It is common for individuals with autism to experience difficulty with motor skills. Through soccer, maneuvering the ball and practicing different techniques can greatly improve their endurance, coordination, and strength.
Soccer is a team sport; therefore the key to doing well is to communicate with your teammates. Soccer can help build the skills required for communication through playing and interacting with other individuals in a natural environment.
With every sport, you either win or lose. Soccer can teach individuals with autism to have fun no matter what the end score is.
For individuals with the spectrum, social interactions can often be more challenging. Soccer can increase social interaction as the child works with an instructor, a therapist, or other individuals involved in the program. Soccer can give a positive experience with a sport, and can also help seek out lifelong friendships while learning how to take turns and partake in socially appropriate behaviors.
Behavior can be a big struggle for any family that has a individual with autism. An organized sport, like soccer, can improve their behavior because they have to practice listening to their instructor. Instructors use positive language to let your family member know what they can and can’t do, and give them a structured routine.
Soccer can be a fun outlet that allows one to relax and have some fun after a long day. It provides fun, while providing a structured play to have fun in a controlled setting.
Any individual, whether they have autism or not, gains confidence once they have mastered a skill or performed well in it. This is especially important for an individual with autism to gain confidence. In addition, self-esteem improves happiness.
By participating in soccer, one will take up an interest in it, or maybe they won’t but they will get an idea of what they like or don’t like. This will help them figure out what their hobbies and interests are in the future.
Soccer is a physically active sport, which is good for any individual. Its especially beneficial for individuals with autism because studies show that physical activity can ease repetitive behaviors and increase attention span.
By listening to the soccer instructors’ clear and simple instructions about how to perform a technique, will greatly improve their ability to follow directions, which in turn will improve their auditory processing.
OFFICIAL RULES – 2020
(FIFA RULES APPLY IF NOT MODIFIED WITHIN)
TEAM/PLAYER REGISTRATION RULES: All players must be registered on their teams’ registration form before the tournament begins. Any team or player determined by the event director to have falsified a player’s registration will be dismissed from the tournament. All players must carry identification, i.e.: player pass, driver’s license or passport, etc.
ROSTERS: All rosters are final upon completion of the team’s first game.
PLAYERS AND SUBSTITUTIONS: EIGHTEEN (18) for the MEN’S OPEN and TWELVE (12) for the WOMEN’S OPEN is the maximum number of players on a team. Teams playing more than 18 players for the men’s and 12 players for the women’s during the course of an event will be disqualified. Substitutes may occur at any dead ball situation, but players must be called onto the field by the referee and enter and exit at the half-field mark only. Players must already be at the half-field mark when dead ball situation first occurs to be called on.
GENDER: No males will be allowed to participate in any female divisions, except co-ed division. Co-ed division must have at least one female on the field at all times.
EQUIPMENT: All players must wear shin guards. Any player without shin guards will not be allowed to play. Teams are responsible for providing game balls. All balls (size 5) must be approved by the game referee.
GAME DURATION: The game shall consist of two 40-minute halves for the MEN’S OPEN and two 35-minute halves for the WOMEN’S OPEN separated by a five-minute halftime, OR the game ends when a team reaches an 8-goal lead. Pool games tied after regulation play shall end in a tie. Playoff games cannot end tied.
PLAYOFF OVERTIME: If the score is still tied, the winner is decided by shootout with 5 players from the field of play.
GOAL SCORING: A goal may be scored from any point of the playing field.
SCORING (IN POOL PLAY): 3 points for a win; 1 point for a tie and 0 points for a loss. FORFEITS: A forfeit is scored as 3-0
TIEBREAKERS: In pool play, ties between two or more teams will be broken by; 1) points; 2) overall goal difference in pool play; 3) overall goals scored; 4) Points in matches between tied teams; 5) Goal difference in matches between tied teams; 6) Goals scored in matches between tied teams.
PLAYER/BENCH PERSONNEL EJECTION (YELLOW/RED CARD): Referees have the right to dismiss a player OR bench personnel from the game for continual disobedience or as a result of an incident that warrants sending off. RED CARD suspension = Rest of game PLUS next game. Tournament Director may dismiss player or bench personnel for rest of tournament. A team official guilty of misconduct will be shown a YC (caution) or RC (sending off) *; if the offender cannot be identified, the senior coach who is in the technical area at the time will receive the YC/RC .
SPORTSMANSHIP: Players, coaches and spectators are expected to act in the nature of good sportsmanship at all times. Abuse of the referees will not be tolerated. Any instance of such conduct will disqualify the responsible team from the event.
FORFEITS: A forfeit shall be scored as 3-0.
SITUATIONS THAT THESE RULES DO NOT ADDRESS ARE THE DECISION OF THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR
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