Rules for the 2012 Season

In an ongoing effort to improve the profile of the club on and off the field, the Whitecaps have compiled a list of rules that will govern their actions over the course of the season.  These rules were developed as a way to avoid some of the more critical mistakes from last season as they move into Round 2.  While any inaugural season is sure to have its share of bumps along the way, the Whitecaps have decided to learn from past incidents and try to rectify them....hopefully so they can allow for as much time as possible to make new and equally funny mistakes!  Below is a list of the key rules that will serve as the Whitecaps’ guide for 2012 and beyond. 

1. The Hassli Rule: During the run of play there is never a good time to remove your jersey.

  • This includes, but is not limited to, the following: celebrating a goal, celebrating a teammate’s goal, celebrating a goal kick, feeling too hot, feeling too cold, feeling overcome by happiness, feeling Chiumiento’s hair, getting subbed off, getting subbed on, and getting a haircut (even if your collar gets itchy).   
  • This rule is not voided by wearing multiple jerseys under the original (yes Eric Hassli, we are talking to you)
  • Acceptable alternatives: high fives, chest bumps, choreographed goal celebrations (which do not involve the removal of jerseys)
  • The above applies to shorts, socks, and all other pieces of clothing.  Except boots.  If you can put on several pairs of boots, remove them to your heart’s content.  In fact, this would be fun to watch.  Can someone try this celebration?  Someone who scores lots of goals but is also known for his erratic behaviour.  Eric, we are looking in your direction…


 2. The Soehn Rule: The number of head coaches in a season should not exceed the number of road wins in a season.

  • This rule is especially applicable when road wins are as rare as TFC playoff appearances.
  • Under the Teitur Thordarson Clause, a coach must be given the opportunity to shepherd his/her team to the next level if promoted to a new division regardless of whether he/she is given the players to succeed by a bumbling Director of Soccer Operations.
  • Once the second road win of the season is achieved, the Martin Rennie Threshold becomes activated, effectively capping the maximum number of coaches per season at 2. 


3. The Brovsky-Harvey Rule: Players brought in to play a certain position should be used in that position.

  • The Brovsky-Harvey Rule was borne out of the need to eliminate the inexplicable decisions of a certain Whitecaps coach last season, whose name shall remain private for his own protection.  For ease of reference, he will be henceforth referred to as “Tommy S.”.  No, that is too obvious.  He shall be called “T. Soehn”. 
  • The Brovsky-Harvey Rule is to be used when a coach lacks enough depth on his bench to replace a player with one who plays in the same position as a result of a lack of foresight by those in charge of building the team.  Applications of this rule are expected to be printed and filed in the folder titled “mistakes made by T. Soehn”.  (Note: Once the folder becomes full, please file with the others in the seventh-floor “T. Soehn Mistakes Archive Library”.)
  • Although some degree of flexibility is allowed, this rule exists to prevent players with little defensive awareness from playing as a defender, and vice versa. 
  • This rule prevents future poor decisions from occurring, such as selecting Atiba Harris to play as a goalkeeper simply because he is tall. 


4. The Cannon Rule: Preferential treatment should be given to players with names that fit easier into chants or sayings, or are at least funny to pronounce.

  • The spirit of this rule should be considered when making any player personnel decisions, including: the starting lineup, the first subs off the bench, and mid-season acquisitions
  • The Cannon Rule was named after current ‘Caps goalkeeper Joe Cannon, who bested fan favourite Jay Nolly for the starting job last season once the fans began to amusingly yell “BOOOOM” during all of Cannon’s kicks. 
  • Under the Success Addendum, tactical decisions are also given consideration when making personnel decisions
  • To rectify a clear violation of the Cannon Rule, Peter Vagenas must be re-acquired immediately if he becomes available.
  • Any other players with sexually suggestive names will also be accepted. 


5. The Teibert Rule: Players should always prioritize their health above being fashionable.

  • In response to Russell Teibert’s toe injury from last season, the club has instituted a policy that expects all fashion related decisions to be vetted by a "Safe Fashion" consultant.  Had the consultant been hired last year, Teibert would have worn socks under his sandals while riding his bike and avoided the nasty gash on his toe that ended his season.  Because fashion trumped function, Teibert was forced to walk on crutches while his teammates mocked him mercilessly for his silliness.
  • Some preliminary guidelines of things to do and not do have been developed by the consultant that must be adhered to for the remainder of the season.


  1. Wear white tube socks under black suits to make sure you are more visible to traffic at night
  2. Wear snug-fitting hipster jeans as the tightness keeps muscles in the lower extremities warm, thereby preventing fatigue.  Ignore the head nods of approval from the ironically dressed gents on Main Street with the moustaches and plaid shirts.   


  1. Wear those short flood pants that appear to be in vogue these days.  The shortness of these pants may expose the ankles to the cold weather, thereby increasing the risk of injury. 
  2. Let your underwear lines show beneath your pants.  There is no safety angle here. Just don’t do it.  Nobody needs to see that.


6. The Camilo Rule: Players will not be allowed to switch the name on the back of their jersey in the middle of a season.

  • For marketing purposes, it is in the best interests of the club to be able to use posters and commercials more than once before having to Photoshop the names on the back of jerseys. 
  • The Camilo Rule will also allow for better record keeping, as statisticians will not split the numbers that belong to one player between that player’s two names (i.e. Camilo’s goals being also credited to “Sanvezzo”, his last name).
  • The Hassli Exception may be applied if Eric Hassli’s yellow and red cards can be credited to someone else, as we all know that goals are not the only thing he will be racking up. 


7. The MacEwan Rule: Colour commentators on all Whitecaps broadcasts shall be selected for their informed opinion, insight, and on-air charisma. 

  • Preferably, they should have more than one catch-phrase for when a goal is scored
  • English accents are not required.  Working knowledge of the game of soccer is.
  • Basically, anyone else aside from Craig MacEwan would work.  Seriously.  Anyone will do.  


*Photo courtesy of MLS Soccer

About Rajan Dhariwal

Rajan has played, coached, and followed soccer on the West Coast his entire life. Blessed with the luxury of two historically dominant soccer playing nations in his background, he has been lucky enough to witness the dizzying heights of both the Canadian and Indian national teams. Needless to say, he gets his fix for winning teams through his support of Arsenal and the Whitecaps. Follow @pacificblvd

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