Rules and Regulations Winter Season

Updated and Revised 10/12/2016: Contents subject to change due to CDL Board decisions and on going league play.

I. Registering a Team:

A.     Member Clubs are accetped into the league when voted on and approved by the Board. Member Clubs must re-committ to the League annually. Member Clubs that do not re-committ can be replaced by the Board. Each team in a Member Club is automatically accepted in the league. There is no paper work to fill out to sign up as a team. To register players, each team must submit an up to date roster to the League Administrator for players to be entered into the system. Generally, this is done by the direction of each Club Coaching Director. Guest Teams are considered on a case by case basis for approval and must play out of a Club Schedule who has a hole in an age group.

       Additionally, all teams must submit an official FYSA Gotsoccer  roster to the league administrator or go into Gotsoccer and select your team for the CDL League Event.  

B.      Once a player's information is entered into the team data base that player cannot be removed from your team without going thru the league administrator. This protects your team’s players.

C.      The league fees for the season for age groups U-11,U-12, U-13 & U-14 is $360.00. and for U-9Dev. , U-9 & U-10 Youth Academy the fees are $150.00 .  League fees may be sent in Club check or team check or personal check and turned in by October 15th.  If it is necessary to mail registration fees in, then mail them to Club Directors League, 2140 Drew St. Suite C, Clearwater, Fla. 33765.

        All Clubs post a $1,000 performance bond for the club or single teams post $250 bond to insure they play the gaems as scheduled and that referees are paid.

Payments may be made per team in the form of check or money order or they can be made per club for all teams in the league in the form of check or money order. Please do not send cash. ALL CHECKS SHOULD BE MADE OUT TO---CDL.

D.      All players need to register with FYSA thru their club to obtain a FYSA player pass. You must be registered with FYSA and have a FYSA player pass to play in the league. The temporary FYSA pass is acceptable for league play.

ALL CDL clubs register thru Got Soccer with their clubs and assign there teams to the CDL league.

E.      All coaches, ass't coaches and managers who intend to be on a team's sideline of a game in league play and be responsible for a team must be registered with FYSA and have a FYSA coach's pass or have done the FYSA Background Check. ADULTS WHO DO NOT HAVE A FYSA PASS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ON THE SIDELINE OF A GAME IN LEAGUE PLAY. This is a required rule by FYSA RisK Management.

II. League Structure:

A.      Competition shall consist between U-11 Boys A&B Div., U-11 Girls A&B Div., U-12 Boys A & B Div. , U-12 A & B Girls, U-13 Boys(A)&(B)&(C),  U-13 Girls (A)&(B), U-14 Boys (A) & (B) and the U-14 A & B Girls.  In age groups where there are no A & B divisions, some teams may be B teams playing in an A Div.

       The Youth Academy shall consist of U-9 Dev. Boys & Girls,  U-9 Boys & Girls  and the U-10 Boys & Girls.  The Youth Academy will operate games outside of the Jr. Sesaon Master Schedule and have their own set of rules which are posted on the web site.

B.      Game Day will consist of all teams of one club playing all teams of the opposing club on one day at one venue. The venues shall be the home fields of the clubs designated as home on game day per the league schedule. Every effort will be made to have full age groups but there may be some age groups that are short a team in such a case there may be some game days when an age group will not have a game.

C.      The league season for 2016-17 shall begin approximately Nov. 1st  and go thru April.

D.      Each age group both Boys and Girls will have their own Age Group Championship based on the standings in that age group.

           1. Scoring System for teams competition:
   Win----- 3 pts.
   Tie----- 1 pts.
   Loss--- No Points

 A game must be played or forfeited for any points to be awarded.

(The Youth Academy Div. shall have not scores recorded, no standings and no championships. There will be participation medals for all players at the end of the season.)

2. There will be no tie breakers in league play. All games stand as scored at the end of regulation play.

3. Teams winning their Age Group Championships will be awarded a team trophy. Age group standings which end in a tie for 1st place between 2 or more teams after regulation league play will remain tied for 1st place and all teams will receive a team trophy with each declared a "Co-Champion".

E.       All games must be played as scheduled. There will be no make-up games unless weather conditions prevent play or if the league commissioner allows make-ups for the follwoing reasons:

         1. Games are on the re-schedule list prior to the season starting;

         2. The League Administrator approves a reschedule and both teams agree to reschedule due to extraordinary circumstances;

         3. Weather causes a game to be cancelled or a complex to close;

         Once referees are assigined it is unlikely a game can be changed. Some game flexibility is necessary due to conflicts with other leagues and these reschedules are considered case by case.

        If a game is canceled because of weather, teams must agree on a reschedule date and notify the league administrator.  If a team fails to show, the game will be forfeited. If a coach is unable to coach his team on game day, the club needs to provide a substitute coach. If a team is short players, the league allows for players to play up as guest players. Players are not allowed to play down unless they are playing up on a permanent roster and are truly age eligible to play down. Being short players in and of itself is not an acceptable reason to not play a game.

        Each club shall post a $1,000.00 performance bond which shall be used to insure teams play games that are scheduled. If a team fails to show for a game is shall be penalized $250 and if not paid then the amount is taken from the club performance bond which must be restored by the club. Any other penalities accessed to a team if not paid may be deducted from the bond.

        The procedeure for reschedule is to go thru the league administrator 1st for approval and then arrange for a new date and time in coordination with the other team.  Cancelling or rescheduling games within a 2 week window of the game is very unlikely to be approved unless extraordianry circumstances exist.

       Each Club DOC is given an opportunity to notify the league in preseason of conflicts his/her teams will have during the season so games can be moved around. Once the season starts, teams electing to go to tournaments and events will not be granted a reschedule.

F.       Each team is responsible for their own travel expenses, housing, water, ice, trainer, uniforms, soccer balls, coaching expenses and referee fees.

G.       League Assignor: The league will have a state approved Referee Assignor who will be paid by the league to assign each game with a center referee and the 2 line referees. Youth Academy games are assinged by a Club's Local assignor.  However, the league assignor will need the help and assistance of each club to provide names of qualified referee's who can be on the list to be assigned to games that will be played at each club's venue.

         Local Club Assignors will assign the Youth Academy Games.

III. League Operation:

A.      Game Officials: All Jr. season games will be assigned 3 referees. There will be a center ref, 2 side linesmen.

                                   Youth Academy games will have one center referee.


There will be no protests allowed in league play of any referee call that happens in any game. If a yellow/red card is issued to a player or coach, either coach may submit a supplemental report to the site director explaining any unusual circumstances that might affect the league's decision on game assessments which will be placed with the other game reports by the referee & submitted to the league.

        Game Officials will do a check-in of each player prior to the start of each game checking the player's pass against the player, matching the player's picture with the player and verifying the player in on the game roster. All guest players must be listed on the game report by the start of play. Players arriving late to a game can be checked-in late by the game officials and can begin play if they meet all the normal check-in rules. Referees can check all player equipment for safety and compliance with FYSA rules. Shin guards are required for all age groups. Screw-in cleats are now permitted by FYSA for all age groups. Jewelry, if not removable, must be taped to the body to prevent injury to self or another player. Girls are permitted to protect their upper body with the arms with the palms facing in.

NO HARD CASTS ARE ALLOWED on a player in a game! This is a FYSA rule and there are only exceptions in Tournament Play.  Wrapping a hard cast in any soft material does not make the hard cast acceptable for play. Referees have the final decision on whether a player is allowed to play in a game with a cast of any kind based on his/her determination of safety for the players.

        Soft Braces may be worn per FYSA rule 402.2 -- 1. Player must have a Dr's permit allowing him to participatge with the brace on; 2. It must be deemed safe per the referees decision.

        Jewelry CANNOT be worn during an FYSA sanctioned game per FYSA rule 402.3 with the only exception is a Medical alert braclet or neclace when taped to the body.

        Earrings are not allowed to be worn in a game by a player even if taped per FYSA rule 402.3.

Home team shall always have 1st choice of uniform colors. Visiting  team shall change uniform colors if there is a conflict. However, good sportsmanship should always prevail, meaning teams that come with only one set of uniforms should be given consideration.

         The home team shall have the fields marked, nets on the goals, corner flags in place, and provide water for the referee crew.

        In game play, if a game is called prior to the begining of the 2nd half, no score will be recorded and the game will be rescheduled. If the 2nd half begins and the game is called before the end of regulation play,  the game will be scored according to what the score was when the game was called and there will be no rescheduling.

B.      Referee Fees: (Referees are paid before a game starts play)

        Age Groups: U-13 thru U-14- Center $50 lines- $25 each   Total for Game: $100, each team pays $50.

        Age Groups: U-11 thru U-12 - Center $36, lines - $18 each  Total for Game: $72, each team pays $36 per game

        The league does not pay any referee fees. If a team fails to show for a game, the referee fees must still be paid by both teams. If weather cancels the entire venue and 24 hr. notice can be given to the referee assignor, then no referee's will show and no fees are due. If game time arrives, both teams are present, and the referee's are present but the venue is unplayable and the game(s) is officially cancelled, then ½ of the fees are paid.  All efforts should be made to play the game if possible such as moving to other fields at the venue, or waiting a sufficient time for conditions to improve or moving the delayed game to later in the day and resuming the venue schedule a few hrs. later. If a game is moved to later in the day or to another field or even to another venue and all parties can relocate, then only the regular game fees are paid at the time of the replayed game. If a game is called prior to the end of the game, the referees receive and keep their full pay.

C.      Team Rosters/Game Reports: All Game Reports for each game will be automatically generated from the league web site. Each venue game day will have a Site Director who will access the web page in advance of game day and generate game reports for each game and present them to the referees at each game. The game reports will automatically have the team rosters printed on them. The maximum roster limit for U-13-14 teams is 22 players with 18 allowed for game day; for U-11 & U-12 teams it is 14. There will be no need for coaches or managers of teams to fill out game reports themselves or for teams to have rosters approved by the local District Commissioner. Once a team enters their players into the league data base thru the registration process, the data base feeds the game reports/rosters automatically.

If a player(s) is to play up or guest play on a team for that game, the coach needs to approach the Site Director or Referee BEFORE THE GAME STARTS, advise him/her that a player(s) is playing up, present their pass(s), & hand write the player(s) data on the game report/roster. The Guest Player will be checked in with the rest of the team to verify who they are. NO player will be allowed to play down in age to a team. The Venue Site Director/Referees have the responsibility to verify a guest player's pass as being FYSA, the same club, that the player is playing up and not down, pictured, laminated and valid. The opposing team coach has the right to ask the referee to see the roster changes the other team has made and review the verifed pass. All protests to guest players by an opposing coach/team must be made before the game begins and to the referee or Site Director and must be on the grounds of an invalid FYSA pass, player age eligibility or that the roster has exceeded 18.  

D.      Players Playing Up (Called Guest Players):  Teams will be allowed to play players up from a younger team for a game on any game day. Coaches are encouraged not to overplay players---- players are encouraged not to play in more than 2 games per day. The spirit of this rule is to help teams short of players on a game day or to reward a younger player by moving him up for an occasional game. Coaches are encouraged to not take advantage of this rule by constantly playing a player up to an older team. The guest playing should be done on "an as needed basis", should be done in consultation with the club's DOC and should always be done with the well being of the player in mind. Abuse of this rule will be subject to review by the league's Board of Directors.

Guest players are entered on the game report prior to the start of a game with the help of a Site Director or Referee and are entered at an available roster space because a team does not have 18(or 14 or 12 depending on age group) on the game day roster or they take the place of a regular rostered player for that team that is not playing by scratching the player off the roster and writing in over top.

        The acid test of a guest player being age eligible to play on a team is the DOB on his player pass. Generally the team code on a player pass will be sufficient to determine whether a player is age eligible. But it is possible of a few situations that would be unique: Such as a player who is playing up on a team on their permanent roster who would want to come down to his own age group for guesting. In this case, the players birthday would be used to determine eligibility because his team code would indicate he was moving down.

Guest players, as a general rule,  may not play up by anymore than 2 age groups. The maximum number of guest players is 4 for all teams (except 11's &12's )

        Players may guest play from their age group from Group A to Group B or Group B to Group A. This allowance is to help teams who are short players and is never intended to "load up" a B team with A players in order to win a game. DOC's are responsible to monitor this guest playing activity to protect the integrity of the league. If the spirit of this rule is abused then action by the league board might be necessary to prevent this in the future. All teams and coaches are expected to honor this spirit of the rules so teams can play on a level field.


A maximum of 4 players ( 6 for 11's & 12's) will be allowed to play up on any team at one time. A game day roster/game report must have room on it to add guest players. Either there must be a player space on the roster because there are less than 18 players rostered to the team or players must be crossed out who are not playing . All player passes must be checked by the referee prior to the game starting against the roster including the guest players.  
NO PLAYERS FROM OUTSIDE A CDL CLUB CAN GUEST PLAY ONTO A CDL TEAM IN LEAGUE PLAY.

        Playing an illegal player may result in forfeit of a game, sanctions against the coach, sacntions against the player for future CDL play and other discipline the CDL Board may deem necessary depending of the gravity of the situation. Consideration is given based on referee reports of the incident or if the referee is implicated in allowing the substitution.

E.      Post Game Procedures: The Game Report for each game should be signed by both coaches after the game. The referee completes his part, keeps any player/coaches passes that are red carded, fills out any supplemental reports and gives all of this to the Site Director. There are no copies of game reports that are kept by the teams after the game. There are no game scores that need to be called in or any game reports that are needed to be mailed or faxed to anyone by a team or coach or manager as a general rule. The Site Dir. at each venue will forward the game reports to the league administrator. All game scores will be posted  the following week along with a yellow card / red card on the web site.

All game results, age group league standings, club championship standings, and yellow/red card assessments will be posted on the league web page for review.

F.       Substitution Rule: Effective for Winter Season 2009-10 and all seasons after:

        Ages 13-14 : Substitution Rule:

        FIRST HALF OF PLAY- Players may enter the game by presenting their player pass; if a player is substituted for he may not re-enter the 1st half of play. There are NO RE-ENTRIES ALLOWED IN THE 1ST HALF.

        Second half of Play-  Players may enter the 2nd half by presenting their player pass; if a player is substituted then he may RE-ENTER the 2nd half ONE time only. Each player on each team is allowed to RE-ENTER the 2nd half of play one time only.

        Penalty for violating the RE-ENTY Rule: IF A PLAYER RE-ENTERS THE 2ND HALF OF PLAY A 2ND TIME(his actual 3 time to enter the 2nd half of play- one by his player pass and twice by using the substitution card) and this is recorded by the referee and submitted to the League Administrator with proper documentation, then the following penalty shall be assessed:

              One game suspenions in league for the coach and player at fault, plus forfeit of the game if the offending team actually won the game.

        An appeal may be filed within 3 days to the league adminsistrator in writing if the penalized coach and player desire to dispute the charge. The league administrator will review the appeal and his decision is final.

        Team coaches and players are the reponsible party for putting the correct team name and player number on the substitution card for a player to RE-ENTER the 2nd half of play. It is not the referee's responsibility to record the player's number on the substitution cards. The referee crew simply acknowledge the card for RE-ENTRY as the player presents himself, maintains control of the cards during the 2nd half and has them available after the game if a dispute is made for a player illegally RE-ENTERING the game twice in the 2nd half. After the game reports are turned into the league administrator the subtitution cards are not retained.

        TO RE-ENTER THE 2ND HALF OF PLAY- A player/coach must fill out a league Substitution Card with his team's name and his player number, bring it to the side line and present it to the linesman or referee. The cards are retained by the linesman to validate a player has re-entered the 2nd half only once. If a league substitution card is not available, any small paper will do-- must contain team name and player #.

        Protests of the Substitution Rule: If an opposing team wishes to challenge whether a player has re-entered the game more than once in the 2nd half, he may file a complaint with the referee crew after the game. The referee crew can check all re-entry cards and determine if there has been a violation. If a violation has occurred, the referee can fill out a supplemental report with full explanation for the league to review.

       Penalty: If the Re-Entry Rule is violated then there shall be a league penalty for both the player, the team, and the coach.  Such violations and full review will be conducted by the league administrator and present to the CDL Board.

        At game time, the coach presents the starting 11 player passes to the referee and as each new player enters the half his pass is also presented to the referee. At half time, all the passes are given to the coach and the coach represents his starting 11 player passes to begin the 2nd half. In the 2nd half of play, each new player entering the game will again present his pass to the referee and each team will be allowed one re-entry player for  the 2nd half of play. In the 2nd half of play, players RE-ENTERING must follow the Re-entry Rules.

        A player may leave the field of play with referee permission because of injury, heat stress or equipment repair and return to the field as long as their is no substitution for that player. In such cases, his team would be playing down a player until he returns.

       Ages 11-12: These age groups will play the normal FYSA Substitution rules which is unlimited subs per game. The substitutions may be made at any stoppage of play per referee discretion. There is no limit how many times a player may come in or out of a game. Rerferees should hold the passes for each team but for these age groups a player does not have to present a pass to enter the game.

        Youth Academy Games: Teams present player passes at check-in before each game. No rosters are required and there are no game reports. No scores are kept and no standings.

G.      Yellow Card / Red Card Violations: The CDL abides by all FYSA guidelines for assessing game suspensions. After each game the Center Referee will fill out the game report and any necessary supplemental reports stating clearly exactly what happened in the game that caused the giving of a card. The referee shall not decide how many games a player/coach receives for suspension but rather will accurately report what happened. The league will review all red card violations and follow FYSA guidelines in giving suspensions.

Players receiving a straight RED CARD will be assessed a minimum one game suspension and will be subject to additional games based on the referee report and review by the league. The CDL follows all FYSA guidelines for red card violations. A player receiving 2 yellow cards in one game will be removed from that game and will serve a minimum one game suspension.

        A player receiving a Red Card or Dbl. Yellow during a game cannot be substituted for and the team must play down a player for the rest of the game.

VIOLENT CONDUCT against another player, coach, or referee will be deemed for any of the following: striking with a closed fist, open hand, or other body part; kicking, spitting, fighting, biting, throwing anything; directed foul and abusive language, exposure of private parts; or any other activity harmful to someone as deemed by the referee and all FYSA rules and regulations regarding Red Card Violations.

FOUR YELLOW CARDS in league play during the course of the season shall cause a player to be suspended for one league game to be served in the next regular scheduled league game in that player's own age group and cannot be worked off as a guest player. The suspended player will not be allowed to play as a guest player until his game is served. This rule was amended on 8/27/03 to go from 3 yellows to 4 yellows before being assessed a game to sit.

        After a player receiving a 4th yellow sits his one game suspension, the count starts over--- meaning if he gets 4 more yellows in league play, he will need to sit a one game suspension for those 4 yellows. This is an "in house" suspension meaning the game is served only in CDL.

        A player receiving a 4th yellow card at the end of the season and who does not serve his one game suspension, will be required to serve his one game suspension the following season. To restate this rule, the one game suspension for a 4th yellow card in league play will carry over to the next league season.

RED CARD SUSPENSIONS must be served by a player in the next regular scheduled game of his own regular age group. Players cannot guest play or work off red card suspensions as a guest player in league play. If a player has multiple games to serve, he must serve them in is own age group in league play. If tournament play comes between league games then the player must serve his games in that tournament and document those games sat on the game reports and present copies of those game reports to the league administrator to receive credit for time served and have his pass released for future play. COACHES who are ejected from a game per FYSA rules must also serve games assessed in the next regular scheduled game of the age group of the ejection; they must miss any games of other team's games in between.

        Players playing in multiple leagues simultaneously who receive a red card in CDL play must serve their game suspension(s) in the next regular scheduled game even including non-CDL league games. The player needs to present a copy of the game report from the other league documenting he sat a game to get credit and receive his player pass back to resume play in the CDL. This is an FYSA rule that says players must serve red card games in the next sanctioned FYSA game except in State Cup.

IV. Rules of the Game:

A.      Duration of the Game:

U-13 & U-14 --------2 periods of 35 minutes each

        U-11 and U-12's -----2 periods of 30 min. each

B.      Rest between each equal half shall be a minimum of 5 minutes.

C.    Water Breaks are required when the temperature is 85 degrees are higher per half of play. When the temperature is below 85 degrees water breaks are optional.  Referees may stop play for water breaks if in their judgement the players on the field are in serious danger due to heat.     

D.      New Rule: Effective 9/24/03 & continues for 2015-16- Substitutions may be made at any stoppage of play with Referee discretion.

    Concussion Law:   It is now a Fla. Law that if a player leaves the playing field with a head injury and possible Concussion then he cannot return to the field for that game. The player must be cleared according to the rules of the Concussion Law before he can play again. No Coach should return a player to a game after he has been removed for a concussion type injury. A Player Concusion Form needs to be filled out after a game in which a player gets a suspected concussion.

F. Heading for 12 and under-  NEW for 2016-17 per FYSA mandate, Age groups 12 and under shall not be allowed to Head the Ball in game play.  

G.      Game Officials: The referee's jurisdiction begins with his/her arrival and ends with their departure from the complex. Harassment or assault on a referee will be deemed an extremely serious offense and the league will report such incidents to FYSA. An official may delay or abandon a game depending on field conditions, weather, absence of a team scheduled to play or any situation harmful to the players. Please be aware---- Florida has passed a new law that makes it a felony to strike or assult a game official in youth sports!!! If you assult a referee you not only will face FYSA charges, but you can be arrested and prosecuted by the State of Florida.

V. Final Word:

     The league has a league administrator whose job it is to manage the league. He will be the 1st person to contact regarding the week to week running of the league. If a coach, parent or player has a gripe or complaint he/she should contact their Director of Coaching to discuss the problem 1st. If the DOC feels the complaint needs to to be brought to the league then the league administrator and the league board can be involved.