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League Rules



Rules 

The DC Premier League is an adult soccer league. Matches are meant to be competitive, but played in a positive and fun spirit. DC Premier League is a program of District Sports. 

The league is managed by District Sports. As such, District Sports staff reserves the right to excuse from the league any player who engages in violent conduct or persistently verbally abuses referees or other players, in either DCPL or District Sports programs.

Fair play is essential to conducting an enjoyable league for all teams. 

Section I: League Policies and Guidelines

A. Individual and Team Registration

  • Player age -  All players must be 18 years of age or older with one exception. Each team is entitled to carry no more than 3 underage â??development playersâ??. These players must be formally registered as such with league officials so that proper waivers, etc can be completed in advance of matches. 
  • All individual players must be registered for their team on the league website.
  • Payment - Throughout the registration process for each season, payment deadlines are made clear. By registering a team for the DC Premier League, team captains commit to covering the full team fee, either through individual player payments or paying the full team fee up front. Any individual player's dues not been paid will be the responsibility of the team captain. 
  • Player Refunds - If a player has signed up for a season and cannot participate, due to injury or change in availability, District Sports will honor refund requests made before the start of league play. In the case that a player is refunded, the portion of the team fee he or she was responsible for covering must still be paid, either by a replacement player or an existing roster member such as the captain. Ultimately, any fees not paid due to refunds given are the responsibility of the team captain. 

B. Rosters

  • Size - Teams may carry up to 30 players on their roster.
  • Players may be added to rosters up until the third game of the new season, at which point team rosters are frozen. Should a player need to be replaced on the roster after the third game due to injury, team captains must contact league officials directly to make any changes. Players who are replaced due to injury will not be allowed to rejoin later in the season. No changes will be allowed after the final regular season game, regardless of injuries.
  • Only Registered DC Premier League players are allowed to play on a given team.
  • Team captains are responsible for presenting a paper roster to referees before each game. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture.
  • Game officials will cross-check rosters with government issued IDs before all games.
  • Players who do not appear on their teams roster or do not provide ID will not be eligible to play.  

C. Equipment

  • Shin guards totally covered by socks are mandatory and are an absolute requirement for all players.
  • Footwear - Only soccer/athletic shoes are acceptable. No street shoes or metal cleats. Referees decisions on footwear suitability are final.
  • Each team shall be responsible for providing at least one suitable game ball.
  • First Aid - It is recommended that team captains bring First Aid materials (tape, ice packs, etc) to games, in case of injury. DC Premier referees are not licensed to provide First Aid.
  • League organizers are not responsible for any items lost or stolen during games or at field sites.

D. Uniforms

  • All players must be wearing uniquely numbered, matching colored jerseys. 
  • In instances where two teams wear the same color, it is the responsibility of the away team (second team listed on the schedule) to provide an alternate shirt.
  • All teams are expected to have two sets of jerseys for use in games.

E. Regular Season Schedule

  • Schedules will be created based on the amount of teams playing in each league.
  • Adjustments to the schedule are not final until approved by District Sports. Teams may not reschedule their own games; this may only be done by a District Sports league administrator.
  • District Sports reserves the right to change field locations and times during the course of the season, as needed. Every attempt will be made to give as much advance notice as possible to affected teams.

F. Weather Related Closings

  • Field Closings - Games played on turf fields will go on even in the event of rain. Games are only cancelled due to severe weather. This is done out of concern for player safety. 
  • District Sports Hotline - If there are questions about game status please check with the District Sports Game Hotline  202-263-1143.
  • In the event of cancellations, District Sports will contact all registered players via email and text message as quickly as possible.
  • Suspended Games - If, due to weather conditions, safety conditions, or referee discretion a game is halted prior to halftime, it will be replayed - field availability permitting. A game halted at halftime or later can stand as indicated by the score when the game was halted.
  • Rescheduled Games - If a game is cancelled or halted for any reason, the league will reschedule if possible. In the event that more than two (2) games are cancelled in a season, the league reserves the right not to re-schedule games.

G. League Standings

  • Game results will be recorded and posted on the DC Premier League web page. 
  • Teams are encouraged to review their respective league standings page periodically.  The Team Captain should notify the League Administrator of any errors.
  • A 3-3 draw will be posted for games cancelled and not rescheduled at the end of the regular season.
  • A 3-0 loss will be posted for a team that forfeits a game.
  • Tie-breakers are set and calculated automatically on our standings page. The first tie-breaker is Goal Differential, followed by Head to Head and then Goals For. Should teams remained tied after factoring in the above ties breakers, standing will be determined via coin flip. 

H. Playoff Qualification

  • In order to be eligible to play in the playoffs, a player must be on the team's final regular season roster. No exceptions.
  • Teams must be fully paid to qualify for the playoffs.
  • Exact playoff rules will be determined by number of teams in the league. They will be circulated to team captains prior to the start of those games.

I.  Fans and Pets

  • Spectators are allowed and encouraged to attend DC Premier League games. 
  • Fan and spectator behavior is ultimately the responsibility of the team captain. Any fan or spectator who is verbally abusive, enters the field of play, or is disruptive to gameplay in any way will be asked to leave by referees. Team captains are considered responsible for the behavior of teammates, fans, and may be penalized or suspended, in the case of any extreme behavior from non-players.
  • We ask that all District Sports affiliated players and fans respect the specific rules set forth by individual facilities.
    • Pets are not allowed on the premises of any league playing facilities. Players and spectators must refrain from bringing any animal (with the exception of registered service-animals) to games.

J. Forfeit Policy

  • If a team needs to forfeit a league game, they must alert District Sports by 5:00 PM the day before their scheduled match. Confirmation of forfeits should be sent to info@districtsports.com.

K. League Discipline Policy

  • Yellow Card Accumulation - Once a player accumulates 5 yellow cards in a season they will be required to sit one regular season game. Yellow card accumulation does not carry over to playoffs games.
  • Red Cards - In the event that a player receives a red card, they will be asked to sit-out a minimum of one game. League officials reserve the right to issue longer match bans for instances of serious foul play, violent conduct, or abusive/insulting language. All bans will be communicated to team captainâ??s whose responsibility it is to ensure that full suspensions are served. 
  • Individual Red Card Accumulation - A player who receives a second red card in a season will be required to sit out a minimum of two games.  Any player who receives 3 red cards in a season will be banned for the remainder of that season including playoffs.
  • Team Red Card Accumulation - At the point that a team receives 3 red cards in a season they will automatically lose 1 standings point. For every subsequent card (4 and beyond) an additional point will be subtracted

L. Referee Decisions

  • District Sports considers the in-game decisions of referees to be final.
  • While we appreciate and welcome feedback on all elements of our league, including referees, challenges to both calls and non-calls will not be reviewed or overturned by league management, nor will referee decisions be considered as justification for game(s) to be replayed.

M. Player and Referee Feedback

  • Any feedback, issues or complaints regarding league players and referees must be made in writing, so they can be accurately referenced and dealt with by league organizers.

Section II: Outdoor Soccer Games Rules  

All games in District Sports Premier will be played in accordance with the FIFA Laws of the Game

A. Game Length

  • Games will consist of two 45-minute halves with a 5 minute half time.

B. Forfeits

  • Teams must be ready to play their game within 10 minutes of the scheduled game time.
  • If a team does not have 7 players dressed and ready to play within 10 minutes of kickoff they are considered to have forfeited.
  • If a team does not provide a roster or photo IDs to referees before the game, they are considered to have forfeited. 

C. Substitutions

  • Generally speaking, unlimited substitutions may be made with the consent of the referee at the following times:
    • Throw In - either team
    • Goal kick - either team
    • Goal - either team
    • Injury- when the referee stops play that team is allowed to substitute for the injured player. The opposing team is then allowed to substitute a single player.
    • Yellow Card - Referee may call for an immediate substitution of carded player if they determine it helpful for managing game play. 
    • While substitutions can be made in any scenario above, players must get consent from the referee before entering or leaving the field. In certain cases, the referee may choose to ignore a substitution request, given any number of factors.

D. Slide Tackling

Slide tackling is permitted.

E. Athletic plays

Athletic plays (i.e. bicycle and scissor kicks) are allowed in the run of play, so far as they do not put another player at risk.


District Sports reserves the right to modify these rules at any time.


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