Cambridge Youth Soccer

House League Rules & Regulations

Revised & Approved: April 7, 2019

“Learn to Train” U11-12 Soccer Program

“Soccer For Life” U14-U18 Soccer Program

All games shall be played in accordance with the laws of the game as published by F.I.F.A. and the Ontario Soccer, except those superseded by specific rules as outlined in this section.

  1. The Field

1a) u11-u12 and u14-u18 games shall be played only on fields designated by CYS.

  1. Equipment

2a) u11- u12 shall use Size 4 balls at all times.
2b) u14 – u18 shall use Size 5 balls at all times.
2c) The home team shall supply the game ball to the referee before the game.
2d) All players must wear soccer cleats.
2e) All players are required to wear shin pads under their socks.
2f) Each team shall bring two (CYS-issued) corner flags to the field for each game.
2g) A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself/herself or another player. No hard casts (as per CYS Cast Policy). CYS asks that the parent/guardian of a player wearing a cast send a picture of the cast to the club so a determination can be made on whether it is acceptable.
2h) No jewelry (earrings, rings, necklaces or bracelets of any kind are permitted on the field If a referee observes a player wearing any jewelry items the player will be asked to leave the field and may not return for the remainder of the half. The jewelry must be removed or the player cannot continue to play in the game. NOTES: Medical bracelets are allowed. Religious items must be declared to the referee for review prior to the game for acceptance or rejection. The referees decision is final.

  1. Number of Players

3a) U11 and U12 team rosters have a maximum of sixteen (16) registered players. The Club must approve age groups with rosters exceeding the above limits. U14 and U18 rosters have a maximum of 20 players.
3b) The U11 and U12 game is played with nine (9) players per team on the field as per OSA LTPD guidelines. This includes the goalkeeper. U12-U18 games are played with eleven (11) players per team on the field.
3c) U11 and U12 the minimum number of players a team is permitted to play with is six (6) including the goalkeeper. U14 and U18 the minimum number of players a team is permitted to play with is seven (7) including the goalkeeper. No adjustment is required by the opposition who will field the maximum number of players.
3d) Players will not be permitted to be ‘called up’ from lower divisions of the CYS House League without the written consent of the Technical Director or Technical Committee
3e) If there are circumstances that teams will be short players (graduations/school trip/holidays) please contact the CYS office and the Technical Director will make arrangements on behalf of the team

NEW RULE: “Game Leaders” (coaches) MUST sit on the player bench while Games are being played!

  • Let the players play pressure free
  • Give information in a calm manner
  • Help keep players focused on the game being played
  • Opportunity to give players on the bench feedback as the game is being played
  • Opportunity to take notes – create a list of coaching points
  • From the notes – 3 objectives for the 2nd half can be formed to be given at half-time
  • If there is no space on the bench for “Game Leaders” coaches to sit the expectation is that they stand behind the bench

“Game Leaders” (coaches) are permitted to stand

  • As players enter the field of play at a substitution at the same time assisting a player off the field
  • Can come close to the touchline (within the Technical Area) to impart information to individual players (coach in the flow on the game) briefly before returning to the bench
  • special circumstances, for example, if they need to enter the field of play, with the referee’s permission, to assess an injured player.

Fields that do not have benches:

  • CYS will issue each “Game Leader” (coach) with a set of markers to create a 3m (3yd) x 3m (3yd) player location area
  • The player location area will be located 5m (5yd) from the halfway line and 3m (3yd) from the touchline
  • All players not participating in the game on the field are required to remain within the player location area.
  • Water bottles only are allowed in the player location area. Players are asked to leave all other clothing/equipment with parents
  • “Game Leaders” (coaches) will be required to stand behind the Player Location Area at all times except for brief (10 – 15 seconds) coach in the flow game moments with individual players called to the touchline. Coaches should restrict these coach in the flow moments to a maximum of 3 per each half of a game.
  • The “Game Leader” (coach) and other occupants of the technical area must behave in a responsible manner.
  • The player location area prevents “Game Leader” (coach) from going behind the goal or “patrolling” up and down the length of the sideline.
  • It also allows the referee the best opportunity to observe the substitutions of players.

NOTE: Referees will be required to

  • check that “Game Leaders” (coaches) have correctly located the “Player location area”
  • Ensure players & “Game leaders” (coaches) are compliant with Player Location area rules throughout the duration of the game.
  1. Game Officials

4a) CYS shall assign referees to u11-u12, u14 & u18 Soccer games.
4b) In the event that a Referee is not available, or has not been assigned, the “Home Team” coach shall referee the first (1st) half of the game and the “Away Team” coach shall referee the second (2nd) half.
4c) If both coaches are in agreement, a ‘third party’ (such as, but not limited to, a parent or coach) may referee the entire game.
4d) The game shall proceed as an official game.

  1. Duration of the Game & Playing Time

5a) The regulation time for games is as follows:

  • U11 & U12: 2-thirty-five (35) minute halves
  • U14: 2-forty (40) minute halves
  • U18: 2-forty-five (45) minute halves

5b) All games will have a Half Time break of 5 minutes.
5c) Each game shall start at the stated scheduled starting time, providing both teams have six (6) or more players u11-u12 or seven (7) or more players at u14-u18. If games are delayed, the referee will shorten halves accordingly (to have the game end at the regular scheduled end time).
5d) If either team has fewer than the minimum required amount of players more than fifteen (15) minutes after the scheduled starting time, then refer to Rule #14.
5e) Each player must receive fair playing time equivalent to at least 50% of each game.
5f) Mercy Rule – U14 and U18 ONLY

Should a game reach a differential of 8 goals at any point from half-time onward, the referee shall stop the game and award the game to the winning team by the score at the time the game was stopped.

For the remainder of the game the teams shall be divided up and a friendly game played.

  1. Method of Scoring

6a) Goals are scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar.
6b) Game sheets shall be completed and submitted to the CYS office by each coach within 3 days by fax (519-653-7892), email ( or dropped off.
6c) Game points will be awarded as follows (u14/u18 only):

  • WIN – three (3) points
  • TIE – one (1) point
  • LOSS – zero (0) points
  1. Final League Standings (u14 & u18 only)

7a) If at the end of the regular schedule, two or more teams are tied in points for first place, the following applies:

  1. Regular season record between the 2 teams
  2. Goals against
  3. Goal difference

7b) League standings will be kept on the CYS website. Please note that standings will not be kept for U11 and U12 as per Ontario Soccer Association Long Term Player Development Policy. Standings will still be kept for U14 and U18 divisions.

  1. Player Substitutions

8a) Unlimited substitutions are permitted at the following times with the approval of the referee:
Coaches are expected to have subs come on and off at the centre line in a controlled fashion.

  • On any pass-in by either team
  • After a goal is scored by either team
  • At a goal kick by either team
  • At the start of the 2nd Half
  • To replace an injured player

Note: Substitutions may not occur on free kicks or corner kicks.

  1. Player Removal

9a) Any coach wishing to have a player removed from a team must make a request to the CYS Technical Director and House League Director, in writing, to arrange for a hearing before the Discipline Chair.
9b) The hearing should be attended by the player, or at least one of the player’s parents or guardians, the coach, Discipline Chair.
9c) The decision of the Discipline Chair shall be final.

  1. Postponement & Rescheduling of Games

10a) A game should be abandoned by The Referee if there is sufficient thunder, visible lightning or in the case of extreme rain and pooling water.   Upon abandoning the game, wait 15 minutes in a safe area to see if the situation clears. If there is not a safe area or the weather does not clear the game can be cancelled.
10b) In the case of a referee cancelling a game due to inclement weather, if the game is at half time or in the second half the game will be counted as played. If the game is cancelled in the first half, the game will be counted as a tie with a 1-1 score (U14/U18 only). It is the call of the referee to cancel a game. In the case that a referee doesn’t show and a coach is refereeing then both coaches must agree to cancel the game.
10c) The office will only cancel games if the City of Cambridge says the fields are unplayable (this will only be done over a course of many days of wet weather). All games will be recorded as a tie with a 0-0 score (applicable in U14 and U18 divisions only). Contact the office and/or visit the website to see the status of play, otherwise, you must report to the field as scheduled.
10d) Games that are rained out will not be rescheduled due to lack of available fields and time constraints.

  1. Abandoned Games

11a) If a game is abandoned due to the action of any player or team official, the Referee shall note on the game sheet the reason for the abandonment and notify the circumstances to the Club in writing.
11b) If the referee does not submit a report on the abandonment, the Executive may request a written report from each coach.
11c) The Executive may hold a hearing into the incident, may adjust the allocation of game points, and may take disciplinary action.
11d) In the event that game points are adjusted, the offended team shall receive points equivalent to a win.

  1. Forfeited Games

12a) A game will be forfeited for any of the following reasons:

  • Failure of a team to appear for a game.
  • If a team delays the start of a game by more than fifteen (15) minutes.
  • If a team has fewer than seven (7) players (6 players for Under 11 & 12).

12b) Forfeited games will be recorded as a win, 1-0 (one-zero) for the non-defaulting team.
12c) If both teams are equally at fault, no points or goals will be awarded and the game shall not be replayed.

  1. Miscellaneous

13a) When the weather is extremely hot, the Referee will speak to the coaches and may give a 1 to 2-minute water break in the middle of each game half.  This is for the sole purpose of giving only those players on the field some water.  It is not to be used for coaching or other purposes.

  1. Finals Day(s)

14a) Final Days will have all U14 and U18 teams play a knockout tournament to determine a Final Day Champion. U11 and U12 teams will play a single game final.
14b) Final Day game dates will be published during the first week of August.
14c) Final Days matches will be created by CYS. The opposing teams will be drawn at random to ensure each team has an equal opportunity to win the championship (u14/u18).
14d) Participation awards will be given to all teams in U11 and u12 and up to 2nd place for league play in U14/U18. 1st place will receive a League award in U14/U18 only. An award will also be given to the team that wins the Final Day Tournament in U14/U18 only.
14e) Coaches should contact the CYS office if it is known they will be short players for Finals Day to the extent that they cannot field the minimum number of players.

  1. Game Sheets

Game sheets will not be used in Under 11 – 12

Under 11 – 12 Soccer Coaches will be asked to forward the players names and the shirt number allocated to them before the first game of the season.

  1. Retreat Line – AS PER OSA LTPD GUIDELINES (U11-U12)

On goal kicks, the opponents must drop off to the half-way line to help the goalkeeper and players learn to play out from the back.

The ball is in play as soon as it leaves the goal area and is touched by a teammate. The opposition players cannot cross the half-way line until a player touches the ball. To assist players in this the referee will inform players to ‘retreat’. Further, they will inform players when they can cross the retreat line by using the word ‘engage.’

When the goalkeeper collects the ball with their hands in open play, the opponents must drop off to the half-way line. The ball is in play as soon as it leaves the goalkeeper’s hands.

If the goalkeeper wants to play quickly they can do so. They do not have to wait for the opposition players to retreat.

  1. Offside Rule

The Offside Rule applies to all 9v9 and 11v11 outdoor games. Please refer to Law 11 of the Laws of the Game.