New High School Soccer Rules for 2014-2015

Published on February 21, 2014


nfhsBy Don Dennison, NISOA National Clinician and Assessor

In January, the NFHS Rules Committee convened in Indianapolis for their annual meeting to review rule change proposals received during the year from all parts of the country. The Committee is composed of 8 regional members, a member representing NFHS officials and a member representing NFHS coaches.  Also present were a chairman, the NFHS Rules Editor and three non-voting observers (A representative from the National Soccer Coaches Association, and myself.).

Each rule proposal was carefully scrutinized and discussed by the committee over the two days of the meeting, resulting in only a few modifications that will appear in the new Rules Book to be issued later this spring.

Except for a few editorial changes, the following are the significant changes:

1. Rule 3-3-2(b)2  If the referee stops the clock for an apparent injury, that player, whether a field player or the goalkeeper must leave the field.  The goalkeeper must be replaced and the field player may be replaced.  Note that the referee should not immediately stop the clock, but should first make a quick assessment to determine an apparent injury. If there is any doubt at all, the clock should be stopped and the injured player or goalkeeper required to leave.

2. Rule 5-1-2 The jurisdiction of the officials now begins on their arrival at the field of play and its surroundings which must be no later than 15 minutes before the scheduled time for the game to start. While not a Rules change, written suggested guidelines and procedures for a 4th official, when one is used, will appear in the new Rules book.

While the actual changes this year are minimal, each High School official should reread the Rules Book in its entirety before the beginning of the refresh his or her memory and knowledge of the rules and approved play rulings.

Based upon my personal observations and those of others, the following misapplications of the High School Rules were noted last season on several occasions:

  • In drop ball situations, the ball must be dropped between two opposing players.  It cannot be dropped in front of a single player is in FIFA and NCAA rules.
  • A stutter step is not permitted in High School soccer when taking a penalty kick; the kick must be retaken.

Don’t forget to get yourself in good physical shape for the upcoming seasons, fitness goes hand-in-hand with thorough knowledge of the rules.

3 Responses to “New High School Soccer Rules for 2014-2015”

  1. In the recent newsletter you sent out for NFHS new rules, the annotation on 3-3-2 for substitutions for stopping the clock is different from what is stated in the book. If the clock is stopped for an injury for the goal keeper and the coach IS NOT beckoned on, the goal keeper does not need to be substituted. It is noted under the points of emphasis.

  2. Justin. this is a new rule for 2014 and will appear in the new rule book. When there is an apparent injury, the referee will make a quick assessment and if he/she feels the player is injured, he/she will stop the clock. When that is done the player, whether a field player or the goal keeper has to leave the field of play The referee will, if there is an injury summon the coach or trainer onto the field to attend to the injured player. But note that is the clock stoppage, not the beckoning onto the field that mandates the removal of the player under the new rule

  3. When issuing the State test, can it be an open book test, or is it up to each Association to decide the way the way it’s given ?

    Please clarify, when a Varsity Official transfer from one State to another State, or one region to another region does he or she remain a Varsity Official in the new location?