ARKANSAS CLUB DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
Arkansas Club Development League
Rules and Standards
The newly formed ACDL will be governed by The Arkansas Development Committee (ADC). This group will consist of five permanent members representing each of the 5 original clubs, and two at large ASSA member Clubs, appointed annually to the ADL, for a total of seven voting members. In addition, the ADC will include three members serving in an advisory role: the ASSA Classic Commissioner, an ASSA staff member, and a representative of the referee committee. Other voting members may be added by unanimous vote of the ADC.
(River Valley could be added as one of the permanent original Clubs).
- All member clubs must have acceptable, designated home fields, available for their home games.
- All teams must play their scheduled events.
- ACDL Premier division head coaches (13U to 18U), must have a minimum of a USSF D license.
For coaches without a State D or higher license, a twelve-month probation period will be granted.
- All other coaches (11U to
12U) must have completed at a minimum an 11v11 Grassroot Madgul.
- The Referee Committee assigner or the Host Club assigner will assign qualified referees to all games.
COST TO PARTICIPATE
There is no entry fee to play in ACDL, however, teams are responsible to pay referee fees on the field after each game. Field usage fees may apply when playing neutral site games. Check with the host Club before scheduling.
The referee fees vary according to age group:
$70/game for 11U/12U ($30/Center + $20/AR)
$90/game for 13U/14U (11vs11) ($40/Center + $25/AR)
$90/game for 15U Spring Only ($40/Center + $25/AR)
$105/game for 15U/16U ($45/Center + $30/AR)
$120/game for 17U/18U ($50/Center + $30/AR)
Each Club must have a Certified Referee Assigner for their home games and share his or her contact information with the ACDL. Referees and game assignments, are the responsibility of the host Clubs.
the Assignor Administrator is responsible for ensuring that proper referee coverage is provided for all league games.
Each team is responsible for paying half of each game fee to each member of the referee crew. Payment will be made immediately after the game, but not before the Referee has provided a completed copy of the Official Match Report to the designated representative of each team. Each copy of the Official Match Report must be signed by the Referee and the designated team representatives before it will be considered to be complete. It is the responsibility of the home team to maintain a completed, signed game report on file, to present to the league if needed, as well as to post the score on Got Soccer within 24 hours of the completed match.
Each Club with team(s) participating in the league is required to guarantee a $500 performance bond for each of its teams in the league, at the time of registration. Individual teams will not be required to submit team bond checks. The parent Club will be responsible for their team(s) adhering to all ACDL league rules and policies and will be responsible to ensure teams pay any penalty charges assessed during the season.
APPLICATION AND ADMISSION
The ACDL was created with the purpose of encouraging play among its 11U-18U competitive teams. Participation is open to any properly-registered ASSA/USYSA & US Club team, whose member Club is in good standing.
Participation in the ACDL is mandatory for any team entering any division of the ASSA State Cup that offers advancement to either the US Youth Soccer Regional Presidents Cup or the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series. However, teams that participate in the Region III Premier League, or US Club Soccer NPL will be only allowed to complete the minimum game requirement set by the ACDL.
All applications for participation must be received by August 1 of each year and must include:
A. Fully completed online ACDL Application.
B. Signed Club Agreement to provide $500/team Performance Bond.
DIVISIONS (Competition Groupings) Divisions will be formed along competitive lines. Each division must have a minimum of 4 teams in order to form. If a desired division has less than 4 teams, that division may be merged with another division, provided that the competitive level for both groups is maintained. If not, those teams will be granted a waiver to seek another league, to qualify for State Cup/National Championship series. This is especially true in the 16U and older age groups.
ACDL will offer Gold, Silver & Bronze divisions.
Only Teams participating in the Gold Division and teams finishing first in the Silver Division of ACDL will be allowed to play in the Gold Division of the State Cup. Teams that are playing in a sanctioned competitive out of state leagues will participate in a play in game to qualify.
An elevation and relegation system will be implemented each year.
Play in the ACDL will begin in September and be completed by November of each year for 15U-18U, and no later than the first weekend in May for the 11U-14U age groups.
The ACDL will schedule all games including home and away. Teams will be scheduled to play a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 7 games during the season for 15U-18U groups and a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 14 for 11U-14U Age Groups.
A preliminary league schedule of games will be available to all teams by mid-August and before the start of the season. However, the specific time and field number WILL NOT be included in that schedule.
Once the schedule is released, Clubs will have 2 weeks to request any changes to their schedule and post the TIME & FIELD NUMBER for all games scheduled on their home fields.
Discretionary schedule changes requested after the two-week period, but at least 7 days in advance of the scheduled event, if granted by the league, will incur a $50 change fee for the initiating team, provided both teams agree to the change. Change charges must be paid before the scheduled game (by check or credit card, payable to ACDL).
In the case that inclement weather or an unforeseen tragic event causes a cancellation, the game will be rescheduled by ACDL on first available rain out date.
IMPORTANT - Teams may schedule 2 league games on the same date if they choose.
However, no team can play more than 2 games per weekend and no individual player may play in more than 2 games per day or 3 per weekend.
NEUTRAL SITE GAMES
If the two teams agree to plan to play at a neutral site, the home team must secure the site and be responsible for any payment associated with that. The home team will be responsible for making all arrangements and any cost incurred. ACDL will not be responsible for any field use fees nor will the ACDL make any arrangements for neutral site field use.
FAILURE TO PLAY AS SCHEDULED
All matches must be played as scheduled. Scheduled matches may only be cancelled due to inclement weather. Failure to play a match as scheduled will be considered a "double forfeit" and will result in a recorded score of 0-4 loss for each team. Both teams will be charged $250 for nonperformance. If the ACDL Committee determines that the reason the game not played can be placed solely on one of the teams, then only that team will pay the $250 fine and forfeit the game, with a score of 4-0 being awarded to the opposing team. Any team that forfeits a game will not be allowed to continue in league play until the $250 is paid to the ACDL. Performance penalties must be paid before the scheduled game (by check or credit card, payable to ACDL).
Any team that fails to play 2 or more officially scheduled games, shall be considered to have abandoned the league, and will forfeit the $500 bond guaranteed by the parent Club. That team’s games will not count toward determining league standings, nor shall they be considered in the standings as forfeits. The team is not eligible to win the league, nor shall it be considered for entrance to any Arkansas State Championships/Cup. Further, the ACDL will evaluate this team’s requests for future participation in the League. Performance penalties must be paid (by check or credit card, payable to ACDL) in order for the parent Club to be considered in good standing.
PLAYER PASSES, ROSTERS AND ACDL GAME CARDS
Before each league game, each team must present the match officials and each other with their ACDL Game Card. This must be an official ACDL Game Card, including jersey numbers for each player, and the names of all coaches who will be permitted to sit on the team's bench. The official must inspect and verify Player Passes for both teams and match with ACDL Game Card rosters. Player Passes must be laminated and contain a picture of the player. If a team does not have its Player Passes and a copy of its official ACDL Game Card present at the field, the game should still be played, but the opposing team will be awarded a 4-0 win. However, the match will not count as a forfeit by the losing team unless other league rules that would impose a forfeiture penalty are also violated.
The expectation is that a team official will present the physical Player Passes of every player, for every game, but in the rare event that one or more Player Passes is missing, a team official may use a smart phone to present virtual Player Passes from the team’s official Got Soccer account.
Teams are permitted to use Club Pass players, provided no more than 16 players (11U-12U)/22 players (13U-18U) are listed on the roster. Teams may play a maximum of 16 players (11U-12U/22 players (13U-18U) in each league game. Any players who will not be participating in a game must have their names lined out on the ACDL game card before the start of the match.
Each team must maintain a minimum of 7 players (11U-12U), 9 players (13U-18U) from the team's official primary roster continuously across all game rosters used in league play, for the full season. When using the Club Pass provision, players must be consistent with the registered age group classification for the team, even if the team is playing in an older age classification for league games.
For ACDL League games, Club Pass players are limited to 5 per game in (9vs9) rosters and 7 per game for (11vs11) rosters.
Teams using "pool rosters" must be treated in a manner consistent with teams using traditional rosters. Thus, the primary or core roster for each team in the ACDL league must be declared in writing before the season begins, and players may not be listed on more than one primary roster across all age groups in the league. The existing requirements in the ACDL Rules will then be applied against these rosters, such that "each team must maintain a minimum of 7 players (11U-12U), or 9 players (13U-18U) from the team's official primary roster continuously across all game rosters used in league play."
Secondary players are permitted to play in ACDL games on more than one team, provided that, if scheduling conflicts arise, they play for their primary team. The Got Soccer Club Pass provision may be used to supplement game rosters, but guest players, who are not rostered with the team's club, are not eligible to play in ACDL league games.
Use of an ineligible player will result in a forfeit for the offending team, and the coach shall be banned from attending the next league match (or State Cup match) for that team. Banned coaches are not permitted to be present at the field or within the game field complex.
Regardless of the way in which each club elects to roster its players and teams in the league, individual players may not play for more than 2 teams in league in any weekend period (Friday through Monday). In addition, players may not play in more than 2 league games on the same day, or more than 3 league games in any weekend period (Friday through Monday).
Only properly registered players, and rostered coaches and team officials (mangers/trainers) will be allowed on the team’s side of the field, or in the team area.
The home team will have properly maintained and prepared fields, including proper markings, nets, goal size, and corner flags. A Club representative must be available to fix any problems associated with the fields. The controlling Club and/or Organization will be responsible for closing the field/complex in case of inclement weather. If the field/complex closes, it will be the responsibility of the home team to notify the opposing coach and/or manager, as well as the ACDL, as soon as possible, that the game has been postponed. Failure to notify the proper personnel in a timely manner could result in the game being declared a forfeit.
The Home Team will wear light color jerseys while the visitors will wear dark. In the case of a color conflict, the Home Team will change jerseys. The Home Team will provide a game ball to the referee. Each team shall clean up its respective areas before leaving the field.
Each player shall have a number on the player’s jersey, including the goalkeepers. The number shall be affixed to the back of the jersey and shall be clearly visible. Each player on a team must wear a different number from every other player on the team. The official team roster shall include the number of each player’s jersey. All players are required to wear shin guards that provide adequate protection. Goalkeepers must wear colors that distinguish them from the other players and game officials.
RULES OF PLAY
Games will be played using FIFA Laws of the Game as modified by US Soccer Player Development Initiatives.
A. Length of Match and ball size
11U/12U: 30 min halves, size 4 ball
13U/14U: 35 min halves, size 5 ball
15U/16U: 40 min halves, size 5 ball
17U/18U: 45 min halves, size 5 ball
Unlimited substitutions, as allowed by the referee, may be taken at the following times:
Prior to a throw-in, by the team in possession.
Prior to a goal kick by either team
Following a goal by either team
After an injury by either team, if the injured player is substituted
After a caution is issued for the cautioned player only
If a player is removed from the game and no substitute enters the game for the player, the team will play short. The original player may reenter the game, at a normal substitution point (with approval of the referee) or at any point during the game if the referee signals for the player’s reentry.
SPECIFIC PROVISIONS FOR LEAGUE PLAY
Teams must be able to start the match within 15 minutes of the scheduled match time. If a team cannot start within 15 minutes of the scheduled match, the other team shall be awarded a victory by forfeit.
If a game is terminated because of weather, it shall be judged a completed game if the game has reached halftime before the game was terminated. If the match was of lesser duration, then it shall be replayed.
Referees may terminate matches for lack of crowd control, poor team behavior, or other unsporting circumstances. Each coach is responsible for the behavior of his or her players and bench personnel. Each coach is responsible to assist the referee, when asked, in the control of parents, fans, and spectators. If a referee terminates a match because of conduct, the game score shall be reported as it was at the time the game was terminated. Additionally, the ACDL Committee reserves the right to ascertain the facts regarding the match and determine appropriate action, disciplinary or otherwise.
Limited coaching is permitted only from the team side of the field, from the halfway line to the top of the penalty area, on that half of the field. Coaches may not enter the field without permission from the referee. Violation of this rule may result in a caution being issued.
EJECTIONS AND DISCIPLINE
Any player ejected from an ACDL match must leave the players' side of the field and shall be suspended for his or her next ACDL match and/or next match in the National Championship Series (State Cup, President’s Cup, etc.). The Player Pass WILL NOT be retained by the referee following a match in which a red card was issued.
Players serving a suspension do not have to be present at the game in which they are serving the suspension, however they must count towards the 16 players (11U-12U), or 22 players (13U-19U) permitted on that game roster. Players are allowed to serve their suspensions on the team bench, provided they are not in uniform.
Any rostered team officials ejected from an ACDL match must leave the field and/or complex and shall be suspended from the next ACDL match and/or next match in the National Championship Series (State Cup, President’s Cup, etc) for the team they were coaching at the time of the ejection. Rostered team officials are not allowed at the field or complex while serving their suspension.
It is the responsibility of the coach and/or manager to make sure the ejected player or coach sits out the appropriate match following the one in which the red card was issued, and that the serving of that suspension is noted on the ACDL Game Report by the referee.
Any team that does not sit out a suspended individual for the required match, and that allows this individual to participate, will be deemed to have used an ineligible participant and will incur all the penalties associated with such. Additionally, the person in question shall be suspended from the next ACDL match and/or next match in the National Championship Series (State Cup, President’s Cup, etc).
Ejections for "Violent Conduct" shall serve a minimum two game suspension and may be subject to expulsion from the league.
Matches must be officiated by the three-person FIFA/USSF Referee System.
In the event the assigned referee fails to appear (within 15 minutes of the match time), a certified official must be found to officiate the match. If no certified official is found to officiate the match, then the competition will not count as an official league match even if played with uncertified officials officiating. The referee may appoint replacements for assistant referees who fail to show up by the match time. In the event certified USSF officials are not available, the referee may appoint "club assistant referees". Club assistant referees shall be limited to assisting with decisions only on the touchlines and related to ball possession, as specified by FIFA.
STANDINGS, POINT SYSTEM AND TIE BREAKERS
A team's standing in its division will be determined by the number of points it receives based on its win/loss record during the league season. Points will be awarded as follows:
Three (3) points for a win
One (1) point for a tie
Zero (0) points for a loss
In the event of a tie within a division, the following criteria shall be used to break the tie:
A. Winner of head to head competition (this criterion is not used if more than 2 teams are
B. Most wins
C. Team with greatest net goal difference (NGD), which is computed as "goals for" minus
"goals against" with a maximum of four NGD in each game.
D. Team with the most goals (maximum of four goals in each game)
E. Team with least goals against (there is NO limit on the number of goals that will be counted to determine this tiebreaker)
F. Fewest red cards
G. Fewest yellow cards
In the event more than two teams are tied on the basis of points, the following shall be used
to break the tie:
The sequence of tiebreakers will begin with #1 above and be followed until a team is
eliminated. Once a team has been eliminated, the sequence of tiebreakers will begin again with #1 and will be repeated starting over after each team is eliminated until one team remains.
In the event, that (after having applied the tiebreaker rules above) teams remain tied, the winner of a coin toss will be judged to have placed higher in the standings than the loser of the coin toss. Forfeits are recorded as a score of 4-0 for the winning team. Double forfeits or no-plays are recorded as 0-0 losses for both teams and are not considered a tie for awarding standings points.
PROTESTS AND APPEALS
All eligible protests and appeals will be considered by the ACDL Committee.
A. Filing of a Protest
1. Notice of intent to protest a competition must be registered, in writing, with the game official and the parties involved at the game site. The protest must be submitted to ACDL within 48 hours of match completion.
2. Judgment decisions of the referee are not subject to protest.
3. All protests must include the following before they will be considered:
a. A fee of $100 will be charged to the team, and which will be returned if the protest is upheld. If not, the team must pay the $100 (by check or credit card, payable to ACDL) before the next scheduled ACDL Game.
b. A written statement describing the specific grounds for the protest.
c. All information necessary to make a fair and just decision on the protest.
d. A clear and concise statement of the relief or action sought by the protesting party.
B. Consideration of a Protest
1. A protest may not be allowed if the protest:
a. Concerns a matter of referee judgment
b. Is incomplete or does not contain the required information
c. Is not filed in a timely or proper manner
d. Does not deal with either the application of these rules or the qualifications of the opposing team.
2. The ACDL committee shall issue a written decision within (48 Hours) of the receipt of the Protest.
C. Filing an Appeal of ACDL Decision to ASSA
1. All appeals must be properly submitted within 48 Hours of the ACDL Committee decision. Judgment decisions of the referee are not subject to appeal.
2. All appeals must include the following before they will be considered:
a. A fee of $100 (certified check or money order, payable to ASSA), which will be returned if the appeal is upheld.
b. A written statement describing the specific grounds for the appeal.
c. All information necessary to make a fair and just decision.
The primary point of contact for all issues related to ACDL is