High school soccer eliminates “soft red”

By on February 23, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS—In a continued emphasis on improving sportsmanship, the “soft red” has been eliminated in high school soccer.

Effective with the 2012-13 season, a second yellow card not only will disqualify a player, but the team will not be permitted to substitute for the disqualified player. Previously, a team was permitted to replace a player who had received a second yellow card.

This significant change was one of three rules revisions passed by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Soccer Rules Committee at its Jan. 23-25 meeting in Indianapolis. These changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Another change in Rule 12-8-1f now will disqualify a player who deliberately handles a ball in his/her own penalty area to prevent it from going in the goal only when the attempt to deny the goal is successful. If a goal is scored, the penalty is now a caution. The other change approved by the committee involves the taking of a penalty kick. If some unusual situation occurs after the penalty kick is properly taken and before the ball is played or touched by another player, or before the ball hits the goalpost or crossbar, which necessitates a temporary suspension in play, the penalty kick shall be retaken.

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