SOCCER RULES Revised 9/2017

Soccer is the most popular game on the planet! It is one of the easiest for young children to learn, and promotes fitness and exercise as players are constantly running and moving. Below are the general rules of soccer. The table shows the variations for the rules for the different age groups offered.

Rule of play

3-4 & 5-6 year old

(or 5-7 year old div)

6-12 year old division

12-17 year old division

Referees used?

No

Yes

Yes

Coaches allowed on field?

Yes

Yes

No

End of game parent tunnel?

Yes

No

No

Approx field size?

20 yds x 40 yds

30 yds x 70 yds

30 yds x 70 yds

Game length?

Two 15-20 min halves

Two 25 min halves

Two 25 min halves**

Goal size?

6’ x 4’

12’ x 6’

12’ x 6

# of players on the field?

5v5 or 6v6

Ideally 7v7 or 8v8 but can be a joint coach's decision

Ideally 7v7 or 8v8 but can be a joint coach's decision

Score officially kept?

No

No

No

Goalies used?

No

Yes

Yes

Goalies can punt?

No goalies

Yes

Yes

Players can head ball?

No

No

Yes

Offsides?

No

No

No

Throw ins?

Not required, but can be used by players

Yes

Yes

Slide tackles?

No

No

No

Ball size?

3

4

5

*Note: in areas where a 5-7 year old division is used, refer to the 5-6 year old references.

**Puryear 11-13 yr old division will have two 30 minute halves due to the large team size Spring 2018.

Coaches:

The team's coach represents a positive role model, teacher, and mediator for the team. For the 3-4, 5-6, and 6-10 year olds, the coach may be on the field to help direct the children and guide them. Coaches should try to remain on the sidelines for the 10-17 year olds. Good coaching information for Club Sport Kids can be found on our Soccer Coaches Page.

Player Participation:

All coaches and parents are encouraged to maintain that all players share equal playing time. The purpose of the league is for fun and exercise, not winning. Substitutions can be made at any time.

Sportsmanship:

All coaches, parents, representatives, etc. share in the responsibility for the success of our league, and for maintaining our reputation as a home of good sportsmanship, character, and class.

NO PLAYER, COACH, PARENT, OR SPECTATOR MAY HARASS OR VERBALLY DISAGREE WITH A REFEREE.

Any coaches, parents, or players displaying unsportsmanlike conduct may be asked to leave the playing area for the duration of the game.

Coaches will be aware of the score at all times, even though it's not officially kept, and will actively refrain from running it up. Scores of 9-1 and 11-2 don't make our league stronger, instead they have the opposite effect. Coaches are expected to reposition stronger/advanced players when up by five goals or more.

Goal Keepers:

For Club Sport Kids younger leagues (played on the small goals), dedicated goalies is not allowed. This allows all players a chance to score. For the larger fields & goals goalies can be used - using their hands only in the goal box. For 6-12 year old ages, the opposing team should not PRESS the goalie when they have the ball. The goalie should be allowed to distribute the ball or make goal kicks/punts with a 10 yard buffer.

Fouls and Misconduct:

Since no referees are used, no fouls are called in the 3-6 age groups; but any player playing too aggressively or hitting/pushing/kicking other players should be pulled for a "breather" by the coach and/or parent. For older age groups, it is important that all coaches and players learn the rules of the game and associated tactics. We encourage you to work with your child on this outside of practice and games. Learning the rules will also help parents enjoy the games even more! Soccer, like all games, has a number of rules and buzzwords. Here are a few key terms to understand (they may or may not be called precisely as worded to ensure smooth play and encourage learning the game):

Throw-in - When the whole ball passes over a sideline, either on the ground or in the air, it shall be thrown in from the point where it crossed the line, in any direction, by a player of the team opposite to that of the player who last touched it. The thrower, at the moment of delivering the ball, must be facing the field of play, touching the ground with both feet (neither of which are in the field of play), and delivering the ball from behind and over the head using both hands. Throw-ins are not required for 3-4 or 5-6 year old divisions.

Offsides - Offsides can be taught in the upper age groups but is not called or enforced by the referees. Since it can be a hard concept to grasp, calling it every time would take away from the flow and enjoyment of the game, but teaching it may prepare players if they plan on moving on to more competitive leagues or clubs.

Free Kicks - Free kicks and penalties can be difficult to understand. It is essential that all players understand the referee's signal on free kicks. An indirect free kick is signaled by a raised hand, which remains raised until the kick is taken. Players can score directly from a corner kick, a penalty kick, a kick-off, or a direct free kick.

Handball - Handball is called in the instance of deliberate handling of the ball (carrying, propelling, or striking the ball) with the hands or arms.

Ball In and Out of Play - The ball is out of play when it has wholly crossed the goal-line or side-line, either on the ground or in the air, or when play has been stopped by the referee. When cones are used as lines, this is obviously an approximate call. The ball is in play at all times, except as listed above, including if it rebounds off of a goalpost, corner flag, referee, or coach, on all throw-ins, goal kicks, corner kicks, or free kicks, when the action is taken.

Goal Kick - When the whole ball passes over the goal line (not in the goal), either in the air or on the ground, having last been touched by a  member of the attacking team, it shall be kicked into play by the defending team inside the goal area.

Corner Kick - When the whole ball passes over the goal line (not in the goal), either in the air or on the ground, having last been touched by a member of the defending team, it shall be kicked into play by the attacking team in the corner nearest to where the ball left the field of play. All defending players must be at least 5 yards away from the ball. There are no corner kicks at U6.

Second Touch - A player putting the ball into play cannot touch the ball again until it has been touched or played by another player - including the GOALIE; violation will result in a free kick for the opposing team.

If you would like more information on the soccer laws, visit www.fifa.com, where all 17 laws are described in detail.

Headers - US Youth Soccer recommends young players not to intentionally head the ball. Therefore in Club Sport Kids leagues heading is only allowed in the 12 years and up divisions. Infractions will result in free kick for the opposing team.