Under the rules for “Unsporting Behavior”, are there any restrictions on what players may/may not say?
For example, is it a foul to say “mine” or “let go” to signal to a team mate that he should leave the ball for me?
I read under “Unsporting Behavior” that one cannot say things to distract an opponent – are these considered fouls then?
USSF answer (July 7, 2008):
No, this would not be a foul, but it might possibly be misconduct. A foul is an unfair or unsafe action committed (1) by a player (2) against an opponent or the opposing team, (3) on the field of play, (4) while the ball is in play. Deliberate handling of the ball is committed against the opposing team, not against a particular opponent. If any of these requirements is not met, the action is not a foul; however, the action can still be misconduct. Unsporting behavior is one form of misconduct.
A defending player is generally allowed to call to his or her teammates that he or she will play the ball. However, if the defending player calls to distract an opponent, rather than to give information to a teammate, that is unsporting behavior. On the other hand, the team with the ball is allowed to use “false” calls to deceive their opponents.