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Game Rules

Rules Pre-K Kindergarten 1st & 2nd Grade 3rd & 4th Grade 5th-8th Grade
Numbers on the field 4 vs 4 4 vs 4 5 vs 5 7 vs 7 9 vs 9
Field Size Half field - split team into two teams Half field - split team into two teams Full field with subs Full field with subs Full field with subs
Uniforms Pinnies optional for 1 team Pinnies optional for 1 team Pinnies optional for 1 team Pinnies optional for 1 team Pinnies optional for 1 team
Dribble-In Yes Yes No No No
Pass-In No No No No No
Goal Keeper No No No Yes Yes
Punting No No No No Yes
Throw-Ins No No Yes Yes Yes
Goal Kicks No - Coach throws ball in play No - Coach throws ball in play No - Coach throws ball in play Yes Yes
Defending team backs up to half field on goal kicks No No Yes Yes No
Corner Kicks No No Yes Yes Yes
Offsides No No No Yes Yes
Heading No No No No No
Subs On the fly On the fly On any stoppage On any stoppage On any stoppage
Halves 20 minutes 22 minutes 22 minutes 22 minutes 25 minutes
Water break As needed As needed As needed 1 minute half-time 1 minute half-time
Team warm-up 5 minutes 15 minutes 15 minutes 15 minutes 9 minutes
Referees Coaches manage the game Coaches manage the game Coaches manage the game Yes Yes

Field Layout Example

Game Guide Explanation
No hands All age groups - if the ball hits you anywhere from the tips of your fingers to your shoulder you will be called for a hand ball.
Kick-Off All age groups - begin every game with a kick-off from the center mark. After a goal is scored the team who was scored on continues the game with a kick-off.
Fouls All age groups - you will be called for a foul if you kick, trip, jump at, charge, strike, push, hold, pull, tackle from behind, tackle late, spit, foul language and anything else that looks like a foul.
Dribble-In Pre-K & Kindergarten - dribble the ball in bounds when the ball is kicked out of bounds over the sideline.
Throw-In 1st-8th grade - throw the ball in when the ball goes out of bounds over the sideline. Both feet on the ground and the ball has to go all the way behind your head before you throw it in play.
Corner Kick 1st -8th grade - a corner kick is taken when the defending team kicks the ball out of bounds over the end line. The game results in a corner kick for the attacking team.
Goal Kick 1st -8th grade - a goal kick is taken when the attacking team kicks the ball out of bounds over the end line. The game restarts with a goal kick (encourage goal keeper to take goal kicks).
Offsides 3rd-8th grade - you cannot be offsides on a corner kick, goal kick, or throw in. You are offsides when you are behind the defensive line without the ball.
Free Kicks 3rd-8th grade - the referees will indicate if the free kick is a direct or indirect free kick
Penalty Kick 3rd-8th grade - if the defending team fouls a player inside the box and the referee calls a foul the ball will be placed at the penalty mark for a free shot on goal against the goal keeper.

PREVENTING LOPSIDED SCORESĀ 

Our goal is to provide an enjoyable experience to all soccer players. Coaches, if you see that your team is more dominant and scores a disproportionate number of goals, you are advised to employ some of the following best practices to avoid lopsided games. The list is non-exhaustive by all means. Those measures will in turn challenge your players and allow the opposing team players to continue to be involved in the game. No one benefits when games end is a blow-out. It is at the coaches’ discretion to ensure fair play and good sportsmanship. 

  • Focus on maintaining ball possession. This practice will help all players develop their foot skills with the ball.

  • Make short passes. No long balls.

  • Require a number of passes once the ball comes across midfield.

  • Require the players to complete 5 or more successful passes before the team attempts a goal.

  • Every player must touch the ball before the team attempts to score a goal.

  • Players can only shoot with weaker foot.

  • Only score from outside the goal area, a.k.a. the six-yard box.

  • Every player starts in a different position every week.

  • Modify team formation during the game, put high scorers in goal and defense. 

Corrective measures 

When a team goes up by 3 goals, the losing team can add one player to the field immediately and play up one player until the goal margin becomes less than 3. At such a time, the losing team should remove their additional player.