The 2019-2020 changes to the Laws of the Game are in effect this season. Highlights of the LOTG changes can be found in the Referees menu on the BAYS website or by clicking here: https://bays.org/content/laws-game-change-summary-2020-0
Spring 2021 Game Rule Modifications
The only modification to the game rules of play for the Spring 2021 season is that players are required to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times.
BAYS voted to have referees consider the wearing of a mask over the nose and mouth to be treated as required safety equipment, such as the wearing of a shin guard. Therefore, if a player is not wearing a mask properly, then the referee can request that the player fix the issue and if not rectified, send off the player until such time as the player is in compliance with this safety requirement.
Off the field of play, in addition to wearing masks, players must still maintain 6' distance but the temporary modifications to how the game is played were rescinded for the Spring 2021 season.
In general, each referee is advised to review the most recent Mass Youth Soccer Return to Soccer Activities guidelines at https://www.mayouthsoccer.org/return-to-soccer-activities.
Please note, this guidance while in effect as of this writing, is fluid in nature and is expected to change as circumstances evolve. Further, each referee should also review the MA Youth Soccer presentation on return to soccer activities, found on the web page from the hyperlink above, as it is an excellent example of how players, coaches, and staff are being guided.
Referee Health – Monitor your health! If you do not feel well contact a licensed medical professional for guidance. If you are sick, recovering from being sick, or under a quarantine order, you may not participate in refereeing soccer matches. There will be no stigma attached to declining any match at any time, and a referee need not provide a reason why they are declining any match, or any health information at any time.
- Arrive at your matches at least 20 minutes prior to kickoff
- Verify all coaches on the sideline (maximum of 3) have MYSA 2020-2021 credentials. The game may not kick off if there is not a credentialed adult in each technical area.
- Collect a paper roster from each coach. Coaches should write in player’s numbers (if not preprinted) and cross off any coaches or players absent. Referees should make sure the number of not crossed out players and coaches matches the number of people in the technical area.
- Referees should perform a safety check of the players (e.g., shin guards, casts, jewelry) while maintaining at least six feet of social distancing.
- Player passcards are not required during this Spring 2021 season for ANY team.
- Know the LOTG and the rules of competition for the match you are doing.
During a Match:
- Referees must wear a face covering at all times before, during, and after the match. Players, spectators, and team officials are also required to wear a mask.
- For safety concerns, players may only wear ear-loop masks. Neck gaiters, bandanas, and vented masks, etc. are not allowed.
- Keep between 6 and 10 feet away from any participant at all times before, during, and after the match. This includes, but is not limited to, pre-match inspections, during active play, half-time intervals, and at the conclusion of the match.
- Allow flexibility on spectator placement. While any spectator must be a minimum of 8 feet from the field, they may require additional spaces around the field to watch a match. Please be flexible in this regard.
- Referees must use a signaling device that does not produce respiratory droplets. Electronic whistles are recommended.
- Do not share referee equipment with other referees unless properly cleaned prior to an exchange.
- Do not engage in any post-match celebrations such as a handshake line.
After a Match:
- Keep your mask on until you depart the field. Players, coaches, spectators, and referees are required to depart the field immediately after the game to allow ample time for the participants of the next game to arrive while maintaining the state mandated maximum number of people allowed at the field.
- File your game report (preferably on the same day as the game.) This is a requirement to get paid. The game report has been modified, clarifying some questions, and adding questions about issuing yellow cards, red cards, and if there were any serious injuries during the game.