U-8 Laws of the Game
“The habit of thinking in adult terms often means children lose out. We tend to over-organize or blindly imitate the professional model. Just because the adults play 11 vs. 11 we think our children must play the same game. This is comparable to giving a child a quadratic equation as an introduction to math at elementary school. Absurd, yet we do it.
“Like any form of learning, the problem set, be they soccer or math, must be reachable for children to obtain success and learn. This is why modifying the game is so extremely important for children to enjoy and learn the sport.
“The purpose of using ‘Modified Laws of the Game’ is to offer young players the best possible outlet for their energies and dreams.”
Executive Director – The Soccer School
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 70 yards (minimum 40 yards) and its width, not more than 50 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
- 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: Four (4) feet high and four (4) yards wide
- US Soccer recommends four (4) feet high and six (6) feet 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 2
- Soccer ball size 3 (recommended)
NUMBER OF PLAYERS
- A maximum number of 7 players should be on the field at any one time (minimum 4 players).
- 4 players on the field at any one time (recommended).
- Goalkeepers are optional but not recommended!
- Each player must play 50% of the game (mandatory).
- The roster should not exceed 10 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
- The game is divided into two halves of twenty-five (25) minutes each.
- A “substitution break” should be whistled by the referee midway through each half.
- Otherwise, substitutions should be allowed at any other time with the Referee’s permission.
- The 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.
- Calling off-side is not recommended*
FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
- All fouls result in an ‘Indirect Free Kick’ being taken with opponents 6 yards away.
- Referees are encouraged to explain the infraction called on the offending player (the referee should address both teams, not an individual, while doing so).
- All Free Kicks shall be classified under ONE (1) heading – “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-8 Modified Laws’ are applied within your soccer community