abandoning a match will forfeit that game and the record will show a 1-0 loss for that team.
  • Failure to produce the USYS Player Passes, Team Officials Passes and/or the Official State Roster within the league’s fifteen (15-minute grace period, will result in a forfeit. The score shall be recorded as a 1-0 loss for the forfeiting team.
  • Failure to notify your opponent of a game cancellation due to inclement weather will result in an automatic forfeiture by the offending team. The score shall be recorded as a 1-0 loss for the forfeiting team.
  • Failure of the home team to provide the game ball, a properly lined and cut field, nets and corner flags may result in forfeiture of the game.
  • Failure of a coach or team official to remain away from the field of play after receiving a red card may result in forfeiture of the game.
  • If the coach or team official receives a red card and there is no other carded team official present to supervise the team, the game will result in an automatic forfeit.
  • If a suspended coach is within sight and sound of the field of play; or a suspended player participates in a game that he/she should have been sitting out, their team shall forfeit the game in question. The result will be a 1-0 loss for the offending team.
  • If a team forfeits two (2) league games during the CMSSL season of play, immediately after the second forfeiture, that team will be dropped from the league and all subsequent opponents will be given a 1-0 win.
  • Any team that neglects to show up for their scheduled game, or provides notification within an unreasonable amount of time to cancel refs, will be responsible for the entirety of the games ref fees ($40.00).


J.  Reporting of Scores

  • The league operates under an online system.  Club Representatives are responsible for logging in their game results no later than 9:00pm on the day of the game. 
  • The winning team, or in the case of a tie, the home team, will be responsible for reporting final scores.
  • League officials will assure that all game scores are properly logged in.



  • PHYSICAL VIOLENCE, FOUL AND ABUSIVE LANGUAGE, HARASSMENT OF PLAYERS OR REFEREES WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Any incident of a player or coach issued a Red Card for physical violence, assault, or abuse directed against a referee or assistant referee will be subject to an automatic review by the CMSSL League officers.
  • The referee is in complete charge of the field and adjacent areas from the time he/she arrives at the game site until he/she departs. The referee is empowered to:
    • Rule on what equipment or accessories are considered to be dangerous.
    • Issue yellow or red cards during that entire period.
    • Terminate a game for coach, player, or spectator misconduct. The determination of the outcome of a terminated game shall be the responsibility of the Rules and Disciplinary Director, in consultation with the CMSSL President.
    • Refuse to allow the game to be played if, in the referee’s judgment, the field is unplayable due to length of grass, inadequate lines, or other impediments. Referees may depart the area certain of receiving their fee.


L.  Disciplinary Action

  • A coach who receives a Red Card during a game shall immediately leave the game site and its vicinity. In the event that the coach is required to leave and there is no other responsible adult able to supervise the team, the game shall be declared a forfeit in favor of the opposing team and entered in the standings as a 1-0 loss for the offending team.
  • If a player or coach receives two Yellow Cards or a Red Card in a game, the player or coach is ejected from the game and must sit out the next league game. A coach must be out of sight and out of sound before, during and after a game for which the coach has been suspended. A suspended player may attend the game provided that he/she is not in uniform and does not play. If a suspended player or coach participates in the game(s) for which they were suspended, their team shall forfeit the game in question by a score of 1-0.


M.  Protests and Appeals

  • Referee calls during a game are judgmental and are not subject to appeal. Questions on interpretation of the rules by a referee should be discussed with the CMSSL Referee Coordinator, but again, are not subject to appeal.
  • The referee’s judgment in issuing a card is not grounds for protest and may not be appealed. The only basis for protest shall be whether a card was issued in accordance with the FIFA Laws of the Game, as modified by CMSSL rules.


N. Rules & Disciplinary Committee

  • The Rules and Disciplinary (R & D) Committee shall consist of the R & D Director and a standing committee of four members selected by the R & D Director and approved by the CMSSL President. A member of the Committee cannot be from the same club/age group as the individual(s) to which the hearing pertains nor, except for the R & D Director, shall any officer of the CMSSL be a member of the R & D Committee.
  • Disciplinary action may be taken by the Committee against any player, team official, team or Club which failed to abide by the Laws of the Game and/or CMSSL League Rules. The R & D Director shall keep appropriate records of all such actions and those records, along with the Laws and Rules of the League may be the basis for future disciplinary action.
  • Actions Which May Be Taken Against a Player, Coach, Team Official or Club:
    • A verbal warning may be made by the R & D Director. A written record of such warning shall be made and may be referenced in any future actions against that party. A copy will be sent to the appropriate Club Representative.
    • A written censure may be sent to the offending party by the R & D Director. A copy of the censure shall be sent to the offending party’s coach or Club Representative, as appropriate.
    • A player, team official, team, or club may be suspended for a number of games specifically identified to the party. A suspended player may not participate in any game for which he/she is suspended. Suspended team officials may not appear at the game site or its vicinity for the game for which they are suspended. Failure to comply with a suspension will cause the game for which the suspension should have been served, to be forfeited to the opposition by a score of 1-0.
    • In extreme cases, upon the recommendation of the R & D Committee following a hearing and approval of the League Officers, a player, team, or Club may be banned from CMSSL participation for a specified period of time. A banned person may not participate in any game or practice with their team during that period. A team that does not comply with this sanction may have all CMSSL privileges removed.