Operating Rules


TEAM ELIGIBILITY

All teams must be registered with the Northern New England Soccer League (NNESL) and have their official US Club Soccer team roster. All information must be current. All players must be on the single printed US Club official roster; US Club pass players from within a same club may be handwritten onto the game day roster. US Club passes, all from the same club, must be presented presented prior to the start of all U11 and older Northern New England Soccer League (NNESL) games. No coach or player may participate if his or her pass is not provided to the referee. Exception to this, is if electronic photo verification of the coach or player can be provided through the league’s registration database. In the event a coach doesn’t have his/hers US Club pass but is listed on the roster and provides a valid driver’s license, that coach may participate.

In the event a coach knowingly plays a suspended player due to a red card or any other violation, a $1,000.00 fine will be accessed to the club.


ROSTER SIZE

The master roster size for US Club teams is 26. Master rosters are not frozen and may include any valid US Club carded player within the Club.


GUEST PLAYERS

Guest players, defined as players from an outside club, are NOT permitted in the NNESL league play.

 

 TEAM PLACEMENT 

PROMOTION AND RELEGATION

In an attempt to focus on player development and maintain team parity, the league’s competition committee reserves the right to promote or relegate teams at the mid-point (after 3-4 games Fall | Spring) of each season.

Team placement will be based on previous league records. Based on this the competition committee will place teams accordingly. Clubs will have the opportunity to challenge the placement prior to the start of each season at the competition meeting.


DIVISION CREATION

The league will require a minimum of five (5) teams in order to form a new division. The number of teams will determine divisions.

 

 PLAYER REGISTRATION 

ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility is open to all youth irrespective of race, nationality, color or religious affiliation or non-affiliation. The league is limited to youth players, and registered with US Club.

Players registered on a roster can be added/written in to another team’s game roster within the same club. Players may not play for another club. 

NNESL does not allow clubs to have more skilled players play in lower divisions for the sole purpose of winning.

 

AGE ELIGIBILITY

Players must be registered with US Club. Players are bound to play on only one Club in the league. Players are permitted to play on any age-appropriate team, from within their own Club.

 

 COACH REGISTRATION 

ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility to coach is open to all adults irrespective of race, nationality, color or religious affiliation or non-affiliation. Clubs are responsible for selecting coaches and the following:

The Clubs’ coaches must adhere to the rules, regulations and guidelines set forth by the league. The league is not responsible for the selection process or for providing coaches to the Clubs

 

MINIMUM AGE OF COACH

An individual must have attained the minimum age of 18 years old in order to coach up to 14U and 21 years old in order to coach up to 18U, prior to being issued a US Club pass.


COACH PRESENCE AT GAMES

The Club must have a coach or administrator from within the same club, at all scheduled matches in which the team participates. The coach or administrator must be in possession of a valid US Club coaching pass, from the club as the team, or as mentioned above, exception to this, is if electronic photo verification of the coach can be provided through the league’s registration database or provides a valid driver’s license, then that coach may participate.

A Coach must be present throughout the entire match or the match will be terminated and forfeited to the opponent,  5-0. A maximum of five (5) coaches are permitted on the team’s sideline per match.


MULTIPLE COACHING PASSES

Coaches may have a US Club pass for each team in which they coach. Coaches may only coach for a team affiliated with the same Club and USSF entity, and the pass they use must be present at the scheduled match.

 

 RULES OF PLAY 

All US Club sanctioned competitions must be played in accordance with the most current FIFA laws of the Game and the modifications noted within these rules unless specifically accepted by authorization of the NNESL Board. It is the responsibility of all coaches and referees to be thoroughly familiar with and abide by the FIFA laws and these modifications.

 

HEADING RESTRICTIONS

US soccer recommends there will be no deliberate heading at 11U and below. When a player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick (IFK) should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense. If the deliberate header occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred. If a player does not deliberately head the ball, then play should continue.

 

LEAGUE RULE MODIFICATION & SUBSTITUTION RECOMMENDATIONS

9U-12U – During regular season match play (not playoffs or championship games), once the goal differential reaches five, the losing team may add one player (if they wish), until the goal differential becomes less than five.

 

RULES MODIFICATIONS FOR 7v7

The build out line (half line) promotes playing the ball out of the back in less pressured setting. When the goalkeeper has the ball, either during play (from the opponent) or from a goal kick, the opposition players must retreat into their own half of the playing field until the ball is put into play. 

Once the opposing team is behind the build out line (half line), the goalkeeper can PASS, THROW or ROLL the ball into play (PUNTING IS NOT ALLOWED FOR 7v7). After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper and the keeper's teammate receives the ball, the opposing team can cross the build out line, and play resumes as normal. 

Note: In the event the goalkeeper decides to play the ball quickly, and not allow the opposing team time to retreat, the goalkeeper accepts the fact the opponents can then challenge for the ball.

To support the intent of the development rule, coaches and referees should be mindful of any intentional delays being caused by opponents not retreating in a timely manner or encroaching over the build out line prior to the ball being put into play. 

  • Coaches are responsible for addressing these types of issues with their players
  • Referees can manage the situation with misconduct if deemed appropriate
  • Referees should be flexible when enforcing the 6 second rule and counting the time of possession should only begin when all opponents have moved behind the build out line


Off sides will be played at all ages from 9U-U18U  

 

LEAGUE SUBSTITUTION RULES

Except as noted, substitutions shall be “unlimited” and any time after any dead ball situation (corner kicks, free-kicks, throw-ins etc). The substitutes must be at the centerline ready to enter before the referee will allow the substitution to take place. The referee has the authority not to allow the substitution if he/she believes that the procedure will stop the flow of the game or is being used as tactical time wasting ploy.

The league strongly encourages equal playing time for all, so players can have time to perform and develop.

Host Club must provide a minimum of (1) game ball for each game. 

 

DURATION OF THE GAME & NUMBER OF REFEREES

Age Group

Duration of the Game

# of Referees

Ball Size

9U/10U

2 – 25 minute halves

1

4

11U/12U

2 - 30 minute halves

1

4

13U/14U

2 – 35 minute halves

3

5

15U/16U

2 – 40 minute halves

3

5

17U/18U

2 – 45 minute halves

3

5

 

  • Halftimes are five (5) minutes for 9U-12U, and ten (10) minutes for 13U and older.
  • There shall be no overtime periods in regular League competition.

 

AGE GROUP FORMAT OF PLAYERS DRESSED

Age Group

Format

Max # Players Dressed

Match can be played or forfeited if less players than

Max Number of Player Passes

Recommended Field Size

 

9U and 10U

7v7

13

5

3

60x40 yds

11U and 12U  

9v9

16

6

5

80x50 yds

13U -15U

11v11

18

7

5

110x70 yds

16U -19U

11v11

22

7

5

110x70 yds

 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

Two teams shall play a match with no more than the listed number of players on the field at one time, one of whom shall be the goalkeeper.

  

 PLAYERS EQUIPMENT 

UNIFORMS

The visiting club’s primary contact will verify the uniform colors with the home team’s primary contact, prior to the game date, for all matches in that fixture.  All field players on a team shall wear similar colored jerseys, shorts and soccer socks.  A legible non-duplicating number on the back of each field player jersey is required.  Players and substitutes shall not change numbers or remove their jerseys prior to the completion of the game without specific permission of the referee.

The color of a team’s jerseys may be different from the color of the team’s shorts and or soccer socks.  At each game, both teams shall be able to make a change of jersey color.  If both teams are wearing similar colored jerseys, the home team shall be required to change.  Goalkeepers shall change jerseys as the referee directs, regardless of the home/visitor status.

Teams may elect to display sponsorship on their team jerseys.

 

SHIN GUARDS

Shin guards are required equipment for all players and are to be worn at all matches. Shin guards are to be covered entirely by the players’ socks. Shin guards are to be made of suitable-material, rubber or plastic to provide a reasonable degree of protection.

 

SAFE EQUIPMENT

In addition to the authority granted to the referee under FIFA Law V to determine the safety of a player’s equipment as defined in FIFA Law IV, the following shall not be permitted:

  1. Hair control devices with any hard parts;
  2. Earrings or any other jewelry, regardless of covering.

In addition to the authority granted to the referee under FIFA Law V, the following shall be permitted:

  1. A soft splint or a soft cast, provided that the match referee has determined that it is not a danger to themselves or another player;
  2. A brace, joint or prosthetic device, provided that the match referee has determined that it is not a danger to themselves or another player;
  3. Sports Spectacles: Protective sports spectacles or plastic prescription frames sports spectacles with the lenses fully contained with the frame, and held on by an elastic strap are expressly permitted.  Any eyewear containing glass, metal or any sharp edges are prohibited.
  4. Headgear:  Soft foam headgear for goalkeeper, Full 90 type headgear for player, provided that the referee has determined that it is not a danger to themselves or another player

If the Referee finds that a player is wearing articles not permitted by the Laws or this Rule, the Referee shall order the player to remove them. If a player fails to carry out the Referee’s instruction, the player shall not take part in the match.

 

SEVERE WEATHER

In the event of severe weather conditions, players will be permitted to wear a sweat suit or similar trousers and stockings, or other type of clothing under their team uniform. Sweat pants must have no metallic buckle, snaps, buttons or other items that the referee considers dangerous to any player.

 

GOALKEEPER

The Goalkeeper is permitted to wear a tracksuit or similar trousers and stockings or other type of clothing in all League sanctioned activities. The Goalkeeper is also permitted to wear a vinyl foam soft soccer helmet.

 

COACHING FROM THE SIDELINES

Coaching from the sidelines is permitted, so long as one is giving direction to one’s own team on points of strategy, tactics and position provided that the following conditions are complied with:

  1. No mechanical devices are used
  2. The tone of voice is informative and sportsman like

PENALTY: Disciplinary action by the Disciplinary Committee.

  

 STANDINGS 

  1. Standings Determined: Standings are kept for all U11-U18 league games and are determined by the following point system:

 

WIN

3 points

TIE

1 point

LOSS

0 points

 

  1. Play-off Games: In the event of a tie in the standings at the completion of the season’s regular game schedule, the winning team will be decided by the following tiebreakers, in order:
  • Head to Head
  • Most wins** (automatically calculated into the standings)
  • Fewest goals allowed
  • Number of shutouts
  • Goal differential | 5 goal max differential
  • Coin Toss
  1. Tie Games: If a regularly scheduled game ends in a tie score at the end of regulation playing time, the game and score shall stand as official.
  2. Team Withdraws from Competition: If a team withdraws from competition prior to having completed half of the original schedule of games, results of these games will be deleted from the records.
  3. Team Withdraws from Competition: After Half of the Original Schedule of Games: If a team withdraws from competition after half of the original schedule of games has been completed results of such games will be recorded as played and all remaining games as  5-0 forfeits.

  

 GAME REGULATIONS 

SCHEDULING

The NNESL Schedule is created by the League Director using the dates agreed upon by NNESL member clubs. The location and time for all NNESL games is provided by the NNESL member clubs and reported to the League Director by the league deadline prior to each season.  


FIELDS

Home Team Responsibility: The Home team is responsible for the condition of the playing area including the proper field markings, and proper equipment - Nets and corner flags are required.  If the referee determines that the field is not playable due to improper conditions (unrelated to weather), then the home team will forfeit the match and be responsible to absorb the full cost of referee, assignor and field rental fees.


NEUTRAL PLAYING FIELDS

Neutral playing fields are provided by the league to help ease travel conditions for both teams when needed.


POSITION OF THE TEAMS  & SPECTATORS AT THE GAME SITE

Spectators for each team will take a position on the opposite side of the field than the valid Coaches and rostered players. The Home Team shall have the choice of which side the spectator's will be positioned.


START AT THE SCEDULED TIME

At the scheduled time for the match, the league will allow fifteen (15) minutes for the minimum number of players to show to help  constitute a team. At the scheduled time for the match a five (5) minute grace period will be provided to allow additional players to arrive. After the five (5) minute grace period the match will start..  

Substitutions with the consent of the Referee at any stoppage in play:

  1. Change with The Goalkeeper: Any of the other players may change places with the goalkeeper provided that the Referee is informed before the change is made, and that the change is made during a stoppage in the game.
  2. Substitution Procedure: When a goalkeeper or any other player is to be replaced by a substitute, the following conditions shall be observed:

1.     The Referee shall be informed of the proposed substitution before it is made.

2.     The substitute shall not enter the field of play until the player he is replacing has left, and then only after having received a signal from the Referee.

3.     Enter the field during a stoppage in the game, and at the halfway line.


INCOMPLETE GAMES

In the event a game cannot be completed, the game counts if half the game was completed. If there is no result and the match is suspended prior to the expiration of one half, the games shall be repeated at a time agreed upon by the competing teams in consultation with the league Director.

Any team directly responsible for the termination of the game due to poor sportsmanship toward referee, opposing fans or opposing players will result in that team forfeiting the match.  This could also lead to other possible penalties set by the NNESL Disciplinary Committee.


NO-SHOWS/FORFEITS

A no-show occurs when a team willfully does not show up to a game agreed to by the teams.  Penalties for no-shows are as follows:

  • A forfeit to the opposing team:  0-5 loss
  • See FINES for additional repercussions

A team unable to attend a scheduled game because of an accident, weather or act of god should immediately notify the opponent and the league office.  Each situation shall be reviewed by the league’s League Director, who shall enter a decision.


IF BOTH TEAMS FAIL TO APPEAR

In the event both teams do not appear for a scheduled match, and the Referee rules the ground playable, both teams will be assessed a forfeit.


FINES

$250 fine will be assessed upon 1st team forfeit. Club representative will present NNESL with a $250 check within 7 days of receipt of the invoice. If NNESL does not have the check within the required timeframe, then the Competition Committee may require the team to forfeit a future match or matches until the fine is paid. Should a second forfeit occur within a Club in the same seasonal year, by same or different team, then the matter will be sent to the league’s Disciplinary Committee to determine sanctions.


TEAM USES ILLEGAL PLAYER

An Illegal player shall mean any player who does not have a valid, unexpired and age appropriate US Club soccer player pass presented to the referees officiating the match.  The US Club soccer player pass must specifically display the player’s date of birth and membership to the participating club.  Club is assessed a  $500.00 fine, coach is banned from coaching for one (1) year starting from date of match; team cannot win the division for that seasonal year.  Second occurrence with the same club in the same seasonal year is dispatched to the Disciplinary Committee to determine sanctions, with permissible fines up to $2500 and possible expulsion from the league as considerations.


IF THE REFEREEE FAILS TO APPEAR

If a Referee should fail to appear for a scheduled match, the Coaches of the competing teams must agree upon a person to substitute for the Referee.  If one of the AR’s assigned to the game is a grade 8, he/she will become the center referee with the other AR doing one sideline and a volunteer AR the other sideline. If the AR’s assigned are grade 9 they can only work the lines and both coaches must agree on a substitute volunteer refereeThe substitute need not be a certified Referee. The substitute must officiate the complete match. The substitute Referee shall have those prerogatives granted to him/her by the ‘Laws of the Game’, as published by FIFA and amended by the NNESL.

  

 BAD WEATHER AND/OR POOR FIELD CONDITIONS 

INSPECTION OF PLAYING SITE

 It shall be the home team Coach or team manager with the Club’s designated governing authority’s responsibility to inspect the game field prior to the match.  In the event of bad weather, the Home Team’s Club Official, after inspection of the field, must notify the League no later than 3 hours prior to the scheduled starting time of the match that field conditions may require postponement of the match.  ONLY a Club Official can cancel a match, not the coach.


BOTH TEAM MUST APPEAR

Should any part of the three (3) hour notification period or lapse, regardless of weather and/or field conditions, Coaches and their teams must appear at the match site, ready to play at the scheduled time of the match, or forfeit the match. Once any part of the three (3) notification period has lapsed, the Referee is the only person authorized to cancel the match. In the event that weather and/or field conditions are questionable for playing the match and the Referee fails to appear, the decision to play or cancel is granted to the Home team.  A four (4) hour notification period will apply for teams travelling 120 miles or further - (Driving more than (2) two hours)


GAME TERMINATED BY REFEREE

Should the match be terminated by the Referee prior to the time specified in the rules, for reasons of bad weather, poor field conditions, or darkness, the entire game must be replayed. (FIFA Law VII).


AVAILABILITY OF HOME FIELD

Should a Home team find itself without a match site due to circumstances beyond the control of the team and/or Club, the Home team’s Primary Contact must notify the League no later than three (3) hours prior to the scheduled time of the match.


CHANGED A SCHEDULED MATCH

Under no circumstances will a Coach, team manager or any other Club representative change a scheduled match or reschedule a match without permission from the League. Should this occur, both teams will forfeit the match and will be responsible for their share of the referee and associated assignor fees.


CHANGED OF GAME LOCATION

Should there be a last minute change to a match site; the Home Team must provide a person at the original site to escort the Referee and the Visiting team to the new site.


REPORTING THE SCORE - HOME TEAM RESPONSIBILITY

It is the responsibility of the Home team to report the score of each match using the call in number or/link provided by the league prior to each season:   http://www.nnesoccerleague.org/

The scores from league matches played at a NEUTRAL site need to be reported by the team listed as the HOME team in the league schedules.


EJECTION FROM A MATCH

In instances where the designated Coach has been ejected from a game, or has failed to control the activities at the match site to the detriment of the match, the Referee will not hold the Coach’s card, but will provide a supplementary report to the League. The League’s Disciplinary Committee, at its discretion, will implement disciplinary action.

  

 REFEREES 

PLAYER VERIFICATION

  1. Game Roster Form The Referee shall require that both teams provide two (2) copies of the US Club Official Roster, one (1) to be given to the opposing coach.   A player may be handwritten on the bottom of this roster, .
  2. Verify the Player’s Identity The Referee shall verify the identity of the players represented on the player’s pass by inspecting the Player’s photograph, which is on the pass.
  3. Player Not Permitted to Participate The Referee will not permit a Player to participate unless a valid player pass has been furnished.
  4. Verify Written Data The Referee shall verify that the Player’s pass indicates the correct Club name and age group.
  5. Discrepancy in the Data Should there be a discrepancy in the Age Group, and/or Club name, the player shall be permitted to participate in the match. The Referee shall retain the pass and shall forward the Player’s pass in question, with his/her report, to the League, which will administer disciplinary action for any or all infringements and violations regarding Player eligibility.

 

REFEREE REPORTS

  1. Submit Referee Reports The Referee shall submit email a Referee Report for each match officiated, within forty-eight (48) hours (Holidays excluded) after the completion of the match.
  2. Supplementary Referee Report The Referee shall submit email a Supplementary Referee Report for each player and/or Coach ejected from the match, to the League within forty-eight (48) hours (Holidays excluded) after the completion of the match. The Referee will not retain the pass of the ejected player or Coach.

 

CAUTION

  1. Yellow Card - Cautioned A Yellow Card is displayed by the Referee to indicate that a Player or Coach is being cautioned for violating FIFA, Laws of the Game.
  2. Two (2) Cautions If a Player or Coach receives two (2) cautions during one match, the Player or Coach will be ejected from the match, and a suspension is in effect.
  3. Three (3) Cautions If a Player or Coach receives three  (3) cautions during a season, a suspension is in effect.
  4. Disciplinary Committee The Disciplinary Committee, at its discretion, will determine the length of the suspension and any other punishments, fines, and/or assessments.

 

EJECTION

  1. Red Card - Ejection A Red Card is displayed by the Referee to indicate that a Player or Coach is ejected from the match, and a suspension is in effect for next game
  2. Disciplinary Committee The Disciplinary Committee, at its discretion, will determine the length of the suspension and any other punishments, fines and/or assessments.
  3. Appear Before Disciplinary Committee A player or Coach who receives a red card or the equivalent, will, at the discretion of the Disciplinary Committee, be summoned to appear at a hearing. Should the player or Coach fail to appear, he/she will be suspended until such appearance is made. The Disciplinary Committee, at its discretion, will determine the length of suspension and/or any other punishments, fines, or assessments. The club will be assessed a minimum of $50.00 each time a coach (Coach) is issued a red card, unless waived by the Disciplinary Committee.  Should a player be summoned to appear, the Coach or Club representative from his/her designated team must accompany him/her. Any player under age 18 called before the committee will be required to make sure a parent or legal guardian be present.
  4. Suspended from Consecutive Competition A player or Coach shall be suspended from consecutive competition in the league.
  5. Team Refuses to Continue If a team refuses to continue to play after being so instructed by the Referee, the team will forfeit the game, 3-0.
  6. Reports Will Be Reviewed By The Disciplinary Committee The Referee Report and the Supplementary Referee Report shall be reviewed by the League’s Disciplinary Committee, who shall determine the punishment, fine, and/or assessment. The Disciplinary Committee shall notify the parties involved, in writing, of the decision.


ELIGIBILITY PROTEST

Protests on questions of eligibility must be filed in writing, with substantiating facts to the Disciplinary Committee, anytime within the current season.

  

 PROTESTS & APPEALS 

DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE

It shall manage all matters requiring arbitration that pertain to League sponsored competition(s). The Disciplinary Committee will administer Game Protests and Behavioral Incidents.  The Disciplinary Committee has the authority to suspend or fine any Player, Coach, Team, Team Official, Club Official, Team and/or Club Supporter. The Disciplinary Committee has the authority to fine any Member Club

1.         Composition There will be no less than three (3) and no more than five (5) members, plus a Committee Chairman on the NNESL Disciplinary Committee. Disciplinary Committee members and selection of its Chairman shall be selected by the League’s Director.

2.         Voting of this Committee shall be one (1) vote for each member of the Committee including the Chairman. The Chairman may cast a vote only in case of a tie. A minimum of three (3) voting members, which includes the Chairman, will be required to hear a case and render a decision. No member of the Northern New England Soccer League (NNESL) Disciplinary Committee shall participate at any other level of appeal or discipline.

3.         Participants at a Disciplinary Committee Meeting The Disciplinary Committee reserves the right to determine the participants and number of participants that may attend any Disciplinary Committee meeting.

4.         Convene Disciplinary Committee The Disciplinary Committee will convene at the discretion of the Chairman.

5.         Club Notification Each Time A Coach is Issued a Red Card In the event that a coach (Coach) or player is issued a red card, the Disciplinary Committee will notify the Club President in writing of the offense.

6.         Coach to Appear at the Disciplinary Committee Hearing In the event that an Coach is awarded a Red Card, at the discretion of the Disciplinary Committee, said Coach will be notified by the Disciplinary Committee to appear in person, at the Disciplinary Committee hearing of the case.

a.          The Disciplinary Committee will notify the Coach of the date, time and location of the hearing.

7.         Player to Appear at the Disciplinary Committee Hearing In the event that a Player is awarded a Red Card, at the discretion of the Disciplinary Committee, said Player and the Coach of the said Player’s team may be notified by the Disciplinary Committee to appear in person, at the Disciplinary Committee hearing of the case. The Coach must accompany the player to such a hearing. Any player under age 18 called before the committee will be required to make sure a parent or legal guardian be present.

a.          The Disciplinary Committee will notify the Coach of the date, time and location of the hearing.

Protests and Disputes: All questions relating to the qualifications of competitors or interpretation of the rules or any dispute or protest whatever, shall be referred to the Disciplinary Committee of the Northern New England Soccer League (NNESL). Protests and disputes are filed by the Member Clubs who will bear responsibility for adherence to the rules regarding disputes and protests and guarantee all fees and fines. Decisions of the Disciplinary Committee shall be final and binding unless and until overturned under appeal.

 

1) Valid and Eligible for Consideration: To be valid and eligible for consideration, each protest or dispute must:

a.          Be submitted on the League’s Game Protest Form. The form must describe in full detail the grounds for the protest or dispute and bear the signature of the Club’s President and/or Registrar, as well as the signature of the coach of the team initiating the protest or dispute.

b.         Be accompanied by any information to be presented by witnesses and/or supporting documents.

c.          Be provided by certified or registered mail (along with all supporting information and documents) to the opposing team and/or Club.

d.          Pertain to a League sponsored competition.

e.          Be initiated by a party directly involved in the incident under protest or dispute. An involved party, as used throughout this Part, is defined as a team coach, a club President and/or a club Registrar.

f.          Include all information necessary to allow a fair and just decision.

g.         Be e-mailed to  _________________, addressed to the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, no less than 24 hours  following the incident giving rise to the protest or dispute. A business day, as used throughout this Part, is defined as any weekday excluding legal holidays. A business day shall not include Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays.

 

LAWYER SHALL NOT REPRESENT

An Disciplinary Committee hearing is not a legal proceeding, thus, legal counsel may not represent involved parties. Attorneys may appear before the Board only as involved parties in an individual capacity and not as legal counsel.

 

4.         Ignorance of the Rules A plea of ignorance of the rules and regulations of the League is not sufficient grounds for the filing of a protest or dispute.

5.         Conflicts of Interest The members of the Disciplinary Committee shall avoid both apparent and actual conflicts of interest. In the event that a member of the Board may be considered on any basis by a reasonable individual to have a bias for or against any interested party in a protest or dispute, that member shall excuse himself/herself from the deliberations concerning that protest or dispute.

6.         Convening the Board and Notifying Involved Parties The Disciplinary Committee shall be convened by the Chairman at his/her discretion. Notice shall be given to involved parties and those others invited to aid in the Board’s deliberations and/or to present relevant information, no later than five business days prior to the scheduled meeting.

7.         Forfeiture of Appeal Rights An involved party failing to appear before the Disciplinary Committee after having received notice as required in the section headed Convening the Board and Notifying Involved Parties shall forfeit all rights to appeal.

8.         Basis of Decision The Disciplinary Committee shall render a decision on any protest or dispute on the basis of any information, from any source, that it deems appropriate under the circumstances.

9.         Timeliness of Decision The Disciplinary Committee shall render a decision within five (5) days of receipt by the Board of a protest or dispute. Failure to render a decision within this period shall entitle the party filing the protest or dispute to submit the protest or dispute to the Appeals Committee without determination and the protest fee submitted shall be applied to the appeal fee.

10.   Notification of Decision All parties to a protest or dispute shall be notified in writing within (5) days of a hearing of the decision rendered by the Disciplinary Committee.

11.   Rejection of Protests or Disputes Any protest or dispute not submitted to the Disciplinary Committee in full compliance shall be returned, along with all submitted documents and fees, without consideration.

12.   Appeal of an Disciplinary Committee Decision A Club may appeal a decision of the Disciplinary Committee only to the Appeals Committee of the League in accordance with Rules contained within this Protests and Appeals sections.

 

APPEALS COMMITTEE

NNESL Appeals Committee shall be responsible for hearing appeals pertaining to a decision rendered by the League’s Disciplinary Committee, Standing or Ad Hoc Committees. All avenues of appeal must be exhausted at all levels below this body before the Appeals Committee will consider hearing an appeal.

 

a.          Composition of the Appeals Committee -There shall be no less than three (3) and no more than five (5) members plus a committee chairman. Committee members shall be selected by the League’s President. No more than one member from the League’s Executive Board shall be a member of the Appeals Committee. The League’s President shall appoint the Chairman of the Appeals Committee.

b.         Authority of the Appeals Committee The Appeals Committee has the authority to suspend or fine any Player, Coach, Team, Team Official, Club Official, Team and/or Club Supporter. The Appeals Committee has the authority to fine any Member Club.

c.          Minimum Number of Voting Members Voting of this Committee shall be that one (1) vote for each member of the Committee including the Chairman. The Chairman may cast a vote only in case of a tie. A minimum of three (3) voting members, which includes the Chairman, will be required to hear a case and render a decision. No member of the  Appeals Committee shall participate at any other level of appeal or discipline.

d.          Participants at an Appeals Committee Meeting .The Appeals Committee reserves the right to determine the participants and number of participants that may attend an Appeals Committee meeting.

e.          Convene Appeals Committee -The Appeals Committee will convene at the discretion of the Chairman.

f.          Records of the Appeals Committee The records of the Appeals Committee will be maintained for a three (3) year period.


APPEALS

All appeals of a decision rendered by the Disciplinary Committee, a League Standing Committee, or a Special (Ad Hoc) Committee shall be referred to the Appeals Committee of the Northern New England Soccer League (NNESL). Appeals are filed by the member Clubs who will bear responsibility for adherence to the rules regarding appeals and guarantee all fees and fines. Decisions of the Appeals Committee shall be final and binding unless and until overturned under appeal as provided within this document..

 

1.         Valid and Eligible for Consideration - To be valid and eligible for consideration, each appeal must:

a.          Be accompanied by an appeal fee in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00), in the form of a check or money order made payable to the Northern New England Soccer League (NNESL) _________________.

b.         Be submitted in triplicate on member Club stationery. The submittal must describe in full detail the grounds for the appeal and bear the signature of the member Club’s President and/or Registrar.

c.          Be accompanied by three (3) copies of any information to be presented by witnesses and/or supporting documents.

d.          Be provided by certified or registered mail (along with all supporting information and documents) to all affected parties.

e.          Pertain to a decision rendered by the Disciplinary Committee, league Standing Committee or Special (Ad Hoc) Committee, or result from the lack of a timely decision by the Disciplinary Committee.

f.          Be initiated by a party directly affected by the decision under appeal. An affected party, as used throughout this Part, is defined as a team coach, a club President and/or a club Registrar who was party to the decision under appeal.

g.         Include all information necessary to allow a fair and just decision.

h.         Be hand delivered or evidence of mailing ,(postmarked,etc), to the League office.

2.         Appeals Fee Forfeited - The appeals fee shall be forfeited to the League if the appeal is not upheld by the Appeals Committee.

3.         Lawyer Representation - An attorney or other advisor may attend the Appeals Committee hearing.  During the course of the hearing, the party may confer briefly or request a recess in order to confer with the attorney or other advisor.  The attorney or advisor may not present the party’s oral argument, question any witness or directly address the hearing panel.

4.         Ignorance of the Rules - A plea of ignorance of the rules and regulations of the League is not sufficient grounds for the filing of an appeal.

5.         Conflicts of Interest - The members of the Appeals Committee shall avoid both apparent and actual conflicts of interest. In the event that a member of the Committee may be considered on any basis by a reasonable individual to have a bias for or against any affected party in an appeal, that member shall excuse himself/herself from the deliberations concerning that appeal.

6.         Convening the Committee and Notifying Affected Parties- The Appeals Committee shall be convened by the Chairman at his/her discretion. Notice shall be given to affected parties and those others invited to aid in the Committee’s deliberations and/or to present relevant information, no later than five business days prior to the scheduled meeting.

7.         Forfeiture of Appeal Rights -An affected party failing to appear before the Appeals Committee after having received notice as required, shall forfeit all rights to appeal.

8.         Burden of Proof - The appellant shall bear the burden of showing that the decision being appealed is clearly erroneous.

9.         Basis of Decision- The Appeals Committee shall render a decision on any appeal on the basis of any information, from any source that it deems appropriate under the circumstances.

10.   Timeliness of Decision -The Appeals Committee shall render a decision within fifteen (15) business days of the hearing of an appeal. Failure to render a decision within this period shall entitle the party filing the appeal to submit the appeal to the next level of authority without determination and the appeal fee submitted shall be refunded.

11.   Notification of Decision- All parties to an appeal shall be notified in writing within twenty (20) business days of a hearing of the decision rendered by the Appeals Committee.

12.   Rejection of Appeals -Any protest or dispute not submitted to the Appeals Committee in full compliance shall be returned, along with all submitted documents and fees, without consideration.


ENTRY ONTO FIELD OF PLAY

No Club official, Club member, team manager, player, or spectator may enter the field of play regardless of the circumstances, unless the Referee has given them permission. If this is disregarded, they shall become subject to disciplinary action by the Disciplinary Committee.


ACCIDENTS OR UNUSUAL INCIDENTS

The Referee must report any accident or unusual incident to the league.


SUSPENDED COACH

Any Coach who has been placed on suspension is not permitted to participate in any manner whatsoever in the activities of the League during the suspension. The suspended person is not permitted to be present at the site of a match or areas immediately adjacent.

PENALTY: Disciplinary action by the Disciplinary Committee.


SUSPENDED PLAYER

A player who has been placed on suspension is not permitted to dress for any match during the time period of his/her suspension, nor be present at the site of a match or areas immediately adjacent

Part 5. Matters Not Provided

Any matters not provided for in these rules shall be determined by the Northern New England Soccer League (NNESL) Executive Board and decisions so made shall be final and binding.

Part 6. Penalties

No Northern New England Soccer League (NNESL) official, club, league, team, coach, referee, player, or other representative may invoke the aid of the Courts of any State or of the United States without first exhausting all available remedies within the appropriate soccer organizations.

For violation of this rule the offending party shall be subject to the sanctions of suspension and fines and shall be liable to  the league_________________ for all expenses incurred by the NNESL_____________ and its officers in defending any court action, including but not limited to the following:

1.         Court costs

2.         Attorneys fees

3.         Reasonable compensation for time spent by NNESL ______________ officers and/or employees in responding to and defending against allegations in the action, including responses to discovery and court appearance.

4.         Travel expenses

5.         Expenses for holding special NNESL meetings necessitated by court action.

Part 7. Line of Authority for an Appeal

The line of authority for an appeal of a decision rendered by the Northern New England Soccer League (NNESL) League’s Executive Board or Appeals Committee shall be:

1.         US Club Soccer

2.         USSF National Appeals Committee

Appeals following the line of authority listed above are made directly to each level. The fee for an appeal is prescribed by each level of appeal and are made payable to each level.