Peterborough Youth Soccer Club Rules

Division Game Requirements

Note: In split age divisions, rules of the older of the two ages are followed (ex. U10/11 play by U11 rules, U12/13 play by U13 rules, etc.)

Game DurationSize of
# Players
Full Team
Minimum #
of Players
U4/5 - U62 x 20 minutes halves with 20
minutes half time for practice
Only these
divisions do
not use
U7/82 x 20 minutes halves with 20
minutes half time for practice
Including GK
U9 2 x 25 minutes halves with 10
minutes half time
Including GK
U10/112 x 30 minutes halves with 5
minutes half time
Including GK
U12/13 -U182 x 35 minutes halves with 5
minutes half time
Including GK

Note: Three special rules to be mentioned to allow fair and pleasant games:

RULE 1: In U4-U11 Division games, the Referee MUST enforce equal number of players rule: so if one team has only 5 players but the other team has 6 then as per club’s rules both teams MUST play with equal number of players on the field, so 5 players each. (The team with one extra player will still benefit by having one extra sub player).

RULE 2: In playoff age groups (U12/13 and U18) the rule is that teams should not be having more than an extra player then the other team on the field so we can avoid lopsided games. So, let’s say the game is U18 and one team has 11 players but the other one only 7. Then the team with more players can only field 8 players at the time (so one more then the opponent which has 7). Coaches must rotate the extra subs regularly so they can still get playing time.

RULE 3: MANDATORY SHARING PLAYERS RULE for U13/U18 divisions, avoiding forfeited games. Only on these full field divisions in order for us to avoid games being forfeited as of 2016 the club has introduced the MANDATORY SHARING PLAYERS RULE to allow the opponent to have the minimum required number of players which is 7. So, if one U13 or U18 team has only 6 players but the opponent has 9 then the opponent MUST lend the other team a player so they can have the minimum 7 required to play. The games then is sanctioned, the ref stays and final score after the game stands- Please note that this rule is not in place during Playoffs.

Retreat Rules – U4 – U11

Special Rules for U4 – U11 (formerly know as Mini Soccer)

Retreat Rule for U4-U6:

These age divisions play 4 v 4 without a goalkeeper. On goal kicks the opposing team will retreat over the halfway line and be unable to challenge for the ball until it crosses the halfway line. (There is no restriction on the team taking the goal kick from going into the opponent’s half). This will have a double effect: it allows the player to take a goal kick without pressure and it allows a sequence of passes to occur, bringing play into the opponent’s half of the field.

Retreat Rule for U8-U11:

In the age divisions that play Grassroots soccer (formerly known as mini soccer) a special rule concerning goal kicks and goalkeeper possession is in effect.

When a team is taking a goal kick or the goalkeeper has the ball in his/her arms after making a save the opposing team members must “retreat” to the predetermined area of the field. The retreat lines can be marked with two cones or other markers outside the playing area. The retreat lines are placed as follows:

  • U8 (5v5) – Half way line.
  • U9 (7v7) – 1/3rds line.
  • U10/11 (9v9) – 1/3rds line.
  1. Goal Kick: On goal kicks the opposing team will retreat over the “retreat” line and be unable to challenge for the ball until the ball is kicked by the GK or one of his/her teammates and exits the penalty area, and then it needs to be touched by another teammate of the GK and only then can the attacking team players cross the “retreat” line and challenge the ball. There is no restriction on the team taking the goal kick from going into the opponent’s half. This will have a double effect: it allows the goalkeeper to take a kick without pressure and it allows the receiving player time to decide the next move.
  2. Goalie Possession: When the goalkeeper has possession of the ball in his/her hands, the other team must retreat over the “retreat” line allowing the goalkeeper to throw or drop kick the ball into play. Similar to a goal kick, the ball must be touched by a teammate of the GK before the attacking team players can cross the “retreat” line and challenge the ball. If the goalkeeper chooses not to wait for the opposing players to “retreat” and throws or passes the ball down the field, the ball is instantly in play and does not require a player from the goalkeeper’s team to touch the ball first.

Other Special Rules for U4-U11:

Offside: There is NO OFFSIDE in U4-U11 age group games.
Pass-ins (a.k.a. kick-ins): Pass-ins will be used (instead of throw-ins) to restart play when the ball crosses the touch line in U4-U11 games.
Coaches: Coaches are allowed to be on the field in U4-U9 age group games.

Rules for U12+:

As of the Under 12 age division Offsides and Throw-ins are in effect. Coaches are not allowed onto the field.

Simplified Playing Rules

Unlimited Substitutions: Injury, half time, goal scored, goal kick, and own throw in, ask the referee’s permission.

Goal Scored: Ball must completely cross the line between the goal posts.

Goal Kick: Ball crosses the goal line, and not between the goal posts, and is touched last by an attacking player.

Corner Kick: Ball crosses the goal line, and not between the goal posts, and is touched last by a defending player.

Throw In: Ball crosses the touchline. The team that did NOT touch the ball last gets the throw in.

Free Kicks. Indirect Free Kicks: Player is off side, obstructed opponent, or has feet to high. Opposing team is awarded an indirect free kick, (ball must be touched by two players).

Direct Free Kick: Player Trips, pushes, kicks opponent, deliberately handles ball. Opposing team is awarded a direct free kick, (ball can be directly kicked at goal without a second player having touched it).

Penalty Kick: Player trips, pushes or kicks opponent, deliberately handles ball inside penalty area. Opponent is awarded penalty kick.

Kick Off: Ball must be kicked ahead or behind and touched by second player before first player can touch the ball again. Opposing players must be in own half and outside the centre circle.

Drop Ball: If an injury occurs while the ball is in play a drop ball will be used to restart the game.

Goalkeeper: Can handle the ball only inside his own penalty area.

Pass back: If a member of the goalies own team passes the ball back to her/him, she/he must play the ball with their feet.

Heading in Soccer

Due to the potential for injury to developing children, the following guidelines should be followed.

Under 7 and Below: NO HEADING

Under 8 to Under 12: No repetitive heading drills, work on proper technique using light plastic balls before progressing to proper soccer balls.

Under 13 and Above: Teach proper heading technique use, limited repetitive heading drills.

Proper Heading Technique

  1. Eyes open
  2. Attack the ball
  3. Strike the ball with the middle of the forehead

Division Rules

  • IF POSSIBLE, in the event of a tie for the division title a playoff game(s) will be required to determine the division champion.
  • Extra games to determine the division champion will be played before the playoff weekend. If possible, the extra games will be schedule on the regular night the division usually plays.
  • In the event of more than two teams being tied for the division title regular seeding will apply as detailed below in the Playoff Rules. If an odd number of teams are involved a bye will be granted based on the following: Head to head results
  • In the event of a tie game at the end of an extra game to determine the division champion, FIFA penalty kicks will determine the winner.

Playoff Rules (U13 and up)

  • All teams are guaranteed two games.
  • There will be a champion and consolation section for each division.
  • Teams will be seeded within their division for the tournament.
  • The playoff schedule will be placed on the web after week 12 of play. Any makeup games played after the final week of play will not be included in the seeding for the playoffs.
  • All round robin playoff games will be one 30 minute game (no halftime), no tie breakers.
  • All regular playoff games will be 30 minutes. If tied after regulation time the tie will be broken by a shoot out.
  • The shoot out. Each team selects five players to shoot (goalie can be one of the shooters). It is alternate shot. If at the end of the five players per team one team has more goals, then that team is the winner. If they are still tied, each team selects one more player and this process continues till one team scores and the other does not, (Note: some refs might ask for the next five shooters to save time, however, from the sixth shooter on, once one team scores and the other does not the winner is declared). Note that all players in the shoot out must be on the field at the end of the regular game, and no player can shoot twice before all other players have taken a turn. Note that the goalie does not have to shoot.
  • Round Robin: Standings are determined by:
    • 3 points for a win
    • 1 point for a tie
    • 0 point for a loss
  • Seeding: Position in standings is determined follows:
    • Point standings
    • Head to head results
    • Fewer goals against
    • Goal differential
    • Coin Toss