Cal North is committed to creating and maintaining a sports environment in which all youth and adult participants may participate in youth sports activities, programs, and competitions free from all forms of emotional, psychological, physical, and sexual misconduct. Consistent with U.S. Soccer Bylaw 212, Cal North is also required to, among other obligations;

  1. comply with applicable law and, in particular, the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act (the “Sports Act”).

  2.  if the member recruits, trains, fields or funds soccer players, it must establish a risk management program to promote the safety and protect the welfare of participants.

  3. adopt policies prohibiting sexual abuse. Effective February 14, 2018, Public Law 115-126, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (the “SafeSport Act”), amends the Sports Act, and requires applicable amateur sports organizations (as such term is defined in the SafeSport Act, 36 U.S.C. § 220530(b))

  •      Comply with the SafeSport Act’s reporting requirements and prohibit retaliation by the applicable amateur sports organization against any individual who makes a report (36 U.S.C. § 220530(a)(1))

  •      Establish reasonable procedures to limit one-on-one interactions between an amateur athlete who is a minor and an adult (who is not the minor’s legal guardian) at a facility under the jurisdiction of the applicable amateur sports organization (36 U.S.C.§ 220530(a)(2)) .

  •      Offer and provide consistent training to adult members in regular contact with minor amateur athletes and, subject to parental consent, to members who are minors, regarding prevention and reporting of child abuse (36 U.S.C. § 220530(a)(3))

  •      Prohibit retaliation, by the applicable amateur sports organization, against any individual who makes a report of suspected child abuse. (36 U.S.C. § 220530(a)(4)).

The purpose of this policy is to require an Athlete and Participant Safety/Safe Soccer program as part of
 each Organization Member’s risk management program and set out standards for such a program.



Spirit Rule


  U.S. Soccer


  Cal North




PIM 04-1 (Rev. 07/2011) PLAYER EQUIPMENT

A player with a prosthetic device will be permitted to participate in any CYSA sanctioned activity provided a doctor has provided written authorization that participation with such device does not pose a risk to the player wearing the device as well as any other player.

PIM 12-1 (Modified 01-2012 / Rev 09-2013) PLAYER EQUIPMENT

All players, parents, coaches, and referees are required to act as a reasonable person concerning player safety, including protecting players from wearing any equipment or device that is dangerous to the player wearing the equipment or device or to any other player. The referee has ultimate authority for deciding if equipment or device is safe.

Attempt to Injure or Intimidate: Any player who uses any equipment with the intent to intimidate or injure an opponent shall be cautioned or sent off immediately.

Headwear: Soft protective headgear and headbands are allowed if deemed safe by referee. The headgear must not cover the neck.

Jewelry: Except as provided below, All jewelry must be removed, including necklaces, rings, earrings, friendship bracelets and any visible body piercing with an earring-like device; Medical identification (“medic alert”) jewelry is not to be removed; medical identification jewelry must be taped securely and completely to the wrist or neck. Any item of clothing or jewelry that is clearly religious in nature and that is required by the wearer’s religion to be worn may be permitted by the referee if it is not dangerous and not likely to provide the player with an unfair advantage. Items that are permanently attached to the player’s body and are not removable may be permitted if:

 1.  ​in the opinion of the referee the item(s) are not dangerous to other players or can reasonably be   made safe and

 2.  the player’s parent or guardian has signed a waiver on a form specified by Cal North CYSA.

Shin Guards: All players must wear shin guards in any CYSA sanctioned event. Referees will not allow players to participate if the shin guards to not meet these criteria:

      a.  Shin guards shall be worn properly in order to provide adequate and reasonable protection to the
​           shin.​

      b.  Shin guards shall be professionally manufactured, age/size appropriate and unaltered.

           Orthopedic supports:

​​           i.  A medical release for any player wearing an orthopedic support, signed by a licensed medical
               physician, shall be at the game site.

          ii.  Knee Braces: Unaltered braces with all metal hinges or parts adequately padded and covered
               are permitted (i.e. Donjoy)

         iii.  Ankle Braces: unaltered soft braces are permitted to be worn outside the sock. Unaltered
               braces with metal or hard plastic, including “air casts” must be worn inside the sock.

         iv.  Hard Splint: Unaltered leather, rubber, plastic or fiberglass splints that protect and are fitted to a
​               portion of the arm or wrist MAY be allowed if the split does not present a danger to the player or
​               any other player.

          v.  Soft Casts: a soft cast MAY be permitted if the cast does not present a danger to the wearer or
​               any other player.

         vi.  Hard Casts: Casts or splints made of a hard substance covering the entire circumference of the
​               arm or wrist are NOT permitted (even if covered with padding).

c.  Medical Device: Players shall be permitted to wear and/or use medical devices that are prescribed to address a medically recognized disability such as glasses with corrective lenses, insulin pumps, hearing aids and cochlear implants.
Prosthetic Device: A player with a prosthetic device or insulin pump infusion device will be permitted to participate in any CYSA sanctioned activity provided a doctor has provided written authorization that participation with such device does not pose a risk to the player wearing the device as well as any other player.​​

The following states the Cal North Heading Policy.  Take note that Cal North uses the U12 age group and down.  Some leagues use U14 and down for a no heading policy.  Contact your league to find out which they are using.

  • If a player is suspected to have a head injury the referee is instructed to stop play to allow for treatment/evaluation as needed

  • If the player leaves the field of play for additional evaluation, a substitution can be made in that moment

  • The player with the suspected head injury may not return to the game unless a Health Care Professional (HCP) or Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) has cleared the player

  • Any coach or parent insisting on returning the player to the game without approved clearance will result in the referee ending the game

  • Deliberate heading is not allowed in 4V4 games

  • If a player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense

  • In a controlled and individual environment (where heading is an isolated skill being taught away from any form of opposition or other aspects of the game), the use of lightweight balls (foam, balloon, etc.) would be acceptable for teaching heading techinique.

In fall, 2023, U.S. Soccer issued a new recommended ball size for U13 play.  The ball size was changed from a size 5 ball, to a size 4 ball, or a lighter size 5 ball.  Cal North put forth a policy to change to this ball size by fall, 2024.

1. DO NOT  argue with the referees. They are ALWAYS right, even when they are “wrong”.  NO coach has ever won an argument with a referee. Do not put yourself at risk of being suspended because you confronted a referee before, during, or after a game.  Basically, do not approach the referee, asking questions about decisions made in a game.  If you have a question on a soccer law, ask a league representative, or a party associated with referee assignment for the league.

2. It is YOUR responsibility to keep your players AND spectators under control before, during,
and following all Cal North sanctioned games.

3. All referees WILL make mistakes during the course of a game, that is part of the game.

4. Your “view” of a specific play will usually be exactly the opposite of what the center referee’s view is (Usually the referee is in the “center” of the field and you are on the “side” of the field). The referee will see fouls that you will not see and vice versa. Expect this and “live” with it.

5. Accept the calls, they will usually even out UNLESS one team is playing more aggressively than the other team.

6. If you observe one of your players beginning to play more aggressively than what is called for or at a more aggressive nature than what the other players are playing at OR your player is becoming “mouthy” towards the opposing player/players OR referee you should take action to control the player before the referee does.

7. Be sure that your players understand that DISSENT towards the referee is NOT ACCEPTABLE conduct from any player or team official at any level of Cal North sanctioned play.

8. IF, the referee is not calling fouls properly and those non-calls put your players in danger of being injured because of the referee’s “lack of control” of the game. You should ask the nearest assistant referee to you to request that the center referee “Tighten Up” the game. If the center referee does not comply in a reasonable amount of time with your request after being notified by the assistant referee of your concerns you should “abandon” the game by removing your team from the field and write a brief one or two page report to: Sue Gonzales, D8 Commissioner, 1205 Laurel Drive, Manteca, CA 95336

. as to what your reasons were for abandoning the game. If you choose to abandon the game because the referee does not in your opinion have control of the game DO NOT get into a discussion with the referee about it after the game is over. STAY AWAY from the referee after the game, he/she does not want to hear your comments on their officiating ability. DO NOT abandon a game because of disputes/dissatisfaction about referee judgment calls regarding: Who’s throw in it is when the ball goes out of bounds; Whether it is a goal kick or a corner kick; Whether a player was off side or no, etc. You should only abandon a game when you feel the playing environment is dangerous for your players.

9. DO NOT discuss anything that took place during a game with the referee after ANY game:  Stay away from the referee/referees after a game. The referee does not want your opinion of his/her skills as a referee. (If you have negative comments about a referee they should be sent in writing to Sue Gonzales, D8 Commissioner, Sue Gonzales, D8 Commissioner, 1205 Laurel Drive, Manteca, CA 95336 . If you choose to write a letter about the referee’s actions be specific in your letter as to what technical mistakes were made by the referee (Be sure that you know the rules of play before you write the letter). Give the date, time, age/gender group, location of the game, and the level of play. (I need to be able to find out who the referee was). Your remarks or actions towards a referee before, during or AFTER a game may lead to your suspension as a coach. Do not let your spectator/parents confront a referee during or after a game. You are responsible for their actions as well as your own behavior and you could be suspended for not controlling your spectator/parents.

Sue Gonzales, Cal North District 8 Commissioner

 State of California

     Assembly Bill - AB2007


(1)An athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or other head injury in an athletic activity shall be immediately removed from the athletic activity for the remainder of the day, and shall not be permitted to return to any athletic activity until he or she is evaluated by a licensed health care provider. The athlete shall not be permitted to return to athletic activity until he or she receives written clearance to return to athletic activity from a licensed health care provider. If the licensed health care provider determines that the athlete sustained a concussion or other head injury, the athlete shall also complete a graduated return-to-play protocol of no less than seven days in duration under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.

(2) If an athlete who is 17 years of age or younger has been removed from athletic activity due to a suspected concussion, the youth sports organization shall notify a parent or guardian of that athlete of the time and date of the injury, the symptoms observed, and any treatment provided to that athlete for the injury.

(3) On a yearly basis, the youth sports organization shall give a concussion and head injury information sheet to each athlete. The information sheet shall be signed and returned by the athlete and, if the athlete is 17 years of age or younger, shall also be signed by the athlete’s parent or guardian, before the athlete initiates practice or competition. The information sheet may be sent and returned through an electronic medium including, but not necessarily limited to, fax or electronic mail.

(4)  On a yearly basis, the youth sports organization shall offer concussion and head injury education, or related educational materials, or both, to each coach and administrator of the youth sports organization.

(5)  Each coach and administrator shall be required to successfully complete the concussion and head injury education offered pursuant to paragraph (4) at least once, either online or in person, before supervising an athlete in an activity of the youth sports organization.

(6) The youth sports organization shall identify both of the following:

     (A)Procedures to ensure compliance with the requirements for providing concussion and head
           injury education and a concussion and head injury information sheet,as contained in
           paragraphs (3) to (5), inclusive.

     (BProcedures to ensure compliance with the athlete removal provisions and the return-to-play
           protocol  required pursuant to paragraph (1).

                (b) As used in this article, all of the following shall apply:
                     (1) “Concussion and head injury education and educational materials” and a “concussion
                            and head injury information sheet” shall, at a minimum, include information relating to
                            all of the following:

                            (A) Head injuries and their potential consequences.

                            (B) The signs and symptoms of a concussion.

                            (C) Best practices for removal of an athlete from an athletic activity after a suspected

                            (D) Steps for returning an athlete to school and athletic activity after a concussion or
                                  head injury.

                      (2) “Licensed health care provider” means a licensed health care provider who is trained
                            in the evaluation and management of concussions and is acting within the scope of
                            his or her practice.

                      (3) “Youth sports organization” means an organization, business, nonprofit entity, or a
                             local governmental agency that sponsors or conducts amateur sports competitions,
                             training, camps, or clubs in which persons 17 years of age or younger participate.

                      NOTEAB2007 does not apply to youth athletes 18 years of age and older

Pets At Fields

 Cal North Player Equipment Policy

Rules & Policies


 Cal North Ball Size Policy For U13 Play


The following concussion policies all center around the same theme, if a player is suspected to have a concussion, they are to be removed from play.  A player may only return to play if they are examined by a licensed doctor, or certified Athletic Trainer, and found free from concussion factors.  If concussion evidence is found, they must be medically treated, and must go through a 'return to play' program, and released to play by the treating doctor.





District VIII has a playing rule for all games played.  This rule is named the 'Spirit Rule'.  No team is to score more than eight goals over their opponents goal score.        


A player suspected of having a concussion must be removed from play and may not return to play unless examined by a medical doctor/athletic trainer, who is qualified in concussion handling.  The Concussion Notification Form is to be filled out in duplicate and signed by a team official of the player’s team. The document should be emailed to MedicalClaims@calnorth.org.

If a parent/legal guardian of the player is present, have the parent/legal guardian sign and date the Form, and give the parent/legal guardian one copy of the completed Form. If the parent/legal guardian is not present, then the team official is responsible for notifying the parent/legal guardian ASAP by phone or email and then submitting the Form to the parent/legal guardian by email or mail.

When the parent/guardian is not present, the team official must make record of how and when the parent/legal guardian was notified. The notification will include a request for the parent/legal guardian to provide confirmation and completion of the Concussion Notification Form whether in writing or electronically.

The team official must surrender the player pass to a League representative upon injury. The player pass will not be returned until a Medical Release has been received by CalNorth.

League must send copy of Medical Release to Cal North office (1040 Serpentine Lane, Suite 201, Pleasanton, CA 94556).

Players may wear their jersey, but must not be in full uniform until the League has received the Medical Release and the pass has been returned to the team official. 

District VIII has a no animal policy for all games and practices.  This is for the safety of players and parents, and helps to protect all from liability issues, due to an incident with a pet.  Officials/league representatives will suspend a game, until a dog is removed from the fields.  The party may be subject to ejection, if they do not remove their dog.

The policy is focused at dogs, as this is the animal type that most people will bring to the fields, and it is the only animal qualified by law to be a 'service' animal.  Within this policy, District VIII allows for parties with registered service dogs to bring their dogs to the field.

 Cal North Athlete & Participant Safety Policy

Individuals can be expected to be asked two questions by law,  if their dog is a service animal, and what form of service the dog was trained to provide, when seen at a field.  The party may answer the two questions and remain, or refuse to answer and leave the fields immediatelyYou may NOT ask the party to see the animals 'papers'.   If a party portrays a dog as a service animal, when it is not, they are violating state law, and have committed 'service dog fraud'.  Under California law, this is a misdemeanor, with up to six months in jail, and a $1,000 fine.  Any individual found misrepresenting their dog as a service animal will be reported to authorities.  Their ability to attend District VIII games/practices will be directly affected by their misrepresentation.  


There is a legal and distinct difference between a 'service dog' and an 'emotional support dog'.  

A service dog is trained to help people with disabilities such as visual impairments, mental illnesses, seizure disorders, diabetes, etc.  Emotional support dogs provide their owners therapeutic benefits through companionship.  Service dogs have legal rights to be in the public with their owner, this legal right does not apply to emotional support dogs.  In January, 2021, United Airlines joined other airlines in not allowing emotional support dogs to fly for free.  This had been a growing trend for businesses in 2020, in removing the capability for an emotional support dog owner to attempt claiming the same rights that a service dog has.  This had been brought about due to abuse by owners of emotional support dogs, misrepresenting their dog to be a service dog.

The option to use a service dog is given under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and local governments.   According to the ADA, service animals are  working animals, not pets.  They have been specifically trained to perform tasks related to the disabled person’s specific disabilities.  Simply having a disability isn’t reason enough to categorize your own dog as a service dog.

Emotional support dogs are covered under disability accommodation laws in regard to housing because they allow the person the “full enjoyment” of the residence.

However, emotional support animals  do not have to be accommodated in public facilities or privately owned stores, conveyances or other venues.

Summarized, the only dog allowed at soccer fields are 'service dogs', not 'emotional support dogs'.