These rules apply as soon as the center referee shows up. If the center referee is 5 minutes late, do not take the word of one team that the other team wasn’t ready at game time and therefore they are claiming their forfeit rights. Play the game and the offended team can file a protest.
If both teams are not dressed, with seven players checked in, at game time, the teams have the following options. Please note that the options are the teams, not yours. You cannot tell the teams they must play if a team exercises their option to take a forfeit. You still get paid whether they play or not.
They can play the game shortened by the amount of time past game time that it takes them to get ready or they can agree that the game is forfeit. If they agree to have the game shortened, the reduced time should be allocated equally to the two halves and the teams advised before the start of the game as to the amount of time by which the game is shortened. The referee should note this in the game report submitted to the League.
If one team is ready and the other team is not ready, the team who is ready has the option to play the game, less the time it takes their opponent to get ready, or take a forfeit. If the team who is ready to play opts to play, the game should be shortened by the same amount in each half and the teams so advised prior to the game starting. The referee should note this in the game report submitted to the league.
With each scenario, it is up to the teams as to exactly how much soccer time they get at each game. If they can’t get their act together at game time, that shouldn’t result in the following game starting late. Your game report should reflect a late starting time if that is what happens.
Therefore, you should be at your games 30 minutes before the game. At that point, you can begin the process of getting players passcards, the roster, and equipment checks made in order to begin on time.