HCL Rules

FDSA High Country League Rules 2024

Revised 15 April 2024

Contents Page

1.0 Team and Player Registration –  1

2.0 League Structure – 2

3.0 Game Formats – 3

4.0 Results and Standings - 4

5.0 Discipline - 5

1.0 Team and Player Registration

1.1 Club administrators must strictly adhere to team entry and roster registration deadlines. Failure to do this may result in clubs being subject to league disciplinary action or teams not being included in league schedules. Clubs must fully review the associated League Key Dates document.

1.2 Age Group Requirements

Age Group

Birth Years

U9 (7v7)


U11 (7v7)


U13 (8v8)


U17 (8v8)


** The League occasionally does permit players to participate in younger age group. Requests are reviewed on a case by case basis

1.3 All teams are to consist of a minimum of 9 and maximum of 20 players.

1.4 All teams will be required to submit a team roster online at least 7 days prior to the league commencing. Players not present on game sheets are not permitted to participate. Should you play an ineligible player, your team will automatically default 5-0. Clubs are permitted to add players to their club/roster throughout the season, with requests being made to the HCL League Coordinator.

1.5 Teams will be allowed to play a maximum of four guest players of a lower age group from the same club. No call ups from teams in the same age groups /divisions will be permitted in U11, U13 and U17. U9 teams are permitted to call up players from other U9 teams and U17 Division A teams can call up from Division B. All guest players must be written in pen on game sheets and have a signed play up form to show referees. If this form is not present this player will be deemed ineligible.

1.6 Coaches and players under current suspension by ASA and/or any other cooperating associations at the time of participation are not allowed in the league as part of the team roster. 

2.0 League Structure

2.1 Alberta Soccer Association and FIFA rules apply with any applicable competition rules being noted in this document. In the instance of conflict, competition rules will take precedent.

2.2 The League will commence April 29th and finish no later than end of June

2.3 The number of games scheduled will be at the discretion of the League organizers and will be based on the number of teams and playing dates available.

2.4 All leagues will have a round robin league schedule with at least 1 playoff game to finish. Division formats will be communicated when schedules are finalized.

2.5 It is the home club’s responsibility to make sure that their soccer fields have adequately painted lines and nets for goal posts.

2.6 Teams must wear numbered jerseys.  If colors clash, the home team as per the schedule and game sheet must change to an alternative color or wear alternatively colour pinnies over their jerseys.  The referee alone decides if the colors clash. Shin guards MUST be worn – players will not be permitted to play without shin guards. The wearing of rigid casts or splints will not be permitted.  Please read the CSA Memo on Law 4 in regard to other items that are or not permitted.

2.7 At the start of each game, teams must provide 2 coach signed game sheets to match officials. Any absent or ineligible players must also be crossed of the team sheets.

2.8 Games run to a very tight schedule. If a team is not present and ready to play 15 minutes after the designated kick off time the game will be considered a 5-0 forfeit loss for that team.

2.9 Games Abandoned after half time count towards standings. Games Abandoned before half time must be replayed.

2.10 It is at the responsibility of the home club (between coach and club admin) to cancel a game up to three hours before kick-off. The league organizer, opposition and all match officials must be informed in the designated timeframe.

It is the responsibility of he home club to book a field for a rescheduled game and to contact the referee coordinator to organise a match official for the new time.

It is the referee’s responsibility to abandon a game within three hours of kick off or during the game. If the game is abandoned with no result, it is at the responsibility of the two teams to arrange a new date and inform the league a minimum of 72 hours prior to its new kick off date/time.

Games may only be abandoned on the day of the game in the event of inclement weather or sudden changes that cause unsafe field playing conditions. Game postponement by clubs within three hours or for other reasons (e.g. lack of players) will result in a 5-0 forfeit of the game.

3.0 Game Formats

 3.1 U9 Format

· Tuesday Games

· 7v7

· Size 4 ball

· 25 minute halves


· Goal Kicks from edge of GK Area

· Unlimited Rolling Subs

· Halfway Retreat Line

3.2 U11 Format

·  Games Wednesdays

· 7v7
(Providing both team coaches agree in advance of the kick-off, there may be an allowance to increase the number of players per team from 7 to 8 aside. If a change is accepted by both coaches, the referee must be informed before the start of play)

· Size 4 ball

· 30 minute halves


· Goal Kicks from edge of GK Area

· Unlimited Rolling Subs

· Halfway Retreat Line

3.3 U13 Format

· Thursday Games

· 9v9

· Size 5 ball

· 40 minute halves

· OFFSIDES in Attacking 1/3 of field

· Goal Kicks from edge of GK Area

· Unlimited Rolling Subs

· 1/3 Line Retreat Line

3.4 U17 Format

· 1 game a week (Monday or Friday)

· 9v9

· Size 5 ball

· 40 minute halves

· OFFSIDES in Attacking 1/3 of field

· Goal Kicks from edge of GK Area

· Unlimited Rolling Subs

· A and B Divisions

· 1/3 Line Retreat Line

4.0 Results and Standings

4.1 A winning team representative is responsible to enter correct score to High Country Website. In the event of a tie it is the responsibility of the Home team to enter score.

4.2 Points awarded as follows: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss.

4.3 In the High Country League there is a 5 Goal mercy rule, scored are to be reported to a maximum differential of 5. For instance; if a game finishes 8-1 the score should be entered as 6-1

4.4 In the event that two or more teams have the same number of points at the end of the round robin, the following procedure is used to determine a winner:

Two Way Tie Breaker: Head to Head, Goal Difference, Fewest Goals Conceded Scored, Coin Flip
Three Way Tie Breaker: Goal Difference, Fewest Goals Conceded, Coin Flip

 4.5 In the event of a tie in a playoff game a result will be determined by kicks from the penalty mark. Procedure will be in accordance with the procedure for the Kicks from the Penalty Mark from the ASA and FIFA game rules. If no winner is declared from five kicks these will continue in order until one team has scored more than the other from the same amount of kicks

5.0 Discipline

5.1 The High Country League operates under a Code of Conduct, and it is the Coaches responsibility to review the Code with all parents and players at the start of the season. Issues arising out of a game should be taken up by the coach with his/her Club Coordinator however a “cooling off period” of 24 hours shall be obligatory. If the issue is not resolved at this level, it shall be the Club Coordinators responsibility to bring it to the Leagues attention.

5.2 The League Organizers will rule over all discipline matter.  Expulsion from a game due to a red card or two yellow cards in one game carries an automatic one (1) game minimum suspension. Additional penalties are subject to the league chairperson’s ruling.

5.3 No protests will be allowed concerning the facts of play; the final decision rests with the referee.  Any other type of protest must be received by the League organizer within 24 hours of the completion of the game in concern in writing. Protests will only be reviewed provided that they are made in writing with cash or money order (made payable to ‘High Country League’) in the amount of $100. If the protest is unsuccessful the $100 will not be returned.

5.4 The purpose of this league is to provide players with a positive and enjoyable experience.  Players, coaches and parents are asked to remember that the game of soccer is to make players better people as well as better soccer players. This is done by respecting the game officials, and applauding the skillful play of the players of both teams.  Parents, Coaches and Athletes not adhering to the Fair Play code of ethics will be asked to leave the field of play immediately.