(These are specific to our region – AYSO National differs in some areas)
Revised: September 8, 2016 (Heading the ball added)
Just a few points for coaches, referees & parents to remember, especially for those who have experience in other divisions, as to how U8 differs from soccer’s standard Laws of the Game.
Referees should briefly explain any infringements to ALL the players and help players with instructions. They are the teachers on the field – and should encourage proper play and sporting behavior. Every effort should be made to keep the game moving and free from stoppages for doubtful infractions. Let them play and enjoy.
Referees must be registered AYSO volunteers (meaning completion of safe haven and eAYSO volunteer background check) & Certified with Basic Referee Training (see How to Become an SM AYSO Referee on the Referee section of our website.) Assistant Referees work each sideline and assist the Center Referee with calling the ball in and out of play. The home team should provide the 3 referees. If someone is absent, they can recruit an Assistant Referee from the visiting team. In a pinch, uncertified parents may serve as Assistant Referees. This is a great opportunity for parents to get involved.
Coaches shall utilize positive coaching skills (avoid constant coaching, no yelling at players), stay within the designated technical area (coach's box—no more than 8 yards on either side of the midfield line), show respectful attitude toward the referees and HAVE FUN!
Spectators from each team shall be on opposite sides of the field. The home team is the first team listed on the game schedule and sits on the West or North side of the field. The visiting team is the second team listed on the game schedule and is assigned the East or South side of the field. Spectators must stay between the “18-yard lines” (between the penalty areas). Spectators must also be 2 yards back from the touchline, maintaining an unobstructed and safe area for the Assistant Referee and players to run and perform throw-ins. A spectator must never sit or stand behind the goal or goal line. Coaches & assistant referees should encourage adherence to this policy. Spectators shall avoid coaching players (coaches coach, players play, parents cheer), avoid foul or abusive language or gestures toward any player, coach, referee or other spectators, abide by the Kids Zone guidelines (no smoking, no consumption of alcohol, no dogs, etc.), acknowledge and congratulate BOTH teams on a game well played, and HAVE FUN! Spectators should NEVER argue with the referee or assistant referees (even when the spectator is right! – remember, scores are not recorded in U8). Team Managers should help ensure proper sideline etiquette.
You have your field for your specified slot only. If you start late, or take a long half-time break, please make-up that time somehow so you still end on time as a courtesy to all the parents who have games after you. As the official timekeepers, this is the Referee’s responsibility. However, if the Referee feels s/he has too much going on to keep track of time, select someone to be the timekeeper.
Coin toss: The “Home team” makes the call; either “heads or tails” in the air. If the call is correct the home team decides what end they will defend. If the call is incorrect then the “Visiting team” decides what end they will defend. Losing the coin toss means you kick off first. Coaches should prepare their captains on which end to defend first.
Ball Size is size 3.
Game Cards: Game Cards are to be completed by each Coach and given to the Center Referee before the game. Absences, substitutions, goalkeeper playing time & goals are all noted by the Referee during the game. Again, the Referee can delegate this role to an Assistant if s/he needs assistance. The Referee signs the completed Game Cards and deposits them in the Game Card box, or as per the Division Commissioner’s instructions.
Field Set-Up is the responsibility of all the teams with the first game. Please arrive early to complete this task in time for the players to practice with the goals. Each field has 2 goals & nets, plus 6 flags – 4 on each of the corners, and 1 each at mid-field, about a yard away from the edge of the field (touchline). Stakes are used to secure the goals in the ground & net hooks keep the net taut. Additionally, the Game Card box and Kids Zone sign needs to placed in a visible location.
Field Take-Down is the responsibility of the teams with the last game on that field. Sometimes, one field may end earlier than another, so be sure to check if yours is the last game for that field. All field equipment needs to be returned to the storage room, along with the Game Card box and Kids Zone sign. Please ensure all stakes & net hooks are accounted for, so children do not find them afterwards. The correct number of stakes & hooks are noted on the toolbox in which they are stored. Any trash and/or recycling must be picked up and dealt with appropriately.
Thanks for your help and cooperation in making this an enjoyable experience for all the children!
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