Lancaster Area Recreational League




With the exception of the rules/regulations on this page, FIFA's Laws of the Game apply.

Please review these rules

FIFA (IFAB) NEW CHANGES - Laws of the Game Web Page


When should activity be resumed?
Outdoor activities should be resumed 30mins after the LAST thunder/lightning witnessed.

Any large structured building will make a good shelter. If a building is not available, a vehicle with closed windows will provide good protection.


It is a league requirement that every game is confirmed by the coaches. The confirmation is to be made by phone, not by email or text messaging. The away team coach is responsible for calling the home team coach at least 48 hours before game time. However, the home team coach can be the person to initiate the phone call. The following information should be confirmed:

  • Game time is correct
  • Field location is correct,
  • Directions to the field are correct,
  • The home team has pennies to wear if the visiting team has the same color jersey,
  • A ref or refs have been scheduled and confirmed.
  • It would be a good idea to swap mobile phone numbers in case there is a breakdown etc. on the way to the game.


Games are to be cancelled by HOME TEAM only. Reasons for cancelation are limited to field playing conditions, and weather conditions that relate to player safety.

  • Opposing Coaches should have phone contact each week at least 24 hours before game time.
  • Games must be cancelled at least 2 hours prior to game time.
  • Home team must contact the referee assignor and/or referee to inform them of the cancellation, and contact the assignor to get a referee for the rescheduled game.
  • Any referee not contacted for cancellation who shows up for the game must be paid regardless if game is played.
  • Once the teams show up to the field the decision to cancel or to play the game will be determined by the referee at the field.
  • Home team is responsible for rescheduling the game with the visiting team at a mutually agreed upon time.


The referee should allow a 15 minute delay if a team does not have enough players to start the game. After 15 minutes of delay if the game is played the game is shortened by the amount of wait time the game was delayed. After 15 minutes any team without enough players ready to play will forfeit. Also, a team that does not have an adult coach at the match will not be allowed to play and will be considered to have forfeited.

A team which uses a non-rostered or ineligible player in a match will be charged with a forfeit.

A team/club which does not properly follow the rain-out policy and causes another team to arrive at a field without a match will be charged with a forfeit.

A forfeit will be scored as 1-0.


11v11 (7) | 9v9 (6) | 7v7 (5).

Note: If a team is unable to field a full team the opponent does not have to play short players also. - However - It is highly recommended that the opposing team fields the same number of players. An option would be for the team with the most players, donate a player or two. Rec is about fun and gaining experience.


Referees are not provided by the league. The home team/club provides the ref for their home games. In the event of a referee no-show, a referee shall be chosen with mutual consent of both coaches. No games will be played without a referee.

See the ref info page for detailed referee information.

PINNEY ETIQUETTE: Pinnies are worn by the home team if the visiting team's jersey is the same color.


  • A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to herself or another player (including any kind of jewelry).
  • Shin guards must be worn under socks.
  • Metal cleats are not allowed.
  • The Goalie's jersey must be easily distinguished from all other players on the field.


  • Coaches' mobility will be restricted from the halfway line to approximately the 25-yard line on their own half without switching at halftime.
  • All team coaches must be on the same side of the field as their team.
  • No more than 3 coaches on the team side of the field.
  • Coaches are to be on one side of the field and fans on the other side.

PLAYER EQUAL PLAYING TIME RULE: The league requires all players must get equal playtime.


  • If a player is red carded, he must leave the field of play immediately.
  • If a player is red carded, he is not permitted to play in the next game.
  • If a player or players are red carded the team must play short equal to the number of players that have been red carded.
  • A yellow card given to a player two games in a row equals a red card. Upon receiving a yellow card in the second consecutive game which now constitutes a red card the player must leave the field of play immediately and cannot play in the next game.
  • If a Goal Keeper receives a red card the keeper must leave the field of play immediately. A replacement keeper can take his place but then an outfielder position must be forfeited so the team is still short a player.
  • Although the team must finish the game short the number of players equal to the number of red cards that were issued, and although the red carded players can not play in the next game, the team does not have to play short players next game.
  • A player that has been red carded can travel with the team to the game in which he can not participate but the player can not be in uniform.

Procedure to follow if a red or yellow card is issued.

Coaches from both teams are to report any player or players that receive a red or yellow card to the commissioner. The commissioner will be responsible for notifying the coach of the next game and the coach's club rep to let them know the red carded player is not permitted to participate in the their game.

What to include in the report.

  • Date of the incident
  • Location of the Incident (Field Name).
  • The two teams participating in the match.
  • Both Coaches' names, email addresses & phone numbers.
  • Name & Phone Number of the Ref(s) that issued the Card(s).
  • Reason for the Red or Yellow Cards (e.g. dangerous play, unsportsmanlike action etc).
  • Carded Player(s) Name.
  • Carded Player(s) Jersey Number.

The report can be sent in an email, it does not have to be a separate attached document. The report should be submitted to the commissioner within two days after the game.


  • U10 - 50 minutes - (2) 25 minute halves + 5 minute halftime.
  • U12 - 60 minutes - (2) 30 minute halves + 5 minute halftime.
  • U15 - 70 minutes - (2) 35 minute halves + 5 minute halftime.
  • U19 - 90 minutes - (2) 45 minute halves + 5 minute halftime.


All substitutions will occur at the mid-field line, with the permission of the referee. (Players will not be able to enter the game from the "bench" area)


A player being substituted leaving the field at the nearest point on the boundary line, then they will proceed to walk around the field.

All substitution will be with the referee's permission and will no longer require possession or during specific stoppages in play.

BUILD OUT LINE: The build out line is only to be used by the U10 division. (See Bottom of Page)

OFF SIDES: Enforced for all age divisions (U10 thru U19).

U10 off sides rule. Off sides starts at the build out line

  • Players cannot be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the build out line.
  • Players can be penalized for an offside offense between the build out line and goal line.
  • Click image below to watch a video on YouTube showing and explaining the offside rule.



At a goal kick and a free kick for the defending team in their own penalty area, the ball is in play as soon the kick is taken (it can be played before it leaves the penalty area).


Clearer wording for 'handball'

Attacking team players must be at least 1 yard away from a defensive 'wall'

The goalkeeper only has to have one foot on the goal line at a penalty kick

A new dropped ball procedure (including a dropped ball being awarded if the ball hits a match official and goes into the goal, team possession changes or a promising attack starts).


No headers in U12 and under. This includes practices.

When a player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick (IFK) should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense unless the infraction occurs in the 6 yard box in which case the ball is placed on the 6 yard box line.

ROMP RULE: No romp rule but a 5 point rule applies.

5 Point Rule

If a team is down by 5 goals the team that is down may add a player (adding a player is optional) for the remainder of the game. This can be done without a stoppage in play with the referee's approval. This does not change the responsibility of the coach of the leading team to institute restrictions on scoring. The additional player does not have to be removed if the goal (score) gap closes.

Although the league does not have a 'romp rule' we do have guidelines to prevent game scores from getting 'out of hand'. Before each game coaches are to discuss how to handle a lopsided high scoring game (when one team is leading by 4 points) if the situation would arise. A document is provided for this purpose which offers several suggestions and options that can be utilized to keep the score from getting out of hand. Please print a copy of this document and go over it with the opposing coach before each game.

Preventing High Scores Document


Including keeper

  • U10 = 7v7
  • U12 = 9v9
  • U15 = 11v11
  • GIRLS U15 9V9 FORMAT FOR FALL: The Girls U15 division may play 9v9 in fall rather then the traditional 11v11 based on some clubs not having enough players. If both teams have minimum of 12 players each on game day and if the coaches agree they may play 11v11 format. This needs to be agreed upon by both coaches and the referee needs to be informed as well. Games will be played on the regular size fields for U15 age group. Boys format is 11v11.

  • U19 (Coed) 11v11 with the option to play a small sided game if a team is not able to field 11 players but both teams must field the same number of players.


In order to participate in league play, players must meet the following criteria:

  1. Must be currently registered with a LARS affiliated club.
  2. Must be an intramural player. Cannot be "carded" on any travel team roster. Select team players who are not on a travel team roster are eligible to play.
  3. A player can play for more than one team as long as the team is within the same age group and/or at a play up age group as long as the player is filling a roster in order to prevent a forfeit.


School Players can play in all divisions at the discretion of the player's club.


In order for a travel player to play for a rec team the player must be 'de-carded' (relinquish his travel player status). To just stop playing on travel teams does not make a travel player eligible to play on rec teams because the player is still registered with the travel league as a 'carded' travel player. If you are a carded travel player and would like to relinquish your travel player status you must do this through the LANCO.


This is allowed as long as the female plays within the same age group and does not have travel status. - The max number of girls that can be fielded on game day is 50%.


Not allowed.


If a team is unable to field two female players this team must play short one player.


A player can play for more than one team as long as the team is within the same age group and/or at a play up age group as long as the player is filling a roster in order to prevent a forfeit.


In order for a player to be eligible to play-down, the club cannot be fielding a team in the next age division up.

The play-down player cannot be more than one birth-year older (according to the birth year chart) than the age-group in which he will be participating. If there is an issue of any kind, contact the commissioner.

  • Divisions that play 11v11 can have a maximum of three (3) players play down.
  • Divisions that play a 7v7 or 9v9 format can have a maximum of two (2) players play down.

Play-downs in the Spring:

The age charts encompasses one full season which is both the fall and spring seasons. If a player is eligible to play down in fall, he/she can also play down in the spring even though be might be more than one year older in the spring.


There are no maximum roster sizes but it is recommended teams limit their rosters to the numbers shown below.

  • U10 = 12
  • U12 = 16
  • U15 = 22
  • U19 (Coed) = 22



When the league decided to adopt USYS recommendation of playing small sided games it was understood that not all clubs have the real estate in which to add small sided game fields. For the clubs that could not provide separate fields they were to do the best they could which included sharing resources including goals. If space is tight the fields should be laid out as close as possible to the recommended USYS small sided field setup parameters. One possibility is to place a field inside of a field. However, if this option is used both fields must be lined with a different color with a strong enough color contrast that the players & refs can easily tell which field is which.

Field Set-up Documents (PDF's)

  • U10 Small Sided 7v7 Field Set-up
  • U12 Small Sided 9v9 Field Set-up
  • U15 & U19 Full-Size Field Set-up (11v11)


  • U10 & U12 (7v7 & 9v9): 6.5x18.5 ft..
  • U15 & U19 (11v11) use standard full size goals (8x24 ft..)


One game every season is designates as a silent game. What this basically means is; no instruction is to be given to the players from the coaches or the fans. The silent games will be in the middle of the season.

Although the term "silent" is used to recognize the day, the fans do not have to be "silent". Parents are still encouraged to cheer for the players when they make a good play or score a goal. - The "silent" pertains to the coaches giving instructions to the players, AND... to all the "sideline coaches" who like to coach or give instructions to the kids from the parents' side of the field.

The silent game gives the coaches an opportunity to evaluate the kids on how well they do without any instruction, while allowing the players to see first hand the importance of talking to each other on the field.


  • The build out line promotes playing the ball out of the back in a less pressured setting.
  • When the goalkeeper has the ball, either during play (from the opponent) or from a goal kick, the opposing team must move behind the build out line until the ball is put into play.
  • Once the opposing team is behind the build out line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw or roll the ball into play at any time (punting and drop kicks is not allowed).
  • After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper, the opposing team can cross the build out line and play resumes as normal.
  • If a goalkeeper punts the ball, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense.
  • If the punt occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred.
  • The build out line will also be used to denote where offside offenses can be called.
  • Players cannot be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the build out line.
  • Players can be penalized for an offside offense between the build out line and goal line.