Dimensions: The field of play must be rectangular. The length of the touchline must be greater than the length of the goal line.
Length: 30 yards
Width: 25 yards
Field Markings: Distinctive lines not more than (5) inches wide. The field of play is divided into two halves by a halfway line. The center mark is indicated at the midpoint of the halfway line. A circle with a radius of four (4) yards is marked around it.
The Goal Area: A goal area is defined at each end of the field as follows: Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line three (3) yards from the inside each goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of three (3) yards and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the goal area.
The Penalty Area: none.
Flag posts: none.
The Corner Arc: Conform to FIFA.
Safety: Goals must be anchored securely to the ground. Portable goals may only be used if they satisfy this requirement.
Law 2 – The Ball: Size three (3).
Law 3 – The Number of Players: A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than four (4) players. There are NO goalkeepers.
Substitutions: At any stoppage of play and unlimited. No substitutions on the fly allowed.
Playing time: Each player SHALL play a minimum of 50% of the total playing time. Teams and matches may be coed.
Law 4 – The Players’ Equipment: Conform to FIFA. Non-uniform clothing is allowed based on weather conditions, but uniforms must still distinguish teams.
Law 5 – The Referee: An OFFICIAL (Game Manager or Coordinator or Parent or Coach or Grade 9 referee) may be used. All infringements shall be briefly explained to the offending player.
Law 6 – The Assistant Referees: None.
Law 7 – The Duration of the Match: The match shall be divided into four (4) equal, twelve (12) minute quarters. There shall be a two (2) minute break between quarters one and two and another two (2) minute break between quarters three and four. There shall be a half-time interval of five (5) minutes.
Law 8 – The Start and Restart of Play: Conform to FIFA, with the exception of the opponents of the team taking the kick-off are at least four (4) yards from the ball until it is in play.
Law 9 – The Ball In and Out of Play: Conform to FIFA.
Law 10 – The Method of Scoring: Conform to FIFA.
Law 11 – Offside: None.
Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct: Conform to FIFA with the exception that all fouls shall result in a direct free kick. The referee/coach/parent must explain ALL infringements to the offending player. No cards shown for misconduct.
Law 13 – Free Kicks: Conform to FIFA with the exceptions that all kicks are direct and all opponents are at least four (4) yards from the ball until it is in play.
Law 14 – The Penalty Kick: None.
Law 15 – The Pass-In: A pass-in is considered as a direct free kick with the opponents four (4) yards from the ball until it is in play.
Law 16 – The Goal Kick: The goal kick should be taken anywhere within the goal area. Opposing players must be outside the goal area AND at least four (4) yards away from the ball until it is in play. It is suggested that if necessary that opponents are in their own half of the field until the ball is in play.
Law 17 – The Corner Kick: Conform to FIFA with the exception that opponents remain at least four (4) yards from the ball until it is in play.
Please read the U8 addendum
Agawam Soccer Association Addendum for U8 League
Agawam Soccer Association Addendum
MODIFIED RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE GAME FOR U8
The Field of Play: The dimensions are smaller to accommodate the four-versus-four game and are appropriate for the movement capabilities of six- and seven-year-old children. These adjusted dimensions provide more practical space allowing players to be successful.
Field Markings: The center circle gives the players a concrete marking on where to be for the kick-off. The corner arc gives the young player a concrete place to put the ball to kick it back onto the field of play. While kids this young will execute corner kick plays to a modest degree taking a kick from the corner is a reasonable way for them to put the ball into play and provides continuity with all other age groups. However, the center circle and the corner arc for U8 Small Sided Games are not mandatory field markings.
Goals: The goal is the same for the U6 to U8 age groups. By using the same size goal for these age groups clubs will have to buy fewer goals and there will be greater flexibility in the use of fields. A big goal without a goalkeeper should mean a few more goals for kids whose shooting technique is primitive along with their eye-foot coordination. Let’s give them the broad side of the barn at which to shoot, the more goals the merrier. Finally the shooting odds for the U8 age group are one versus seven, so let’s give them a chance by having a larger target. However, manufactured goals are not mandatory for U8 Small Sided Games. Clubs are free to use cones, pop-up goals or other items to designate the goal for this age group. Any goal must be properly anchored to the ground.
The Ball: Must be a size three. The smaller ball is lighter and more easily kicked, received, dribbled and passed.
The Number of Players: There are no goalkeepers in the U8 age group so that all of the players may chase the ball around the field. The kids want to be where the action is and at this age it is around the ball. This will provide the opportunity for the children to further develop their running, jumping and kicking coordination. These are valuable traits for all soccer players to develop. The smaller number of players takes into account the egocentrism of this age group and therefore allows each child more opportunities for shooting, passing and dribbling the ball. With fewer players on the field each child has an increased number of contacts with the ball and has more actual playing time. Additionally the players will be required to make more decisions and experience repeated game situations frequently. The involvement of players will be more consistent. While learning both offense and defense, players will become well rounded and will understand more readily the roles and importance of teammates. Children in the U8 age group will intentionally play in pairs. The smaller number of players on the field will make it easier and more likely that passing and receiving will occur.
There should not be a minimum number of players for U8 clubs, administrators, coaches and referees should be encouraged to allow players from the team with sufficient numbers to ‘loan’ a player or two to the team that is short players and then PLAY.
The rationale for substitutions at any stoppage is to give more playing time as noted. Allowing subs at any stoppage is on the same page as FIFA. The only thing that we need remember is that play must be stopped for all substitutions; we can never allow on-the-fly substitution.
The Players’ Equipment: Conform to FIFA. Non-uniform clothing is allowed based on weather conditions, but uniforms must still distinguish teams.
The Referee: A referee is not really needed for this age group. Instead a parent or a coach should officiate the game. All rule infringements shall be briefly explained to the offending player. It is strongly recommended that the adult officiating the U8 game attend the Grade 9 referee course.
The Assistant Referees: none are needed.
The Duration of the Match: The game is divided into four quarters. Clubs may make the quarters shorter in duration if necessary. Quarters are played in the U8 age group to accommodate the attention span and physical limitations of the children.
The Start and Restart of Play: Conform to FIFA, with the exception of the opponents of the team taking the kick-off are at least four (4) yards from the ball until it is in play.
The Ball In and Out of Play: Conform to FIFA.
Goal Scored: Shall conform to FIFA.
Offside: There shall be no offside called during these games.
Fouls and Misconduct: No caution or send off shall be issued to players. If a child is being too rambunctious then the game official will ask the coach to make a substitution of that player to give the child a chance to calm down before returning to play.
Free Kicks: All free kicks shall be direct. This will keep the game flowing and keep the attention of the kids.
The Penalty Kick: there will not be any penalty kicks called.
The Pass-In: Some U8 players do not yet have the eye-hand coordination to execute a throw-in to the letter of the law. This leads to endless retakes from one team to the other. Additionally with a pass-in the ball is on the ground and stationary so the U8 player has a better chance of striking it correctly. This may lead to some intentional passes, thus encouraging teamwork. However, this is still unlikely given that whether it is a throw or a pass all of the kids on the field will be yelling for the ball at the same time and the child putting the ball into play will be confused.
The Goal Kick: The kick should be allowed to be taken from anywhere along the goal line over which the ball traveled. This is so the ball can be put back into play quickly. The ball should be placed two or three yards into the field of play to make it easier for the child taking the goal kick to get the ball well into the field of play once it is kicked. The defending players must stand at least four yards away from the ball until it is in play. If the suggestion of using the halfway line is used then the defending players must stand at least at the halfway line until it is in play. The position of the defending players is so that the attacking team has a chance to advance the ball up field.
The Corner Kick: per FIFA. The defending players must stand at least four yards away from the ball until it is in play.
ROSTERS / PLAYING TIME
Roster Size: Under the single field method the recommended minimum roster size is six players and the maximum roster size is eight players. Under the dual field method (Agawam Soccer is using the dual field method) the recommended minimum roster size is ten players and the maximum roster size is twelve players. This range of roster sizes allows for a club to use either the single field or dual field set up.
Playing Time: A minimum of at least 50% playing time is required.
Split-Field Model: See appendix for options.
No score or standings should be kept.
ADVANTAGES OF PLAYING SMALL SIDED GAMES
More time with the coach
Energetic workouts due to playing both offense and defense
More efficient use of field space
Matches can be played simultaneously across a full size field
Children are physically more efficient in smaller space
Children are actively involved for a longer period of time
It takes less time to score a goal or advance to goal
Greater success rate for the players
Additional Agawam Soccer Association Rules
Opposing coaches, players and parents should shake hands after each match.
Parent/coaches, non-participating players and spectators should be there to enjoy and encourage the activity of the youngsters
Spectator and team benches should be on opposite sides of the field.
No alcoholic beverages or tobacco products will be consumed or allowed near the playing area.
No slide tackles to be allowed in this age group.
Coaches of U8 teams should attend the U6/U8 Youth Module coaching course and the Grade 9 referee course.
Effective Playing Time Relative to Game Format and Roster Size