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2013-14 Soccer Rules Changes



3-3-2b(1): During a dead ball as the result of an injury, either or both coaches can now give coaching instruction to his/her team.

3-3-2 (new) and 3-4-1b: Before they enter the field, substitutes must be beckoned onto the field by the referee except at the start of a period.

4-1-1c: Clarifies that tape applied to the socks cannot change the basic color of the socks.

12-8-1e: The use of electronic communication devices is allowed in the bench area. These devices, however, cannot be used to communicate with athletes on the field during the game.

12-8-1f(14) (new): An unsuccessful attempt to deny an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by a foul (i.e., a goal is scored anyway) is now  unsporting conduct and a caution (yellow card). Previously, this was a disqualification (red card).

12-8-2d(2): A successful attempt to deny an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by a foul (goal is not scored) is still serious foul play and a disqualification (red card).

18-1-1n: This change defines that on a free kick the ball has not been properly kicked into play when a player merely taps or steps on the top of the ball with his/her foot. The ball must now also move.



Soccer Field Diagram: Except as specifically stated in the rules, information on field diagrams in this book is suggestive only; it is not required by NFHS rules. The construction and layout of all courts and fields used for high school competition are subject to any controlling laws and building codes, and to the sound judgment of the persons in charge of the facilities. 

2-2-5:  Shift NFHS Authenticating Mark examples below Rule 2-2-5 

3-1-3:  Each team shall submit a team roster, containing the first and last names and numbers of all players, and substitutes, all bench personnel and all coaches, to the officials at least five minutes prior to the start of the contest. The game shall not begin until this is complete. Players, substitutes, numbers, bench personnel and coaches may be added to the roster after the start of play. Goalkeepers may have two numbers listed on the roster, a goalkeeper’s number and a field player’s number. 

3-3-7:  A team that elects or is required to play shorthanded for reasons other than misconduct may have the player(s) re-enter the game during a dead ball. 

3-3-8:  A team which starts a game with fewer than 11 players, but at least seven players, may have its additional player(s) enter the game during a dead ball provided that the names of the additional players are on the team roster (3-1-3). 

3-3-3 Situation B:  Goalkeeper A fouls Opponent B in the penalty area resulting in a Situation B penalty kick for Team B. Goalkeeper A is disqualified for committing serious foul play. Team A is permitted to substitute a goalkeeper from the bench but must have a field player leave the field. RULING: Team A must play short due to the disqualification (12-8-2) but must have a goalkeeper (3-1-1). 

3-4-1 Situation A:  Substitute A12 reports to the scorer as the kickoff takes place. Eight minutes elapse before the first opportunity for a substitution occurs. The referee beckons A12 on the field; however, A12 is withdrawn by the coach of Team A. RULING: Substitute A12 is now a player because he/she was beckoned onto the field by the referee; therefore, player A12 must enter the game once beckoned. 

3-5:  Change title to: SECTION 5 GOALKEEPER CHANGE 


4-2-5, Note:  NOTE: Each state association may, in keeping with applicable laws, authorize exceptions to NFHS playing rules to provide reasonable accommodations to individual participants with disabilities and/or special needs, as well as those individuals with unique and extenuating circumstances. The accommodations should not fundamentally alter the sport, heighten risk to the athlete/others or place opponents at a disadvantage. 

5-2-2d(4):  Inquire of each head coach whether each of his/her players will be properly and legally equipped at the kickoff. Any questions regarding legality of a player’s equipment shall be determined by the head referee, or the center referee in a game officiated using the double-dual system of officiating. 

5-3-1 Situation A:  During a shot on goal, B2, in the penalty area, reaches out and deflects the ball. Just as B2 deflects the ball with the hands, A2 kicks the free ball and (a) it goes into the goal; (b) does not go into the goal. RULING: In (a), award a goal and caution B2 for unsporting conduct; in (b) call handling, award a penalty kick, and disqualify B2 for serious foul play. (12-8-1-f13, 14), (12-8-2-d1), (14-1-1) 

12-4-2, Note:  Delete Note 

12-4-3:  The goalkeeper in possession of the ball shall not be interfered with or impeded in any manner by an opponent. This includes the act of bouncing the ball or dropping the ball for a kick or attempting to throw the ball or tossing the ball in the air to recatch. When goalkeepers put the ball on the ground, they relinquish their privileges as goalkeepers. 

12-7-2 Situation:  An attacking player takes a shot on goal which (a) goes directly at the goalkeeper, who is able to deflect it to the ground so he can dribble it with the feet to the edge of the penalty area and then pick the ball up with his hands to distribute; or (b) the goalkeeper must dive in order to reach the ball, deflect it away from the goal, then scramble to pick it up with his hands to distribute. RULING: In (a) Illegal. Goalkeeper is penalized for infringing when he/she picks up the ball with the hands after parrying; in (b) legal. The deflection is not considered a parry. 

12-7-4 Situation:  On a throw-in, player A throws the ball (a) directly to his/her own Situation goalkeeper A within the penalty area who touches the ball with the hands; (b) to a teammate who heads the ball to his/her own goalkeeper within the penalty area who picks the ball up with the hands; (c) the ball is thrown to his/her own goalkeeper outside the penalty area by a teammate. The goalkeeper traps the ball with the feet and dribbles it into the penalty area where it is picked up. RULING: In (a), an indirect free kick is awarded to the opponent; in (b), there has been no violation; in (c) illegal. Award an indirect kick to opponent at spot of touching. 

12-8-2 Situation B:  Player A2 dribbles along the goal line into the penalty area. The goalkeeper comes out of the goal mouth to challenge A2. A2 pushes the ball by the goalkeeper and steps off the field to go around the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper then steps off the field and violently contacts A2 to prevent A2 from completing the play. RULING: The referee must stop play, disqualify the goalkeeper for exhibiting violent conduct and restart play with an indirect free kick from the location of the ball at the stoppage or the goal area line as appropriate. 

13-2-4 (new):  If a direct or indirect free kick taken from outside a team’s penalty area goes untouched into a team’s own goal, a corner kick shall be awarded to the opposing team. 

18-1-1e:  DEAD BALL – A term used to indicate a time when the ball is out-of-play. A goal can never be scored while the ball is dead. A restart can never be changed due to what occurs during a dead ball. 

Rules Comparison:  The 2013-14 rules book will contain an updated comparison of the major differences among NFHS and NCAA rules and FIFA laws. 


1. Goalkeeper Injury:  The official may stop the clock to check on the injured goalkeeper during a game. If a coach or appropriate health-care professional are not permitted on the field, the goalkeeper may stay in the game. 

2. Excessive Player Substitutions:  When a team repeatedly substitutes to consume time, a referee shall order the timer to stop the clock during such substitutions and shall notify the coach of the offending team. A repetition may be construed as unsporting conduct. 

3. Required Equipment:  The home team shall wear solid white jerseys and solid white socks with shorts of any color. When tape or similar material is applied on any sock, it must be similar in color to the sock. This will help create less confusion which is the intent of the new uniform regulation. 

4. Penalty Kick:  The rule reads: “Once the kicker starts his/her approach toward the ball, he/she may not interrupt his/her movement.” A stutter step is not permitted, and the action must be continuous forward motion throughout the approach. 

5. Concussion Management:  The NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee has noted an increase in reported and diagnosed concussions in the 2011-2012 National High School Sports Related Injury Surveillance Study. The position of the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee is that no athlete should return to play or practice on that same day after suffering a concussion. Studies have shown medical professionals that the school-aged brain does not recover quickly enough for an interscholastic athlete to return to activity in such a short time. No athlete should return to sport or other at-risk participation when symptoms of concussion are present and recovery is ongoing. Please see the “NFHS Suggested Guidelines for Management of Concussion” at for further information. (See Page 109)


See Also: Soccer; Rules Change;
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