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Harsher illegal participation penalties approved in soccer

Card-suspended players who compete in matches they should have missed face 2-game suspensions

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Wednesday approved harsher penalties for teams that play card-suspended players in soccer matches.

Starting with the 2018 season, if a player, assistant coach or other bench personnel competes in a game from which the participant should have been suspended (red card, yellow card accumulation), that participant’s suspension will be doubled, and the head coach will serve a suspension double that of the participant. For example, if a player received a red card, which is a one-game suspension, and did not properly serve the punishment, the player would be penalized with a two-game suspension, and the head coach would serve a four-game suspension.

Suspended players will be allowed to be in the team area while serving the suspension but will  not be allowed in uniform.

Additionally, suspended coaches will be required to be out of sight and sound of the match one hour before the game starts and until 30 minutes after the match ends. Any violation of this rule by the head coach will result in an automatic four-game suspension.

Other rules changes

The following rules changes also were approved:

  • Adding violent conduct to the list of items for which officials will be allowed to use video review.
  • Allowing bands, musical instruments and artificial noisemakers while the ball is in play.
  • Allowing the following approved markings on the field, as long as they do not interfere with any required field markings and are not in the penalty area: NCAA, team or conference logos, names or abbreviations; two commercial logos (one in each half of the field) not larger than 15 feet by 15 feet; and noncommercial, commemorative logos such as the players’ names or numbers for senior day.

Official time proposal tabled

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules Committee tabled a proposal that would have required referees to keep the official game time on the field in matches.

The committee’s action means that the official time in NCAA matches will remain with the timekeeper, and a visible scoreboard clock will be the official timepiece, when available.