Special Rules for U4 – U12 (formerly know as Mini Soccer)
Retreat Rule for U4-U7:
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-U12:
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.
- U10 (7v7) – 1/3rds line.
- U12 (9v9) – 1/3rds line.
- 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.
- 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-U10:
Offside: There is NO OFFSIDE in U4-U10 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-U10 games.
Coaches: Coaches are allowed to be on the field in U4-U10 age group games.
Rules for U12:
In the Under 12 age division Offsides and Throw-ins are in effect. Coaches are not allowed onto the field.