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8U Guidelines

8U Guidelines:

The 8U division introduces young players to soccer through short-sided games on small fields with simplified rules. These games ensure fun and maximum learning opportunities without keeping standings or utilizing goalies.


Field Size: Recommended at 100 feet X 70 feet.

- Halfway line spans the width, equidistant between goal lines.
- Circle in center with a six-yard radius. 

Goals: Maximum four feet high and six feet wide, pop-up goals OR four tall cones, set six feet apart.

Ball: Size 3 ball used for 8U games.

Coach: Emphasize positive coaching. No sideline yelling. Coaches not allowed on field during games. Refereeing by coaches should not involve coaching.

Players: Four per team on field; maximum of six on roster. Substitutions between quarters, at halftime, and for injuries. Minimum two quarters playing time per game. No player should play four quarters until everyone has played three.

Player Equipment: As part of the registration fee, each player receives a full uniform (jersey, shorts, socks) which your coach will give to you prior to the start of the season. In addition, you will need to supply the following items:
- Shin guards (mandatory for all practices and games)
- Size 3 soccer ball (highly recommended)
- Soccer shoes (These shoes may not have a toe cleat. Tennis shoes are ok.)
- Water bottle (great for those hot August days)

For safety reasons, players are not allowed to wear jewelry (earrings, necklaces, barrettes etc...) during practices or games. Special provisions can be made for medical items (ex: medic-alert bracelets)

Game Duration: Four 10-minute periods with a 3-5 minute halftime break. Total game length 50 minutes.

Start of Play: Kick-off from center at start of halves and after each goal. Teams swap sides at halftime. Start of play for 2nd and 4th quarter is with team in possession at end of previous quarter passing in.

Kickoff: Taken from center with opposing team outside center circle. Opponent should be at least 5 yards away but exact distance not insisted upon.

Ball In and Out of Play: Referee determines when ball is out of play. Restart with kick in if crosses goal line, throw in if crosses touch line. No goals from kick in or throw in.

Fouls & Misconduct: Direct free kicks for all fouls. Opponents must be six yards away. No penalty kicks. Referees work cooperatively with coaches to avoid cautions/send-offs.

Referee: AYSO certified 8U Officials or higher required. Officials should explain infringements briefly and encourage proper play and sportsmanship. Keep the game moving and free from unnecessary stoppages.

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