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Rules of the Game

Rules for SKVYSA Matches

SKVYSA matches are governed by IFAB Laws of the Game, except where modified by approval of the SKVYSA Board of Directors and Club Representatives.

Governance of Soccer

FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) is the highest governing body of soccer in the world, and establishes rules for the game. The US Soccer Federation, USSF, governs soccer in this country. Within the USSF, each state has a soccer association, and most states also have youth soccer associations. Washington Youth Soccer governs much of youth club soccer for our state. WA Youth Soccer runs some competition directly through districts throughout the state, and also recognizes and supports regional associations like SKVYSA.

Laws of the Game

There are 17 Laws of the Game to ensure order and fairness of play formulated by FIFA. The laws are based on those first introduced in 1863 by England's Football Association, and continue to govern all games, with modifications to accommodate players of different age groups, developmental levels, and players with disabilities. Modifications can be made concerning:

  • size of the field of play
  • size, weight and material of the ball
  • width between the goalposts and height of the crossbar from the ground
  • duration of the periods of play
  • substitutions

US Youth Soccer, WA Youth Soccer and SKVYSA may modify the FIFA international rules for their leagues and tournaments. These rule changes provide specific instruction where FIFA rules are general, and/or are intended to keep youth soccer safe, fun and fair.

Rules for some of the leagues in which our Skagit Valley Youth Soccer teams play, can be accessed from the following pages:

Most Misunderstood Rules of Soccer

"Hand Ball"

This is not the call: instead, it is "Handling Offense". If a player deliberately handles the ball or deliberately makes himself bigger by moving his arms/hands away from a natural position, then the foul should be called. If the ball accidentally hits him in the hand or he reflexively moves his hands to protect himself, then the foul may or may not not be called. This is a subjective call and is up to the discretion of the referee.


This is not the call either: it's actually "Offside." Offside is easy to see once you understand it.

  • Here is a video that does an excellent job of explaining it; and
  • Here is a document created by the US Soccer Federation (USSF) which explains it well (although it takes many pages to do so).

Northwest United Tryouts

Tryouts for NWU 2019 are over.

Occasionally, there are still open roster spots available. Players interested in any such options should visit the NW United FC website

For information regarding tryout dates in 2020, check back here starting in April 2020.

Liga Tlaxtli

If you have questions or problems, please read our Troubleshooting Guide.


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