SOCAL: This is the main SOCAL site where you can find information on player/coach discipline (Cautions and Send Offs), team standings, field locations, et cetera.

SOCAL Fall Handbook

Game Day Instructions

SOCAL is a youth competitive soccer organization.

Guided by their Founding Philosophy and Core Values, SOCAL’s purpose is to set the highest standards for soccer Clubs to develop players to their fullest potential – physically, emotionally, and ethically.

SOCAL has member clubs throughout Southern California from Ventura County down to San Diego County and all counties in between. Their member clubs offer a variety of different programs to their members.

Their Competitive programming has multiple levels so there is a level of play for every player that wants to play the beautiful game of soccer.

Their programming is “flight” based. Starting with Flight 4 and working up to Flight 1.

Flight 4 is the level between Recreational and Competitive. This flight only plays a fall season (with an optional separate spring season). They play 12 games and do not have to play SOCAL State Cup. There is a year-end Tournament of Champions for this level combined with Recreational teams. This event will be held December 4-5, 2021. These are games that are scheduled within the teams own community (similar to recreational scheduling) but with a little more of a competitive flare to the games.

Flight 3 is the lower level of Competitive. These games are geographically scheduled within your city/county. These teams play a 16-game season from the weekend after Labor Day until just before Thanksgiving and then they return to finish their season in Jan/Feb or March/April (depending on the age group and the high school schedule for the older players). SOCAL State Cup is optional for these teams.

Flight 2 is a more competitive level of play. These games are scheduled geographically and they play a 16-game season, just like Flight 3. These teams participate in the SOCAL State Cup. The college age players have the option to participate in our College Showcases too.

Flight 1 is the top level of competition. Within Flight 1 there are multiple options:

  • Europa: These are flight 1 teams that want to play within their geographic area. They have minimal travel but they participate in SOCAL State Cup and can play in the College Showcase events.
  • Champions: This division has promotion/relegation with the Discovery NPL. They play home/away and can play outside of their geographic area since they are vying for promotion into Discovery NPL. Teams participate in SOCAL State Cup and the College Showcase events.
  • Discovery NPL: These teams will play their games on a Home and Away basis in 2022-2023. They all participate in SOCAL State Cup and they have one College Showcase included in their season with an optional second showcase.

US Club Player Credentials

  • All players participating in SOCAL games MUST have US Club SOCCER PLAYER CARDS indicating the player participates in the SOCAL League. ECNL/ECRL player cards are no longer valid in the SOCAL League.
  • If a team forgets their US Club Player passes for a SOCAL game the game can begin and can continue play if the player pass cards are at the game by half-time. If the player cards are not there by half-time then the game shall be abandoned. GotSport Digital, or photos of cards will be accepted. All managers and coaches are able to access Virtual ID’s in GotSport.


  • Uniforms may be similar in color among teams. Jerseys must have a number on the back.
  • Home team wears light/white jerseys.
  • Away team wears dark jerseys.
  • Away team changes in case of a color conflict.

Spectator/Team Seating

  • Home Team has a choice of sideline they sit on. 
  • ALL SPECTATORS FROM A TEAM will now sit on the same side of the field as their team.
  • Spectators will no longer sit on opposite sides of the field from their team for League play.
  • Coaches are responsible for the spectators on their team.
  • Spectators are not to commingle with spectators from the opposing team.

Game Ball

  • The home team is the team listed first on the official schedule. The home team provides 3 game balls.

Personnel on the Bench

  • All players and staff on the team bench MUST have a current US Club Soccer player pass card. 

Match Officials

  • Referee Fees must be paid before each game. Please do not agree to Venmo, Zelle, Bitcoin, etc. Cash on the field. Each team pays ½ of the total fees due.


Unlimited substitutions are allowed in all age groups, Flights 1, 2, 3 and 4 as follows (not including Discovery NPL):

  • Unlimited substitutions by either team are allowed on any stoppage of play with the permission of the Referee. Referees will be instructed not to allow substitutions that are deemed “excessive” or of a “time-wasting” nature.
  • Substitutes must wait at the halfway line (off of the Field of play) until the Field Player has left the Field of Play and/or the Referee has indicated the substitute may enter the Field of Play.
  • For Discovery NPL Games:
    1. Substitutions may be made during 3 “moments” per half. Half-time does not count as a moment. 
    2. Re-entry is allowed per half at the moments used by the coach. Subbing on the moment of an opposition, still counts towards a team’s 3 moments.
    3. In accordance with the new USSF Head Injury guidelines, a substitution for a suspected head injury will not count against re-entry rules.

Red Card Reporting and Player Cards

Post-Game Procedures

  • Both teams and referee sign all 3 copies of the Game Match Reports. Each team keeps a copy. Referee should keep a copy/take a picture of a completed Match Report.
  • If there is only one paper copy, the referee keeps it and team representatives may take a picture of the report.
  • Both teams should collect their player and coach cards from the referee.
  • Best practice is to ask the team manager/coach to please come over to collect the cards and sign the match reports a few minutes after the final whistle, allowing the referee time to complete the paperwork.