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National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA)



For the Fall 2021 College Soccer Season, the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules Committee and Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved changes to better align the rules with the International Football Association Board (IFAB) Laws of the Game (LOTG):

• Restarts (Rules,, and 2.3). Changes the restart procedures for when a ball is in and outside the penalty area.

• Handling the Ball (Rule Defines and outlines handling the ball offenses.

• Violent Behavior I and II and Fighting (Rules, and Redefines the fighting rule and creates a violent behavior I and II red card to better categorize violent actions.

• Free Kicks (Rules 13.2.2 and 13.2.3). Changes how free kicks are taken.

• Penalty Kicks (Rule 14.2.3). Clarifies positioning of the goalkeeper during penalty kicks and adds a penalty for violation.

• Goal Kicks (Rules 16.2.1 through 16.2.4). Changes how goal kicks are taken.

Revisions are described in detail in the 2020-21 Major Rules Changes.

Rules Books are published every other year. The 98 page 2020 and 2021 NCAA Soccer Rules Book together with other key resources needed by referees who will be officiating NISOA matches for the 2021 Fall Season are located in Box in a NISOA folder. Additional information there includes:

• Rules Changes / Interpretations

• GIC-NISOA Rules Meeting Information / Handouts

• Comparative Study of Rules and Laws

• 4th Official Guide / Match Form

• Overviews of Diagonal and Dual Systems of Control

• Assistant Referee Refresher

Visit the NISOA Website for additional information to be posted throughout the College Season.


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