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Playing Modifications

In order for competition to occur within soccer's return to play, modifications to the game were required. Mass Youth Soccer produced the following rule changes and these changes have been adopted by all bodies under the MYSA umbrella, including NYS. Full details HERE.


Mass Youth Soccer is hereby immediately implementing modifications for all sanctioned soccer games (scrimmages, friendlies, league). Suspended activities to meet necessary modification include:
  • No Heading – All intentional heading of a soccer ball is suspended for all ages. Any intentional heading will be treated as a violation of IFAB Law 12, Playing in a Dangerous Manner, Indirect Free Kick restart. Goalkeepers are not permitted to use their head to clear the ball.
  • No intentional body contact – Shoulder to shoulder, backing in, pulling of shirt, shorts or mask is considered a violation of Law 12, playing in a dangerous manner and will result in an indirect free kick restart or other applicable of misconduct based on the referee’s decision.
  • Intermittent and/or unintentional contact – A player is allowed to make intermittent and/or unintentional contact with opposing team members if the player is attempting to make foot to ball contact (legal tackle) and the contact occurs as a result of the tackle.
  • No slide tackling – The use of slide tackling is suspended and is to be considered a violation of Law 12, Playing in a Dangerous Manner, Indirect Free Kick restart or their applicable foul or misconduct based on the referee’s decision. “Going to the ground” to save a ball from going out of touch or to stop a long ground pass is not considered a “tackle” and is permissible if no other players are within 6 feet.
  • All Restarts –
    • Players must comply with 6-foot distancing from both teammates and opponents.
    • The ball should be placed where the restart will take place with one’s foot. If hands are used the ball will need to be removed from play and sanitized.
    • Goalkeepers are permitted to touch the ball, preferably with gloves. If goalkeepers touch their face hands during play (with bared or gloved hands) and then touch the ball, the ball must be removed from play and sanitized – if wearing gloves, then the gloves must be sanitized.
  • No Throw-Ins – When the ball crosses the touchline, restarts will be an indirect free kick from the spot on the touchline where the ball went out of play. The kicked ball may enter the penalty area. There are no changes to the offside rule. Offside will be enforced for all direct and indirect free kick restarts.
  • No Corner Kicks – Corner Kicks as defined by IFAB Law 17 are suspended and to be replaced by an indirect free kick. The ball must be placed in the corner area nearest to the point where the ball passed over the goal line. All IFAB Law 13 IDFK procedures, offences, and sanctions, including those for small-sided games (e.g. 8 yards), apply. The ball may enter the penalty area. Players must separate by 6 feet or more prior to the kick being taken.
  • No dropped ball – The use of a Dropped Ball as a restart is suspended. To replace this procedure, an Indirect Free Kick will be awarded to the team whom the referee deemed to be in possession when the referee stops play.
  • No coin toss – The visiting team chooses to kick-off or defer to the second half.
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