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Mars Area Soccer Club Policies

Approved: June 3, 2002

The Board of Directors of MASC may adopt or amend any rule or regulation in addition to those set forth in the By-Laws in order to conduct the activities of the Mars Area Soccer Club, but shall not adopt any such rule or regulation that is inconsistent with any provision of the By-Laws.

SECTION 1: IN-HOUSE

Playing rules followed shall be those of the United States Soccer Football Association and PA West; and as modified by MASC general rules.

1.1  PHILOSOPHY

As stated in the MASC By-Laws, Article V, Section 1.1; "The philosophy of the In-House program is to have "FUN." The program is structured to emphasize maximum participation of every player, develop soccer skills and instill the value of good sportsmanship. MASC does not keep score or league standings either by teams or individuals."

The coach is solely responsible for preventing "lopsided" scores. Besides providing opportunities to develop more "complete" soccer players, this display of sportsmanship is in keeping with the objectives of the MASC as stated in its Constitution and By-Laws. Several ways to achieve this include:

  • Shooting and dribbling with the weaker foot.
  • Require a certain number of passes before shooting.
  • Have the goalie pass the ball out to teammates instead of punting it.
  • Have all players play all positions, including the goalie. Goalies can be substituted at the same time as any other player of the same team.
  • Ensure your weakest player is given opportunities to score by having your better players feed them the ball.
  • It is certainly feasible to start the game with some restrictions, so as to not give the impression of pulling back later on.

All children are to play at least 50% of every game.

Throughout the course of the season, all children should be given the opportunity to play all areas of the field, including goalkeeper.

Goalkeepers must be changed at least every half.

Players and coaches are to participate in the traditional "good sportsmanship" handshake immediately following every game.

1.2  TEAM FORMATIONS  

In-House teams are formed using the following guidelines:

U5 Co-ed
U6 Co-ed
U8 Boys and U8 Girls
U10 Boys and U10 Girls

1.3  PRACTICE SESSIONS

Practice sessions are to follow these guidelines:
  • U5 and U6 once per week, maximum 1 hour.
  • U8 once per week, maximum 1 ½ hours.
  • U10 at least once per week, preferably twice per week, maximum 1 ½ hours each.

U10 is the prime developmental age. Coaches are encouraged to practice twice per week if work schedules and field availability permit.

1.4  GAME FORMAT

In U5, U6 and U8, MASC plays under "modified" rules, which are intended to allow the players to more fully enjoy the game, without burdening them with the rules (i.e. laws) of the game, which they are not ready to comprehend, much less execute. "Modified" laws are typically instituted with some variation throughout youth soccer.

U5 / U6

Playing Periods: The U-5/U-6 games consist of four (4), ten (10) minute quarters.

Field size: The Field Size is reduced to be within recommendations.

Substitutions: Either team may substitute one or more players prior to a throw-in.

Kick Offs / Direct Kicks / Indirect Kicks: Except for the kick-off (which is a "direct" kick that may result in a goal), all kicks are "indirect," meaning a goal cannot be scored until a second player touches the ball prior to the ball entering the goal. "Direct" kicks and "penalty" kicks are not taken, "offside" is not called.

Keepers: Keepers are not used.

Maximum Players: Maximum number of players on the field is four (4) per team.

U8

Playing Periods: The U8 games consist of four (4), twelve (12) minute quarters.

Field size: The Field Size is reduced to be within recommendations.

Substitutions: Either team may substitute one or more players prior to a throw-in.

Kick Offs / Direct Kicks / Indirect Kicks: Except for the kick-off (which is a "direct" kick that may result in a goal), all kicks are "indirect," meaning a goal cannot be scored until a second player touches the ball prior to the ball entering the goal. "Direct" kicks and "penalty" kicks are not taken. "Offside" is not called.

Maximum Players: Maximum number of players on the field is six (6) per team, including the goalkeeper.

Keepers: Keepers are not permitted to 'punt' the ball. Upon playing the ball with his/her hands within the goal box, the keeper must keep the ball in play by either dribbling, passing or throwing the ball.

U10

Playing Periods: The U10 games consist of two (2), twenty-five (25) minute halves.

Field size: Field size: reduced to be within recommendations.

Maximum Players: Maximum number of players on the field is seven (7) per team, including the goalkeeper.

Laws of the Game: We do not play under "modified" laws. Standard FIFA laws of the game are enforced, including direct kicks, penalty kicks and offsides.

1.5  RULES

General:

  • Slide tackling is prohibited.
  • Games are played in inclement weather. However, safety concerns such as lightning, field conditions and low temperatures may be cause for cancellation.

Player Assignments:

  • Players will be equally distributed among all teams within a given age group: by age, experience and skill level, as best as can be determined.
  • Siblings, and/or children of the coaches, will be placed on the same team if age and gender appropriate.
  • The intent of MASC is to create equally competitive teams.
  • Previous team experience and requests for specific coaches should not have any bearing on team assignment.
  • Teams shall be formed at the beginning of each Fall season and may remain as rostered for the Spring season at the discretion of the In-House Age Group Commissioner.
  • Players shall play within their age group as defined by PA West.

    MASC provides for the following exceptions in allowing players to play one age group beyond their own. The coach, Age-Group Commissioner and the In-House Coordinator, will use the following criteria to make this determination:
    • It is in the best interest of the player.
    • The player consistently dominates in games such that his or her development is being impaired.
    • His/her physical size creates a high risk of injury to the other players.
    • MASC must obtain parental consent.

Uniform:

  • The MASC jersey must be purchased by the parent/guardian of the player. Refer to the MASC website for supplier information.
  • Shoes may be tennis shoes, turf shoes, or soccer spikes.
  • Shorts may be of the athletic style, sweatpants are permitted in cold weather.
  • For personal safety concerns, jewelry is not permitted; earrings must be removed or taped. Hair accessories such as metal barrettes and plastic headbands must be removed before a game.

Equipment:

  • Shinguards are mandatory for practices and games.
  • U-5 and U-6 use a size "3" soccer ball.
  • U-8 and U-10 use a size "4" soccer ball.

Coaches:

  • Coaches shall be selected based on experience, training and willingness to abide by the Constitution, By-Laws and Rules and Regulations of MASC.
  • Apply training techniques ('F'/'Y'/'E' licensed classes) to all practices and games.
  • Instill the spirit of sportsmanship in all players.
  • Respect the judgment and interpretation of the rules by the officials.
  • Make every effort to obtain training, within PA West or MASC.
  • Make a concerted effort to understand the laws of the game.
  • Are responsible for his/her spectators adhering to the Constitution, By-Laws, and Rules and Regulations of the MASC.
  • Are responsible for communicating to parents and players the philosophies of MASC.
  • Are responsible for communicating to parents and players such things as practice/game times, concession help, field painting, net placement, etc.
  • Are to remain on their half of the field and within any outlined coach's box.
  • Use of profanity, alcohol and tobacco products during practices or games is not permitted.
  • Be prepared to treat injuries.
  • Are to do whatever is necessary to prevent "lopsided" scores.
  • Maximum number of coaches/adults permitted in the bench area is two (2).
  • Are not permitted on the playing field during play except to attend to injuries or equipment issues as directed by the referee.

Referees:

  • It is of utmost importance that MASC develop and retain referees at both the travel and in-house levels.
  • Any and all complaints are to be directed to the Head or Assistant Head Referee of MASC or any other officer of the Club in a discreet manner.
  • The referees of MASC are typically youth, who, even though they have been trained and have passed an exam, are nevertheless, in the process of developing their skills as referees. Positive reinforcement from spectators and coaches is of great value in their development.

Spectators:

  • Disputing or verbally abusing the referees and/or assistant referees will be cause for ejection.
  • Refrain from coaching players during the game.
  • Make an effort to understand the laws of the game.
  • Must view the games from the opposite side of the bench area and behind any designated 6' boundary. Spectators are prohibited in the bench area and/or behind the endline/goal. This is to ensure and promote:
    • Safety of the players and spectators.
    • Player development
    • Proper Officiating
  • Understand that soccer is a game of risks and mistakes. Players must be willing to chance "failure," keeping in mind it is only temporary.
  • The referees of MASC are typically youth, who, even though they have been trained and have passed an exam, are nevertheless, in the process of developing their skills as referees. Positive reinforcement from spectators and coaches is of great value in their development.
SECTION 2: TRAVEL

PA West Soccer Association governs MASC Travel Teams. PA West classifies, organizes and oversees all travel leagues.

2.1  PHILOSOPHY

As stated in the MASC By-Laws, Article V, Section 2.1; "The philosophy of the travel program emphasizes winning, competition, and team standings." However, player development is of the utmost importance and continues to be the primary objective.

2.2  TEAM FORMATION

Travel teams are formed within the following traditional age-groups:

U10 Boys and U10 Girls
U12 Boys and U12 Girls
U14 Boys and U14 Girls
U16 Boys and U16 Girls
U19 Boys and U19 Girls

Non-traditional age-groups are also available: U11, U13, U15, U17, and U18.

  • Participation in these age groups is at the discretion of the Travel Coordinator and the Boys or Girls Travel Age-Group Commissioner.
    Consideration should be given to available participants, interest, level of play, the impact on the traditional age groups and any other issue deemed relevant by the Travel Coordinator and respective Commissioner.

PA West offers the following levels of play within each age group. Division 1/A provides the highest level of competition:

Division 1 Boys/A Girls
Division 2 Boys/B Girls
Division 3 Boys/C Girls

If the quantity of players is of such a number that more than one team for any given division can be formed, the Travel Coordinator and the Travel Age-Group Commissioner may consider balancing the players between the teams based upon skill.

Travel teams are gender specific, however co-ed play is available based upon PA West Rules. Co-ed teams will compete in the Boys Travel League.

2.3  PRACTICE SESSIONS

Coaches are encouraged to practice twice a week at 1 ½ hours each.

2.4  GAME FORMAT

U10

DURATION: U10 games consist of two (2), twenty-five (25) minute halves.

FIELD SIZE: Field size is to be within recommendations.

MAXIMUM PLAYERS: Maximum/minimum number of players on the field for a game is seven (7) per team, including the goalkeeper.

U11 / U12

DURATION: U11/U12 games consist of two (2), thirty (30) minute halves.

FIELD SIZE: Field size is to be within recommendations.

MAXIMUM PLAYERS: Maximum/minimum number of players on the field for a game is eight (8) per team, including the goalkeeper.

U13 / U14

DURATION: U13/U14 games consist of two (2), thirty-five (35) minute halves.

MAXIMUM PLAYERS: Maximum/minimum number of players on the field for a game is eleven (11) per team, including the goalkeeper.

U15 / U16

DURATION: U15/U16 games consist of two (2), forty (40) minute halves.

MAXIMUM PLAYERS: Maximum/minimum number of players on the field for a game is eleven (11) per team, including the goalkeeper.

U17 / U19

DURATION: U17/U19 games consist of two (2), forty-five (45) minute halves.

MAXIMUM PLAYERS: Maximum/minimum number of players on the field for a game is eleven (11) per team, including the goalkeeper.

2.5  RULES

Player Assignments

  • Attend team selections for the purpose of player evaluation.
  • Every effort will be made to use independent evaluators. An evaluation, based on a numerical value or an alphabetical grade must be assigned to each participant.
  • Teams shall be formed at the beginning of each Fall season and may remain as rostered for the Spring season at the discretion of the Travel Coordinator and the Travel Age Group Commissioner.
  • Players unable to attend team selections because of injury and/or an unavoidable absence must notify the Travel Coordinator or Travel Age-Group Commissioner. Team placement will be at the sole discretion of the Travel Coordinator.
  • If a player new to MASC misses team selections, his or her placement on a travel team will be determined by the Travel Coordinator and the Travel Age-Group Commissioner using the following criteria:
    • Determine at what level his or her most recent team competed.
    • An evaluation from his or her previous coach.
  • Players who do not attend team selections and have not notified the Travel Coordinator or the Age-Group Commissioner will be placed on the Division 3/C team.
  • Players who attend team selections, but choose not to play the Fall season, will have their evaluation recognized for team placement for the Spring season.
  • Players shall play within their age group as defined by PA West.
    • MASC provides for the following exceptions in allowing U12 players and older to play beyond their own age-group. The coach, Age-Group Commissioner and the Travel Coordinator will use the following criteria to make this determination:
      • It is in the best interest of the player.
      • In order to facilitate team formation.
      • Verbal parental consent is required to move one age-group beyond their own.
      • Written parental consent and MASC Board approval is required to move two age-groups beyond their own.

Uniform

  • MASC supplies a jersey(s) and pair of socks, which are to be used for both Fall & Spring seasons.
  • Shoes may be tennis shoes, turf shoes, or soccer spikes.
  • Shorts may be of the athletic style.
  • For personal safety concerns, jewelry is not permitted; earrings must be removed. Hair accessories such as metal barrettes and plastic headbands must be removed.

Equipment:

  • Shinguards are mandatory for practices and games.
  • U10 through U12 use a size "4" soccer ball.
  • U14 and above use a size "5" soccer ball.

Coaches:

  • Coaches shall be selected based on experience, training and willingness to abide by the Constitution, By-Laws and Rules and Regulations of MASC.
  • Apply training techniques (PA West licensed classes) to all practices and games.
  • Instill the spirit of sportsmanship in all players.
  • Respect the judgment and interpretation of the rules by the officials.
  • § Make every effort to obtain training, within PA West or MASC.
  • Make a concerted effort to understand the laws of the game.
  • Are responsible for communicating to parents and players such things as practice/game times, concession help, field painting, net placement, etc.
  • Are responsible for his/her spectators adhering to the Constitution, By-Laws, and Rules and Regulations of the MASC.
  • Are to remain on their half of the field and within any outlined coach's box.
  • Use of profanity, alcohol and tobacco products during practices or games is not permitted.
  • Be prepared to treat injuries.
  • Maximum number of coaches/adults permitted in the bench area is three (3).
  • Are not permitted on the playing field during play except to attend to injuries or equipment issues as directed by the referee.

Referees:

  • It is of utmost importance that MASC develop and retain referees at both the travel and in-house levels.
  • Any and all complaints are to be directed to the Head or Assistant Head Referee of MASC or PA West.

Spectators:

  • Disputing or verbally abusing the referees and/or assistant referees will be cause for ejection.
  • Refrain from coaching players during the game.
  • Make an effort to understand the laws of the game.
  • Must view the games from the opposite side of the bench area and behind any designated 6' boundary. Spectators are prohibited in the bench area and/or behind the endline/goal. This is to ensure and promote:
    • Safety of the players and spectators.
    • Player development.
    • Proper Officiating.
  • Understand that soccer is a game of risks and mistakes. Players must be willing to chance "failure," keeping in mind it is only temporary.

MARS AREA SOCCER CLUB POLICY ON REFUNDS

Approved January 2012 and amended February 2016

1.1 Volunteer Service Refund Checks are distributed at the Season HALF-MARK (after the first 4-weeks) and also at the season CLOSE (after the second 4-weeks and upon conclusion of Field Maintenance Shut-Down Day). Therefore, timing is contingent on when the member volunteered during the course of the season. Members who volunteer ONE HOUR minimum from the list of eligible volunteer choices, listed in the player registration system under the PARENT PROFILE, become eligible for a Family Service Fee refund. Members who volunteer in the capacity of Board officer (elected or appointed) or Coach, Ass't Coach (appointed) are eligible for additional discounts based on the amount of additional time they give for the welfare of the club.

2.2 Checks must be cashed within six months from the date the check was issued by Mars Area Soccer Club or within the time-frame as accepted by Mars National Bank.  If an uncashed check reaches its expiration date, then the check is FINAL and no other check is written against this claim. The reason for this policy is to prevent persons from returning after a statute of time to make a claim for monies that have now been allocated to contracted training or approved projects that are underway and within a given budget based on club current accounts.