Match Rules

Official Game Rules Per BC Soccer Standards

Ball:  The ball must conform to FIFA standards and must conform to the FIFA inflation specifications = Size four (4)

The Number of Players:

  • U9 to U10:  A game is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than seven (7) players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. A match may not start if either team consists of fewer than five players one of whom is the goalkeeper.
  • U11 TO U12: A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than eight (8) players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. A match may not start if either team consists of fewer than seven players one of whom is the goalkeeper.

Substitutions:  At any stoppage, substitutions are unlimited and must be done with the officials’ permission.

Game Uniforms:

  • Uniforms must distinguish teams, the home team changes if there is a colour conflict. The goalkeeper should wear a colour that distinguishes him/her from both teams. Shin guards are mandatory and must be worn under the socks. Jewellery is not permitted.

The Start and Restart of Play:

  • U9 to U10:  Conform to FIFA with the exception of the opponents of the team taking the kick-off are at least eight (8) meters from the ball until it is in play. Dropped balls are not part of Small Sided Games Program at this age group and an indirect free kick will be awarded to the team who had possession when the play was stopped.
  • U11 TO U12: Conform to FIFA with the exception that opponents of the team taking the kick-off are at least nine (9) meters from the ball until it is in play.

Offside Rule:

  • U9 to U10:  None
  • U11 TO u12: Conform to FIFA, with the exception of only occurring in the attacking third. A line may be marked as a dotted line, and solid line or single cones on the touch line.  When an offside offence occurs, the referee awards an indirect free kick to be taken from the position of the offending player when the ball was last played to him by one of his team-mates.
  • A player in an offside position (A) may be penalised before playing or touching the ball, if, in the opinion of the referee, no other team-mate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball.

Fouls and Misconduct:

  • U9 TO U10: Conform to FIFA with the exception that all fouls shall result in an indirect free kick. An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team at the centre spot on the halfway line if a goalkeeper punts or drop-kicks the ball in the air from his/her goal area into the opponents goal area. No cards shown for misconduct. If a player intentionally strikes, deliberately kicks or spits at an opponent, this player must be substituted and will not be permitted to participate further during the game. The coach should inform the player as to why and correct these actions.
  • U11 TO U12: Conform to FIFA with the exception that an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team at the centre spot on the halfway line if a goalkeeper punts or drop-kicks the ball in the air from his/her penalty area into the opponents penalty area. Cautionary and expulsion cards are used.

Free Kicks:

  • U9 TO U10: Conform to FIFA with the exception that all free kicks are indirect. All opponents are at least eight (8) meters from the ball.
  • U11 TO U12: Conform to FIFA with the exception that opponents are at least nine (9) meters from the ball. An indirect kick awarded to the attacking team that occurs inside the penalty area, shall be taken from the outside edge of the penalty area in line where the offense took place.

The Penalty Kick:

  • U9 TO U10: None
  • U11 TO U12: Conform to FIFA with the exceptions that the penalty mark is marked at nine (9) meters from the goal line. All players except the player taking the kick must be nine (9) meters from the ball.

The Throw-In:  Conform to FIFA.

The Goal Kick:

  • U9 TO U10: Conform to FIFA except that: it: shall be taken from anywhere within the goal area. Unlike FIFA, a goal cannot be scored directly from a goal kick.
  • U11 TO U12: Conform to FIFA except that it shall be taken from anywhere within the penalty area.

The Retreat Line:

  • The retreat line is initiated when the ball has gone out for a goal kick. All opposing players will ‘retreat’ to the markers indicating the retreat line and cannot pursue the ball until:
  • The ball is received by a teammate OR, the ball travels over the retreat line OR, the ball leaves the field of play. For simplicity, the retreat line will be marked at the 1/3 line of the field.

Encroachment of Retreat Line:

  • If the defending team encroaches across the retreat line before an opposition player touches the ball then the referee blows the play stopped and issues a re-take of the goal kick.
  • If the opposing team repeatedly infringes the retreat line, an indirect free kick shall be awarded from the place where the offence occurred for not respecting the restart.

The Corner Kick:

  • U9 TO U10: Conform to FIFA with the exception that opponents remain at least eight (8) meters from the ball until it is in play. Unlike FIFA a goal cannot be scored directly from a corner kick.
  • U11 TO U12: Conform to FIFA with the exception that opponents remain at least nine (9) meters away from the ball until it is in play.