LMVSC’s Recreational League emphasizes participation, teaching basic soccer skills, good sportsmanship, and team play. The objective of LMVSC recreational soccer is to provide an atmosphere in which players can enjoy the game for its own sake without an undue emphasis on winning or losing. The Recreational League does not keep won-loss records during the season and does not use goal-differentials to determine divisions, player assignments, or post-season tournament play. Accordingly, blow-out games are contrary to the objectives of the Recreational League, and LMVSC Recreational League coaches shall make reasonable efforts to avoid blow-outs.
A. DEFINITION: For the purposes of this rule, a blow-out situation shall be deemed to exist in an LMVSC Recreational League game at any time and under any circumstances when the goal-differential between the two teams then playing reaches five (5) or more goals.
B. REQUIRED ACTION: At any time that a blow-out situation begins to develop, goal differential of 3 to 4 goals, in an LMVSC Recreational League game, the coach of the dominating team shall actively endeavor to preclude increasing the goal differential. LMVSC recognizes that a coach cannot definitively control all of the dynamics of play in any given game, but the coach of the dominating team shall at a minimum make the following efforts to relieve the blow-out situation and preclude increasing the goal-differential:
- If substitutes are available on the dominating team, the coach of the dominating team shall make substitutions, when permitted to do so by the Referee, so as to give more playing time to the team’s less skilled players, but subject to the over-riding requirement of the Recreational League that all players shall play as close as possible to at least one-half of each game;
- The coach of the dominating team shall rotate player positions on the dominating team so as to assign goal-scorers to positions on defense;
- The coach of the dominating team shall direct players on the dominating team to play with an objective of ball control rather than scoring; and
- The coach of the dominating team shall take any other actions that he or she deems to be reasonable under the circumstances and within the spirit of this Rule.
If the goal differential increases to five (5) goals, the coach of the dominating team shall remove one player from the field. If the goal differential increases by another goal, the dominating team will remove an additional player. This player removal for a goal scored will continue until the following limits are reached: D2 Division down to 5 players, C Division down to 6 players, B Division down to 6 players, A division down to 7 players.
If the weaker team scores and reduces the goal differential, the dominant team may return a player to the field.
C. SANCTIONS: Existence of a blow-out situation, of itself, shall not be cause for sanctions. The sanctionable action, or lack of action, shall be the failure of a coach of a dominating team to take the actions described above to relieve a blow-out situation or the direct action of such a coach to “run up the score” and exacerbate a blow-out situation.
First violations of this rule shall be reported to the Boys’ or Girls’ Commissioner, as may be appropriate. If the Boys’ or Girl’s Commissioner believes that a violation occurred and that sanctions are warranted, he or she may caution or suspend the violating coach. Suspensions shall be for one (1) game and shall apply to the dominating team’s next game, regardless of whether that game is a regularly scheduled or post-season tournament game. Suspensions incurred as a result of the last game of a season shall be served at the first game of the next season, if the coach of the dominating team is coaching at the next season. A suspended coach shall not serve as an assistant coach while suspended.
Second or subsequent violations of this rule shall be referred to the LMVSC Rules and Discipline Committee and if a violation is found to have occurred, the R&D Committee shall impose such sanction as it deems appropriate.
D. APPEALS: Findings of first violations and/or sanctions imposed as a result of first violations may be appealed to the Club Commissioner. Findings of second or subsequent violations and or sanctions imposed by the R&D Committee may be appealed to the LMVSC Executive Board.
E. HEARINGS: Nothing in this Rule shall be interpreted to mean that a coach alleged to have violated this Rule shall be entitled to a hearing in person. The Boys’ or Girls’ Commissioner acting on a first violation, the R&D Committee acting on a second or subsequent violation, the Club Commissioner acting on an appeal of a first violation, or the LMVSC Executive Board acting on an appeal of a second or subsequent violation shall conduct such inquiry, by such means, as he, she, or they deem to be appropriate to the circumstances, including, but not limited to, inquiries by email, by telephone, by written reports, or by in-person hearings.
REFEREES: This Rule is not a part of the FIFA Laws of the Game and is not a Playing Rule of LMVSC intended to modify the Laws of the Game. Referees are to advise the coach of the dominant team that a player is to be removed from the field as the goal differential increases to 5 and above. Referees cannot force the coach of the dominating team to follow these actions. However, Referees at LMVSC Recreational League games shall be asked to include in their game reports to LMVSC blow-out situations and, in the opinion of the Referee, whether reasonable action was taken by the coach of the dominating team to relieve the blow-out situation and whether or not the number of players was reduced as directed above. Whether or not any action shall be taken thereafter shall be at the discretion of LMVSC as stated in this Rule