The purpose of this manual is to guide the administration of the league, set forth current league rules and inform the conduct of Coaches, Players and Parents participating in the Recreation Soccer Program of West Chester United Soccer Club. It is also designed to be a manual for the coach. The most current version of this manual will always be posted on the club’s website. Suggested updates to this manual can be sent via email to the current Recreation League Administrator or Age Group Commissioner.


Recreational Soccer Mission Statement

West Chester United Soccer Club serves the children, youth and adults of West Chester and beyond, by providing a safe, positive, soccer experience. We provide programs that develop soccer skills, are fun, and allow maximum participation by children and adults of all skill levels. Our soccer programs foster a sense of teamwork, camaraderie and competitiveness, while balancing the need of all participants to develop the physical, mental and emotional skills to succeed.


Each player will be afforded the opportunity to play at the highest level commensurate with his or her ability and commitment to the game by WCUSC.  As a non-profit organization, the continued success of WCUSC is dependent upon the active and expected participation of parents/guardians and players.  WCUSC does not discriminate according to race, gender, ethnic or religious background, and is open to players and adults who abide by the principles, rules, regulations and decisions of WCUSC.

WCUSC Expectations of Coaches, Parents & Players:

The coach is expected to behave in a manner conducive to the promotion of good sportsmanship at all times including practice, during games and at any other team or program event. Coaches are an extension of WCUSC, and recognize the importance of their role in casting a positive reflection on our club. More often than not, both players and parents tend to adopt the coach’s attitude and behavior. The coach, who argues and complains incessantly, berates officials throughout games, looks down on or criticizes opponents and otherwise demonstrates a haughty attitude is likely to have players who are conditioned to show a lack of respect for the game and exhibit poor sportsmanship. WCUSC has little tolerance for such a coach, and seeks instead one who provides an environment that enriches WCUSC players and fosters a sense of good will in all areas of the game.  We also look for our parents to demonstrate the same sideline conduct as our coaches, and a similar positive attitude towards all players and coaches. We also expect all of our players to always demonstrate sportsmanship to their teammates, opponents, coaches, and referees. This will foster a positive environment for all players to demonstrate ongoing sportsmanship to their teammates, opponents, coaches, and referees and to develop a love of the game.


Players and parents can expect the following from their coaches:

       An understanding that the health, safety, and moral education of the player are always the first priority in the athletic experience and are placed above the development of performance.

       He/she will treat all players with dignity and respect, directing feedback at the performance not the person.

       He/she will not use profanity or abusive language towards players, parents or officials.

       He/she will not discriminate against players based upon race, nationality, religion or sexual orientation.

       He/she will be a positive role model for my players in regards to health, patience, sportsmanship and personal integrity.

       An understanding that the desire to win does not mean the desire to win at all costs.

       He/she is first and foremost a teacher and recognizes that this relationship develops from mutual trust and respect.

       He/she will teach humility in victory and graciousness in defeat.

       He/she will encourage players to be personally accountable for their actions, decisions, and performances.

       He/she will regularly pursue continuing coaching education in order to improve my ability to teach players.


It is critical for all WCUSC players and parents to understand what is expected of them in their respective roles and as representatives of the club. The following sections describe these required expectations and responsibilities for each.

















Coaches and parents can expect the following from a WCUSC PLAYER:

       He/she will be committed to developing him/herself as a soccer player by attending scheduled team training, understanding that regular training is the foundation for player development, and  will notify coaches ss early as possible of any training absences.

       An understanding that character is as important to success as is ability and will demonstrate the highest level of character at all times.

       An understanding that striving to win, which consists of 100% physical and mental commitment to performing to the best of my ability, is more important than winning.

       He/she will demonstrate personal accountability by accepting responsibility for his/her own actions and for my own performances, on and off the field.

       He/she will treat my coaches, other players, officials and fans with respect regardless of race, sex, creed or abilities.

       He/she will not engage in any behavior that would endanger the health, safety, or well-being of a coach, parent, player, participant, league official or any other attendee.

       He/she will not use profanity or engage in verbal or physical threats or abuse aimed at any coach, parent, player, participant, league official or any other attendee.

       He/she will demonstrate good sportsmanship in my actions, before, during, and after the game, regardless of the result of the game and my own performance.

       He/she will always show respect for those involved in the game, including myself, whether they are players, coaches, trainers, referees, administrators, or parents, and will not ridicule or demean another player, coach, parent, referee, trainer, administrator or parent.

       He/she will not use alcohol or illegal drugs.

       He/she will respect the facilities on which I train and compete, and will leave them clean and in good condition.

       It is his/her responsibility to have all equipment for practices and games, not parents’ responsibility to provide it.

       He/she will take responsibility for his/her participation on the team, and direct questions or concerns to his/her coach.



 Players and coaches can expect the following from a WCUSC PARENT:

       He/she will exhibit good sportsmanship at all times to members of the team, the coaches, my fellow parents, referees, our opponents, and all spectators.

       He/she will let the coach provide all instructions and understand that having more than one person coaching can cause confusion to the players. (No parent sideline coaching).

       He/she will ensure that my son/daughter comes to practices and games as scheduled on time as outlined by the coach.

       He/she will encourage my son/daughter to take responsibility for his/her commitment to his/her team and the club, including but not limited to encouraging my son/daughter to raise any questions or concerns he/she has directly with his/her coach.

       He/she will support and encourage my child and his/her teammates and coaches.

       He/she recognizes that youth soccer and playing for WCUSC is first and foremost, for and about our children and their development in soccer and enjoying the sport of soccer.

       He/she agree to be financially responsible for all club and team payments for the seasonal recreation league.

       He/she will abide by the 24 hour rule: if a parent is in disagreement with a coaching decision, he/she will wait 24 hours before discussing the issue with the party involved. This rule does not apply to emergencies or direct violations of the code of conduct. Time resolves many issues, and well thought-out communication works best when dealing with these situations


Communication Policy:


Email policy: ALL WCUSC related emails that are sent to more than one contact must be sent ‘blind carbon copy’ (BCC) to all contacts.  This includes all WCUSC members (parents, coaches, players, and age group commissioners).


Any communication (verbal or written) by a club member deemed contrary or detrimental to WCUSC’s mission or the best interests or goodwill of the players, volunteers, or organization/club may result in a suspension or removal of a coach/family/player from the WCUSC Recreation League.


Parents will abide by the 24 hour rule: if a parent is in disagreement with a coaching decision, he/she/they will wait 24 hours before discussing the issue with the party involved. This rule does not apply to emergencies or direct violations of the code of conduct. Time resolves many issues, and well thought-out communication works best when dealing with these situations.


Parents will refrain from coaching their child or other players during games and practices.  Only assigned Coaches will be permitted to give instruction and guidance.

The use of profanity, verbal and physical threats, or abuse aimed at any referee, coach, parent, player, participant, league official or any other attendee will not be tolerated and may result in a suspension or removal of a coach/family/player from the WCUSC Recreation League.


Registration and Team Formation


1.     Registration Process


a.     Players may make ONLY 1 Matching Friend Request - THIS INCLUDES A REQUEST BY A COACH FOR A PARTICULAR ASST COACH (e.g. if Coach John requests Coach Bill be his assistant this counts as his child's friend request and must be matching).

b.     Players may request ONLY 1 NO TRAINING DAY.

c.      Players may NOT request a specific coach.

d.     No Travel Players are permitted to register for Recreation League.

e.     Early Bird registration $145

f.       Regular Registration $170

g.     Late Registration $200 AND requires administration approval.

h.     Note: WCUSC does not guarantee a minimum number games and is not responsible for games lost due to weather and/or field conditions. No refunds or partial refunds will be issued due to games lost because of weather and/or field conditions.

i.        Refund Policy: Refunds may be requested up to two weeks prior to the first game of the season; however, a $25 service charge is applied to all refunds.  Once we are within 2-weeks of the first game, a player may withdraw from the league, but a refund will not be issued.

j.        Each player shall be required to register and payment made for each season, before they can be placed on a team.

k.      No player shall be placed on a team unless downloaded from the club’s registration system.

l.        No coach is authorized to accept a player based upon a parent’s statement. No player may be registered to two teams during one season.

m.  No player is allowed to participate with more than the team with whom he is rostered within a single season.

n.     All player placements or trades must be authorized in writing by either the Recreation League Administrator or the division’s Age Group Commissioner (email will suffice).

o.     The consequence(s) is/are the elimination of that (those) game(s) played from counting in the standings.


Section 1 – Rules and Regulations

FIFA Laws of the GAME



All normal FIFA rules are in effect, except where noted below. The referee is the final arbiter of all rules on game days.



Age Group


















Game Time









Ball Size


















GK Punts









Goal Kick

Retreat to Half Line

Retreat to

Build-Out Line













Throw Ins









Field Size (yd)

20 x 30

25 x 35

30 x 40

50 x 70

50 x 70

50 x 70

70 x 110

70 x 110

Goal Size (ft)

4’ x 6’

4’ x 6’

6’ x 10’

6’ x 18’

6’ x 18’

6’ x 18’

8’ x 24’

8’ x 24’


Game Completion

If a game has reached the end of the 1st half, it will be considered a full game. If a game is called off for any reason anytime during the first half of play, it will be considered as if the game was never started. Game will be replayed in full, with score reset.




NEW Heading Rule

Per recent US Soccer Federation Rules Change, intentional heading the ball at U12 and below will result in an INDIRECT KICK for the opposing team.  In adherence to these new requirements, referees have been instructed by U.S. Soccer of the following rule addition: When a player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick (IFK) should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense. If the deliberate header occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.


Head Injury

   In accordance with Pennsylvania senate bill 200, known as the “safety in youth sports act” any participant exhibiting any signs or symptoms of a potential head injury shall be removed from play immediately.  Such participant will not be eligible to return to play (games or practice) until he is cleared by a medical professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions.  Severe civil, criminal, and EPYSA sanctions are in place for coaches that fail to follow this procedure.  For more information, Click here. 


Offside Rule

Offside is perhaps the most difficult soccer rule to understand:

Offside essentially is when an offensive player (Player A) without the ball, has fewer than two defenders (including GK) between themselves and the goal line when the ball is played forward by a teammate.


Player B in the diagram below is onside because a defender and goalkeeper are between them and the goal line. Offside is called at the moment the ball is passed, not when the player receives the ball.


A player can not be in an offside position if:

     They are in their own half of the field

     They are level with the last two opponents

     They are behind the ball

     On a corner kick or throw in



Goal Kick Rule

The U6-U10 age groups will abide by a goal kick rule which states: All players from the opposing team must go back to their own half of the field when a goal kick is taken. Once the ball is kicked, opposing players can enter their attacking half to apply pressure. This will allow the team taking the goal kick a few extra seconds to try and keep possession before immediate pressure from onrushing attackers. It will also encourage passing out of the back rather than just kicking the ball long.


Build Out Line New for Fall 2017, PFSA  will adopt the recommendations of the U.S. Soccer Federation and introduce a build out line to 5v5 and 7v7 small-sided soccer games. The build out line promotes playing the ball out of the back with control and in a less pressured setting, rather than teaching players to send the ball a long distance down the field and chase after it.  The Build Out Line is marked midway between the penalty area line and the halfway line.  When the goalkeeper has possession of the ball, either during play or for a goal kick, the opposing team (Team A) must move and remain behind the build out line until the ball is put in play. o The opposing team has 6 seconds to move behind line. If the opposing team takes longer than 6 seconds to move behind the line, referees will warn the coach. If the delays continue, a yellow card will be issued to the coach. Restart is an indirect free kick on the build out line. o The goalkeeper is not required to wait until the opposing team is behind the line to put the ball in play. The goalkeeper can pass, throw, or roll the ball into play. Punting is not allowed. If the goalkeeper punts the ball, restart is an indirect free kick on the penalty area line parallel to the goal at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred. o The ball is considered in play as soon as it leaves the goalkeeper’s possession, at which time play resumes as normal.  When the goalkeeper first puts the ball into play, players on the opposing team may not be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the build out line.





END OF SEASON (EOS) Playoff Overtime Rules

Should an end‐of‐season tournament game end in a tie at the end of regulation, teams will play 2 x 5 minute periods of overtime, no golden goal. If the score is still tied a winner will be determined using FIFA Kicks From the Mark.   There is NO overtime during the regular season games.



Penalty Kicks (Kicks from the Mark)

If the Overtime period ends in a draw, the game will be decided by Kicks from the Penalty Mark. 

       Referee will select the Goal at which Kicks are to be taken.

       Referee will toss a coin, with the winning team deciding to kick first or second.

       Each team will select 5 players in order in which they will take the kicks.  To be eligible, players must be the field at the end of the match.  Goalkeepers are considered eligible to kick.

       Only eligible players & match officials are permitted to remain on the field of play.  All eligible players, except the player taking the kick & the two goalkeepers, must remain at the Half Line.  Goalkeepers should remain outside the Penalty Area away from the Goal.

       Each team will alternate kicks through 5 rounds, with the winning team converting more of the 5.  If, after both teams have taken five kicks, the scores are level, kicks continue until one team has scored a goal more than the other from the same number of kicks.

       Each kick is taken by a different player and all eligible players must take a kick before any player can take a second kick.  The above principle continues for any subsequent sequence of kicks but a team may change the order of kickers.









Section 2 – Coaching Guidelines



Calculating Standings

Standings for each league will follow standard FIFA calculations. Three points are awarded for a win, one point for a tie. In the event more than one team has the same number of points, ties in the standings will be decided by the following; 1) head‐to‐head record, 2) fewest goals allowed, 3)most shutouts. ‘Goals For’ & ‘Goal Difference’ do not factor into the equation.


NOTE: Every effort is made to have teams scheduled for the same number of games (7). However a minimum number of games is not guaranteed when affected by weather.  If any team plays more than 7 games, only the first 7 games played will be counted in the standings.



Mercy Rule

Coaches should do their best not to embarrass another team by outscoring them by a wide margin. Once a team reaches a 4 goal differential, coaches MUST employ some or all of the following tactics:


        Play players in different positions than normal.

        Tell your players they must complete 5 (or more) consecutive passes before shooting.

        Tell the other coach to add an extra player on the field.

        Take a player off the field and play short.



Age commissioners will monitor reported scores and coaches will be contacted for explanations if an extremely lopsided score is recorded. For score reporting purposes, scores will only be displayed in the standings with a maximum difference of 6 goals. For clarification, if a team wins 8‐0, then score will display as 6‐0, a 10‐2 result will be displayed as 8‐2 etc.


Minimum Player Count/Forfeits

During the regular season should one team have  less than the required number of players to start a match, their opponent is to ‘play down’ a player or two OR, give the other team a player (or 2) and play the game. This allows athletes to play the game and improve skills.  During PLAYOFFS teams may not share players and MUST play the required format if numbers bear it.



7v7: Must be at least 5 players on the field to start a game

9v9: Must be at least 6 players on the field to start a game

11v11: Must be at least 7 players on the field to start a game


Under no circumstances can any coach in any division utilize a ‘guest’ player and have that game count in the standings. If playing a team with no substitutes, the team with substitutes may sub on any possession, not to impede the flow of the game. If a team is unable to field a team and has to forfeit, every attempt will be made to have the game rescheduled. If the game cannot be rescheduled, the opposition team will be awarded a 2‐0 win in the standings.



In U6‐U8 coaches may sub players any time the ball is out of play at their discretion. At U9‐U18, coaches MUST gain the referee’s permission to make a substitution. At no time should coaches sub ‘on the fly’. ‘On the fly’ changes may only be made in the indoor season. Coaches may sub players after goals, goal kicks, throw-ins (either team may sub no matter whose possession), for an injured or cautioned player (other team may sub equal number), and a half time.  Players must enter the field of play at the halfway line on the side of the team benches/coaches and be at the halfway line ready to enter before the ball exits the field of play. 


If a coach continues to attempt to sub players which impede the flow of the game or to waste time, the referee may only allow coaches to sub on their possession.



Referee Respect

THE MAJORITY OF OUR REFEREES ARE CHILDREN and this is early in their referee experience!

Sideline behavior starts with the coaches. If a coach(es) show(s) disrespect to the referee or assistant referee(s), their team and supporters will feed off this behavior. Disrespect includes verbal and physical abuse of the officials. The Coach(s) must not voice an opinion on a rule interpretation or a particular play in the game in a loud and/or obnoxious manner. If a coach has a question on a rule or a particular play in the game, the proper and respectful response should be to quietly approach the referee in between periods or at the end of the game. At no time shall team supporters or players approach the officials. Referees will dismiss  a coach or other team official from the field area if the referee feels the level of disrespect warrants it.  Team officials will be responsible for their supporters.  If the referee asks to have a spectator removed, the coach SHALL honor that request and ask the spectator to leave.  Failure to do so will result in the game being stopped (clock continues to run) until the situation is rectified. 




A maximum of two coaches may be on the sideline during games at any given time.

While training may require more than this number for assistance, direction from more than two individuals during games is too distracting and confusing for players.


Parent Separation

Parents are never allowed on the field during games or clinics.

Only registered coaches and assistant coaches are allowed on the field with the players during games. This is a league rule at all levels (recreation, travel, professional).  Parents may enter the field only if requested by the center official.


Parents must sit on the opposite side of the field from the players and coaches. In the event of an injury the coach will call the parent over if necessary. Do not enter the field or approach the team bench without referee/coach approval. Field Layout maps are available on the Recreation page of the website.


Awards / Trophies

Championship teams and Finalists in each division will be awarded Trophies at the Headquarters Tent following the Final match in each Age Group.






Games are played once per week, on Saturdays during the Fall season and Sundays during the Spring season. All players should play at least half the game. In the U6 ‐ U12 divisions, coaches should rotate the positions of players. In U14 & U18, it is acceptable to have players only play 2 or 3 position all season.



All teams will hold practice once per week, at the assigned practice field. Practice length should be as follows:


Age Group

U6 ‐ U8

U9 ‐ U12

U14 ‐ U18

Practice Time

60 mins




Coaching assignments will be determined by the Recreational League Administrator. We will give parent volunteers first access to coaching their son or daughter. If we cannot find enough parent volunteers, we may look to bring in outside volunteers to help coach within the program, but they must be at least 18 years of age.


Player Practice / Game Preparation

At the start of each season you should remind the players and parents of the equipment needs and other requirements:

Water Bottle

Soccer Cleats (optional) Shin Guards and Soccer Socks

Game Shirts (Some coaches require this for practice)

Soccer Ball (U6‐U8 – size 3, U9‐U12 – size 4, U14‐U18 – size 5)


 Report Scores

 Age Group Commissioners will post results and current standings to the website. In order do this  the weekly game results must be reported each week (U09‐U18). Both teams should send an  email to their AGC including their team number and score.


No Referee

If the referee is not present at the scheduled start time and the game is to still start on time, a volunteer should substitute as the referee. Parents and spectators should be solicited first, then the away team coaching staff and lastly the home team coaching staff. The coaches must agree on the volunteer selected.


Parent Involvement

There will be a number of adults more than willing to volunteer their time and effort to make the season successful. Even if you have a formally designated assistant coach, you may have other parents with experience or interest that can help out at practice or during games. This is especially important if you and/or your assistant find it a challenge to make all practices or games. Having additional assistants also gives you the opportunity for more effective, small group drills at practice.


Weather Policy

Generally speaking, rain will not cancel a game, but soaked fields are what usually causes games to be cancelled. Postponements will be listed on the club’s homepage (

In the event of excessive heat coaches may agree on and request timed quarterly (or more often) water breaks throughout a game to allow children a break from play and to hydrate (at the approval of the referee for U09-U18 games).  In addition it is a good idea for parents to hydrate players days ahead of a hot weekend and consider assembling tents over teams. At no time should a parent or coach reduce field size or time of a game outside of FIFA/club rules & format.


The game day format of our league  can not be adjusted/changed from the set club guidelines (field size, rosters, # of players on the field etc...) Parents, coaches, referees are NOT  permitted to make on-site decisions concerning changes to format.



Severe Weather Policy

As our fields are spread out throughout the area, it is not possible to make a centralized decision as to whether games should be cancelled or postponed. Referees will make the final decision when playing games. Coaches are expected to act in the best interest and safety of the children in their care. If lightning is visible from anywhere on the field, the game should be stopped immediately and everyone should move off the field to appropriate cover. Even if only thunder is heard play shall be stopped.  Play may be resumed no sooner than 30 minutes after the last lightning is observed.  No one is allowed on the field during this waiting period.  The warm up period starts at the 30 minute mark.  Games should not be delayed for more than 40 minutes waiting for a storm to pass.



Goal Safety

As the coach it is your first responsibility to make sure your players are safe. Before using a field, coaches should check that goals are properly secured and safe to use. Make the commitment to check the goals every time. If you move goals for practice and/or games, make sure you secure them before & after using them.



The club’s website can be found at Nearly everything you need to know can be found here such as, closed fields, practice schedules, game schedules, picture days etc. League standings and end‐of‐season tournament information will also be available to view.