Rules 5.0 – 7.3
5.1 POWER TO PUNISH. The Association has the right and power to punish teams, coaches, managers, and players for violations of the Rules of the Association or other misconduct, including misconduct by persons otherwise associated with a given team.
The Association may impose any or all the following penalties on either teams, coaches, managers, and players:
1. Suspend teams, coaches, managers, and players from play in any or all Association-sponsored competitions for any period of time. Such suspensions shall be reported to such affiliated organizations as may be required.
2. Require a cash bond against future misconduct.
3. Require that monetary fines be paid before a team or player again may participate.
4. Forfeiture of one or more games, past or future.
5. Automatic relegation at the end of the season.
6. Deduction of points in standings.
5.3 MINIMUM FINES AND PENALTIES FOR PLAYERS
A. RED CARD (SENDING-OFF) OFFENSES
The following are minimum penalties for the seven red card (sending-off) offenses:
1. Violent conduct: Three (3) match suspension and a $50.00 fine.
2. Spitting at an opponent or any other person: Three (3) match suspension and a $50.00 fine.
3. Serious foul play: Two (2) match suspension and a $25.00 fine.
4. Denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area): One (1) match suspension and a $10.00 fine.
5. Denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty: One (1) match suspension and a $10.00 fine.
6. Using offensive, insulting, or abusive language and/or gestures: One (1) match suspension and a $10.00 fine.
7. Receiving a second caution in the same match: One (1) match suspension and a $10.00 fine.
B. ADDITIONAL OR OTHER MISCONDUCT
The following are minimum penalties for misconduct outside the normal sending-off offenses and/or for additional misconduct, subsequent to being shown a red card. In case of additional misconduct, the penalty below shall be imposed in addition to that for the initial sending-off offense. In incidents involving multiple additional offenses, only the most serious additional penalty shall be imposed administratively. The most serious additional penalty shall be the one carrying the longest suspension, or, if suspensions are equal, the greater fine. Additional penalties may be appealed.
1. Foul or abusive language toward a Referee, Association officer or employee not including a threat of violence: Two (2) match suspension and a $25 fine.
2. Foul or abusive language toward a Referee or Association officer or employee which includes a threat of violence: Three (3) match suspension and a $50.00 fine. Mandatory immediate suspension from all AMSA matches, pending appeal hearing.
3. Spitting at a Match Official, an Association officer or employee: Four (4) match suspension and a $75 fine.
4. Hitting, kicking, or other inappropriate physical contact with a Match Official, an Association officer or employee (excluding spitting), in a manner likely to cause bodily injury: One (1) year suspension and a $100.00 fine. Mandatory immediate suspension from all AMSA matches, pending appeal hearing.
5. Shoving or other inappropriate physical contact with a Match Official, an Association officer or employee (excluding spitting), but in a manner unlikely to cause bodily injury: Six-month suspension and a $50.00 fine. Mandatory immediate suspension from all AMSA matches, pending appeal hearing.
6. Failure of a player who has been sent off and shown a red card to promptly go to the parking lot or leave the entire complex: Additional One (1) match suspension and $25.00 fine.
7. Fighting. Fighting consists of hitting, kicking or otherwise delivering or attempting to deliver, blows to another person beyond the course of play. Fighting may be penalized by a suspension of any length, including a life-time ban, and by a fine of up to $50.00. A team may also be punished for fighting by anyone associated in any way with such team. Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 5.10, punishment for fighting shall be effective pending appeal.
C. PARTICIPATION BY AN INELIGIBLE PLAYER
An “ineligible player” shall include a player who-
a.) is not currently registered with the team for whom he plays:
b.) is under suspension from any team with whom he is registered; or
c.) having registered for more than one team in the same division, and after having played for one such team, plays for a different team in the same division during the same season, without having transferred as provided in these Rules.
Participation in a match by an ineligible player shall be penalized as follows:
1. First offense: One (1) match suspension for player and Captain; $50.00 fine for the team; and forfeiture of match; provided that in the case of a player who is ineligible under Subsec. “c” above, the Captain shall not be punished; and further provided that if the ineligible player played under another player’s name, the suspension for both player and Captain shall be three (3) matches.
2. Subsequent offenses: Three (3) match suspension for player and Captain, $100.00 fine for the team, forfeiture of match, and deduction of additional three (3) points in standings; provided that if the ineligible player played under another player’s card, the suspension for both player and Captain shall be six (6) matches.
If the official Captain is not present at the match, the penalty shall apply to the person who signed the roster.
D. ACCUMULATION OF CARDS
1. TWO OR MORE RED CARDS
The penalty for being sent off and shown a second red card in a subsequent match for same team during the same full season, Fall and Spring, shall be as follows:
- 2nd red card within season: additional one game suspension and $25 fine;
- 3rd red card within season: additional two game suspension and $50 fine;
- 4th red card within season: additional four game suspension and $100 fine.
2. THREE OR MORE YELLOW CARDS
The penalty for receiving three (3) yellow cards (cautions) in separate matches for a single player over a single Round shall be a one (1) match suspension and a $10.00 fine. The suspension is to be served in the player’s next scheduled AMSA match, following the issuing of the third caution, or as soon as the offense comes to the attention of the D&P Committee. A player’s tally of yellow cards accumulated shall be erased, following the conclusion of each Round (except for purposes of computing team misconduct points under Rule 5.4-B).
5.4 MINIMUM FINES AND PENALTIES FOR TEAMS
A. EXCESSIVE MISCONDUCT
The Discipline and Procedures Committee shall review the actions of any that team has an accumulation of red cards, to determine if the team shall continue in the league or be subject to a fine, probation or have to present a bond or any combination of above.
B. MISCONDUCT POINTS
Misconduct points shall be awarded to teams over a full season, fall and spring, with three (3) points awarded for each red card and one (1) point for each yellow card. Only red and yellow cards received in Division Play shall count toward a team’s total. The following penalties shall be assessed to any team that receives 30 or more misconduct points over the same full season: a fine of $50.00 for 30-39 points; and a fine of $100.00 for 40 points or more. When a player is sent off and shown a red card for receiving a second caution in the same match, only the three points for the red card shall be counted as team misconduct points. Misconduct points for any red card rescinded through the appeal process shall be erased from a team’s total prior to the assessing of a penalty. Team misconduct points shall be erased following the conclusion of the spring season.
C. UNSANCTIONED USE OF FIELD
Except as permitted in Rule 6.4, “Games With No Officials,” teams (i.e., participation by six or more members of a team) and individuals who participate in unsanctioned play or play after notice of a rainout or field closure at any of the field complexes used by AMSA, are subject to the following penalties: Participating teams will be fined $150.00 and be suspended from play until the bond is restored (subject to review by the Discipline and Procedures Committee). In addition, any and all identified participating players will receive a One (1) match suspension and a $25.00 fine. Notice is considered sufficient if (a) the gate to the field complex is closed; (b) a sign is posted at the entrance to the complex or at the side of the field; (c) nets have been removed from the field; or (d) oral notice has been given to any member of the team by an AMSA Officer or Commissioner.
D. MISCONDUCT BY UNREGISTERED MANAGER OR BYSTANDER
The following are minimum penalties for a team in the event an unregistered manager or supporter commits an offense on the sideline:
- Using offensive, insulting, or abusive language and/or gestures: $20 fine.
- Serious foul play: $50 fine.
- Violent conduct: $100 fine.
- Spitting at an opponent or any other person: $100 fine.
In the event the fine has not been paid within ten (10) days of notification from the Administrator, the team shall forfeit each succeeding game until the fine is paid.
5.5 MATCH REPORT BY REFEREE
The referee shall be responsible for making a detailed report in writing by 9:00 AM Monday morning to the AMSA Administrator concerning any violation subject to penalties under these rules. In case of a send-off for a straight red card offense or team misconduct report, the report shall identify the persons involved, describe the offensive conduct in clear concise language, and indicate if the conduct manifested an intent to injure.
5.6 ADMINISTRATIVE IMPOSITION OF PENALTIES
1. MINIMUM PENALTIES. The League Administrator shall make an administrative imposition of minimum penalties. The Administrator shall review the match report for each match filed by the referee. When it can be determined from the match report, or from further communication with the referee, that an offense was committed for which there is a specified minimum penalty, then the Administrator shall impose such specified minimum penalty. In the event that there is no specified minimum penalty, or in the event that the matter is of a serious nature, the matter shall be turned over to the DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES Chairman.
2. NO MINIMUM PENALTY OR SERIOUS OFFENSE. When an offense has no minimum penalty or when it can be determined from the match report or from further communication with the referee, that the facts support a penalty in excess of the minimum, the D&P Chairman, as provided below, may impose an appropriate penalty, subject to appeal as provided in Section 5.3. The President shall appoint an Emergency D&P Panel of five voting members from the Executive Committee. In any case arising under this Section, the D&P Chairman shall furnish the Panel with all available evidence pertaining to the alleged offense. A penalty imposed under this Section must be approved by at least three members of the Panel.
3. NO REFEREE REPORT. If the D&P Committee receives an allegation that an offense has been committed, but no referee report is available, the Committee may hold a hearing on the allegation after giving notice to the affected parties as provided in these Rules; but the Committee may not impose a penalty without holding a hearing.
4. NOTICE OF PENALTIES AND HEARINGS. For all matters covered by administrative penalties, the DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES Chairman shall promptly notify the player and the captain of the affected team(s) of the offense and the penalty imposed. The notice shall include a copy of any Referee reports and Rule 5. The D&P Chairman shall be responsible for setting up any hearings that require action by the D&P Committee and notifying the team captains and referees. The D&P Chairman shall also be responsible for notifying the D&P Committee members of the hearing and notifying the team captains of the outcome of the hearings.
5.7 DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES (D & P) COMMITTEE
1. PURPOSE: A DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE is established for the purpose of deciding penalties, match replays and other disciplinary issues which are referred to it by appeal from an imposed administrative penalty or by actions taken by a referee, players or other team members not covered by Minimum Penalties and Fines (5.3).
2. MEMBERSHIP: The DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE shall consist of any voting member of the Executive Committee, one of whom shall be appointed Chairman by the President. A panel shall consist of a minimum of three members, not including the Chairman. No member sitting on a DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE panel may participate in a decision involving teams from the division in which he plays or involving a club for which he plays. The Chairman of the Committee shall be responsible to present any necessary facts to the panel, but he shall not participate on the panel itself.
3. FILING APPEAL: A player, captain, or team upon whom a penalty is imposed may file an appeal. Appeals must be filed prior to the next scheduled match, although AMSA has the authority to extend this deadline as necessary but is under no obligation to do so. Appeals must be submitted in writing, and must state (a) the grounds for the appeal and (b) the evidence in support of the appeal. IMPORTANT NOTE: The DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE does not automatically grant hearings. In fact the standard for granting such hearings is set high and any appeal must state a compelling and valid basis for relief.
[Please see AMSA Appeal Process: http://www.austinmenssoccer.com/amsa-appeal-process/ for more information.]
4. LIMITATIONS ON GROUNDS FOR APPEAL.
a. A Referee’s decision on facts may not be appealed. Any facts contained in the match report or any supplemental report obtained from the Referee shall be conclusive of the facts, unless revised by the Referee before the hearing. The DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE has no power to make a fact-finding that differs from the Referees statement of facts.
b. A Yellow Card offense may not be appealed. A Red Card issued for an accumulation of two Yellow Cards may not be appealed.
5. DISPOSITION WITHOUT HEARING. If it is the unanimous opinion of the DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES that a written appeal clearly fails to state a valid basis for relief, the COMMITTEE may deny the appeal without a hearing. In case of doubt, a hearing should be held. The Chairman shall inform the appealing parties of the basis of any such decision.
6. HEARINGS: In any matter brought before the DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE, the affected player and/or the captain of the affected team shall be entitled to notice of any hearing if the DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE determines that a hearing is warranted. If a hearing is granted, the Appellant must submit a good faith deposit of $50 to the AMSA Administrator. In the case of a favorable finding for the Appeallant, the deposit shall be returned by the DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE. The DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES Chairman shall give notice in writing at least five days in advance of hearing. If the affected player or captain cannot attend the hearing, he may request one postponement from the DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE, which shall not be unreasonably refused. The affected player or captain shall have the right to present evidence and make a statement at the hearing. If the affected player or captain fails to attend the hearing after due notice, the DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE may proceed to decide the matter. The Chairman of the DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE shall establish reasonable procedures for the hearing designed to insure a full and fair development of facts and applicable rules. Where all parties consent, hearings may be held by conference call or other means which will allow all parties to participate simultaneously; provided that a live hearing shall be held in any case where no referee report is available.
7. REDUCTION OF MINIMUM PENALTIES: The D&P Committee may not reduce a minimum penalty imposed by the League Administration except for strong reason.
8. DECISIONS: All cases involving hearings shall be decided by majority vote. The D&P Chairman shall promptly notify the Administrator of the Committee’s decisions in all matters, and the Administrator shall promptly notify the affected players and captains.
5.8. CARRYOVER OF VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
1. DEFINITIONS. Any reference in these Rules to “full season” or “regular season” shall mean the season consisting of a Fall Round and a Spring Round taken together, including any cup tournament involving only AMSA teams, but shall not include a Summer season, any other special season, or any tournament involving teams from other leagues. A “Round” shall mean the Fall, Spring, Summer or other special season taken alone.
2. CARRYOVER OF VIOLATIONS, CARDS & MISCONDUCT POINTS. Unless otherwise specified in these Rules, repeated violations shall accumulate over a full season. This includes (a) multiple violations of any rule which carries a greater penalty for subsequent violations, as, for example, participation in a match by an ineligible player; (b) accumulation of Yellow Cards or Red Cards by a player; and (c) accumulation of misconduct points by a team. Any violations occurring during a full season shall not carryover to a Summer season or any other special season. Penalties for Red Cards (but no other violations) committed during a Summer season or any other special season shall carryover to a regular season.
3. CARRYOVER OF PENALTIES. Any fine not paid, or suspension not served, during any season, regular or Summer, shall carryover to the next season, and shall continue in effect until paid or served.
4. SPECIAL PROVISION FOR SUMMER: Any unpaid fines from the regular season must be paid in order for the player to be eligible to play during the Summer, provided the player is not on an extended suspension. [Please see Summer Rules for more information.]
5.9 RESPONSIBILITY FOR FINES AND SUSPENSIONS
Players with unpaid player fines are ineligible to play for any team in any AMSA competition. Player fines will remain the responsibility of the team whose player incurred the fine, if not paid by the player. Any fines not paid by the end of a Round must be paid before the team will be allowed to complete registration for the next Round. Any player whose fine is paid by his team shall remain ineligible until his team is reimbursed for the fine.
5.10 EFFECT OF APPEAL
The filing of an appeal shall suspend the imposition of the penalty appealed from, except in cases of Violent Misconduct or Referee Assault. In all cases the affected player shall sit out a mandatory first game following the offense. However, in the event the appeal is denied, the DISCIPLINE AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE or the BOARD may, if circumstances warrant, forfeit any matches in which a suspended player or team participated during the period a suspension would have been in effect but for the appeal.
5.11 MULTIPLE-REGISTRATION PLAYERS
If a fine or penalty is assessed against a player (“multi-player”) who is registered to play for more than one team,
a. The amount of the fine shall be the same as for a player registered for only one team.
b. A suspension shall be measured by match-days, rather than matches, and shall apply for the specified number of match-days to all teams for whom the player is registered. A “match-day” is a day on which a match is played by any team for which the offending player is registered. (By way of example, if a multi-player receives a three-match suspension while playing for his primary team, he would be suspended from all of the following matches during the next three match-days:
Match-Day One: Only his secondary team plays.
Match-Day Two: Both his primary and secondary teams play.
Match-Day Three: Only his primary team plays.
c. A multi-player who is ejected from a match shall not play in any subsequent match on the same day, but the day of the ejection shall not count as a “match-day” in the computation of any resulting suspension. Violation of the foregoing rule shall double any resulting suspension imposed on the player, but shall not cause the affected team to forfeit, unless it is shown that the team was aware of the previous ejection before the match began.
d. A player may appeal the total number of suspended games.
Scheduled games may only be rescheduled or postponed by AMSA for such reasons as weather related, field availability, conflict in schedules and actions beyond the control of AMSA. There are five exceptions to this requirement.
1. A team that has a State or National Cup game on the same weekend as a scheduled league game has an absolute right to have the league game rescheduled.
2. Any team which has two or more players playing for an Association supported select team on the same weekend as a scheduled league game has the right to have the league game rescheduled.
3. In other cases of unusual hardship (for example, a religious holiday involving most of a team), the Chairman of the Competition Committee may agree to reschedule a game without the consent of both teams. Any such request shall be sent to the Chairman and the Captain of the opposing team at least ten (10) days before the match in question. The Chairman shall consider any impact upon the opposing team.
4. Teams may re-schedule a game to which no official has been assigned, as provided in Rule 6.4 below.
5. A team may re-schedule a match for any reason, with the written agreement of the opposing team, so long as the match is re-scheduled and played within one (1) week of the official end of the Round.
6. In items 3 and 5 above, the team that is requesting the postponement shall be responsible for arranging a date, time, field, and Referees for the subsequent replay of that game, and any field rental cost not already paid by the Association shall be paid by the requesting team. Failure to do so will result in a forfeit and a $50.00 fine against that team.
7. No team shall be permitted to re-schedule more than one match per Round, regardless of the cause.
8. Except in cases of unusual hardship, all requests to postpone or reschedule a match must be submitted to the League Administrator and the opposing captain at least five (5) days in advance of the match in question. Failure to submit the request by the deadline will result in forfeiture of the match.
6.2 FORFEITS—TEAM PENALTIES
1. Generally, a team that causes a game to be abandoned or not played because of actions, or lack of actions, on their part, shall be deemed to have forfeited; and a score of 3-0 will be entered in favor of the non-forfeiting team. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if, at the time a forfeit is declared, the non-forfeiting team was leading the score by a goal-difference of more than three (3) points, that score shall stand. In the case of both teams forfeiting, the score will be entered as a forfeit, and no points will be awarded. (The game will not be treated as a 0-0 tie.)
a. Abandonment of a game may be appealed under Rule 5.7. If the D&P Committee finds that the game was abandoned without adequate cause, it may set aside any forfeits and order a replay of the game. In the event of a replay, AMSA shall pay referees’ fees.
2. Types of Forfeits
a. Abandonment of a game because of player, team or bystander misconduct—A referee abandons a game because of the conduct of players on one or both teams or by bystanders clearly associated with a team. If both teams are responsible for the abandonment, then both teams are subject to penalties.
Penalties: Forfeiture of match and $25 fine, provided that where a game is abandoned because of violence or other serious misconduct, the D&P Chairman, acting with the approval of three other members of the Discipline and Procedures Committee, may impose an appropriate additional penalty, subject to appeal as provided in Section 5.
b. Unilateral cancellation of a game with notice by 4:00 PM Thursday: A team elects to forfeit a game and notifies the AMSA Administrator by email by 4:00 PM Thursday the week of the match in question.
Penalty: $25.00 fine payable before the next game.
c. Unilateral cancellation of a game with notice by 12:00 Noon Friday: A team elects to forfeit a game and notifies the AMSA Administrator by 12:00 Noon Friday the week of the match in question.
Penalty: $25.00 fine plus the full cost of referees appearing at such game, to be paid before the forfeiting team’s next scheduled game. The fine will double for each subsequent forfeit of the same type.
d. Forfeit at match-time without timely notice: A team fails to give timely notice as provided above, and fails to have at least seven eligible players ready to play by the time the match is required to start under the Rules.
Penalty: $50 fine plus the full cost of referees appearing at such game, to be paid before the forfeiting team’s next scheduled game. The fine will double for each subsequent forfeit of the same type.
3. Multiple Forfeits—On the third forfeit by a team during a season, all games involving that team for the entire season shall be considered “non-counting” games whose results will not be counted in league standings. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if a team has played all of its games in the first round without any forfeits, their results in the first round shall be counted in the standings. After the third forfeit, the team will be dropped from the schedule and will not be allowed to play for the rest of the season. Continued participation in AMSA will be at the discretion of the D&P Committee.
4. Play after a unilateral forfeit with no notice or unintended forfeit at game time—Players who have shown up for a regularly-scheduled game and find that it has been cancelled due to a forfeit, either because a team has not shown up or because they are not prepared to play, may have an informal game on the field they were assigned to play on.
6.3 ABANDONED GAMES – WEATHER, ETC.
The following rules shall apply to any game that is abandoned as a result of weather or other act of God:
1. If a game is abandoned after the second half has begun, the game shall be considered complete; and the result at the time of abandonment shall stand.
2. If a game is abandoned before the second half has begun, the game shall be replayed in its entirety; and the result at the time of abandonment shall be ignored.
6.4 GAMES WITH NO OFFICIALS
1. If on the day of the game, no official has been found by 10 minutes after game-time—
a. either team may elect to cancel and re-schedule the game. The teams shall contact the League Administrator regarding re-scheduling; or
b. by agreement, the teams may elect to play a counting game without a referee or with an unofficial referee.
Within the context of this section #2, if a qualified center referee is found within 10 minutes of game-time, whether or not that referee was scheduled to officiate that game, the game may not be cancelled.
2. If, at game-time, a game is cancelled for lack of officials or forfeited for lack of sufficient players, any number of players may play an informal game or practice.
All FIFA, USSF, USSSA and AMSA rules shall apply to the Men’s Age-Restricted Divisions, with the following exceptions and additions:
7.1 A player is eligible to play in age-restricted competition from the beginning of a season if he attains the required age at any time from August 1 through July 31. By way of example, a player who turns 30 by July 31, 2022 is eligible to play in an O30 division during the entire 2021-22 season.
Note: The Over 50 Division has its own specific age requirements. Please see the Over 50 Division Rules & Guidelines for more information: https://www.austinmenssoccer.com/2021-22-o50-divisionrulesguidelines/.
7.2 The Age-restricted Divisions shall consist of such age-groups as may be approved from time-to-time by the Executive Committee. At the end of each full season, within each age group with more than one division, the lowest ranking team in each Division shall be relegated and the highest ranking team in each Division shall be promoted.
As amended by the AMSA Board of Captains on August 30, 2021.