Escarpment Soccer League

Guide for Coaches

Escarpment League Overview for Coaches

Schedules, Field Locations, Rules and Regulations can be found at

AgeBall SizeGame LengthMin. # of Players on FieldMax # Players on Field
U104/5 Light2 x 25 min57
U124/5 Light2 x 35 min79
2 x 40 min
2 x 45 min
  • Unlimited substitutions. Players must enter the field of play at half when substituting.
  • Substitutions can be made on your team’s throw in, when the other team substitutes on their throw in, on kick off, goal kick, to replace an injured player….always inform ref if changing keeper and always ask ref for permission to sub in player

Retreat Line U10/12

  • On a goal kick, the opposing team must retreat back past the 1/3 retreat line until the ball has been kicked and then touched by a second player on that team. The retreat line will either be marked by cones or a line.  Clubs please inform your refs that the retreat line will be at 1/3 for ESL games.

Most Commonly Misunderstood Laws of the Game

  • Law 11 OFFSIDE U12-18:  A player can be in offside position all day as long the ref does not consider the player is involved in play or interfering with the goal keeper.  The Assistant Ref may raise the flag to indicate to the ref an offside position, but it is up to the ref to determine if the player is committing an offside offense.
  • Law 12 FOULS & MISCONDUCT:  Attempts to foul are punished as if the foul occurred (eg. Trip, kick, strike the opponent).  A player can be red carded for using insulting, offensive or abusive language or gestures and must leave the field of play.  A coach cannot be sent off, BUT the ref has the authority to stop or abandon the game until the coach has left the field of play – there are disciplinary ramifications to both these cases.

Quirky sub-rules in some Laws

  • Law 16:  Goal Kick – you can score directly from a goal kick but not on your own goal
  • Law 17:  Corner Kick – you can score directly from a corner kick but not on your own goal
  • Law 8:  Start and Restart – you can score directly from a kick off but not on your own goal. At the kick off, the ball used to have to move forward to be in play, now at the kick off the ball can travel in any direction.
  • Law 15:  Throw in – you cannot score directly from a throw in

Code of Conduct : The OSA has a  general Code of Conduct for Coaches  In addition, ESL requires you to:

Be a credit to the game – do no harm! If you yell at the ref, your players will too.  If you yell negatively at a player, they will stop trying

Uniforms-if opposing teams are wearing the same colour, the home team must wear pinnies of a different colour.  Keepers are to wear colours distinct from their team

Ensure that each player plays 50% of every game. Especially in U10 and U12, if a team is short players at game time, the opposition is encouraged to lend players to the other team. Lent players stay with the team for the duration of the game. If both coaches and refs agree, the score can stand-otherwise the game is considered defaulted by the team that is short. Game sheets must clearly identify the players 'lent' to the other team.  Any Discipline or player liability claims for 'lent' players go through the home club of the player. 

Please note that while the Rules state a team may only field 2 players more than the opposition, teams are encouraged to match number of players on the field.  If one team has 10 players for an 11v11 game, the opposition should field 10 players

Scores will not be entered for U10 and U12 Divisions per Ontario Soccer.

Do not field players from another team from your club in the same division.

No smoking, vaping, consuming drugs or drinking alcohol at the pitch or near players.

Some clubs/fields do not allow pets (eg. Dogs) in the proximity of the fields, please make your parents aware and encourage them to leave their pets at home. In Milton pets will not be allowed inside the fence, with the exception of certified service animals.

Spectators-some fields will be double lined for 2 different age groups, spectators are to stay outside the white lines.  Spectators are to sit on the side of the field opposite of the players

Match Officials- please note U12 games only require a centre, though some clubs may include AR's for training purposes.  Clubs will endeavor to assign a full complement of Centre/AR/AR for U13-15 games but please note Match Official registration is down and we ask for patience. If there is no ref at game time, we encourage the coaches to come up with a solution using coaches or a parent volunteer. It is the responsibility of the home team's club to book the match officials.  It is the responsibility of the home team's Club to pay the Match Officials per Club guidelines. Be respectful to all Match Officials.  If you have questions or concerns about the Match Officials at a game, please contact the League and we will direct your concerns appropriately. Do not yell at the Match Officials, correct their calls or make disparaging remarks from the sidelines and ensure your parents do not as well.

Game Sheets-each team is to print 1 game sheet per game for their team, give to the ref prior to game start. This game sheet must include all players names, jersey number, their EOS number or DOB. It must also include Coach names and EOS numbers. These can be printed from website after coaches have activated their team and added their players.  Hand printed copies of the game sheet are acceptable providing all information is included. The refs keep the game sheets-if you should want a copy it is recommended you take a pic of completed sheets with your cell for your records. NOTE: only team officials listed on the game sheet are allowed to be on the bench.

Be respectful of your opponents, if your team is up by more than 3 goals it is expected that you will manage the score by moving players into different positions, encouraging multiple touches on the ball prior to shooting, shooting with a players off foot....etc.

Lightning Safety/ Severe Weather Policy

When thunder roars, go indoors!

The safety of players, coaches, management and spectators is the primary concern in any weather event that occurs during all matches sanctioned by Canada Soccer. By understanding and following the below information, the safety of everyone shall be greatly increased. Ultimately, the referee has the final say over delaying or restarting a match due to weather. Waiting to stop play or not waiting to start play may result in a serious injury or loss of life. Referees are expected to act responsibly when dealing with such events during matches they are controlling If you can hear thunder, you can get hit by lightning. As soon as you hear thunder, quickly get to a safe location. More people are struck before and after a thunderstorm than during one. Stay inside for 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.

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