GREATER BERRIEN SPRINGS RECREATION DEPARTMENT

 SOCCER RULES (4-10 YEAR OLDS)

1)  All games will begin at 6:00 P.M. (with the exception of picture day).  Please have players at the fields by 5:50.

2)  Each game will consist of four 8-minute quarters for the 4-5 and 6-7 age division.  The 8-10 age division will play four 10-minute quarters.

3)  Teams are required to substitute halfway through and at the end of each quarter.  The referee will blow the whistle to stop the clock for substitutions.  Coaches should make sure all players have to opportunity to play various positions throughout the season.

4)  There will be a running clock at all times except for substitutions and injuries.  There may be other situations in which the referee may choose to stop the clock (ex.  Ball kicked a long distance out of bounds, discussion with parent and/or coach).

5)  Teams will be allowed to rest for 2 minutes between quarters.

6)  A ball may be played forward or backwards on the kickoff.

7)  Goals can be scored from anywhere on the field, and can be scored directly from a goal kick, a kick-off, a throw-in, a throw by the goalie, or a free kick.

8)  Most free kicks will be indirect free kicks resulting from handballs or minor penalties.  All players must be at least 5 yards from the spot of the kick.  Any intentional or flagrant foul could result in the removal of the player from the game.  If this behavior continues, there is the possibility of expulsion from the league.  This will be stressed in all age groups.  Penalties such as tripping, pushing, etc., will be called at the referee’s discretion.  

9)  There are no penalty shots.

10)  All teams must have one player that remains on the defensive side of the field in addition to the goalie.  If a defensive player crosses the line, the referee will blow the whistle and play will stop.  The team whose defensive player crossed the line will turn the ball over to the opposing team.  That team will put the ball in play by means of a throw-in at the mid-field line.

11)  The goalie is the only player that may handle the ball in the field of play, but only in the goal box.  The goal box in the smaller age divisions is up to the first line of defense.  The goalie may play the ball outside of the goal box or first line, but it must be without hands.

12)  A proper throw-in will be stressed.  The ball must go directly over the head with both hands on the ball.  Both feet must be on the ground.  The feet may drag, but they must remain on the ground.

13)  Corner kicks must be taken from the proper designated areas on the field (all corners), and are taken when defending players kick the ball out of play across the defending goal line.  All opponents must be at least 5 yards from the corner until the ball is kicked.  The player taking the corner kick may not play the ball a second time until another player has made contact with the ball.  If this occurs, a free kick is awarded to the opponents from the place where the second kick occurred.  Goals can be scored directly from corner kicks.

14) Goal kicks must be taken from the rectangular goal area, 2 yards out from the goal line, and are taken when the offensive team kicks the ball out of play across the defenders goal line.  Only one player, the goalie, is allowed within the goal box when the kick is taken.  The goalie must take the kick (with the exception of the 4/5 age group in which a smaller player may not be able to kick the ball beyond the goal line).  The goal kick must be played beyond the goal line.  The goalie cannot play the ball a second time until another player has made contact with the ball.  If the goalie’s kick doesn’t make it outside the goal box, it must be retaken.

15)  Ball size:  4-5 division (size 3), 6/7 division (size 4), and 8-9 division (size 4 or 5). 

16)  Shin guards are highly recommended, but not required.

17)  Soccer shoes, turf shoes, or tennis shoes must be worn.  No metal cleats will be permitted.

18)  Offsides:  There is not a specific penalty for offsides.  However, coaches are expected to instruct players not to “cherry-pick.”  The referee may use his/her discretion and address this with the players and coaches if necessary.  The first infraction will result in a warning and a stoppage of play.  The offensive team will keep the ball.  Any additional infraction will result in a turnover.

19)  Safety is a priority for our players.  We expect referees AND coaches to instruct players to not participate in slide-tackling.  It is also expected that referees AND coaches will instruct players to not attempt to make a play on the ball when lying on the ground.  If there is a situation involving a player/s lying on the ground, the referee will use his/her discretion about stopping play and resuming with an indirect free kick.

The GBSRD will attempt to have a referee for all scheduled games.  In the event that this doesn’t happen, coaches will be asked to keep time and to act as referees.  Any problems with referees should be reported to Jess Swackhamer (269-277-4091, jswackhamer@vaes.org).

 REMEMBER:  The two major objectives of our soccer program are to have fun and to display good sportsmanship.  Always encourage both teams to play hard, play fair, and to demonstrate good sportsmanship and a positive attitude at all times.  It is highly recommended to have players exchange handshakes with the opposing team after the game.  

If coaches are planning on adjusting any rules to the above-mentioned, they must be discussed with the referee before the game begins.  All coaches and the referee must agree to the rule modification.  If all parties do not agree, the above-mentioned rules will be enforced.

Rule Modifications:

4-5 age division:  This group will play 4v4.  There must be one goalie and one defensive player that stays behind the mid-field line at all times.  They will play four 8-minute quarters.

6/7 age division:  This group will play 4v4.  There must be one goalie and one defensive player that stays behind the mid-field line at all times.  They will play four 8-minute quarters.

8-10 age division: This group will play 5v5.  There must be one goalie and one defensive player that stays behind the mid-field line at all times.  They will play four 10-minute quarters.