US Youth Soccer Official Under 8 Playing Recommendations

Law 1 – The Field of Play:

Dimensions: The field of play must be rectangular. The length of the touchline must be greater than the length of the goal line.

Length: minimum 25 yards maximum 35 yards Width: minimum 20 yards maximum 30 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.

Flagposts: none.

The Corner Arc: Conform to FIFA.

Goals: Goals must be placed on the center of each goal line. They consist of two upright posts equidistant from the corners and joined at the top by a horizontal crossbar. The recommended distance between the posts is eighteen (18) feet and the distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the ground is six (6) feet. Goals may be smaller in dimension.

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 players. There are NO goalkeepers. Substitutions: At any stoppage of play and unlimited.

US Youth Soccer recommended modifications to the FIFA Laws of the Game. FIFA Laws of the Game can be found at Please note the Grade 1/2 addendum and appendix.


Revised September 6, 2011

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.

Based on US Youth Soccer Recommendations with the exception of minimal modifications by NYSA.

Reference:     US Youth Soccer Official Under 8 Playing Recommendations