top of page

FIFA Laws of the Game
As Modified By U.S. Youth Soccer

Law 1: Field of Play
Field size for Micro Kickers-U12 players is reduced for small-sided play.
U14-U19 play on regulation size fields.

Law 2: The Ball
Micro Kickers - U8: size 3 soccer balls. U10 - U12: size 4 soccer balls. U14 - U19: size 5 soccer balls.

Law 3: Number of Players
Micro Kickers - U6: 4v4 no goalkeepers, U8: 6v6, U9: 7v7, U11: 9v9, U13 and Up: 11v11
Substitutions for Micro Kickers - U6 can be made anytime.
U8 - U12 are allowed unlimited substitutions by both teams at any stoppage in play.
U14 are allowed unlimited substitutions but may only sub on kick-offs, goal kicks, at the beginning of a half or on own throw-in. All players will be given the opportunity to play 50 percent of the game.

Law 4: Player Equipment
Shin guards worn under the socks are mandatory. Cleats are recommended but not required for Micro Kickers. No baseball cleats with a “toe cleat” or metal spikes are allowed. Absolutely no Jewelry is permitted during play.

Law 5 and Law 6: The Referee and Assistant Referee
Micro Kicker and U6 games are officiated by coaches which are allowed to be on the field.

U8 and U10 games are officiated by a Center Referee only. U12 and higher are officiated by a Center Referee and two Assistant Referees/Club Linesmen.

Law 7: Duration of the Match
Micro Kickers play four 5-minute quarters with a 2-minute break between quarters and a 4-
minute half-time break after a 30-minute team practice session.

U6 play four 8-minute quarters with a 2-minute break between quarters and a 5-minute half-time.

U8 play four 10-minute quarters with a 2-minute break between quarters and a 5-minute half-time.
U10 play two 25-minute halves with a 5-minute half-time break.

U12 plays two 30-minute halves with a 5-minute half-time break.
U14 play two 35-minute halves with a 10-minute half-time break.
U16 play two 40-minute halves with a 10-minute half-time break.

Law 8: Start and Restart of Play
The team that wins the coin toss chooses which goal to defend. The other team starts play with a kick from the center mark. Teams alternate kicks from the center mark to start play at the beginning of each quarter or half. Players may kick the ball forward to back without another player touching the ball first.

Law 9: Ball In and Out of Play
The ball is in play until it completely crosses over a touchline or goal line.

Law 10: Method of Scoring
A goal is scored when the ball completely crosses over the goal line, between the goal
posts and below the crossbar.

Law 11: Offside
A player is offside when he/she is in the opponent's half of the field, nearer the goal than the second to last defender and/or the ball and involved in play. Offside is not called for Micro Kickers - U10.

Law 12: Fouls and Misconduct
Fouls are classified as either Penal (Contact) or Technical (Non-Contact) Penal fouls include tripping, pushing, etc. Technical fouls include dangerous play and impeding (obstruction). Yellow or red cards are administered for fouls committed carelessly or recklessly for U12 and up but are rarely required. Cards are never shown to Micro Kicker-U10 players. Coaches for younger players deal with inappropriate behavior by removing the players from the game for a “cool down” period.

Law 13: Free Kicks
Free kicks are either direct or indirect. A goal can be scored from a direct free kick.

Indirect kicks must be touched by another player before going in the goal for the
score to count. All free kicks for Micro Kickers through U10 are indirect free kicks.

Law 14: Penalty Kick
Penalty kicks are awarded when the defense commits a direct free kick foul in the
penalty area. No penalty kicks are awarded for Micro Kickers-U10 age groups.


Law 15: Throw-In
A throw-in is taken when the ball completely crosses the touchlines (sidelines)
Micro Kickers and U6 players will use a kick-in when the ball completely crosses either the touchlines or goal lines. U8 players are allowed a second attempt after an illegal throw. After the second attempt, the opposing team will be awarded a throw-in.

Law 16: Goal Kick
A goal kick is awarded when the offense kicks the ball over the opponents’ goal line. The ball must leave the goal area to be in play or the kick is retaken. Micro Kickers - U6 use kick-ins instead of goal kicks.

Law 17: Corner Kick
A corner kick is awarded when the defense kicks the ball over their goal line.


Law 18: Buildout Line

U8 and U10, when the goalkeeper has possession, whether after a shot or for a goal kick, the opposing team must move behind the solid white ‘Buildout Line.’ Once the goalkeeper has played the ball (rolled, passed or thrown, no punts), the opposing team may step up and defend.


Law 19: Heading

Heading the ball is not allowed until the U13 age level.

bottom of page