Rules & Regulations

OCWSL Rules & Regulations


This organization shall be known as the Old Colony Women’s Soccer League.

The purpose of this organization shall be to assist, promote and foster development of recreational soccer and to promote sportsmanship and goodwill among its members.

The business of this league shall be carried forth and transacted by its officers. The officers of the O.C.W.S.L. shall be comprised of the following positions:

Vice President
Player Coordinator/Web Master



The O.C.W.S.L will hold bi-annual business meetings (2 per year) and bi-annual board meetings (2 per year).  All league officers and at least one player representative from each registered team are required to attend.

Special meetings may be called at any time at the discretion of the league president and/or two registered players.

Any team that is not represented at a league meeting shall forfeit 1 point in the standings. If the meeting is held in season, 1 point shall be deducted from current standings.  If the meeting is held out of season, points shall be deducted from their next season’s standings.


The following officers are to be elected at the end of season banquet meeting. The officers shall be elected for a two year term. The vote shall be by ballot and be staggered on the following basis: on even years President, Registrar, Treasurer; odd years will be Vice President, Player Coordinator and Secretary.  Only 2 Executive Board members may be from the same team.  If a position cannot be filled due to this rule, team reps may be drafted to hold the position.

Vice President
Player Coordinator/Web Master

The six league officers must be registered players during the current season. The officers reserve the right to appoint any non-voting (ex-officio) positions as needed. For any officer missing 3 consecutive meetings without just cause, the position may be declared vacant and voting members will elect a replacement at the next regular meeting.

In the event that an officer resigns midterm a temporary officer will fill the occupancy for the remainder of the current term. The vacant position will be opened to the entirety of the league for members to run. Team Representatives are responsible for bringing any opposition to the Board once the candidates are announced. The candidates will be voted upon in the next league meeting.


All league policy changes and other issues will require a quorum of 67% of the voting members (Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Registrar, Player Coordinator and one player representative from each team). A majority of 51% is required for a vote to be approved.


President:  The President shall preside at all meetings of said league unless unavailable due to sickness or infirmity.  She shall also serve as parliamentarian at these meetings, or may relinquish this duty to an officer of her choice. The President shall hold an ex-officio position, only exercising the right to vote in tie-breaking situations. The President shall also be responsible for all league equipment and coordinating fundraising efforts.

Vice President:  The Vice President shall succeed to the powers of the President in the latter’s absence. She shall have full voting powers and is expected to assist the President however, whenever and wherever needed. She shall also be responsible for all rule interpretations as well as the enforcement thereof through the scheduling of competent and registered officials. She shall also be responsible for developing the season playing schedule, and the hiring of the Certified Referee Assignor.

Secretary: As a full voting member, the Secretary shall be responsible for the recording and distributing of all meeting minutes. She shall be responsible for any and all mailings associated with the league. She will also record the points, cards and standings during the playing season and distribute this information to the appropriate personnel.

Treasurer:  As a full voting member, the Treasurer shall be responsible for any and all monies of the league, keeping an accurate record of all transactions and disbursements. The Treasure shall also be responsible for updating and maintaining the league’s non-profit status, financial and applicable paperwork.

Registrar:  As a full voting member, the Registrar shall be responsible for coordinating and carrying out registration of new and existing players.

Player Coordinator/Web Master:  As a full voting member, the Player Coordinator shall be responsible for recruiting new members and maintaining a player pool. The Player Coordinator shall also responsible for updating and maintaining the website.

Team Representatives:  Each team is responsible for designating at least one representative to the league, but no more than two.  This representative shall be a player from said team and has full voting power. It is the representative’s responsibility to bring the team’s concerns to the league and to keep their team informed of league decisions.  Representatives will also assist the league with team/player registration. Team Reps report to the league President as well as the Referee Assignor any issues or concerns.

The officers represent the league in all administrative matters which demand immediate attention and/or decision. Their actions under circumstances of this nature shall be operative and final.

Certified Referee Assignor: This is a non-voting, paid position that is responsible for assigning certified USSF referees to all games. He/she is also responsible for rule interpretation and enforcement thereof, both on and off the field, and advising the Board of Directors in such matters.



A. New and existing teams must register with the league each year by paying the $150 deposit by April 15th each year (this fee is non-refundable), and submitting the full team fee no later than the Friday before the first week of the season. A team roster of at least 12 players must be registered by the first registration date.

B. Teams are not required to obtain sponsors but may do so.  Sponsors may be individuals and/or businesses from the local playing area.  Each sponsorship level comes with benefits. The sponsors may continue to any or all of the following:

  • Game shirts with numbers and team name (must be of same color)
  • Game shorts must be black.
  • Team socks must match (Goalies exempted from matching shorts)
  • Championship shirts

C.   PLAYING FIELDS:  The procurement of a playing field is the sole responsibility of the league. All fields shall meet the criteria as to size and distinctive markings as directed in current international rules (F.I.F.A.).

D.   REGISTRATION   There is a registration fee for each team. Assessments may be charged as deemed necessary by the league. All team fees must be paid by the Friday before the first week of the season.  There will be two official registrations prior to the start of the season.  Each team must have a minimum number of 12 players to register. A maximum of 30 players is allowed.  Any team or player that breaks the league registration rules may be suspended for the whole season and if suspended, may not participate in OCWSL activities in the future as determined by the league officers.  Any team banned from the league may not return as a new team and/or transfer with more than 6 players from the original banned team.

E.   TEAM ROSTERS including Mass Soccer I.D. numbers are to be turned into the Registrar for validation on or before the registration deadline for that season. Teams must register any coaches and/or team managers. Teams may not register more than 2 coaches and/or managers per season.


A.   REGISTRATION:  For a player to be properly registered each player must obtain a valid MASS Soccer player ID card.   To obtain this, visit  Ids are valid for 2 years.  Only registered, paid players may play and for only 1 team in a season.

AGE LIMITS: Any team registering with OCWSL shall be allowed to carry players who are eighteen (18) by May 31 of that playing season. However, at least 20 percent of all rostered players of that team must be twenty-one (21) years of age or older by May 31 of that playing season. The league will also abide by NCAA out of season regulations.”

B. REIMBURSEMENT: Teams are responsible for any reimbursement for their players for any fees related to their team fees.

C.   INELIGIBLE PLAYERS:  Any team playing or attempting to play an ineligible player shall forfeit the game and points. The team and player(s) playing or attempting to play in any game for which she is ineligible shall be further dealt with by the Executive Board.

D.   TRANSFERS:  A player who wants to transfer from one team to another must do so before the first game of the season has been played.

E.   ADDITIONAL REGISTRATION DAY:  There will be unlimited add/drops through the 8th league game.  Team rosters should not exceed 30 players.

2 add/drops will be allowed for reasons related to medical, injury, or reasons approved by the Executive Board through the 12th game. All necessary information and fees are due to the Registrar prior to the new player appearing in a game.  Teams may request names from the player pool but are responsible for contacting the players and obtaining all information from them.

If using a drop, the player will be removed from the team’s roster and that player will not be allowed to play again in that season. Any exceptions can be voted on by the Executive Board.

F.   PLAYER POOL:  Persons interested in playing after the league registration is complete will be placed in a player pool. Names from this pool will be given to teams who need players for either the additional registration day or the replacement registration. Persons who agree to have their names placed in the player pool understand that they will be assigned regardless of their location. At this time the interested player may opt to drop from the pool.  If a player is contacted by a team and the player declines to play, that player will be deleted from the player pool after verification of the Executive Board.


 A. The season and its dates are to be determined by the league Executive Board. The main season shall be held in the summer.

B. Games are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Game times may not be changed without the advance consent of an Executive Board member.  Teams not ready to play within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time shall forfeit the game.

C. Duration of games- Games shall consist of two forty-five minute halves with a five-minute half-time intermission.

In championship games or cup games, if still tied, two ten minute overtime periods shall be played. In the event of inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances, both teams must decide before the start of the game as to whether there will be two 10-minute overtimes or two 5-minute overtimes. Referees must inform the players of time remaining if there is time allowed for stoppage/injuries, etc. If at the end of this overtime, the game is still tied, F.I.F.A. penalty kick rules will apply in order to determine the winner. F.I.F.A. kicks from the penalty mark will be administered as follows:

The referee shall toss a coin and the team whose captain wins the toss must take the first kick. Players taking the penalty kicks must be on the field at the end of overtime play.  The kicks shall be taken alternately by different players. If tied after five (5) kicks by each team, additional kicks for each team will be taken by different players (on a sudden death basis) until, with the same number of kicks, one team has scored one more goal than the other

D. Standings: The standings of teams shall be figured by points; three (3) points for the winning team and in the case of a tie, one (1) point for each team. No points are given for a loss or non-game.  In the event of a forfeit the score shall be 1-0.

E. Score Reporting: The scores will be reported to the Board by the Referee Administrator. Scores/Updated Standings will be posted on website within 48 hours of result. Team Representatives have 48 hours after score posting (96 hours from game result) to file a complaint with the Secretary with any discrepancies. If the discrepancy is unable to be resolved between the Team Representatives of both teams and the Referee Administrator, the Board will review and resolve.

F. Withdrawn Teams:  If a team disbands, or for any reason does not play one-half of its scheduled games, the games played shall not count for or against opposing teams, and the team thus forfeits all dues and fees.


Current International rules (F.I.F.A.) shall be in effect except as specifically stated otherwise in these rules. The Executive Board of the OCWSL will be the final authority on any point covered by these rules of play or by F.I.F.A. rules.

Prior to the game, the team representative of each team shall furnish the referee with the official team roster including respective shirt numbers.  Referee shall verify players using the official roster and verify that all players have proper uniform (matching numbered shirts, black shorts, and matching socks).  A player properly listed on the official line-up shall be considered as a competing player, whether or not she plays. Any player included on the team roster may be in the line-up and may play in the game. A minimum of seven (7) players per team is required to play the game. If a team fails to show-up 15 minutes after the scheduled starting time, the missing team will forfeit the game and lose the points to their opponent. Furthermore, any team refusing or failing to play a game in compliance with league rules will be subjected to the same penalties. A team appearing but unable to field at least seven (7) players will forfeit the game and lose points. If neither team can field seven (7) players then a double forfeit will occur.

If a team does not provide a master roster within 15 minutes of the game’s scheduled start time that team will be forced to forfeit.


The ball for each game will be a size #5 ball and will be provided by the home team.


A. Players must be in uniform for each game.  Uniforms consist of matching numbered shirts, shorts and socks of a league approved color. Any players not in uniform will not be allowed to play the match.

B. Each team must list their shirt color at registration. No two teams may register the same color. Which team keeps a color shall be based on seniority within the league.

C. A player shall not wear anything that is considered dangerous by the referee to other players or themselves. This rule shall be enforced by all referees.

D. Each team is responsible for two corner flags at every game.

E. Change in team uniform color must be approved by the Board.


Unlimited substitutions may be made at the following times:
Prior to any throw-in at which time both teams have substitutions

Prior to a throw-in by your team
Prior to a goal kick by either team
After a goal by either team
After an injury by either team when the referee stops play
A player receiving a yellow card during the game MUST be substituted immediately. The opposing coach may substitute one for one. No player may leave the field of play without consent of the referee.
A player receiving a red card must leave the field immediately and cannot be substituted for the remainder of the game.

The referee must indicate his/her permission before substitutions can enter the field of play.

There are no free keeper substitutions.

An injured player must be substituted if she is down and the referee stops the play.  The injured player may return to the game on the next substitution at the referee’s discretion.  Goalkeepers are exempt from this rule.   A player who is bleeding must be substituted.  She may return once the bleeding has been properly covered.


A. No team representative (including the coach) shall have the right to cancel, postpone, add or change the field of play or make any changes to any scheduled game for any reason without consulting a member of the Executive Board.

B. Referees will have the right to decide whether or not a field is playable. Teams that do not show up with enough players to start a game within 15 minutes of the game’s scheduled start time, regardless of the referees’ decision, will forfeit the game.

C.  The Executive Board may decide to cancel the full schedule of games by 4:00 p.m. on game day.

D. Any team that forfeits a game prior to the start of the game must call the opposing team’s representative, and the President or Vice President.  The President or Vice President will notify the referees of the cancellation and will confirm with the opposing team. The score of a forfeited game is 1-0.

E. In the event of a rain delay, the game may be delayed until no later than 30 minutes after its scheduled start time, at which time the game may be shortened to no less than two thirty five minute halves at the discretion of the referee. If the game cannot be played it will be rescheduled. In the case of an in-game stoppage, a decision must be made to resume play within 30 minutes. If the game goes any amount of time into the second half and is called due to inclement weather, the score stands and the game is final.

F. In the event of extenuating circumstances such as inclement weather, availability of field, or field being closed per the town, every attempt shall be made to reschedule the game at both the players and referee’s earliest convenience.

G. In the event teams cannot reschedule a make-up game, each team will receive 1 point.  The score will be reported as 0-0.


Referees shall be certified by the USSF and registered by MRC. For all playoff games there shall be a referee and two referee linesmen, preferably adults.

A. Authority: The referee shall be the sole judge on the field of play.

B. Rules of play: All referees shall be familiar with and honor these rules of play and the laws of the game as defined by F.I.F.A.

C. Attitude (from USSF): We expect good referees and linesmen to be firm but fair, authoritative but courteous, responsible yet cooperative. A referee gains the respect of all concerned if he is approachable, even when the approachability may be misused by some who may choose to express dissent. But we must not mistakenly identify permissiveness (which is weakness) as approachability (which combined with firmness, is a great strength). Referees should be tolerant and supportive of fellow officials, even when disagreements about decisions arise. The courtesy extended to other participants in a game should not lead to too much fraternizing with players, coaches or other officials, for such actions can lead to a compromise of the referees’ principles.

D. Order: The referee must maintain order before, during and after any game. Coaches and other team officials must support and assist the referee in that effort.

E. Game Results: shall be promptly submitted to the Board by the Referee Administrator and should include any comments deemed necessary by the referee.

F. Inclement weather:  Before going to the field of play, if there is any doubt as to the field playability, the referee shall contact the home team rep or Referee Administrator.

G. Referees may at any time ask for assessments by contacting the Referee Administrator to review his or her performance.

H. The referee and teams must be present at the playing field fifteen (15) minutes prior to the scheduled game time.

I. When the referee does not arrive within fifteen minutes after the scheduled kick-off, the team reps shall appoint an acting, certified referee to manage the game. Otherwise, the two teams will reschedule under mutual agreement. Home team will notify league officers of any and all changes.


A. Referee’s decisions during the game cannot be protested.

B.  The Executive Board will hear and rule upon all protests. Such protests must be submitted, in writing, to the Secretary within 24 hours of the game in question.

C. The Executive Board shall hold a hearing within three (3) days with the appropriate persons and/or refer to the protest official. All protests fall under the guidelines of FIFA.

D. A member of the Executive Board shall be disqualified from deliberation or ruling upon a particular protest if that member was involved in the game as a coach, referee or player. In such scenarios, two eligible team representatives will be randomly selected on a case-by-case basis as alternates to participate in the ruling of the protest.

E. Deliberations and final decisions will be made in a closed session, and the Secretary will notify the involved parties as soon as possible. The Executive Board is to render a decision within seven (7) days of that hearing. Such decisions will be final and shall not be subject to appeal.

F. In the circumstance that a game is protested and played, the results of the game will stand.  If the protest is upheld, the team that has been protested against will lose one point in the standings.


The OCWSL uses a point system as follows:

  • SEASON: Red card=3 points     Yellow card=1 point
  • Any accumulation of three (3) points will result in the player being suspended from the next scheduled game.
  • TWO (2) additional points will result in an additional suspension from the next scheduled game.
  • Any further points shall be brought before the Executive Board for review of the player’s conduct.
  • GAME:  One (1) yellow card= immediate substitution; two yellow cards in one game = red card.
  • One (1) red card = immediate ejection from this game and premises and the player may not be substituted. The player may not attend the next scheduled game in any way.
  • Teams may not accrue more than 10 points in one season (including points earned from cards issued to the team).  Teams that accrue 10 or more points will be required to attend a probation hearing with the Board and the Referee Coordinator at which a decision will be made about the team’s continued participation in the league.


The Executive Board member will notify the league officers of any misconduct. The league will notify all parties concerned of any actions to be taken. If the Executive Board considers that the offense is of a serious nature, they shall hear the case of all parties concerned and decide on the appropriate action.


The Executive Board may recommend to the OCWSL such penalties, up to and including banishment from the league for life, for act(s) of misconduct by a player or coach. Lesser penalties may be imposed.


If a player, in or out of uniform, leaves the bench to take part in a fracas and is ejected by the referee, she shall be suspended for the remainder of the season. If any member of a team engages in unbecoming conduct which is brought to the attention of the Executive Board, the Standards Committee will investigate and make recommendations to the league to take appropriate action. This could involve banning such individuals from further league activities.


  • It is the responsibility of the coaches and reps to maintain the highest standards of conduct for them self and their players, as well as any and all supporters at all matches. Abusive and obscene language, violent play, violent conduct, fighting and other behavior will not be tolerated.
  • It is also the responsibility of the coaches and reps to fully support the referee at all times.
  • In cases where the fans are, in the opinion of the referee, getting out of hand (e.g. verbal abuse to the referee, opposing players, coaches or spectators) the referee has the power to stop the game and ask the appropriate rep to get her fans under control. In no case will the referee deal directly with a spectator. A referee may issue a yellow or red card to a team on behalf of a spectator. A red card requires the fan to vacate the premises immediately.
  • If after the appropriate rep has tried to comply with the referees’ request and the problem still exists, the referee may terminate the game and make a full report to the Board. Alternatively, a referee may issue another yellow card to a team on behalf of a fan, requiring that the fan vacate the premises immediately.
  • In cases where spectator affiliation cannot be determined, it is up to the home team rep to address the situation. If the situation is not corrected, the referee, again, may terminate the game.
  • All players and coaches must stay within 10 yards of the midfield line. Spectators are expected to stay 5 yards from the touch line. No spectators will be allowed behind the goals or end lines.
  • Penalties for unruly fans will be recommended by the Executive Board to the OCWSL, and could include having a team play all away games, suspension of a team from the league, or requiring a team to play without any spectator support.


A. Good Sportsmanship: A person who can take a loss or defeat without complaint, or win without gloating, and who treats her opponents with fairness, generosity and courtesy, is a good sportsman. Players gain from learning, experiencing and exercising good sportsmanship. All coaches, reps and referees are expected to encourage and promote it. All participants in OCWSL games will conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner. Unsportsmanlike conduct by coaches, players or spectators is not acceptable. The Executive Board will take appropriate action when necessary.

B. The League, when officially notified, shall wholly recognize a player suspension or similar ruling.

C. Any player or coach that assaults a referee shall be expelled from the OCWSL for life.


Play-off games will be scheduled as follows:
1. The top four teams at the end of the regular season will play in the play-offs.

2. Play-off position will be determined by total points. In case of point ties the following criteria will be used:
Head to head competition between tied teams.
Least number of penalty points.

3. Semi-finals:
First place vs. Fourth place (1 vs. 4)
Second place vs. Third place (2 vs. 3)

4. Finals:  Winners of the semi-final games play each other in a one game championship.

5. If a play-off game is tied, there will be two 10-minute overtime periods (unless discussed before the game, as written in Section 3 paragraph C). Then if the game is still tied, the game will be settled by FIFA penalty kick method. The game will not be decided by the toss of a coin.

For both semi-finals and finals there will be two linesmen and one referee.  In the event the final or semi-final game cannot be completed it will be played in its entirety on the scheduled makeup date. If the semi-final game cannot be played, then the first and second place teams will play in the finals. If the finals cannot be played, then the first place team will be the champions.


An ad-hoc committee shall be formed and make recommendations for the end-of-season banquet and awards ceremony. Said banquet shall take place no later than three weeks after the close of the final play-off games.  Elections for league officers will take place at this meeting.