Online Support and Reference for HS Rules

This section of the RVSOA website will enable all members to ask any questions they may have regarding HS Soccer Rules in New Jersey.

Your question will be sent to the RVSOA Rules Interpreter for an answer.  Questions and Answers will be posted anonymously.

Ask a High School Rules Question

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Throw In

Question regarding throw in.... Team "A" kicks the ball out of bounds - ball bouncers off the bench and ends up back in the field of play - throw in awarded to Team B. Field of play is a multi use, many line, turf field....

Player on team "B" taking the throw in picks up the ball, within the field of play - never "leaves the field of play" and throws the ball in....

What's the correct call on this? I called it as an "improper throw in" and awarded a throw into Team "A", but since the player never put himself outside the field of play is this correct?

The throw in was not properly taken as the player had both feet over the touchline and on the field of play.  There is no requirement that the player must have left the field of play and come back onto the field of play.  Since the throw in was inmproperly taken by Team B, the throw in would then be taken by opponent Team A

On fields that are multi-use with many lines, the referee should be aware of which line is the touchline and when throw-ins are taken remind the players if possible.

Penalty Kick in Extended Time

Please when a foul has been called that results in a penalty kick being taken after time has expired, what is/are the proper procedure(s) regarding the placement of the two teams (the other typically 20 players) now that the game is over and the penalty kick needs to be taken?

There is nothing specific in the NFHS Soccer Rules Book for this situation.

As per Alan Brown, NJSIAA State Interpreter, only the kicker and goalkeeper can participate.  Once the kick is taken and the ball either goes out of play, is touched again by the kicker or has it'smomentum spent, the kick is over.  Having players other than the kicker and golkeeper present can only lead to complications.

Have the other players go to their respective team areas.

Captain's Arm Bands

Are team captains required to wear arm bands?

No, not required, however Rule 4-1-2 states It is recommended that captains wear arm bands of contrasting colors.

Game Balls

The home team will rectify ball problems but what if the opposing team has correct balls. But what if neither has correct balls?

The home team will supply proper game balls, if the game balls are not properly inflated the home team should ensure the balls are properly inflated. (Rules 2-1 and 2-2-3)

If the home team does not have game balls with the proper authentication mark or otherwise cannot supply proper game balls, the referee shall choose from game balls offered by both teams (Rule 2-1)

Bottom line...make sure the balls are properly inflated, balls should have the NFHS mark, if no mark you still play the game.

Removal of Injured Players

QUESTION: When the goal keeper is treated on the field, or time is stopped to allow the coach,on the field, I would believe he has to be removed in high school rules

Correct, in NFHS, ANY player whom the referee deems injured and cannot continue, or is injured and attended to on the field by a coach/trainer.etc., MUST be reomved from the filed. (Rule 3-1c2)

That player MAY be substituted at this time and EITHER team may substitute an UNLIMITED number of players from the bench.

Is a player in an offside position punished for being offside?

The referee must not signal simply because a player is in an offside position, but must look for active involvement. In other words, the referee must “wait and see.”


Furthermore, if an referee is in any doubt as to whether a player is in an offside position or if a player in an offside position is actively involved in play, the referee must decide in favor of the attacker and refrain from signaling offside. To phrase it slightly differently: When in doubt,  give the benefit of that doubt to the attacker. The referee, too, must be certain that there is active involvement before deciding for offside.