New US College Soccer Rules

January 19, 2012
by Justin

Welcome to The Golden Boot, a sport-specific training resource provided to you by ScoutMe for Soccer Recruits. The first article was Shoe Science for Soccer and the second was about the myth of the high school offseason. The third article was about the importance of sleep for student athletes/soccer recruits and the fourth went into how to excel academically as a college soccer athlete. This week is dedicated to the new NCAA rule changes that a future US college soccer star like you should know about.


Rule Changes for US Soccer Stars: The Updated Statement of Sportsmanship

At the front of the new NCAA rulebook for US college soccer players the NCAA is clear in their Statement of Sportsmanship:


The NCAA promotes good sportsmanship by student-athletes, coaches and spectators. We request your cooperation by supporting the participants and officials in a positive manner. Profanity, racial or sexist comments, or other intimidating actions directed at officials, student-athletes, coaches or team representatives will not be tolerated and are grounds for removal from the site of competition.


This may seem like the usual rhetoric that most coaches and institutions hope that their college soccer stars follow, but this edition emphasizes this credo because of the focus on penalizing college soccer players who try to buck the system. This season the focus is on the on field conduct, and the fact that referees cannot alter the rules to fit accepted regional or cultural differences.


Rule Changes for US Soccer Stars: Two Yellow Cards = One Red Card

Another specific change is the regarding yellow cards. More than one yellow card will result in a red card as of this season. Section 5.5.3 of the college soccer handbook states that:


If a previously cautioned player, coach or other bench personnel commits a second cautionable offense, the referee shall display a yellow card followed immediately by a red card. When ejecting a player, coach or other bench personnel, a red card shall be displayed. A player receiving a red card shall be ejected from the game and cannot be replaced. An ejected player, coach or other bench personnel shall leave the premises of the field of play to the point that the individual, in the referee’s opinion, shall not be a disruptive influence on the further progress of the game. That usually means out of sight and sound of the field of play.

Note: It is not possible for the same player in the same game to be charged with two (2) yellow cards. Albeit the multiple offenses may be a cautionable offense, the second card to the same player in the same game shall be a red. Further, the player, coach or bench personnel shall be charged with one (1) yellow and one (1) red in his or her respective accumulation record.


College Soccer players were once able to get multiple yellow cards and continue playing, but not this year. This rule also expands to coaches and any other team official that may become a distraction to the college soccer match. This is just one of the many conduct rule adjustments this college season. If you plan to become a US college star, you will need to brush up on all the rules changes right away.


Rule Changes for US Soccer Stars: The Stutter Step

There are very specific rules that US soccer stars have to follow during a penalty kick. A simple college rule that you are already familiar with is that the opposing goalkeeper, who shall remain on the goal line facing the kicker, between the goal posts, is permitted to move laterally, but can’t not step or lunge forward until the ball is kicked.


The rule that added to this years NCAA US college soccer rulebook in section 14.2 is: the player taking the penalty kick is permitted to use a stutter step or a hesitation move provided there is no stopping and there is continuous movement toward the ball. This rule really puts the opposing goalkeeper at a disadvantage, especially against the average US college star who can kick with power with both feet.



That’s all for the rule changes this US college soccer season; good luck with your high school soccer offseason, and make sure that when you step on the soccer field, you leave everything there. Check back for another installment of The Golden Boot. Until then, this has been The Golden Boot, and I am Yorick Hempstead signing off.




Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for ScoutMe. He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle.



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