Soccer by the Rules – Yellow/Red Dropped
By: Joe Manjone, Ed. D.
The Soccer Rules Committee in its January, 2012 annual rules committee meeting voted to drop Rule 12-8-2a that required that a yellow and red card be shown for a subsequent caution to a player. This rule also indicated that the number of players would not be reduced for the subsequent caution.
Starting with the fall, 2012 boys and girls soccer seasons, a subsequent caution will result in a red card disqualification for players just had it had previously for coaches, substitutes and bench personnel. More importantly, the player receiving a red card disqualification because of a subsequent caution cannot be replaced and the team will have to play short.
The NFHS Soccer Rules Committee made this change because it believes that the number of misconducts in high school games is increasing and the reason for their increase is the yellow/red card penalty that did not cause the team to play short. Also, the committee felt that most high school players have played in other soccer leagues where the penalty for a subsequent caution is a red card disqualification and the team has to play short. Thus, the transition to this new rule will be an easy one.
The NFHS Soccer Rules Committee is also emphasizing that officials must be aware when misconducts occur and to penalize them appropriately. It is hoped by the Rules Committee that officials will not refrain from penalizing a second caution because the penalty is now more severe, and, as research has shown, will most likely result in a team losing because they are playing with less players than their opponents.
As an official, you must be aware of when a misconduct occurs and penalize it as required by the rules. Do not hesitate to penalize even when it will require the offending team to play short-handed. Please remember by not making a misconduct call, you are hurting the offended team. Also, it is the player that is committing the misconduct and getting a second caution that is putting his team in this poor position, not you.
Following the above rules and procedures in every high school game you work and making certain your partners do the same will provide the required consistency and make each game a better experience for everyone.
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]