Rules and Regulations

Rules and Regulations

RULES AND REGULATIONS
(as published July 15, 2022)

Summary of Changes for 2022-23

REGISTRATION

a.   2.1.c, 9.1 – Registration fee for new players (i.e., not registered with the VMSL in the last two seasons) is increased from $60 to $65.

b.   2.1.d – Transfer fee increased from $20 to $25.

c.   7.7 – Every team must have a minimum of 12 players registered.

d.   9.9 – New youth permit process drives changes. Note youth permit players now need to register online with the VMSL (for free). Clean up ID card language for youths given youth cards are now in VMSL card decks obviating the need for 2 paper copies of each permit and youth ID cards for the ref. Set new limits such that a team can only use four youth permits per game (except in U21 where a team can use up to 8 youth permits). When a U21 team uses more than four youth permits in a game, there is a charge of $10 per youth permit after the 4th. These limits apply to both the number of youth permits that can be used in a game as well as the number that can be applied for.

e.   8.c.iii – NEW: Minimum $100 fine for not ensuring in a timely manner that: (a) your player and team staff profiles are registered with the exact same name and (b) your player and team staff profiles are merged into a single user ID / login. 

    SCHEDULE

f.    4.1 - Expanded regular kickoff hours on Saturday and Sunday.

g.   4.3 - Clarify scheduling of game completions. Must endeavour to complete directly at alternate field. If rescheduled, revert to regular scheduling.

h.   4.3.a – Player eligibility in completion: Narrows the types of cases where an request of VMSL would or would not make sense (don’t ask if not still in your club).

i.     4.6 – Schedule Changes and Postponements: rewrite for clarity. Codifying of the game week concept (Wed to Mon) and the standing policy requiring discretionary postponements to fit within the VMSL’s 22 game week schedule.

j.    4.9 – now 4.7 for flow – Field not playable: retiring of defunct language re: on standby for 24 hours for reschedule. Obligation to move to an alternate if within 2 hours.

    PLAYOFFS

k.   6.1.c and 6.1.d – Building on the new Div 3 Promotion Playoff Structure … Proposed is a NEW Div 2 Playoff (which is a bonus for Div 2 and a jeopardy for Div 1 3rd last). Div 2A second place plays Div 2B second place and then the winner plays third bottom in Div. 1 for a spot in Div. 1. Rationale: Increases merit based mobility in the league at the Div 2 / 1 level as well as adding further high stakes late season play.

l.     7.17, 11.10, 13.3, 15.2 – For playoffs that are exclusively to determine Provincial Cup qualification, normal playoff rules amended to exclude CAT and ICP players (but not youth permits) and in the masters divisions exclude any players who are “underagers” and ineligible for Provincial Cup. (i.e., if you’re tied at end of season, the team with the best Prov Cup team should qualify, not the team with the best “club strength”.)

    DISCIPLINE / FINES / FEES

m. 7.12 – Admin fee for a hand written player added to rules and increased from $5 to $10.

n.   8.b, 8.c.i and 8.c.ii – fine for use of ineligible player, forging a registration increased from $200 to $250 minimum.

o.   8.b.5, 9.15 – Fine of $20 per game suspended going to $25 per game minimum.

p.   8.i.2 – Fine for not having nets increased from $25 to $75.

q.   9.4 – In the case where a team attempts to check in an ineligible player, a sanction of some sort is still applicable even if the player is barred from playing.

r.    11.13 – Clarify that the details of the restrictions when under suspension apply to suspended players as well as team staff.

s.   11.14 – Addition: Anyone suspended as a player or coach may be barred by the League from refereeing in the VMSL until their suspension is served, depending on the nature of the associated offence. [NOTE: Softened slightly post AGM to “League discretion” based on member feedback that a ref-player should not be barred from reffing for, say, a yellow accumulation or a DOGSO red.]

    MISCELLANEOUS

t.    14.2, 14.3 – Any team seeking promotion to the Premier Division from Division 1 cannot be affiliated with a Club that has a team in the Premier Division in the season that they seek promotion.

u.   7.11 – Make the obligation of premier division home teams to notify away teams of home team kit colours 3 days in advance only required if the home team is NOT playing in their primary kit colours posted on their team page (i.e., not their alternate kit).

v.   13.1 – Clean up: Add Division 4 to the ICP (Intra Club Permit) sort list.

w.  Section 6 – Promotion and Relegation: Remove temporary rules to support the VMSL Expansion program affecting promotion and relegation for Premier, Division 1, 2 and 3.

x.   Section 15 and 16 – Update Years of Birth for O35, O45, U21.

    MEMBER PROPOSED and passed at the AGM

y.   11.7, 11.11 and NOT 11.8 – the Yellow Accumulation rule in League play should be changed to a suspension after 4/6/7 yellows not 3/5/6 yellows 


 

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 BC Soccer’s.

Competition Rules and Regulations

1.4. The VMSL operates solely as an amateur league and the payment of players is strictly prohibited as governed by the bylaws of BC Soccer and in particular BC Soccer Rule 5b (“An amateur player shall not receive any remuneration or consideration directly or indirectly from playing soccer except as provided in these rules”)

1.5 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: $350
(b) BC Soccer Team Registration fee: $50
(c) BC Soccer / VMSL Player Registration fee: $50 (VMSLsoccer.com returning player); $65 (player not already registered on VMSLsoccer.com within the previous two seasons)
(d) BC Soccer / VMSL Player Transfer fee: $25
(e) Fields fees will be charged according to a team’s usage of League field permits
(f) Performance bond per team: $500 (Note: some teams have $250 on deposit as opposed to $500 based on the previous performance bond dollar amount)

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 BC Soccer travel grants (currently $500 per trip) that VMSL teams in provincial cup play receive for travel to Vancouver Island.

3.3. The VMSL will provide a travel grant ($5000) to VMSL teams in national championship play.

Section 4 – Schedule

4.1. The VMSL Board of Directors shall be responsible for the scheduling of all VMSL games. Regular kickoff times for the VMSL are Fridays between 8 and 9 pm, Saturdays between noon and 8 pm and Sundays between 10 am and 8 pm. All other home game kick off times must be approved by the VMSL in advance of the season start.

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 where no alternative field is available within 60 minutes of the stoppage to complete the match directly, its completion will be rescheduled for some other date/time designated by the VMSL. The rescheduled completion will start at the same minute that the match was originally suspended and with the same score, accumulation of cards (if there were any) and, for games in the open age Premier, First and Second Divisions, the same players that were listed on the teams’ rosters and were present and checked in at the game at the time it was suspended. For games other than Premier, First Division and Second Division, teams can use any player listed and not suspended on the game day roster archived by the referee at the incomplete game regardless of whether they were present or absent, checked in, crossed out or unmarked. A youth to senior permit duly completed for a game that ends up being postponed or is incomplete must be resubmitted and re-authorized for the rescheduled game or game completion if the rescheduled game or game completion takes place more than 72 hours after the originally scheduled game. The VMSL Board of Directors shall have discretionary power to decide whether unfinished games are to be replayed or the game declared officially completed. Further, with respect to player eligibility and discipline, the following applies to incomplete games:

a.   If a player’s status has changed (e.g., they have transferred away to another club and/or league), the player cannot be used. If the player remains within the same VMSL club, a team can seek advanced written approval from the league to use the player. This applies to all players listed on the roster including youth callups, CAT players and ICP call ups.

b.   Unless the board determines otherwise (such as in the case of egregious and/or indefinite suspensions and players who have repeatedly failed to appear at a discipline hearing) and notifies both teams, it is the player's suspension status at the time of the game origination that determines the player's eligibility (with respect to Discipline) for the game completion.

c.   A red card received in the game origination will result in a discipline hearing and games served immediately following the game origination.

d.   A yellow card received in the game origination will result in a yellow accumulation suspension if it triggers a threshold and result in a game served immediately following the game origination.

e.   A red card received in the game completion will result in a discipline hearing and games served immediately following the game completion.

f.    A yellow card received in the game completion will result in a yellow accumulation suspension if it triggers a threshold and result in games served immediately following the game completion.

g.   A yellow received in the game completion that combines with a yellow received in the game origination will result in a second caution red. In the case where the yellow from the game origination had already triggered a yellow accumulation suspension, the player will get credit for the game served and his yellow tally will be reduced by one (ie., the player will be made whole as if it was one game all along)

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 and league placements 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. Changing and postponing matches:

In this section “match week” refers to the period from Wednesday to the following Monday.

(a) A home team may change the location and kickoff time of a match to another location and time within the same match week with no fewer than 14 days notice to the Scheduling Secretary.

(b) A home team wishing to change the location and kickoff time of a match to another location and time within the same match week with fewer than 14 days notice must obtain a written agreement of acceptance from the opposing team before changes are made and is subject to the approval of the VMSL.

(c) An away team wishing to change the location or kickoff time/day of a match to another location or time/day within the same match week must apply in writing to the Scheduling Secretary no fewer than 14 days prior to the originally scheduled match. A written agreement of acceptance from the opposing team must be obtained before changes are made and is subject to the approval of the VMSL.

(d) All matches postponed to a later match week for non-discretionary reasons (i.e., cup play, field closures, lighting issues, etc.) will be rescheduled by the Scheduling Secretary during a match week where the two teams are not already scheduled to play.

(e) Notwithstanding subsection (d), the two teams may agree to play the rescheduled match during a match week in which one or both of the teams is scheduled to play.

(f) All discretionary postponements to a later match week (i.e., those agreed upon by the teams) must be rescheduled within the structure of the VMSL’s 22 League Game match week schedule.

(g) Any discretionary postponement to a later match week that involves a team playing two matches within the same match week requires the written approval of that team.

(h) Any team wishing to change or postpone a match to a day or time outside the regular kickoff times for a VMSL match week must be prepared to supply their own field permit for the match and is subject to approval of the VMSL Executive.

(i) All rescheduled matches are subject to change at the sole discretion of the VMSL Executive and Scheduling Secretary in order to optimize the number of matches being played in a given match week, particularly as it pertains to completing the schedules at the end of the season.

(j) Schedule change requests are subject to a fee of $25.

4.7. 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) If the registered team staff members of the involved teams have been advised not less than 12 hours in advance of a scheduled match under threat from inclement weather by the Scheduling Secretary of an available alternate field and/or kickoff time the teams must either:

         (i) Agree to move the match to the available alternate field and/or kick off time; or

(ii) Attend at the originally scheduled field and, if the field is deemed unplayable, be prepared to play at the alternate field if the alternate field kickoff time is not more than two hours later than the originally scheduled match and an official(s) can be provided.

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (b), the teams may agree to move the match to an available alternate field and/or kick off time with less than 12 hours notice, subject to the 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.

(d) The score, goal scorers and shutouts of games that are later expunged will be deleted so as not to impact standings, scoring races and shutout races.

(e) Discipline and fines incurred (as well as credit for games served) associated with games that are later expunged will not themselves be revisited or expunged.

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. 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.

If the Championship playoff does not affect promotion (e.g. in the case where both teams are being promoted) and the Board of Directors feels that there is not sufficient time to complete the playoff, the formula in 5.3 will be used to break the tie.

5.3. In the event three or more teams are tied for first place, a round-robin playoff will take place. Field and referee costs will be shared by the teams and the CAT system and ICP system and league suspensions will be in effect.  If the Board of Directors feels that there is not sufficient time to complete the round-robin playoff, the following rules 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) Average 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 rules for breaking the tie will be the same as the ones above. When it is deemed impractical to play games to finalize placements, a points per game method, followed by the tiebreaking rules listed in 5.3 will be used (for example, to determine provincial cup qualification or disposition of an incomplete season.)

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 placed teams in the Premier Division will be relegated to Division 1.

(b) The first and second placed 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. The third last team in Division 1 will play off against the Division 2 playoff winner for a Division 1 spot.

(d) The winner of each of the Division 2 sections will be promoted to Division 1. The second place teams in each of the Division 2 sections will playoff for the opportunity to play the 3rd last place team in Division 1 for a spot in Division 1.

(e) Four teams from Division 2 will be relegated to Division 3; the last two teams in each Division 2 section.

 (f)  Four teams from Division 3 will be promoted to Division 2. The procedure to identify the teams may vary, depending on the number of sections in Division 3. With three sections, each section winner is promoted to Division 2 and there is a semifinal and final knockout competition for the fourth spot between the three second place teams and the best third place team on a points per game basis and Section 5.3 tiebreakers. The second placed Division 3 team with the best record on a points per game basis and Section 5.3 tiebreakers will play a semifinal against the third place team with the best record and the other two second place teams will play the other semifinal. The semifinal winners will play in a promotion final.

(g) Two teams from Division 3 will be relegated to Division 4. If there is time for a relegation playoff, the last placed team in a Division 3 pool with the best record on a points per game basis and Section 5.3 tiebreakers will play to stay up against the winner of a semifinal relegation playoff between the other two last placed teams in a Division 3 pool.

(h) The first and second placed teams in Division 4 will be promoted to the Division 3.

(i) 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 per 6.4.

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. Field and referee costs as well as field set up will be shared by the teams and the CAT system and league suspensions will be in effect.

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 (or open spots in a division) are filled every summer as part of the setting of a new divisional structure prior to the start of a new season. Vacancies in any Division, except the ones covered by Section 6.1 shall be filled as follows:

(a) The next placed 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 per game standing, then the rules defined in Section 5.3 will be used to break 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).

(d) Vacancies created by teams dropping out once the season has started or being expelled once the season has started will be left unfilled until the following season. In such cases the vacating team does not count as one of the teams to be relegated unless it has completed at least half of the season (i.e. played each team once assuming a balanced schedule).

6.4. Realignment within Divisions with multiple sections:

Teams remaining for the next season in a division that is broken into sections will be redistributed to newly formed sections based on their placement in the previous playing season. The process to redistribute the teams will based on a draw after placing the teams into various pots for the purposes of the draw based on past season performance (i.e., a seeded lottery). Where two or more teams are tied in points standing and it affects which pot the teams go into, the formula outlined in section 5.3 shall apply. If teams do not re-register for the upcoming season, the teams in that section that were below the exiting teams generally move up in the section ranking. Each pot contains a number of teams divisible by the number of sections and as the teams are drawn from each pot they are placed into the sections in rotation.

6.4.1 Realignment of Division 2. The pots to be drawn into the two Division 2 sections are constructed as follows:

·       Pot A – the relegated teams from Division 1 (2 teams)

·       Pot B – second, third and fourth placed teams from each section (6 teams)

·       Pot C – fifth, sixth and seventh placed teams from each section (6 teams)

·       Pot D – eighth, ninth and tenth placed teams from each section (6 teams)

·       Pot E – the four teams promoted from Division 3 (4 teams).

6.4.2 Realignment of Division 3. The pots to be drawn into the three Division 3 sections are constructed as follows:

·       Pot A – the relegated teams from Division 2 and the two second placed teams that did not get promoted(6 teams)

·       Pot B –third and fourth placed teams from each section (6 teams)

·       Pot C – fifth, sixth and seventh placed teams from each section (9 teams)

·       Pot D – eighth, ninth and tenth placed teams from each section (9 teams)

·       Pot E – eleventh and twelfth placed teams from each section and/or all new teams to the league. (6 teams)
If required the lowest ranked one or two teams from Pot D will be moved to Pot E to make Pot D and E divisible by the number of sections)

If space remains, new teams registering for the league late and after the main draw will be assigned to the Division 3 sections via one or more supplemental random draws.

 

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 per team not represented.

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 BC Soccer 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 or via electronic submission to the VMSL office immediately.

7.6. Any club wishing to change its name must apply to the VMSL for permission to do so. Every team is to provide a club crest (in digital format on a white background) for use on the VMSL website and VMSL digital ID cards. Every team in a club must use the same crest.

7.7. Every team must have a minimum of 12 players registered.

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

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

7.10. 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.

7.11. 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. In the Premier Division, home teams who will not wear their primary kit colours posted on their team page in any given home match are required to provide three days notice to away teams of the colour of the kit they will be wearing (socks, shorts, jerseys) so that the away team can plan its non-conflicting kit.

7.12. Team lists must be game-specific VMSL system-generated roster sheets properly printed on an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet showing duplicate rosters for the referee and your opposition. 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. CAT players, ICP callups, youth permit players should all be on the game-specific VMSL roster. Rosters should be printed only after all roster adjustments are final. In the case where a CAT, ICP, youth player or a new registration or player transfer is processed after the roster has been printed, the player can be used in the game if he shows up in the digital ID card deck. In this case, the player must be hand written onto the roster. A $10 administration fee is applied per handwritten player as the league will need to review each case.

(a) Both copies of the team list shall be handed to the referee prior to the commencement of the game with enough time to complete a thorough check-in process. Once players have been checked in by the Referee on both copies of the Team List, a Team Official must sign both copies of the Team List to verify the validity of the Team’s Players and Staff checked in by the referee on the game specific Team List.

(b) The referee shall then sign both copies of the team list. He will retain one copy and, prior to the commencement of the game; give each team a copy of the other team’s list.

7.13. The home team must make available two (2) high quality soccer balls from a list of approved official match balls published by the VMSL. From the list of approved official match balls, the League will designate each season one specific ball for the Premier Division. In the Premier Division, home teams are required to provide two such game balls so that Premier Division play each season is with a single type of ball.

7.14. 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.

7.15. 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. In games without assistant referees, the teams are responsible for providing one linesman each to call throw-ins only.

7.16. For all games, other than scheduled regular league games, the referee and assistant referee fees are to be shared equally by both teams. For cup games and playoff games at neutral venues, field fees are to be shared equally by both teams.

7.17. Playoff games are used to determine promotion status, championship status, relegation status and Provincial Cup and other qualification statuses. Playoff games are played at a neutral ground, with extra time periods, and a penalty kick series if necessary. The league will schedule two assistant referees regardless of the division involved. Field and referee costs are shared by the teams. Field set up is shared - one net and two flags per team. If a playoff game is scheduled on grass, lining is coordinated between the teams. For all Playoff games, other than those solely to determine Provincial Cup qualification, the CAT system, ICP system, league suspensions and youth permits are all in effect. For Playoff games that are solely to determine Provincial Cup qualification, youth permits will be in effect, but CAT, ICP and underage players shall be ineligible, and unless the League notifies the teams otherwise, league suspensions are not in effect.

7.18 For all VMSL games, every team, home or away, must bring a minimum of four flat cones to mark a technical area as directed by the referee (unless a technical area is already in place.)

7.19 For all VMSL games without linespersons, both the home team and the away team must supply one linesperson to assist the referee in determining which team should be awarded the throw-in when the ball goes into touch.

Section 8 – Club / Team Fines

 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 fine, plus cost of game official(s), if less than one week’s notice, ($80/90) 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 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 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 fine and expulsion from further cup competition.

5) Use of a player that has served their player suspension but has not paid the associated player suspension fine: $25 per game eligible to play while fine outstanding (on top of original fine)

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

This applies (i) when a player enters the league for the first time and is required to sign the registration confirmation form, and (ii) when a player re-registers for a new season online.

In the context of the re-registration of players in an online registration system who have already been accepted into the league (and are not required to provide a signed registration confirmation each season), this penalty and fine also applies to the re-registering of a player in the VMSL without the player’s consent. (The VMSL strongly recommends that players maintain their own login versus delegating this to team staff)

Penalty: Minimum $200 fine.

8.c.ii  Entry of incorrect name or date of birth during annual player registration and/or duplicate registration

This applies when a player enters the league for the first time and registers his full name and date of birth and confirms that the data is correct and signs the registration confirmation form.

Penalty: Minimum $200 fine.

8.c.iii  Entry of team staff name not matching player name during team staff profile creation and maintaining separate player and team staff logins

VMSL members who are players and team staff must have single user ID and must advise VMSL administration to merge their player and team staff profiles in a timely manner

Penalty: Minimum $100 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 fine, plus cost of game official(s) ($80/90) and Field cost ($75+).  3-0 result will be given to the opponent. (Note: $300 minimum for a forfeit in the VMSL Premier division.)

8.e. Defaulting, forfeiting or cancelling a game

Penalty: $150 fine, plus cost of game official(s) ($80/90 each) and Field cost ($75+).  3-0 result will be given to the opponent.

8.f. Delay of start of game

Penalty: Minimum $25 fine.

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

Penalty: Minimum $25 fine.

8.h. Insufficient or unacceptable uniforms

Penalty: Minimum $25 fine.

8.i.  Team fails to,

1) Mark field properly; Penalty: Minimum $25 fine.

2) Supply appropriate goal nets; Penalty: Minimum $75 fine.

3) Supply appropriate corner flags; Penalty: Minimum $25 fine.

4) Supply match ball and/or spare match ball; Penalty: Minimum $25 fine.

5) Provide team lists before kickoff; Penalty: Minimum $50 fine

6) Provide VMSL digital identification (ID) cards before kickoff; Penalty: Minimum $50 fine

7) Supply substitution slips; Penalty: Minimum $50 fine

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

Penalty: Minimum $150 fine plus game officials fees/s ($80/90) and Field cost ($75 +) - 3-0 result will be given to the opponent.

8.j.ii  Both teams held to be at fault for abandonment of a game

Penalty: Minimum $150 fine per team. Game will be deemed played and no points awarded.

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

Penalty: Minimum $50 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 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 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 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 fine.

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

Penalty: Minimum $100, plus the BC Soccer and Canada Soccer fines that are assessed to the VMSL.

Section 9 – Players

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

For clarity, this includes following the applicable FIFA / Canada Soccer / BC Soccer rules with respect to international and provincial transfer certificates. A player who fails to process an ITC / PTC when required to play in BC is deemed to be an ineligible player.

The VMSL player registration fee (independent of any ICT/PCT transfer fees) is currently set at $50 for returning players (with a current VMSL login) and $65 for new players to the league.

9.2.   A player shall be eligible to take part in VMSL game play from the date of registration completion with the VMSL / BC Soccer providing he has a valid VMSL digital ID card or special permit issued by the VMSL and is not suspended. A player will not be given a VMSL digital ID card unless they have met all the requirements of registration which include completing the online registration, uploading a headshot, completing payment of the player registration fee, completing any necessary international or provincial transfer or amateur reinstatement and providing proof of identity and date of birth and signing the registration confirmation form.

9.3.   A player or team staff under suspension by the VMSL or BC Soccer is an ineligible player or team staff and cannot participate in a VMSL game either as a player or a team staff. (See Section 11 for more detail.)

9.4.   It is the team’s responsibility to present the game-specific VMSL digital ID card at each game that the player intends to play in.  A player who fails to produce a valid VMSL digital ID card or a special permit issued by the VMSL is deemed to be an ineligible player. A team attempting to check in a player under someone else’s player ID will be sanctioned under Rule 8.b whether the ineligible player plays or not.

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

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

  1. When transferring to another team, a BC Soccer transfer form must be completed and releasing and accepting clubs signatures obtained before being submitted to the VMSL (in digital or hard copy) along with the current transfer fee.
  2. A player is entitled to a transfer provided he has complied with all the provincial, district or league rules and regulations and is not indebted to the current team, district or league.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. Such consent must not to be unreasonably withheld if the player is not indebted to the current team.
  5. A player currently under suspension and seeking a transfer is not eligible to play until the suspension has been served with his current team. For clarity, the transfer of a player who is suspended will not be processed until the suspension is served with the releasing team. (Note: A suspended player can still transfer by the Jan 15 deadline even if still suspended but the transfer will not be processed until the suspension is served with the releasing team.)
  6. 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 BC Soccer 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 two hundred dollar ($200) fine. Any subsequent infringement of this regulation by the club will render the club liable to expulsion from the VMSL.

9.7.   VMSL digital ID 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. In the VMSL, it is the referees right to demand only uniformed and checked in players and checked in team staff be present within the technical area and team bench

9.8.   To be current and acceptable, every VMSL digital ID 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 show the referee a valid VMSL digital identification card as part of the team’s game specific digital ID card deck. This requires all youth permit players to register with the VMSL as a youth to senior permit player. For each game, a youth player must complete the BC Soccer youth to senior permitting process including approval from the youth team, youth district, the VMSL and BC Soccer. A BC Soccer parental liability acknowledgment form must be completed once per season per player and registered with the VMSL. No team within a club can permit youth players (nor sign, CAT or ICP underage players) unless all their team staff have registered a current criminal record check with the VMSL. A team can only use four youth permits per game (except in U21 where a team can use up to 8 youth permits). When a U21 team uses more than four youth permits in a game, there is a charge of $10 per youth permit for the permits beyond the fourth. These limits apply to both the number of youth permits that can be used in a game as well as the number that can be applied for.

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

9.11. The referee will check the VMSL digital ID 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. 

9.12. Should the manager or coach insist on fielding a player without a valid VMSL digital ID 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 VMSL digital ID 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 VMSL digital ID 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 be reported to the Player Discipline Committee, within 48 hours.

9.15. The digital player identify card and the roster will be marked “suspended” until the player’s suspension has been served. If the associated fine ($25 per game minimum) has not been paid by the time the suspension is served, late fees accrue at $25 per game.

9.16. Confirmation that the requisite number of games have been “sat out” by the player must be established prior to the player resuming playing.

9.17 All team staff intending to be present in the technical and/or team bench area during any league or cup game must be registered with the VMSL. The team staff registration process requires that team staff provide their full name, email address, phone number, headshot, birthdate. All team staff must agree to the team staff code of conduct each season.

Section 10 – Substitutes

10.1. In all matches under the jurisdiction of the VMSL, with the exception of Division 3, Division 4 and 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. Players substituted shall be permitted to take further part in a game, each change to be counted as a substitution.

10.3. In league play in the Division 2 and the U21 Division, unlimited substitutions will be allowed at half time. Unlimited substitutions will be allowed at half time in the U21 Cup but not the Division 2 Cup.

10.4. In the Masters Divisions, unlimited substitutions will be allowed during the entire game in League and League Cup Play. In Divisions 3 and 4 and in the Division 3 Cup, unlimited substitutions will be allowed during the entire game.

10.5. With the exception of the Masters’ Divisions, and at half time, Division 2 and the U21 Division, 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 2 and the U21 Division, a team found 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 BC Soccer and Canada Soccer respectively.

11.4. Any player or team staff who is ejected from a game either via a straight red card or a second caution is ineligible to play or coach in VMSL League or League Cup play until their suspension is served.

11.5. A player or team staff suspended for the accumulation of yellows over multiple League games is not barred from playing or coaching in League Cup games.

11.6. A player or team staff suspended for the accumulation of yellows over multiple League Cup games, is not barred from playing or coaching in League games.

11.7. A player or team staff who accumulates four yellow cards in league play will be suspended and ineligible to play or coach for one game. A player or team staff who accumulates two more (six total) yellow cards in league play will be suspended for another game and is ineligible to play or coach. A player or team staff who accumulates one more (seven total) yellow cards in league play will be suspended and is ineligible to play or coach until they appear before the Discipline Committee. A player or team staff who accumulates more than seven total yellow cards in league play will be suspended and ineligible to play or coach until they appear before the Discipline Committee each time they get another yellow card in league play.

11.8. A player or team staff who accumulates three yellow cards in league cup play will be suspended and ineligible to play or coach for one cup game.

11.9. A player or team staff who is under suspension for a game that is defaulted, will be deemed to have served a suspension for that game, regardless of which team forfeited the game.

11.10. League yellow accumulation suspensions (but not Cup yellow accumulation suspensions) will apply to all VMSL playoff games related to relegation, promotion, divisional and sectional championship and league placement. Yellow accumulation suspensions will not apply to playoffs with the sole purpose to determine Provincial Cup qualification.

11.11. Four game League yellow accumulation suspensions and Cup yellow accumulation suspensions will not be carried over from season to season but the associated fines must be paid. All other suspensions will carry over from season to season. A player must be registered in the VMSL to serve games. Carryover suspensions are thus not decremented unless and until a player is registered in a following season except in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the VMSL based on a formal written request.

11.12 When a referee ejects a member of the team staff or reports team staff misbehaviour, the VMSL will determine the length of any suspension and associated fine. A suspended team staff member is suspended from playing and coaching in the VMSL while serving their team staff suspension.

11.13 A suspended player or team official cannot be involved in any match-related activities, including warm-up, pre-game talks, dressing room access, player check in, referee payment, or half time talks. The suspended player or team official may attend the match as a spectator, but must stay well away from the field of play and the team benches from one hour before and 30 minutes after the game. A suspension prohibits interference in the match, or participation as a player or team official or communicating in any way with players, team officials or game officials.

11.14 Anyone suspended as a player or coach may be barred by the League from refereeing in the VMSL until their suspension is served, depending on the nature of the associated offence.

Section 12 – Club Affiliated Team (CAT) System

12.1. Clubs fielding more than one team in the VMSL may operate one or more Club Affiliated Team (CAT) systems within their club.

A CAT system is a collection of teams within a club with no more than one team from each age group – Under 21, Open, Over 35 and Over 45 that allows for unlimited player sharing subject to age restrictions.

12.2. 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), except potentially though an Intra Club Permit per Section 13.

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). Teams in a CAT system must all have the same name other than the A, U21, M-A or M-B designation depending on the age group the team is in. The only exception to this rule is that a unique extension can be added following the A, U21, M, M-A or M-B designation (Note, clubs can have B and C teams in the open divisions but these teams cannot be CAT’d. B and C teams only participate in the Intra-Club Permit (call up) system detailed below). If two or more clubs merge in order to form a CAT system, this must be declared prior to the commencement of the VMSL season.

The use of CAT players requires that the receiving team manager add, prior to the game via the league website, the required CAT players from their CAT system and to have these CAT players appear on the game-specific system-generated roster sheet and game-specific Digital Player ID cards. The system will only permit valid CAT players to be added to a roster.

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 certain applicable other teams 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 or an intra-club permit (ICP).

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. While they are serving a suspension with the team with which they are registered, they are not eligible to play for any other team in their CAT system.

Section 13 – Intra-Club Permits (ICP) – Call Ups

13.1. All clubs with more than one team in the VMSL may use the Intra-Club Permit (ICP) system to call up players. ICPs are only used when a CAT relationship between the teams is not in place or is not allowed (such as with teams in the same age category).

An ICP allows a limited number of players from a lower level team within a club to play up with a higher level team within a club subject to age restrictions. For the purposes of an ICP, the hierarchy of levels is Premier, Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, Division 4, Over 35 Premier, Over 35 Division 1, Over 35 Division 2, Over 45 Premier, Over 45 Division 1, Over 45 Division 2, Under 21.

Age restrictions apply to Over 35 divisions and O45 divisions as follows. An O35 underage player cannot ICP except into open. An O45 underage player cannot ICP except into O35 or open. Underage O35 and O45 players cannot ICP to a team in a division within the same age group.

13.2. No declaration other than to which club a team is affiliated prior to the commencement of the VMSL season is needed to use the ICP system within a club. Teams affiliated as a club must use the same core club name in their team name.

The use of ICP players (or Call Ups) requires that the receiving team manager add, prior to the game via the league website, the required ICP players and to have these ICP players appear on the game-specific system-generated roster sheet and game-specific Digital Player ID cards. The system will only permit valid call ups to be added to a roster.

13.3. ICPs are only in effect for league games. Playoff games for Promotion, Relegation, Division Championship (but not Provincial Cup Qualification) are considered league games. Players are only eligible to compete in Cup competition for the team with which they are registered.

13.4. Open and Over 35 teams calling up players from one or more lower level teams within their club are limited to a maximum total of 4 players per game. Over 45 teams calling up players from a lower Over 45 Division team within their club are limited to a maximum of 8 players per game. Under 21 teams calling up players from an Under 21B Division team within their club (if an Under 21B Division is in place) are limited to a maximum of 8 players per game. Under 21 teams cannot call up players from Open divisions even if the players are under 21.

13.5. Players will serve any suspensions with the team with which they are registered regardless of whether the suspension was a result of playing in a game on an ICP. While they are serving a suspension with the team with which they are registered, they are not eligible to play for any other team in their club via an ICP.

Section 14 – Premier Division

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

14.2   Any team seeking promotion to the Premier Division from Division 1 cannot be affiliated with a Club that has a team in the Premier Division in the season that they seek promotion.

14.3  Any team wishing to disassociate from a club with a team in the Premier Division for the purposes of seeking promotion in a given season must submit to the League (in writing no less than 14 days before the commencement of play in the league season) a description of the structural changes being made and the associated name change request for review.

Section 15 – Masters’ Divisions

15.1. For the 2022-23 season, players born in 1987 or earlier will be allowed to play in the Over 35 Divisions.

For the 2022-23 season, players born in 1977 or earlier will be allowed to play in the Over 45 Divisions.

15.2. For 2022-23, each team in the Over 35 Divisions will be allowed to register 3 underage players. These players must be born in 1988, 1989 or 1990. 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 Over 35 Provincial Cup competition (or any Provincial Cup qualification playoff games).

For 2022-23, each team in the Over 45 Divisions will be allowed to register up to 3 underage players born in 1978, 1979 or 1980. 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 Over 45 Provincial Cup competition (or any Provincial Cup qualification playoff games).

15.3. There will be three Over 35 Divisions: Premier Division, Division 1, Division 2, and 3 Over 45s Divisions, Premier Division, Division 1 and Division 2. 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. 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, Division 1 and Division 2 are entitled to enter the Masters B Cup.

Section 16 – Under 21 Division

16.1. For the 2022-23 season, players born in 2002 and younger will be allowed to play in the Under 21 Division.

16.2. Each Under 21 team that is part of a CAT system will be allowed to use a maximum of 2 overage players, belonging to the club’s CAT system, in League games (as an exception to the general CAT rules).

16.3. Each Under 21 team will be allowed to use an unlimited number of players who are under 21 but registered with the open age team in their CAT system, in League games.