The Overtime Rules for High School Soccer

By Clyde Hughes

High school soccer is popular sport played by student-athletes from around the country. Overtime in these soccer matches can prove dramatic. Some of the overtime rules for a high school soccer match differ from the rules in regulation, resulting in one team winning and advancing in tournament play. Players who have been disqualified for the game or during the game cannot take part in the overtime sessions.

Extra Periods

If two teams are tied at the end of regulation, high school rules provide for two overtime periods to be played to break the tie. These rules are slightly different from state to state. For example, Indiana and Texas follow similar rules to the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), where the teams play out the two overtime periods. In Indiana, the teams play two seven-minute periods, and in Texas they play two 10-minute periods. That means if one team scores a goal, its opponent can attempt to tie the game again before the end of the two overtime periods. In states like Ohio and Colorado, they play what is called “sudden victory” periods. That means if one team scores a goal in the overtime period, the contest is over regardless of time remaining. Both Ohio and Colorado allow teams to play two 15-minute periods. There is a two-minute interval between periods.

Penalty Kicks

If the score remains tied after the two overtime periods, teams will settle the game by penalty kicks, or what is sometimes referred to as a “shootout.” This rule is consistent throughout the high school ranks. Each coach will select five players from his team to take the penalty kicks. The coaches will have the choice of goalkeeper as well. The head referee determines which goal the penalty kicks will be taken from and each team will take the penalty kicks in alternate fashion until all five players have kicked. The player gets one kicking attempt and cannot kick a ball again if the goalie blocks it or it hits the crossbar back into the field of play. Where a team has taken fewer than five kicks and has already scored a greater number of goals than their opponent can score if the opponent is permitted to take all five of its kicks, the tie-breaker procedure is terminated and the winner is declared. For example, if Team A scores on its first three penalty kicks and Team B misses its first three kicks, Team A is declared the winner and the last two kicks are terminated.

Sudden Victory

If both teams make an equal number of penalty kicks after the initial penalty kicks, the coaches will be asked to select five more players to continue penalty kicks. These players must not have been a part of the first penalty kick group. The rules change to a “sudden victory” format, meaning if one team makes a penalty kick and the alternating player does not make it, the contest is over. For example, if the first kicker from Team A makes his penalty kick and first kicker from Team B misses, Team A is awarded the victory and the other kicks are terminated. Also, if the first kicker on Team A misses and the first kicker Team B makes his penalty kick, Team B is awarded the victory. Once the contest is decided, the winning team is awarded one point.

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