Girls Soccer - Rules & Regulations

Rules & Regulations

If multiple practies in a day are utilized (long day), they may not be scheduled on consecutive days. Practices are limited to alternating Short Days and Long Days.

1.  Short Day

(a) Maximum practice is 3 hours of physical activity plus a 30-minute recovery period.

(b) A 30-minute recovery period (rest in a cool environment and hydrate) must occur no later than 2 hours into practice. 

(c) Unrestricted and unlimited access to water throughout physical activity is strongly encouraged.

2. Long Day 

(a) Maximum of one practice is 3 hours of physical activity plus a 30-minute recovery period. 

(b) A 30-minute recovery period (rest in a cool environment and hydrate) must occur no later than 2 hours into practice.

(c) Minimum of a 3-hour break without physical exertion, in a cool environment, with rehydration before the second practice that day. 

(d) The longer practice, which is limited to 3 hours of physical activity plus a 30-minute recovery period, may be at any time during the day. When combined with an additional practice, there must be a 3-hour break between. 

(e) Maximum additional practice is 1.5 hours. 

(f) Unrestricted and unlimited access to water throughout physical activity is strongly encouraged.

3.  After seven practices to the end of the season:

(a) Only one practice allowed per day.

(b) Maximum practice is 2.5 hours.

(c) A 30-minute recovery period is not required.

(d) Monitor weather and heat conditions and adjust appropriately.

(e) Unlimited access to water and hydration should be available.

2014-15 Soccer Rules Changes Include Requirement for Goalkeepers to Leave Field When Apparently Injured 

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Soccer Rules Committee approved two rules changes during its January 27-29 meeting in Indianapolis. The recommended rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The committee approved a requirement that a goalkeeper must leave the field when he/she is injured and the referee has stopped the clock. This decision was made in order to minimize the risk of further injury.

Previously, an injured field player was required to leave the field of play when the referee stopped the clock, but an injured goalkeeper was not. Now, according to Rule 3-3-2, both the field player and goalkeeper must leave the field. Additionally, the goalkeeper must be replaced by either a field player or a substitute.

“The committee wanted to make sure that players who were apparently injured were evaluated by a coach or an appropriate health-care professional,” said Mark Koski, NFHS director of sports, events and development and liaison to the Soccer Rules Committee. “The overriding concern is minimizing risk to all students.”

Another rule change approved by the committee was to clarify when the jurisdiction of officials begins. It will now begin at the time of their arrival to the field of play and its immediate surroundings, and they are prepared to begin their official responsibilities.

“The original intent was to establish a minimum arrival time for the officiating crew and not to place a limit on the start of their jurisdiction,” Koski said. “Jurisdiction for officials now begins at the time of their arrival and when they are in their true role.”

Previously, the jurisdiction of officials began 15 minutes prior to the start of the game, but teams and officials are often on the field prior to that and this change allows referees to begin official responsibilities earlier.

“The committee feels that the state of high school soccer is at a good place,” Koski said. “They are comfortable with where the game is at right now and do not think that a lot of changes need to be made.”

In addition to the official rules changes, the committee added a sample of the duties for a fourth official.

“A fourth official is being utilized in many states, especially at playoff and championship games. There have been numerous requests from state associations to provide fourth official duties,” Koski said. “The committee has elected to add sample fourth official duties that may be adopted by the state associations, but are not mandatory.”

A complete listing of all rules changes is available on the NFHS Web site at Click on “Athletic Activities” in the sidebar menu on the home page, and select “Soccer.”

According to the 2012-13 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, soccer is the fourth-most popular girls program with 371,532 participants, and fifth among boys with 410,982 participants.

SITUATION 1: A referee inspecting the field prior to the game detects (a) a center circle spot 9 inches in diameter; (b) an “X” intersecting the halfway line; (c) no mark other than the halfway line. RULING: Legal in (a) and (b); illegal in (c).  (1.2.4 Situation)
NOTE: Referee should notify home institution to correct the situation, but should not delay the start of play.

SITUATION 2: Player A is injured while on the field and play is stopped. Both teams substitute three players from the bench before play resumes. RULING: Illegal. Unlimited substitutions are permitted but the substitutes must check in and be beckoned in by the referee as per Rule 3-4-1a.  (3.3.2 Situation A)

SITUATION 3: A goal is scored and Team A elects to substitute four players from the bench without being beckoned by the referee.RULING: Illegal. All players must report per 3-4-1a and be beckoned by the referee. (3.3.2 Situation B)

SITUATION 4: Player A fouls Opponent B in the penalty area, resulting in a penalty kick for Team B. Player A is disqualified for receiving a second caution. Player B leaves the game due to an injury, or because of communicable disease concerns. (a) The substitute for Player B takes the penalty kick; (b) Player A is a goalkeeper and a substitute replaces him/her but a field player must leave the field. RULING: (a) Incorrect procedure. A substitute entering the game shall not take the penalty kick. (b) Legal.  (3.3.3 Situation A)

SITUATION 5: Goalkeeper A fouls Opponent B in the penalty area resulting in a 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 of the goalkeeper (12-8-2) but must have a goalkeeper (3-1-1).  (3.3.3 Situation B)

SITUATION 6: An official observes a direct free kick foul by the defense in the penalty area, blows the whistle, stops play and indicates a penalty kick; the official simultaneously indicates an injured player and issues a caution for persistent infringement to the player committing the foul. The coaches, having no players at the scorer’s table, send substitutes from the bench to the scorer’s table to be beckoned in. RULING: Legal. The injured player and cautioned player must be removed. The penalty kick must be taken by a player who was a player at the time the whistle stopped play. (3.3.3 Situation C)

SITUATION 7: The goalkeeper goes down after making a save and remains motionless for a few seconds with the ball in his possession. The official stops the clock to determine if the goalkeeper is injured. After examining the goalkeeper, it is determined that he/she is able to continue play immediately and no attendants have been beckoned. Removal is not mandatory and play will start with an indirect free kick. RULING: Legal. (3.3.3 Situation D)

SITUATION 8: Player A2 is issued a yellow card for misconduct and makes a profane remark to the referee: (a) the substitute has not been beckoned onto the field; (b) the substitute has been beckoned onto the field. RULING: (a) A2 is issued a red card and the team plays short; (b) A2 is issued a red card and the substitute is allowed to participate.  (3.3.3 Situation E)

SITUATION 9: Players A2 and B2 hit heads in attempting to head the ball and both are injured. In the opinion of the referee, player A2 was unconscious for a short period of time. RULING: Player A2 shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional.  (3.3.3 Situation F)

SITUATION 10: Player A2 goes down and is apparently injured. Following a preliminary examination, the official stops the clock and beckons A2’s coach or athletic trainer onto the field to attend to the injured player, but they refuse to comply. RULING: The injured player must be removed and may be replaced.  (3.3.3 Situation G)

SITUATION 11: Player A2 (a) is injured and attended to on the field; (b) is issued a yellow card for a cautionable offense. Although in both instances Player A2 must leave the field, Team A coach elects to play one player short until A2 or substitute is ready to return. RULING: Legal.  (3.3.3 Situation H)

SITUATION 12: Player A2 is injured. After examining Player A2, the referee stops the clock and beckons A2’s coach or athletic trainer onto the field to attend to the injured player. (a) Athletic trainer for Team A attends to the injured player while Coach A gives instruction to players on the field; (b) Coach A attends to the injured player and gives instruction as she/he walks out and back; (c) opposing Coach B calls his team to the sideline and gives instruction to the team; (d) Coach A, while on the sideline, calls for a substitute for A2 and gives instruction to the substitute. RULING: Legal in (a), (b), (c) and (d). (3.3.3 Situation I)

SITUATION 13: Player A2 leaves the field due to an injury and the team elects to play shorthanded. After the game has been restarted, (a) Player A12 replaces Player A2; (b) Player A2 re-enters the field. RULING: (a) Player A12 may enter the game only at the next legal substitution opportunity; (b) Player A2 may re-enter the field at the next stoppage of play. (3.3.3 Situation J)

SITUATION 14: Player A2 is injured during the course of play but manages to hobble across the touchline to avoid disrupting play and to allow the game to continue. At the next stoppage in play (not necessarily a stoppage for which Team A would normally be permitted to substitute), the coach for Team A substitutes for Player A2 directly from the bench. RULING: Legal, unless Player A2 has been disqualified under the provisions of 12-8 that do not permit a substitution and provided that the other prerequisites for proper substitution have been met. COMMENT: An injured player leaving the field under his/her own power would not be considered a violation of 12-8-1a.  (3.3.3 Situation K)

SITUATION 15: Team A substitutes an unlimited number of players who have already checked in at the scorer’s table after (a) a caution, (b) an injured player is required to leave the field or (c) when a player has blood on her uniform. RULING: Legal in (a), (b) and (c).  (3.3.3 Situation L)

SITUATION 16: Team A substitutes an unlimited number of players from the bench after (a) a caution, (b) an injured player is required to leave the field or (c) a goal is scored. RULING: Illegal in (a); legal in (b) and (c) providing the substitutes check in and are beckoned in by the referee.  (3.3.3 Situation M)

SITUATION 17: Team A is awarded a corner kick. (a) Team A chooses to substitute a player(s) who has reported to the scorer; (b) Team B chooses to substitute a player(s) who has reported to the scorer. RULING: In (a), player(s) may enter; in (b), player(s) may enter provided that Team A is also substituting.  (3.3.4 Situation)

SITUATION 18: Team A is awarded a throw-in. (a) Team A chooses to substitute a player(s) who has not yet reported to the scorer; (b) Team B, having had players report to the scorer, chooses to substitute. RULING: In (a) illegal, player(s) shall not enter; in (b), illegal unless Team A chooses to substitute. A player must have reported to the scorer before the substitution opportunity occurs on a throw-in for either team.  (3.3.5 Situation)

SITUATION 19: Team A has elected to play shorthanded for reasons other than misconduct and (a) the player who left the field is permitted to return at the next stoppage of play and (b) the substitute for the player who left the field is permitted to enter the field at the next stoppage of play. RULING: Legal in (a); illegal in (b). (3.3.7 Situation A)

SITUATION 20: Team A is playing with 10 players due to illegal equipment. (a) Player A2 runs onto the field during play; (b) Player A2 enters the field of play during a stoppage with the permission of the referee; (c) Player A2 enters the field at the next legal substitution opportunity. RULING: Illegal in (a) and (b); legal in (c). (3.3.7 Situation B)

SITUATION 21: 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.  (3.4.1 Situation A)

SITUATION 22: After a goal is scored, coach for Team A sends substitute A2 directly into the game from the bench without reporting to the scorer for player A3. RULING: Illegal. (3.4.1 Situation B)

SITUATION 23: Prior to the game, the referee recognizes that members of Home Team A are wearing white jerseys and socks of a gold color and Away Team B is wearing jerseys and socks of a blue color. RULING: Illegal, because the home team shall wear solid white jerseys and solid white socks. The home team needs to put on white socks. If unable to correct, the game shall be played and the referee must notify the proper authority following the game. (4.1.1 Situation H)

SITUATION 24: Player A enters the game wearing (a) white socks with white tape, (b) blue socks with blue tape, (c) red socks with black tape, (d) white socks with green tape. RULING: Legal in (a) and (b); illegal in (c) and (d).  (4.1.1 Situation N)

SITUATION 25: Prior to the start of the contest, the referee meets with the teams’ head coaches and captains and after reciting a sportsmanship message asks both head coaches if their teams will be properly and legally equipped at the kickoff. Each coach answers in the affirmative. (a) After the contest has started, Player A is noticed to have a shinguard that has the NOCSAE seal indicating that the shinguard is undersized for the player’s height; (b) after the second half starts, Player A is noticed to be wearing illegal jewelry; (c) during the course of play, a knee brace is dislodged by a collision between two players. RULING: In (a) and (b), if it is the first offense, the player is sent off the field and cannot re-enter until the next legal substitution opportunity, and the coach of Team A is cautioned for the team not being legally equipped. If it is the second offense, the player is cautioned. In (c), player is not cautioned, leaves the field and may re-enter after reporting to an official, who shall be satisfied that the knee brace is now in order.  (4.3 Situation A)

SITUATION 26: The home team has video equipment to tape and replay the game action. The coach (a) plays a tape to players after the game; (b) plays tape at halftime interval for coaching purposes; (c) asks referee to review tape for evidence in the case of a disallowed goal. RULING: Legal in (a) and (b); illegal in (c). (12-8-1e) (5.1.2 Situation)

SITUATION 27: 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) (5.3.1 Situation A)

SITUATION 28: A2 dribbles in on the goalkeeper within the penalty area near the goal line. A2’s maneuver causes the goalkeeper to fall down as the ball is pushed past him. Because the goalkeeper is in A2’s path (a) A2 leaps over the goalkeeper within the field of play; or (b) A2 leaves the field of play just beyond the goal line. In each case, A2 is held by the goalkeeper who is still inside the field of play and inside the penalty area, and in each case the ball goes past the goal and out of bounds over the goal line.RULING: The fouls in both (a) and (b) result in a penalty kick and the goalkeeper is disqualified (12-8-2-d2), (14-1-1).  (12.3 Situation)

SITUATION 29: 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.  (12.7.2 Situation)

SITUATION 30: On a throw-in, Player A throws the ball (a) directly to his/her own goalkeeper 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) 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.  (12.7.4 Situation)

SITUATION 31: During the game, while the ball is in play, (a) Coach A talks on a cell phone, (b) Coach B records video using a tablet, (c) Player A1 wears an electronic heart monitor, (d) A2 wears a hearing aid, (e) Coach A communicates with Player A3 using a wireless mic/headphone system. RULING: Legal in (a), (b), (c) and (d); illegal in (e) and coach is shown the yellow card for misconduct per 12-8-1(e).  (12.8.1 Situation C)

SITUATION 32: 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. (12.8.2 Situation B)

Substitutions – Rule 3-3-2b(1) – Although the limitations on coaching during an injury have been removed the following rules concerning this coaching do apply:  

1.      Players cannot leave the field unless they have been substituted for or are injured.

2.      A coach who is not called onto the field cannot go on to the field until called on by the referee.

3.      Substitutes cannot leave the team area unless they are going into the game.

4.      A coach who is called onto the field may coach other players while on the field.

Fouls to deny an obvious goal scoring opportunity – Rules 12-8-1f(14) and 12-8-2d(2) – The slides indicate that this must be a contact foul.  However, this is not the case as is indicated in these rules on pages 57 and 58.  Any foul (contact or non-contact) to deny an obvious goal scoring opportunity would result in a caution if the goal is made and a disqualification if a goal does not result.

Goalkeeper Injury – Rule 3-3 – 2b(2) – The following are the procedures that are to be followed when a field player or goal keeper appear to be injured:

1.      Field player – if a field player appears to be injured, the referee, with the clock running, can check to determine the extent of the injuries and if a player needs attention.  If the referee determines that the injury requires the player to be attended to or leave the game, the referee should immediately stop the clock and beckon the coach or medical personnel to attend to the player.  Once the clock is stopped for a field player, that player must leave the game.

2.      Goalkeeper – If the goalkeeper is injured, the referee can stop the clock, check the goal keeper to determine the extent of the injury, and allow the goal keeper a short time to be ready for play. If the referee determines that the goalkeeper needs attention, the referee should immediately call the coach or medical personnel to attend to the player. When a coach or medical personnel are called onto the field to attend to a goalkeeper, the goalkeeper must leave the game.

3.      Thus, the procedures for a field player and goal keeper are different as the field player must leave the game if the referee stops the clock, whereas the goalkeeper does not have to leave the game when the clock is stopped but only when the referee asks that the goalkeeper be attended to.

Penalty kick – Rule 14-1-4 – Questions and comments about this rule centered around the stutter step and the procedures following the stutter step.  The following are clarifications concerning the stutter step:

1.      When a stutter step occurs before the ball is kicked, the ball had not been properly put into play thus resulting in a re-kick. This is similar to other free kicks where the ball is not properly put into play. Examples include kick-off that is not kicked forward and goal kick that does not clear the penalty area.

2.      The stutter step should be whistled as it occurs. It is not a play on/advantage situation.  The clock should not start even if the ball is kicked before there is a whistle to stop play. On penalty kicks, the referee should alert the timer to wait for the start clock signal before starting the clock.

3.      A player who stutter steps should receive a warning and if a stutter step is done after a warning has been issued, the player should be cautioned for unnecessary delay.

4.      Violations by attacking or defending players during a penalty kick occur with or after the ball has been put into play; thus, the need to call the violations and enforce the penalties provided on page 64.

5.      There is a difference between the NFHS and FIFA stutter step rule as is indicated on page 84.  Please note that the NFHS and NCAA stutter step rules are similar.

Printable Version -- Please print and place in your rulebook for future reference.

National Federation Experiment (2014-2015)
(1) All varsity regular season contests will be played in two forty-five (45) minute halves.  No overtime will be played.  (2) All subvarsity contests will be played in two forty (40) minute halves.  No overtime will be played.  (3) Penalty kicks could be used to determine which team would advance in a tournament bracket.
Rule 1-5-2 & 6-3-1  Scoretable
Schools shall provide a scorer and scoretable for all varsity contests.
Rule 4-2-1f  Soft and yielding caps may be worn during inclement weather.
Rule 5-1-1 Note Schools must use a single referee and two WIAA licensed assistant referees for all varsity duals (conference and nonconference).
Rule 7-1-3  Suspended Games
In the event a game must be suspended because conditions make it impossible to continue before one complete half has been played, the game will continue from that point unless both coaches agree to let the recorded score stand.  If at least one half of the game has been completed, the game is an official game.
Rule 7-1-5  Mercy Rule
Following the completion of the first half, anytime the score differential reaches ten or more goals, the coaches may mutually agree to end the game.  After 60 minutes of play, if there is a score differential of 10 or more the game shall end.
Rule 7-3-1  Contests Ending in a Tie
Overtime shall not be played at the JV or freshmen level.  Penalty kicks could be used to determine which team would advance in a tournament bracket.
WIAA Tournament Series - National Federation Experiment (2014-2015)
During the WIAA tournament series, all games will be played in two forty-five (45) minute halves, two (2) full ten (10) minute overtimes (no sudden victory) and then penalty kicks if the game is still tied.
1.  There shall be two 10-minute overtime periods (No sudden victory).
2.  The head referee shall choose the goal at which all of the penalty kicks from the penalty line shall be taken.
3.  Each coach will select any five players, including the goalkeeper, on or off the field (except those who may have been disqualified) to take the penalty kicks.
4.  A coin toss shall be held as in Rule 5-2-2(e).  The team winning the toss shall have the choice of kicking first or second.
5.  Teams will alternate kickers.  There is no follow-up on the kick.
6.  Following five kicks for each team, the team scoring on the greatest number of these kicks shall be declared the winner.
7.  Add one goal to the winning team score and credit the team with a victory.
8.  If the score remains tied after each team has had five penalty kicks:
a.  Each coach will select five different players than the first five who already have kicked to take the kicks in a sudden victory situation, wherein if one team scores and the other team does not score, the game is ended without more kicks being taken.
b.  If the score remains tied, continue the sudden victory kicks with the coach selecting any five players to take the next set of alternating penalty kicks.  If a tie still remains, repeat 7a.
Overtime shall not be played at the JV or freshmen level.  Penalty kicks could be used to determine which team would advance in a tournament bracket.

Rule 12-8  Misconduct
1.  Yellow cards received must be counted.  Once a player has accumulated five yellow cards during the regular season, they are suspended for the next game.  Three more yellow cards, they are suspended for two games.   At the start of the WIAA tournament series, a player will start with a clean slate if they have accumulated less than five yellow cards during the regular season, otherwise their yellow card count continues.  During the WIAA tournament series, once a player accumulates three yellow cards, they are suspended for the next game; three more yellows, suspended for two games, etc. Any yellow cards received by the coach will count toward the 24 card total.  All yellow cards issued in a varsity game must be reported to the WIAA.
2.  If a player receives a red card or a second yellow card resulting in disqualification, that individual is suspended for the next scheduled game.  These are minimum penalties.  All red cards must be reported to the appropriate head coach and to the WIAA.
Note:   Any team whose players, during the regular season, collectively receive a total of 24 or more yellow cards (including all second yellow/red cards) will be prohibited from participating in the WIAA State Tournament series.

Officials will be required to submit a game report to the WIAA  following the completion of any vasity dual or multischool tournament if any yellow or  red cards are issued.
Pre-Game Protocol (varsity only).  Ten-minutes prior to scheduled kickoff - coach and captain(s) meet with officials for pregame conference.  Five-minutes prior to scheduled kickoff:
1.  Official blows whistle and teams move to bench area.
2.  Teams lineup on the touch line and shake hands.
3.  National Anthem and/or player introductions.
4.  Play begins.
5.  No handshakes at end of game.  Officials leave the area immediately.
6.  Coaches must report to their school administration within 48 hours following a contest any player or coach ejection.  School administrators must then report the ejection to the WIAA via written communication within three (3) school days following the contest.  This written communication must also include a plan of action to prevent future ejections.  Officials will continue to provide electronic reports to the WIAA.


It is recommended that when a field clock is used, the clock shall be counted up from 0:00 to 45:00.

Soft or Padded Headgear in Non-Helmeted Sports Position Statement 

National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) 

Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) 

The NFHS SMAC has developed the following position statement regarding soft or padded headgear products in non-helmeted sports: 

The NFHS does not consider soft or padded headgear products as effective equipment in preventing a concussion in non-helmeted sports. As explained below, soft or padded headgear products may be worn in non-helmeted sports that allow for such optional equipment, but the intent of that equipment should be for reasons other than concussion prevention. Valid scientific research should be pursued to more definitively determine evidence-based efficacy regarding using such products to decrease the incidence of concussion. However, no currently available soft or padded headgear can prevent a concussion. 

The NFHS recommends caution in using soft or padded headgear devices to permit medical clearance of a student-athlete, if he or she would otherwise not be medically cleared to participate in sports. Currently, wearing such headgear as a condition to play in order to prevent another concussion is not scientifically or medically supported; therefore, a medical waiver for wearing this type of equipment in the case of hastening return to play after a concussion is inappropriate. However, this equipment may be used to cover lacerations and sutures, if these devices are deemed appropriate within the sport’s playing rules. 

Current design and recommended use of these devices do not address the proposed mechanism of concussive injury, that being acceleration, deceleration and rotational forces acting on the brain. Schools should refer to equipment standards from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM), and the Hockey Equipment Certification Council, Inc. (HECC), when considering protective equipment for student-athletes, and monitor that the equipment is being used for mitigating the risk of injuries for which the equipment is designed. 

When considering the use of optional soft or padded headgear products in non-helmeted sports, athletes and coaches should take the time to read the qualifying statements provided with such products that address specific limitations, particularly those related to preventing serious head injuries. Wearing such products may provide a false sense of security in concussion protection to student-athletes, coaches and parents. Moreover, a false sense of security in concussion protection may increase the likelihood that players, coaches and parents will consider a given medical condition to be adequately addressed and may cause them to place less importance upon avoiding head impact, reporting concussion symptoms and recovering fully before returning to play. 

The NFHS SMAC will continue to monitor developments in soft and padded headgear and will consider adjustments to its position should valid scientific and clinical evidence arise. 

Approved June 2013 

DISCLAIMER – NFHS Position Statements and Guidelines 

The NFHS regularly distributes position statements and guidelines to promote public awareness of certain health and safety-related issues. Such information is neither exhaustive nor necessarily applicable to all circumstances or individuals, and is no substitute for consultation with appropriate health-care professionals. Statutes, codes or environmental conditions may be relevant. NFHS position statements or guidelines should be considered in conjunction with other pertinent materials when taking action or planning care. The NFHS reserves the right to rescind or modify any such document at any time. 

A proposal to create administrative rules related to soccer goals has been sent by the Safety and Building Division of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce to the state legislature for assembly and senate committee review.

The proposal to create administrative code chapter Comm 9, Movable Soccer Goals, is in response to 2009 Wisconsin Act 390, s. 167.21, Wis. Stats., which calls for rules to ensure that movable soccer goals are properly anchored or secured to reduce the possibility of goals tipping over or being pull down and resulting in injuries or fatalities.

The proposals developed reflect the Guidelines for Movable Soccer Goal Safety from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The rules would apply to new and existing goals located at public places, such as parks, as well as those located at private schools or private recreational facilities. Enforcement would be via a complaint to Safety and Buildings Division staff, but the expectation is that owners of movable soccer goals will voluntarily adhere to the rules once the information is made public.

There was previously a public hearing on the rules and the public can contact the legislative committees if additional input is desired. The rules would possibly be effective July 1, 2011.

Here is a like to the code proposal documents,

For additional information, contact Jim Quast, Safety and Buildings Division Program Manager,, 608-266-9292.

2012 Shinguard Requirement

Beginning with the 2012 fall season, the NOCSAE seal and height range shall be permanently marked on the front of the shinguard.  Equipment shall not be modified from its original manufactured state and shall be worn in the manner the manufacturer intended it to be worn.  



Effective in 2013

Beginning with the 2013 fall soccer season, the home team will be required to wear solid WHITE jerseys and socks and the visiting team shall wear dark jerseys and socks. This is according to a re- cent newsletter we received from the National Federation with the rule changes for next year. The only area of the jersey in which you may have color is the number, school name, or manufacturer logo. No colored trim.


The requirement for white jerseys is a change from the existing rule that allows a team to wear “light” jerseys at home. This will be a requirement for varsity teams only. Any light jerseys currently being used at the varsity level could be used for subvarsity teams.


This requirement is very similar to the change that was made in the sport of basketball in 2008. In addition, beginning with the 2012 fall season, the goalkeeper jersey will be required to have a number on the back and on the front of the jersey or short similar to a field playerʼs jersey. The number on the back must be a minimum of 6” in height and the front number 4” in height.


Beginning in the fall of 2012, only those names, patches, emblems, logos or insignias referencing the school are permitted on the team uniform. This rule addition prohibits players from wearing any names, patches, emblems, or insignias that represent any soccer club, soccer association or spon- sor(s) on their uniform. This rule clarifies that only names, patches, emblems or insignias that repre- sent their school are permitted.

updated 7/12

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Wisconsin Interscholastic
Athletic Association
5516 Vern Holmes Drive
Stevens Point, WI 54482-8833
Phone (715) 344-8580
Fax (715) 344-4241
Mon-Fri: 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM