Rules

These rules are intended to simplify the game in a way that is readily intelligible to young children. In general, supervising adults should allow children to play freely with minimal interference. Use common sense to handle problematic situations not explicitly covered by the rules.

1. The ball: a standard #3 size soccer ball.

2. [Under 6] Number of Players

Maximum of three players on the field at one time (3 vs. 3).

There are no goalkeepers. All players are “field players.” Positioning players in a solely defensive position (e.g. stationed in front of the goal) is not permitted.

Substitutions allowed at any time during the games (i.e. “on the fly” without a stoppage of play).

All children who are present should have equal playing time. Coaches and not Game Monitors are responsible for ensuring equal playing time.

 [Under 7 & Under 8] Number of Players

Maximum of five players on the field at one time (5 vs. 5).

One of the five players is the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper must wear a jersey which is distinctive from both teams. If no player on a team wears a distinctive goalkeeper jersey, then no player on that team may use his or her hands.

Substitutions are allowed at any stoppage of play, with the permission of the Game Monitor.

All children who are present should have equal playing time. Coaches and not Game Monitors are responsible for ensuring equal playing time.

3. Officiating

Knowledgeable parents, older siblings, coaches, assistant coaches or referees assigned by the Club may serve as Game Monitors.

[Under 6] Each team provides a Game Monitor for each game. The two Game Monitors share responsibility and must be the only non-players on the field.

[Under 7 & Under 8] The Home team provides the Game Monitor for the first 20 minute game with the Visiting team providing the Game Monitor for the second game. Coaches may agree to a different arrangement. If the Club assigns a referee, s/he will work both games.

Game Monitors briefly explain rule infractions to offending player.

Game Monitors intervene as little as possible, allowing games to flow.

[Under 6] No whistles shall be used.

4. [Under 6] Duration of the Game

Games between two squads are 10 minutes each. The clock shall not be stopped for any reason.

5 minute break between games.

[Under 7 & Under 8] Duration of the Game

At the scheduled Saturday game time, the teams play two (2) consecutive 20 minute games, for a total of 40 minutes of soccer. The clock shall not be stopped for any reason, except when the game is significantly delayed due to injury.

At the end of 10 minutes of play, a one minute “goalkeeper change timeout” is called. See Rule 9, below. Play for the second 10 minute half is resumed with a kick off from the center circle.

5 minute break between games.

Teams switch ends between games.

Teams alternate the four kick offs that start each of the four halves.

5. Start and Restart of Play

At the beginning of the game, the Game Monitor tosses a coin to determine which team kicks off.The visiting team calls the flip. The other team chooses its half of the field.

[Under 6] On all “free kicks” (e.g. kick-offs, kick-ins, corner kicks, goal kicks, and indirect kicks), defending players must be at least three (3) yards from the ball. This is referred to below as the Free Kick Distance.

[Under 7 & Under 8] On all “free kicks” (e.g. kick-offs, corner kicks, goal kicks, and indirect kicks), defending players must be at least five (5) yards from the ball. This is referred to below as the Free Kick Distance.

The ball is kicked off from the exact center of the field. All players must be in their own half of the field. Defending players must be at the Free Kick Distance (see 5b) from the ball when it is kicked. On a kick-off the ball must travel forwards. The player who kicks off may not touch the ball again until another player (from either team) has touched it.

Play is considered to stop when the ball crosses completely over the goal line or touch (side) line. If any part of the ball is on the field or is touching the goal line or side line, then the ball is still in play.

[Under 6] If the ball is out of play over the touch line, the team that last touched the ball loses possession. The other team puts the ball back into play with a kick-in (not a throw-in), which is classified as an indirect kick (i.e. a goal cannot be scored directly off a kick-in – it must first touch another player). The ball is placed on the touch line where it went out. The opposing team must be at least 3 yards from the ball when it is kicked in.

[Under 7 & Under 8] If the ball is out of play over the touch line, the team that last touched the ball loses possession. The other team puts the ball back into play with a throw-in (not a kick-in, as in Under 6). Any player may take the throw-in. Attributes of a legal throw-in are:

Both feet on or behind the touch line,

Both hands on the ball with equal pressure,

Ball thrown from behind and over the head,

When the ball is released, both of the thrower’s feet must be in contact with the ground.

If the ball is out of play over the goal line, the team that last touched the ball loses possession.

If the attacking team gains possession, it puts the ball into play with a corner kick. Opponents must be at least the Free Kick Distance (see 5b) away when the ball is kicked.

If the defending team gains possession, it puts the ball into play with a goal kick. For Under 6, this kick may be taken from either goal-kick spot. For Under 7 & Under 8, this kick may be taken from anywhere within the 6 yard Goal Area, including the Goal Area line. Opponents must be at least least the Free Kick Distance (see 5b) away when the ball is kicked.

When the ball is out of play because a goal was scored, the team that defended re-starts the game with a kick-off from the center of the field (see 5c).

If the Game Monitor halts play due to injury, dog on the field, or other event not covered by these rules, the game is restarted via a Drop Ball.

The player who performs the free kick or throw-in may not touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player.

If a restart is performed incorrectly, the Game Monitor will halt play, explain the error, and allow the player to retake the throw or kick.

6. Method of Scoring

When the attacking team kicks the ball completely across the goal line and between the goal posts, it scores a goal.

No official score is kept.

7. Fouls and Misconduct

Fouls are as follows:

TRIPPING (trips an opponent without first making contact with the ball)

VIOLENT PLAY (striking, kicking, pushing, abusive language)

HAND BALL (player uses hands or arms in a deliberate attempt to control the ball; includes a goalkeeper handling the ball outside of the goal area)

POOR SPORTSMANSHIP (including disruptive behavior, failure to retreat at least the Free Kick Distance from a free kick, excessive gloating after a goal, etc.)

SLIDE TACKLING (ASC does not permit slide tackling at this age level).

GOALKEEPER CONTACT [Under 7 & Under 8] (Any avoidable contact between an attacking player and the goalkeeper is a foul against the attacking player).

If a foul is committed, the Game Monitor or Coach will briefly explain the infraction to the responsible player.

A foul results in an indirect free kick for the team against which it was committed. A goal may not be scored on an indirect free kick until the ball has been touched by another player of either team. Opponents must be at least the Free Kick Distance (see 5b) from the ball when a free kick is taken. If the foul occurred within the Free Kick Distance (3 or 5 yards) of the offending player’s goal, the indirect free kick is taken from that distance (3 yards for Under 6; 5 yards for Under 7 & Under 8) from the goal.

If a foul is particularly violent or if a player repeatedly fouls, then the Game Monitor may require that the player be substituted out. The player may re-enter the game at the next substitution opportunity, although the Coach is strongly encouraged to counsel the player on acceptable behavior before the player is permitted to play again.

8. One-Sided Games

If one team draws ahead by three goals or more, the team’s coach should use methods to reduce his/her team’s scoring. This may include resting his/her most effective players and/or instructing certain players to remain in the defensive half.

If one team draws ahead by four goals, they will play with one less player on the field (i.e. two (2) players for Under 6; four (4) players for Under 7 & Under 8). When the goal differential is reduced to three or less, the team may again use their full complement of field players.

If one team draws ahead by five or more goals, they will play with two less players on the field (i.e. one (1) player for Under 6; three (3) players for Under 7 & Under 8). When the goal differential is reduced to four, the team may add a player, playing only one man down.

[Under 7 & Under 8] This process continues until the team that leads by six or more goals is reduced to two (2) players.

9. [Under 7 & Under 8] Goalkeepers

The goalkeeper may handle the ball only when it is within the marked 6 yard line (the “Goal Area”).

The goalkeeper may throw, punt, kick or dribble a ball after it has been picked up.

A player may play as goalkeeper for no more than 10 minutes total in the 40 minutes of soccer played each Saturday. Each team must employ at least 4 different goalkeepers each week.

A brief (1 minute) “goalkeeper change timeout” will be called in the middle of each 20 minute game for the sole purpose of changing goalkeepers. Play should be stopped at the 10 minute mark of each game for this purpose. A sideline timekeeper should be used to call the timeout.

A coach or assistant is permitted to be stationed behind the goal to offer coaching advice to the goalkeeper.

10. Coach and Parent Behavior

The Coach may offer technical advice to his/her players in a positive manner.

Parents and other spectators are encouraged to cheer in a positive manner.

The coach is responsible for the behavior of his/her players’ parents and spectators.

No coach, parent, or other spectator is permitted to berate any player or to use foul or offensive language. If this does happen, the Game Monitor should stop play and request that the Coach control their spectators. If the offensive behavior does not cease, the Game Monitor should abandon the match and report the incident to the appropriate Age Group Coordinator and the Disciplinary Committee of the Alameda Soccer Club.