By: Joe Manjone, Ed. D.
As will be pointed out by the rules to follow, there must be at least 10 feet of unobstructed area around the entire soccer field. If there are obstructions, closer than 10 feet, they should be moved, removed, covered or padded to eliminate any possibility of injury should a player or official contact them. Examples of items that must be moved or removed are team benches and scorer’s timer’s tables and spectator boundary areas such as fences or ropes. Items that could be covered or padded are drainage ditches or grates, metal or cement running track curbing or a tree growing within 10 feet if the field.
Rule 1-5-1 There shall be designated specific areas for each team’s bench, separated by an official area for entering substitutes, scorers and timers. These areas shall be at least 10 feet from the touchline.
- Note that the team bench and the official area where the scorers and timers are located must be at least 10 feet from the touchline.
- The area where substitutes stand must also be at least 10 feet from the touchline.
- If these are not 10 feet from the touchline, they must be moved before the match can start unless your state association has approved them being closer.
Rule 1-5-2 The official area shall extend 5 yards on each side of the halfway line
- This is the area where the scorers and timers sit and from where the substitutes enter. Please note that the entire official area must be at least 10 feet from the touchline.
- This area should be marked with a solid line as indicated on the soccer field diagram on page 9.
Rule 1-5-3 The team areas shall extend from 10 years on each side of the halfway line for a distance of 20 years and each area shall be marked by a solid line. Coaches, bench personnel and team member shall be restricted to the team area. When teams are placed on the opposite sides of the field, each team area shall be located as indicated above and shall be placed diagonally across from each other.
- The entire team area must be at least 10 feet from the touchline. Move the teams back if it is not.
- The team area must be marked by a solid line. Warn the home team and file a report with your with your state association if a team area is not marked with a solid line.
- Make certain that coaches, subs, and other bench personnel stay within the confines of the team area. If they do not, a first warning and then a caution should be employed.
- When benches are placed on opposite sides of the field, they are to be placed diagonally in order to facilitate substitutions.
Rule 1-6 Spectators shall be confined to areas at least 10 feet from the touch line, team/official area and goal line. No one shall be permitted directly behind either goal unless seated in the bleachers.
- Please note that spectators must be 10 feet from the touch line. As indicated in rule 1situation, 6, if spectators get closer than 10 feet the game may be terminated.
- It is also very important to note that spectators must remain at least 10 feet behind and to the side of the team areas and official areas. Spectators should not be permitted closer than 10 feet to these areas. Again, the game may be terminated if spectators are permitted closer than 10 feet.
AS AN OFFICIAL, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SAFETY OF THE PLAYERS. NOT ENFORCING THE RULES AND PERMITTING OFFICIAL OR TEAM AREAS OR SPECTATORS OR ANY OTHER OBSTRUCTION TO BE CLOSER THAN 10 FEET TO THE TOUCHLINE PUTS PLAYERS IN JEOPARDY OF BEING INJURED. IF A PLAYER IS INJURED BECAUSE YOU DID NOT ENFORCE THIS RULE, YOU ARE LIABLE AND MAY BE SUED FOR DAMAGES – PLUS YOUR NEGLIGENCE MAY HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR A SERIOUS INJURY TO A PLAYER. PLEASE DO NOT BE NEGLIGENT – ENFORCE THIS 10 FOOT RULE.
Follow the above procedures in every high school game you work, make certain your partners do the same.
If you would like to suggest a high school soccer rules change or if you have any questions about this rule or any high school rule, please e-mail me at [email protected]