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BESA Playing Rules

BESA Playing Rules





All games shall be played in accordance with the FIFA Laws of the Game except as modified by the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA), the North Texas State Soccer Association (NTSSA), and these Playing Rules of the Bedford Euless Soccer Association.


1.         FIELD OF PLAY
1.1 Locations of game fields as well as field sizes, markings and goal sizes will be as determined by the Fields Director subject to Board approval and conformance to USYSA guidelines.
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2.         BALL
2.1 Ball sizes for the various age groups will be as follows:

AGE GROUP                   BALL SIZE

4 & Under - 8 & Under            3

10U  & 12U                             4

14U, 16U & 19U                     5

2.2       To provide uniformity, only stitched balls will be used as game balls.

2.3       Prior to a game, the referee will select the game ball from balls presented by the home team.

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3.         PLAYERS
3.1 Maximum and minimum number of players permitted on the field for a team during games in the various age groups will be as follows:




4U 3 (No Goalkeeper) 3 (No Goalkeeper)
5U/6U 4 (No Goalkeeper) 3 (No Goalkeeper)
7U/8U 4 (No Goalkeeper) 3 (No Goalkeeper)
9U/10U 7 ** 5 **
11U/12U 9 ** 6 **
14U-19U 11 ** 7 **
**One of which must be a goalkeeper.


3.2       SUBSTITUTIONS - Substitutions shall be unlimited and may be made, with the consent of the referee, at the following times (Exception: see Rule 18.18 for the 6U and 8U age groups):
A.        By the either team if the team in possession substitutes, prior to a throw-in.
B.        By either team, prior to a goal kick.
C.        By either team, after a goal is scored.
D.        By either team, after an injury when referee stops play.
E.        By either team, between quarters or at half-time.
F.         When a caution (yellow card) is given, only that player may be substituted for before play is restarted.
G.        The referee must be notified of a goalkeeper change.
H.        No substitution will be allowed for a player sent off ejected from the field of play (red card) by the referee (i.e. team plays short for remainder of game).
I.          No player shall leave the field of play without the consent of the referee.

3.3       PLAYING TIME - Each team member must have the opportunity to play at least one-half of every game he/she attends. Violation of this rule will subject coach to Board review.

3.3.1   Exceptions to Rule 3.3 are limited to:

A.      Injury to a player whereby he/she cannot play.

B.      Illness or injury limiting his/her playing time.

C.      Being withheld for disciplinary reasons:

1.       Failure to, without valid reason, meet established practice or game requirements which have been previously communicated to the team either verbally or in writing.

2.       Unsportsmanlike conduct towards another player, a coach or a game official.

3.3.2   Disciplinary actions, as outlined in exception C above, must be reported in a meeting with the opposing coach and the referee before the start of the game. The referee will forward the written exceptions to the respective League Commissioner.





TEAM NAME                        AGE GROUP            PLAYER'S NAME


__________________        _________                __________________________











TO BE PLAYED:                  DATE                         COACH'S SIGNATURE


__________________        _________                __________________________



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4.1 All players are required to wear proper uniforms, including numbered jerseys, during league games.

4.1(a) Jerseys must have the BESA logo displayed on the sleeve or the chest and must be numbered. 

4.2 If both teams wear similar colors, the designated Home team will be required to change to an alternate color jersey. Tee shirts or mesh bibs without numbers are acceptable provided players have with them their regular numbered jersey.

4.3 Goalkeepers will wear a jersey / bib of contrasting color to both teams.

4.4 The referee is the final judge of color conflict.

4.5 Shin guards must be worn during all practices and games by all players in all age groups. Socks must cover the shin guards during game play.

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5.         REFEREES
5.1 Licensed USSF officials will be assigned to work as center referee for Under 10 and older league games.

5.2 If a licensed referee is not present ten minutes after the scheduled game time in the Under 10 and older leagues, that game may be postponed and rescheduled for a later date.

5.3 If the Association receives three written complaints against a referee about three separate incidents within one soccer year, he/she shall be subject review by the Board. Complaints must be submitted to the Board within 48 hours of the incident.

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6.1 Licensed USSF officials will be assigned to work as Assistant Referees for 9U and older league games.

6.2  If no official Assistant Referees are available to work a game, each team shall provide a club Assistant Referees to assist the referee. The club Assistant Referees duties shall be limited to calling ball in or out. Judgment of the referee is always final.

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7.         LENGTH OF GAMES


        4U                   8 Minute Quarters              5 Minutes
        5U/6U              8 Minute Quarters              5 Minutes
        7U/8U             10 Minute Quarters            5 Minutes
       9U/10U            25 Minute Halves               5 Minutes
       11U/12U          30 Minute Halves               10 Minutes
       13U/14U          35 Minute Halves               10 Minutes
       15U/16U          40 Minute Halves               10 Minutes

       17U-19U          45 Minute Halves               10 Minutes

There shall be a 2 minute break between Quarters 1 and 2 and another 2 minute break between Quarters 3 and 4.

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8.1       Team players, coach, assistant coach, and/or team manager will occupy the North or East side of the field.  The parents, families, and other spectators will occupy the South or West side of the field, unless the field layout prevents that placement

8.2       No coaching will be allowed on the opposite side of the field by either team.

8.3       Coaches must remain on the sidelines within 10 yards of the midfield line of their end of the field during game play.

8.4       Non-playing team members and spectators shall stay at least 5 feet outside of the touchline and no closer than 20 yards to the goal line.

8.5       No individual shall be allowed to run the length of the field except participants of the game.

8.6       Coaches in all age groups shall carry with them at all games a copy of his/her team's player roster, including any current add/delete sheets. These forms shall be presented to the game referee or opposing coach upon request to verify the eligibility of players registered to said team.

8.7       All coaches must attend the NYSCA clinic in accordance with city contracts.  They must also carry with them at all practices and games their MCYAC identification card and the NTSSA approved photo ID.

8.8       No alcoholic beverages will be permitted near the playing area. The use of tobacco products or artificial smoking devises is not permitted near the playing area.

8.9       Each coach/assistant coach/team manager of a team shall have a current, valid NTSSA Photo ID at all practices, games, and other team activities.  Any coach/assistant coach/team manager not in possession of their NTSSA Photo ID during a game may only participate in their team role if they are able to produce a valid state issued form of identification (e.g., driver's license) that matches their name on the game roster.  Any coach/assistant coach/team manager unable to produce a NTSSA Photo ID or valid state issued form of identification that matches their name on the game roster, must remain on the spectator side of the field for the duration of the game.

8.10    Any coach who fails to produce and display a current, valid NTSSA Photo ID at his/her team's game will be required to sit out their team's next game.

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9.1 Games will not be postponed/rescheduled except for reasons of inclement weather or unplayable field conditions.

9.2 Exceptions to this policy may be made only by the respective League Commissioner and only under extraordinary circumstances.

9.3 League Commissioners must coordinate with the Fields Director and the Officials Assignor regarding all changes in times and dates of games.

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10.1    The Association President, Fields Director or their designee shall have sole authority to postpone any game prior to its start due to inclement weather or unplayable field conditions.

10.2    The following guidelines shall be applied to determine playable weather conditions:

For leagues Under 8 and younger, dry weather above 40 F and wet weather above 55 F shall be considered playable.

For leagues Under 9 and older, weather conditions that do not constitute a hazard to health or safety shall be considered playable.

10.3    Teams must report to the playing field as scheduled and ready to play unless their coaches are instructed not to do so by their respective League Commissioner or his/her designee.

10.4    It is the responsibility of the coach of a team that is traveling to play an “away” game to review field status by whatever means the away association provides and to notify his/her team if their game is postponed.

10.5    From the time the referee enters the field of play for a game, he/she becomes the final authority to postpone or suspend that game based on field conditions and/or prevailing weather conditions.

10.6    If a game is suspended prior to the start of the second half, it shall be rescheduled and replayed in its entirety.

10.7    A game suspended after the start of the second half of play will be considered a complete game and the score at the time of suspension will stand.

10.8    The referee shall promptly notify the Officials Director of any games he/she postpones.

10.9    Rescheduling authority rests with the respective League Commissioner, in coordination with the Fields Director and the Officials Assignor. The Commissioner will in turn notify the coaches of the teams involved.

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11.       FORFEITS
11.1    If a team cannot field the minimum number of players for a game within ten minutes after the referee has ordered play to begin, or if during the game a team has sufficient players sent off, injured or leave to fall below the minimum, then the game shall be declared a forfeit in favor of the opposing team.

11.2    A team will proceed to play a game as long as it is able to field the minimum number of players as listed in Rule 3.1.

11.3    One team having to play short does not require the opposing team to also play short (i.e., they may field a full team), however the coach is encouraged to observe the spirit of the game rule (13.2) and show good sportsmanship.

11.4    Players and/or coaches refusing to play, or continue to play, after having been ordered to do so by the referee, thereby bringing the game into dispute, shall automatically forfeit said game and will be subject to suspension pending a hearing by an A&D committee.

11.5    A team that has no team official (i.e., coach or assistant coach or team manager) with a current, valid NTSSA ID or valid state issued form of identification (e.g. driver's license) that matches their name on the game roster, will immediately forfeit the game.

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12.1    Charging the goalkeeper in possession of the ball is not allowed in any youth play in NTSSA. Possession is defined as: “One or two hands on the ball, holding it, bouncing it, tossing it up and then catching it, or patting it along the ground,”

12.2    The goalkeeper shall be allowed to punt or throw the ball unmolested after he/she gains possession. Possession is defined as having one or two hands on the ball in the judgment of the referee.

12.3    Once the goalkeeper has gained possession of the ball and has regained control of his/her body, he/she will put the ball back into play within 6 seconds

12.4    It is not an intentional "hand ball" offense for any player to attempt to protect the vital areas of his/her body (i.e., chest, crotch, face) by placing hands or arms across them to protect them from being struck at close range by the ball. The referee shall be the sole judge of whether the hands or arms were used to deliberately propel the ball.

12.5    A referee may call a foul whenever a coach, player or spectator enters onto the field of play without the referee's consent.

12.6    A player sent off (red card) from a game by the referee shall forfeit his/her right to participate in his/her team's next game.

12.7    Any player receiving two cautions (yellow cards) during one game shall be suspended their next scheduled league game in accordance with NTSSA rules 3.11.2.

12.8    Any coach/assistant sent off (red card) by the referee shall immediately leave the area of the field of play and shall not interfere with nor take part in the further process of the game. The coach/assistant receiving the red card shall also be suspended from taking part in or be present on the field during his/her team's next game.

12.9    The coach and/or assistant coach is responsible for the conduct and control of their sideline (players and spectators).

12.10    Spectators can be dismissed from the field of play by the referee for unruly behavior and disruption of the game. This would include, but not be limited to, continued dissent. In the event a spectator is so dismissed and refuses to leave, the game may be abandoned by the referee and referred to the Board.

12.11  All referee reports concerning misconduct and send offs shall be submitted in writing to the Association First Vice-President within 48 hours of the incident.

12.12  All disciplinary actions shall be administered to in accordance with North Texas State Soccer Association, Rule 3.11. It is the responsibility of each BESA coach to make the contents of Rule 3.11 known to every player and parent on his/her team.

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13.       STANDINGS
13.1    Division standings during the regular season, in those age groups where such records are kept, shall be calculated using the following point system:

Win                 3 Points
Tie                   1 Points
Loss                0 Points
Forfeit             3 Points

Goals are not part of the scoring system.

13.2    BESA teams playing in another league shall have their standings determined based upon the playing rules and/or point policies of that league.

13.3    Keeping with the Spirit of the Game, if a team is ahead by 8 goals of more, they are strongly recommended to stop scoring and change the attention of the team to passing, using the opposite (weaker) foot, removing players from the field etc. If a team continues to “run up” the score past a differential of 8, the coach will be referred to their home association.

13.4    The coach of a BESA team that achieves a goal differential of more than 8 against an opponent during a match may be subject to review by the BESA A & D Committee and may receive a minimum one game suspension.

13.5    All games played during the regular season shall count toward division standings except those which may be designated before the start of the season as non-conference games or scrimmage games.

13.6    The Association will provide all 9U/10U teams a tournament, known as the McGrady Cup,  at the conclusion of the spring season – see separate McGrady Cup section for rules governing the tournament.

13.7    For the purpose of which teams the Association sends to the year-end Tournament of Champions (TOC) see separate TOC section for rules governing the tournament.

13.8    The Association will provide an end of spring season event for the 4U-8U teams known as Karen Owens Soccerfest. This event is the conclusion of their spring season and is considered part of their regular spring league play.

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14.       SCORES
14.1    For those teams playing within the Northern Mid-Cities Soccer League ( NMCSL), the standings are kept by a statistician, not the BESA Commissioner. The coach must comply with NMCSL requirements for submitting their reports. Either team is required to enter the scores according to the current NMCSL policy. To view your online schedules and standings (and to get your game numbers) click on the online schedules link at If you have a scoring error, contact your Commissioner

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15.       PRACTICES
15.1    During the regular season, the following weekly (Sunday morning through Saturday evening) practice limitations shall apply (see special rules for 6U and 8U leagues):

A.        Three practices with no games.

B.        Two practices with one game.

C.        One practice with two games.

D.        No practices with three games.

15.2    A scrimmage game constitutes one practice.

15.3    No practice session may exceed two hours in length.

15.4    ALL GAME FIELDS ARE CLOSED TO PRACTICES AND SCRIMMAGES. Coaches will receive a list each season specifically stating which fields will be available to BESA teams for practice. Use of these fields will be monitored.

15.5    Violation of any of these practice rules will subject the coach of record to disciplinary action by the Board of Directors up to and including suspension from coaching for the remainder of the season.

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16.1    If two BESA teams are to play the first (or only) game of the day on a BESA field, each team will be responsible for obtaining and installing one goal net and two corner flags on said field in time so as to not delay the scheduled start of the game.

16.2    If two BESA teams are to play the last (or only) game of the day on a BESA field, each team will be responsible for taking down one goal net and two corner flags and returning them to the proper storage facility.

16.3    If a BESA team is designated as the Home team on a BESA field to a visiting traveling team, the BESA team will be responsible for obtaining and installing and/or taking down and returning BOTH sets of goal nets and four corner flags.

16.4    Coaches who fail on a repeated basis to perform the duties as outlined above will be subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Directors.

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17.       CLEAN-UP
17.1    It shall be the responsibility of all teams, whether at home on a BESA field or as visitors on an away field, to pick-up its trash after every game.

This Association recognizes that the 6U and 8U leagues are special groups of players and, in order to promote safe recreational fun while learning soccer with the pressures of competition removed, the following special rules have been established.

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18.1    Scores will not be recorded and team standings will not be maintained.

18.2    Practices for the 6U age group will be limited to one session per week with one game, twice per week with no game and none per week with two games. Sessions shall not exceed one hour in length.
For the 8U group the practice sessions will be limited to two sessions per week with one game, once per week with two games and none per week with three games. Sessions shall not exceed one hour in length.

18.3    If no qualified referee is available, each coach will referee one half of the game. Home team shall referee the first half.

18.3 (a)    In the Under 4 League only - No Referee. Both teams will be permitted to have one coach on the field for the duration of the game. Each coach will referee one half of the game. The Home team shall referee the first half.

18.4    No goalkeeper shall be used.

18.5    All players present must be given the opportunity to play at least one-half of each game. Substitutions can be made by either team during any “dead-ball” situation (ie. throw-ins, goal kicks) or prior to the start of each quarter.

18.6    All rule infractions may be briefly explained to the offending player by the referee.

18.7    There shall be no player cautions or ejections.

18.8    All fouls shall result in an indirect free kick.

18.9    Opponents must be at least 3 yards away from ball for all free kicks, goal kicks, corner kicks and kickoffs.

18.10  No penalty kicks will be taken. Instead, an indirect free kick from outside the goal box shall be awarded.

18.11  Goal kicks may be taken from any point inside the goal box.

18.12  Off sides shall not be called. However, the posting of a player in the opponent's goal area will not be permitted.

18.13  5U to 8U: A second throw-in will be allowed if a player commits an infraction on the initial attempt. The player's coach on the field shall explain the proper method before allowing the player to re-throw.
4U shall use a Kick-In in place of a throw-in, where the ball will be placed on the touchline were the ball left the field and a player will kick the ball into the field to restart play.

18.14  Slide tackling and other forms of dangerous play will not be permitted.

18.15  All coaches must complete the age appropriate two-hour, 4 v 4;  7 v 7;  9 v 9 or 11 v 11 Online Grassroots License Course offered by U.S. Soccer through the DCC (Digital Coaching Center)

18.16  6U ONLY: One coach from each team will be allowed on the field to position players for the start or resumption of play prior to any kickoff, or during a stoppage prior to a free kick (i.e., corner kick, goal kick, or indirect kick due to a foul). The game clock will NOT be stopped while the coaches are on the field. Coaches (and parents) must stay off the field during play.

18.17   In the Under 4 League only - Only the designated coaches stated in 18.3a may perform the functions stated in 18.16, with the exception: both coaches must stay on the field during play.

18.18 Substitutions can be made by either team during any “dead ball” situation (i.e. throw-ins, goal kicks) or prior to the start of each quarter.

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19.1 Opponents must be at least 5 yards away from ball for all free kicks, goal kicks, corner kicks and kickoff.

19.2 No punting is allowed by the goalie

19.3 The Build-Out Line promotes playing the ball out from the defensive third in a less pressured setting. When the goalkeeper has control (with his/her hands) of the ball during play, the opposing team MUST move behind the Build-Out Line until the ball is released (put in play) by the goalkeeper. Once the opposing team is behind the Build-Out Line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw, or roll the ball into play (punts or drop kicks are NOT allowed). After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper, the opposing team can cross the Build-Out Line and play resumes as normal.
Also, the opposing team MUST move behind the Build-Out Line for a goal kick restart and may only cross the Build-Out Line once the ball is in play (meaning that the ball has left the penalty area).

A goalkeeper may choose to play the ball from his or her hands before the opponent has retreated behind the Build-Out Line. As the goalkeeper has willingly decided to quickly release the ball into play No penalty has incurred as long as the opposing team was attempting to move behind the Build Out Line.

After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper, the opposing team can cross the build out line and play resumes as normal.
The ball is in play as soon as it leaves the goalkeepers hands. If they put the ball on the ground to kick it, the ball is in play and the opposing team may cross the build out line. 

If the opposing team reenters the build out area prior to the ball being put in play, the keeper will repeat the previous restart.

If a goalkeeper punts the ball, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense.

If the punt occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred.

If a member of the opposing team does not move outside the build out line and becomes involved in play an indirect free kick will be awarded to the attacking team.

19.4 The Build out line will also be where “Offside” will begin to be judged.

19.5 No Intentional heading of the ball.

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No Intentional heading of the ball.

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21.1    It shall be the duty of the Rules Committee to periodically review these  Playing Rules and submit any recommended changes to the Board for approval.

21.2    Changes to these Playing Rules may be approved by a simple majority  vote of those voting members present at any regular or emergency meeting of the Board.

21.3    Any changes to these Playing Rules shall become effective the following  playing season, unless specifically indicated by the Board to become effective immediately. The Association shall provide all coaches with a copy of the current Playing Rules prior to each  season or whenever the Rules are revised.

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