HIGHLAND SOCCER LEAGUE
RULES AND REGULATIONS
These rules and regulations are established by authority of the Highland District Soccer Association (referred to as the HDSA or District in this document) as the recognized authority of the Highland Soccer League (referred to as the HSL or League in this document)
The following rules may be added to and/or amended as per the by-laws of the HDSA, but changes shall not occur after the start of the playing season.
Where any omission should arise, the applicable rules and regulations of Soccer Nova Scotia (SNS) shall prevail. If omissions should still exist, the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) rules shall apply. If omissions should still exist, the Federation International Football Association (FIFA) rules shall apply.
The League encourages full participation in all aspects of the game of soccer regardless of cultural, racial, ethnic, or social background. Club and game officials, coaches, and players shall promote and participate in the game of soccer based on the principles of safety, equality, enjoyment, and fair play.
It shall be the responsibility of all participating district, club and game officials to ensure participation in the League is in accordance with these rules and regulations.
Rule 1 - League Coordinator / League Office / league directors
- The League shall be governed by the League Directors, with such League Directors being the current members of the HDSA ‘Competitions Committee’.
- The League shall annually designate a League Coordinator to be responsible for coordination and collection of league information as required. The League shall annually review/approve an agreement with the League Coordinator that shall outline the responsibilities of both parties and include a stipend amount and payment schedule.
- The League shall maintain a League Office, which will serve as the location where required forms and reporting will be sent. The League office will consist of the following:
- postal address
- e-mail address
- league website
This office shall also serve as the contact point for the League Coordinator.
- The League shall provide Clubs with contact information for the League Office and League Coordinator at least seven days prior to the first deadline date for registration information.
- Clubs shall forward all required information (team registration, game sheets) to the League Office as required by the rules contained herein.
Rule 2 - Registration of CLUBS
- Only member Clubs of the HDSA shall be considered as members of the HSL. Registration of one or more teams in either outdoor or indoor season shall be considered as proper registration of a Club
- Clubs are responsible for registering their teams with the League in the following divisions:
Rule 3 - Registration of Teams
- Under 10 Boys, Under 12 Boys, Under 14 Boys, Under 16 Boys, Under 18 Boys, Senior Men
- Under 10 Girls, Under 12 Girls, Under 14 Girls, Under 16 Girls, Under 18 Girls, Senior Women
- any other division that the League agrees to operate on behalf of member Clubs
- Age Categories are those defined by Soccer Nova Scotia.
- The League reserves the right to divide divisions or combine divisions based on the number of registered teams.
- A division shall contain a minimum of four teams and not more than eight teams. Exceptions will be permitted when the League Directors grants approval, but in such cases club teams will be given the opportunity to withdraw their team application without penalty.
- Specific registration deadlines and requirements outlined here will be forwarded in writing to Club representatives by the League Directors at least 30 days prior to the first date of registration submission requirements. All information submitted for registration must be submitted in writing and received by the League before or on the deadline dates.
2 Weeks Prior to Start of League Play - Team Registration Notification & Fields Submission
Clubs will forward a Team Application Form and include full payment of Team Fees for each Club team.
The League Coordinator will register all such teams in the ITSportsNet system in the applicable Team Age Category and League Division
Clubs will forward detailed team information described below, using the Team Application form:
- Club Name, Team Name, Team Category
- Team Uniform Home and Away colours
- Head Coach Name and Phone number and Certification Level/Date
- Managers or Assistant Coaches Names and Phone numbers and Certification Levels/Dates
- Designated Voice mail phone number where messages can be left (may be coach or manager phone number)
- Designated Team Contact Email Address
- Signatures of Coaches and Club President
- a Home Game Field and Availability of Times for the Home Game Field ; a separate field and time slot must be provided for each team.
- Up to one designated tournament weekend, with the intent that the League will make every effort to not schedule Friday or Monday games around this designated weekend.
Prior to Start of League Play - Team Player Registration
Club Registrars will register all players and team officials to the applicable registered teams in the ITSportsNet system prior to the start of play
Player registration shall include first name, last name, gender, birth date, mail address, email address, phone number, and player team jersey number
The process of setting up teams and registering players and team officials as outlined here shall be deemed as meeting all league team/registration requirements, and the Team Roster produced from the ITSportsNet system shall be considered the official team roster.
- Team Registration Fees shall be determined and approved by the League Board annually.
- All Team coaches are required to have proper coaching certification levels as determined by Soccer Nova Scotia. This information must be provided on team Registration forms, and will be verified by Soccer Nova Scotia.
No team shall be permitted to participate in league play without a coach who possesses the proper coaching certification level, or without first providing the League office proof of enrollment for the team coach (location and dates) in a Soccer Nova Scotia coaching clinic to obtain such required coaching certification level, and subsequently providing the League office with proof of course completion.
- Failure to comply with any team registration conditions may result in fines or suspensions as determined by the Board.
Rule 4 - Registration of Players
- All players and officials of teams participating in the League shall register each year with Soccer Nova Scotia through their Club in accordance with the dates and by-laws of Soccer Nova Scotia. The ‘SNS Team Roster Report’ available in the ITSportsNet system shall be recognized as the official ‘Soccer Nova Team Roster’
- No player shall be deemed registered for participation, nor shall they compete in any game of the League unless their registration appears in the ITSportsNet system as required in by Soccer Nova Scotia Policies and Procedures 5.4.7 (at least 48 hours before game time).
- All players who register through a club participating in the League are bound to that club until the end of the League's current playing season unless they are transferred or released in accordance with Soccer Nova Scotia by-laws.
- All players must have a valid Soccer Nova Scotia ID Card before June 15 of the playing year. ID Cards must be available for inspection at all games from June 15 to end of season. Official Team Rosters (being the official team roster produced from the ITSportsNet system) must be available for inspection at all games.
- The Team Manager or Coach shall be responsible for holding and presenting ID Cards and official team roster.
- If there is doubt about the registration status of a player, team and/or league officials may request and carry out inspection of ID Cards and/or Team Rosters prior to the start of the game or at half time. All inspections will occur in the presence of the referee as a witness.
Any team unable to produce a Team Roster or ID Card to validate the registration of any player shall be given 24 hours from the game starting time, weekends and legal holidays excepted, to present the ID Cards or Team Roster to the League Coordinator.
Any protest resulting from inspection of ID Cards or Team Roster must be filed within 48 hours from the game starting time, weekends and legal holidays excepted, according to procedures outlined in Rule 8 - Protests.
- Any team or club official or player charged with falsifying or tampering with proof of age documents, Team Rosters or ID Cards shall be reported to Soccer Nova Scotia for disciplinary action. Notice shall also be forwarded to the player, team, and district within 24 hours of any such decision, with email being considered as meeting such notification requirements.
- Playing Up for Another Team: Players may only play up for another team if they meet the conditions and requirements of the Soccer Nova Scotia Bylaws that relate to this subject.
The Coach or Team Manager must be able to provide proof of registration for any such player by providing a copy of the players official Soccer Nova Scotia Team Roster and Soccer Nova Scotia ID Card.
Notice of a player playing up must be provided to the League Office through information included on the game sheet for the game that the player participates in. This player must be identified as playing up by placing an asterisk (*) in the player number column, and the team/category of registration for the player must be clearly written under the team roster section of the game sheet.
- Playing for Another Team in Same Division: The League may establish exceptions that allow players to play for more than one team in their club within a single division, where such an exception will allow a Club to field more than one team by sharing players between teams.
a) This exception requires 100% approval of Clubs with teams in such division, approval to be given prior to start of league scheduling.
b) This exception applies to league play only (not playoffs).
c) In such cases, League playoff seeding will be based on a random draw instead of league standings
d) In such cases the only game results that shall be recorded are team scores. Individual goal scorers shall not be recorded.
e) Any player suspensions may only be served with one team and such player shall not be able to play for any other team until full suspension is served
f) Team officials MUST insure all players are properly recorded on game sheets for these games by manually adding names and jersey numbers (preprinted game sheets may not contain accurate team rosters)
The purpose of this rule is to provide opportunities for more player participation, with fair play in mind. Abuse of this rule to gain advantage in competition will be subject to review and potential discipline.
- Illegal Players: Any player who plays when unregistered, who is not listed on the game sheet, is over-aged, or violates the playing up guidelines is defined as an illegal player.
Any team found guilty of playing an illegal player shall forfeit the game (3-0).
Any District or Club responsible for a team found guilty of playing an illegal player shall be fined $50 for each such game.
The Coach for a team found guilty of playing an illegal player shall be automatically suspended and a discipline hearing convened.
Rule 5 - Scheduling
- The League Office will provide teams with league schedules at least 7 days prior to the start of the schedule.
- Clubs shall have 5 days upon receipt of schedules to submit schedule corrections or changes to the League Office. Any schedule change request from the Club or any team after this period will require payment of an administrative ‘rescheduling fee’ of $10, payable to the League Coordinator (such fee paid to Highland District Soccer Association who shall then pay the League Coordinator).
- Game Cancellations: The League Coordinator is responsible for cancelling all scheduled games ONLY when weather or ground conditions warrant such action in accordance with municipal or other restrictions. Notification of any such cancellations shall be deemed fulfilled by posting of such cancellations on the League website
At game time, it shall be the sole responsibility of the referee to decide whether a game will be cancelled due to inclement weather or unsuitable playing surfaces. In this circumstance, the League Office must be contacted who will in turn contact the League Coordinator for rescheduling.
Where a game is cancelled by the referee dues to lack of improper lining, inadequate goals or goal netting, or field grass judged as too long for play, the referee and opposing team shall be eligible for compensation as per ‘Rule 6 – C Fielding of Teams and Forfeits’ and such game shall be declared a 3-0 forfeit by the home/host team.
Teams are expected to honour their scheduled game commitments and are expected to play games as scheduled. ONLY in the case of emergency or extenuating circumstances that justify rescheduling, a team must first notify their Club and request a game reschedule.
Where a Club determines that there is a legitimate need to reschedule a game, the Club shall contact the League Coordinator as outlined below.
The Club shall also be required to pay an administrative ‘rescheduling fee’ of $10, payable to the League Coordinator (such fee paid to Highland District Soccer Association who shall then pay the League Coordinator).
The following rescheduling guidelines shall be applied:
- The CLUB must provide “notice to reschedule” to the LEAGUE of any such request at least 48 hours prior to start of the originally scheduled game time,
- The LEAGUE shall cancel the original game 48 hours prior to start time, thereby notifying any assigned game officials of the cancellation.
Once “notice to reschedule” has been received by the League and the original game has been cancelled, there is no other recourse than either 1) successfully rescheduling the game as outlined below or 2) recording the original game as a 3-0 forfeit loss by the team that requested the reschedule (the “notice to reschedule” cannot be retracted and have the original game rescheduled)
- The CLUB must provide rescheduling details to the League ON OR BEFORE the originally scheduled game time. Failure to do so shall result in a 3-0 forfeit loss by the team that requested the reschedule.
Once the Club has filed a “notice to reschedule” with the League, the COACH/TEAM requesting the rescheduling shall follow the steps outlined below:
Step 1. Contact the opposing team coach and receive agreement from the opposing team coach to reschedule the game.
- The opposing team has the right to decline rescheduling; if the request is declined the game shall be declared a 3-0 forfeit as per above “guideline ii” and the rescheduling process ends.
- If the opposing team agrees to rescheduling, the reschedule process shall continue.
Step 2. The team wishing to reschedule must reach agreement on a new game date/time and location with the opposing team coach
Step 3. The team wishing to reschedule shall notify the Club and the League Coordinator of reschedule game date/time and location
- This notice must occur ON OR BEFORE the originally scheduled game time as per above “guideline iii”
- The team wishing to reschedule must also have the opposing coach contact the League Office to acknowledge acceptance of rescheduled game
Step 6. The League Coordinator shall then update the league schedule and update the Referee Assigning system and notify the appropriate referee assigner of the new scheduling information.
Failure to reach agreement with the opposing coach on any of the above items shall result in the postponed game being declared a 3-0 forfeit win for the opposing team, unless the League Coordinator deems a) the reason for a reschedule request is legitimate and should be permitted or b) it is necessary to play the game due to the importance of the results in league standings, In such cases, the League Coordinator shall intercede in the rescheduling.
Unless explicitly directed to play a rescheduled game by the League Coordinator, the involved teams in any reschedule request may optionally request the League Coordinator to declare the game a draw instead of rescheduling. If consensus between the coaches and the League Coordinator can be reached to declare a scoreless draw, a game sheet should be completed stating this and submitted as usual. In such circumstances, the League Coordinator shall notify the appropriate referee assigner of the game cancellation.
In the event of any major rescheduling change, notice shall be considered given by:
- email notification to HDSA Competitions Committee members (Club league reps)
- posting of a revised schedule on the league website at least 48 hours prior to the first rescheduled game
- email notice to all registered team officials
- Where a division contains both 'A' and 'B' level teams, schedules will be established to provide both 'A' and 'B' teams with an equal number of opposite level games. All such games shall count in division standings, but separate standings will be maintained for both 'A' and 'B' divisions for the purposes of determining playoff seedings/schedules.
Rule 6 - Games
- Time Limits and Ball Sizes: The following table outlines game duration and ball sizes for each division:
Division Length of Halves Half Time Ball Size
Under 10 30 minutes 5 minutes Size 4
Under 12 35 minutes 5 minutes Size 4
Under 14 40 minutes 5 minutes Size 5
Under 16 45 minutes 5 minutes Size 5
Under 18 45 minutes 5 minutes Size 5
Senior 45 minutes 5 minutes Size 5
- Uniform and Uniform Numbers: All players uniforms will carry a number and all players on the same team participating in the same game must wear matching jersey, shorts, and socks.
Each player must bear a different number on his or her uniform. It is the responsibility of the coach to make sure all players are identified on the game sheet with the proper uniform number.
The Referee may disqualify any player not properly uniformed from participating in the game.
- Fielding of Teams and Forfeits: A team must field at least a minimum number of players as listed below within 15 minutes after the scheduled start time, and cannot dress more than 22 registered players for a game.
- 11 a side game 7 players
- 9 a side game 6 players
- 7 a side game 5 players
Failure to field a team within 15 minutes after scheduled start time will result in a loss of the game by forfeit. A loss of a game by forfeit shall be marked as a 3-0 win for the opposing team, and denoted as a forfeit on the game sheet.
In the event that a team provides at least 72 hours notice of the inability to field a team for a scheduled game to the League Coordinator and coach of the opposing team, that opposing team will not be eligible for compensation. In all other situations the opposing team may apply to the League for compensation of up to $100 for actual travel costs from the League upon presentation of a statement of expenses. Any compensation paid out by the League will be billed back to the appropriate Club.
In the event that a team provides at least 72 hours notice of the inability to field a team for a scheduled game to the League Coordinator and the appropriate referee assigner, the scheduled referees will not be eligible for compensation. In all other situations those referees may apply to the League for compensation of fees and actual travel expenses, if appropriate through their referee association. Any compensation paid out by the League will be billed back to the appropriate Club.
The Club for a team that forfeits a game shall be responsible for payment of all costs associated with the forfeited game to the League within 72 hours of being advised of the costs. The League reserves the right to suspend the team if the fees are not paid.
If a team forfeits a second or subsequent game in a playing season, the Club for that team will be fined $100 plus a Distance Fine for each such game. The fine is payable to the League, and is additional to the responsibility for payment of all costs associated with the forfeited game as outlined above.
If a team defaults a third game in the playing season, the team will not be eligible for any postseason playoffs, including provincial qualifications.
The League Coordinator will communicate all forfeits to the Club of the forfeit team as soon as possible.
The following table outlines Forfeits and Penalties
# Forfeits Opposing Team Referee League Fine Other Penalties
1 Travel Costs Std Fees + Travel
2 Travel Costs Std Fees + Travel $100 Distance Fine
3 or more Travel Costs Std Fees + Travel $100 Distance Fine and Ineligibility for Playoffs and
Note that Team compensation and Referee compensation only apply if 72 hours notification not received, subject to conditions outlined under this rule.
Distance Fines are calculated as follows:
(based on approximate distance from community to community)
$0 - less than 25 km travel
$40 - less than 100 km travel
$75 - more than 100 km travel
- Delay in Start Time: In the event of a delay in the start of the game, the referee may solely decide to shorten the duration of the game if required due to field scheduling or potential for darkness. In this case, each half will be equally shortened and the referee must inform both teams of this change prior to the start of play.
- Home Team: The home team shall be designated in the schedule. The Home Team and shall be responsible for providing two game balls, nets, corner flags, and ensuring the field is adequately marked and mowed. Failure to provide nets, corner flags, or a properly marked or mowed field will result in a forfeit game as per Rule 5-C (at the discretion of the referee).
- Colour Clash: In the event that the colours of the two opposing teams clash (based on referees decision), the HOME team is required to change its colours.
- Coaching is permitted only from the area of the team's bench. The team bench/coaching area shall be defined as a 10 metre area on one side of the halfway line not closer to the touch line than 1 metre, and not behind the goal line or within 10 metres of the corner flag. The referee may designate on which side of the field teams locate their player benches.
- Substitutions may be requested by a team official from the assistant referee at any time. In the absence of assistant referees, a team official may ask the referee for substitutions at any stoppage of play.
Substitutions shall be made only with the referee's approval and shall be carried out as quickly as possible from the halfway line. Players leaving the game must leave the field before their replacement may enter.
- Incomplete Games: Any team official removing a team from the field before the end of the game without permission of the referee shall forfeit the game (3-0) and be subject to a review by the League Discipline Committee.
A referee who stops a game prematurely shall forward a written report of the circumstances to the League Coordinator within 48 hours. The League Coordinator, in consultation with the League Directors, shall determine the action to be taken.
- Game Sheets: Game sheets shall be obtained from the ITSportsNet system, where team officials are provided a login account to access and print game sheets. ITSportsNet game sheets will contain game date, location, time, team names, division name, and official team player rosters and jersey numbers and team officials.
Both teams shall be responsible to print the game sheet and bring to the field.
Both teams shall review and update both game sheets prior to the start of the game to accurately game rosters. This will include striking out the name of absent players, and adding/identifying an ‘call-up’ players
Both coaches and the referee must sign both game sheets.
The referee shall complete the two game sheets by:
- identifying goal scorers
- identifying and disciplinary actions (players cards issued, checkbox if Misconduct report to be filed)
- enter final team score
- enter the names of all game officials
- sign the game sheet
The referee shall return one completed game sheet to the WINNING TEAM or the HOME TEAM IN THE EVENT OF A TIE. The referee shall keep the other game sheet for their own copy.
Any errors or omissions on a game sheet must be identified and corrected, with permission of, and by the referee before copies are distributed as outlined above. Any request for changes after this time must be done by filing a protest with the League office as outlined under Rule 9.
- Reporting Scores-Teams: All score reporting by Teams shall be done to the League Office through submitting game sheets.
The WINNING team, or the HOME team in the event of a tie, shall be responsible for reporting the game result by:
a) Scanning the game sheet and attaching the scanned image to an email to the League Coordinator OR
b) taking a quality photo of the game sheet and attaching the photo to an email to the League Coordinator.
This must be completed by:
a) 9am of the following day of the game for all regular season games up to the last week of league play
b) within 6 hours during the last week of regular season games.
Failure of the WINNING team, or the HOME team in the event of a tie, to carry out game reporting responsibilities outlined above shall result in a penalty of the other team being awarded a 1-0 win.
Failure of the WINNING team, or the HOME team in the event of a tie, to carry out game reporting responsibilities outlined above on two or more occasions shall result in the teams Club being fined $25 for any such occasion, with the League notifying the Club of such occasions.
Failure of the either team to properly fill out a game sheet (list all players, shirt numbers, call-ups, signatures) on two or more occasions shall result in the teams Club being fined $25 for any such occasion, with the League notifying the Club of such occasions.
Rule 7 - Referees
- The HSL maintains a ‘Referees Policy’ that may contain either clarification of the rules contained here or additional policies/conditions pertaining to the roles and responsibilities with the HSL. Where these rules conflict with the ‘HSL Referees Policy’, the ‘HSL Referees Policy’ shall take precedence.
- Referees are responsible for their scheduled game commitments. The HSL uses the ‘Goal-line Ref Centre’ system for referee assigning and referee game reporting, and all game officials are expected to fulfill all accepted game assignments.
If unable to be present at a game, the scheduled official must make arrangements for a replacement official and must notify their designated Referee Assigner of the replacement.
Officials may be required to reimburse the League for any costs incurred because they did not show up for a scheduled game or successfully make arrangements for a replacement qualified to officiate their scheduled game. In cases where a game is not able to be played due to a shortage of officials, each teams Club may apply to the League for compensation of up to $100 for actual travel costs from the League upon presentation of a statement of expenses. Any compensation paid out by the League will be billed back to the Referee Association of the official.
- Officials: Three (3) officials registered with Soccer Nova Scotia are to be assigned to each League game
In the event the scheduled referee does not show up, the game must be played with the assistant referee officiating, providing that the assistant referee is at least two years older than the players, and for U-18 and senior, the assistant referee has at least two years experience.
If the assistant referee does not meet the qualifications above but is willing to referee and both coaches agree to this prior to the start of the game, by signing the game sheet, the game will be played as scheduled. The coaches and assistant referee must also appoint to and agree to a third person to serve as linesman.
If agreement cannot be reached, the League Office must be contacted within 24 hours and an attempt will be made to reschedule the game. If a rescheduled date cannot be set, the game shall be declared a draw.
- When officials that are scheduled for a game do not show up it should be noted on the game sheet and brought to the attention of the League Office.
Officials missing game appointments without just cause (as determined by their referee association and the League Directors) will be subject to a fine or compensation as outlined in these rules.
- A standard rate of officiating fees paid for regular season and playoff games shall be determined on an annual basis by Soccer Nova Scotia. Payment of referee fees for regular season games shall be the responsibility of Clubs. Payment of referee fees for playoff games shall be the responsibility of the League, unless otherwise outlined in these rules and regulations.
Payment of registered Referees shall be the responsibility of the Home Team. Payment of Fees shall either be made at the field no later than half time, or on a periodic payment basis as agreed to with the local Referee Association.
- A standard rate for referee assignment fees shall be determined on an annual basis by the League prior to start of league play, and payment of this fee shall be the responsibility of the League.
- In the event of an unjustifiable absence by an official from a scheduled game, the league coordinator will advise the official's referee association that the official is to be removed from any scheduled league games or playoffs until compensation for expenses has been received by the League.
- Referees shall be responsible to ensure that game sheets are completed properly and in a legible format so that the League can identify the teams, date, time, field, scorers, game score, discipline, and any other comments.
The referee must sign game sheets to signify their review and acceptance of the accuracy of the game sheets.
Game sheets are to returned to team coaches after the game as outlined in Rule 6 - I.
- Reporting Games: All game reporting by Referees shall be done by updating game results in the E2E system, including entry of final scores and confirmation of all game officials
- Referees failing to report cautions or ejections in accordance with the rules shall be removed from the list of active referees for the League and any scheduled games for such official will be reassigned to other officials.
- The League Coordinator shall be responsible for reporting any issues relating to referees to the appropriate Club and the Club will be responsible for follow-up with the local Referee Association.
- Complaints by or against referees or officials shall be submitted in writing directly to the League Office and Soccer Nova Scotia.
Rule 8 - Discipline
- The League shall follow the current Discipline and Appeals procedures of Soccer Nova. This includes the Automatic Discipline System used for dealing with yellow and red cards, and the Enhanced Suspension Schedule that deals with acceptance of penalties and waiver of hearing rights.
The League Directors shall appoint a Discipline Committee as required to deal with any discipline actions expected of the League as outlined in the Soccer Nova Scotia discipline policy.
- The Soccer Nova Scotia Automatic Discipline Point System for dealing with Red Cards/Yellow Cards will apply to all games in the League, including playoffs and will be published along with these rules in the League handbook.
It is the responsibility of Coaches to track their players points and insure required suspensions are served. The role of the League Coordinator is to monitor points and game sheets to verify adherence to the rules.
For the purposes of interpreting and applying the Soccer Nova Scotia discipline policy, the League will be considered to be one competition; suspensions may not be served while 'playing up'; any suspension applies to all divisions within the League.
- Abuse against Game Officials: All charges of verbal abuse, physical contact, or violent conduct with a game official by a player or by a team or club official will be dealt with by the Soccer Nova Scotia Discipline Committee as outlined in the Soccer Nova Scotia discipline policy.
When any such misconduct occurs, the referee must note this on the game sheet and complete and file a Misconduct Report in accordance with the discipline procedures.
A player who is willing to waive rights of a hearing and accept mandatory minimum suspensions may enact the Enhanced Suspension Schedule included in the Soccer Nova Scotia discipline policy.
Any suspensions received through a misconduct report are separate from and in addition to any suspension received under the Automatic Discipline Policy (red cards/yellow cards).
Unless the League Directors determines that there is an obvious lack of evidence to support such a misconduct charge, the player, team official, or club official named in the misconduct report shall immediately be suspended from all League soccer pending a hearing decision.
- Violation of Suspension Rulings: Any player, team official or club official found in violation of suspension rules shall be immediately suspended from all League activities and shall be reported to the Soccer Nova Scotia Discipline Committee for action.
Rule 9 - Protests
- The League Directors shall appoint a Discipline Committee as required to deal with all protests arising from League play or organization. The Discipline Committee is to be chaired by a member of the League Directors and be comprised of at least four other members. The League Directors shall select these other members to be convened and hear a particular dispute from a pre-approved list of individuals put forward by the districts as having the skills and experience to judge the situation and render a decision. The entire list of potential members is to be approved by the Board at the start of the season and the selection of individual members from this list for a particular dispute shall be based on the effect and appearance of neutrality.
- All protests shall be submitted in writing to the League Office no later than 24 hours after the incident or the end of the game being protested, excluding weekends and statutory holidays.
- All protest must be accompanied with a $50 certified cheque payable to the Highland Soccer League, or by $50 cash for which a receipt will be given, and must be submitted to the League President or the League Board Member for the District in which the team is registered.
- The Discipline Committee shall schedule a hearing within 72 hours of receipt of the protest, excluding weekends and statutory holidays. The Committee shall also advise both parties of the time, place, and date of such hearing.
The League Office will hold protest hearings within 10 days of receipt of a protest.
Both parties have the right to attend the hearing; either may waive that right in writing, in which case the hearing will dealt with in their absence.
- If the Discipline Committee upholds the protest at the hearing, the $50 fee will be returned to the party filing the protest. If the protest is overturned, the Discipline Committee shall determine the disposition of the deposit.
- Hearings will be conducted in accordance with the Soccer Nova Scotia discipline policy, and such discipline policy will be provided to both parties prior to the hearing.
- Any appeal of a protest decision from a hearing shall be made to the League Board in writing within seven days of the original decision. The Board will deal with an appeal within 14 days.
- Three (3) points shall be awarded for a win; one (1) point for a tie; zero (0) points for a loss.
Rule 10 - League Standings
If game sheets are not received as outlined in Rule 6-I, points will not be awarded.
- League Standings will be updated regularly by the League Coordinator and will be available at all times on the League website.
- Any Team forfeiting or defaulting a game for any reason shall be designated as the game loser; the game score will be logged as 3-0; Three (3) points shall be awarded to the opposing team as game winner.
- In the event of a team dropping out of the League, the League Directors shall meet and determine what will happen with both played games and un-played games.
Rule 11 - League Playoffs and Provincials
- All teams, based on season league standings, will participate in the playoffs, and be seeded based on final league standings. In the event of two or more teams being tied for points, the higher standing will be awarded to:
- The team with the best record in the games between the two teams and if still tied
- The team with the best goal difference (goals for minus goals against)
- The team with least goals against
- The team with the most goals for
- The team with the least disciplinary actions
Where division contains teams permitting “Playing for Another Team in Same Division” as per Rule 4-H, the guidelines in those rules shall determine playoff seeding
If teams are still tied after these rules are applied, a single playoff game, scheduled by the League Coordinator, will be played to determine a higher standing.
Where a team plays in a mixed age category division, results of all games, including games against different age category groups will be used to determine final team standings. The number of teams in a mixed age category division for the purposes of Rule 11-B shall be based on the number of teams in an age category group, and not on the total number of teams playing in the division.
Where a division contains both 'A' and 'B' divisions, there shall be separate league division championships for 'A' and 'B' divisions, with each being treated as a separate division for the purpose of playoff format.
- Teams shall follow the playoff format that matches the number of teams in the division (divisions with an 'A' and 'B' division will be treated as two divisions).
- The Six Team Playoff format shall be as follows:
Game 1 3rd vs. 6th
Game 2 4th vs. 5th
Game 3 Winner of Game 1 vs. 2nd
Game 4 Winner of Game 2 vs. 1st
Game 5 Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4
The Five Team Playoff format shall be as follows:
Game 1 4th vs. 5th
Game 2 Winner of Game 1 vs. 1st
Game 3 2nd vs. 3rd
Game 4 Winner of Game 2 vs. Winner of Game 3
The Four Team Playoff format shall be as follows:
Game 1 1st vs. 4th
Game 2 2nd vs. 3rd
Game 3 Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2
The Three Team Playoff format shall be as follows:
Game 1 2nd vs. 3rd
Game 2 Winner of Game 1 vs 1st
The Two Team Playoff format shall be as follows:
Game 1 1st vs. 2nd
The higher ranked team in any game shall host that game and be considered the home team.
In the event of more than six teams in a division, the Board will determine a playoff format.
- The League Coordinator, based on discussion with Club representatives, shall schedule all games.
Game field times/dates will be based on using all available club home games field times/days provides during regular season play (teams may play on ANY of these dates instead of their regular weekly home game day)
The League Coordinator will make every effort to include a day off between all playoff games
- Challenges by Non-League Teams: Any team that is not a League registered team, but meets the following conditions, may challenge for representation of the Highland Region in the provincials:
- properly registered with Soccer Nova Scotia (this includes team registration and submission of official Soccer NS notice to participate in championships)
- registered under a District within the geographic boundaries of the Highland Region
Any such qualifying team must compete for the final ranked position with the final seeded team in the appropriate division. This shall consist of a single playoff game, with home field for the League team, and the winner moving into the regular playoff format as the final ranked team.
If more than one registered team that did not participate in the League during the season wishes to challenge for representation of the Highland Region in the provincials, those teams must first compete with each other to determine a winning team that will move on to compete with the League's fourth place team as described above. When there are more than two teams in this situation, the League Directors will determine a playoff format for the challenging teams.
The Club of any challenging team must submit to the League Office, prior to any game, a copy of the official Soccer Nova Scotia team roster for the challenging team and a record of all cards and other disciplinary matters occurring over the summer for all players on the challenging team.
Any card point accumulations, pending or existing suspensions based on these points or any other disciplinary actions shall have the same force and effect as they would if they had occurred in Highland League play.
The challenging team shall be responsible for payment of officiating fees for the initial challenge game with a Highland Soccer League team. Should the challenge team win and move into the playoff round of the Highland Soccer League, they shall be responsible for payment of one half (½) of the officiating fees for all remaining playoff games in which they participate.
Should a challenging team win a League division they shall be not be eligible for any reimbursement of entry fees for provincials from the League.
- Provincials: The League will submit one entry for each age/gender category of Provincial Competition on behalf of the Highland Region.
The winner of each division's playoffs will automatically become the representative team to go to the Provincial Tournament.
The League shall reimburse the Club for the entry fees to Provincials to all League registered teams that qualify and attend provincials as a League division winner.
The League shall not reimburse any entry fees for provincials or any other expenses incurred for a team that gains a provincial playoff berth as a tournament host or a substitution team, but not as a League division winner.
Any team that is not registered as a League team but qualifies as a division winner through challenge games shall not be reimbursed by the League for any entry fees or expenses incurred for Provincials.
Created by: Andy Kenny -- Last updated:May 10, 2013