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WorldPride and EuroGames in Copenhagen and Malmö, 12–22 August 2021

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Football: 11 v 11 Tournament Rules





1. IGLFA Mission

2. Authority Statement

3. Tournament Format

4. Eligibility & Identification

5. Tournament Rules

6. Match Rules

7. Discipline & Protest

8. Referees

9. Administration

10.             Laws of the Game Modifications

11.             IGLFA Jewelry Policy

12.             Transgender Policy

13.             H.I.V. Policy

14.             Cast & Brace Policy

15.             IGLFA Lightening Safety/Severe Weather Policy

16.             Concussion Protocol Policy/Concussion Recognition Tool 5




1.               IGLFA Mission

The IGLFA is the world’s foremost international organization devoted solely to developing and promoting LGBTQ+ football (soccer). Our mission is to promote a safe space for participation in football among LGBTQ+ people and friends of our community, while ensuring physical and tactical understanding of the highest standards for football competitions and establishing international standards for all IGLFA sanctioned tournaments, events and Gay Games. 


IGLFA Mission Goals


  • The IGLFA strives to promote equality in the international football community while supporting LGBTQ+ football worldwide


  • The IGLFA supports, encourages and promotes the growth of LGBTQ+ football clubs and Referees worldwide while promoting fair play and a positive football experience


  • The IGLFA promotes the physical and tactical understanding of football


  • The IGLFA provides opportunities for LGBTQ+ football participants and our allies to come together in both social and competitive arenas


  • The IGLFA supports numerous sporting organisations and coalition groups whose goals are to rid homophobia/transphobia/biphobia in sport


  • The IGLFA provides an “Outreach Program” to assist teams and individuals with attending sanctioned tournaments that they may not have been able to attend otherwise



All tournaments shall be governed by the Laws of the Game as established by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) with the following modifications contained in this document.


References to the male gender in the Laws of the Game in respect of all Referees, Players and Team Officials are for simplification and apply to all genders and those who identify as gender-neutral.






2.               Authority Statement

A tournament committee shall be formed for the interpretation, modification and resolution of issues that arise during a tournament and shall hereinafter be referred to as the "Committee."  In situations that involve discipline, the same committee members listed below will also form a separate “Disciplinary Committee”.


The Committee shall include:

  • The IGLFA Director of Referees or designee,
  • A representative of the IGLFA Board if in attendance, or the lead organiser of the football tournmanet Copenhagen 2021.
  • A representative of the Host Committee.


Commentary on Tournament Committee

It is the intent of the Authority Statement Rule that there be a Committee formed with sufficient expertise to address unexpected issues that may arise during tournament play, and that the Committee fairly represents the organizers and the participants.

The Committee is formed to support the Host Committee (where applicable) and ensure that all are represented.

3.               Tournament Format


  • The host committee are permitted to establish a tournament with multiple divisions made up of Male, Female, or All Gender/Gender neutral divisions.





  • Multiple Divisions - The IGLFA will allow the Host Committee to divide each Divisions by level of competition, when there are enough teams to allow at least three (3) games per team against different opponents within each Division.


  • Division Names - Division names shall be in ascending numeric order, such as Division One (1), Division Two (2), and so forth.





Team Placementt & Seeding


  • Teams on registereing with Copenhagen 2021, must indicate whether they wish to play in a competitive league, or non-competitive leage.


  • Draw - After the assignment of seeded teams for Division One (1), or qualifying groups if necessary, the remaining teams shall be assigned to qualifying groups based on a random blind draw. Draws for all groups and divisions shall be publically viewable, eg) in person at the tournament or filmed before the tournament.




  1. Eligibility and Identification –


  • All players must be registered with Copenhagen EuroGames 2021


  • No player shall be permitted to participate without appropriate identification.


  • Players may be required to present photo identification with birth date information to a tournament official at any time during the tournament.


  • All players must be eighteen (18) years or older (on the date of competition) to play by 19th August 2021.


  • Individuals whose team does not register for the tournament, or resides where a team does not exist, may be assigned to a team to participate, provided the individual is in good standing with the IGLFA and has registered with Copenhagen EuroGames 2021.


  • Each player may only roster on one team & be listed on their team's Final Roster.


  • Women shall be allowed to play on men's teams. Men cannot play on women’s teams.


  • Players suspended for disciplinary action are considered to be “not in good standing with the IGLFA”, and are considered to be ineligible to play during this time


  • Transgender players will be permitted to play in their gender based division in which they identify. (See the IGLFA Transgender Policy for further clarification)


  • Clubs/Teams and players must be registered with Copenhagen EuroGames. (For definition purposes, Clubs may consist of multiple teams within their membership and may be male, female or mixed).


  • Each team shall consist of a maximum of 22 players and must have a minimum of seven (7) players and a maximum of eleven (11) on the field of play at all times as required by IFAB. If a team is reduced to less than seven (7) players, the match will be terminated and the team with less than the required amount of players will forfeit the match.


  • Teams meeting the starting time requirement shall be eligible for play.


  • A player, club or team not meeting the criteria for eligibility shall be deemed to be ineligible.


  • An ineligible club or team or a team playing an ineligible player shall automatically forfeit the match, and the matter shall be referred to the Committee for further consideration.


  • Player Identification - For the purpose of match play, the tournament photo identification shall be sufficient. If the tournament does not have photo identification for its participants, a government issued photo ID will be considered sufficient.


  • It is the intent of the Player Identification Rule to provide a method of preventing unauthorised participation in the tournament, and allow players to use alias names at the field for personal security when required. In emergency situations, some Host Committees have had the necessary staff to allow players to participate without their tournament identification, by using positive photo identification, such as a passport, to verify their identity. The IGLFA sees this as a generous accommodation, and under no circumstances requires it.


  • Team Identification - For the purpose of seeding, Teams shall be identified by name, as listed on their Final Roster.


  • Identity Challenge - If a team’s identity is challenged, or two teams claim the same identity, the Committee shall make a determination of identity for seeding and tournament participation by finding in favor of the team with the same leadership and a minimum of seven (7) of the actual participants from the previous tournament Final Roster to claim the Team Identification. When two teams meet these criteria equally, a coin toss shall be used to determine the identity.



  1. Tournament Rules


Starting Times


  • All matches must begin at their scheduled starting time. All teams must check-in at the tournament headquarters a minimum thirty (30) minutes prior to the scheduled starting time of their match.  Check in consists of a Teamsheet/Roster in English which is ligable to read, including identifications of everyone listed on the match report (this includes coaching, management and training staff)


  • Team player shortage shall automatically result in team ineligibility and shall not be accepted as a reason for the delay of start times.


Number of Matches


  • All teams must be guaranteed at least a minimum of 240 minutes of playing time, during the initial qualifying rounds.


  • In the case of extreme circumstances which are out of the control of the host committee or IGLFA, the tournament hosts or IGLFA reserves the right to adjust this accordingly.


  • Each team shall play the same number of qualifying matches.


  • Qualifying matches shall be "round-robin" format, where each team shall play each of the other teams in its preliminary group an equal number of times. Qualifying round matches shall be permitted with teams "outside" a Qualifying group only under unusual circumstances.


Team Placement and Seeding


  • Teams registering for Copenhagen Eurogames 2021 must indicate the division they wish to play in.


  • After registration closes, teams will not be able to change divisions unless any of the following apply. Where there is an uneven number in the divisions the following process will be followed:-
  1. Request for a volunteer club to move to a different divison
  2. Past Finalist of an IGLFA tournament within two years.
  3. Random Draw of the remaining clubs - The Draw to assign teams shall be blind, and shall be made in public by a person, or people, neutral to the tournament.


  • Intra-Club Assignments - Teams originating from the same Club shall not be assigned to the same qualifying group, whenever possible.


  • Intra-Region Assignments - Teams originating from the same geographic region, who frequently play as competitors in regional tournaments, shall not be assigned to the same qualifying group, whenever practical


  • Draw Pools Determinations regarding the designations of teams by as Intra-Club and Intra-Region shall be made by the Committee and announced in advance of the Draw.


Determination of Standings


  • Point System - In round-robin matches, points will awarded for the purpose of determining the standings based on the following scale: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 point for a loss


  • Forfeited Match Points - When a team forfeits a match, it shall be recorded as a loss. When both teams forfeit a match both teams shall receive zero (0) points.


  • Forfeited Match Score - The score of a forfeited match shall be recorded as 3-0 for the winner.


  • Tie Breakers - At the end of round-robin matches, if there is a tie in total points, the winners will be determined as per the following order: 1. Result of head-to-head competition, 2. Goal difference. 3. Ratio of goals scored divided by goals conceded. (Commentary on Tie-Breakers - It is the intent of the Tie-Breaker Rule to provide a system of tie-breakers that decides final qualifying - round standings that is broadly based on FIFA standards, but is modified so as not to encourage "running up" a score against a weaker opponent. Therefore, the first tier tie-breaker is based solely on victory, regardless of score, and the second and third tier tie-breakers are based on the goals scored and conceded).


  • Forfeits - If a team forfeits a match, thus denying another team an opportunity to play, and is deemed by the Committee to have gained an unsporting tactical advantage by not playing, then the forfeiting team shall be disqualified from the tournament and shall not be allowed to advance to the next round of play.




  • Match Fixing – If a team displays deliberate tactics to “purposely throw a match” in order to benefit themselves by way of a better position in standings, seeding, division or otherwise, or to cause their opponent to be positioned where it would be a benefit for the team throwing the match or causing purposeful harm to the team, the disciplinary committee will disqualify the offending team from further participation in the tournament. The result of the match will also be reviewed in the “spirit of the game” so as not to penalize the opponent.  The IGLFA Disciplinary Board may also place further suspensions towards future participation in any sanctioned IGLFA tournaments against the offending team, club and or specific person (s) once a full investigation has been completed.  Results of sanctions will be shared with the IGLFA Membership in order for them to be able to determine ineligibility from any localized tournaments.


Results Reporting


  • Match Reports – Each team will provide a completed match report to the Referee prior to each match. This match report will include: Date, Kickoff Time, Division, Field #, Home and Away Team Names, Coaches Name and Signature, Players Full Names and assigned number (The Number must match the shirt and roster) Goal Scorers, Disciplinary (Yellow and Red Cards) and Referees Names and Signatures.


  • Standings - Results of team standings are to be posted via various methods for player review within one (1) hour of the conclusion of a match.


Team Rosters


  • A team roster shall consist of a maximum of twenty two (22) players and a minimum of eleven (11) players.


  • A Final Roster shall be submitted to the Committee or designee at the conclusion of the pre-tournament Coaches Meeting.




  1. Match Rules


  • The IFAB Laws of Association Football apply. Where modifications are made, this complys with completion specific alterations e.g Match Duration, Pitch Dimensions etc




  • Unlimited substitutions and re substitutions shall be allowed at the discretion and approval of the Referee.


  • Any Substitutions by any team shall be permitted at any natural or Referee stoppage in play during the match. Substitutions cannot be done while the ball is in play.


  • The Referee shall be permitted to limit substitutions when the substitutions are judged to be excessive or intended to disrupt the match.


Match Duration


  • Playing time for qualifying matches (Round Robin) shall consist of two equal halves, with each half being a minimum of thirty (30) minutes, and a ten five (5) 10 minute maximum half-time. All Semi-final shall consist of two equal halves of thirty (30) minutes each with a maximum ten (10) minutes half-time. The final shall consist of two equal halves, with each being a minimum of 45 minutes and 15 minutes for half time.


  • If the score is still tied, Penalty Kicks will determine the winner.


  • A match will be considered completed, when: Regulation time has elapsed;
  1. A team fails to field at least the minimum number of players required by IFAB
  2. It is determined by the Referee that there is undue interference by outsiders;
  3. The Referee abandons the game for any other reason.




  • In the event that a match has been terminated without a result, the matter will be referred to the Host Committee for an outcome.




  1. A forfeit will be given when A team abandons a match in progress;
  2. A team fails to field the minimum number of players required to start
  3. A player is found to be ineligible



Player Equipment


  • Player’s equipment must comply with The Interntaional Football Association Board Laws of the Game. (IFAB)


  • In the event of a uniform colour conflict, the team listed first on the match schedule shall be designated as the "Away" team and must change shirts. The alternate shirts must have player numbers that are recorded on the roster of players for that match.


  • Players will not be permitted to play with any object posing a danger to themselves or others.





  1. Discipline & Protest


Cautions (Yellow Card)


  • A person receiving three (3) Yellow Cards during the qualifying/round robin games shall be suspended for the following match. This will be reset for teams who qualify for Semi Final rounds onwards.


Sending-Off (Red Card)


  • A person receiving a Red Card by a second cautionable offence (2 Yellow Cards) in the same match or a single Red Card must leave the field of play and must leave the field area immediately after receiving the Red Card. A player shall be suspended for the next match - This applies to all matches regardless of tournament phase.


Additional Disciplinary Sanctions


  • The IGLFA disciplinary Committee may increase the penalty for a Yellow Card or Red Card if deemed necessary. Any person may be required to appear at a discipline and protest hearing. They are entitled to be accompanied by a member of their Management Team.


  • The IGLFA Disciplinary committee may also place further suspensions towards future participation in any sanctioned IGLFA tournaments against the offending team, club and or specific person(s) once a full investigation has been completed. Results of sanctions will be shared with the IGLFA Membership in order for them to be able to determine ineligibility from any localized tournaments.


  • In the case of Violent Conduct towards an opponent or any other person, the offending player will be immediately suspended for the duration of the tournament. They must leave the venue immediately and may not be in attendance for any further tournament specific events for the duration of the event itself regardless of where they may be held. After the completion of the tournament, a full review of the incident will be conducted by the IGLFA Disciplinary Committee who will then determine whether further sanctions would be considered. 




  • In the case of Violent Conduct towards a Referee, the player will be immediately suspended for the duration of the tournament & will not be able to participate in any IGLFA sanctioned tournaments for a minimum of 2 years. They must leave the venue immediately and may not be in attendance for any further tournament specific events for the duration of the event itself regardless of where they may be held. After the completion of the tournament, a full review of the incident will be conducted by the IGLFA Disciplinary Committee who will then determine whether further sanctions would be considered.


  • In the case of Violent Conduct, a “Lifetime Ban” may be issued if the IGLFA Discipline Committee determines it is warranted. The IGLFA does not tolerate “violence” of any kind. 


  • In the case of any participant displaying any homophobic/transphobic/biphobic, bullying or severe prejudicial behavior, they will be immediately suspended for the duration of the tournament. They must leave the venue immediately and may not be in attendance for any further tournament specific events for the duration of the event itself regardless of where they may be held. After the completion of the tournament, a full review of the incident will be conducted by the IGLFA Disciplinary Committee who will then determine whether further sanctions would be considered. 


Protests and Appeals


  • All protests and appeals to Red Cards or subsequent match bans must be in writing to the Committee within one hour of the completion of the match in question and must be accompanied by a cash-only fee of Fifty (50) US Dollars (USD) or local currency equivalent. If the protest is sustained, the fee will be returned.


  • Protests and appeals which are determined by the Committee to be outside of their jurisdiction shall be adjudicated by the IGLFA Protest Committee, as defined by the IGLFA Constitution and By-Laws, regulated by the IGLFA Policies and Procedures Manual.


  • The IGLFA Protest Committee is chaired by a Vice-President of the IGLFA and minimally includes a representative of the Host/IGLFA Committee, an IGLFA Referee Director, and a player not involved in the protest.




  1. Referees


  • System of Officiating - Unless given express written permission by the IGLFA Executive Board of Directors, all matches shall be officiated using a three/four-official system, which requires a Referee and 2 Assistant Referees. A fourth-official may be used in Semi Final and Final Fixtures.


  • Minimum requirements for referee in matches: Where possible, it is preferred to have 1 Referee and 2 Assistant Referees for all 11v11 matches. Semi-Finals and Finals for all Competitions should include a full referee team of 4 (Referee, 2 Assistant Referees and 4th Official).


  • IGLFA Referees - IGLFA Referees shall be those officials who are trained, currently licensed and certified by a FIFA-sanctioned Referee Association and who are current Referee Members of the IGLFA. All Referees (local or otherwise) must be an IGLFA Referee Member in order to participate.  IGLFA Referee Membership helps to support the IGLFA Mission. To become an IGLFA Referee Member each Referee is required to pay an annual Membership Fee to the IGLFA.


  • Referee Evaluation – The IGLFA Director of Referees Europe & Asia or designee and the Host Committee Referee Coordinator shall evaluate Referees prior to their assignment by a fair and transparent system. Referees may also be “assessed and mentored” by the IGLFA Director of Referees Europe & Asia or designee(s) during the tournament. This assessment and mentoring process is part of the IGLFA Referee Program and is in place to ensure that each Referee has the appropriate skills to match the level of competition.  The Referees will be provided “instructional feedback” from the Assessor or Mentor with the overall goal being to assist them with improving their skills in future.


  • Referee Reimbursement - Referees shall be reimbursed for their services in accordance to agreements made with Copenhagen Eurogames 2021.





  • Referee Assignment - The Director of Referees Coordinator Europe & Asia shall have sole authority to assign Referees to officiate matches. When assigning officials, the highest priority of assignment shall be that Referees assigned are qualified to officiate their assigned matches. After this requirement, the Director of Referees Europe & Asia shall also consider the following issues as a group and not as an order of priority: Intra-Club assignments should be avoided, whenever possible;
  1. Language compatibility may improve a Referee’s control of the match; and,
  2. Rotation of Referee assignments is important for fair treatment of Referees working at the
  3. Tournament, and to provide officials the opportunity to rest.
  4. Performance of Officials during the tournament when considering Semi Final and Final appointments.




  1. Administration


  • Tournament Meetings -IGLFA will host a number of meetings and the Host Committee will provide facilities either at the tournament hotel or other suitable venue.


  • Prior to the tournament start and minimally the day before a meeting will be held where it is mandatory for the Coach/Manager & Captains to attend. This will be also attended by all referees who are officiating in the tournament. This meeting can also be held digital/online.





  1. Modifications to IFAB Laws of the Game


  • Provided the principles of these laws are maintained, the laws may be modified in their application for matches, including for players with disabilities as outlined below.


  • Any or all of the following modifications are permissible:
  • Size of the field of play
  • Size, weight and material of the ball
  • Width between the goalposts and height of the crossbar from the ground
  • The duration of the periods of play
  • Substitutions


The following policies and tools are included at the end of this document for easy reference and may be referenced through their respective links:


  • IGLFA Jewelry Policy
  • IGLFA Transgender Policy
  • IGLFA H.I.V. Policy
  • IGLFA Cast and Brace Policy
  • IGLFA Lightening Safety/Severe Weather Policy
  • IGLFA Concussion Protocol Policy
  • Concussion Graduated Return to Play Protocol
  • FIFA Concussion Recognition Tool 5









The following items of jewelry are to be removed prior to playing:


Earrings: - No earrings of any kind.


Facial Rings: - Any kind of jewelry around the eyes, nose or any other part of the face.


Bracelets: - All bracelets (including metal, rope, plastic, fabric...etc)


Medic Alert Bracelets: - May be worn but must be covered or padded in order to be safe for all players.


Necklaces: - All necklaces.


Body Piercing: - It is recommended that body piercing be removed. If the item becomes visible then the referee will insist on the item being removed.


Watches: - Players are not allowed to wear any kind of watch.


Rings/Wedding Rings*: -The sole exception is a smooth band which the referee is convinced cannot be removed, and which poses no danger to any player (including themselves).


*If in the case of a raised surface on a ring that absolutely cannot be removed by the player, the ring must be adequately padded and the referee must be completely satisfied of its safety.




Beaded Hair: - If a player is wearing hair beads the hair must be tied in a bun or covered by a hair net.  Loose beaded hair is not to be allowed.


Headwear: Religious clothing which is recognized by FIFA or the appropriate national football body in the country in which the tournament is being played in, will be permitted.


Headscarves: - Headscarves may only be worn by female players and:

- are the same colour as the jersey

- is in keeping with the professional appearance of the player's equipment

- is not attached to the jersey

- it does not pose any danger to the player wearing it or any other player

(e.g. Opening/closing mechanism around neck)


For examples of the above headscarves, please refer to the following websites: and 


Hats: - No hats are allowed on the field of play with exception for goalkeepers using one made of a soft material such as a cycling hat as an eye shade.


Bandanas: - No bandanas are allowed.


Head & Wrist Sweatbands: - Sweatbands are allowed providing they are being used solely for the purpose of removing sweat.


Hair Bands: - Hair bands, rope or string tied around the head will not be allowed. 

Please use pro-wrap.


Glasses/Spectacles: - Are allowed but would suggest the player consider wearing sports spectacles or contact lenses for the safety of themselves & others.  No sunglasses are permitted unless they are prescription/corrective lenses.


Orthopaedic Supports e.g. Knee Braces: FIFA Circular 863 states that the vast majority of commercially manufactured supports are safe to use. The major concern is not the “hardness” of the equipment alone, rather it is whether any part of it can cut or wound another player. Any support must be safe for all players & adequately padded if necessary. If the player is allowed to play with the support and is observed by the referee to be “using it to gain any sort of an advantage” or in any means to intimidate an opponent they will be cautioned (yellow card) by the referee and given the choice to either remove the support or not take further part in the match.


Casts: NO HARD CASTS. Players wearing a soft cast will be permitted to play if the cast does not present a danger to anyone (including themselves):

- They must be adequately padded

- The referee will make the final decision as to the acceptability of any soft cast


Footwear: Referees are also to incorporate a footwear inspection into the pre-match safety check of players’ equipment. Poorly maintained studs or blades on the sole of the boot can constitute a danger. When inspecting footwear, officials are to be alert to the possibility of the edge of the blades or studs developing rough areas on either the plastic or metal used in their construction.


These burrs can become very sharp and have been the cause of lacerations to opponents. A referee who is concerned over the conditions of blades should refuse their use until such time as the unsafe condition has been removed.


Captains Armbands:  Must be clearly distinguishable from the Colour used on the sleeves of the shirt of the Player and must be an Equipment item separate from the shirt.


Modern protective equipment such as headgear, facemasks, knee & arm protectors made of soft lightweight, padded material are not considered dangerous and are therefore permitted. (FIFA)


*Please note: If a player is asked by the referee, an assistant referee or any person that has been designated the responsibility to check players equipment/jewelry prior to the start of a match, proceeds to enter the field of play unlawfully, they will be cautioned and asked to leave the field.  The player will not be allowed to return until the referee is satisfied of such removal or repair. 





The International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA) opens its membership to all football/soccer players, coaches, managers, trainers and referees “without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sex, physical or mental ability, marital status, race, colour, nationality, religion or age”.

For the purposes of registration on gender-based teams, a player may register with the gender team with which the player identifies.  The IGLFA must receive sufficient confirmation and be satisfied by documentation or evidence that shows the stated gender is sincerely held, and is part of a person’s core identity.


Documentation satisfying the herein stated standard includes, but is not limited to:


  • Government-issued identification with photo. Examples of this documentation are a driver’s license, national ID or passport.


  • Documentation prepared by a health care provider, counselor, or other qualified professional not related to the player that states that he or she has been undergoing uninterrupted hormone treatment for at least one year prior to the beginning of a competition unless there is a medical reason that may have resulted in short breaks from that treatment. Any breaks in treatment should be outlined in the medical practitioner’s letter. 



Considering the challenges that may be involved in obtaining such documents in some countries, the IGLFA will exercise discretion when evaluating the adequacy of the type of documentation provided for proof of an individual’s gender.  All cases will be handled with the greatest of discretion.  The final decision about the participant’s gender status will be within the sole discretion of the IGLFA.






Dealing with a bloody wound:


  • If bleeding occurs where other participants may be exposed to blood, the individual's participation must be interrupted until the bleeding has been stopped. The wound must be cleansed with antiseptic and securely covered.
  • All clothing soiled with blood should be replaced prior to the athlete resuming training or competition. Clothing soiled with blood and other body fluids must be washed in hot, soapy water.
  • If an athlete leaves the field, has his injury treated and covered and wishes to re-enter the match in another, differently numbered jersey that replaces a blood-stained jersey, he may re-enter only after the Referee has been advised of the change of number.


  • All equipment and surfaces contaminated with blood and other body fluids should be cleaned with a solution of one part household bleach to nine parts water. This solution

should be prepared fresh daily. This is particularly important on the artificial turf of indoor arenas.


While cleaning blood or other body fluid spills, the following must be done:


  • Wear waterproof gloves.
  • Wipe up fluids with paper towels or disposable cloths.
  • Disinfect the area as described in the above.
  • Place all soiled waste in a plastic bag for disposal.
  • Remove gloves and wash hands with soap and water.
  • Other wounds must be reviewed by medical personnel, including abrasions and all skin lesions and rashes on athletes, coaches and officials. All wounds, skin lesions and rashes must be confirmed as non-infectious and be securely covered prior to the athlete starting or continuing participation.


*Note – The facility is normally responsible for blood clean-up.  Their staff have been properly trained and should have the necessary equipment/solution to do so.





Rigid casts may not be worn in any game under the jurisdiction of the International Gay & Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA).


The use of knee braces or ankle guards are permitted as long as they are properly secured and don’t pose a danger to any player (including themselves).


The use of arm, hand or finger splints are permitted as long as they are completely covered, sufficiently padded and don’t pose a danger to any player (including themselves).


All exposed metal parts must be completely covered and properly padded.


All Velcro (male) surfaces must be properly covered.


If a referee requests a player to securely wrap a brace, splint or other medical device, in order to ensure the safety of the participants, the player must do so to be eligible to participate in the match.


The Referee reserves the final decision regarding the safety of the players.






When thunder roars, go indoors!

The safety of players, coaches, management and spectators is the primary concern in any weather event that occurs during all matches sanctioned by Canada Soccer. By understanding and following the below information, the safety of everyone shall be greatly increased. Ultimately, the referee has the final say over delaying or restarting a match due to weather. Waiting to stop play or not waiting to start play may result in a serious injury or loss of life. Referees are expected to act responsibly when dealing with such events during matches they are controlling.

If you can hear thunder, you can get hit by lightning. As soon as you hear thunder, quickly get to a safe location. More people are struck before and after a thunderstorm than during one. Stay inside for 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.

Additional Information

Please note the following recommendations from Environment Canada:

  • To plan for a safe day, check the weather forecast first. If thunderstorms are forecast, avoid being outdoors at that time or make an alternate plan. Identify safe places and determine how long it will take you to reach them.
  • Watch the skies for developing thunderstorms and listen for thunder. As soon as you hear thunder, quickly get to a safe location. If you can hear thunder, you are in danger of being hit by lightning. More people are struck before and after a thunderstorm than during one.
  • Get to a safe place. A safe location is a fully enclosed building with wiring and plumbing. Sheds, picnic shelters, tents or covered porches do NOT protect you from lightning. If no sturdy building is close by, get into a metal-roofed vehicle and close all the windows.
  • Do not handle electrical equipment, telephones or plumbing. These are all electrical conductors. Using a computer or wired video game system, taking a bath or touching a metal window frame all put you at risk of being struck by lightning. Use battery-operated appliances only.
  • If caught outdoors far from shelter, stay away from tall objects. This includes trees, poles, wires and fences. Take shelter in a low-lying area but be on the alert for possible flooding.

Be aware of how close lightning is occurring. Thunder always accompanies lightning, even though its audible range can be diminished due to background noise in the immediate environment and its distance from the observer.

When larger groups are involved, the time needed to properly evacuate an area increases. As time requirements change, the distance at which lightning is noted and considered a threat to move into the area must be increased.

Know where the closest “safe structure or location” is to the field or playing area and know how long it takes to get to that safe structure or location. Safe structure or location is defined as:

  • Any building normally occupied or frequently used by people, i.e., a building with plumbing and / or electrical wiring that acts to electrically ground the structure. Avoid using shower facilities for safe shelter and do not use the showers or plumbing facilities during a thunderstorm.

In the absence of a sturdy, frequently inhabited building, any vehicle with a hard metal roof (not a convertible or golf cart) and rolled-up windows can provide a measure of safety. A vehicle is certainly better than remaining outdoors. It is not the rubber tires that make a vehicle a safe shelter, but the hard 2 metal roof which dissipates the lightning strike around the vehicle. Do not touch the sides of any vehicle!

If no safe structure or location is within a reasonable distance, find a thick grove of small trees surrounded by taller trees or a dry ditch. Assume a crouched position on the ground with only the balls of the feet touching the ground, wrap your arms around your knees and lower your head. Minimize contact with the ground because lightning current often enters a victim through the ground rather than by a direct overhead strike. Minimize your body’s surface area and the ground! Do not lie flat! If unable to reach safe shelter, stay away from the tallest trees or objects such as light poles or flag poles), metal objects (such as fences or bleachers), individual trees, standing pools of water, and open fields. Avoid being the highest object in a field. Do not take shelter under a single, tall tree.

Avoid using the telephone, except in emergency situations. People have been struck by lightning while using a land-line telephone. A cellular phone or a portable remote phone is a safe alternative to land-line phones, if the person and the antenna are located within a safe structure or location, and if all other precautions are followed.

When considering resumption of any athletics activity, wait at least thirty (30) minutes after the last flash of lightning or sound of thunder before returning to the field.

First aid for lightning victims

Prompt, aggressive CPR has been highly effective for the survival of victims of lightning strikes.

  • Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge and can be safely handled.
  • Call for help. Victims may be suffering from burns or shock and should receive medical attention immediately. Call 9-1-1 or your local ambulance service.
  • Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, administer cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Use an automatic external defibrillator if one is available.










  • A concussion is a brain injury.
  • All concussions should be regarded as potentially serious.
  • Most concussions recover completely with correct management.
  • Incorrect management of a concussion can lead to further injury.
  • Concussions should be managed according to current guidelines.
  • Anyone with any concussion symptoms following an injury must be immediately removed from playing or training and must not return to playing, or training for soccer in the same day.
  • Concussions are to be diagnosed and managed by health care professionals working within their scope of practice and expertise.
  • Concussions are managed by physical and brain rest until symptoms resolve. Return to education or work must take priority over return to playing soccer.
  • Concussion symptoms must have completely resolved and medical clearance must be received before resuming training for, or playing soccer.


  • A progressive exercise program that re-introduces an individual to training for, and ultimately playing soccer is recommended following concussion recovery.
  • The recurrence of concussion symptoms during a progressive exercise program requires removal from training or playing and reassessment by health care professionals.





These guidelines are intended to guide those managing concussion in soccer at all levels. Professional and National level players typically have access to an enhanced level of medical care, which means that their concussion and their return to play can be managed in a more closely monitored way.


These guidelines are based on current evidence and examples of best practice taken from soccer organizations around the world and other sports, including the Football Association, the Scottish FA, World Rugby, and the Canadian Concussion Collaborative.

These guidelines have been reviewed and approved by the Canada Soccer Sports Medicine Committee. They are consistent with the current Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport issued by the Fourth International Conference on Concussion in Sport, Zurich 2012.


While these guidelines aim to reflect ‘best practice’, it must be recognized that there is a current lack of evidence with respect to their effectiveness in preventing long-term harm. The Canada


Soccer Sports Medicine Committee will continue to monitor research and consensus in the area of concussion and update these guidelines accordingly.



We have a heightened awareness of concussions, related to increased media coverage of this brain injury with its range of outcomes, incidents involving high profile athletes with concussion, and increasing understanding of the consequences of repetitive brain trauma, primarily within professional sports.



Concussion is an injury to the brain resulting in a disturbance of brain function involving thinking and behavior.



Concussion can be caused by a direct blow to the head or an impact to the body causing rapid movement of the head and movement of the brain within the skull.



Symptoms of concussion typically appear immediately, but may evolve within the first 24-48 hours.



All of our sport’s participants (players, but also team staff and officials).

Some soccer participants are at increased risk of concussion:

  • Children and adolescents (18 years and under) are more susceptible to brain injury, take longer to recover, and are susceptible to rare dangerous brain complications, which may include death.
  • Female soccer players have higher rates of concussion.
  • Participants with previous concussion are at increased risk of further concussions - which may take longer to recover.



Failure to recognize and report concussive symptoms or returning to activity with ongoing concussion symptoms set the stage for:

  1. Cumulative concussive injury
  2. ‘Second Impact Syndrome’

Second impact syndrome is a rare occurrence. An athlete sustains a brain injury and while still experiencing symptoms (not fully recovered), sustains a second brain injury, which is associated with brain swelling and permanent brain injury or death. Brain swelling may also occur without previous trauma.


Recurrent brain injury is currently implicated in the development of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.  Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative brain disease seen in people with a history of brain trauma. For athletes, the brain trauma has been repetitive. Originally described in deceased boxers, it now has been recognized in many sports. Symptoms include difficulty thinking, explosive and aggressive behavior, mood disorder (depression), and movement disorder (parkinsonism).



Everyone involved in the match (including side-line staff, coaches, players, parents and guardians of children and adolescents) should be aware of the signs, symptoms and dangers of concussion. If any of the following signs or symptoms are present following an injury the player should be suspected of having concussion and immediately removed from play or training.

If in doubt, sit them out.”

“It is better to miss one match than the whole season.”



  • Any one or more of the following visual clues can indicate a concussion:
  • Dazed, blank or vacant look
  • Lying motionless on ground / slow to get up
  • Loss of consciousness – confirmed or suspected
  • Unsteady on feet or balance problems or falling over or poor coordination
  • Loss of consciousness or responsiveness
  • Confused or not aware of play or events
  • Grabbing, clutching, or shaking of the head
  • Seizure
  • More emotional or irritable than normal for that person
  • Injury event that could have caused a concussion





  • The presence of any one or more of the following symptoms may suggest a concussion:
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Mental clouding, confusion, or feeling slowed down
  • Trouble seeing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness or feeling like “in a fog“ or difficulty concentrating
  • “Pressure in head”
  • Sensitivity to light or noise



Failure to answer any of these questions correctly is an indication of a suspected concussion.

“What field are we at today?”

“Which half is it now?”

“Who scored last in this match?”

“What team did you play last?”

“Did your team win your last match?”


Failure to answer any of these questions correctly is an indication of a suspected concussion.



Team-mates, side-line staff, coaches, players or parents and guardians who suspect that a player may have concussion MUST work together to ensure that the player is removed from play in a safe manner.


If a neck injury is suspected the player should only be removed by emergency healthcare professionals with appropriate spinal care training. Call Emergency Services. Activate your emergency action plan.




More severe forms of brain injury may be mistaken for concussion. If ANY of the following are observed or reported within 48 hours of an injury, then the player should be transported for urgent medical assessment at the nearest hospital (symptoms below). Call Emergency Services. Activate your emergency action plan.

  • Severe neck pain
  • Deteriorating consciousness (more drowsy)
  • Increasing confusion or irritability
  • Severe or increasing headache
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Unusual behavior change (persistent irritability in younger children; increased agitation in teens) Seizure
  • Double vision
  • Weakness or tingling / burning in arms or legs



  • be left alone in the first 24 hours
  • consume alcohol in the first 24 hours, and thereafter should avoid alcohol until free of all concussion symptoms
  • drive a motor vehicle and should not return to driving until provided with medical or healthcare professional clearance


Once safely removed from play the player must not be returned to activity that day.



Concussion or more severe forms of brain injury are to be diagnosed by health care professionals within their scope of practice and expertise.


In all cases of suspected concussion it is recommended that the player be referred to a medical or healthcare professional for diagnosis and management advice, even if the symptoms resolve.



For adolescents with suspected concussion who have not been directly transferred for medical management, coaches must communicate their concerns directly with the parents or guardians.


Players, parents and guardians must disclose the nature of, and status of any active injuries to coaches and team staff.


REST AND RECOVER – REST IS THE CORNERSTONE OF CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT. The management of a concussion involves physical and brain rest until symptoms resolve as recommended by your health care provider.


In conjunction with your school and educational professionals and health care provider, recommendations will be made about whether it is appropriate to take time away from school, or whether returning to school should be done in a graded fashion, this is called “return to learn”. Your health care provider will also make recommendations about whether it is appropriate to take time away from work, or whether returning to work should be done in a graded fashion, this is called “return to work”.



In order for safe return to soccer following a concussion, the athlete must:

  • be symptom-free, for adolescents a further period of up to 10 days of asymptomatic rest may be recommended
  • be off treatments that may mask concussion symptoms (ie headache or sleep medication)
  • be cleared in writing by a qualified healthcare professional trained in evaluating and treating concussions
  • adults: have returned to normal education or work, and students: must have returned to school or full studies
  • have completed a graduated return to play protocol without recurrence of symptoms


If symptoms recur during the graduated return to play protocol, the player must be immediately removed from playing or training and be reassessed by their healthcare practitioner promptly.


A player with an unusual presentation or prolonged recovery or a history of multiple recurrent concussions, should be assessed and managed by a healthcare provider with experience in sports-related concussions working within a multidisciplinary team.



In some circumstances (such as Professional Clubs or National teams) there may be an enhanced level of medical care available which allows closer supervision of an adult player’s care (>18 years of age). In these instances, a shorter time frame for the graduated return to play may be possible, but only under strict supervision by the appropriate medical personnel as part of a structured concussion management program.







Please use the following tools on the following pages or easy reference:

  • Graduated Return To Play Protocol
  • Concussion Recognition Tool



Start Stage 1 ONLY if free of concussive symptoms, off medications for concussive symptoms, back to work and/or school, and cleared by a qualified healthcare profesional.  

Stages 1-4 take a minimum of 24 hours in adults, 48 hours in those aged 18 and under.


Exercise Allowed

% Max Heart Rate



Rest and Recover

- None

- “Rest the body, Rest the brain”

No training

Until symptoms clear

- Recovery

- Symptom free

Stage 1

Light Exercise

- Walking, light jogging, swimming, stationary cycling or equivalent

- No football, resistance training, weight lifting, jumping or hard running


<15 min

- Increase heart rate

Stage 2

Football Specific Excercise

- Simple movement activities ie: running drills

- Limit body and head movement

- NO head impact activities

- NO heading


<45 min

- Add movement

Stage 3

Non-Contact Training

- Progression to more complex training activities

- with increased intensity

- coordinatino and attention e.g. passing, change of direction, shooting, small-sided match

- May start resistance training

- NO head impact activities including NO heading

- goalkeeping activities should avoid diving and any risk of the head being hit by a ball


<60 min

- Excercise, coordination and skills/tactics

Stage 4

Full Contact Practice

- Normal training activities ie tackling, heading, diving saves



- Restore confidence and assess functional skills by coaching staff

Stage 5

Match Play

- Player Rehabilitated



- Return to match play

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