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2016-17 NorCal Premier Handbook

CLICK HERE TO VIEW/ DOWNLOAD NORCAL HANDBOOK

There have been massive changes to the youth soccer landscape over the last year,  from the birth year and small-sided game format changes to the new rules regarding head injuries.  We at NorCal Premier Soccer know that keeping up with each of these changes is a challenge for individuals so we have streamlined and consolidated our Handbook to include the new information, and highlighted updates in yellow, to make it easier to find. Additionally, please see a list of the changes below.

Most notable are the updates regarding the US Soccer mandates concerning heading and re-entry following a suspected head injury.  In addition, there are updates to the game details and formats to ensure that NorCal Premier is in line with the US Soccer small-sided game formats.  Please make sure that your club officials, team managers, and coaches are all aware of the changes.

Game Formats

AgeGame Length# of PlayersRoster SizeField LengthField WidthBall Size# of Referees
U84 x 10 min
(5 min half)
4v412Min 30 yrd
Max 40 yrd
Min 20 yrd
Max 30 yrd
30
U9-U102 x 25 min
(5 min half)
7v7
(min = 5)
14Min 47 yrd
Max 60 yrd
Min 30 yrd
Max 40 yrd
41
U11-U122 x 30 min
(5 min half)
9v9
(min = 6)
16Min 70 yrd
Max 80 yrd
Min 40 yrd
Max 50 yrd
41
U132 x 35 min
(10 min half)
11v11
(min = 7)
18Min 100 yrd
Max 120 yrd
Min 55 yrd
Max 80 yrd
53
U14-U162 x 40 min
(10 min half)
11v11
(min = 7)
18Min 100 yrd
Max 120 yrd
Min 55 yrd
Max 80 yrd
53
U17-Adult2 x 45 min
(10 min half)
11v11
(min = 7)
18Min 100 yrd
Max 120 yrd
Min 55 yrd
Max 80 yrd
53

Field Dimensions

In all small sided formats (4v4, 7v7, 9v9) the use of cones is permitted for the formation of the field lines.

Build Out Line

NorCal will not be using the build out line or limiting punting from goalkeepers for any of the small sided game formats.

New Sections in NorCal Handbook

Club Definition

In order for a club to be considered a member of NorCal Premier, the following conditions must be satisfied:

  • All teams participating in NorCal events must belong to a single legal entity, with a single leadership structure, single financial structure and a single governance structure.
  • All teams participating in NorCal events must have a common Club name, logo and uniforms.
  • All teams participating in NorCal events must operate under a single technical structure/ plan and report to a single Technical Director, Director of Coaching or Executive Director.
  • All players participating in NorCal events must be registered under a single US Club ID.

Teams Requesting to Play Outside their Region

For teams who wish to request to play outside of their region, the NorCal League Office will use the following criteria to determine if a team needs to play in a different region:

  • Availability of competitive divisions within the Region

Re-Scheduling Games

Once a game has been agreed on in writing, both teams must agree on any scheduling change.  After the scheduling deadline passes, a date must be set before any change is made to the schedule.  For example, if a team would like to reschedule a game following the scheduling deadline, a specific reschedule date must be set before the game can be changed.

Rain Outs

In the event of a forced reschedule (i.e. rainout) it is the home team’s responsibility to reschedule the match.  All rain outs must be rescheduled within 1 week of the original match date.

Suspensions

It is the team’s and/or club’s responsibility to ensure their Red Carded player/coach serves the minimum 1 game suspension.  It is also their responsibility to ensure that their player/coach serves any additional suspension determined by the NorCal PAD committee.  There shall be two types of suspensions:

  • Minor Offenses – These include send offs for normal soccer actions, 2nd yellow cards, etc.  Minor offenses will be given suspensions for a number of games within the competition that the red card was received in.
  • Major Offenses – These include send offs for violent actions.  Major offenses will incur suspensions for an amount of time and will rule players or coaches out across all NorCal competitions.

Fields

The playing field used by each team must be lined according to USSF standards with goals (U8 recommended goal size is 4’x6’, U9 –U12 recommended goal size is 6.5’x18.5’ but game can be played as long as both goals are the same size), nets and flags. The goal of each club shall be to provide an enjoyable experience for the fans, players, officials and everyone involved with the staging of a soccer game.

In all small sided formats (4v4, 7v7 and 9v9) the use of cones is permitted for the formation of the field lines.  In addition, there shall be no “build out line” in the 7v7 format in NorCal Premier events.

Heading Game Rule

For U11 and below (2006 birth year), when a player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense.  If the deliberate header occurs within the goal area (6 yard box), the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.  If a player a player does not deliberately head the ball, then play should continue.

This rule shall apply to the age groups of U11 and below.  Players who are playing up will play according to the rules of the age group that they are playing in.  It is the club’s responsibility to understand the effects of this rule on players playing up.

No Re-Entry Protocol

In accordance with the US Soccer return to play guidelines, any player removed from the field for a suspected head injury will not be allowed to return to the field of play unless cleared by a health care professional.

Health Care Professional

A health care professional is defined as “a licensed health care professional such as an athletic trainer certified (ATC), or a physician (MD/DO), with a skill set in emergency care and sports medicine injuries and with knowledge and experience related to concussion evaluation and management.”  It will be up to each club to decide whether they will provide a health care professional at their matches, and to ensure that their health care professional has the correct certification to be evaluating players for head trauma.  If a club plans to use a health care professional to evaluate suspected head injuries during a NorCal match, the health care professional must be presented to the referee prior to the start of the match.  Referees will not allow the re-entry of players removed from the field of play for suspected head injuries unless they are informed of the presence of, and meet with a health care professional prior to the start of the match.

Jersey Conflict

If there is a conflict in jersey colors, it is the home team’s responsibility to change colors.  NorCal encourages home teams to wear their dark colors, while away teams wear light colors.