Coaches and Team Officials

Revised: May 9, 2024

Special rules apply to the coaches and team officials.

Extra Persons on the Field of Play

Off-field players, “team officials” (which includes coaches and assistant coaches) or “outside agents” may not enter the field of play or interfere with the play. If they do, it has the same effect as having too many players on the field of play and is penalized according to Law 3, Rule 7 (“Extra persons on the field of play”). This basically means if an off-field player or a coach interferes with the play in any way, or commits an otherwise cautionable or sending-off offense, the referee may stop play and award the opposing team a direct free kick or penalty kick. If a goal is scored during the same attack as such interference or a cautionable or sending-off offense, such a goal shall be disallowed unless the team conceding the goal is responsible.

If any interference with the play or any offense is committed by an outside agent (e.g. a parent or a unrestrained child, a pet or other wildlife, a loose extra ball, etc.), play must be stopped. Play resumes in this case by a dropped ball.

Each team may have one single coach on the field during the game in the Age 4, 5-6 and 7-8 age groups.

The Technical Area (Ages 9-13 only)

The entire space between fields 1A (9-10 field) and 1B (11-13 field) is the “Technical Area.” A cone barrier and a sign are posted here to mark the space. Only coaches, players, and officials are allowed to enter this space during games. Any extra persons (“outside agents”) occupying this space are deemed “extra persons on the field of play” and play may be stopped until their removal per Law 3, Rule 7 (see below).

During play, interaction with the coaches or youth soccer players by unauthorized persons is strictly prohibited within the “Technical Area.”

Disciplinary Actions

Team officials (coaches, assistant coaches) may be warned if:

  • entering the field of play
  • failing to cooperate with a match official

Team officials (coaches, assistant coaches) may be cautioned (yellow card) if:

  • clearly/persistently not respecting the confines of their team’s technical area
  • delaying the restart of play by their team
  • dissent by word or action
  • excessively/persistently gesturing for a red or yellow card
  • gesturing or acting in a provocative or inflammatory manner
  • persistent unacceptable behavior
  • showing a lack of respect for the game

Team officials (coaches, assistant coaches) may be sent off (red card) if:

  • delaying the restart of play
  • deliberately leaving the technical area to show dissent towards, or remonstrate with, a match official
  • act in a provocative or inflammatory manner
  • enter the opposing team’s technical area in an aggressive or confrontational manner
  • deliberately throwing/kicking an object onto the field of play
  • entering the field of play to confront a match official (including at half-time and full-time)
  • entering the field of play to interfere with play, an opposing player or a match official
  • violent, physical or aggressive behavior
  • a second caution in the same match
  • using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures

If no coaches are available as a result of a sending off, the match is abandoned but may be rescheduled by the office in the following weeks. Alternately, if a field supervisor is available, the supervisor may take over coaching for the team for the remainder of the game per discretion.