Make your own free website on

2001 Points of Emphasis - Soccer


1)      Player safety:  Safety is the number one priority in any game.  When a player is injured or presumed to be injured the game should be stopped. If it is determined that the player was faking the injury, he/she should be cautioned for unsportsmanlike behavior.  (12-8-1)


2)      Portable goals:  In the interest of safety, portable goals shall be anchored, secured, or counterweighted.  Many injuries occur because goals are not properly stored or secured when not in use.  Soccer goals are an attractive nuisance and those who are responsible for the storage or security of portable goals should go to extreme measures to discourage and prevent individuals from using them before or after practices or games. 


3)      Sportsmanship:  At the pre-game conference, the head referee shall address coaches and players concerning aspects of good sportsmanship including excessive celebration, profanity, and taunting.  A short but firm statement by the official outlining the action that will be taken for unsporting behavior would be appropriate.  It would be helpful to use specific examples of behavior that will not be tolerated to make the point.


4)      Ball holders:  Home schools shall provide at least two ball holders.  The Soccer Rules Committee continues to encourage schools to make arrangements in advance to comply with this requirement.  Every attempt should be made to secure two ball holders prior to starting a game.  This should be addressed in coach’s and official’s pre-game checklist. If ball holders are not provided, the referee shall report the situation to the proper authorities.


5)      Shinguards:  There continues to be concern with players modifying shinguards, thus jeopardizing their own safety.  Shinguards shall not be altered, be worn properly, and should afford each player’s shins reasonable protection.  The official should examine both shinguards to verify that they provide adequate protection to the shin of the player. 


6)      Caution/Disqualification Procedure:  Whenever an official issues a card, both coaches and the player shall be notified of the reason for the caution or disqualification.  Officials can enlist one of his/her assistant referees to assist in the notification procedure.  State associations may consider using a reporting area designated prior to the game where officials can notify scorers and coaches the reason for cautions or disqualifications. The reporting area must be in an area that both scorers and coaches can hear and see the official.





Copyright ©2002 NFHS. All Rights Reserved.