The Girls Academy is a leading youth development platform for the best female soccer players in the United States. They are the only national youth soccer platform that represents the collective vision of member clubs and actively engages the voice of the players to take real ownership of the league. They embrace the desire of club members and players to maintain an unrivaled standard of excellence in coaching, competition, and regional and national showcase events throughout the year.

They are committed to cultivating an environment that empowers each player to reach their best potential as an exceptional athlete and human being by celebrating the player’s journey with a lifelong love of the game through competition, showcases, and camaraderie.

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Referee Guidelines

Girls Academy Referee One Sheeter


All costs of referees are the responsibility of the home club. If a neutral site is used, the designated home club shall pay unless it is pre-approved by the league that costs will be shared. The method of payment of appointed referees is up to the discretion of the home club. It is suggested that the home team pay the referees prior to the game upon arrival or through the arbiter system or direct deposit.


Unless otherwise provided, all Girls Academy games shall be played in accordance with the youth association and league modifications and Laws of the Game in force at the time of the competition as provided by the International Football Association Board.


1.    Uniforms

Home team will be required to wear light colored FULL uniforms and away team will be required to wear FULL dark colored uniforms:

a.   Home teams will be responsible for changing in the event of a conflict

b.   On a double fixture weekend, it is required for teams to coordinate uniform colors ahead of time for the entire weekend to avoid conflicts

c.    The designation of light & dark requires that jersey and socks match

d.    The Girls Academy has no requirement that players wear light or white shorts

2. Goals, Nets, Corner Flags and Benches

a. All goals must be properly anchored.

b. A game will not start without proper equipment, including secured goals, properly lined fields, and corner flags.


1. Game Roster Size

a. For U13 through U19 games, only 18 players from the roster will be eligible to participate in each game, and these players must be placed on the Game. Day Roster (showing players that will start and players eligible for substitution)

b. The bench and technical area is reserved for players and a maximum of five (5) registered club staff members, not including a registered Health Care Professional (HCP) or Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC)

2. Match Cards

a. The official game day roster must be provided on Match Cards and shall be presented to the referee prior to the game and should also include team staff. All teams are responsible for verifying the accuracy of rosters provided on all Match Cards and signing a completed copy from the referee crew after the game

b. NO WRITE-INs ALLOWED (a jersey number may be written in if necessary, but not a player)


1. Game Length

a. All U13, U14 and U15 games will be two (2) 40-minute halves with 10-minute halftime

b. U16, U17 and U19 games will be two (2) 45-minute halves with a 10-minute halftime

2. Substitutions

a. The Girls Academy Substitution Sheet must be used for substitutions during all Girls Academy games

i.     Note: Halftime substitutions do not require the use of substitution sheet

b.   All games will have a maximum of seven (7) substitutes per half with no reentry per half across five (5) opportunities, no more than three (3) opportunities per half

i.   Halftime does not count as an opportunity

c. Substitutions are allowed at any stoppage

3. Head Injury (Concussion) Substitution

a. A player who suffers a potential head injury may be temporarily substituted for to be evaluated by a HCP

b. The Temporary Substitute may be any player who has not previously been substituted for in that half. If all players have been substituted for in that half, then a player may re-enter the match as the Temporary Substitute

c. This process will utilize a traffic light system.

i. Green Light: If the injured player is cleared to return, and returns to the match, she must replace the Temporary Substitute. The team will NOT be charged a Substitution or Moment.

ii. Red Light: If the injured player is not cleared to return, or is cleared, and opts not to return for her safety, the Temporary Substitution shall become permanent. Only a Substitution shall be charged. No moment shall be charged for a temporary substitution.

d. No Remaining Substitutions

i. If the team does not have any remaining Substitutions, the Temporary Substitute will be permitted to remain in the match.

e. Delays in Evaluation

i. If the injured player is delayed a clearance beyond the half/match, or the half / match ends during evaluation, the Temporary Substitute shall remain in the match, and shall be a recorded Substitution for that half.

f. Case Examples (All cases relate to presumed head injuries. All circumstances are independent of each other. Presume all occur in different matches.)

i. Team A #1 is removed to be evaluated in the 8th minute of the match. She is cleared to return in the 15’.

1. A Temporary Substitution may occur in the 8th. Upon her clearance, she returns to the match, so there is no substitution charged.

ii. Team A #2 is removed in 19’ to be evaluated. #3 enters the match as a Temporary Substitution. She is not cleared pending further evaluation later in the day.

1. #3 becomes a permanent Substitution in the first half, a Substitution is charged.

iii. Team B #1 is removed in the 38’ minute to be evaluated. #2 enters as a Temporary Substitution. At halftime, #1 is cleared. / Not cleared.

1. In both circumstances, Team B is charged the first half Substitution as #2 ended the period in #1s absence.

iv. Team A #4 is removed in the 30’. Team A has utilized all of its 7 Substitutions in this half. #5 enters as a Temporary Substitution. 5’ later, #4 is not cleared to return.

1.    #5 may remain in the match.

4. Field Conditions

a. Protests regarding the state of the field, its surroundings, markings or accessory items (e.g. goals, flag posts or soccer balls) shall be made in writing to the referee before the start of the game by the coach or administrator lodging the protest.

b. The league commissioner must also be notified of the protest prior to kickoff. If the field’s playing surface becomes unplayable during a game, the referee shall consult the league commissioner and both parties shall have the joint right to determine whether to delay, postpone or cancel the game.

5. After a Game

a. Protests against any incidents that occur during the course of a game shall be made to the league commissioner immediately following the completion of the game.

6. Referee’s Decisions

a. No protests may be made about the referee’s decisions regarding facts connected with play, such decisions are final.


1. Overview

a. The Girls Academy is committed to providing a safe environment for its members and participants, and to preventing abusive conduct in any form. Every member club and its personnel are responsible for protecting participants and ensuring their safety and well-being while involved in sponsored activities. The following guidelines of behavior and procedures have been adopted for member clubs, staff, volunteers and participants. All clubs, as well as parents, spectators and other invitees, are expected to observe and adhere to these guidelines. Violation of these guidelines may be used as a basis for a club or its staff’s suspension or other disciplinary action, or a staff’s disqualification from registration.

i. Abuse of any kind is not permitted within the Girls Academy. Physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse or misconduct from players, coaches, officials, volunteers, parents or spectators shall not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to such forms of abuse as: insulting, threatening, mocking, demeaning behavior or making abusive statements in regard to a person’s race, gender, religion, physical or mental disability, nationality/ethnicity, sex or age.

ii. Physical and/or sexual abuse, including, but not limited to striking, hitting, kicking, biting, indecent or wanton gesturing, lewd remarks, indecent exposure and any form of sexual contact or inappropriate touching, are strictly prohibited within the Girls Academy.

2. Conduct

a. The DPL promotes respect and good sportsmanship throughout the league and encourages qualities of mutual respect, courtesy and tolerance in all participants, coaches, officials and volunteers.

Goal Safety

1. Home clubs are responsible for inspecting the goals and ensuring the safety of the goals.

2. However, should the visiting club become aware of a goal safety issue, they should immediately inform the home club and the game official about the issue.

3. The home Clubs should do the following:

a. Pre-Game Suggestions

i.       Make sure that the goal is firmly secured to the ground with anchors

ii.      Make sure that all connecting hardware (nuts, bolts, etc.) is properly attached

iii.     Make sure that the structural integrity of the goal has not been compromised (cracks in welds or posts, etc.)

iv.        Make sure that the goal is on a level (flat) surface

 v.        check the net attachment system to make sure that it is secure and that there are no sharp edges.

Field Inspection

1. Home clubs are responsible for inspecting the field and ensuring the safety of the facility. However, should the visiting club become aware of a safety issue at the facility, they should immediately inform the home club and the game official about the issue.

2. The home club should do the following:

a. Inspect for foreign objects

b. Check for holes, hills or ruts

c. Inspect sprinkler heads to make sure that they are seated and properly covered

d. Ensure there is a restraining line for spectators at least five (5) feet beyond the touch line and outside of the bleachers and seating areas

e. Inspect the field and surrounding areas for any possible “attractive nuisances”

Referee Responsibility for Safety

1. All determinations as to the safety of the field, the goals, the balls, player equipment are ultimately the responsibility of the referee assigned to the game.

2. Any field, equipment or ball conditions deemed by the referee to be unsafe must be corrected by the home club before play can begin or resume.