Rules and Regulations

Updated and Revised 7/8/2016 for Fall/Spring 2016-17  Play: 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.

B.      Once a player's information is entered into the team data base that player cannot be removed from your team roster without going thru the league administrator. This protects your team’s players. During the course of the season, change requests can be emailed or faxed to the league administrator. Every player listed on a roster must be veried from the FYSA Official Roster Data Base.

C.      The league fees for the Fall/Spring season for age groups U-15 & older is $260.00; the league fees for the Jr. Season teams U-11 to U-14  will be $360.00; fees for U-9 and U-10's will be $150.00. League fees are generally paid in Club Check for all teams.  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 Senior Season team fees must be submitted by Aug. 1st. The Jr. Season team fees are due by October 1st. Howerver, the Winter Season teams can be paid in advance in one check with the Fall Season team fees.

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.      Site Directors access game reports for games which will show both team's rosters. Game reports are brought to games by the Site Directors.

E.      All players need to register with FYSA thru their club to obtain a FYSA player pass. You must be registered with FYSA/Got Soccer system and have a FYSA player pass to play in the league. The temporary FYSA pass is acceptable for league play. Ocassionally a CDL league temp. pass may be issued for players.  


F.      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. ADULTS WHO DO NOT HAVE A FYSA PASS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ON THE SIDELINE OF A GAME IN LEAGUE PLAY. Any adult working with kids must pass the FYSA Got Soccer background check.

II. League Structure:

A.      Fall Competition shall consist between U-15 (A), U-16(A),15/16 Boys (B), U-17 & U-18/19  boys and 15,16, 17,18/19  girls. The U-19 age groups are a true U-19 Age Group allowing U-18 and U-19 teams to mix.  Winter competition shall consist of U-11, U-12, U-13 and U-14 Boys and Girls; the U-9 and U-10's will play academy format with it's own schedule.

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. Some games may be out of cycle of the Club to Club schedule and played on different days and times as selected by Club DOC's or due to schedule issues.

C.      The Fall League season for 2016 shall begin in August with possible games in the Spring. The Fall Season and Winter will each stand alone.  The Winter Season will start play in Nov. and end by April 2016. The U-9 and U-10's will start play in Nov. 2016 with it's own schedule and end in April 2017.

D.      The Fall Season will have each age group both Boys and Girls with their own Age Group Championship based on the standings in that age group. There will also be an Overall Club Championship based on points accumulated by each team in their club for the whole season.  The Winter Season will have age group Championships both boys and girls with an Overall Club Championship. The Spring Season will have only games, no awards or standings.

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

There no longer will be any "Bye wins, or Bye ties". A game must be played or forfeited for any points to be awarded.

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".

4. The Fall Overall Club Championship for the whole league will be determined by accumulating the total number of points that each team in a club ( Boys & Girls teams ) scores from week to week through the whole season. The Overall Club Champion will receive a rotating League Championship Trophy. Each club's name will be permanently inscribed on the trophy but the trophy will be returned each season to be presented to the new Club winner for that Season's Championship. If two clubs are tied for the Club Championship after all the points have been tallied, then the league will have dual Club Champions, both names will be put on the rotating trophy and each Club will have the trophy for one-half of the following year for display.

5. Each club is required to have teams in each age bracket in the league, Girls &  Boys teams. If a club has less than the required teams, they will have a decided disadvantage because they will have less teams scoring pts. for their club. If a club has less than the required teams they cannot create more games during the league season to make up for shorted games. Fill in teams from outside the CDL will only be allowed if approved by the CDL Board.  The required number of teams per club for any season may very from year to year. All guest teams can win their age group championships but they do not score points for the club they are playing for inregards to the overall Club Championship. Guest teams play all their home games at the club they are playing for but are allowed to wear their own team uniforms. No teams outside the CDL Clubs may be guest teams to a club without prior approval and subject to guest team rules for that season.  

E.       All games must be played as scheduled unless changed by the league. There will be no make-up games unless weather conditions prevent play or if the CDL Board makes allowances for such make-up games.  If a game is cancelled because of weather, the league administrator will OK the reschedule of the game. 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.

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 2 line referees.  No club will have to use it's own in house assignor except for the Youth Academy games. 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.

III. League Operation:

A.      Game Officials: Ages 11-19 will be assigned 3 referees. The 4th referee will no longer be used as of July 1, 2009. The U-9 and U-10's will use one referee and the local club assignor will assign those referees. However, each club is encouraged to have local referees on standby in case fill in refs are needed on a CDL venue day.  

There will be NO protests allowed in league play of any referee calls during 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 will NOT be permitted to worn in any game nor will the taping of jewelry or earrings be permitted.  Girls are permitted to protect their upper body with the arms with the palms facing in. Referee discretion is allowed on these rules.


Home Team has choice of uniform/color. Visting  team shall change uniform colors if there is a conflict. The home team shall have the fields marked, nets on the goals, and corner flags in place.

        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 considered for rescheduling. 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.

         There is no mercy rule but there is a max of 8 goals recorded for a team score unless the final score is close

B.      Referee Fees

        Game fees shall vary by age groups: Ages 15-19: Center $50, each line $25 & each team pays half the fees ( $50 ) on game day before the game starts to the center referee.  See Winter Rules for other age groups. The league does not pay any referee fees. If a team fails to show for a game, & the ref crew is there & ready for the game, the referee fees must still be paid by both teams. If weather cancels the entire venue and reasonable. notice can be given to the referee assignor/Referees, 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.

        Teams that fail to meet their obligation to pay referee fees can have such amounts deducted from the performance bond posted by each club. If such action is taken against a team, their club will be notified that money is being taken from the on file bond and that such money needs to be restored by that team/club. If the money is not restored by the end of the season, then the club is responsible to restore it by the next season or face possible suspension as a club or team.

        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 game day roster limit for any team is 18 players. 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. Age groups 13-19 may maintain a roster size of up to 22 but only 18 are eligible on game day.

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 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 any team for a game.  (see Winter Season rules for exceptions in some younger age groups) The U-14 teams may accept guest players from their own club U-13 teams if that player has a valid FYSA pass and follows game day roster procedures. NO players younger than U-13 may play up to the U-14 teams and U-13 players may not play up any greater than the one team up to a U-14 team.

A maximum of 4 players 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.  Players playing on a U-13 team in the same club may play up on the CDL U-14 team for game day if they can present a FYSA player pass and follow game day roster procedures with the referee.

        (Winter Season rules on guest players may vary)


The U-19 teams shall consist of both U-18 players and U-19 players. There will not be a U-18 team age group even though the term is often used in conversation to refer to the older age group. The U-19 teams may have any number mix of players on their rosters for game day. The U-18 players shall not be classified as guest players on the U-19 teams. Only players on the U-17 teams or younger will be classified as guest players playing up to the U-19 teams. A U-19 team could have all U-18 players on it's roster and be legal for league play.

E.      Post Game Procedures: The Game Report for each game should be signed by both coaches after the game. The coac hes have the reponsibilty to check the score on the game report, check yellow/red cards to make sure the correct players are carded, and sign the report. The referee completes his part, 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 the referee. The Site Dir. at each venue will forward the game reports by the referee to the league administrator. All game reports will be posted on the web page by Wednesday the following week along with a yellow card / red card report.

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.      REVISED  SUBSTITUTION  RULE  FOR  LEAGUE  PLAY ---- NEW for Fall 2009 & still in effect

           Ages 13-19: 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 3rd 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 suspension 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.

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 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.

VIOLENT CONDUCT-(Major) 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  & striking with anything; directed foul and abusive language to a referee, 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.

        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 receiving Red Cards may remain on their team's bench for the remainder of the game if they act civil. If the player ejected chooses to act disruptive or verbally abusive, the referee may remove them from the bench in which case they must not only leave the bench area but they must leave the entire field of play including the parent side line. Coaches/Managers/other adults who are ejected are not allowed to stay on the team bench, or the parent side line and must immediately leave the entire field of play as they are constrewed as an authority figure and their mere presence may influence the game or cause a coaching moment.

        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. This is an FYSA rule that says players must serve red card games in the next sanctioned FYSA game except in State Cup.

        Players serving a Red Card suspension may be on their teams bench during the game they are sittng as long as they are acting civil and do not have a team jersey on. A player serving a game does not have to be present at the game to get credit for sitting that game but they must be on the roster for that game; they cannot be guest played for on the roster. If a player sitting a game on the bench side of the field acts unruly during the game the referee can ask them to leave the bench and field area including the parent sideline.

        Coaches/managers/other adults who are serving an ejection from a game may not be on the player's bench side of the field, the parent side of the field or anywhere near the field of play during the game, half time or after the game until the referees leave the bench area. The ejected coach/manager/other adult may not follow or confront the referee crew that finished the game in which they were serving a suspension. Coaches/Managers/other Adults are constrewed as authority figures and their mere presence near the field can project a coaching moment or influence on the game so this is why they must "stay away"completely from the field of play during a suspension.

        Failure for coaches/managers/other adults/Players to serve their suspension in the next regular sanctioned FYSA game are NOW (as of 8/1/2013) subject to being suspended for the rest of the current year and all of the next seasonal year as well. You cannot pick when and where you will serve a suspension.

        Site Director's and Club Officials are to at all times take every precaution to protect referees from confrontations by parents, coaches, managers, players or other adults which may ocurr before, during and after a game. Referees should be given a location (Site Dir. tent or table) away from coaches and parents after a game to complete paper work for that game. Any confrontations to the referee crew involving verbal abuse or escalating emotions by coaches/managers/players/other adults should be removed from the immediate area by the Site Director, DOC, Club Official or League Administrator to prevent further contact with the referee crew. FYSA rules make it clear that even though the referees have left the field of play and are completely paper work in a nearby location this is an extension of the game itself and no one is allowed to verbally abuse the referee crew in this setting.

IV. Rules of the Game:

A.      Duration of the Game:
U-17 thru U-19--------2 periods of 45 minutes each
U-15 thru U-16--------2 periods of 40 minutes each
(see Winter Season rules for other age groups) 

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

C.      Referees on very hot days may temporarily stop play in the middle of a half to permit players to get a drink in order to prevent injury due to dehydration and sun stroke. Safety of the players on the field is of the utmost importance at all times and coaches may ask a referee for time to remove a player from the field of play if it appears that player is in peril.

D.      Substiutions during a game:    New Rule: Effective 9/24/03 and continues for 2015---
                                       Substitutions may be made at any stoppage of play with Referee  

                                               appproval. This rule will allow coaches to make quicker substitutions.

E. Concussion LAW- it is now Fla. Law that if a Player is deemed to be hurt with a head injury and the referee sends him off the field or he leaves the field with a possible concussion, that player may not re-enter the game. The Player will need to follow the Concussion Rules for becoming eligible to play again in soccer league play. These rules are very strict and must be followed by all teams, coaches and league officials.

F.      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 recently passed a new law that makes it a criminal felony to strike or assault 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.