Soccer League Rules & Mask Policy

Southeastern Pennsylvania Recreational League (SE-PA Rec)

Below are the Southeastern Pennsylvania Recreational League (SE-PA Rec) soccer rules effective September 11th, 2020

General Rules

 All games of the Southeastern PA Recreational League shall be played in accordance with FIFA Laws Of The Game and USSF rules with the following modifications:

  • Ball Size:
    • The Under 10 & 12 division games shall be played with a # 4 size ball.
    • All other divisions shall be played with a # 5 size ball.
  • Duration of Match
    • Under 10 division games shall consist of 2, 25 minute half’s;
    • Under 12 division games shall consist of 2, 30 minute half’s;
    • Under 14 division games shall consist of 2, 35 minute half’s;
    • Under 16 division games shall consist of 2, 35 minute half’s;  
    • Under 19 division games shall consist of 2, 40 minute half’s’;
    • All games shall have a 5 minute half time and switch sides. No stoppage time shall be added to either half.
  • Substitutions
    • An unlimited number of substitutions may be made during the match, and any player who has been substituted may re-enter the game according to the substitution procedures defined below.
  • Slide Tackling
    • Slide tackling in any manner in the vicinity of another player or official shall be strictly prohibited and shall be sanctioned as “Serious Foul Play” and shall be issued a “Card” for the foul.
  • Rushing the Goal Keeper
    • An “Indirect Direct Free Kick” shall be awarded to the defending team if a player rushes a Goal Keeper.
  • Safety
    • In order to insure the safety of all players, the following safety rules are mandatory:
      • Players must wear appropriate shin guards and outdoor soccer boots or sneakers.
      • Hooded Sweatshirts are not allowed, nor can the hoods be tucked in.
      • Players are not permitted to play with any kind of jewelry. No exceptions shall be made to this rule for new earrings and covering any type of jewelry with a Band-Aid is not permitted. (The wearing of medical alert jewelry is permitted, as long as the braclet is securely covered).
      • Sports safety glasses is strongly reccomended for both the safety of the individual and others on the field.
      • Players are not permitted to play wearing unpadded casts or splints. The decision to allow the player to participate will be made by the referee.
      • There will be no heading the ball in the U-10 & U12 Divisions.  It will be an indirect kick at the spot of the foul.
  • Divisions and Eligibility
    • The Southeastern PA  Rec league shall organize games for boys and girls teams in the following Age Divisions.

      Age Divisions for 2020-21 season

      Age Divisions Birth Years
      Under 10 2011 & 2012
      Under 12 2009 & 2010
      Under 14 2007 & 2008
      Under 16 2005 & 2006
      Under 19 2002 & 2003 & 2004
    • Only players registered with a participating soccer club shall be allowed to participate in league play.  
    • Only players meeting the divisional requirements for Birth Year are eligible to play in that division.
    • Player may participate in older age groups. 
    • Girls may participate in Boys Divisions.
    • Players on an active, same season Travel Team are not eligible to participate.
    • All teams shall submit a line up sheet for each game. There are 3 copies, Home Team, Visitors Team and the Referee’s copy. Only eligible players who are members of that team are permitted to play. The form is available for download on the league webpage
  • Playing Time
    • All players must be offered the opportunity to play at least half of the match, regardless of skill.
  • Substitutions
    • Substitutions shall be made as follows: 
      • At halftime
      • At any stoppage of play solely at the discretion of the Referee, if they allow it.
      • In the case of an injury, and the injured player is substituted, the opposing team may substitute one for one basis with the permission of the referee. Injured players receiving attention on the field must be substituted.
      • A player receiving a “Yellow Card” must be substituted for a “Cooling Off” period. The opposing team does not, in this instance get a One-for-one substitution. The player receiving the "card" may re-enter the game at the next allowed team substiution. 
      • Goal Keepers may be substituted during the duration of the match, but only with the permission of the referee. Failure to get permission prior to substituting the keeper will result in the issue of a “Yellow Card” for unsportsmanlike conduct, except at half time.
  • Parents Behavior
    • Spectators are expected to behave and act in a courteous and sportsman like manner at all times.
    • Spectators must remain a minimum of 1 yard, 3 feet, behind the touch line unless directed otherwise by the referee.
    • No one is allowed to enter the field of play during the match without the permission of the referee.
    • No one is allowed to remain behind the goal line or along the goal line during the match.
  • Coaches Behavior
    • Before the match, each coach shall provide to the referee a volunteer linesman in the Under 12 division. The referee will have flags, and the linesman shall follow the instructions of the referee. Linesmen are not permitted to “coach” from the sidelines.
    • Coaches for the home team are responsible for the proper and visible lines and for setting out legal corner flags.
    • All coaches must remain a minimum of 1 yard, 3 feet, back from the side touch lines and within 10 yards of the center line.
    • At the conclusion of the match, teams will line up for handshake.
    • Coaches must reduce the number of players to match that of the opposing team, should they be short handed.
    • Coaches should notify their League Directors regarding any instances of improper conduct.
    • Coaches will discuss any referee issues only with their league director, club designee and only after 24 hours have passed since the end of the match.
  • Player Behavior
    • Players are expected to play in a sportsman’s like manner.
    • Substitute players are to remain 4 feet behind the touch line.
    • Players are expected to know and understand the Laws of the Game and all the SE-PA amendments.
    • Players are to treat the opposing team, coaches and referee’s with respect.
  • Referees
    • The referee is “Solely” responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game in accordance to FIFA, USSF and the league amendments.
    • One referee for Under 10, 12 and 14 matches with club linesman and 3 referees for Under 16 and above.
    • Each team is responsible for half the referee fee and the total fee is to be paid before the start of the match.
    • Any verbal abuse or threatening of the referee by any coach, player or spectator is strictly prohibited and such conduct may be punishable by ejection and a minimum of one, (1), game suspension.
    • All decisions by the referee are final.
    • The referee may end the match at any time when the circumstances warrant it. Should the referee end the match, the teams MAY NOT decide to finish the match on their own. The match is abandoned and the reasons and outcome will be reviewed by the governing parties.
    • The referee shall submit a game report to its designated league authority with-in 48 hours of the completed match.
    • No game time “Revisions” of the written Laws or Amendments shall be allowed without the permission of the governing authority.
  • Referee Unavailable
    • Referees are assigned to every league game. In the event a referee does not appear for the scheduled game in U-14 Divisions and younger the following procedures is used:

       a.   The home team shall nominate a candidate, preferably a member of the Referee’s Association who, if acceptable, they shall referee the game.

       b.   If the home team’s nominee is unacceptable, the visiting team shall nominate a candidate, preferably a member of the Referee’s Association who, if acceptable, shall referee the game.

       c.  In the event both coaches agree on another procedure to have the game officiated, that procedure shall be employed. Any referee named through the aforementioned process shall have all the powers of any referee as stated in the Laws of the Game.

       d.   If a suitable candidate cannot be agreed upon, the game shall be canceled.  Both teams are required to remain at the field for no less than 20 minutes after the scheduled start of the match to ensure that the assigned referee does not arrive in a reasonable amount of time.  The Home team shall advise SE-PA within 48 hours that no referee was present for the game. The teams have one (1) week to reschedule the match and will advise the League of the new date, time and location.  If after this time the game has not been rescheduled the game shall be rescheduled by the League.

       e.   In the U16 and U19 age groups, if no referee is present, the game shall be canceled.  If at least 1 referee is present the game can proceed using club linesman provide by each team.  The Home team shall advise the league within 48 hours that no referee was present for the game.  The teams have one (1) week to reschedule the match and will advise the League of the new date, time and location.  If after this time the game has not been rescheduled the game shall be rescheduled by the league


  • Fouls and Misconduct
    • The referee shall call the game in accordance to the FIFA Laws of the Game, USSF Guidelines and the Amendments to The Laws as stated in this document.
    • Any player receiving a “Yellow Card” shall be substituted and remain on the sidelines for a cooling off period. The opposing team does not get a one-for-one substitution. Referees must submit a game report with all info according to USSF reporting requirements.
    • Any player receiving a “Red Card” shall leave the field of play and not interfere with the game in any manner. Should the ejected player or coach continue with any un-sportsman like behavior and continue to disrupt the game, they will be asked to leave the facility.
    •  If a player receives a Red Card they will receive a minimum of a mandatory one game suspension for receiving a Red Card, however, all violent and serious Red Card fouls shall be reviewed by the Governing Officials and additional game suspension may be given upon determining a violent foul has accrued which should warrant further action.  Referees must submit a game report with all info according to USSF reporting requirements. Player and coaches suspended may not be present on the sidelines for their suspended matches.
    • All violent conduct and game ejections must be reported to the individual club designated coordinator. Serious misconduct will be reviewed by an appointed Disciplinary Committee to determine if additional sanctions are required or warranted.
  • Competition Rules
    • The team scoring the greater number of goals during the match is the winner. Matches ending in a draw will stand as there are no tie breakers during the regular season.
    • There is no "Mercy Rule" in the SE-PA Rec League, however, the maximum goal differential recognized in the standings is 4 goals. 
  • Tie Games for Playoffs Only
    • Two, (2), five, (5), minute overtime periods will be played with teams switching sides at the half. (No golden goal).
    • If still tied at the end of overtime, the best of five, (5), penalty kicks by each team, (taken alternately), will be the deciding factor. Only those players on the field at the end of the overtime period may participate in the shoot out and all must remain on the field.
    • If still tied after the first five shooters from each team, alternating kicks shall be taken until a winner is decided, not a second set of 5 shooters. All players must kick once before any player is allowed a second kick. Keepers are permitted to participate in the shootout.
    • Eligible players are to be lined up in the center circle and remain there until a winner is determined.
    • No coaches, managers or spectators are permitted on the field or behind the goal during the shootout. Those not participating in the shoot out must remain on the sideline in their respective technical area.
  • Consequences
    • Any club or individual team that does not abide by the Laws of the Game and Amendments, use illegal or unregistered players or with-in the keeping of the “Spirit of the Game” may be asked to leave the program immediately and game schedules for the remaining teams in that division will be revised.
    • No refunds shall be issued should a team or club leave or be ejected from the program.

Special Rules:

1.  Game cancellations,  the only exception is that the fields are closed by the respective Club or Township due to weather.  Clubs must provide this information at least 2 hours prior to their game time to the league,  Tom Chester, and other team via e-mail and a courtesy call as well.  All other cancellations (player shortages for example) must be done within 24 hours prior to game time.  

2.  Any rescheduled games must be scheduled within 5 days from the original game date.  

3.  Any forfeits will result in a 1-0 score with no rescheduling. 

4.  Rosters,  no limit since we are an Intramural League but all players must play at least 50% of their game time.

5.  Age groups,  players can play up but we are only allowing a maximum of 3 players to play down due to medical reasons, or no older team or other considerations.  Players must be within 1 calendar year maximum from their age group.  This must be sent in writing to the league,  prior to the season starting.  

6.  All Head and Assistant Coaches must go to EPYSA's website and fill out the Risk Management form.  This has to be completed ASAP.

7.  You must register your players through Gotsport from your Club to SEPA.

8. COVID SEPA League Game Guidelines




SEPA is following EPYSA for all Covid related topics which include masks and social distancing.

Information about the PA Department of Health Mask Mandate 

With the Spring soccer season underway, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer would like to send out a reminder regarding the masking requirement set forth by the PA Department of Health. Our stance as a State Association is to follow the PA Department of Health mandates. As the mandate currently reads below; masks must be worn unless the person meets Section 3 of the mask requirement. This exemption says an individual can remove their mask if the face-covering if it would either cause a medical condition or exacerbate an existing one, including respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition, or a disability. All alternatives should be exhausted before an individual is exempted. Proof of a condition or disability is not required. The Department of Health asks that everyone makes their best efforts to wear face coverings during athletic activities.  

This is not our specific policy; it is the PA Department of Health's policy. If your child has problems wearing a mask and meets section 3, then he/she does not need to wear a mask, but again, all alternatives should be exhausted before they would be exempted.  

In addition, when it comes to the exception, this is an individual decision.  Neither clubs nor teams should be making decisions as a collective group or making statements as such.  It is up to each individual player/family to follow the mandate and its requirements (including the exemption).  

Referees will not be policing the situation.  Any situation involving a team’s refusal to play is a matter for the league. For more information, please visit the PA Department of Health's website.  


  • REPORT to SEPA: If any player, coach or spectator has tested positive for covid-19.

  • Players and Coaches should be on same sideline as their spectators.

  • Do not allow any team member(s) with symptoms to attend any league games
  • If you are sick, feeling sick or have a temperature, you must not attend league games
  • Players and coaches should remain in their vehicles until the its time to enter the facility (to allow teams and supporters at previous games to leave the Venue)
  • Players, coaches, and a parent must wear face coverings between the parking lot and the field
  • Players cannot wear any Gaiters style masks as they are deemed dangerous,  if a player grabs it by accident.  Only cloth or disposable ones should be worn.

  • Coaches should wear masks during the whole game
  • Coaches and players should maintain social distancing during half time, water breaks and at all times when off the field of play
  • Do not share water bottles, drinks or any personal items
  • No handshakes or high fives
  • Soccer balls should be disinfected before and after each game
  • No spitting 
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with hands
  • Players should sanitize their hands each time they come off the field

Parents and Spectators Guidelines:

  • Anyone with symptoms (fever, cough, etc.) must not attend games
  • Spectators and guests should bring personal hand sanitizer and wipes to games
  • All spectators must wear a face covering traveling while between the parking lots and the fields
  • Spectators should be separated to comply with all social distancing guidelines (6 feet apart)
  • Anyone feeling sick should leave the facility immediately
  • It is strongly recommended that people over 65 and/or with pre-existing conditions do not attend 
  • We strongly recommend that only one (1) parent/supporter per player attend each game

Health and Safety Guidelines:

  • Clubs should provide communications (emails, Zoom calls, TeamSnap etc.) to clearly communicate expectations, protocols, health and safety, and reduce risk for its members. 
  • Provide video/multimedia health and safety tutorials for all members of your club including spectators
  • All players and coaches should do a temperature self-check prior to each league game
  • If a player has a temperature, they should not play
  • Anyone who feels sick or has any symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend league games
  • Anyone who has had close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 should not attend league games
  • All people planning to be on site should bring their own face coverings and hand sanitizer

Field Guidelines:

  • Reduce the number of people on site in one area at any one time to promote social distancing

Effective 04/12/2021

Revised 4/12/2021
Governing Entity:
Southeastern PA Rec league & the Warrington Soccer Club