Washington Area Women’s Soccer League Constitution and Bylaws
As Amended August 14, 2006
Articles VII through XIII comprise the WAWSL bylaws.
Article I. Name and Purpose
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the WASHINGTON AREA WOMEN’S SOCCER LEAGUE (WAWSL).
Section 2. The purpose of the WAWSL shall be to provide fair and competitive soccer to women of all skill levels in the metropolitan Washington area.
Section 1. Any women’s soccer team which has been accepted by the Board of Directors upon submission of an application for member and payment of all appropriate fees, as determined by the Board of Directors, shall be a member of WAWSL.
Section 2. A maximum of three (3) players per team may be under 18 and still in high school. All other players on a member team must be at least 18 years old or no longer in high school. Team representatives should make sure that an under 18 player who has previously played in WAGS has obtained a release from WAGS in order to register in WAWSL. Failure to do so could result in that individual being barred from future WAGS participation and raise questions regarding her validity as a WAWSL player. Each team may register at most three
(3) players who have played on a college team during the USSF/WAWSL year. By a vote of sixty-six percent (66%) of the Board of Directors, any of these rules related to underage players may be waived.
Section 3. A player may compete for multiple teams only if one of those teams is recognized by the league as being an over-30 team, and the two teams do not regularly compete in the same division.
Section 4. Each player on a member team must be registered in accordance with WAWSL bylaws and any other rules established by the Board of Directors.
Article III. Board of Directors
Section 1. The Board of Directors shall consist of a Chair, Treasurer, Web Site Coordinator, Scheduler, Registrar, Field Coordinator, New Player Coordinator, Recording Secretary, and one Representative from each Division.
Section 2. The Board of Directors shall be elected in the following manner:
a. In order, the League Chair, Treasurer, Web Site Coordinator, Scheduler, Registrar, Field Coordinator, New Player Coordinator, and Recording Secretary shall be elected. Each of these directors will be elected to serve a one-year term at the first General Meeting of the Spring season.
b. Then, teams within each Division shall elect one Representative. Each of these Division Directors will be elected to serve a one-season term.
c. Newly-elected Directors assume their duties at the conclusion of the General Meeting.
d. A candidate must receive a majority of votes in order to be elected. If two candidates are tied with votes, the Chair shall break the tie.
e. If no candidate receives a majority, the candidate receiving the lowest number of votes shall be removed from the ballot, and another vote taken. If no candidate receives a majority, and multiple candidates are tied with the lowest number of votes, the Chair shall break the tie to remove one of the candidates with the lowest number of votes.
Section 3. Vacancies on the Board of Directors shall be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Directors if such vacancies occur between General Meetings. The person appointed by the Board of Directors shall serve until the next General Meeting of the membership, at which time the members shall elect a director to serve the unexpired term of the vacant seat.
Section 4. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at least once prior to each season. The Chair may call additional meetings at any time, and must do so upon request of a majority of the directors. The time and place of each Board of Director’s meeting shall be given to each director at least five (5) days prior to such meeting.
Section 5. No meeting of the Board of Directors shall be held without a quorum present. A majority of the directors shall constitute a quorum.
Section 6. Each director present at any Board of Director’s meeting shall be entitled to one vote. The requisite number of votes to take any action shall be sixty-six (66%) of the votes cast, except where otherwise specified in the WAWSL Constitution or bylaws.
Section 7. The Board of Directors shall have the authority to take such actions as may be necessary and appropriate to administer the following functions:
a. Conducting meetings of the membership.
b. Determining the size and number of divisions within WAWSL, as well as the placement of teams within WAWSL, in accordance with the WAWSL bylaws.
c. Scheduling the WAWSL and tournament games.
d. Disciplining member teams, players, and coaches for infractions of the WAWSL Constitution or bylaws.
e. Hearing complaints from referees, member teams, and WAWSL players concerning allegations of serious misconduct and recommending to the WAWSL appropriate action.
f. Collecting, allocating, and disbursing funds as deemed necessary to conduct the duties assigned to the Board of Directors by the WAWSL.
Article IV. Team Representatives
Section 1. Each team shall elect two team representatives, who shall be registered players of that member team.
Section 2. The team representatives shall be responsible for attending the General Meetings, serving as contact persons through whom Board decisions and policies shall be reported, and performing such other duties as provided for under the WAWSL bylaws.
Article V. General Meetings
Section 1. General Meetings shall be held at least once prior to each season, the times and places of which shall be designated by the Board of Directors.
Section 2. A special meeting of team representatives may be called by the Chair of the Board of Directors, and must be called by the Chair within thirty (30) days of receipt of a written request by team representatives of sixty-six percent (66%) of the WAWSL teams.
Section 3. At least twelve (12) days prior to any general or special meeting of the team representatives, a written notice of such meeting and an agenda shall be mailed by the Board of Directors to each team representative at the address appearing in WAWSL records.
Section 4. At any general of special meeting of team representatives, the attendance of fifty percent (50%) of the team representatives shall constitute a quorum.
Section 5. At any general or special meeting of team representatives, each WAWSL member team shall be entitled to cast only one vote on any matter presented to the team representatives for a vote. That vote shall be cast by only one of the two team representatives, or her designee.
Section 6. Any vote taken by the Board of Directors may be overridden by a veto of two-thirds of the member teams of WAWSL.
Section 7. Meetings of team representatives shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rule of Order. The regular order of business shall be: (a) call to order, (b) reading of the minutes, (c) treasury report, (d) committee reports, (e) unfinished business, (f) new business, and (g) adjournment.
Article VI. Adoption and Amendment of the WAWSL Constitution and Bylaws
Section 1. The team representatives shall adopt a Constitution and bylaws by an affirmative vote of sixty-six (66%) of the member teams represented in person by a team representative or her designee at a duly held meeting of team representatives.
Section 2. Amendments to the WAWSL Constitution may be adopted by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the member teams represented in person by a team representative or her designee at a duly held meeting of team representatives.
Section 3. Amendments to the WAWSL bylaws may be adopted by an affirmative vote of a majority of the member teams represented in person by a team representative or her designee at a duly held meeting of team representatives.
Article VII. Duties of the Board of Directors
Section 1. The Board shall maintain records of previous meetings, standings, Board Decisions and any other related information necessary to administer the League.
Section 2. The Board shall provide the roster of team representatives and Board of Directors, and the season and tournament schedules to the team representatives.
Section 3. The Board shall secure referees for League games.
Section 4. The Board may, upon petition of two-thirds of the member teams within any division, approve a game schedule proposed by that division. Such petitions must be submitted to the Board of Directors no later than February 1 for the following Spring season and by July 1 for the following Fall season.
Section 5. The Division Director must report the name of any player or coach who has received a red card to the team that next plays the ineligible player’s or coach’s team within three (3) days of receipt of such information.
Section 6. The Board may not remove a player, coach, spectator or team for a season without an affirmative vote of sixty-six percent (66%) of the team representatives present at a duly constituted meeting.
Section 7. The Board may temporarily suspend a player, coach, spectator or team for a portion of a season for the non-payment of fees or for misconduct. A team may appeal any suspension that is not an automatic suspension as defined in the Constitution or bylaws.
Section 8. Whenever contact of a specific director is required by the WAWSL Constitution or bylaws, after best efforts made to contact the appropriate director have been unsuccessful, contact of any other director will be deemed adequate.
Section 1. The League will not register teams that cannot supply a roster with at least 11 registered players.
Section 2. Each team must pay registration, referee, insurance and forfeiture fees as determined by the Board of Directors, by the deadlines established by the Board.
Section 3. Prior to the first game, teams must submit a roster of players to their Division Director. The roster must include names, addresses, and phone numbers of all players.
Section 4. Any deletions or additions to a team’s roster must be reported to the Division Director immediately.
Section 5. In order to retain its previous season’s final division standing, a team must consist of at least five of the players registered on the official WAWSL roster with that team in the previous season.
Section 6. If player passes are being used, a team must report to the appropriate director the absence of an eligible player’s card (due to loss of card) so that the Division Director may advise the next opponent team one day prior to the game. A player who cannot produce her pass but has been deemed eligible by the League, must provide suitable identification, e.g., driver’s license, to the referee and opposing team’s representative. The player’s name must be noted on the game report.
Section 7. In the case of any WAWSL member team split, the group that registers the majority of team players from the previous season’s team shall retain the team’s WAWSL division standing. A team composed of the remaining players will be a new team and placed within the appropriate division by the Board of Directors in accordance with the bylaws.
Section 8. Each player must have an individual shirt number. Players with the same shirt number as another teammate may not play. Players without a number may not play. A team forfeits the game if it cannot field seven or more players with different shirt numbers. In the event two teams have similar uniform colors, the home team must change to a non-conflicting color. Numbered uniforms are not required in this situation. If the home team does not change uniforms, it forfeits the game.
Section 9. Inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated and should be reported to the Board of Directors. Teams are responsible for the conduct of their team players, coaches, and spectators. Team players, coaches, and spectators may not:
a. Use abusive or degrading language,
b. Verbally or physically threaten or assault anyone,
c. Possess, use, or be under the influence of alcohol or any other controlled substances,
d. Display poor sportsmanship, particularly the harassment of less-skilled players,
e. Harass the referee,
f. Enter the field of play except for substitution or injury and with the prior permission of the referee,
g. Dispute or attempt to influence the referee’s decisions.
Section 1. Any woman participating in any WAWSL game does so at her own risk. The League, the Board of Directors, and the coaches do not accept responsibility for injuries to any player.
Section 2. New players must be added to the roster with applicable fees paid in advance. Any team that uses a player without registering them before game time will forfeit those games in which that player participated.
Section 3. In order to participate in this League, all players must have affiliated player passes which will be checked by the referee prior to the game, unless the two teams mutually agree in writing on the game report prior to the start of the game. If the player without a pass is actually not a validly registered affiliated player, her team will forfeit the game.
Section 4. By a vote of sixty-six percent (66%) of the Board of Directors, player passes can be waived for teams not in the First Division or Premier Division. The Board of Directors will annually grant a waiver of this rule at the beginning of the Spring Season. Nevertheless, new players must be added to the official roster in accordance with all other regulations.
Section 1. Division standings are based on points awarded for results of regular season games. A win equals 3 points, a tie equals 1 point, a loss equals 0 points, and a forfeit equals -1 point.
Section 2. If a player is ejected twice within one season, their team will be penalized 1 standings point. In addition, each time that the coach or team fan gets ejected, their team would be penalized 1 standings point.
Section 3. In the event of two or more teams sharing the same number of points in the final standings, the following criteria, in order of priority, will be used: goal differential (maximum differential of five goals per game), goals scored, head-to-head standings points, least forfeitures, head-to-head goal differential (maximum differential of five goals per game), goals scored head-to-head, most wins, most shutouts, and coin toss. A forfeit results in a 0-3 loss and -1 points in the standings.
Section 4. At the end of each season, the team holding first place in each division will move up to the bottom position of the next highest division; the team holding the last place in each division will drop down to the first place position in the next lowest division. With the agreement of team representatives of both teams involved, this rule can be waived by of a vote of sixty-six percent (66%) of the Board of Directors.
Section 5. Any new team which has been accepted for WAWSL membership by the Board of Directors will be placed in the appropriate division by the Board of Directors in accordance with the following criteria:
a. A team comprised of players with little to no experience may be placed in one of the lower WAWSL divisions.
b. A team comprised of experienced players, but which is newly formed and does not have a season record from a recognized league, may be placed in one of the middle divisions.
c. A team of experienced players with an appropriate season record (as determined by the Board of Directors) or tournament record may be placed in one of the higher divisions.
d. No new team will be placed within any division until the end of a season and following the movement of the season’s first and last place teams in each division to the appropriate positions within the next higher and lower divisions.
e. In placing new teams within WAWSL, the Board of Directors shall make no placement which would demote any team which has just been promoted to the next higher division back down to that division from which it was promoted in accordance with these bylaws.
Section 6. For purposes of these bylaws, the following leagues (excluding summer leagues) shall be considered to recognized leagues:
a. The Arlington Women’s Soccer League.
b. The Fairfax Women’s Soccer Association.
c. The Mid-Maryland Women’s Soccer Association.
Section 7. If the number of WAWSL teams results in there being an odd number of teams in any division for a season, the next season in which an odd number of teams exist, the extra team will be placed in the next highest division. After the top division has had an odd number of teams, the lowest division will next carry the odd number of teams.
Article XI. Rules of the Game
Section 1. The home team must provide field equipment as required by the Division Director. This may include lining one-half of the field, providing one net, a game ball, and two corner flags no later than 15 minutes after game time or field availability, whichever is later. In addition, if both teams have similar uniforms, the home team must change to a non-conflicting color. In this situation, the home team does not need numbered uniforms. If any of the above conditions are not met, the home team forfeits the game.
Section 2. The away team must provide field equipment as required by Division Director. This may include lining one-half of the field, providing one net, and two corner flags no later than 15 minutes after game time or field availability, whichever is later. If any of the above conditions are not met, the away team forfeits the game.
Section 3. The Division Director, upon request of county officials, will cancel the game due to rain and/or field conditions at least one hour before the start of the game. This will be done by notifying the opposing team representatives and calling the director in charge of referees. The Division Director will reschedule make- up games to be replayed in their entirety within two weeks or on the rain dates.
Section 4. Within one hour of the game time, only the referee has the discretion to call off a game due to heavy rain, lightning, or poor field conditions. During thunderstorms, the referee should follow the 30/30 rule: If lightning is spotted and thunder is heard within 30 seconds, at a minimum the game will be postponed for 30 minutes. The referee has the discretion to temporarily postpone the game to determine weather status or wait for clearing weather.
Section 5. If the team wishes to reschedule a game for personal reasons, a special request must be made before schedules are set at the start of the season. Requests for re-schedules will not be accepted once the schedules are set.
Section 6. If a team cannot field enough players for a game, and provides at least seventy-two (72) hours’ notice to the opposing team representative and the Division Director, the game is still forfeited. However, only one-half of the regular forfeit fee will be assessed.
Section 7. A referee who is connected with one of the teams in any capacity and/or is related to any of players must disclose this information to the referee assignor and may be disqualified from officiating the match. In the case where the assigned referee does not show, then the two teams may decide to use the services of any individual after mutual agreement. At this time, teams should clearly decide whether the game would be a scrimmage or a game that counts in the standings. If there is any disagreement between both teams, then the game will be considered
Section 8. If requested by the referee, the team representatives are responsible for submitting the Constitution and bylaws before the game.
Section 9. All of the WAWSL games are governed by the latest edition of FIFA Laws of the Game, except where noted in the WAWSL bylaws.
Section 10. As required by the FIFA Laws of the Game, every player must wear shin guards. In addition, no player may participate in a game while wearing an exposed cast or dangerous medical device. All casts and braces must be padded and covered.
Section 11. As allowed by the FIFA Laws of the Game, a fair slide tackle is permissible.
Section 12. In the case of a team not able to field seven (7) players at the time the game is scheduled to begin, a 15-minute grace period will be awarded. When the team is able to field seven (7) players, the game shall begin. If the team has fewer than seven (7) players at the end of the grace period, it forfeits the game. If a team starts a game with enough players, but because of injury or ejection, has less than seven (7) players on the field, the team forfeits the game. However, there will be no forfeit fine assessed if a team falls below seven (7) players due to injury (but not ejection or any other reason).
Section 13. Player substitution: both teams may substitute any number of players (a) after a goal is scored, (b) before a goal kick is taken, and (c) before the second period kick-off. The team in possession of the ball on a throw-in may substitute any number of players. A team, having received the referee’s permission, may substitute for an injured player at any time.
Section 14. If a game is terminated by the referee due to poor field conditions after the first half is completed, then that game shall count in the standings as a completed game. A game that is terminated due to foul weather before half-time shall be re- played in its entirety.
Section 15. Teams shall not unduly delay a game. For instance, pets should remain leashed at all times. If a referee terminates a game due to delay of game, the game shall be a forfeit. If a referee chooses to continue a game, teams may still be subject to a fine, but the game result shall stand.
Section 16. If requested by a team representative or league official, a team shall supply a roster of players participating in that game. This request must be made at any time before the start of the second half of play. If there is a player eligibility question, the game should nonetheless be played in its entirety. The Division Director, not the referee, will make a final determination regarding player eligibility.
Article XII. Discipline and Forfeits
Section 1. A player or coach that receives a red card is automatically suspended for the following scheduled and actually played League game. After the Board receives the referee’s report, an additional disciplinary action may be imposed depending upon the gravity of the misconduct. A player accumulating three yellow cards in the same season is automatically suspended for the following scheduled and actually played League game. The offending player’s team representative is required to report the red or yellow card to the Division Director within 48 hours of the game. If the red card is not reported, the team forfeits the game that the card was issued in, and also forfeits the next League game. If the yellow card is not reported, the offending player is not allowed to play in the next League game.
Section 2. The referee has the authority to terminate a game at any time. Such a game is considered abandoned. The final outcome of abandoned games will be left to the discretion of the Division Director, who will declare a winner, forfeit, or a replay.
Section 3. The following abandoned game situations will generally be forfeits, unless there are extreme extenuating circumstances. The Division Director should declare a forfeit if a referee terminates a game because a team:
a. Has less than 7 players on the field 15 minutes after game time, or at any time thereafter, except in case of injury.
b. Does not show up for a game that has not been formally canceled.
c. Does not provide required field equipment.
d. Does not have primary uniforms with numbers.
e. Does not change to jerseys of a non-conflicting color if they are the home team (numbers will not be required in this circumstance).
Section 4. The following abandoned game situations will be left to the discretion of the Division Director, who will declare a winner, forfeit, or a replay. The Division Director will probably declare a forfeit if a referee terminates a game because a team:
a. Repeatedly or violently infringes the Laws of the Game.
b. Displays serious unsporting behavior by players, coaches or spectators.
c. Leaves the field before the completion of the game.
d. Causes, or fails to prevent, any other situation worthy of a forfeit.
Section 5. For the following situations, the referee should allow the continuation of the game, but the Division Director may later declare a forfeit. The Division Director will probably declare a forfeit if a team:
a. Does not report red cards within 48 hours.
b. Uses a player who is not validly registered through WAWSL. If requested by a team representative or league official, a team shall supply a roster of players participating in that game. This request must be made at any time before the start of the second half of play.
c. Uses a suspended player.
d. Has not paid registration, referee, insurance and forfeiture fees as determined by the Board of Directors, by the deadlines established by the Board.
Section 6. The following penalties will apply if a team forfeits a game:
a. For the first and second forfeits, the team will pay a penalty as set by the Board of Directors, by a deadline set by the Division Director.
b. After the third forfeited game, the Board of Directors may take disciplinary action as deemed appropriate. This may include but is not limited to: loss of division standing (which may involve movement to a lower division), team suspension for the remainder of the season, and prohibiting the movement of individual players to other WAWSL teams until those players have paid their share of the team forfeit fee.
Section 1. All protests must be filed by the team representative, in writing to the Division Director, postmarked within seventy-two (72) hours of completion of the game.
Section 2. All protests must be accompanied by a standard protest fee, as set by the Board of Directors. This fee is refundable if the appeal is upheld in whole or in part, but is non-refundable if the protest is denied.
Section 3. The team representative will also send copies of the protest letter to all members of the Board.
Section 4. The opposing team will be notified, through its team representative, by the Division Director, as to the nature of the protest. The team will then have seventy-two (72) hours to respond in writing.
Section 5. The Board will then meet as soon as possible after this period to resolve the protest. At the meeting, each team may give an oral presentation to the Board.
Section 6. A response to the protest will be sent in writing to both teams by the Board, as soon as possible, but no later than one week after the meeting.