Rules and Regulations

Rules and Regulations

RULES AND REGULATIONS

(as revised May 25, 2016)


Section 1 – Governance

1.1. The VMSL is a registered not-for-profit entity under the BC Society Act.

1.2. All competition in the league is governed by the VMSL Board of Directors.

1.3. The VMSL operates under its own Constitution and Bylaws, as well as pursuant to the BC Soccer Association’s.

Competition Rules and Regulations

1.4. Discipline will be applied according to the VMSL Discipline Policies and Procedures.

Section 2 – League Fee

2.1. The Board of Directors shall establish the Annual Membership fees, subject to approval of the membership at the Annual General Meeting.  The fees shall be payable at a date fixed by the Board of Directors.

League Fees

(a) VMSL Team Registration fee $250.00 rising to $350.00 starting in the 2017-2018 season
(b) BCSA Team Registration fee $50.00
(c) Player registration Fee $50.00
(d) Player transfer fee $20.00
(e) Replacement identification card $10.00 per card
(f) Fields fees will be charged according to a team’s fields usage
(g) Performance bond for new team $500.00

Bonds for clubs existing as of the rule change in 2013 are grandfathered at the existing rate of $250.00 per team. The bond may be increased by the Board of Directors for teams, who, by their conduct, show a disregard for the Laws of the Game, the Bylaws, and/or the Rules and Regulations of the VMSL.

Section 3 – Competition Prize Tokens and Provincial / National Competition Subsidies

3.1. Divisional competition prize money may be established and funded by the clubs within each division and shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.  The VMSL will match premier division prize money funded by the clubs.

3.2. The VMSL will match the BCSA travel grants (currently $500 per trip) that VMSL teams in provincial cup play receive for travel to Vancouver Island.

3.3. The VMSL will match the BCSA travel grants (currently $1000) that VMSL teams in national championship play receive for travel outside of BC.

Section 4 – Schedule

4.1. The VMSL Board of Directors shall be responsible for the scheduling of all VMSL games.

4.2. The VMSL Board of Directors shall appoint all game officials.

4.3. In the event that a match cannot continue through to full regulation time due to inclement weather or extenuating circumstances, it will resume within the next 24 hours (or some other date/time agreed upon by the competing teams and the VMSL) starting at the same minute that the match was originally suspended and with the same score, accumulation of cards (if there was any) and same players that were listed on the teams’ rosters and were present at the game at the time it was suspended. The VMSL Board of Directors shall have discretionary powers to decide whether unfinished games are to be replayed or the result declared officially completed.

4.4. The VMSL Board of Directors may institute temporary rules to deal with interrupted schedules, determining which games must be played, where and under what conditions, and how points are to be awarded.

4.5. Any team responsible for defaulting or cancelling a game will be charged with all the expenses incurred in preparation for such game as per Section 8.e. of the VMSL rules and Regulations. The Board of Directors shall have the power to suspend or expel any member club who has defaulted and/or forfeited 3 or more games in one regular season.

4.6. To change a scheduled match, the following process must be followed:

(a) Any team wishing to change or postpone a scheduled VMSL home game must apply in writing to the VMSL President explaining the reasons and/or circumstances of the change.
(b) Any team wishing to change or postpone a scheduled VMSL away game must apply in writing to the VMSL President explaining the reasons and/or circumstances of the change. An agreement of acceptance from the opposing club / team will be required before changes are made.
(c) A new date and field must be provided and no changes will be accepted within 14 days of a match, except under special circumstances, i.e., weather, National Championships, and health related issues.
(d) Approved match changes with new dates are subject to a fee of $25.00 to the club initiating the change.
(e) Time changes within 14 days may only be allowed upon approval of the VMSL Executive.

4.8. The standing of teams resigning or removed from the VMSL before completion of the schedule will be expunged from the record as follows:

(a)  If a resignation or removal occurs prior to the completion of the first round of the schedule, all results involving that team will be expunged from the league record.

(b)  If a resignation or removal occurs prior to the completion of second round of schedule, only the second round results will be expunged.

(c)  The same formula shall apply for any subsequent rounds.

4.9. Points shall be awarded on the basis of three (3) points for a win, one (1) point for a draw and zero (0) point for a loss.

4.10. In the event of inclement weather, teams must:

(a) Be in attendance and prepared to play at the scheduled field and wait for the decision of the referee as to whether the ground is in playable condition or not, unless previously advised to the contrary by the Scheduling Secretary.

(b) Be prepared to play if, within 24 hours, the game is changed to a venue, day and/or time different than the original schedule.

4.11. Admission fees:

(a) in a regular VMSL game played in an enclosed park for which an admission is charged, the home team will retain the net gate.

(b) In regular VMSL games, which form part of a double header, and for which an admission fee is charged the net gate will be divided between the two home teams.

(c) In regular VMSL games played on open parks the home team is entitled to take and retain the proceeds of any moneys collected.

Section 5 – Division Section Championship

5.1. At the completion of the league schedule, the team with the most points shall be declared the Division Section Champion.

5.2. In the event of two teams having the same number of points, the Division Section Champion shall be determined by the result of a one game playoff.

The game will be played on neutral ground, with extra time periods, and a penalty kick series if necessary.

5.3. In the event three or more teams are tied for first place a round-robin playoff will take place. If the Board of Directors feels that there is not sufficient time to complete the round-robin playoff, the following formula will be used to break the tie:

(a) Total points in games played among tied teams.

(b) Goal difference (goals for minus goals against) in games played among tied teams.

(c) Goal average (goals for divided by goals against) in games played among tied teams.

(d) Goal difference in all games played.

(e) Goal average in all games played.

If, after the round-robin playoff, two or more teams are still tied, the mathematical formula for breaking the tie will be the same as the one above.

Section 6 – Promotion and Relegation and Vacancies

6.1. At the end of each season, the VMSL shall promote and relegate teams as follows:

(a) The two last place teams in the Premier Division will be relegated to Division 1.

(b) The first and second place teams in Division 1 will be promoted to the Premier Division.

(c) The last two teams in Division 1 will be relegated to Division 2.

(d) The winner of each of the Division 2 sections will be promoted to Division 1.

(e) Three teams from Division 2 will be relegated to Division 3 as follows:

i- The last place team in each Division 2 section will be relegated to Division 3.

ii- A one game playoff on a neutral ground shall take place between the two penultimate teams in each of the two Division 2 sections . In case of a tie, two 15 minute extra time periods will be played, followed by penalty kicks if needed. The losing team will then be relegated to Division 3

(f)  Three teams from Division 3 shall be promoted to Division 2. The procedure to identify the teams will vary, depending on the number of groups in Division 3.

(g) In all of the above cases, the placement of promoted or relegated teams into divisions with multiple sections will be decided by a random draw.

6.2. In the event of two teams having the same number of points at the end of the league schedule, and providing that this situation affects the promotion or relegation of teams, a one game playoff on a neutral ground shall take place. In case of a tie, two 15 minute extra time periods will be played, followed by penalty kicks if needed.

Where three or more teams are affected, a round-robin tournament among the tied teams will take place and the tie breaking formula outlined in Section 5.3 of the Rules and Regulations will be used.

6.3. Vacancies in any Division, except the ones covered by Section 6.1 shall be filled as follows:

(a) The next place team by points standing in its respective division, regardless of section, shall be promoted, assuming that the teams have played an equal number of games. If the teams have not played an equal number of games, then the team with the highest points/games quotient (points divided by number of games played) shall fill the vacancy.

(b) Where two or more teams are tied in points standing, regardless of section, then the team having the best goal difference shall be the next team promoted.  Goals scored will be used if goal difference fails to resolve the tie.    

(c) If there are more than 2 vacancies to be filled in a division, the VMSL executive reserves the right to consult the directly affected parties. When one or two vacancies are to be filled, they will go to teams next in line per 6.3(a) and 6.3(b).

6.4. Realignment within each Division.

Teams remaining for the next season in a division that is broken into sections will be redistributed to (shuffled into) newly formed sections based on their placement in the previous playing season. Where two or more teams are tied in points standing, the formula outlined in section 5.3 shall apply.

In divisions of two sections the remaining teams (after removing teams promoted and relegated out) in:

·         the A section will be assigned A, B, A, B, etc. based on placement in their section in the previous playing season; while

·         the B section will be assigned B, A, B, A, etc. based on placement in their section.

In divisions of three sections the remaining teams (after removing teams promoted and relegated out) in:

·         the A section will be assigned A, B, C, A, B, C, etc. based on placement in their section in the previous playing season;

·         the B section will be assigned B, C, A, B, C, A etc. based on placement in their section; and

·         the C section will be assigned C, A, B, C, A, B etc. based on placement in their section

Teams filling vacancies or promoted or relegated into a division will be assigned to the sections via random draw.

Section 7 – Clubs/Teams Responsibilities

The rules and regulations set forth in this Section are to be administered and enforced by the VMSL Board of Directors. Infractions may result in such disciplinary action as may be considered necessary.

7.1. Clubs failing to send a representative to any VMSL meeting will be subject to a twenty-five ($25) dollar fine.

7.2. Every club is responsible to the VMSL for the actions of its teams, players, officials and supporters and is to take all necessary precautions to prevent behaviour that may bring the game into disrepute.

7.3. Any club, team, or individual who induces or attempts to induce a registered player of another club in the VMSL to leave his club without first giving seven (7) days notice in writing to the club for which the player is registered, shall be deemed guilty of misconduct and be dealt with as per BCSA Rule 6 - Poaching.

7.4. All decisions and reports of the Board of Directors, or any business transacted at any meeting may be published at the discretion of the Board of Directors whether such publication shall or shall not reflect on the character or conduct of any club, player or spectator, and in the event of such publication, every club, player or spectator concerned or referred to therein shall be deemed to have assented to such publication.

7.5. Each club must, at least two weeks before the commencement of the season and in a form approved by the VMSL, submit a complete list of its officers together with the club mailing and email addresses and phone numbers to the VMSL Board of Directors. Any changes to this list must be communicated in writing to the VMSL office immediately.

7.6. Any club wishing to change its name must apply to the VMSL for permission to do so.

7.7. Every team must have available two sets of jerseys of substantially different colours.

7.8. If, in the opinion of the referee, a conflict of jersey colours exists, it is the responsibility of the away team to change jerseys.

7.9. Each player must have an easily identifiable number displayed on his jersey that corresponds with the number on the team list. The same number must not be allotted to more than one player in any game.

7.10. Each club is responsible for seeing that the players are properly dressed and equipped and is expected to do everything possible to make the game as attractive as possible for the spectators.

7.11. Team lists shall be properly prepared in triplicate on in a form provided by, or approved by, the VMSL. The list shall be printed legibly and shall state the numbers and full names of all eligible players that the team intends to use in the game. Players not listed on the team list will be considered ineligible for the game.

(a) All 3 copies of the team list shall be handed to the referee at least ten (10) minutes prior to the commencement of the game.

(b) The referee shall sign all 3 copies of the team list. He will retain the original copy and, prior to the commencement of the game; give each team a copy of the team list.

7.12. The home team must make available two (2) high quality soccer balls from a list of approved balls published by the VMSL.

7.13. Each home team must provide the following (according to the Laws of the Game):

(a)  The field must be properly marked to the referee’s satisfaction.

(b)  Regulation size corner flags properly and securely placed.

(c) Goal nets in satisfactory condition and properly hung.

(d) Fields shall be booked for not less than 2 hours for a regular League games and not less than 2:30 hours for a Cup games where overtime is a possibility.

7.14. In all VMSL league games, it is the home team’s responsibility to pay the referee and the assistant referees prior to the commencement of the second half of the game.

7.15. For all games, other than scheduled regular league games, the referee and assistant referee fees are to be shared equally by both teams.

Section 8 – Club / Team Fines

8-   Clubs / Teams found guilty of committing the following offences will be fined as follows:

8.a. Team fails to appear for a scheduled game

Penalty: Minimum $150.00 fine, plus cost of game official(s), if under 24 hours notice, ($70/80) and Field cost, for away teams, ($75 +)- 3-0 result will be given to the opponent.

8.b. Use of ineligible player

1) First Offence-Penalty;  $200.00 fine, stripped of any points acquired in the game and a further deduction of three (3) points.- 3-0 result will be given to the opponent.

2) Second Offence- Penalty; $400.00 fine, stripped of any points acquired in the game and a further deduction of six (6) points. – 3-0 result will be given to the opponent.

3) Third offence- Penalty; The team shall be expelled from the VMSL, and its bond forfeited.

4) Cup games- Penalty; $200.00 fine and expulsion from further cup competition.

8.c. Forgery of Player’s Signature on Registration form

Penalty: Minimum $100.00 fine.

8.d. Team fails to commence a game or withdraws from the game after it has started unless so directed by the Referee

Penalty: Minimum $150.00 fine, plus cost of game official(s) ($70/80) and Field cost ($75 +)- 3-0 result will be given to the opponent.

8.e. Defaulting, forfeiting or cancelling a game

Penalty: $150.00 fine, plus cost of game official(s) ($70/80) and Field cost ($75 +)- 3-0 result will be given to the opponent.

8.f. Delay of start of game

Penalty: Minimum $25.00 fine.

8.g. Failure to pay referee(s) before start of second half

Penalty: Minimum $25.00 fine.

8.h. Insufficient or unacceptable uniforms

Penalty: Minimum $25.00 fine.

8.i.  Team fails to,

1) Mark field properly; Penalty: Minimum $25.00 fine.

2) Supply appropriate goal nets; Penalty: Minimum $25.00 fine.

3) Supply appropriate corner flags; Penalty: Minimum $25.00 fine.

4) Supply match ball and/or spare match ball; Penalty: Minimum $25.00 fine.

5) Provide team lists before kickoff; Penalty: Minimum $50.00 fine

6) Provide identification cards before kickoff; Penalty: Minimum $50.00 fine

7) Supply substitution slips; Penalty: Minimum $50.00 fine

8.j.  Team or teams held to be at fault for abandonment of a game

Penalty: Minimum $150.00 fine plus game officials fees/s ($70/80) and Field cost ($75 +) - 3-0 result will be given to the opponent.

8.k.  If requested by referee – lack of spectator control by team official(s) including failure to address the referee

Penalty: Minimum $50.00 fine and may be suspended from further participation in the competition.

8.l.  Harassment of referee, persistent criticism of the referee or disputing calls of the referee by team officials and/or players,

Penalty: Minimum $50.00 fine and may be suspended from further participation in the competition.

8.m. If requested by referee – failure to identify spectator(s) responsible for misconduct towards a referee or assistant referee;

Penalty: Minimum $50.00 fine and may be suspended from further participation in the competition.

8.n.  Player/team official, while under suspension and attending a game as a spectator, behaves in a manner that brings the game into disrepute,

Penalty: Minimum $100.00 fine and suspended from attendance at the game sites.

8.o.  Team fails to send a representative to the VMSL Annual General Meeting and/or a pre-competition meeting,

Penalty: Minimum $25.00 fine.

8.p.   Team fails to fulfill Provincial and/or Club National commitment,

Penalty: Minimum $100.00, plus the BCSA and CSA fines that are assessed to VMSL.

Section 9 – Players

9.1.    All players to be eligible to take part in VMSL games must be registered in a form provided by the BCSA, and filed by the VMSL with the BCSA Registrar.

9.2.   A player shall be eligible to take part in any VMSL game from the date of registration with the VMSL / BCSA providing he has a valid VMSL identification card or special permit issued by the VMSL and is not suspended.

9.3.   A player under suspension by the VMSL or BCSA is an ineligible player and may not participate in a VMSL game. (See Section 11 for more detail.)

9.4.   It is the team’s responsibility to use and protect a player’s identification card.  A player who fails to produce a valid identification card or a special permit issued by the VMSL is deemed to be an ineligible player.

9.5.   Players transferring from one team to another are subject to BCSA Rule 7 - Transfer of Players.

All player transfers must be filed with and approved by the VMSL.

When transferring to another team, a player’s identification card must be submitted with the transfer form.
A player is entitled to a transfer provided he/she has complied with all the provincial, district or league rules and regulations and is not indebted to the current team, district or league.
A player is entitled to a transfer as hereinafter provided, by January 15th of the current year for the coastal/winter-playing season, except as provided below, and by June 30th of the current year for the interior/summer-playing season, except as provided below.
A player shall not be allowed to transfer during the team’s playing season without the consent of the team for which the player is registered.
A player currently under suspension and seeking a transfer is not eligible to play until the suspension has been served with his current team.
Once a team plays its first league game in the current playing season any player movement thereafter would be subject to the transfer regulations.
9.6. Any player playing under more than one name, and/or for more than one BCSA affiliated team, shall be immediately suspended for the balance of the season at a minimum.

In addition, his club will be liable for a minimum one hundred dollar ($100.00) fine. Any subsequent infringement of this regulation by the club will render the club liable to expulsion from the VMSL.

9.7.   Only eligible players’ names may appear on the team list. Identification cards for all players on the current team list must be presented to the referee, together with the team list, before the commencement of the game.

9.8.   To be current and acceptable, every identification card must indicate:

(a) Name in full.

(b) Current team playing for.

(c) A passport size photograph of true likeness of player.

(d) Annual authentication by the VMSL.

9.9. A youth player playing in the VMSL on permit must have a current BCSA identification card issued by their youth soccer association.

9.10. An eligible player who is late for the kick-off may participate in the game upon presentation of his identification card to the referee, together with a substitution slip if required.

9.11. The referee will check the identification cards prior to the commencement of the game to verify the identity of each player. Any discrepancies must be reported to both teams prior to the commencement of the game and a detailed report submitted to the VMSL president within 24 hours.  The referee will retain the identification cards for the duration of the game.

9.12. Should the manager or coach insist on fielding a player without a valid identification card (or special permit issued by the VMSL), the referee must inform the opposing manager or coach and report the infraction to the VMSL within 24 hours. (A player without a valid identification card or special permit is an ineligible player. See VMSL Rule 8.b. for the ramifications of playing an ineligible player.)

9.13. Managers are responsible for ensuring that all identification card information is correct. Any discrepancies must be reported to the VMSL Board of Directors immediately.

9.14. Any player ejected from the game by the referee shall have his identification card forwarded, with the referee’s report, to the Player Discipline Committee, within 48 hours.

9.15.  The player or a club official must retrieve the identification card from the League Office when the player’s suspension has been completed and his fine of $20.00 per game served, has been paid.

9.16. Confirmation that the requisite number of games have been “sat out” by the player must be established at the time the identification card is retrieved.

9.17. The clubs should retain all identification cards at the end of the season.

Section 10 – Substitutes

10.1. In all matches under the jurisdiction of the VMSL, with the exception of the Masters’ Divisions, each team is allowed to make a maximum of five substitutions during a total entire game, which includes extra time when played.

10.2. In the Division 3, CAT and U21 divisions unlimited substitutions will be allowed at half time.

10.3. In the Masters Divisions unlimited substitutions will be allowed during the entire game.

10.4. Players substituted shall be permitted to take further part in a game, each change to be counted as a substitution.

10.5. With the exception of the Masters’ Divisions, and at half time, Division 3, U21 and CAT, a substitute player must present to the referee a valid substitution slip upon entering the field of play.

10.6. With the exception of the Masters’ Divisions, and at half time, Division 3, U21 and CAT, a team proven to have made more than five (5) substitutions in a game shall be considered to have played an ineligible player.

The provisions of Article 6.5 of the By-Laws and Section 8.b of the Rules and Regulations shall apply.

Section 11 – Discipline Committees

11.1. The Board of Directors shall form a Player Discipline Committee. Such committee shall consist of three (3) members, including a member of the VMSL Board of Directors who shall act as chairman of the committee.

(a) The chairman shall only have a tie-breaking vote.

(b) Attendance by any other person at committee meetings shall be by invitation only.

(c) Player Discipline Meetings shall be held at a time and place as designated by the Board of Directors.

11.2. The Board of Directors shall form a Club Discipline Committee. Such committee shall consist of all members of the Board of Directors, including a member who shall act as Chairman of the committee.

(a) The Club Discipline Committee Chairman shall only have a tie-breaking vote.

(b) Attendance by any other person at committee meetings shall be by invitation only.

(c) Club Discipline meetings shall be held at a time and place as designated by the Board of Directors.

11.3. Decisions made by the Player and Club Discipline Committees shall be based on the guidelines regarding discipline as declared in the Constitutions of the British Columbia Soccer Association and the Canadian Soccer Association respectively.

11.4. A suspended player in League play, with the exception of players suspended by BCSA, will be allowed to play in League Cup games.

11.5. A suspended player in League Cup play, with the exception of players suspended by BCSA, will be allowed to play in League games.

11.6. Accumulations of yellow cards in League play will not be carried over to Cup play and accumulation of yellow cards in Cup play will not be carried over to League play.

11.7.  League suspensions (but not Cup suspensions) will apply to all VMSL playoff games related to relegation, promotion, divisional and sectional championship and league placement for Provincial Cup qualification.

11.8.  Both League suspensions and Cup suspensions will be carried over from season to season.

Section 12 – Club Affiliated Teams

12.1. Clubs fielding more than one team in the VMSL may operate a Club Affiliated Team (CAT) system.

12.2. Only one open division first team (i.e., premier, Div 1, 2 or 3), one CAT team, one U21 team, one Over 35 team and one Over 45 team are allowed per CAT system. Clubs may run more than one CAT system within their club but each must be a distinct CAT system with distinct name that cannot share any players with the other CAT system(s).

A club must declare, prior to the commencement of the VMSL season, which of its teams is to be part of their CAT system(s).

12.2.1. CAT teams will be placed in a separate CAT division so that they will not compete against non-CAT teams during League play.

12.2.2. CAT teams will not be promoted or relegated unless there is more than one CAT division and there is a CAT division for them to be promoted or relegated into.

12.2.3. CAT teams will not be allowed to drop their CAT status and return to the regular divisions in a new season without exiting their club’s CAT system.

12.2.4. If there are an insufficient number of teams in division 3, the CAT teams may be placed in the same division as the non-CAT teams.

12.3.     Players registered on teams designated by a club to be within one of their CAT systems are eligible to play (in League games only) on any other team also designated to be part of that particular CAT system without a transfer. Players registered on teams not designated by a club to be within one of their CAT systems are not eligible to play on any other team in the league without a transfer.

12.4   Players are only eligible to compete in Cup competition for the team with which they are registered.

12.5. Players in the CAT system will serve any suspensions with the team with which they are registered.

Section 13 – Premier Division

13.1   The Premier Division shall be limited to one team per club.

Section 14 – Masters’ Divisions

14.1   For the 2016-2017 season, players born in 1981 and older will be allowed to play in the Over 35 Divisions.

14.2   Each team in the Over 35 Divisions will be allowed to register 3 underage players. These players must be born in 1982, 1983 or 1984. These players will be allowed to participate in regular League play as well as Cup play. However, they will not be allowed to participate in the Provincial Cup competition.

For 2016-17, teams in the Over 45 Divisions will be allowed to register up to 5 underage players born in 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975 or 1976.

For 2017-18, teams in the Over 45 Divisions will be allowed to register up to 4 underage players born in 1973, 1974, 1975 or 1976.

For 2018-19, teams in the Over 45 Divisions will be allowed to register up to 3 underage players born in 1974, 1975 or 1976. 2018-2019 marks the end of the full transition to Over 45 from Over 40 Divisions whereby all players must be over 45 except for 3 players per team who are either 42, 43, or 44.

14.3    There will be 3 Over 35 Divisions: Premier Division, Division 1, Division 2, and 2 Over 45s Divisions, Premier Division and Division 1. The following promotion/relegation system will be in effect for both Over 35 Divisions and Over 45 Divisions: the two bottom teams from the Premier Division will be relegated to Division 1, while the two top teams from Division 1 will be promoted to the Premier Division. In Over 35 Divisions, the two bottom teams from Division 1 will be relegated to Division 2 and the two top teams from Division 2 will be promoted to Division 1.

Teams in Over 35 Premier and Division 1 are entitled to enter the Masters A Cup. Teams in Over 35 Division 2 and Over 45 Premier and Division 1 are entitled to enter the Masters B Cup.

14.4   The CAT system will not be in effect in the Masters’ Divisions except for the Over 45s Division. Over 45s players will be allowed to play in league games with a club affiliated team in Masters Premier, Division 1 or 2 but not the other way around.

Section 15 – Under 21 Division

15.1 For the 2016-2017 season, players born in 1996 and younger will be allowed to play in the Under 21 Division.

15.2 The CAT system will be in effect in the Under 21 Division.

15.3 Each team will be allowed to use a maximum of 2 overage players, belonging to the club’s CAT system, in League games.