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.

388 Responses to “Ask A Rules Question”

  1. Gerry Blase says:

    this question is regarding KICKER violations for penalty kicks (during a game ) or kicks from the mark (post season)
    Stutter stepping is permitted BUT NOT STOPPING. If the kicker Stops and then kicks the ball, is the ball considered “not properly put into play” hence a re-kick, per 14.3.3 since the stopping is PRIOR to the kick (Caution & re-kick)
    the confusion arises as the Comparison Study Guide suggests that the Administration of the penalty kick is the same as FIFA, which would be IFK (no re-kick)
    the chart continues to say infractions by the player taking the kick or attacking team “If ball goes directly out of play without being touched – goal kick. If ball rebounds into or out of play, an indirect free kick is awarded”
    but does not say a re-kick is required for a goal scored (which is not the case in FIFA)
    I’ve discussed with Don Dennison, he suggests you guys clarify.
    hope for a quick response since post season is upon us

  2. Dan O'Keefe says:

    Is a non powered cheer megaphone considered to be an artificial noisemaker?

  3. Mitch Gentry says:

    Can a NJCAA Womens Goal Keeper use a “sticky substance” on their gloves to enhance tackiness? ie.. honey, or pinetar

  4. Margaret Morgan says:

    What should a referee do when a player purposefully removes their shinguards, throws them on the field, and continues to play during a game?

    • Cliff McCrath1 C. Cliff McCrath says:

      Send the player off the field. See Rule 4.5 Penalty for failure to conform to Rules 4.1-4.5 You might also caution or eject as appropriate for unsporting behavior.

      • Margaret Morgan says:

        The AR was aware of the incident and notified the referee and the referee allowed play to continue for an additional 5 minutes. Should the AR have stopped play and taken action when the incident occurred?

        • Cliff McCrath1 C. Cliff McCrath says:

          Yes. See Rule 6.1.5. and A.R.6.1.5.1. Note: The fact that 6.1.5. has a parenthetical statement (subject to the referee’s decision and supervision) does not alter the directive – outlining the AR’s duties – given to the AR in both 6.1.5 and A.R.6.1.5.1 Only the referee can stop play; the AR is to signal with the flag and/or use electronic communication if in use.

        • Todd Abraham Todd Abraham says:

          I’d like to build on Cliff’s response. Player safety is paramount. If the referee or the AR feel at any time a player’s safety is jeopardized, the game should be stopped and the unsafe situation should be rectified. Whereas the AR can not unilaterally stop the game, the AR should ensure the referee is aware of the situation. Part of the pre-game discussion between the R and his/her crew should include how to deal with situations that require the referee’s attention or where the referee may not be aware of the reason the AR is signaling.

  5. Ragnar says:

    What is the right response for referee if a manager or some other staff, enter the field while the ball is in play?

  6. I’ve been contracted by Referee magazine to write a “primer” on the throw-in. It’s mostly written from the standpoint of FIFA but also has requirements, where they vary, from NFHS and NCAA.

    A question I had is how NCAA treats two opponents playing the ball out-of-bounds (over the touchline) simultaneously. FIFA requires the referee to make a decision on direction — there is no dropped ball — and as I read the NISOA rules that appears to be the case for NCAA as well. (NFHS, of course, requires a “drop ball” five yards from the boundary line, subject to considerations for the goal area.)

    Can you confirm or clarify the NCAA rule for me? Thank you!

    • Cliff McCrath1 C. Cliff McCrath says:

      Mark: The 2017-2017 NCAA Soccer Rules do not contain a rule or wording that fits the scenario you have described. When there is no specific rule addressing such an issue the interpretation then is provided by the Secretary-Rules Editor who, currently, is Ken Andres. In any case, should the matter arise – in keeping with the exact details you have listed – Rule 18 (common sense) applies resulting in a DROP BALL nearest the touchline where the ball went into touch.

  7. Ryan says:

    US Soccer recently put out a short video discussing handling. Should NISOA officials use the same criteria when enforcing handling in our games?

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsAXIYtop5OuwuRbZmHjRVBsDfvZIzkhC

    • Cliff McCrath1 C. Cliff McCrath says:

      Ryan: First,the 2016- 2017 NCAA Soccer Rules more than adequately define what handling is and what the referee should do about such occurrences..The video – and Esse Baharmast’s clinic – with examples of handling – is not only a training opportunity asking the candidates to determine which examples constitute hand ball violations, but an apparent continuing education session aimed at heightening the awareness to a more challenging rule. NISOA officials can benefit from viewing the session but there is nothing inherent in what Baharmast is proposing that suggests a different approach than what the rules state nor what NISOA requires its officials to do.

  8. Max Tiwari says:

    Can a player boost up a teammate during a corner kick where their team is on the offense (or on defense)?

  9. Jason boyer says:

    A player is about to take a penalty kick. The referee asks the kicker if she is ready. She says yes. He turns to the keeper and asks if she is ready. She gives a thumbs up. As the referee was asking the keeper, the opposing player began her run up to the ball and strikes the ball simultaneously as the referee blows the whistle to begin, and scores. My question is…. shouldn’t all “action” including the run-up only begin AFTER the whistle sounds? I have read several rules defining penalty kick procedures and none of them discuss when to begin the run-up.

  10. brian lynch says:

    ifk is taken by team A, referee does not raise his hand to indicate IFK,

    team A scores directly from kick, what is the restart

    some people are looking at 13.1.2.d. and assuming its a goal, i think original IFK restart

    • Todd Abraham Todd Abraham says:

      The restart is a goal kick.

      The referee is required to raise his/her hand for an indirect kick, however, neglecting to do that does not “change” the kick to direct. It is still an indirect kick which when kicked directly into the goal yields a GK restart.

      • brian lynch says:

        todd, does this run counter to FIFA, which says since wrong signal was given, kick has to retaken, since ball went in net?

        • Don Dennison Don Dennison says:

          Brian – You are correct in that FIFA/ LOG and NCAA have different rulings. A change will be made in my Rules Comparison Guide when next revised.

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