The Midfielder
Heartland Soccer Association Newsletter
August 2020

Heartland Soccer Association 
Celebrates 40 Years of Soccer!
9161 W 133rd Street, Overland Park, KS 66213
Phone: 913-888-8768

Heartland Soccer Association is recognized as one
of the largest soccer leagues and tournament hosts in the country.
We offer recreational to premier divisions, ages U8 through U19.

Heartland Midwest Classic 
Presented By Museum at Prairiefire
SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex 
& GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex
No games on Labor Day!
All Games on Turf!

September 4th - 6th, 2020
 Registration closes August 17th

When you set your schedule, be sure to take advantage of this early season opportunity to play teams from throughout the Midwest. The longer holiday weekend allows for easy travel and game schedules and is free from league conflicts. The tournament will be completed on Sunday evening; no games will be played on Labor Day Monday. Guaranteed Acceptance and all games will be played at the World Class SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex and GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex. Teams will be accepted on a first come, first accepted basis and registration will close when the tournament is at capacity.
Midwest All Boys
GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex 
September 25th - 27th, 2020
Registration Deadline:
August 31st, 2020

Join us for the second Midwest All Boys Tournament. This  tournament is the companion to our long-time Midwest All Girls tournament which brings together thousands of girls with more than 300 teams from throughout the Midwest.
The Midwest All Boys presents a great opportunity for your team to test itself against compatible skilled level teams from many different states. The tournament will be hosted at the new GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex featuring all turf soccer fields.

Midwest All Girls
Fueled by Tohi
SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex
GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex
Gold, Silver and Bronze Divisions for all teams

October 2nd - 4th, 2020
Registration Deadline:
September 7th, 2020

This long-time classic tournament brings together thousands of girls with more than 300 teams from throughout the Midwest, presenting a great opportunity for your team to test itself against compatible skilled level teams from many different states. The tournament will be hosted at the SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex and the GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex. You can expect opponents matched to your level of play with Gold, Silver and Bronze brackets.

SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex (OP)
13700 Switzer Rd Overland Park, KS 66221 Located at 135th and Switzer just south of the Blue Valley District Athletic Complex.
Click to View Field Maps and Location Details

 GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex (OSC)
10541 S Warwick St Olathe, KS 66061
Click to View Field Maps and Location Details

Compass Minerals Sporting Fields (CMSF)
1500 N 90 St Kansas City, KS 66112
Click to View Field Maps and Location Details

 Swope Soccer Village (SSV)
6310 Lewis Road Kansas City, MO 64132
Click to View Field Maps and Location Details

 Compass Minerals National Performance Center
1913 Pinnacle Way Kansas City, KS 66111
Click to View Field Maps and Location Details

Heartland Soccer is excited to partner with GOEX Apparel - a local KC, Fairtrade company -  to bring you the "One League, One City" tee. 

In the midst of the pandemic, GOEX launched Support Local KC to raise funds for clients & partners.  Each shirt sold gives $15 to the organization to care for employees, support the business or for further investment in the community's 

Proceeds from the sale of all Heartland Soccer tees will go into a fund to reduce fees when play resumes.  The goal is to make sure all players are able to get back on the field as soon as it's safe to play. 

Order your tee today at  
Get Your Kickin' Chicken at a Kansas or Missouri Restaurant Near You! 8 Local Locations

Concussion ImPACT Testing
2019/ 2020 Tournament Numbers
(number of teams)
Border Battle '20
Heartland Spring Cup '20155
KC Champions Cup '19
Mother's Day Classic '19449
Kansas City Invitational '19282
Heartland Fall Friendlies '20
Fall Kick Off Challenge '19
Heartland Midwest Classic '19
Midwest All Boys '19
Midwest All Girls '19
Heartland Invitational Girls  '19
Heartland Invitational Boys '19
*In the last 12 months Heartland welcomed teams
 from a total of 17 states and Canada.
Thank you to everyone for making Heartland Soccer recognized as THE LARGEST soccer league AND tournament host in the United States! Seriously, how cool is that?! We are so incredibly proud to be a part of this growing soccer community!
Heartland Soccer Association


2020 Heartland Numbers

Fall league teams '20
Spring league teams '20
League players 
Tournament teams
Tournament players 

Register Now for the Grassroots D License in Wichita, KS.


Dates:  Part 1 - August 21-23, 2020
Location:  Styker Soccer Complex;
2668 N Greenwich Rd Wichita, KS 67226

Dates:  Part 2 - October 16-18, 2020 
Location:  Stryker Soccer Complex;
2999 N Greenwich Wichita, KS 67226

*COVID-19 Safety protocols will be utilized during this course.  
More details to be provided to candidates participating in course leading into course.

FYI:  ALL coaches wishing to be on a State Cup team roster will need to have a minimum of a Grassroots D License for 2020-2021, per the tournament rules. 

This Month in History: August
The beginning of US international soccer. In 1913 the United States Football Association was formed and three years later their first match was in the makings. It was 1916 during the first World War and an invitation was received from the secretary of Swedish Football Association for an All-American team to come and tour Sweden with six matches. Thomas Cahill soon asked Bethlehem FC to be selected. They however declined being the champions of the National Challenge Cup and the American Football Association's American Cup The team did not want to risk traveling through warzones to play in Sweden who like the United States was neutral in the war at the time. Cahill was faced with forming a team and it was up to the National and International Games Committee to invite talented players to compete in Sweden. They successfully crossed the Atlantic by boat to play in their first game on August 15 against the Stockholm Tigers in a 1-1 draw. This match was viewed by 20,000 spectators including the King of Sweden King Gustav V. They ended their tour with a 3-1-2 record in all their play and would not form a national team again until the 1924 Olympic games in Paris. 

Farnsworth, Ed. (December 28, 2011). Philly and the first USA international tour.
Order New Apparel Today!
HSA apparel
2020 Heartland Referee Meeting Dates Announced!
Referees of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to attend Heartland's monthly referee meetings! Join us to learn tips and tricks for ARs and Referees, fun games, vital information, and fabulous prizes! Parents are always welcome.  

Monday, September 14
Monday, October 5

Mentors meet 6 - 6:45 pm and Referees meet 7 - 8:30 pm   
Meetings will be held at the "Steve D. Scheels" Training Center in the northwest corner of the second floor of the SCHEELS store located at:

First time checking out The Midfielder?
Executive Director Shane Hackett explains why this is a 
great tool for players, coaches and parents. 
Sign the petition and show the world that Kansas City 
deserves to be a host city for the WORLD CUP!!!

Sign the Petition

Kansas City - In The Heart of It All

#KC2026 #United2026

"Why be a critic when YOU can be THE REFEREE!"

Register Now to become a referee! New Entry Level Referee Courses Available Now! Just click the link below to find one near you!

 Kansas ODP player puts in 116 hours of training in July!
 For July 2020 we have an amazing amount of training hours put in by our #KansasODP players using Techne Futbol app.  
Congrats to Grace B. (2008 Girls) for putting in a total of over 116 hours!  
Congratulations Grace on your commitment to your development and the beautiful game!  
Congrats to all these players on their commitment to develop their skills!
Total for Top 5 Players: 222 hours
2020-2021 Kansas ODP Tryouts - Register Now!
Tryout locations in Kansas City, Dodge City & Wichita

Click Here for more information.
Your club tryouts may be ending but the ODP process is just beginning.  Here is your opportunity to Represent Kansas!  Players born from 2004-2009 are eligible to participate in any of the tryout locations.  Kansas ODP is separate from your club team and you train with players from across Kansas.  
Here is the new Kansas ODP Selection Pathway for players this upcoming cycle. 
Questions? Contact:  
Amy Cramer
Kansas ODP Admin
Direct Line: 913-991-3690

Register Now for Fall 2020 State Cup 

& Presidents Cup Tournaments!

The 2020-2021 Fall State Tournaments will be played at Compass Minerals Sporting Fields over two weekends.  

The first weekend will be Group Play Games from October 23-25th, 2020.  The second weekend will be Semifinals & Finals from October 30 - November 2nd, 2020.

Registration Deadline - September 11th, 2020
2020-2021 Kansas State Cup:   Click Here 

2020-2021 Kansas Presidents Cup:  Click Here

For more information on both Kansas State Cup and Kansas Presidents Cup:  CLICK HERE
Go behind the scenes at Children's Mercy Park! Learn about the history of Sporting KC and take a look at the Pitch, Press Box, Broadcast Booth, Locker Room & more! For more information contact Kylie Perkins at
[email protected] or 913-912-7578.
AB May
Academy Sports and Outdoors
AC Print
BFAME KC Entertainment
Commercial Capital
Dick's Sporting Goods
Drs. Hawks, Besler, Rogers & Stoppel
Discount Tire
First Watch
Hasty Awards
HCA Midwest Health
Heritage Tractor Supply
Jason's Deli
Jimmy John's
Kansas City Comets
Krusich Dental
Land of Paws
Lenny's Subs
Levine Advertising
Menorah Medical Center
Minsky's Pizza
Molle Toyota
Momo Bands
Museum at Prairiefire
Overland Park Regional Medical Center
Overland Park Ballroom
Papa John's
Raising Cane's
Rob Ellerman and 
Reece Nichols Real Estate
Research Medical Center
R Todd Laytham CPA, LLC
Salty Iguana
Security Bank
Scooter's Coffee
Soccer Master
Spin Pizza
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City II
Starting Point Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
Storage Mart
Swope Park Rangers
Taco Bell
The Rub Bar-B-Que
T-riffic T-shirts
Urban Air
Get certified to be a referee!
As our local soccer community grows, the need for new and experienced referees continues.  Join America's Largest Soccer League.  More details on referee meeting schedules, training and education can be found on the 

Sign Up to Become a Referee for the Fall 2020 Season.
If you have a referee, coach, club, team or player accomplishment or a photo that you would like to share please email:
 Katie Falco at [email protected] 

Our top priority is to get back on the field in the safest way possible for our players, referees and coaches. We appreciate the adjustments you have made to handle recent changes and are grateful for your patience as we determine the safest route for our players and staff.

The guidelines below are effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice.

  • All spectators and visitors must wear masks inside the soccer complex for league and tournament play.
  • Social distancing must take place off the field. This includes players/coaches on the sidelines & parents/guardians/siblings/etc. during their visit to the facility.
  • All individuals are required to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth when entering and exiting the complex or when unable to social distance.
  • See references below for exceptions and more information.
  • Continue to follow proper precautions (i.e. wash/sanitize hands, stay home if sick, avoid touching face, wear a mask, etc.).
  • Do not share sports equipment.
  • Vulnerable populations are asked to stay home.
  • If you get sick, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment recommends you isolate at home for 10 days after the onset of symptoms, until you are fever free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and until you have a significant improvement in symptoms.
  • Be aware of all travel-related quarantine mandates if you travel from out of state.
Principles and Responsibilities:Club/League/Tournament Responsibilities:
  • Create and distribute protocols to members.
  • Have an effective communication plan in place.
  • Maintain participant confidentiality regarding health status.
  • Have an action plan in place, in case of notification of a positive test result.
  • Train and educate all staff on protocols and requirements, including state and local regulations, CDC recommendations and other necessary safety information.
  • Be prepared to shut down and stop operations.
  • Provide adequate field space for social distancing.
  • Provide hand sanitizing stations and waste receptacles at fields for individual participant use.
  • Develop a relationship and a dialogue with local health officials.
  • If a staff member gets sick, isolate at home for 10 days after the onset of symptoms, until you are fever free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and until you have a significant improvement in symptoms.
Coach Responsibilities:
  • Take your temperature daily to ensure you are fever free.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after training.
  • Bring, and use, hand sanitizer with you at every training.
  • Ensure the health and safety of the participants.
  • Inquire how the athletes are feeling. Send home anyone you believe acts or looks ill.
  • Practice social distancing, place bags and equipment at least 6 feet apart.
  • No group celebrations, high-5s, hugs, handshakes, fist-bumps, etc.
  • Follow all state and local health protocols and guidelines.
  • Ensure all athletes have their own individual equipment (ball, water, bag etc.)
  • Ensure that the coach is the only person to handle equipment (e.g. cones, disk etc.); do not enlist parental or attendee assistance.
  • All training should be conducted outdoors and compliant with social distancing per state or local health guidelines.
  • Always wear a face mask.
  • Coaches should maintain social distance requirements from players based on state and local health requirements.
  • Have fun, stay positive - players and parents are looking to you for leadership.
  • If a coach gets sick, isolate at home for 10 days after the onset of symptoms, until you are fever free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and until you have a significant improvement in symptoms.
  • Provide substitute coach(es) in the event that a coach is unable to attend games due to illness.
Parent Responsibilities:
  • Ensure your child is healthy, and check your child's temperature before activities with others.
  • Consider not carpooling or very limited carpooling.
  • Wear a mask if outside your car.
  • Ensure all equipment (cleats, ball, shin guards etc.) are sanitized before and after every training and game.
  • Notify your coach immediately if your child becomes ill for any reason.
  • Do not assist your coach with equipment before or after training.
  • Be sure your child has necessary sanitizing products with them at every training.
  • If a parent gets sick, isolate at home for 10 days after the onset of symptoms, until you are fever free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and until you have a significant improvement in symptoms.
Player Responsibilities:
  • Take your temperature daily to ensure you are fever free.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after training.
  • Bring, and use, hand sanitizer with you at every training.
  • Wear a mask before and immediately after all training and games. Players are notrequired to wear masks during the games, warm-up and training.
  • Do not touch or share anyone else's equipment, water, food or bags.
  • Practice social distancing, place bags and equipment at least 6 feet apart.
  • Wash and sanitize all equipment before and after every training.
  • No group celebrations, high-5s, hugs, handshakes, fist-bumps, etc.
  • Follow all CDC guidelines as well those of your local health authorities
  • All participants should be required to bring and fill their own containers.
  • Water containers/bottles must not be shared.
  • Communal drink stations such as hydration carts should not be used. Participants are encouraged to bring larger than normal water containers to limit the need for refilling.
  • Significant consideration must be given in devising plans for refilling personal water containers, if necessary, without contamination from participants. Extra care should be taken to sanitize any coolers used.
  • Administrators should not assist with the personal water containers of participants and staff.
  • If a player gets sick, isolate at home for 10 days after the onset of symptoms, until you are fever free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and until you have a significant improvement in symptoms.

Visit SCHEELS, your retail destination.

First Watch Celebrates First Year in Partnership with the Heartland Soccer Association as Title Sponsor of the Fall Kick Off Challenge

Overland Park, KS (August 3, 2020) - Heartland Soccer Association, a nonprofit organization, is excited to announce that First Watch has come on-board as the title sponsor of the Fall Kick Off Challenge. Heartland Soccer Association is the region's largest youth soccer league with 21,000 players ranging from ages 9 - 19 participating each season for league play. Heartland also hosts multiple tournaments each year, attracting over 3,000 teams annually from multiple states. The sold-out Fall Kick Off Challenge Sponsored by First Watch will be held August 21-23rd, 2020 at the SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex and the GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex and is set to host 250 teams. 

This far-reaching partnership with First Watch is part of an ongoing commitment to elevate youth soccer as a vehicle for developing well-rounded children both on-and-off the field. "We're thrilled to welcome First Watch to the Heartland Soccer family as the title sponsor of the Fall Kick Off Challenge. Their partnership is vital to our long-term goals of delivering a unique soccer experience to our all of our members."

"The people of Kansas City are like family to First Watch. We've been here for decades and appreciate the support the community has shown us. We are thrilled to be a part of this community through wonderful organizations like Heartland Soccer," said Dave Ernst, Regional Vice President - Kansas/Missouri.

About First Watch
First Watch is a high-growth daytime restaurant concept serving made-to-order breakfast, brunch and lunch using fresh ingredients. A recipient of more than 300 local "Best Breakfast" and "Best Brunch" accolades, First Watch offers traditional favorites, such as pancakes, omelets, sandwiches and salads, alongside specialty items like Quinoa Power Bowls, Avocado Toast and the Chickichanga. First Watch was recognized as Nation's Restaurant News' top Consumer Pick in the breakfast category as well as the coffee category for its Project Sunrise coffee program in 2019. It was also named one of TripAdvisor's Best Restaurant Chains for 2019 and one of Business Intelligence Group's Best Places to Work in 2018. There are more than 365 First Watch restaurants in 29 states, and the restaurant concept is majority owned by Advent International, one of the world's largest private-equity firms. For more information, visit

About Heartland Soccer Association
Heartland Soccer Association is the region's largest youth soccer league with approximately 1,500 league teams, 3,000 tournament teams, 72,000 players, 4,000 coaches and 2,000 referees participating annually. Heartland Soccer Association was formed in 1977 as the Johnson County Soccer League and has grown from an initial 600 players to its current size. Today Heartland Soccer Association is a nonprofit and educational youth soccer association. Although the base for Heartland Soccer is still in Johnson County, it now draws teams to play in the league from throughout the metro area. The Heartland tournaments draw teams from as many as a dozen states every year. For more information, visit

The Referee Blog
The wait is over.  Soccer is back, but for the fans there are some changes...

Dateline: July 31, 2020 - 5 PM (CDT)  GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex.  
The teams took to the field.  The Referee blew the whistle to start the match and the parents sitting on the sidelines were able to enjoy watching their kids play the beautiful game again.  But there were some changes to the picture I posted with this article.  Fans were required to wear face masks and to practice social distancing.  The exciting news was that soccer was back.  Is it worth the changes to have soccer back?  Based on the enthusiasm I witnessed at the complex, the answer is a resounding YES!

I started observing the matches on field 4.  The first match was an under-12 boys match.  The first goal was an own goal.  The parents continued to cheer their team on.  The coaches remained positive.  The officials were getting used to the outdoor game.  Inside the lines it was just like last year's fall season.  The sidelines were engaged and positive.  The second half showed a change in momentum on the field.  The suggestions provided to the Referees were implemented and the first match concluded without incident.  Soccer was back.

The match on field 5 was U16/17 girls.  The coaches were wearing masks and were "coaching" their players.  The Referee team was managing the match effectively.  When unfair and illegal contact occurred, the Referee blew the whistle and the players responded.  When contact moved from careless to reckless the players were given a caution.  After the match, several parents and the coaches thanked the Referees for their efforts in providing a SAFE and FAIR game.  One parent who was serious about doing her part to keep everyone safe during the pandemic suggested that the Referee could maintain a six-foot distance when he was talking to the players.  The comments were sincere and shared politely.  Yes, there are some changes, but soccer was back.

I then went to field 3 to observe another girl's match.  I was standing behind the goal with a father and a brother to one of the players.  The brother was excited when his sister's team made a pass into the Penalty Area and one of the players shot the ball into the goal.  However, the goal was disallowed because the Referee team determined that an Offside infraction was the reason for the player being so open.  The brother did not agree with this decision.  He shouted it was not Offside, then resumed cheering for his sister's team.  Another pass to an open player, another shot, and another Offside call.  Passionate but polite was the response from the cheering brother.  The third time an Offside was called against his sister's team the brother's response got a little more passionate.  I asked him to describe for me what constituted an Offside infraction.  He explained that Offside was when the attacker was behind the second to the last defender.  He understands soccer.  The difference was his perspective watching the play while standing behind the goal and the Assistant Referee's perspective watching the play while being positioned in line with the second to the last defender.  Passion based on wanting positive results for his sister's team versus neutrality and enforcing the Laws of the Game.  Yes, there are some changes, but soccer was back.

On Saturday I had the opportunity to instruct an Entry Level Referee course.  The candidates included players and three dads certifying with their kids.  We spent hours reviewing the Laws of the Game that require the most judgement from the Referee crew.  You have probably figured out that the Laws we worked on were Offside and Fouls and Misconduct.  The candidates asked excellent questions based on their experiences as players.  They want to make sure they are correct when they raise the flag or blow the whistle.  Yes, soccer is back.

Last weekend's tournament was billed as "Friendlies".  As we get ready for the League fall season, we should all remember the perspectives that play out on each field and in every match:
  • Players want to show their skills.  Their coaches will help them reach success in this area. 
  • Referees want  to correctly enforce the Laws of the Game and to provide a SAFE environment for FAIR soccer.  The Referee Mentors will help them reach success in this area.
  • And the fans want to be able to see hard work by everyone and cheer for success.  The fans are responsible for the fans.
Soccer is back.  Remembering life without soccer should make our hearts much stronger, more open, more understanding, and should do the same for our minds.  We need to remain vigilant about the corona virus.  And we need to focus on the positives of the game to the players.  We are the Heartland Soccer Association family.  Soccer is in the house.
August Health Tip:
Fun Moves for Better Agility
Agility, or the ability to react quickly to change without losing your balance, is an important skill not only for playing sports, but also for everyday living.

Strength training helps improve agility, but so do balance and coordination exercises. Simple moves include standing on one foot, standing on tiptoe and walking heel to toe.

Specific activities that boost agility:
Tai chi
Ladder and hurdle drills
Jumping rope

A great do-anywhere exercise is controlled marching in place. Lift your right arm overhead as you lift your left leg, bending the knee at a 90-degree angle. Hold for three to five seconds, then switch sides. Continue alternating arms and legs for a total of three to five minutes.

For better agility and coordination, here are three more exercises that will help: First, toss a small, soft ball from one hand to another, keeping your eyes on the ball at all times. For added difficulty do this as you balance on one leg, lifting the other leg by bending the knee at a 90-degree angle. Do 10 tosses, reverse legs and repeat.

Next, bounce a small agility ball against a wall and catch it, first with two hands, then with your dominant hand and finally with your non-dominant hand. The ball will bounce in different directions, requiring quick action. Be sure to do this in an open space to avoid running into any furniture.

Finally, blow up two balloons in different colors. Tap them in the color order of your choice to keep them in the air. For added difficulty, tap one, do a squat and then tap the other -- you'll need to move fast to keep them afloat. Remember to always tap in the same color order, not whichever one is closest to you.

HCA Midwest Health is the official healthcare provider for Heartland Soccer Association and we work with parents and coaches to keep athletes safe and on the field of play year round, learn more about our services at 

The American Council on Exercise has more detail on these and other exercises to improve agility.
Source: HealthDay

Coaches Corner

Sand Soccer Comes to Kansas!

Kansas Youth Soccer is excited to bring the opportunity for youth players to experience the game of sand soccer!  This exciting game is perfect for all levels of players to participate in during future summer months and we hope your club or team takes the time to see what programming they can offer to help improve your overall game.
Please join us in welcoming  Thunder Beach KC Sand Soccer to the Kansas Youth Soccer Family as our newest League Member!
Official announcement:  CLICK HERE

Questions or interest please email at: [email protected]

Kansas Team selected for National League Playoffs! 

Kansas Youth Soccer is pleased to announce that the state of Kansas will have representation in the newly created 2020-2021 National League Playoffs.  Congrats to Kansas City Scott Gallagher Academy 03 for qualifying to be one of sixteen 18U Boys teams from across the country.  The team will play their group games with the opportunity for them to qualify for the 2021 US Youth Soccer National Championships.  KCSG Academy 03 is the ONLY Kansas team to qualify in either boys or girls divisions.  They are going to head down to Lakewood Ranch, FL from January 15-17, 2021.  Congrats to Head Coach Kris Plumhoff and his team on this amazing achievement during unprecedented times. 
Referee Corner:  
What does it take for a Handball?

My neighbor was lamenting the fact that his daughter's team lost a match on Saturday during the Friendlies tournament.  He asked me to explain to him what the criteria is for calling a handball offense.  We have reviewed this question many times before, but with the new season, it might be a good time to go over it once more.  I am going to share an article from American Soccer on handling and a video that tries to explain hand ball in 3 minutes.  Enjoy....

It is a [handball] offense if a player:
  • deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, including moving the hand/arm towards the ball
  • scores in the opponents' goal directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including by the goalkeeper
  • after the ball has touched their or a teammate's hand/arm, even if accidental, immediately: 
    • scores in the opponents' goal
    • creates a goal-scoring opportunity
  • touches the ball with their hand/arm when:
  • the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger
  • the hand/arm is above/beyond their shoulder level (unless the player deliberately plays the ball which then touches their hand/arm)
The above offenses apply even if the ball touches a player's hand/arm directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close.
Except for the above offenses, it is not an offense if the ball touches a player's hand/arm:
  • directly from the player's own head or body (including the foot)
  • directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close
  • if the hand/arm is close to the body and does not make the body unnaturally bigger
  • when a player falls and the hand/arm is between the body and the ground to support the body, but not extended laterally or vertically away from the body
The goalkeeper has the same restrictions on handling the ball as any other player outside the penalty area. If the goalkeeper handles the ball inside their penalty area when not permitted to do so, an indirect free kick is awarded but there is no disciplinary sanction.  However, if the offense is playing the ball a second time (with or without the hand/arm) after a restart before it touches another player, the goalkeeper must be sanctioned if the offense stops a promising attack or denies an opponent or the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity."

[If the goalkeeper attempts to 'clear' (release into play) a throw-in or deliberate kick from a teammate but the 'clearance' fails, the goalkeeper can then handle the ball.  When the goalkeeper clearly kicks or tries to kick the ball into play, this shows no intention to handle the ball so, if the 'clearance' attempt is unsuccessful, the goalkeeper can then handle the ball without committing an offense.]

There are two significant points concerning application of the handball rule during the normal run of play.  The first has to do with the parts of the body which contact the ball and the second has to do with the judgment of the Referee.

The parts of the body subject to the handball rule are both the hands and the arms, extending from the tips of the fingers up to the articulation of the shoulder.  The articulation of the shoulder has been defined by the IFAB as being level with the armpit.  The fact that the ball may contact the hands or the arms during the game is not sufficient, in and of itself, for a penalty to be called.  For a violation to have occurred, the Referee (or Assistant Referee) must have seen the contact and must have judged that the contact violated the Law.

To determine that the contact with the ball was a handball offense, the Referee uses three general criteria:
  1.  If the player moved his hand or arm to the ball; or,
  2.  If the player had sufficient reaction time to move his hand or arm out of the way of the flight of the ball and failed to do so; or,
  3.  If the player had his hand or arm in an "unnatural" position, including away from the sides ("making the body bigger") or above shoulder level.
If, in the opinion of the Referee, any of these acts occurred, a handball offense should be called.  If the contact was determined to have not been deliberate, then play is allowed to continue, unless as a result of the contact: a.) a goal is scored, b.) possession is gained and a goal is scored, or c.) a goal scoring opportunity is created.

Difficulty with the application of the handball rule mostly occurs at the youth
 level where few hand balls are truly deliberate.  However, players must learn to
keep their hands and arms out of situations where they could inappropriately influence play.  In order to do so, coaches must teach young field players tokeep their hands near their sides when the ball is bouncing around and to overcome the desire brought on by American sports such as football, basketball and baseball, to try to catch the ball.  In addition, coaches must teach young players to overcome the natural tendency to protect the body from a fast-moving ball, particularly the face, by blocking it with their hands.  

Instead, they may first duck or turn the body, but as they get older, they must learn to aggressively strike, deflect, or absorb the pace of, the ball.
For those of us who are visual learners you can view the following YouTube video.  We will not be able to satisfy everyone, but the more we all know the closer we can all come to getting the call right.  Thank you.

Papa John's Heartland Referee Spotlight:

A little bit about Mason...

When did you start reffing? I started reffing in the Spring of 2018
What made you decide to get certified to referee? I wanted to get certified because I thought it would be a good opportunity to try and I really liked soccer as a sport so I thought it would be fun!
What is your favorite part about reffing? My favorite part about reffing is probably working with other referees because it's a good skill to learn to work with others and it's fun when you ref a game with someone you have worked with before.
What is a life lesson you feel you have learned from reffing? A life lesson I have learned is learning to work with others and that everyone makes mistakes.
What level of referee to you aspire to be? In the future I would like to ref college games
Do you play soccer? I play soccer with Toca FC. Currently I'm on the '06 Super 8 team and the '05 PDL
Do you participate in any sports/activities? I play soccer and run cross country and track. I am also involved in my church's youth group. The thing I enjoy most is probably soccer and youth group because I love being around people!
What was the last book you read? The last book I have read was Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring and my favorite part of it was when Frodo and others were in the dwarf mines.
What types of movies do you like?  I really like WW2 movies and comedies. The latest movie I watched was Armageddon and my favorite part was the ending.
What is your favorite sports team? My favorite sports team is The Kansas City Chiefs!
We want your photos!

Heartland Soccer Association is seeking action photo shots of kids of all ages and abilities playing soccer in Heartland League Games or Tournaments.  Submitted photos may be included in Heartland Tournament, League and other promotional materials as well as social media posts.

Instructions for submitting photos:
All submitted photo files must be .jpg format, must be a minimum of 1,200 x 1,600 pixels, and no larger than 2 MB in size.  Submitting a photo doesn't guarantee that it will be used.
By submitting a photo for consideration for use in Heartland Soccer Association promotional materials, you agree that:
1.  You are the sole author of the photograph and control all rights for its use.  The photograph is original.  You have the rights to grant usage of the photograph as stated below.  There has been no prior sale, publication or transfer of rights to the photograph. The photograph shall not contain any libelous or scandalous matter.  To the best of your knowledge, the photograph's creation, publication and use shall not infringe any copyright, right of privacy or right of publicity, or infringe or violate any right of any third party.
2.   You grant to Heartland Soccer Association all rights to use the photograph in any and all forms of media, including but not limited to electronic, digital media and print.
3.    You allow Heartland Soccer Association the right to edit, revise, adapt and crop the photo as necessary.
Send Photo submissions to: [email protected]