CONNECTICUT JUNIOR SOCCER ASSOCIATION
POLICIES AND GUIDELINES
(Revised and codified March 2022)
The following policies and guidelines have been adopted by the District Governing Board of the Southwest District and are currently in force. These policies supplement CJSA policies and where there are conflicts, CJSA bylaws, policies, guidelines and rules shall take precedence.
Lack of Knowledge of these rules will not relieve any coach, team official, parent, player, and league or club volunteers from the responsibilities and possible penalties herein. All clubs, team officials, parents, players, coaches, league and club volunteers are bound by their participation in the Southwest District and CJSA and agree to abide by the rules set forth.
Outline of contents:
ROSTERS AND LEAGUE ENTRY
PLAYER/COACH ELIGIBILITY AND PASSES
COMPETITION PROCEDURES – GAME DAY INFORMATION
All players and adults participating in activities sanctioned by CJSA must be properly registered with CJSA. All clubs must be properly affiliated with CJSA.
Fees for a seasonal year (September 1st through August 31st) currently are: $15.25 for competitive and comp development players, $11.25 for recreational players, and $5.00 for all adults. The district has the right to deny participation to any player or adult not entered in the CJSA database.
Club registrars are responsible for inspecting the original documentation for a classic travel or premier player’s proof of age and maintaining a copy on file for any needed inspection by district, state or national authority. The District Registrar shall also verify birth documents (generally a birth certificate or passport). Players born outside of the U.S. (including U.S. citizens) must also complete a First Registration form, which must be submitted to the District Registrar and CJSA Registrar. Players residing outside of Connecticut must obtain permission to play from their home state association. The executed permission form must be submitted to the CJSA Registrar.
ROSTERS AND LEAGUE ENTRY
Club registrars assign registered players and adults to teams on the CJSA centralized system (currently SportsConnect). Rosters are generated from that system. Classic Travel rosters must be approved/certified by the district registrar or VP. Premier rosters are approved by a state official. Use of an unapproved/uncertified roster may result in forfeiture of a match. Roster changes should be requested three days prior to an event or match. Last-minute changes may not be processed in time for the match.
Classic travel teams are subject to the residency restriction as specified by Connecticut Cup rules (Rule #501-4) except for SWD “A” brackets for U11 and older.
Teams participating in district classic travel league play (including U9 and U10) shall have no more than 40% of its players rostered with other classic travel teams. Additionally, if a club has more than 2 teams in an age group, players can only be double rostered to the next closest team in terms of division placement (e. g. A club with an A, B and C division team can only double roster players between A and B or B and C but not A and C.)
The district restricts U9 and U10 active players to a maximum of 12. Rosters for U11 and U12 are restricted to a maximum of 16 active players. The rosters may exceed the maximum, but the number of participating players in a district match must not exceed the maximums.
Teams from outside the district may request to participate in the Southwest district leagues. If permission is granted by the district vice president, the teams must furnish rosters to the district officials and comply with rules set forth for teams playing within the district.
Teams apply for participation in a particular league using the district league management system (currently SportsConnect). Cutoff dates for league entry are determined prior to the season and published on the district website. Club registrars are responsible for properly entering teams. For more on leagues, see section V below.
Classic Travel rosters will freeze 2 weeks before the last day of the regular league season with the date to be determined and communicated by the SWD officers. Rosters may freeze earlier for playoffs as specified in the guidelines for playoffs.
A majority vote of the District Governing Board will be required for any waiver of the policies contained in this section.
PLAYER/COACH ELIGIBILITY AND PASSES
For league competitions, only players who appear on the team roster may participate in a match. Guest players are not allowed. For friendly matches (non-league) and for U9 and U10, guest players holding a valid CJSA pass for the current season may participate with the consent of the opposing coach.
A maximum of four (4) team officials who are registered with CJSA for the current season may be present on the sideline. If he or she does not appear on the roster, the name must be printed legibly on the roster retained by the referee. If a team official appears on a different team’s certified roster, he or she may be present on the sideline subject to a maximum of 4.
Passes are not currently required.
Any violation of the eligibility rules will result in the forfeiture of the match. Team/Club officials will be subject to further sanctions. If a player or coach participates in a league match while ineligible due to previous disciplinary action or send-off, he or she will receive an immediate additional suspension of two matches and will be subject to further sanctions.
IV. DISCIPLINE POLICY
The SWD and the clubs within the SWD will abide by the CJSA disciplinary policies.
Violation of the rules and the terms of suspensions and sanctions imposed by CJSA or the district may be posted on the district web site.
A discipline committee may be appointed by the District VP. The District VP shall refer matters to the discipline committee for consideration and investigation. Sanctions imposed by the committee shall be in accordance with CJSA policy.
A. League Commissioner
1. Roles: League commissioners serve as administrators on behalf of the district officers. Their specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:
Accumulate information on teams
Create Flights/divisions and use the database to create a schedule of play
Monitor the posting of scores and adherence to district policies
Adjudicate any disputes or issues between opponents
Maintain standings and determine champions. In age groups where playoffs are held in the fall, commissioners are responsible for overseeing the playoffs in conjunction with the District officers.
Resolve issues over unplayed matches; declare forfeits
Assist in reporting and enforcing disciplinary matters
Be the District contact for managers and club officials
2. Conflict of Interest: Should a dispute exist between teams which involves the club or team with which the league commissioner is affiliated, the appropriate boys or girls Commissioner at Large would be charged with reaching a resolution. Should the Commissioner at Large also be affiliated with one of the clubs then the District VP would resolve the matter.
3. Vacancy in Commissioners: The Commissioner at Large will serve as commissioner of any age groups that lack a commissioner.
B. Structure – Brackets (or Flights)
Desired Size : Brackets with 8 to 9 teams allow for either playing all teams once and 1 team twice (8 teams) or every team once (9 teams) in an 8 week regular season.
Minimum Desired Size: In the ideal world, brackets would have a minimum of 6 teams to allow each team to play all opponents twice. However, if less than 6 teams have declared themselves in the same category (i.e., ranked high, balanced, low) the league commissioner should make a recommendation on league brackets to the appropriate girls or boys Commissioner at Large who will have the final say on league brackets. A bracket requires at least 4 teams.
Placement in Brackets/Flights
At the beginning of each season, club officials (president, registrar or travel director) will register the teams via the CJSA league management system (currently SportsConnect). At the time of team registration, the official will specify the bracket in which the team desires placement.
The District Governing Board may choose to dedicate a meeting prior to each season for the purposes of organizing age groups and brackets. Input from all clubs represented will be considered. If no such meeting is held, the district officers may meet with the Executive Director and Commissioners at Large to organize brackets. Teams may be moved to create brackets with an even number of teams and to achieve desired bracket size (per section 1 above).
Teams entering from out-of-district are assumed to be at a high-competitive level. While such teams may be allowed to play in less competitive brackets, the placement is subject to review by commissioners and district officers.
Relegation and Promotion
The current practice is to allow clubs to self-determine placement of teams. However, the district officers and commissioners may relegate and promote teams based on prior season’s results.
Out of district teams
Out of district teams/clubs must comply with all SWD rules and guidelines. The teams must furnish a copy of the certified roster from their home district. Participation in SWD must be granted by the District VP.
SWD teams/clubs may not be compelled to travel out of district for league games. In cases where the SWD-based team has compelled the out-of-district team to travel despite being assigned as the home team, the SWD-based team will bear the cost of referee fees.
Points and Standings (not applicable to U9 & U10):
3 points for a win; 1 point for a tie; 0 for a loss.
Forfeits are scored 3-0
In the event a bracket has an uneven number of teams or teams are scheduled for a differing number of games, a weighted average score will be used. The formula is: wins plus ties multiplied by .333 (one third) divided by total games scheduled, which may include unplayed games.
Goal differential penalty – loss of 1 point for goal differential greater than 6 except for U11 and older “A” brackets/flights; for standings, maximum goal differential is 6. Repetitious over-scoring or egregious high scores (more than 10 goals higher than the opponent) may result in loss of home field assignment.
2. Standings and Playoffs
Standings are determined by points or weighted average as necessary in Fall & Spring. U9 and U10 are considered developmental age groups and no standings shall be maintained for them.
Playoffs occur in the fall only for U11and older. The top 4 teams from each bracket participate in playoffs. 1st place plays 4th, 2nd plays 3rd on Saturday. Winners play in final on Sunday. Clubs across the district volunteer to host various age groups. Trophies will be awarded to the finalists in the fall playoffs: Champion and Runner-up. In the Spring, trophies will be awarded to each first place and second place team in each bracket.
Tiebreaker hierarchy when equal number of games are played: most wins, head-to-head results, least goals allowed, most goals scored. If three or more teams are tied "head-to-head results" will not be used as a criteria.
If teams have been scheduled for a different number of matches which count toward division standings, then the teams’ weighted averages will be compared. If tied, the above tie-breaker rules become effective. Unplayed games count in total games scheduled in the calculation of weighted average.
Commissioners will develop and publish a schedule for each bracket at least one week prior to beginning of play. Clubs/teams wishing to protest/dispute a league schedule may do so but must do so within one week of receiving the schedule.
Every effort should be made to play all scheduled matches in a season, even if rescheduling is necessary. Commissioners will make determinations of forfeitures in the event matches are not played. Commissioner’s declaration of forfeits may occur when managers do not make good faith efforts to ensure games are played nor show reasonable flexibility to accommodate circumstances beyond the control of both teams.
1. Precedence of Cup matches and Tournaments
State competitions (such as cup games) have a higher priority than classic travel; a team playing a make-up or postponed state match or cup match cannot be penalized for missing a district match. District matches take precedence over tournaments. However, cooperation and reasonable flexibility should be afforded a team attending a tournament. District teams that double roster players to premier teams should be aware that premier conflicts do not take priority over district matches, nor can teams use the unavailability of their coach, as an excuse for not playing district matches.
2. Game Time Assignment and disputes
When the schedule is published by the Commissioners, home teams bear the responsibility to arrange fields and referees.
Matches should be played on the scheduled dates (Sundays) between noon and one hour before sundown (“prime time”) wherever possible. However, games may be played outside of prime time if both teams agree to the day and time.
The visiting team may request accommodation on game times and the home team is free to honor the request. However, the home team has final say in scheduling the start time as long as it falls in prime time.
If teams do not agree on a mutually satisfactory game time, then the following protocol should be followed:
Team managers should keep copies of correspondence with other managers. Any manager having difficulties rescheduling cancelled matches can elevate the issue to the Commissioner. All managers are asked to work within the spirit of getting a full slate of games played to the extent possible.
The home team needs to inform the opponent of the start time at least 4 days (i.e. Wednesday prior to Sunday game) prior to the scheduled kick off. If the start time falls within prime time, the opponent must agree or face default which is determined at the discretion of the Commissioner. Opponents may also lose 2 points in the standings in addition to the forfeit at the discretion of the League Commissioner.
Should either team default within the 72 hours prior to scheduled kick off after previously agreeing to a time, the defaulting team may lose 2 points, may be charged with the forfeit and may be required to pay for the referees (even if they were the away team).
If the visiting team cancels/postpones a scheduled game within 72 hours of the game, the visiting team will be responsible for paying the referee fees should the home team so request. If a CT Cup game or other state match is delayed from Saturday to Sunday for the visiting team, the above does not apply.
If a game is played at the original “away” team’s field, it is expected that the original “home” team will pay for the referees at the prevailing rates for the “away” team’s club.
3. Make up games
For scheduling make up games please follow section D above. Flexibility is expected given the difficulty in scheduling. In the event the two teams can’t agree on a game time please follow section D.2 above. Teams must attempt to make up games by the last day of the season and league commissioners may assess penalties (forfeits and loss of points) for one or both teams for failing to comply.
If an opponent travels to a home team’s location and the match is cancelled or terminated beyond the control of either team (e. g. weather), the opponent has the right to compel the home team to travel to the opponent’s location for a make-up game. The opponent becomes the host team and pays for referees.
In the event an opponent travels to a home team’s location and the field is unplayable or the home team cancels (e. g. lack of players), the opponent has the right to compel the home team to travel to the opponent’s location for a make-up game and the original home team will pay for referees.
VI. COMPETITION PROCEDURES – GAME DAY INFORMATION
Game duration as follows:
Age Game Length Ball Size
U17-U20 Two 45 minute halves 5
U13-U16 Two 40 minute halves 5
U11-U12 Two 35 minute halves 4 9 v 9
U9-U10 Two 30 minute halves 4 7 v 7
If both team coaches agree, the halves can be shortened but must remain equal in length. Agreement must be done prior to the match.
Field and goal size:
The minimum field size is one hundred (100) yards long and fifty (50) yards wide for full-sided games.
Field size for U9 & U10 will be; Length 55-65, Width 35-45.
Field size for U11 & U12 will be: Length 70-80, Width 45-55.
U9 & U10 goal size will be: Height 6.5, Width 12 - 18.5
U11 & U12 goal size will be: Height 6.5 - 7, Width 18.5 – 21
Rosters and Passes
For all Classic League games, teams are required to provide an approved/certified roster for the referee and opposing coach. Only one approved/certified roster may be used for a game.
No Roster Present at Game: If a team has no roster at a game, the players and team officials must create a roster with names, player birth dates and signatures next to each respective entry. By signing the roster, team officials are declaring that all players and team officials are eligible, in good standing and are not suspended from play for any reason, and that the information provided is a true reflection of the missing roster. A copy of the manual roster must be received at the district office (or received by the district registrar or vice president) within 5 days of the match. Playing ineligible or unregistered players may result in the automatic suspension of the coach (and possibly other team officials) for two league matches.
Name not on Roster: If a player is not on the approved/certified roster, she/he may NOT participate in the match. Players must be on the approved/certified roster to participate for that match for all Classic League games. Only one approved/certified roster may be used for a game. Guest players are not allowed. Only players participating in a match may be on the players side during a match.
While roster sizes may allow for 22 to 25 players, game day active players should be reduced to USYS permitted number of players. For U9 and U10 age groups, only 12 active players are permitted. For U11 and U12 age groups, only 16 active players are permitted.
Currently, player passes are not required.
Team Official not on Roster: A maximum of four (4) team officials who are registered with CJSA for the current season may be present on the sideline. If he or she does not appear on the roster, the name must be printed legibly on the roster retained by the referee. If the official’s name appears on a different team’s certified roster, he or she may be present on the sideline (within the maximum of 4).
Home Team Requirements: The home team/club in any District League game or any inter-club match shall:
Provide a regulation playing field that is adequately marked and safe for play
Provide regulation size goals and nets that are properly anchored
Provide game day balls properly inflated
Take all the necessary steps to insure the safety and security of players and coaches of both teams, spectators, and referees.
Games should begin promptly at the designated time (see “Scheduling” above). Teams need allow time for practice prior to the start time.
Grace Period for Arrival of Teams: A fifteen (15) minute grace period, beyond the scheduled match time, will be allowed for the arrival of a team. If at least one (1) player – from the team – is at the field within fifteen (15) minutes of the start time, an additional grace period of five (5) minutes will be given for the team to field a minimum of seven (7) players for full sided games and five (5) for small-sided games. The referee shall notify the district of either or both team’s failure to appear within the grace period(s) and either or both teams may take a forfeit loss and lose 2 points from the standings. The defaulting team shall be responsible for referee fees.
Minimum # of Players: Games may be played with seven (7) players for full sided games and five (5) players for small-sided games.
Grace Period for Arrival of Referees: A twenty-minute grace period will be allocated for the arrival of a USSF certified center referee for all District League games. If a USSF certified center referee does NOT arrive within twenty minutes of the scheduled time of the game, then one of the following will occur:
The match is abandoned and all relevant information forwarded to the Commissioner to determine whether or not a forfeit should be declared
The match is played with a non USSF certified referee. BOTH coaches must agree to this prior to the start of the match. The match is binding, and no protests will be entertained. A report should be forwarded to the Commissioner.
Interrupted Games: If a game must be stopped for weather before two equal halves have been played, it must be rescheduled and replayed in its entirety. To count, a game must be two equal halves. The make-up game shall be scheduled at the fields of the visiting team. The original home team is responsible for the referee fees for the canceled or abandoned game. The visiting team becomes the new host and will be responsible for referee fees for the replayed match.
Lightning – Recognizing the threat: Apply the 30-30 rule: When you see lightning, count the time until you hear thunder. If this time is 30 seconds or less, seek proper shelter. If you can’t see the lightning, just hearing the thunder is a good back-up rule. Wait 30 minutes or more after hearing the last thunder before leaving shelter. Referees must protect the safety of all participants by stopping game activities quickly, so that participants and spectators may retire to a safer place before the lightning threat becomes significant. Remember, if you can hear the thunder, you are within reach of lightning.
Jersey Color: Each team should inquire as to jersey color so that any adjustments can be made prior to the match. In case of conflict, HOME team must change.
Scores should be posted by the home team to the website no later than 48 hours after the match, i.e., Tuesday following a Sunday match. If the home team has not posted the results within this time frame the away team may post the result.
Only USSF Certified Referee Assignors may assign referees and/or assistant referees to SWD League Games. The DRA may approve an assignment in an emergency situation.
Referees or assistant referees shall not be assigned to a match if they are related to any player, coach, assistant coach, or manager on a team in that match. Relation is defined as; father, mother, brother, sister, and step before any of the afore mentioned members.
A three-person diagonal referee system will be used; the two-person/whistle system is not to be used.
The home club in all Classic Travel and Inter-club Recreational matches shall assign a USSF certified referee and, when possible, the home club will also furnish two USSF certified assistant referees. In situations where two assistant referees are not available, each team will provide a club linesperson. The only function of the club linesperson/s shall be to signal when the ball is out of bounds. If only one assistant referee is available, the visiting team will be given the choice to supply a club linesperson. If the visiting team declines, then the home team will supply the club linesperson.
Center referees must be at least two years older than the players for U-9 through U14 matches. Center referees for U-15 and older must be at least one year older than the players.
Any dispute about the qualifications of the referee must be made by emailing the Commissioner. If the disputed qualification is known prior to the start of the match and not communicated to the Commissioner, no protest will be considered.
Referees will complete a game report in accordance with instructions from the DRA. A game report must be submitted to the DRA for any matches in which a red card(s) is issued, a player or adult send-off occurs or serious injury occurs.
All DRA assigned referees and/or assistant referees will be paid before the game and according to the schedule below. The schedule below includes a travel fee:
No Less Than:
U11 & U12 $65.00 and $45.00
U13 to U16 $70.00 and $50.00
U17 to U20 $75.00 and $55.00
VII. PROTEST PROCEDURES
Protests will be submitted in writing to the District Vice President.
Protests will not be accepted on matters related to referee judgment calls, only on the application of the Laws of the Game.
Protests must be submitted within 48 hours of the conclusion of the match to which it relates. A $50.00 fee must be paid for all protests. If the protest is sustained the fee is returned.
The Protest Committee shall act and make a decision on the protest within 72 hours after receipt of the protest.
The Protest Committee’s decision shall be final and binding on both teams.
The Protest Committee’s decision will include a determination of the facts, home game award, referee fee payment, and time frame for a replay if necessary.
A minimum of three members of the Protest Committee are required to render a decision.
The District Vice President shall appoint a Protest Committee each July for the following seasonal year.