Rules & Regulations


WIAA Rules Publications

Rules & Regulations

2019-20 NFHS Rule Changes

2-2-4 SECTION 2 BALL SPECIFICATIONS: ART. 4…If the ball becomes deflated during play, it is declared dead where it was last played and the game is resumed by a drop ball between any two opposing players at the spot where it was last played. If the ball becomes deflated within the goal area, then the ball is dropped between two opposing players subject to the provisions of Rule 9-2-2 and 9-2-3. Ball deflated during a penalty kick results in retaken kick.

Rationale: The provisions for a drop ball have changed, refer to 9-2. 


ART. 1a…The visiting team shall wear solid white jerseys and solid white socks, and the home team shall wear dark jerseys and socks (dark is defined as any color which contrasts with white). Prior to and during the game, jerseys shall be tucked into the shorts, unless manufactured to be worn outside.

Rationale: Manufacturing practices have changed. 


ART.7...A tooth and mouth protector (intramural), if worn, shall:

e. not be completely white; and

f. not be completely clear.

Rationale:  SMAC no longer recommends the mouth protector meet these two criteria; dropping these two requirements brings soccer in line with the other sports that allow mouth guards.


ART 1...The ball is out of play when:

a. it has completely crossed the goal line or touch line, whether on the ground or in the air,

b. the ball touches an official and remains on the field; and

   1. a team starts a promising attack;

   2. goes directly into the goal;

   3. possession changes

Rationale: This is to address situations where the ball touches a referee and a team gains an advantage


ART 1...The game is restarted with a drop ball:

a. when the ball is caused to go out of bounds by two opponents simultaneously;

b. wen the ball becomes deflated; (2-2-4)

c. following a temporary suspension of play for an injury or unusual situation; (except as noted in 14-1-7) and the goalkeeper is not in possession of the ball.

d. when simultaneous fouls of the same degree occur by opponents; or

e. when the ball touches an official as per 9-1-1b.

Rationale: This proposal prevents an opponent from gaining an advantage. 


ART.3... The ball is dropped by an official from waist level to the ground. The referee drops the ball to one player of the team that last possessed the ball at the position. where it was last touched by a player(s), an outside agent or match official. If when play has stopped, the ball was in the penalty area or the last touch, by either team, was in the penalty area, the ball is dropped to the defending team's goalkeeper with all opposing players outside the penalty area. In all cases, all other players must remain at least 4 yards from the ball until it is in play. Any number of players may contest a dropped ball (including the goalkeeper); a referee cannot decide who may contest a drop ball or its outcome.



ART 2... The ball should be dropped at the location where it became dead unless this is within the goal area, in which case, it shall be dropped on that part of the goal-area line which runs parallel to the goal line nearest the location where the ball was when play was stopped. If the ball was caused to go out of bounds by two opponents simultaneously, the ball is dropped five yards inside the boundary line to one player of the team in possession of the ball prior to the simultaneous touch, unless this is the goal area. (See 9-3) (See 9-2-4).

Rationale: Simplifies the drop ball procedure.

9-3 DELETE  


In the case of a temporary injury or unusual situation the game shall be restarted with a drop ball. As in 9-2-3. The referee drops the ball to one player of the team that last touched the ball at the position where it was last touched by a player, an outside agent or match official.  If when play was stopped, the ball was in the penalty area or the last touch, by either team, was in the penalty area, the ball is dropped to the defending team’s goalkeeper. In either case, all other players must remain 4 yds from the ball until it is in play. at the point where the ball was when play was suspended (except as noted in 14-1-7) provided the ball was not in the goal area and not in the possession of the goalkeeper (1The ball is dropped f2-8-2).  Should there not be clear possession at the time play is suspended due to an injury or unusual situation, there will be a drop ball at the spot where the ball was declared dad subject to the provisions of Rule 9-2-2.

 Rationale: Information was redundant.

13-2-3B DELETE


 ART. 3B . . .For temporary suspension of play for injury or unusual situation and the goalkeeper has possession to the ball as per Rule 9-3 (9-3).

Rationale: Provision for drop ball changed.



ART. 1 . . .Players opposing the kicker shall be at least 10 yards from the ball until it is kicked, unless they are standing on their own goal line between the goal posts. If the free kick is awarded to the defending team in its penalty area, players opposing the kicker shall be outside the penalty area at least 10 yards from the ball and shall must remain there until the ball is in play clears the penalty areaWhere 3 or more defending team players form a wall, all attacking team players must remain at least 1 yard from the wall until the ball is in play.

yard from the wall until the ball is in play.

yard from the wall until the ball is in play.

Rationale:This will allow the ball to be put back into play quicker and will lead to a decrease in confrontational moments during free kicks.  


ART 2... The ball shall be kicked while it is stationary on the ground at the spot specified by the official. To be in play, the ball shall be moved in any direction. If the free kick is awarded to the defending team in its penalty area, the ball is not in play until it is beyond the penalty area and into the field of play. Failure to kick the ball as specified shall result in a rekick.

Rationale: Allows the ball to be put back into play quicker. 


NEW ART 4...For indirect kicks, the referee shall signal an indirect kick (using Official NFHS Soccer Signals Rule 5-3-1b) by raising an arm above the head; this signal shall be maintained until the kick is taken and the ball touches another player or goes out of play. If the referee fails to signal the kick is indirect and the ball goes directly into the opponent's goal, the kick shall be retaken. 

Rationale: This clarifies the need to make the signal and prevents punishing the team taking the kick when the referee fails to give the proper signal. 



ART 3...The opposing goalkeeper shall stand with at least one foot on or in-line with the goal line, facing the kicker, between the goal posts, and shall not be touching the goal posts, crossbar, or nets, until the ball is kicked. Lateral or forwardmovement is allowed, but the goalkeeper is not permitted to come off the line with both feet by stepping or lunging forward until the ball is in play. 

Rationale: This clarifies the goalkeeper’s position during the taking of a penalty kick.


ART 2...Players opposing the kicker shall remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play has cleared the penalty area

Rationale: Clarifies when the ball is in play. 


ART 3...Once spotted, the ball shall be kicked from the ground from any point within the goal area by a player of the defending team. The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves. A goal kick shall clear the penalty area and enter the field of play. If the ball is not kicked beyond the penalty area, the goal kick shall be repeated.

Rationale: Clarifies when the ball is in play. 


ART 4...After the goal kick is properly taken leaves the penalty area, the ball may be played by any player except the one who executes the goal kick. The kicker may not play the ball until it has been touched by another player. 

Rationale: Clarifies how the kick is taken and when it is in play. 




Acclimatization Guidelines

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 ten (10) 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.


NFHS Position on Headgear

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. 

NISOA Rules Video 2018-19

Click on the link below to view the 2018-19 NISOA rules video.

Watch NISOA Video

Pink Event

Hosting a “Pink” Event

BALL: May be pink & white or pink white and another color.  Ball must meet all specifications (Rule 2-2) and have NFHS authenticating mark.

UNIFORM: The HOME team may wear pink.  Uniforms must meet NFHS requirements (Rule 44-1) including legally positioned numbers (Rule 4-1-h-1). No advertising is allowed on the uniform. “Kick Pink” or other trademark phrases are not allowed since they are considered advertising.

If the uniform tops are t-shirts which have been donated, the athletes must either pay for them or return them to the school when the event is finished.  Failure to follow this requirement jeopardizes the amateur status of the athletes.

SHOES: Are not covered by NFHS/WIAA rules so may be pink.

SWEATBAND AND HAIR CONTROL DEVICES: Provided they adhere to Rule 4-2-4 may be pink.

FUND RAISING: See the following from the Eligibility Q & A  Q: I am a high school girls basketball coach. Our girls basketball team would like to hold a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society this coming season and I just want to check that how we plan on doing it will not violate any WIAA rules. Here’s our plan, our fundraiser will be based on how many free throws the girls varsity team makes during the season.  Each player will solicit funds or donations based on the free throw made. People could donate a lump sum or could donate X amount per free throw made. As an example last year we made 205 free throws. If you pledged a dollar per free throw, you would be donating $205 at year end for the team to donate to the American Cancer Society. No funds are kept by or for the team. A: While we appreciate the causes which our schools and athletes support, I recommend that you find a different method to raise funds. The Board of Control has made it clear that fundraisers connected to performance in competition are not allowed. Both from the sportsmanship perspective as well as from the “paid to perform” and or gaming/gambling end of things, it is not a good idea and not allowed. Your plan would be allowed in a practice setting.

OFFICIALS: May participate by using a ping whistle or wearing a pink wristband. Wearing a pink officiating uniform ,shoes, or socks.

Shinguard Requirement

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.  


Soccer Goals - Must be Anchored

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.

WI Adaptations to NFHS Rules

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