Soccer Comments and
MPA Mouthpiece Q and A
Religious Head Covering
By NFHS on July 22, 2020soccer
Publisher’s Note: The National
Federation of State High School Associations is the only source of official high
school interpretations. They do not set aside nor modify any rule. They are made
and published by the NFHS in response to situations presented.
Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, Publisher, NFHS Publications © 2020
SITUATION 1: Player A2 kicks the
ball forward and the ball is simultaneously played out-of-bounds by A3 and B3.
The game will be restarted with a drop ball 5 yards from the boundary line where
the ball was simultaneously touched, to a player of the team that last played
the ball. RULING: Legal. Play is
restarted with a drop ball if simultaneously touched by the opponent at the spot
where the ball was touched. (9-2-1, 9-2-3)
SITUATION 2: Player A2 kicks the
ball forward and the ball is simultaneously played by A3 and B3, both of whom
commit simultaneous fouls. The referee restarts play with a drop ball at the
spot of the fouls for a player of the team that last played the ball prior to
the fouls being committed. RULING: Legal.
The game will be restarted with a drop ball. (9-2-1, 9-2-3)
SITUATION 3: Player A kicks the ball
while in the opponent’s penalty area. The ball deflects off the referee in the
penalty area and (a) goes into the goal, (b) goes to A2’s teammate who then
scores a goal, (c) goes to defender B2, (d) goes directly back to A2 at the spot
where he/she kicked the ball or (e) deflects to a spot where A2 now has a
scoring opportunity. RULING: In (a),
(b), (c) and (e), play is restarted with a drop ball to the goalkeeper on Team B
where the ball touched the referee. In (d), play continues as there was no
change in possession, no goal was scored and there was no development of a
SITUATION 4: While taking a goal
kick, Player A kicks the ball and it moves. Before another player from either
team plays the ball, Player A plays the ball. RULING: Illegal.
Play is restarted with an indirect free kick awarded to the opponent from the
spot of the second touch. Because Player A put the ball in play, he/she may not
play the ball until it has been touched by another player.
SITUATION 5: The referee has ruled
that a drop ball to Player A1 shall be used to restart the game following an
unusual situation. Where must the Team A and B members be located? RULING: All
Team A and B members other than A1 must be 4 yards from the ball until it is
back in play. (9-2)
SITUATION 6: While placing the ball
on the field for a free kick using his/her foot, Player B2: (a) moves the ball
forward to the spot, (b) moves the ball to the side to the spot, (c) drags the
ball backward to the spot and is ready to take the kick. RULING: Legal
in (a), (b) and (c). Simply tapping or stepping on the top of the ball or moving
the ball to position it for the free kick with the foot is not sufficient to put
the ball into play. The ball is in play when it has been kicked and moves.
SITUATION 7: In calling for an
indirect free kick for Team A, the referee does not signal by raising an arm
above the head. A1 kicks the ball and (a) the ball goes directly into Team B’s
goal, (b) the goalkeeper for Team B makes a play and touches the ball and it
enters the goal. RULING: Rekick in
(a) and goal in (b). 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 that
the kick is indirect and the ball goes directly into the opponent’s goal, the
kick shall be retaken. Webinar Dates: Fall – September 17, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.,
EST Spring – April 8, 2021 at 2:00 p.m., EST Rule Change Proposal Portal is now
open for Soccer. Proposals due date: November 1, 2020
Some MPA Interpreter's Play rulings:
Player #14 is on a breakaway , dribbling the ball to score; his legal mouthpiece
is hanging out of his mouth, according to the rule above when do I send the
Answer: The player
is in the vicinity of the ball. At the next stoppage of play or dead ball you
must send the player off the field and Remember: "Play shall not be
stopped immediately for an infringement of this rule."
You have sent a player off during the course of the game because of an illegal
mouth piece or no mouth piece and he or she reports to the assistant referee or
your partner that he or she now has legal equipment, can they reenter the game
at any time?
The play must be stopped for some reason; and the player may reenter the game to
'fill out' the eleven players at a stoppage of play. Such reentry should not be
a delaying tactic for the defending team.
Team "A" has player #14 being sent off for a illegal mouthpiece violation and
the Coach was given a caution card. Several minutes later, after a legal
reentry, you again notice Team "A" #14 is wearing an illegal mouth piece in
violation of the mouthpiece rule; does the Coach get a caution card?
No. As this is the second violation of the illegal equipment rule the player is
Q. Can a
female soccer player, who is Muslim, wear a head covering?
A. The Maine Principals’
Association recognizes the religious diversity of soccer players around the
State of Maine. As such Muslim female players may wear a hijab or similar head
covering of soft material. Generally it shall conform to the basic shape of the
players head and be tucked into the uniform jersey.
Female Muslims may also be required to cover their arms and legs, how will that
A. National Federation rules
currently allow a player to wear visible apparel under the jersey and shorts.
Remember, however, that all players wearing visible apparel must wear apparel of
similar length and color. As such a Muslim female player could wear sweat pants
or warm up pants or jacket, etc under her shorts or jersey. Visible under
apparel must be solid in color.
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