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Fundamental Soccer Blog

TAILORING SOCCER RULES (CONTINUED)

The ‘SOCCERevolutions’ Not-Set-In-Stone “Playing Rules” changes for the U-6, U-8, U-10, and U-12 age groups have sparked nationwide interest in reforming youth soccer. Engaged readers, such as Pat Ferre, have fervently shared their critiques and innovative ideas. Experts with deep knowledge of youth soccer, the Laws of the Game, and refereeing are actively contributing to the ongoing conversation.

Expert Feedback:

Brian Hall:

FIFA Referee – 1992 – 2007 (15 years) — Referee in the FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup — (Four Times) MLS Referee of the Year — Former FIFA Referee Committee Member

Size of the third (middle) goal:

  • “Yesterday, I was driving by pick-up games in Randall’s Park, NYC. I saw the teams playing with a GK, but the goal was smaller. Maybe you could make this an option or mention it since the reduced size matches the size of the players and reduces the one kid who grew faster than everyone else from taking over the game.”

Penalty Areas:

  • When you introduce a GK, there is no mention of where they can handle the ball since there is no Penalty Area. I’m not sure if it matters, but I thought it was worth a comment.”

Free Kicks:

“When you mention free kicks for fouls in each age group, you need to be more specific: Indirect Free kick (touch two people before a goal can be scored). All opponents must be at least 6 yards from the ball on the restart. Brian Hall

Darren Holden:

These are great ‘New Revolutionary Rules.

  • Around the world, street soccer provides this. In America, we compete against high-scoring games like basketball and football…”
  • Kids want to feel excitement when they leave a game, so they want to come back again, go back again next practice, etc. Scoring goals does that.”
  • I love the idea of open nets. Learn to defend on the field.”
  • This also promotes future goalkeepers being field players first, as we see the game demands.”
  • This also helps overcome goalie burnout by the time they reach 12-14.”

Austin Gomez:

These ‘New Revolutionary’ Rules for these very young Age-Groups seem “CONSISTENT” with the Game of Soccer at these levels.

  • In other words, they prioritize Letting Players Play not for the Final Score but for their actual Playing Time, sensible field dimensions, and, most importantly, the ENJOYMENT of the game.
  • These ‘transitional’ Revolutionary New Rules are all for the GOOD of the GAME at these particular levels of play, aiming to keep these very Young Players engaged with soccer for a longer Period of Time and thereby limit the current dropout rate.”

Victor J Malagisi:

President and Owner at Local Soccer LLC

“I really like the proposed changes, especially the part about ‘containing parents’ so kids can play without interference.”

Koach Karls’ Notes: A Bright Future for Youth Soccer

In wrapping up, it’s clear that our readers’ feedback is steering youth soccer in an exciting new direction. By suggesting innovative changes like increasing the number of goals, clarifying penalty areas, and rethinking free kicks, we’re not just tweaking rules—we’re reshaping the game to prioritize fun, skill-building, and fair play.

As we move forward, let’s keep the conversation going. Let’s keep dreaming up new ideas, experimenting with what works, and, most importantly, keeping the love of the game alive and kicking for generations to come.

Brian Hall

FIFA Referee - 1992 - 2007 (15 years) Referee in the FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan 2002 MLS Referee of the Year - four times Former FIFA Referee Committee Member Former Member of The IFAB Technical Advisory Committee Former Director of Refereeing for Concacaf Eddie Pearson Award Winner (2020) for US Soccer. The award is given to individuals who have distinguished contributions to the US Soccer Federation Referee Program for at least 20 years.

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