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The Pre-Game Discussion



Just as the referee team needs to meet before the game starts to decide on how they are going to work together most effectively, the information below will help you with the general principles of SAY and the role of the official in upholding these principles. Key points are in bold and underlined.

1. The definitive laws of the game of soccer are those of FIFA, the "Federation International de Football Association" or, in English the International Federation of Association Football. These laws apply all over the world and provide a standard that governs international competition.

A. The USSF (United States Soccer Federation), the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), and the Federation of State High School Associations all have their own set of laws, or rules, which basically conform to the FIFA laws, but which also have variations unique and appropriate for their Organizations.

B. Various youth soccer programs also have made further changes to allow for situations specific to young players.

2. The FIFA Laws of the Game shall apply to SAY play except as may be amended in the SAY rulebook.

3. The interpretations of the Laws of the Game are the responsibility of the Commissioner of SAY and, with the approval of the SAY National Board, are binding upon participants in the SAY program.

4. When SAY Soccer was founded, it was provided that all teams would be made up of eleven players, regardless of the age of the players. However, a considerable body of opinion has determined that young players would be better served if their teams had fewer players. With such an arrangement, each player has many more opportunities to play the ball, and develop skills at a faster rate. Increased participation will also improve the players' interest and enjoyment

5. The Laws have been modified in their application to include provisions for short-sided team games at all levels of play. Most of the standard rules of the game apply.

6. The SAY modifications of these Laws are intended to change the nature of the game as little as possible, and are primarily directed toward creating a safer game that is more age appropriate for the participants and a means for all players to participate.

7. All team members and coaches are subject to these Laws, whether on or off the field of play.

8. Additional explanations and interpretations of these laws are included in the book "Refereeing Youth Soccer", which is published by SAY. The material in that book is binding in the same way as the material in the Rulebook.


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