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Portola Valley Adult Soccer Rules SummaryPrintable

This rules summary is provided to the referees as a service. These are not the official rules of the competition. NO warranty is made that this summary is up to date.

This page last updated 9/26/2019

Referee Expectations

The referee team is expected to:

  • Be at the field no less than 15 minutes before kickoff
  • Use the 3-referee diagonal system of control. 2-referee system should NOT be used; instead, a Club Linesman should be found.

Assistant Referees are expected to:

  • Position themselves in accordance to USSF/FIFA standards and be even with the second to last opponent or the ball whichever is closer to the goal line

Recreational League

This is an O21 for women and O30 for men COED recreational league. There are only 4 teams. Uniforms are informal - players wear the right color tee shirt. (Green, White, Yellow and Purple are the team colors. Consequently referees typically wear red (then black or blue.)) The players want to play today and need to go to work tomorrow. Strictly enforce safe play. Facilitate player involvement.

Portola Valley Adult Soccer is an unaffiliated league. They are not part of USSF. Consequently, your USSF referee liability insurance may not be applicable when you are working a PVAS match.

Shin guards



No jewelry or other items that would be considered dangerous. No watches and fitbits.  Not strongly enforced.   Earrings - no dangling.


Unless explicitly stated otherwise below, all FIFA LOTG are in effect.

Match Length

Halves are 40 minutes. It is not unusual for the match to start late. If necessary shave equal number of minutes off each half so that the first match ends no later than 11:35.

Adding time is typically not an option due to next match or must end times. Adjust match half lengths equally if match starts late.


With permission of referee. Only at stoppages due to the ball leaving the field. Not on fouls or infractions.

Slide tackling and fouls

  • No slide tackling.
  • Protect the players.   A low tolerance/bar for fouls is expected.   

Penalty Kicks

By tradition, any penalty kick is taken by a woman player.


No coin flip.  By tradition, the team facing the parked cars/equestrian center kicks off.


By tradition, cards are typically not displayed. Players can be encouraged to sit out if warranted.

Balanced Teams

Okay for players to play for the opposing team if one team is short and there are extra players.

Minimum of three women on the field for each team. Preferable the same number of women on the field for both teams. Exceptions permitted. League prefers that the teams resolve number of players and gender of players among themselves.

  • No formal check-in . No game card.


Teams are encouraged to evaluate referee performance.