Ask A Rules Question

Todd Abraham

Todd Abraham

C. Cliff McCrath

C. Cliff McCrath

If you have a question about or need an interpretation of  the NCAA Soccer Rules, you’ve come to the right place. Two NISOA Hall of Famers, long time NCAA Soccer Secretary-Rules Editor, C. Cliff McCrath and NISOA National Rules Interpreter (and current NISOA Senior Director of Instruction) Todd Abraham are active contributors here. Please follow the following guidelines before posting your question:

  • Read the current NCAA Soccer Rules book (available on the Forms page of our site).
  • Do not post questions regarding issues of referee judgement.
  • Do not post specific game details ( i.e. home team, match date, etc.) with your question, if your question happens to be about something you saw during an intercollegiate soccer game.
All questions are subject to editorial review. This is offered as a service to NISOA membership for educational purposes, with the expressed understanding that only the NCAA Soccer Secretary-Rules Editor (Ken Andres) can provide an official rule interpretation.

438 Responses to “Ask A Rules Question”

  1. Ian says:

    In NFHS rules if there’s a PK that occurs once time has expired and the kicker, in an attempt to deceive the keeper, plays the ball forward and a teammate runs on to it and scores, the goal would be disallowed because 14.1.6 states that only the kicker may play the ball in such a scenario. However, what would be the correct restart? Would the team be allowed a rekick or would time expire?

    • Todd Abraham Todd Abraham says:

      In the scenario you describe, the kick ends when the teammate plays the ball. The game is extended solely for the taking of the kick and nothing else. Since the kick ends when the teammate plays the ball there is no restart – the game is over. Playing the ball forward to a teammate is allowed (Rule 14.5) so this is not trickery and is not a consideration in this scenario.

  2. Patricia Smith says:

    When the home team chooses a ball holder, is that person allowed to coach from the side lines or is he/she to remain neutral?

    thank you.

    • Todd Abraham Todd Abraham says:

      No – the ball persons are considered “additional officials” as per Rule 6.5 (Each ball person’s duty is to assist in ball retrieval to avoid delay. All ball persons shall be instructed by and are under the direct supervision of the game officials) and as such are required to remain neutral, provide the ball to either team in the same timely fashion and do no coaching

  3. Bob Linebaugh says:

    Based on the play of the 2018 World Cup will there be any advice to NISOA officials relative to the holding, grabbing, pushes in the back on headers, excessive charging, and fouls in the PB on set plays and more. It is understood that these were top professional games with top FIFA officials, but what will flow down from those games to the college
    coaches, and players. Will the college coache, and players expect the same? Thanks for your input and help.

    • Todd Abraham Todd Abraham says:

      Thanks for your question. NISOA has always expected that the illegal holding, grabbing and pushes in the back will be called in the intercollegiate game particularly when these fouls impact the ability of an offensive player to make a play on the ball. There is no change in the advice to our membership in administering the rules regarding foul play in the penalty area. Many of the plays you reference would have been called as fouls in the past and should continue to be called as such. The World Cup has brought heightened awareness to this issue which should only help our officials make the correct decisions on these penalty area incidents.

  4. Steve Grinczel says:

    I noted that among the NCAA rules changes for 2018-19 is the updated provision eliminating the possibility of an “own goal” being scored directly from the kickoff. However, despite several reviews, I could not find a specific decision regarding a ball going into goal directly from a drop ball. Maybe I just didn’t look hard enough, but would appreciate a citation of the NCAA rule regarding this very distinct possibility (if it can happen, it will eventually) or an official interpretation/clarification, as well as a comparison to the USSF Laws and NHFS provisions. Thank you very much.

    • Todd Abraham Todd Abraham says:

      Steve,
      Thanks for your question. It is a point not directly covered currently in the NCAA rules so we have requested a formal ruling from the NCAA rules committee and will post it as soon as we get a reply. Sorry for the delay and thanks again for raising the issue.
      Todd

    • Todd Abraham Todd Abraham says:

      Steve,
      I have confirmed with the NCAA SRE that an “own goal” cannot be scored from any restart – kickoff, GK, cornerkick, dropped ball, throw-in, PK.
      Todd

    • Todd Abraham Todd Abraham says:

      Additionally – to answer the question before it is asked – as part of the discussion with the NCAA SRE, a goal cannot be scored directly from a dropped ball – it must touch a second player (note that it may be played a second time by the same player, but that doesn’t allow for a goal to be scored) for a goal to be scored. This fully aligns with the NCAA rules and IFAB Laws regarding scoring from dropped balls

  5. John David McGee says:

    Is there any guidance regarding the use of hydration breaks during a game?

    • Todd Abraham Todd Abraham says:

      Player safety is always paramount. The guidance to referees is that hydration breaks should be allowed whenever the referee believes it is necessary for player safety. In extremely hot and humid situations they should be at a minimum of once per half, but maybe more frequent if needed. Referees should consult with the medical / training staff to get their perspective on the need as well. In any case, err on the side of player safety. Hydration breaks should occur at a natural stoppage of play, when doing so does not give either team an advantage (so typically on a restart in the defensive third of the field).

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