RULES OF THE GAME
As you move from age group to age group with your team, the field sizes change, goal sizes changes, number of players on the fields change, more advanced rules get added.
For each age group we have what are called “rule modifications,” which are changes to the Laws of the game, for each age group, as they are defined by FIFA.
At U6 and U8 our players have not developed to a point where we should be expecting them to track their relationship to their opponent, how many opponents are between themselves and the goal, and determine whether they are level with them or have drifted into an offside position and should not become active in the play. For those reasons, we modify the rules so that we have guidelines that allow all players to have rules that they can understand and operate within. We remove these “rule modifications” as we progress in age, until we reach U13 where we play by the full laws of the game as defined by FIFA.
- Refs are not used in APSC U6 matches. Instead, coaches will be on the field encouraging players and acting as referee’s helping to teach our players the game.
- A size #3 ball is used
- Players: 3v3
- Goal Size: 4’x6′
- Match Length: Matches will consist of four 10 minute quarters. Players will be given a 1-minute break between quarters and a 5-minute break at halftime.
- On goal kicks, the other team should be directed to give space to the opposing team
- Substitutions: As needed, coach calls players on and off the field (similar to indoor soccer)
- NO SCORE WILL BE KEPT. Time will be kept by Home coach and will signal the beginning and end of playing periods.
- There are no corner kicks
- Handballs must be fully intentional (i.e. a player picks the ball up off the ground)
- There are no goalies. Do your best to get players to attack the ball on defense and not stand in front of the goal.
- The game begins with the visiting team kicking off directly outside of their own goal. The defensive team will start directly in front of their own goal on the opposite end of the field. All halves and quarters will begin this way. This will also be the restart when a goal is scored, or if the ball is kicked across the goal line and goes out of bounds. The visiting team will kick off this way to begin the game and the 3rd quarter and the home team will begin this way at halftime and the 4th quarter.
- No throw-ins. When a team kicks the ball out on either sideline, the other team takes possession. The parent volunteer or a coach will tell the team who receives possession that it is their ball and ask nicely for the other team to back up a little bit with the idea that you give ample room for the offensive team to begin play. The offensive team begins play by passing the ball.
- There needs to be a center ref if at all possible. Coaches should have whistles and will be allowed on the field to act as referees if no ref is available. If a team only has one coach, the team with an assistant should fill in as the ref. The coach acting as a ref should do their best to refrain from coaching while being the ref.
- A size #3 ball is used
- Players: 4v4
- Goal size: 4’x6′
- Match Length: Two 20-minute halves with a 5-minute half time
- Coaches are no longer allowed on the field
- Corner kicks are added
- No heading is allowed. If a player heads the ball a free kick is given to the opponent.
- There are still no goalies. Players should be reminded to attack the ball and not stand in front of their goal. Players should, in general, remain outside of the half circle in front of the goal unless actively marking or defending an opponent.
- A size #4 ball is used
- Players: 7v7
- Match Length: Two 25-minute halves with a 5-minute halftime
- Goal Size: 6’x18′
- There is no heading allowed. If a player heads the ball a free kick is awarded to the opponent.
- Offside is enacted at the build out line.
- During goal kicks the opponent should be behind the build out line. When the goalie has possession of the ball the opponent should be directed behind the build out line.
The Learning Rule:
On a throw-in, if a player makes an error the ref should point out the proper way and have the player redo the throw-in. Same rule applied with a kickoff. If a player kicking off is the first to touch the ball again after it has been put into play, the player should be reminded of the proper procedure and allowed to redo the kickoff. As well with any corner, free kick, goal kick, etc. the players should be instructed and allowed to redo.
- A size #4 ball is used
- Players: 9v9
- Match Length: Two 30 minute halves with a 5 minute halftime
- Goal Size: 7’x21′
- Players are not allowed to head the ball. If a player heads the ball the opponent shall be awarded a free kick.
U14 - U19 RULES
- For the most up-to-date and thorough list of rules, please refer to Laws of the Game on USA Soccer's website. You can find that here.
- A size #5 ball is used
- Players: 11v11
- Goal Size: 8’x24′
- Match Length U14: Two 35-minute halves with a 5-minute halftime
- Match Length U16: Two 40-minute halves with a 5-minute halftime
- Match Length U19: Two 45-minute halves with a 5-minute halftime
- No rule modifications. Full rules apply.