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U8 Rules

U8 Laws of the Game (4/8/2017)

Law 1 – The Field of Play

MINI FIELD

Dimensions: The field of play must be rectangular. The length of the touchline must be greater than the length of the goal line. Length: minimum 25 yards maximum 35 yards Width: minimum 15 yards maximum 25 yards

Field Markings: Distinctive lines not more than (5) inches wide. The field of play is divided into two halves by a halfway line. The center mark is indicated at the midpoint of the halfway line.

The Goal Area:  No ball contact allowed within the goal area, however, any player may pass through the goal area. If the ball comes to rest in the goal area, a goal kick is awarded regardless of who touched the ball last. Any part of the ball or player’s body on the line is considered in the goal area and is an extension of such. Once the ball has broken the line of the goal area, if the ball is touched by the defensive team, a goal will be awarded if a legitimate goal scoring opportunity is prevented. If an offensive player touches the ball after it has broken the plane, a goal kick will be awarded. The plane of the goal area extends upward.

The Penalty Area: None.

Flagposts: Corner flags are optional.

The Corner Arc: None.

Goals: Goals must be placed on the center of each goal line. They consist of two upright posts equidistant from the corners and joined at the top by a horizontal crossbar. The recommended distance between the posts is six (6) feet and the distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the ground is four (4) feet.


Law 2 – The Ball

Size three (3) soccer ball


Law 3 – The Number of Players

A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than four (4) players. There are NO goalkeepers.

Substitutions: At any stoppage of play and unlimited.

Playing time: Each player SHALL play a minimum of 50% of the total playing time. It is the coach’s responsibility to enforce this rule.

The preferred team roster size is eight (8) or less but exceptions may be allowed


Law 4 – The Players Equipment

Non-uniform clothing is allowed based on weather conditions, but uniforms must distinguish teams.  Shinguards are MANDATORY for both practices and games, and must be covered entirely by socks. If needed, teams can be distinguished by scrimmage vests.

Safety

A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewelry; with the exception of a medical alert bracelet).


Law 5 – The Referee

There is no need for fully qualified referees to manage U8 games.  If a certified referee is not available, generally an experienced older player (usually age 13 or older) or parent can officiate the match.  If needed one or both of the coaches should officiate / manage the game. Basic fouls and boundaries should be respected.  All infringements should be briefly explained to the players.


Law 6 – The Other Match Officials

None.


Law 7 – The Duration of the Match

The match shall be divided into four (4) periods of not more than 10 minutes, based on the energy and motivation of the players. There shall be a maximum of a five (5) minute break between each period. The four periods do not have to be of equal duration.


Law 8 – The Start and Restart of Play

Conform to FIFA Laws of the Game, with the exception that the defending team is at least four (4) yards from the ball until it is in play. Remember, let them play and do not interfere for technicalities.


Law 9 – The Ball In and Out of Play

Conform to FIFA Laws of the Game.


Law 10 – The Method of Scoring

Conform to FIFA Laws of the Game with the exception the ball may only be scored from a touch (offensive or defensive) within a team’s offensive half of the field.


Law 11 – Offside

None.

Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct

Conform to the FIFA Laws of the Game with the exception that all fouls shall result in an indirect free kick.  When a player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense.

The game official must explain ALL infringements to the offending player. No cards shown for misconduct.

Special note: A hand ball infraction occurs when a player handles the ball deliberately. The “hand” includes the entire arm up to the top of the shoulder. Instinctive, self-protective reactions are not penalized at this young age. Accidental contact (ball striking hand or arm) is not an offense and should not be penalized.


Law 13 – Free Kicks

Conform to the FIFA Laws of the Game, with the exception that all free kicks are indirect and the opponents are to be at least four (4) yards away from the ball until it is kicked.


Law 14 – The Penalty Kick

None.


Law 15 – The Throw-In

Conform to the FIFA Laws of the Game, a second chance given if a throw-in is improperly performed.


Law 16 – The Goal Kick

The ball shall be placed on or within the goal area. Opposing players must be no closer than the midline until the ball is kicked.


Law 17 – The Corner Kick

Conform to the FIFA Laws of the Game with the exception that the ball shall be placed in the corner of the field and the opposing players are to be at least four (4) yards away from the ball until it is kicked.

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