Laws of the Game
Games Running Behind Schedule
These Regional Guidelines have
been adopted by Region 109 of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO),
which serves players primarily in Menlo Park and Atherton, California to
define its organization and operation. Region 109 recognizes and adopts the
Standard Regional Guidelines published by the National AYSO (available on the
National AYSO website)(“National
Guidelines”), which apply to all regions. These Regional Guidelines are
intended to define the specific application of the National Guidelines in
Region 109. For the sake of brevity, all of the National Guidelines are not
repeated in this website but may be accessed by the link above.
The Regional Guidelines are
available on www.mpsoccer.org so that they can be reviewed and referenced by
all members of Region 109 and the public. They will be reviewed, modified (if
necessary) and adopted annually prior to the fall soccer season.
The Region 109 Board of
Directors (“Board”) understands that there are varying philosophies on the
appropriate guidelines for coaching young soccer players and administering a
soccer league. These Regional
Guidelines are based on the National Guidelines, the U.S. Soccer Federation’s
Best Practices For Coaching Soccer in the United States (2006) and the
collective efforts of the Board, Region 109 families and the public. The Board welcomes comments and
involvement by Region 109 families to improve these Regional Guidelines in
future soccer seasons.
Scope and Enforcement of Regional Guidelines
These Regional Guidelines are mandatory
on all players, coaches, referees, other volunteers and families in Region
109 (“Region 109 Members”), unless noted otherwise. To be clear, while termed “Regional Guidelines,” these are in
fact rules to be followed that shall not be disregarded or altered, either on
their face or by agreement, by, between or among Region 109 Members. Failure to follow these Regional
Guidelines may result in, among other things, removal of the Region 109
Member(s) from the Region 109 league, at the discretion of the Board.
Should any violation(s) of these
Regional Guidelines occur, Region 109 Members should:
(1) politely identify the violation to the referee, coach or
other appropriate Region 109 Member, preferably by reference to the written
Regional Guideline and to this section;
(2) despite item (1), should the Regional Guidelines not be
followed, any Region 109 Member may contact the Regional Coach Administrator
(firstname.lastname@example.org) to explain the
(3) the Regional Coach Administrator shall contact all Region 109
Members involved in the violation and determine if a violation has in fact
(4) if a violation is determined to have occurred, the Regional
Coach Administrator shall make a recommendation to the Board on the
appropriate action to be taken by the Board for violation of the Regional
Guideline, such action including possible removal of the Region 109 Member
from the Region 109 league.
The mission of National AYSO and Region
109 is to develop and deliver quality youth soccer programs that
promote a fun, family environment. These are the national AYSO six
– Our program's goal is for kids to play soccer so we mandate that
every player on every team must play at least 50% of every game. It’s
no fun to spend the game on the bench…and that’s no way to learn
soccer! (Note that in Region 109 we take this principle a step
farther by requiring a minimum three quarters of play when both teams are from Region 109.)
Teams – Each
year we form new teams as evenly balanced as possible, because it is fair and
more fun when teams of equal ability play. Teams are formed in accordance
with the Region 109 Policies and Procedures for Building Teams.
Our program is open to all children between 4½ and 18 years of age who want
to register and play soccer. Interest and enthusiasm are the only criteria
Coaching – Kids
win when they are built up, not when they are torn down. We train and
encourage our coaches to make the extra effort to understand and offer
positive help to our players, rather than negative criticism.
We strive to create a positive environment based on mutual respect, rather
than a win-at-all-costs attitude, and our program is designed to instill good
sportsmanship in every facet of AYSO.
Region 109 also stresses the
Volunteers – We are keenly aware that AYSO
relies on the efforts of volunteers. Therefore, we encourage parents of
players and other interested people to volunteer to perform one of the many
functions required to provide our program to youth soccer players. We offer a
wide variety of jobs, which differ in required time, talent, and experience,
in order to accommodate as many volunteers as possible. When necessary, we
provide training and equipment to volunteers. We value, support, and
recognize our volunteers, so that they will find their experience enjoyable
and rewarding and will want to continue to volunteer.
Zone – Region
109 operates in accordance with the AYSO Kids Zone program, which governs
conduct of players and parents on the field. As part of the player
registration process, all parents are required to review the Kids Zone
materials and sign the Kids Zone pledge. All people who abide by the tenets
of the Kids Zone program are welcome to attend soccer games in Region 109.
Those who do not are not welcome and may be asked to leave the field.
and Codes of Conduct
AYSO has always encouraged good
sportsmanship in its program, but now we’re doing something more about it.
First of all, we added “Good Sportsmanship” to our philosophy statement in
our National Bylaws. Secondly, AYSO strongly recommends that its individual
regions promote good sportsmanship through dynamic programs.
AYSO believes that when players,
volunteers and parents understand what is expected of them with regard to
good sportsmanship, those individuals will act to meet that expectation. AYSO understands that good sportsmanship
doesn’t just happen. It needs to be taught, encouraged, and demonstrated. To
that end, here are the AYSO codes of conduct.
- Enthusiastically support
and practice “Everyone Plays,” Kids Zone, and Positive Coaching
philosophies of AYSO.
- Get to know players and
call them by their preferred name
- Be reasonable in your
demands on the young players’ time, energy, enthusiasm and their
performance on the soccer field.
- Impress on your players
that they must abide by the rules of the game at all times.
- Develop team respect for
the ability of opponents and for the judgment of the referees and
- Ensure that your players’
soccer experience is one of fun and enjoyment (winning is only part of
it). Players should never be yelled at or ridiculed for making mistakes
or losing a game.
- Set a good example and be
generous with your praise when it is deserved. Children need a coach
they can respect.
- Keep informed about sound
principles of coaching and child growth and development principles.
- Enlist the support of your
team’s parents in your efforts to instill the proper attitudes and
values in the players.
- Check equipment and
facilities that you use. They should meet safety standards and be
appropriate for the age and ability of your players.
- Follow the advice of
physicians when determining when an injured child is ready to play
Actively instruct and practice
good sportsmanship in relation to the referee, the opposing team, and
teammates. In particular, do not publicly criticize them.
- Always remember the game is
for the players. Player safety and fair play comes first.
- Study and learn the laws of
the game and understand the “spirit” of the laws. Help fellow referees
do the same.
- Encourage and enforce the
AYSO philosophies of Balanced Teams, Everyone Plays, Kids Zone, Positive
Coaching, and Good Sportsmanship.
- Respect other referees and
their decisions and do not publicly criticize another official.
- Wear the proper uniform and
keep it in good condition.
- Maintain good physical
condition so you can keep up with the action.
- Stay calm when confronted
with emotional reactions from players, coaches and parents.
- Honor accepted game
assignments. In an emergency, find a replacement.
- Support good sportsmanship
with a kind word to players, coaches and parents of both teams when
- Always be fair and
impartial avoiding conflicts of interest. Decisions based on personal
bias are dishonest and unacceptable.
- Do not force an unwilling
child to participate in sports.
- Remember children are
involved in organized sports for their enjoyment, not yours.
- Teach your child always to
play by the rules.
- Teach your child that hard
work and an honest effort are often more important than a victory.
- Help your child work toward
skill improvement and good sportsmanship in every game. Your child will
then be a winner, even in defeat.
- Do not ridicule or yell at
your child for making a mistake or for losing a game.
- Set a good example.
Children learn best by example.
- Applaud good plays by your
team and by members of the opposing team.
- Do not publicly question
referee judgment and never their honesty.
- Recognize the value and
importance of volunteer coaches, referees and officials and give them
their due respect. Without them there would be no AYSO soccer.
- Support all efforts to
remove verbal and physical abuse from youth sporting activities.
- Support the Kids Zone
- Play for the fun of it, not
just to please your parents or coaches.
- Play by the rules.
- Never argue with or
complain about the referee calls or decisions.
- Control your temper and
most of all, resist the temptation to retaliate when you feel you have
- Concentrate on playing
soccer and on affecting the outcome of the game with your best effort.
Work equally hard for your team as for yourself.
- Be a good sport by cheering
all the good plays, whether it is your team’s or your opponent’s.
- Treat all players, as you
would like to be treated.
- Remember that the goals of
the game are to have fun, improve skills and feel good. Don’t be a
showoff or ball hog.
- Cooperate with your
coaches, teammates, opponents and the referees.
- Support the Kids Zone
General Regional Guidelines
Set forth below for the benefit
of players, coaches, referees and parents are Regional Guidelines that govern
play during the current season.
A. Three-Quarter Guideline:
In Region 109, each player plays at least three quarters of a game and
no player shall play four quarters until all players have played three
quarters. Exceptions to this guideline are only allowed for matches where the opponent is not from Region 109.
B. Positive Coaching Guideline: Coaches and Spectators
should, under no circumstance, engage in public and/or demeaning criticism of
their own or opposing players, the referees or other coaches during games.
For more information about Positive Coaching, please refer to the book by Jim
Thompson, Positive Coaching (1995 ed.; Portola Valley: Warde Publishers).
One of the basic Laws of the
Game of soccer is that dissent from the referee’s decisions is not allowed.
Soccer is unlike baseball, basketball or other professional sports we are
familiar with: the image of an angry coach or manager yelling at the umpire
from a distance of two inches simply has no place in this sport. Players who directly show dissent towards
a referee's decision can be subject to a Caution (Yellow Card). Repeated
dissent after a Yellow Card has been shown is cause for Sending Off (Red
Coaches are responsible (and will
be held accountable) for their own conduct, as well as the conduct of
Coaching Assistants, Players, and Spectators. If one or more Spectators
persist in open and loud criticism of the Referee’s decisions, the Referee
should warn the Coach that such behavior is unacceptable. In extreme cases,
the Coach may be dismissed from the field for persistent abusive conduct
towards the Referee on the part of himself or any Spectators for whom he is
responsible. From Law 5, (d) (Referee has discretionary power)... “to suspend
or terminate the game whenever, by reason of the elements, interference by
Spectators, or other cause.”
C. Registration Forms Guideline: Coaches must have registration forms with original signatures
for all of their players in their possession during all practices and games.
Referees are NOT expected to ask to be shown the registration forms (which
also serve as medical release forms). It is the coach's responsibility that
matches not begin unless registration forms are physically present.
D. Off The Field Guideline:
Spectators and coaches are not allowed on the playing field during the
course of the game except with the explicit permission of the Referee.
E. Ten Yards From Center Line Guideline: Coaches must stay, at all times during
games, within ten yards of either side of the half-line. The Coaches of the
home team (the team that is listed first on the game schedule) choose the
touch line from where to coach, if they arrive at least 20 minutes prior to
the official starting time of the match. The other team’s Coaches, and the
visiting team’s Spectators, take positions behind the opposite touch line,
unless there is consensus among Coaches and Referees that one touch line may
be shared by both teams Coaches and Spectators. Spectators must stay at least
6 feet from either touch line.
F. Line-up Card Guideline:
Lineup cards must be given to the Referee before the start of the
game, filled out with team name, Coaches names, and names and numbers of all
players present. It will be the Referee’s responsibility to note on the card,
which players are out for which quarters and who scored, in addition to
assessments of conduct on the field by players, coaches and spectators.
G. Substitution Guideline:
Coaches will be expected to instruct their Substitute Players to
report to the Referee at the quarter breaks and report to her/him which
Player she/he is replacing. Referees will dispose of completed lineup cards
as instructed by the Division Commissioner responsible for the relevant age
group. (In U-12/U-14, game cards should instead be entered into the Region
109 web-based game tracking system.) In lack of other instruction, referees
should keep game cards until at least the end of the season.
All divisions must substitute
players only at the quarters (except U16-U19 that have free substitutions in
the fourth quarter only). There is no
free substitution in the U7-U14 divisions within a quarter. For safety reasons, players may be
substituted in case of injury, but must follow the National AYSO Guidelines
for injury substitutions.
H. Score Keeping Guideline:
For U10 and younger, scores are not kept.
For U12 and older, game scores
are tracked and standings are kept, often with an eye toward determining
which team will be the division champion at the end of the season and/or
which team(s) may represent our Region at the Area tournaments for their age
shall be used: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tied game and 0 points for a
loss. In the case of teams with the same number of points at the end of the
season, ties will be broken as follows:
- Head-to-Head Record: As
between two tied teams, the team which has the best record in those
games played against the team with which it is tied shall prevail. If
this does not resolve the tie, then go to step 2.
- Maximum Goal Differential: The team with the highest goal differential, defined as total goals
scored minus goals scored against, shall prevail. If this does not
resolve the tie, then go to step 3.
- Goals Allowed: The team
which has allowed the least number of goals during the season shall
prevail. If this does not resolve the tie, then go to step 4.
- Goals Scored: The team
which has scored the most goals during the season shall prevail. If this
does not resolve the tie, then the tie shall be resolved by coin toss
administered by the Division Commissioner.
Games are forfeited if the
minimum number of players is not present on the field by 5 minutes after the
scheduled starting time of the game. The non-forfeiting team will be deemed
to have won by a score of 2-0. If both teams forfeit, no standings points
shall be awarded to either team.
In the event teams do not play
the same number of matches during the season (due to unequal number of Bye
games, or unsafe playing conditions), the relative standings shall be
computed by dividing the team’s total number of points divided by the total
number of games played (number of games scheduled minus number of games
canceled due to unsafe conditions).
I. Player Rating Guideline:
By the scheduled deadline at the end of the season, Coaches must complete
the Player Rating forms. Once the forms are submitted, they will be entitled
to receive their team’s trophies and photographs. The information contained
on the Player Rating forms is important for making next year’s team balancing
J. Rotating Positions
Guideline: Each player in the
U7, U8, U9, U10 and U12 divisions shall play no more than two quarters in the
same field position. “Field position”
means defense (left back, right back and center backs), offense (left
forward, right forward or center forward) or midfield (left midfield, right
midfield or center midfield). For the
U14 and older divisions, this General Guideline is not mandatory but is
encouraged (with the exception of the goalkeeper position for U14 and older
divisions where a goalkeeper may play more than two quarters).
K. Number of Field
Players Guideline: No more
than the maximum number of field players per team are allowed on the field at
one time per the table below:
|| Max Field Players
|| 3v3 (4 concurrent games)
|| 4v4 (2 concurrent games)
|| 5v5 (2 concurrent games)
Teams shall not alter the number
of players on the field (whether by agreement of the coaches, referees or
otherwise) to play more than the maximum number of field players described
above. Teams may only play less than
the maximum number if not enough players attend the game.
Field Conduct Regional Guidelines
Players, Coaches and Spectators
are required to conform to the Laws of the Game from the time they arrive at
the field of play until they leave, including the period of time the match is
in progress. The Laws will be enforced by the Referee, whose authority
commences from the time he/she enters the field until he/she leaves the field
of play. Good conduct is expected of Players at all times. Coaches are
expected to support, model and enforce high standards of behavior for team
Players and Spectators at all times.
The Referee should make all
efforts to support Coaches in complying with these high standards of
behavior. In the unlikely event that a Coach persists in exhibiting behavior
inconsistent with the conduct of an AYSO match, it is within the Referee’s
authority to send a Coach from the field. However, a Coach cannot be shown
the Red or Yellow Card. If the Referee must dismiss a Coach from the field,
this should be considered a very serious circumstance and an immediate, full
report must be made to the Regional Commissioner, Division Commissioner,
Regional Coach Coordinator, and Regional Referee Administrator (or to the
appropriate Area Council in the case of intra-Area play).
Misconduct offenses should be
very rare at U-10 and below. If such an offense occurs, the Referee should
work with the Coach to make sure the match can continue to the benefit of all
involved (perhaps by substituting the Player in question). However, Referees
should not show the Red or Yellow Card to players U-10 and below. The
following discussion of match penalties and suspensions is intended primarily
for the U-12 age groups and above.
A. Misconduct: A Player who is sent off
(shown the Red Card) for misconduct must be suspended from play immediately. The team of the offending
Player must play short for the remainder of the game as outlined in the Laws
of the Game. The Player must not be substituted, even if the team
subsequently has fewer than the required minimum number of players, in which
case a Forfeit results.
B. Misconduct Penalties: All misconduct penalties
(cautions or send-offs) incurred by Players must be reported in writing or
electronically to the Division Commissioner, the Division Referee
Coordinator, and the Regional Referee Administrator within 48 hours.
(Divisions involving intra-Area play might have different policies for
C. Suspensions and Other
1. A Player who is sent off is
ineligible to participate in the next match the team plays following the
match in which the offense occurred.
2. A Player who accrues three
match cautions (not contributing to a send-off) in a season is ineligible to
participate in his/her team's next match.
3. A Player who accrues two
send-offs or is awarded misconduct penalties in five separate matches in a
season is suspended from further Regional, Area and Section play until he/she
appears before the Regional Sanction Committee (or AYSO Area Council, in
divisions with intra-Area competition).
4. Misconduct sanctions are
always subject to review by the Sanction Committee (or AYSO Area Council, in
divisions with intra-Area competition).
D. Ineligible Players: Coaches are responsible for ensuring that ineligible players do not play. Ineligibility resulting from misconduct sanctions must be enforced by the team Coach. Failure to do so will result in the Forfeit of any match where an ineligible player participates.
E. Conduct: A match may be suspended or
terminated by the Referee if the behavior of the Players, Coaches or
Spectators becomes severely disruptive to continuing the game. Coaches are
responsible for the conduct of their team and spectators at all times during
AYSO functions. This includes litter removal after a match. As with other
forms of misconduct, the Referee will report the situation to the AYSO
Regional Council for disposition of the game and disciplinary action.
F. Excellent Sportsmanship: This is
expected of all AYSO Coaches and Players at all times. A strong team is expected to
adjust play to balance the game when a significant advantage is attained.
Failure to sustain a sporting attitude, whether winning or losing, will be
brought to the attention of the Regional Sanctions Committee (or of the
appropriate Regional Commissioner in case of intra-Area competition) for
Thunder and Lightning: Lightning can strike from a clear blue sky that
is within a ten mile radius of a storm. It is therefore strongly
recommended that practices and games be suspended immediately when
lightning is within 10 miles. If the ‘Flash-to-Bang’ count is thirty
seconds or less, everyone should leave the game site to a safe
location and wait for 30 minutes before resuming play."
Slide Tackles: Slide tackles are dangerous for younger players. A fair slide tackle
can be a good play; however, younger players on the ‘receiving’ end of
the tackle do not have the body control to easily get out of the way
of the tackler and therefore we consider slide tackles to be Dangerous
Play in the U7/U8/U9 divisions and the Referee will call it a foul.
I. Heading - As per AYSO National Guidelines, deliberately heading the ball is NOT allowed in U12 and below matches. The restart for a deliberate heading in U12 and below is an indirect free kick for the opposing team. More details are in Section 1.I of National Guidelines here: http://www.ayso.org/Assets/libraries/resources/National_rules_regulations_060616.pdf
Game Protests and Complaints Guideline
Complaints, including protests
of games, must be made in writing (with three copies) to the Regional
Commissioner, delivered within 72 hours of an alleged violation or
A valid complaint or protest
will be reviewed by the AYSO Regional Council comprised of the Regional
Commissioner, Regional Referee Administrator and Region Coach Administrator.
Protests concerning judgment calls by game officials will not be reviewed,
including camcorder footage or other purported photographic evidence.
Law 4 states that:
“A player must not use equipment
or wear anything which is dangerous to himself or another player (including
any kind of jewelry.)”
and that basic compulsory
equipment consists of:
- a jersey or shirt
- shorts - if thermal
undershorts are worn, they are of the same main color as the shorts
- shinguards - must be
covered completely by socks
Referees have discretion to
judge the suitability and safety of any and all equipment, including
equipment that does not appear on this basic list. Referee decisions in this
regard are final. Referees are encouraged, however, to be reasonable in
making such judgments, keeping in mind the age of the players involved and
the overriding goal that kids have fun playing soccer in a safe environment.
The following specific rules on
player equipment will be enforced in Region 109:
Casts, braces and other protective equipment
- Casts and splints are NOT permitted, even if taped
or wrapped in foam rubber. This applies even to plastic and Velcro
strap-on casts. (What exactly qualifies as a cast is not easy to
quantify. Players in doubt should ask the Regional Commissioner or Regional Referee Administrator.)
- Knee braces are permitted,
provided the brace is adequately covered and padded so as to eliminate
the possibility of its causing injury to other players.
- As per new FIFA guidelines, other protective equipment such as protective headgear, is permissible at the referee's discretion as long as it does not pose any injury risk to the player or other players on the field. This determination is made solely at the referees discretion, but the referee should allow protective equipment that meets this requirement. To quote Law 4:
- Modern protective equipment such as headgear, facemasks and knee and arm protectors made of soft, lightweight padded material are not considered dangerous and are therefore permitted
- In view of the new technology that has made sports spectacles much safer, both for the wearer and for otherplayers, referees should show tolerance when authorising their use, particularly for younger players
- Plain elastic hair
fasteners and cloth-covered elastic "scrunchies" are OK. All
hair restraints containing hard objects are disallowed.
- Prescription glasses are
permitted, retaining straps are strongly encouraged but not mandatory.
Safety or sport lenses are strongly encouraged; metal rims are
discouraged. Sunglasses are disallowed.
- Goalkeepers may wear
soft-brimmed hats; (referee judges acceptability).
- Dental retainers with
protruding wires must be removed. Molded retainers without wires are OK.
Orthodontic braces are OK. A mouthpiece is encouraged (but you'll rarely
jewelry is disallowed (including earrings). Jewelry must be removed, not
taped. This includes clothe and or string "friendship" bracelets
bracelets can and should be worn (and taped if loose).
- Fingernails must not
present a hazard to others.
- Team jerseys must be worn
- Goalkeepers must wear
jerseys that are clearly distinguishable from those of both teams.
- Shoes are required. Cleats
are recommended and must be FIFA-approved, without
a single cleat at the toe (i.e., baseball/football shoes). Screw-in cleats
are permitted if a sharp edge or protruding metal core is not present.
Turf shoes and sneakers are OK.
We anticipate that some
situations will arise where a player will need exceptional permission to wear
or carry specific items that would otherwise be disallowed (e.g. for medical
or religious reasons). In these cases, the player or coach should acquire a
written waiver, signed by the Regional Commissioner, which can be shown to
the referee on the field.
U6 (Kinderleague) Regional
- Region 109 follows a modified
version of the AYSO National rules for U6 teams.
- Teams in U-6 are comprised
ideally of 13 players each. There are no separate practices for this
division. The hour-long Saturday games include a half-hour practice followed
by a half-hour inter-team scrimmage.
U6 does not use lined fields.
Instead, the coaches define the playing field and the goals using cones. It
is likely that the size of the playing field will expand as the players’
skill increases, but the maximum size should be no greater than 30 yards by
15 yards. Players use a size 3 ball.
There are no referees (coaches
officiate) and no scores are kept. The coaches divide their teams into
3-player sides, and those sides play 3-player sides from the opposing team.
Thus four games are played simultaneously, and each must be supervised by at
least one coach and preferably two, one per team. After approximately 10
minutes, play stops for a halftime break. Following halftime, play resumes
with each side playing a different side from the opposing team. The second
half of the game lasts another 10 minutes at which time the scrimmage ends.
If a player kicks or passes the
ball over the touchline, a player from the opposing team shall throw it in.
If a player kicks or passes the ball over the goal line (but not into the
goal), a player from the opposing team shall put it back into play, either as
a corner kick or as a goal kick.
Fouls in this division should be
scarce, and should be limited to flagrant violations of good sportsmanship.
The penalty for a foul is a direct free kick, with opponents at least five
U7 and U8 Regional Guidelines
- Region 109 follows the National
AYSO short-sided game guidelines except in Division U7 and U8, as follows.
in the U-7 (6 year old boys and girls) will be comprised ideally of 10
players each. For games, each team will be divided into two units of up to
5 players each, unit A and unit B.
- Teams in the U-8 divisions (7 year old boys and
girls) will be comprised ideally of 12 players each. For games, each team will
be divided into two units of up to 6
- In the first half, unit A of the "home
team" will play unit B of the "visiting team". In the second
half, the visiting teams will switch fields, so that its unit A plays unit A
of the home team and vise versa.
- The two games will be played side by side in
adjacent fields, so that the coach or coaches, if desired, may position
themselves in the median between the fields.
- For each “mini-game” there will
be a maximum of 4 (four) players on the field for each team.
- There will be no goalkeepers.
- For each “mini-game” there will
be a maximum of 5(five) players on the field for each team.
- One of these players will be
designated goalkeeper, and may legally handle the ball within his or her
own goal area.
shall be made halfway through each half. Thus, if all players on a team are
present, each player will play ¾ of each game.
- Each team will furnish one
referee, so that one referee is available to officiate each of the two games.
- No slide tackles are allowed in these divisions (see "B. Laws of the Game" below for explanation)
- The offside rule is not enforced in these divisions.
U9 and Older Divisions
A. Team Size:
- In U-9 and U-10, teams will
ideally be comprised of 10 players and will play with 7 players (minimum 5),
including a goalkeeper.
- In U-12, the teams are ideally comprised of 12
players and the game is played with 9 players on the field (8 plus 1
- For U14 and above, the teams are ideally comprised of 14 players
and the game is played with 11 players on the field (10 plus 1 Goalkeeper).
There must be 7 players on the field for the match to proceed.
B. Laws of the Game:
The full FIFA Laws of the
Game, including the offside rule, are used as modified by AYSO with the following exceptions:
- Since a full sized field is a bit of a physical challenge for children this age, U-9 and U-10 games in Region 109 are played on reduced size fields that are approximately 60% of full size. To keep everything to scale, all distances in the Laws of the Game are reduced proportionately. For example, the 10-yard distances at free kicks and corner kicks are reduced to 8 yards. Slightly smaller goals are also used.
- Slide Tackles: Slide tackles are dangerous for younger players. A fair slide tackle can be a good play; however, younger players on the ‘receiving’ end of the tackle do not have the body control to easily get out of the way of the tackler and therefore we consider slide tackles to be Dangerous Play in the U9 division and the Referee will call it a foul. A fair slide tackle as determined by the referee is permitted in U10 and older.
C. Penalty Kicks:
- Coaches and Referees are
reminded that Penalty Kicks are taken only from the penalty spot, and not
from the spot where the penal foul occurs within the penalty area.
a Penalty Kick is taken, only the Goalkeeper and the Player attempting the
kick can be within the penalty area at the moment the ball is struck.
- The Player taking the kick may not touch the ball again until the
ball has been touched by another Player. Thus a goal scored by the penalty
kicker on a rebound directly off a goalie’s hands or body will count, whereas
a purported goal scored by the penalty kicker off a rebound from a post or
the crossbar will not.
- When a Player is injured,
she/he may be substituted immediately upon leaving the field following the
procedures for injury substitutions found on the National AYSO website link
- If a Player is injured and is substituted, she/he may not
return until the beginning of the next quarter.
- However, the Player may, if
fit to play, act as substitute for a 2nd injured player. An injured Player
receives credit for having played the entire quarter in which she/he became
- If a Player is injured, but no substitution is made, the Player may
return at any stoppage of play after getting the Referee’s attention.
E. Game Duration:
|| Game Duration
| U-8 and U-7 (6-7
yr. old Girls and Boys)
minute mini-games with two 10 minute halves
| U-10 and U-9 (8-9
yr. old Girls and Boys)
| U-12 (10-11 yr.
olds, Girls and Boys)
| U-14 (12-13 yr.
olds, Girls and Boys)
| U-16 (14-15 yr.
olds, Girls and Boys)
| U-19 (16-18 yr.
olds, Girls and Boys)
F. Ball Sizes:
|| Ball Size
| U-8 and U-6
|| 23.0 to 25.0 inches in circumference; 10 to 12 ounces (Size
| U-12, U-10, and U-9
|| 25.0 to 26.5 inches in circumference; 12 to 14 ounces
| U-19, U-16 and U-14
|| 26.5 to
28.0 inches in circumference; 14 to 16 ounces (Size 5)|
G. Goal Keeper:
- For Players in Divisions
U-12, U-10, U-9, U-8, (7-11yr old players), no Player may play as goal keeper
for more than 2 quarters per game.
- Players in Divisions U-14 and up may play
in goal as many quarters as the coach decides.
- In Divisions U-12, U-10, U-9,
U-8, any Player who plays in goal must also play at least one quarter in the
should make mid-half substitutions quickly so as not to affect the flow of
the game, and to keep games on schedule.
- Only Players being substituted are
allowed to leave the field; all other Players should remain in their positions.
- After Players being substituted have left the field, the new Players are
allowed to enter the field.
- All new Players should check in with the
- Coaches and Spectators may not enter the field without the
express consent of the referee.
- Minimum of 5
minutes to a maximum of 10 minutes.
- If games are running behind schedule, the
Referees should instruct the coaches that half-time will be minimized to keep
the games on schedule.
J. Games Running Behind Schedule:
- Every effort should be made to keep the games running on
- If a game starts late for any reason, that game should be
adjusted into two shorter halves of equal duration to allow the following
games to start on time.
- It is the Coaches and Referees responsibility to keep
the games running on schedule.
K. Field Size:
- U-9 and U-10 games use the
full FIFA Laws the following exception.
- Since a full sized field is a bit of
a physical challenge for children this age, U-9 and U-10 games in Region 109
are played on reduced size fields that are approximately 60% of full size.
keep everything to scale, all distances in the Laws of the Game are reduced
proportionately. For example, the 10-yard distances at free kicks and corner
kicks are reduced to 8 yards. Slightly smaller goals are also used.