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News and Announcements
  • 9/16/2019

    The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules Committee is now accepting your rules change proposals. Each accepted proposal will be considered for placement on the annual rules survey, which will be distributed in early November. The rules committee will discuss all new rules proposals at its annual meeting in March. 

    Please click here to read the memo.

  • 8/19/2019
    The 2019 NCAA Soccer Rules Test is now available. To take the test, click the TESTING Tab. The test requirement must be fulfilled no later than 5:00 PM ET, Friday, November 29, 2019.
  • 6/10/2019

    Presenters:  Ryan Cigich, Mark Kadlecik, Manuel Ortiz Jr, Kermit Quisenberry

    Key Note Speaker:  Chico Grajeda

  • 4/25/2019

    Please cilck the link to view 2019 Major Rules Changes.

  • 4/11/2019
    The instructors and guest speakers have been announced for the 2019 NCAA soccer officiating seminars.  These educational events are free of charge. 
    May 11 - Denver CO – Regis University
    Ryan Cigich, Paul Scott, Sandy Hunt, Christina Unkel
    (Registration for Dallas is Closed  – contact for availability information.)
    June 1 - Dallas TX – Richland College
    Ryan Cigich, Chico Grajeda, Mark Kadlecik, Manual Ortiz Jr
    July 20 - Indianapolis IN – NCAA National Office
    Ken Andres, Rich Grady, Paul Tamberino, Rachel Woo
    August 3 - Boston MA – Bunker Hill Community College 
    Ken Andres, Rich Grady, Paul Tamberino, Rachel Woo
    Ryan Cigich
    National Coordinator for NCAA Men's and Women's Soccer
  • 2/7/2019

    The NCAA is pleased to announce their  2019 soccer officiating seminars.  There is no cost to attend the seminars.  Locations as well as the instructors and guest speakers will be announced soon.

    May 11 – Denver CO

    June 1 – Dallas TX

    July 20 – Indianapolis IN

    August 3 – Boston MA

    To register, please click HERE.

    Ryan Cigich
    NCAA National Coordinator Soccer Officiating

  • 1/2/2019

    L to R: 

    Sarah Cortez, Brandon Marion, Tory Penso, Kristin Patterson


  • 1/2/2019


    Front Row L to R: 

    Nick Balcer, Darth Newman, Marco Vega, Natalie Simon, Rubiel Vazquez, Elvis Mahmutovic, Sam Bilbo, Jami Willis

    Back Row L to R: 

    Ryan Cigich, Rick Rogers, Khadime Sabara, Jeremy Uecker, Mike Lavergne, Trent VanHaitsma, Megan McCain, Roger Morton

  • 12/26/2018

    L to R: 

    Jose DaSilva, Chris Penso, Robert Sibiga, Chris Elliott

  • 12/26/2018

    L to R:

    Maggie Short, Becky Pagan, Lance VanHaitsma, Jude Carr

  • 12/26/2018


    L to R:

    Art Arustamyan, Daniel Radford, Mike Stuff, Jose DaSilva

  • 12/26/2018

    L to R:

    Chris Elliott, Daniel Radford, Robert Sibiga, Apolinar Mariscal

  • 12/10/2018

    1st row. Left to right

    Ashley Cedro, Samantha Martinez, Carmen Serbeo, Leland Grant, Alex DelAngel, Gerald Blase, Nicole Green, Joe Della Penna

    2nd row. Left to right

    Matt Seem, Brenda Magoba, Ryan Ash, Mike Dee, Ankur Singh, Chad Collins, Patrick Schmidt 

  • 11/16/2018

    Please click the link to view NCAA - Top Ten Missed Test Questions, by Todd Abraham.

  • 11/7/2018

    Rule 5.6.7 states that when the referee stops the clock because of an injury and the medical personnel are beckoned to attend to the player (other than the goalkeeper), the referee shall instruct the player to leave the field of play.  The rule goes on to state that if the referee stops the clock and determines medical personnel are not needed to be beckoned, the player may remain on the field.  There are a number of key points in the Rules. 

    Click the link to read Substitutions and Attending to Injured Players on the Field, By Dr. Todd Abraham, NISOA Sr. Director of Instruction.

  • 10/25/2018

    With conference tournaments upcoming it’s imperative that everyone is up to date of NCAA Rule 7, Duration of the Game and the Tiebreaker Procedure.

    Two sudden-victory overtime periods of 10 minutes each shall be played, with a 2-minute intermission between periods(the interval between the end of regulation and the start of overtime shall be 5 minutes). A coin toss shall be called by the visiting team and identical to the start of the game, the winner of the toss has the choice of ends or kickoff.

    • -If the game is still tied after these two periods, kicks from the penalty mark will commence after a 5-minute intermission.
      -Only players who are listed on the game day roster are eligible to participate. Players are not required to be on the field of play at the end of overtime to be eligible for kicks from the mark.
      -The visiting team shall call the coin toss, and the winner has the option to kick first or second. The referee shall determine which end shall be used.
      -Each team shall designate ten different kickers. If the goalkeeper is one of these kickers, the team shall only have nine field players in the center circle. If the team has ten kickers in the center circle at the start of kicks, the goalkeeper is no longer an eligible kicker.
      -The officials need NOT know the order of the kickers. After all ten eligible kickers have kicked, the order CAN be changed.
      -If a player is ejected during the tiebreaking procedure, the opposing team has the OPTION to reduce its list of eligible kickers but is not required to do so.
      -Once the goalkeeper is designated, he or she cannot be replaced unless injured or ejected. If the goalkeeper wishes to return after injury, this is permitted.

    For offenses committed during the tiebreaking procedure:

    • -The kicker is permitted to use a stutter step or a hesitation move provided there is no stopping and there is a continuous movement toward the ball. If the kicker comes to a complete stop, the kick is blown dead before the kick if possible, or retaken if not, and player cautioned.
      -If the referee judges (using common sense) the goalkeeper to have moved off the goal line prior to the kick being taken and the kick is saved, the kick shall be retaken. Unlike FIFA, this offense is NOT a mandatory caution.
  • 10/24/2018

    Please click the link to view NCAA Offside Review 2018.

  • 10/15/2018

    The following article from is a great read that discusses the tendencies of soccer referees as both a Rule Enforcer and Game Manager.  Successful refereeing at the collegiate level requires the ability to manage players on an interpersonal level, communication and a common sense approach.  Click here to read the article.

  • 10/5/2018

    The following clips are examples of Unsporting Behavior and the key considerations that the Referee should use in the decision making process: Unsporting Behavior Review

    Click the Play button after each slide to move to the next one.

  • 10/1/2018

    Fighting & Referee Assault Red Ejections:
    It is imperative that Referees follow the correct process when an ejection for fighting or referee assault is issued.  Games have been protested because the referee failed to follow the proper on-field notification requirements.  The player(s), head coach(s) and official scorekeeper must be informed that an ejection for either a fighting or referee assault offense; at the time the offense occurs.  The official scorekeeper once informed shall record on the official box score form, that an ejection for fighting has been issued.

    A fight is defined as a deliberate strike or punch or an attempt to strike or punch another player, official, coach or bench personnel.  These acts include but are not limited to, kicking, head-butting, hair pulling or an open-handed strike if done deliberately and in a malicious manner.

    Referee assault is defined as physical contact with game officials or any threat of physical intimidation or harm.  These acts include, but are not limited to, pushing, shoving, spitting, kicking, throwing at or attempting to make physical contact.

    Head Injuries:
    Referees are expected to stop the game immediately for any head injury and summon the medical trainer on to the field.  If a player leaves the game for displaying concussion-like symptoms, that player must be cleared by the team physician or his or her designee according to the concussion management plan.

  • 8/27/2018

    Please click the link to view 2018 and 2019 Major Rules Changes.

  • 8/3/2018

    The 2018 NCAA Soccer Rules Test is now open.  To take the test, please click the TESTING Tab.  Officials will have two attempts to pass the exam with a 90 percent (90%) or better.  The test will close at 5:00 PM ET, Friday, November 30, 2018.
  • 7/16/2018

    We are excited about the new season and look forward to the opportunities to communicate important soccer information with you this year on the NCAA Soccer Central Hub. 

    REGISTRATION is now available.  After registering, please visit the Center Circle Central Hub frequently to stay current on the latest soccer officiating news and information.  On the central hub, you will be able to read the latest rules interpretations from Ken Andres, Secretary-Rules Editor, bulletins from the National Coordinator, review VIDEO clips on correct application of the RULES AND MECHANICS, and click TESTING to take the test when available.

    The NCAA will host three soccer officiating seminars this summer that will provide free educational opportunities for officials. 

    Saturday July 14, 2018 (COMPLETED)
    Indianapolis IN - NCAA National Office
    8:30am - 4:00pm 
    Presenters: Todd Abraham, Ryan Cigich, Rich Grady, Rachel Woo 

    Saturday July 21, 2018 (COMPLETED)
    Berkley CA - University of California-Berkley 
    8:30am - 4:00pm 
    Presenters: Ryan Cigich, Richard Heron, Sandy Hunt, Paul Scott

    Saturday August 4, 2018 (COMPLETED)
    Philadelphia PA - Widener University 
    8:30am - 4:00pm 
    Presenters: Ryan Cigich, Ken Andres, Sandy Hunt, Paul Tamberino 

    To register, please click HERE.

    All the best this season!

    Ryan Cigich
    National Coordinator Men’s & Women’s Soccer Officials

  • 6/22/2018

    As the 2018 men’s and women’s soccer seasons approach, this is to let you know that the Soccer Center Circle Central Hub will open for registration July 16. Please know that the registration fee for this season is $80, which is a $15 increase from the past three seasons and will include a background check as part of the registration process. You will receive more information on the background check via email notification on July 16 when registration officially opens. As a reminder, officials are required to register on Center Circle in order to be considered for NCAA postseason assignment.

    Thank you for your past interest in registering as an NCAA soccer official, and we look forward to the upcoming season.

    Ryan Cigich
    National Coordinator for NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer

  • 3/5/2018

    The NCAA will host three free soccer officiating seminars this summer that will provide educational opportunities for officials.

    Saturday July 14, 2018 
    Indianapolis IN - NCAA National Office
    8:30am - 4:00pm 
    Presenters: Todd Abraham, Ryan Cigich, Rich Grady, Rachel Woo 

    Saturday July 21, 2018
    Berkley CA - University of California-Berkley 
    8:30am - 4:00pm 
    Presenters: Ryan Cigich, Richard Heron, Sandy Hunt, Paul Scott

    Saturday August 4, 2018 
    Philadelphia PA - Widener University 
    8:30am - 4:00pm 
    Presenters: Ryan Cigich, Ken Andres, Sandy Hunt, Paul Tamberino 

    To register, please click HERE.

    Ryan Cigich
    NCAA National Coordinator Soccer Officiating

  • 12/12/2017


    L to r: Danny Thornberry (AR), Chico Grajeda (4th official), Robert Sibiga (Referee), Jeff Skinker (AR)

  • 12/12/2017

    L to r: Tom Felice (AR), Chris Penso (referee), Chico Grajeda (4th official), Ian Anderson (AR)

  • 12/12/2017

    Tom Felice (AR), Chico Grajeda (referee), Danny Thornberry (AR)

  • 12/11/2017

    The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules Committee is now accepting your rules change proposals to be considered for the rules survey and discussion at its annual meeting in March. The committee is interested in your ideas and concerns relative to playing rules you think need to be changed.  
    Please use this link to record your proposal and rationale. This form must be fully completed in order for the proposal to be accepted. All proposals must be received by January 26, 2018
  • 12/4/2017


    L to R: Deleana Quan (AR), Corey Rockwell (Referee), Katja Koroleva (4th Official), Benjamin Hall (AR)

  • 12/4/2017

    L to R: Benjamin Hall (AR), Lance VanHaitsma (4th Official), Katja Koroleva (Referee), Deleana Quan (AR)

  • 12/4/2017

    L to R: Jennifer Garner (AR), Jonathan Weiner (Referee), Ryan Cigich (National Coordinator), Lance VanHaitsma (4th Official), Natalie Simon (AR)

  • 12/4/2017

    L to R: Megan McCain (AR), Chuck Murphy (4th Official), Amber O'Connor (Referee), Jessica Remmes (AR), Manual Ortiz Jr (Officials Coordinator)

  • 11/16/2017

    Please click the link to view Offside Key Considerations (FIFA Additional Notes), and then the links below to view the video clips:

    Offside Clip 1 - Interfering with an Opponent

    The attacker is clearly in an offside position. As the ball is shot and goes past the offside player, her body obstructs the view of the ball for the goalkeeper. 

    Additionally, the offside attacker makes an Action which impacts the goalkeepers ability to play the ball.  Note how the goalkeeper hesitates as the ball goes past the offside player.  This is the cue to observe in order to know if the goalkeeper has been impacted.  Therefore, the attacker is offside due to both obstructing the line of sight and making an action on the ball.  

    It is expected that the AR can judge this play due to the obvious hesitation by the goalie.  If however, the AR is not certain, they should stand at attention and then have a conversation with the referee. 

    Offside Clip 2 - Interfering with Play

    The attacker plays the ball towards the goal line where his teammate has just left the field through normal course of play.  This position places him past the second to last defender.  The AR may have doubt as to who played this ball. 

    Offside Clip 3 - Not Offside

    The Assistant Referee does well to wait and see, showing patience and reading the play properly.  As an AR, they have the ability to stop play at any moment by raising the flag.  Therefore, best practice is to let the play develop.  An offside player interfering with play means that they touch the ball or are the only one to obviously touch it.  This is a good example of wait and see. 

  • 11/3/2017

    As the regular season begins to wind down, officials need to review Rule in order to administer kicks from the penalty spot correctly.  Let’s start with the basics.  Any player listed on the game roster who has not been ejected is eligible to participate.  There is no requirement that the players on the field at the end of overtime be the ones to participate.  Each team must designate 10 kickers.  The goalkeeper may be one of the ten to take a kick, or a team may designate ten kickers and a goalkeeper who will not take a kick to defend against the kicks.  Please note that teams are not required to specify which orders the players will kick in; the officials should record each player’s number and the result of the kick as the tie-breaker proceeds.  If the tie-breaker goes beyond ten kicks, teams are free to change the order.

    The visiting team calls the coin toss, and the winner of the toss has the option to kick first or second.  Rule states that the referee shall determine which goal will be used.  There is no official guidance on what factors to use, but here are a few to consider.  First, what are the field conditions like?  If the area around one penalty spot or goal line is significantly better than the other, use that end.  Second, what about time of day?  Do not make the goalkeepers squint into the setting sun when facing a penalty kick.  Third, which end of the field is better from an administrative purpose?  Are there fans legally seated behind one goal but not the other?  If so, go to the end with no fans.  Try for as equitable a situation as possible.  Prior to beginning the kicks, make sure that the designated players from each team are in the center circle along with one of the Assistant Referees, who will record the kicking order and the results.  All coaches and bench personnel should be in the designated coaching and team areas.  The other Assistant Referee should serve as a goal judge, and the non-participating goal-keeper shall be at the intersection of the penalty area and goal lines behind the Assistant Referee.    

    Once the kicks have begun, there are only two situations in which the goalkeeper can be changed.  First, if the goalkeeper is ejected during the kicks, he or she may be replaced by any other eligible player on the roster.  Note that if the goalkeeper was not designated as a kick prior to the ejection, the replacement goalkeeper may not participate as a kicker.  The second situation in which the goalkeeper can be changed is if there is an injury, which must be certified by the attending physician or athletic trainer in conjunction with the NCAA representative (if an NCAA tournament game) or with the governing sports authority (if a conference tournament game).  If one of the designated kickers is ejected during the tie-breaker, the opposing team has the option to reduce the number of kickers in its order to avoid having their 10th player kick against the 1st player from the opposing team.

    The kicks themselves are taken in accord with Rule 14.2.  Of particular note to officials is that run ups that include a stutter-step or hesitation are legal as long as there is no stopping and there is a continuous movement toward the ball.  The punishment of violations during kicks from the spot is straightforward.  If the goalkeeper comes off the line too early, the kick is retaken if a goal is not scored.  If the kicker commits a violation prior to the ball being in play, he or she can be cautioned or ejected as appropriate and the kick retaken as the ball was not properly put into play. 

    Finally, officials need to keep in mind A.R. 14.4.a, which defines when the kick is considered over.  The kick is completed when the ball completely crosses the goal line, the goalkeeper clearly saves the ball, or the movement of the ball has ceased.  If the ball keeps moving without leaving the field of play and strikes any combination of the goalkeeper, crossbar, goalposts, or the field and then enters the goal, it is a valid goal. Officials need to keep in mind that the rules for conducting the tie-breaker are quite specific and can easily lead to a protest if misapplied.  Each official is responsible for knowing the rules and administering them properly.  Best of luck with the post season!

  • 10/27/2017

    We are looking at the new NCAA rule 12.5 change regarding DOGSO (Denial of an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity)
    When a defender commits an offense against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal scoring opportunity, the offending player is cautioned unless:
    1. The offense is holding, pulling or pushing
    2. The offending player does not attempt to play the ball or there is no possibility for the player making the challenge to play the ball
    3. The offense is one which is punishable by a red card wherever it occurs on the field of play (e.g. serious foul play, violent behavior) 
    There are two areas of DOGSO that remain unchanged and should be punished by a red card:
    1. Denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball, wherever the offense occurs.  (Handball DOGSO offenses = NO  CHANGE) 
    2. Denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity outside the penalty area by an offense punishable by a direct free kick or a penalty kick. (NO CHANGE)
    The Referee should use the considerations in their decision making regarding DOGSO: 
    1. Distance between the offense and goal
    2. General Direction of play
    3. Does the attacker have control of the ball or the likelihood of gaining control of the ball
    4. Number of defenders and their location. 
    Rationale for the rule change is to align with the FIFA Law and fundamental fairness to avoid an excessively harsh penalty referred to as “double jeopardy” where a penalty kick is awarded and the defender is also issued a red card.  
    Please review the video clips and the comments for each:

    DOGSO Clip 1 – UCLA vs Stanford -  The goalkeeper makes an attempt to play the ball therefore the correct decision under the new rule is penalty kick and yellow card against the goalkeeper. 

    DOGSO Clip 2 – Boston College vs Duke -  The goalkeeper makes an attempt to play the ball therefor the correct decision under the new rule is a penalty kick and yellow card against the goalkeeper.

    DOGSO Clip 3 – Florida Gulf Coast vs UNC – In this clip had the FGU defender #25 not held the UNC attacker he would have had control of the ball with no defenders between him and the goal.  The holding offense occurs outside the penalty area and the foul denies an obvious goal scoring opportunity.  The correct decision is a red card which is no change from last year.  

    DOGSO Clip 6 – Santa Clara vs San Diego – in the clip the attacker is held and pulled as he has control of the ball in the direction toward the goal with no defenders between him and the goalkeeper.  The foul denies an obvious goal scoring opportunity outside of the penalty area and is punished by a red card, no change from last year.   

  • 10/20/2017

    The importance of referee positioning cannot be understated.  In order to make accurate decisions referees need to be in a position to accurately judge and “sell” fouls and key match incidents. When players and coaches see referees make crucial calls from close proximity they may be less likely to dispute the decision as much as when the referee is far from play.  Often times when calls are missed it is due to the referee not being in the optimum position in order to make correct calls.

    Good positioning comes down to:
    Reading the game

    The following four video clips are examples of excellent positioning from one of the top soccer referees in the country, Mr. Chico Grajeda.  In these examples you will see very good sprinting, high work rate, excellent proximity to the play, creating angles, and reading the next phase of play. 

    Click here to view the clips.

  • 10/12/2017

    Please click the VIDEO Tab to view new videos and instructions on Violent Behavior, Serious Foul Play, and Hair Pulling.

  • 10/6/2017

    Please click here to view the Vokkero Radio Communication Device PowerPoint presentation.

  • 9/29/2017

    Unlike some youth leagues across the country the NCAA rules prohibit a red carded player or a player who is serving a suspension to remain in the team bench area. The NCAA Rules state that an ejected player, coach, or other bench personnel shall leave the premises of the field of play to the point that, in the opinion of the referee, the individual shall not be a disruptive influence on further progress of the game. This means out of sight and sound of the field of play. Potential designated areas may include but not limited to: locker room, team bus, spectator area, stadium seating, etc. The key is that the individual is far enough away that they are not a disruptive influence on the game. Remaining in the immediate field area or team bench area is not an option. 

    Additionally, Rule 12.7.3 states that a player, coach or other bench personnel removed from the game and/or serving a game suspension shall be restricted to the spectator or designated area and prohibited from any communication or contact, direct or indirect, with the team, coaches and/or bench personnel from the start of the game to its completion, including halftime and overtime periods. 

  • 9/25/2017

    New Rule

    A player who has a permanent medical condition with the potential to produce serious injury or death through sustained physical exertion (e.g., sickle cell trait) may be substituted at any time when medically necessary and re-enter the game without the limitations imposed by Rule 3.6.1, which limits re-entry.

    To be eligible for this medical re-entry exception, the team physician must confirm the medical condition, its potential for producing serious injury or death, and the need for the player to be exempt from Rule 3.6.1. If the condition is established by a duly licensed physician other than the team physician, documentation must be provided to, and approved by, the institution’s team physician.  Prior to the start of any game, the primary athletics healthcare provider or designee (e.g., coach) shall present documentation to the game officials and opposing coach which establishes that the player has been granted a medical exception to the re-entry rule.

    When notified by the documented player, a coach, or the primary athletics healthcare provider that the player requires a substitute for medical reasons related to the identified condition, the referee shall stop the game and permit a substitution. Neither the player nor the substitute shall be charged with a substitution. However, if the documented player replaces a player other than the original substitute, that player shall be charged with a substitution. The documented player may re-enter the game (after being beckoned by the referee) at any stoppage of play or at any of the allowable times for normal substitution, provided they have received clearance from the institution’s primary athletics health care provider.

    This exception may not be used more than one time by an individual student-athlete in a single competition.

    Rationale:  At the request of the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS) and the Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP), the Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules Committee reviewed the substitution and re-entry rules. CSMAS had concerns the current rules may deter a student-athlete from reporting an injury for fear of not being able to re-enter the game after being cleared by medical personnel. Similar to current Rule (bleeding injury, blood on the uniform or signs of a concussion), this proposal would allow a player who has a permanent medical condition with the potential to produce serious injury or death to be substituted for and re-enter after receiving clearance.

  • 9/18/2017

    As a reminder, referees are required to file the Red Card Form located on the NCAA Soccer Central Hub within 24 hours of the completion of the game. This report form is the process to alert institutions when a red card was given, and allow conferences to track red cards for their member institutions.  

    So far this year only 84% of red cards have been reported. This memo is to remind you to fill out the Red Card Form anytime an ejection is given, to ensure institutions and conferences are able to accurately track suspensions for their student-athletes.  

    Thank you in advance for your compliance in this area.

  • 7/10/2017

    Group Photo
    Rachel Woo presenting
    Ryan Cigich, Rick Eddy, Rich Grady and Mark Kadlecik presenting
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