U-10 Laws of the Game
“The creation of skill and a passion for the game occurs between the ages of six to twelve. With the correct environment throughout this age period, players will both excel and become top players, or they will continue to enjoy playing at their own levels and enjoy observing the game at higher levels.
“Small-sided games in match play for our younger players create more involvement, more touches of the ball, exposure to simple, realistic decisions, and ultimately, more enjoyment. Players must be challenged at their own age/ability levels to improve performance. The numbers of players on the field of play will affect levels of competition.“Children come to soccer to have fun. They want to run, touch the ball, have the feel of the ball, master it and score. The environment within which we place players during training sessions and matches should promote all of these desires, not frustrate them.”
Thomas W. Turner, Ph.D.
OYSAN Director of Coaching and Player Development
Follow FIFA Laws of the Game* Except for These Modifications
FIELD OF PLAY
The field of play shall be rectangular.
Its length should not be more than 90 yards (minimum 50 yards) and its width, not more than 60 yards (minimum 35 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 6-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: Six (6) feet high and six (6) yards wide
- Minimum Size: Five (5) feet high and five (5) yards wide
- US Soccer recommends six (6) feet, six (6) inches high and eighteen (18) feet, six (6) inches wide
We recommend the 3-in-1 goals from Farpost Soccer.
Using a smaller size ball is less intimidating to the players and much less stressful on their joints (minimizing injury).
- Soccer ball size 3
- Soccer ball size 4 (recommended)
NUMBER OF PLAYERS
- A maximum number of 9 players should be on the field at any one time (minimum 5 players).
- 7 players on the field at any one time (recommended).
- Goalkeepers are optional (introduction at this age is recommended!)
- Each player must play 50% of the game (mandatory).
- The roster should not exceed 11 players.
- Substitution should be unlimited (with Referee’s permission).
- Co-ed teams are highly recommended.
- Jersey (or shirt) with a number on the back
- Shin-guards (mandatory)
- Note: A player shall not wear anything that is dangerous to another player or to themselves
- Official Licensed Referees can be used (if available).
- Older age group players as Referees can be used (highly recommended)
- Referees are encouraged to explain the infraction called on the offending player (the referee should address both teams, not an individual while doing so)
- A Referee’s decision on points of fact connected with the game are final
DURATION OF GAME
- Divide the game into two halves of twenty-five (25) minutes each.
- A “substitution break” should be whistled by the referee mid-way through each half.
- Otherwise, substitutions should be allowed at any other time with the Referees permission.
- Half-time break should not exceed five (5) minutes.
START OF PLAY
- ALL opponents must be 6 yards from the center mark when kick-off is in progress.
- The ball is not in play until it travels its own circumference and cannot be touched by the kicker a second time until it is touched by any other player.
BALL IN & OUT OF PLAY
- The ball is out of play when it has wholly crossed the goal or touch lines.*
METHOD OF SCORING
- The whole of the ball must cross the goal line between the goalposts and under the crossbar.
- The ball cannot be thrown, carried, or intentionally propelled by hand or arm over the goal line.
- Introduction to the off-side rule should begin.*
- Referees are encouraged to explain the infraction to the offending player.
FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
- Introduction of “Direct Free Kick” (recommended)*
- Referees are encouraged to explain the infraction called on the offending player (the referee should address both teams, not an individual while doing so).
- Free Kicks shall be classified under TWO (2) headings
1. “DIRECT” This means a goal may be scored directly from the spot of the infraction.
2. “INDIRECT” This means that a goal may not be scored until the ball has been played or touched by a second player of either team.
- One rethrow should be allowed if a foul occurs.
- The Referee should explain the fault before rethrow.*
- Goal kick may be taken from any point inside the goal area (the six-yard area).
- ALL opponents must be six yards away from the ball.*
- May be taken from any point inside the corner arcs.
- Opponents must be six yards away from the corner kick arc.*
- Team officials and players are encouraged to shake hands with the opponents before and after the game.
- Do not make rules which will result in boredom, bureaucracy, and losing sight of your purpose as an adult.
- Keep no league standings. Publicity of the game and results is discouraged.
Check with either your Local, State, or National Governing Bodies to see how these ‘U-10 Modified Laws’ are applied within your soccer community