Section 1. RULES

All contests under the jurisdiction of the RIIL shall be played according to the National Federation of State High School Association Soccer Rules, except for any special rulings adopted by the Committee.


  1. Boys and Girls:
  1. All socks worn by players must be the same dominant color.
  1. NFHS rule 4-1 regarding uniforms and socks must be followed
  • Exception – Jerseys and shorts that are not compliant will be allowed if the school does not have the funds to purchase new uniforms. Schools must conform to the new regulations at their earliest opportunity or when funds become available.
  1. Whenever a referee ejects a player from a soccer game, s/he shall immediately designate whether the ejection was for flagrant conduct, verbally or active, or a technical violation. S/he will then notify the coach at once. Anytime a player receives a red card; the League Office shall be notified. See Article 9, Section 4, paragraph B1 (Reports from officials). If the ejection is for flagrant conduct, the player is automatically out of the next scheduled League game in accordance with Article 6, Section 6. If the ejection is for a technical violation, the provisions of Article 6, Section 6 shall not apply.
  2. Any player injured must leave the game. That player can only return to the game at the first stoppage of play.
  3. A player, coach, or bench personnel shall be disqualified (red card) for:
  1. Taunting
  2. A subsequent caution
  3. Leaving the team area to enter the field where a fight or altercation is taking place. Exception: the head coach may enter the field to aid the officials in controlling the players where a fight or altercation is taking place.
  1. A disqualified player shall be ineligible to participate in the next League contest(s) as per Article 6, Section 6.
  2. Note: Boys’ and girls’ soccer coaches must comply with Article 7, Section 6.D.2 Coaching during the off season


  1. In addition, the following rules apply to boys and girls:
  1. After five cumulative yellow cards a player must sit out the next game. Note: A player has a clean slate for the playoffs except when a player is issued the 5th yellow card during the last regular season game. The player must sit out the first game of the playoffs. If the fifth card happens to be the second yellow in a game, the player must sit out the next two consecutive League games.
  2. A player must leave the field of play when a yellow card is issued (including the goalie), but for no specified amount of time.
  3. During all games if a coach is assessed a yellow card he/she must remain seated on the bench.
  4. Referee game reports will include reasons for yellow and red cards. The following red card infractions will incur penalties as noted:

Throwing a punch, kicking, fighting, or maliciously striking5 games

Spitting at an opponent5 games

Taunting1 game


A varsity team that accumulates five (5) or more Red Cards during the regular season shall be:

  • Disqualified from RIIL tournament play
  • Placed on probation


A varsity team that accumulates a total combination of sixteen (16) Red and Yellow Cards during the regular season shall be:

  • Disqualified from RIIL tournament play
  • Placed on probation


If a team/coach is issued five (5) yellow cards during the playoffs, the team will lose one player and play the remainder of the game short-handed. Additionally, if the same team is issued two (2) more yellow cards they will lose another player and play two short.


NOTE: The coach will no longer be ejected if his/her team accumulates five (5) cards.


A varsity team that is placed on soccer probation, and accumulates a total of three (3) Red Cards or ten (10) Yellow Cards shall:

* Remain on probation

* The PCOA will determine the continuation/removal of varsity teams on probation each year

* Be disqualified from RIIL Tournament play


Each school has the responsibility to maintain accurate Red/Yellow Card data.


League victories will equal 3 points, losses 0 points, and ties 1 point.

  1. Players must have a complete uniform on until the referees have left the area.
  2. Speaking captains will talk to the referee only when asked by the referee.
  3. There shall be no negative, foul, or abusive dialogue between and/or among coaches, players and referees during the course of a game.
  4. A coach may seek clarification of a referee’s ruling at halftime or after the game. The coach may seek this clarification at midfield after both teams have completely exited the field to their respective benches.
  5. Blue cards will be read to both teams at the center circle before the game. Teams will shake hands in the spirit of good sportsmanship after the blue card is read.
  6. All teams must use and keep a score book. All teams must use a scorekeeper who is separated from the two benches and placed in the midfield.



The Director of Soccer shall make up the schedules and order of games. No school may make any change to the schedule. See Article 1, Section 17 (Home Confirmation Schedule).


  1. Regular RIIL soccer games shall be two equal periods of forty (40) minutes. The score at the completion of two periods of play shall stand as official with the following exception:
  1. Time shall be extended beyond the expiration of the normal period of either half to permit a penalty kick to be taken.


  1. The home school is responsible for providing adequate crowd control measures. There is a need for increasing vigilance in this matter. Schools must make every effort to ensure that players, officials, and spectators are protected. Schools should take the following measures to secure a safe environment by:
  1. utilizing bleachers for fans to sit and watch the game(s) where space permits.
  2. providing a painted or roped off line - ten (10) feet minimum - beyond the touch and end lines behind which fans watch the game.
  3. making fans aware that transgressing this line or roped off area to view the game or interact with its participants physically or verbally in any way will constitute interference with play and could result in ejection from the venue in which the game takes place.
  4. providing an easily identifiable school supervisor who is preferably an administrator or athletic director. The school supervisor will introduce him/herself to the visiting coach and the referees and will assist in the supervision of the game both on and off the field of play before, during, and after the game.
  5. providing a police detail. (Such support is a mainstay of football, basketball and hockey games; the interest in soccer is no less than these sports).
  6. providing a separate scorekeeper in a designated area between both benches and midfield. See Section 1, paragraph B 6 of this Article.
  7. providing two (2) clearly marked twenty (20) yard coaching boxes.
  8. holding mandatory meetings before the first game of the season for all coaches, athletes and their parents/guardians to review the RIIL’s policy on sportsmanship and fan behavior during RIIL sanctioned events.


  1. The home school should provide the services of a licensed doctor and/or a licensed athletic trainer at all boys’ and girls’ soccer games. The medical personnel must introduce himself/herself to both coaches and referee prior to the start of the game. S/he shall sit on the home team bench so that s/he will be available at all times.




  1. Game Clock:

* During the regular season the field clock will be used but turned off at the 2:00 minute mark. The game official will then be responsible for maintaining the clock until the end of the game. If the school requests an official timer (supplied by the RI Boys Soccer Officials Association, and paid for by the school) he/she will maintain the field clock and it will be the official clock

* During all playoff games (quarterfinals, semifinals and finals) the RIIL will supply a game official to run the Official Field Clock

Note: In the event that a team is substituting players in blatant attempt to reduce the actual playing time the official may stop time during these substitutions.


  1. The home team MUST have a scorer located at mid-field (table is not a requirement). If a scorer is not provided at mid-field, the home team coach will be issued a yellow card prior to the start of the game.


  1. In accordance with Article 7, Section 3B (Heat Acclimatization rules for Fall Sports) a mandatory hydration time out be implemented at the 20-minute mark of each half when the temperature is 80 degrees or greater and the relative humidity is 40 percent or greater.



The postponement rules contained in Article 4, unless otherwise stated, shall govern all postponed soccer matches.


  1. In the event a game must be suspended because of conditions which make it impossible to continue to play, the head referee shall declare it an official game if one complete half or more of the game has been played. If less than one-half of the game has been played, the game will be restarted from the suspension of play.
  2. Soccer games postponed because of weather conditions should be played, weather and ground conditions permitting, on the following school day, or on the next fair-weather school day.


  1. If a game is postponed for any reason other than inclement weather, it must be rescheduled, as soon as possible, to a definite date by mutual agreement of the opposing school’s Principals and with the consent of the Director of Soccer. If a mutual agreement cannot be reached, the representatives of the schools involved must meet with the Director of Soccer to reschedule the contest(s).


Section 4. OFFICIALS

RIIL assigned official’s authority extends to pre-and post-game oversight. Fighting and unsportsmanlike penalties will be within the authority of the officials at all times at the contest site. Two officials will be assigned for each game by the RIIL Office. The home team shall provide a minimum of two student ball boys/girls for each game.


  1. It shall be the responsibility of the officials to see that benches are cleared of everyone except coaches, assistant coaches, managers, scorers, players, and a representative of the school and press.
  2. Officials must enforce the coaches’ box. If a coach does not comply, he/she will be first warned. If he/she does not comply, he/she will then be issued a yellow card.


Section 5. PLAYOFFS

The Championship Playoffs will be conducted under the direction of the Director(s) of Soccer under a format determined by the Director(s) of Soccer, approved by the Committee, and published with the RIIL Soccer Schedule.


  1. RIIL Championships will be determined by the team with the greatest number of points arrived at by crediting a school with three (3) points for a victory, one point for a tie, and no points for a loss. In case of a tie for first place, a co-championship will be declared. All division winners automatically qualify for the tournament and must be seeded by their percentage accordingly.
  2. State Championship Tournament games and all other games will consist of two (2) forty (40) minute halves.


  1. In the event a “playoff game” must be suspended because of conditions which make it impossible to continue to play, the game will be rescheduled and restarted from the time of the suspension of play.




  1. 1. Overtime – Extra Periods (Boys and Girls)
    1. Teams that are tied at the end of regulation time will play two (2) 5-minute overtime periods.
    2. After the first Five (5) minute period, the teams will switch goals and play a second five (5) minute period. The second 5-minute period starts immediately after the first overtime period.
    3. Overtime periods are not “sudden death.” In other words, even if a goal is scored, the period will continue for the full five (5) minutes.


  1. Penalty Kicks
  1. If a game remains tied after the (10) minutes of overtime, the outcome will be determined by penalty kicks.
  2. In accordance with NFHS Soccer rules, any player on the roster that is submitted to the officials prior to the game is eligible to participate in the shootout.
  3. A coin toss determines which goal will be used and which team will shoot first.
  4. Five players are designated by each team to shoot in alternate order.
  5. Each shooter takes one kick from the 12-yard line against the opposing keeper.
  6. The shootout will end after five kicks, or fewer if one team builds an insurmountable lead, with the team scoring the most goals declared the winner.
  7. While the kicks are being taken each goalkeeper must stand in the end line corner of the penalty area and on the field unless they are defending the goal.


  1. Additional Penalty Kicks
  1. If the score is still tied after five shots per team, a second shootout phase will begin in which each set of kicks, one by each team, is taken until one team scores and one team misses as long as the same number of kick have been taken by each team. Example: Team A takes kick #7 and scores. Team B takes kick #7 and does not score. Team A is declared the winner. If Team A had missed and Team B scored Team B would be declared the winner and no more kicks would be taken.
  2. Each kick must be taken by a different player. If the shootout continues past eleven (11) kicks per team, the original order shall be repeated.