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Laws of the Game


The Massachusetts State Referee Committee (MSRC) oversees the administration of the United States Soccer Federation Referee Program within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They are responsible for the development of the appropriate procedures and policies for the certification and oversight of Massachusetts referees, instructors, assessors and assignors. To help make referee registration easier, the entire MSRC website is accessible in the portal here.


The Laws of the Game (LOTG) are the codified rules of soccer (football). The laws mention the number of players a team should have, the game length, the size of the field and ball, the type and nature of fouls that referees may penalize, the frequently misinterpreted offside law, and many other laws that define the sport. During a match, it is the task of the referee to interpret and enforce the Laws of the Game.

The extant Laws date back to 1863 where a ruleset was formally adopted by the newly formed Football Association. Over time, the Laws have been amended, and since 1886 they have been maintained by the International Football Association Board.

They are the only rules of association footbal FIFA permits its members to use.  The Laws allow some minor optional variations which can be implemented by national football associations (such as US Soccer), including some for play at the lowest levels, but otherwise almost all organized soccer worldwide is played under the same ruleset.

For the specific modifications for all league play in Massachusetts, visit the web site of such leagues to obtain this information.


The Laws of the Game are authorized on an annual basis by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and provided by the Fédération Internationale de Football Associations (FIFA).


The Futsal Laws of the Game are authorized by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and provided by the Fédération Internationale de Football Associations (FIFA).