ARKANSAS PREMIER LEAGUE COMMITTEE
The newly formed APL will be governed by The Arkansas Premier Clubs (APC). This group will consist of the five permanent members representing each of the 5 original clubs, and two at large member Clubs, appointed annually to the (APL), for a total of seven voting members on the APL committee. Other voting members may be added by unanimous vote of the APC.
- All member clubs must have acceptable, designated home fields, available for their home games
_ All teams must play their scheduled events.
- APL Gold division head coaches (13U to 18U), must have a minimum of a USSF D license.
For coaches without a State D or higher license, a twelve-month probation period will be granted.
- All other coaches (11U to 12U) must have Grassroots Certification (9v9 & 11v11)
- A Certified Referee Assigner will assign qualified referees to all games. (Host Club)
COST TO PARTICIPATE
A team entry fee will be charged to play in APL, Teams are responsible to pay referee fees on the field after each game. Field usage fees may apply when playing neutral site games. Check with the host Club before scheduling.
The referee fees vary according to age group:
$70/game for 11U/12U ($30/Center + $20/AR)
$90/game for 13U/14U (11vs11) ($40/Center + $25/AR)
$105/game for 15U/16U ($45/Center + $30/AR)
$120/game for 17U/18U ($50/Center + $30/AR)
Each Club must have a Certified Referee Assigner for their home games. The host Clubs are responsible for ensuring that proper referee coverage is provided for all league games.
GAME REPORTS & REFEREE PAYMENTS
Each team is responsible for paying half of each game fee to each member of the referee crew. Payment will be made immediately after the game, but not before the Referee has provided a completed copy of the Official Match Report to the designated representative of each team. Each copy of the Official Match Report must be signed by the Referee and the designated team representatives before it will be considered to be complete. It is the responsibility of the home team to maintain a completed, signed game report on file, to present to the league if needed, as well as to post the score on Got Soccer within 24 hours of the completed match.
Each Club with team(s) participating in the league is required to guarantee a $500 performance bond for each of its teams in the league, at the time of registration. Individual teams will not be required to submit team bond checks. The parent Club will be responsible for their team(s) adhering to all APL league rules and policies and will be responsible to ensure teams pay any penalty charges assessed during the season.
APPLICATION AND ADMISSION
The APL was created with the purpose of encouraging play among its 11U-19U competitive teams. Participation is open to any properly-registered US Club team, whose member Club is in good standing and must be approved by Super Majority vote of the APC.
Participation in the APL is mandatory for any team entering any division of the Arkansas State Cup that offers advancement to either the US Club Soccer Regional, National Cup or NPL National Competition.
All applications for participation must be received by August 1 of each year and must include:
A. Fully completed online APL Application.
B. Signed Club Agreement to provide $500/team Performance Bond.
Competition Groupings: Divisions will be formed along competitive lines. Each division must have a minimum of 4 teams in order to form. If a desired division has less than 4 teams, that division may be merged with another division, provided that the competitive level for both groups is maintained. If not, those teams will be granted a waiver to seek another league, to qualify for the APC Arkansas State Cup.
APL will offer Gold, Silver & Bronze divisions when possible.
A Promotion and relegation system will be implemented each year.
PLAY DATES & SCHEDULE
Play in the APL will begin in August and be completed by November of each year for 15U-19U, and no later than the first weekend in May for the 11U-14U age groups
The APL will schedule all games including home and away. Teams will be scheduled to play a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 7 games during the season for 15U-18U groups and a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 14 for 11U-14U Age Groups.
A preliminary league schedule of games will be available to all teams by mid-August and before the start of the season. However, the specific time and field number WILL NOT be included in that schedule.
Once the schedule is released, Clubs will have 2 weeks to request any changes to their schedule and post the TIME& FIELD NUMBER for all games scheduled on their home fields.
In the case that inclement weather or an unforeseen tragic event causes a cancellation, the game will be rescheduled by APL on first available rain out date.
IMPORTANT - Teams may schedule 2 league games on the same date if they choose.
However, no team can play more than 2 games per weekend and no individual player may play in more than 2 games per day or 3 per weekend.
NEUTRAL SITE GAMES
If the two Clubs agree to plan at a neutral site, the home Club must secure the site and be responsible for any payment associated with that. The Club will be responsible for making all arrangements and any cost incurred. APL will not be responsible for any field use fees nor will the APL make any arrangements for neutral site field use.
FAILURE TO PLAY AS SCHEDULED
All matches must be played as scheduled. Scheduled matches may only be cancelled due to inclement weather. Failure to play a match as scheduled will be considered a "double forfeit" and will result in a recorded score of 0-4 loss for each team. Both teams will be charged $250 for nonperformance. If the APL Committee determines that the reason the game not played can be placed solely on one of the teams, then only that team will pay the $250 fine and forfeit the game, with a score of 4-0 being awarded to the opposing team. Any team that forfeits a game will not be allowed to continue in league play until the $250 is paid to the APL. Performance penalties must be paid before the scheduled game (by check or credit card, payable to APL).
Any team that fails to play 2 or more officially scheduled games, shall be considered to have abandoned the league, and will forfeit the $500 bond guaranteed by the parent Club. That team’s games will not count toward determining league standings, nor shall they be considered in the standings as forfeits. The team is not eligible to win the league, nor shall it be considered for entrance to any Arkansas State Championships/Cup. Further, the APL will evaluate this team’s requests for future participation in the League. Performance penalties must be paid (by check or credit card, payable to APL) in order for the parent Club to be considered in good standing.
PASSES, ROSTERS AND APL GAME CARDS
Before each league game, each team must present the match officials with their APL Game Card. This must be an official APL Game Card, including jersey numbers for each player, and the names of all coaches who will be permitted to sit on the team's bench. The official must inspect and verify Player Passes for both teams and match with APL Game Card rosters. Player Passes must be laminated and contain a picture of the player. If a team does not have its Player Passes and a copy of its official APL Game Card present at the field, the game should still be played, but the opposing team will be awarded a 4-0 win. However, the match will not count as a forfeit by the losing team unless other league rules that would impose a forfeiture penalty are also violated.
The expectation is that a team official will present the physical Player Passes of every player, for every game, but in the rare event that one or more Player Passes is missing, a team official may use a smart phone to present virtual Player Passes from the team’s official Got Soccer account.
Teams are permitted to use Club Pass players, provided no more than 18 players (11U-12U) / 22 players (13U-18U) are listed on the roster. Teams may play a maximum of 18 players (11U-12U / 22 players (13U-18U) in each league game. Any players who will not be participating in a game must have their names lined out on the APL game card before the start of the match.
Each team must maintain a minimum of 7 players (11U-12U), 9 players (13U-19U) from the team's official primary roster continuously across all game rosters used in league play, for the full season. When using the Club Pass provision, players must be consistent with the registered age group classification for the team, even if the team is playing in an older age classification for league games.
For APL League games, Club Pass players are limited to 3 per game in (9v9) rosters and 5 per game for (11v11) rosters. Teams using "pool rosters" must be treated in a manner consistent with teams using traditional rosters. Thus, the primary or core roster for each team in the APL league must be declared in writing before the season begins, and players may not be listed on more than one primary roster across all age groups in the league. The existing requirements in the APL Rules will then be applied against these rosters, such that "each team must maintain a minimum of 7 players (11U-12U), or 9 players (13U-19U) from the team's official primary roster continuously across all game rosters used in league play."
Secondary players are permitted to play in APL games on more than one team, provided that, if scheduling conflicts arise, they play for their primary team. The Got Soccer Club Pass provision may be used to supplement game rosters, but guest players, who are not rostered with the team's club, are not eligible to play in APL league games.
Use of an ineligible player will result in a forfeit for the offending team, and the coach shall be banned from attending the next league match or (APC State Cup match) for that team. Banned coaches are not permitted to be present at the field or within the game field complex.
Regardless of the way in which each club elects to roster its players and teams in the league, individual players may not play for more than 2 teams in league in any weekend period (Friday through Monday). In addition, players may not play in more than 2 league games on the same day, or more than 3 league games in any weekend period (Friday through Monday).
Only properly registered players, and rostered coaches and team officials (mangers/trainers) will be allowed on the team’s side of the field, or in the team area.
The home team will have properly maintained and prepared fields, including proper markings, nets, goal size, and corner flags. A Club representative must be available to fix any problems associated with the fields. The controlling Club and/or Organization will be responsible for closing the field/complex in case of inclement weather. If the field/complex closes, it will be the responsibility of the home team to notify the opposing coach and/or manager, as well as the APL, as soon as possible, that the game has been postponed. Failure to notify the proper personnel in a timely manner could result in the game being declared a forfeit.
The Home Team will wear light color jerseys while the visitors will wear dark. In the case of a color conflict, the Home Team will change jerseys. The Home Team will provide a game ball to the referee. Each team shall clean up its respective areas before leaving the field.
Each player shall have a number on the player’s jersey, including the goalkeepers. The number shall be affixed to the back of the jersey and shall be clearly visible. Each player on a team must wear a different number from every other player on the team. The official team roster shall include the number of each player’s jersey. All players are required to wear shin guards that provide adequate protection. Goalkeepers must wear colors that distinguish them from the other players and game officials.
RULES OF PLAY
Games will be played using FIFA Laws of the Game as modified by US Soccer Player Development Initiatives.
A. Length of Match and ball size
11U/12U: 30 min halves, size 4 ball
13U/14U: 35 min halves, size 5 ball
15U/16U: 40 min halves, size 5 ball
17U/18U: 45 min halves, size 5 ball
Unlimited substitutions, as allowed by the referee, may be taken at the following times:
Prior to a throw-in, by the team in possession.
Prior to a goal kick by either team
Following a goal by either team
After an injury by either team, if the injured player is substituted
After a caution is issued for the cautioned player only
If a player is removed from the game and no substitute enters the game for the player, the team will play short.
The original player may reenter the game, at a normal substitution point (with approval of the referee)
or at any point during the game if the referee signals for the player’s reentry
SPECIFIC PROVISIONS FOR LEAGUE PLAY
Teams must be able to start the match within 15 minutes of the scheduled match time. If a team cannot start within 15 minutes of the scheduled match, the other team shall be awarded a victory by forfeit.
If a game is terminated because of weather, it shall be judged a completed game if the game has reached halftime before the game was terminated. If the match was of lesser duration, then it shall be replayed.
Referees may terminate matches for lack of crowd control, poor team behavior, or other unsporting circumstances. Each coach is responsible for the behavior of his or her players and bench personnel. Each coach is responsible to assist the referee, when asked, in the control of parents, fans, and spectators. If a referee terminates a match because of conduct, the game score shall be reported as it was at the time the game was terminated. Additionally, the APL Committee reserves the right to ascertain the facts regarding the match and determine appropriate action, disciplinary or otherwise. Limited coaching is permitted only from the team side of the field, from the halfway line to the top of the penalty area, on that half of the field. Coaches may not enter the field without permission from the referee. Violation of this rule may result in a caution being issued.
EJECTIONS AND DISCIPLINE
Any player ejected from an APL match must leave the players' side of the field and shall be suspended for his or her next APL match and/or next match in the APC State Cup.
The Player Pass WILL NOT be retained by the referee following a match in which a red card was issued.
Players serving a suspension do not have to be present at the game in which they are serving the suspension, however they must count towards the 18 players (11U-12U), or 22 players (13U-19U) permitted on that game roster. Players are allowed to serve their suspensions on the team bench, provided they are not in uniform.
Any rostered team officials ejected from an APL match must leave the field and/or complex and shall be suspended from the next APL match and/or next match in the APC State Cup, for the team they were coaching at the time of the ejection. Rostered team officials are not allowed at the field or complex while serving their suspension.
It is the responsibility of the coach and/or manager to make sure the ejected player or coach sits out the appropriate match following the one in which the red card was issued, and that the serving of that suspension is noted on the APL Game Report by the referee.
Any team that does not sit out a suspended individual for the required match, and that allows this individual to participate, will be deemed to have used an ineligible participant and will incur all the penalties associated with such. Additionally, the person in question shall be suspended from the next APL match and/or next match in the APC State Cup.
Ejections for "Violent Conduct" shall serve a minimum two game suspension and may be subject to expulsion from the league.
Matches must be officiated by the three-person FIFA/USSF Referee System.
In the event the assigned referee fails to appear (within 15 minutes of the match time), a certified official must be found to officiate the match.
The referee may appoint replacements for assistant referees who fail to show up by the match time. In the event certified USSF officials are not available, the referee may appoint "club assistant referees". Club assistant referees shall be limited to assisting with decisions only on the touchlines and related to ball possession, as specified by FIFA.
STANDINGS, POINT SYSTEM AND TIE BREAKERS
A team's standing in its division will be determined by the number of points it receives based on its win/loss record during the league season. Points will be awarded as follows:
Three (3) points for a win
One (1) point for a tie
Zero (0) points for a loss
In the event of a tie within a division, the following criteria shall be used to break the tie:
A. Winner of head to head competition (this criterion is not used if more than 2 teams are tied)
B. Most wins
C. Team with greatest net goal difference (NGD), which is computed as "goals for" minus
"goals against" with a maximum of four NGD in each game.
D. Team with the most goals (maximum of four goals in each game)
E. Team with least goals against (there is NO limit on the number of goals that will be counted to determine this tiebreaker)
F. Fewest red cards
G. Fewest yellow card
In the event more than two teams are tied on the basis of points, the following shall be use to break the tie:
The sequence of tiebreakers will begin with #1 above and be followed until a team is eliminated. Once a team has been eliminated, the sequence of tiebreakers will begin again with #1 and will be repeated starting over after each team is eliminated until one team remains.
In the event, that (after having applied the tiebreaker rules above) teams remain tied, the winner of a coin toss will be judged to have placed higher in the standings than the loser of the coin toss. Forfeits are recorded as a score of 4-0 for the winning team. Double forfeits or no-plays are recorded as 0-0 losses for both teams and are not considered a tie for awarding standings points
PROTESTS AND APPEALS
All eligible protests and appeals will be considered by the APCL Committee.
A. Filing of a Protest
1. Notice of intent to protest a competition must be registered, in writing, with the game official and the parties involved at the game site.
The protest must be submitted to ACDL within 48 hours of match completion.
2. Judgment decisions of the referee are not subject to protest.
3. All protests must include the following before they will be considered:
a. A fee of $100 will be charged to the team, and which will be returned if the protest is upheld. If not,
the team must pay the $100 payable to ACDL) before the next scheduled ACDL Game.
b. A written statement describing the specific grounds for the protest.
c. All information necessary to make a fair and just decision on the protest.
d. A clear and concise statement of the relief or action sought by the protesting party.
B. Consideration of a Protest
1. A protest may not be allowed if the protest:
a. Concerns a matter of referee judgment
b. Is incomplete or does not contain the required information
c. Is not filed in a timely or proper manner
d. Does not deal with either the application of these rules or the qualifications of the opposing team.
2. The ACDL committee shall issue a written decision within (48 Hours) of the receipt of the Protest.