Playing Rules


4101.     LAWS OF THE GAME

All games played under the jurisdiction of the NJSA shall be played under the “Laws of the Game” approved by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and recognized by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and this Association.


In order for an official game to start, a team must have a minimum of seven (7) players ready to start play. A minimum of seven (7) players on a team must be maintained at any given time in order for a game to proceed.


Every team shall identify to the referee a team captain who shall be properly identified on the line-up sheet and during the game by means of an armband.

Only the team’s captains are authorized to speak to the referee, in a proper manner, without questioning the integrity of his decision.


Each individual Affiliated League may allow for a grace period not to exceed 15 minutes after the officially scheduled kickoff time.

Teams must be ready to play with the minimum number of players not later than the grace period.

If agreed by both team managers, the referee may or may not allow extra time in addition to the grace period, for one or both teams to present the minimum number of players. This extra time shall not exceed 15 minutes after the initial 15 minutes grace period.


A referee shall be allowed a grace period of 15 minutes after the official kickoff time as scheduled with the NJSA State Referee Assignor, to show up to an assigned game

If a referee does not show to the game within the allowed grace period, it will be the team managers’ responsibility to report to their League of affiliation such no-show, independently if the two teams decide to play the game without the assigned referee.

4106.     NO-SHOW BY TEAM

If a team is not present and/or ready to start the game at the time set with the minimum number of players as set above, and unless there is a waiting period established by the Competition or League, it shall be determined to be a NO SHOW.

If both teams are not present and ready to start the game at the time set, and unless there is a waiting period established, both must be dealt with as a NO SHOW.

Each League or Competition will dispose of the No-Show case, after they investigate the reason of the no-show.

If the game is ruled as a Forfeit, then the team(s) that forfeited will be responsible to pay the FULL referee fee.

If the game is ruled as a RE-PLAY, the referee shall be refunded a travel fee. The league or Competition will determine which team will be responsible to pay for such travel fee.

Payment shall be forwarded to the NJSA Referee Assignor for disbursement to the affected referee(s).

Such payment responsibility shall fall on the League of Affiliation, if payment is not received by the NJSA Referee Assignor within 30 days from the date of no-show.


If a Referee and/or an Assistant Referee is not present and/or ready to start the game at the officially scheduled game time or after the allowed grace period, he shall be reported immediately as a NO SHOW.

Referees no-shows shall be reported immediately to the League of affiliation, to the State Referee Assignor and to the State Adult Referee Administrator.

The Adult Referee Ethics Committee shall investigate the reason of the Referee and/or Assistant Referee No-Show and shall take proper action against the Official including but not limited to one or more of the following:

a)      Dismissal of the case
b)      Fine to refund expenses incurred by the teams not to exceed the game fee for the game.
c)      Suspension from any Referee activity.


In case of a No-Show by a Referee, teams must make every effort to play the game with another EMERGENCY referee.

Each Affiliated League shall determine the proper procedure to dispose of the game in case of a Referee no-show.

If an affiliated League does not have a policy to handle a Referee no-show, then the following policies shall take place:

a)      If the assigned Referee does not show up, the game shall be officiated by the

Senior Assistant Referee if one was assigned.

1)      If the Referee shows up, but for some reasons beyond his control, cannot officiate the game, procedure item a) above will apply.

b)      If only one Assistant Referee shows up, he shall be the Referee.

c)      If a League policy requires the game to be played, then both teams must come to an agreement and choose an individual to be considered an Emergency referee. In this case, the two teams shall select an individual among the spectators, whom does not have to be a certified referee.


For games where two Assistants are required, when one or no Assistant Referee is present for a game, the Referee shall apply the following procedures:

1)      If no assigned Assistant is present or available, he shall look, within the spectators, for Certified Referees to assist him. If no Assistant can be found, then the Referee will relinquish this search to the two teams so that each team will supply an Emergency Assistant.

2)      If only one Assistant Referee is needed, he shall request to the home team, to supply for an Emergency Assistant.


An emergency referee does not have to be a Licensed/Certified referee.

The individuals chosen according to the No-Show procedures above, shall be considered officially assigned to the game and they shall carry on as official referees for the game, including reports and payments.

Once two teams agree on an Emergency Referee or Emergency Assistant to officiate the game, neither team can refuse or reject the individual after the game is started.

All his rulings and decisions during the game shall be valid toward the outcome of the game.

Teams walking away from a game after an Emergency Referee or Emergency Assistant is accepted, shall be charged as forfeiting the game.


If a game in progress is stopped by the Referee because of bad weather, or for any other reason independent from either team’s behavior, and it is not resumed, the game shall be considered INCOMPLETE, and it shall be completed by the two teams at another date/time with the score and the discipline decisions taken up to the moment of the interruption.

If less than half of the incomplete game was played at the time of the interruption, the referee(s) shall be paid only the travel fee for the incomplete game, and when the game is completed, the full fee shall be paid to the referee(s) that officiate the completion of the game.

If more than half of the incomplete game was played at the time of interruption, the referee(s) shall be paid in full for the incomplete game, and when the game is completed, the travel fee shall be paid to the referee(s) that officiate the completion of the game.

4112.     REFEREE FEES

Referees fees are set by the NJSA General Council on a yearly basis.

The fees shall be published in the NJSA website and on the Referee Assignments website.

In case of a team or both teams no-show at a scheduled game, the referee(s) assigned to that game, must make a report of the situation to the NJSA, to the League and to the Referee Assignor.

The Referee Assignor shall investigate with the League, the reason of the team(s) no-show.

If the no-show was the result of unforeseen circumstances, and the game was ruled by the League to be re-scheduled, then the referee(s) shall receive the Travel fee for the no-show game.

If the show was the result of failure to communicate on th part of the team(s) with the League, and the League has ruled the game as a forfeit against one or both teams, then the referee(s) shall receive the Full fees.

4113.     GAME LINE-UPS

All NJSA Premier teams participating in a League or State Cup game, MUST use the NJSA Official Game Line-up.

This Official Game Line-up is produced using the NJSA Online system using the appropriate link.

This Game Line-up will show ONLY those players that have been APPROVED to play after registration (see Player Registration Rules).

Failure to use the NJSA Official Game Line-up will result in a fine not to exceed $50 per each occurrence of such invalid use.