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Metro Development League

League Rules


A. Participation in Metro Development League (MDL)  is open to accepted boys and girls teams composed of a maximum of ten (10) players for U-8 and U-7 age groups (playing 5V5). Players must have been born during, or subsequent to, the divisional year, as defined by US Soccer Guidelines;

B. Age groups*:

  • Under 8 (2011 birth year and younger)*

  • Under 7 ( 2012 birth year and younger)

  • Combining of age groups will be done at the MDL community discretion.

C. Each rostered player must be registered with a National State Association affiliated club with the USYS/USSF or national equivalent.

D. Team Roster

  • Each registered team is required to fill out the MDL team roster sheet prior to the start of each season, which includes the player’s name, date of birth, proof of birth and proof of club registration


A. All games shall be played in accordance with FIFA Laws, except as specifically modified by these rules.


  • When goal kick or when the ball is in keepers hand he/she is not allowed to punt the ball in the air over the halfway line. The ball has to touch the ground or any player before it goes into the opponent's half of the field.

  • Kick-ins are to be performed instead of throw-ins unless coaches agree otherwise before the game.

  • PK’s will be taken on top of the PK box.


A.  Structured in the discretion of the clubs involved to optimize the player's experience and development.


A. The duration of U7 - U8 Games will be 2 25 minute halves     


A. All Games for MDL League

a. Teams must check-in at the first game of the season with the referee of the game

d. Players shall wear shin guards in accordance with FIFA laws.

e. No metal cleats will be allowed, and no jewelry will be allowed.

f. Hard (must be covered and wrapped) and soft casts are permitted with the approval of the referee.

g. Where opposing team’s uniform colors are similar, the designated home team will change colors. The designated home team is listed first on the schedule. Managers may contact the opposing team manager in advance of the game to deconflict uniform colors. Pinnies are fine.

h. Game Ball used for the games will be size 4


A. The MDL Main Point of contact Grigor Boychev.

B. MDL Team Registration: Teams are required to register prior to the start of each season with the MDL main point of contact.

C. Team Contact Info: Each team prior to the season must provide a local phone number and name of a designated contact person who can be reached at any time, should the necessity arise

D. Rosters:

a. Players names and jersey numbers (if applicable) MUST be listed on the MDL Team Roster

b. Only players listed on the approved "Official MDL Team Roster" or similar league team roster confirmed by the MDL may play.

 E. Individual Player Requirements:

a. All players must have current:

i. Signed Medical Release forms or equivalent on hand during the weekend

II. Proof of birth certificate

III. Registration with club


A. Team and Spectator Field Position

a. Players and Coaches will occupy one side of the field. The home team will have a choice of their bench area. Teams may have up to 3 team officials in their technical area. Coaches may enter the field of play only upon approval of the referee.

b. Spectators will occupy the side of the field opposite the player’s bench area. Home and visiting spectators shall occupy areas opposite their team benches.

c. No spectators will be to sit/stand in the immediate areas behind the goal lines with the exception of official MDL photographers.


A. All disputes for non-referee decisions are submitted thru the Site Coordinator in writing to the MDL Committee (consisting of the MDL Director, and other MDL staff) at the field registration tent for approval by the end of the day that the dispute occurred. All decisions by the MDL Committee are final and may not be appealed.

B. No protests & disputes for referee decisions are allowed; decisions by referees may not be appealed.


A. Substitution Times:

a. Unlimited substitution may be made at the discretion of the referee at the following times:  a kick-off; a goal-kick; or on a throw-in/kick-ins for the team taking the throw-in/kick-ins.  If the team taking the throw-in/kick-ins is allowed to substitute, the opposing team will be permitted to substitute as well.

b. Limited substitutions can be made, with the referee’s permission, in case of stoppage of play for an injury on a one-for-one basis for the injured player(s).  The opposing team is also allowed one substitution if the injured player is substituted.

c. At the request of a coach, a player receiving a yellow card may be substituted at the time the card is shown.


A. Players, coaches, and spectators are expected to conduct themselves within the spirit of the LAW as well as the letter of the LAW. Displays of temper or dissent are cause for ejection from the game and the surrounding field area. Repeated violations may result in the suspension of the team from the tournament as decided by the MDL Director.

B. Players, coaches and team officials ejected from a game by the referee shall be ineligible for the next scheduled game.

C. It is the responsibility of the team’s coach or the person acting in the coach’s behalf to control the conduct of its parents and other spectators. Failure to do so may result in a warning to the coach or the person acting in the coach’s behalf by the referee. If unacceptable conduct continues, the referee may eject the team’s coach, or the person acting on the coach’s behalf, from the game.

D. A coach or authorized team official who commits a cautionable or sending-off offense under Law 12 shall be shown a yellow or red card, as appropriate, by the referee.

D. Artificial noisemaking devices are prohibited.

E. Smoking, alcoholic beverages, and verbal abuse of anyone are not permitted at any of the field sites.


A. In the event of inclement weather, the MDL Director or official representative(s) will have the authority to:

a. Relocate or reschedule any game(s);

b. Change the duration of any game(s);

c. Cancel any game(s);

d. Consider any game terminated by MDL officials after one-half of play official at of the time of termination


A. For U7 - U8 all games will have one (1) referee assigned to each game during "pool" or group play


A. An MDL Field Marshall will be present at each field location.