Modified Laws of the Game – U-12 Players 2017-08-21T15:08:17-08:00

“The world’s top clubs are already utilizing small-sided games to develop more technical players in their youth programs, an approach that we here in America are slow to adopt.


“It all starts with the proper numbers of players at training and games for the specific age group at practice. The youth academies in Spain such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid play games with player numbers no larger than 7v7 up to 12 years old.


“The size of the field is smaller and the ball is smaller so that the players can function according to their physical abilities. They have understood that the players are not yet adults.”


Stan Baker

Author, Our Competition is the World

The field of play shall be rectangular. Its length should not be more than 110 yards (minimum 70 yards) and its width not more than 60 yards (minimum 40 yards).
The length in all cases should exceed the width.


  • Lines: Distinctive (at least 2-5 inches wide)

  • Halfway Line: Marked out across the field

  • Center Circle: Over Halfway Line with a 10 yard radius

  • Corner Arcs: Four (4) arcs, each with a 1 yard radius

  • Goal Area: Six (6) yards from each goal post and six (6) yards into the field of play, then joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line

  • Penalty Area: Eighteen (18) yards from each goal post and eighteen (18) yards into the field of play, then joined by a line drawn parallel to the goal.

  • Penalty Mark: Twelve (12) yards away from the goal line.

  • Penalty Arc: Ten (10) yards away from the penalty mark.

  • Player/Coaches Area: Twenty (20) yards long; ten (10) yards down the touchline into each half of the field

  • Spectator Viewing Line: Five to ten (5 -10) yards from the touchlines and behind the Player/Coaches Area


  • Maximum Size: Eight (8) feet high and eight (8) yards wide

  • Minimum Size: Seven (7) feet high and seven (7) yards wide

  • US Soccer recommends seven (7) feet high and twenty-one (21) feet wide

  • There are Nine Major Infractions which result in a “DIRECT” Free Kick:

Hand – holding, pushing, striking, and handling the ball

Body – violent or dangerous charge, charging from behind, and jumping at opponents

Feet – kicking and tripping

Mouth – spitting

  • ALL other infractions result in an “INDIRECT” Free Kick

Introduction of Cards (Recommended)

Yellow Card (Caution)

Player, in the opinion of the Referee, is persistently infringing on the Laws of the Game but may continue to stay in the game.

Red Card (Ejection)

Player, in the opinion of the Referee, is guilty of violent or serious foul, using foul or abusive language, persists in misconduct after having received a caution, and may no longer participate in the game. The ejected player cannot be replaced by a substitute.

Necessary Actions

Learn to Coach the Modified Laws with the FUNdamental Practice