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Region 1508 - Murrieta, North Temecula, Winchester

8U Division Guidelines


The following guidelines are in accordance with US Soccer's Player Development Initiatives which were introduced in 2016 and are required by August 2017. These guidelines allow us to focus on player development through small-sided games which encourage all players to have meaningful roles on the field. Expected results include increased skills with the ball, improved decision making, increased awareness, and a better understanding of the game of soccer.

Field & Ball Dimensions: 25 to 35 yards long by 15 to 25 yards wide
Markings: Distinctive lines recommended. Halfway line the width of the field, marked equidistant between the goal lines.
Goals: Maximum four feet high and six feet wide.
Ball size: 3
Players Regional Rule Numbers: Four per team on field; no goalkeepers. Six maximum on roster, although seven may be allowed to accommodate more players.
Substitutions: Between quarters, at halftime and for injuries.
Regional Rule Playing time: Minimum of two quarters per game and no player should sit out twice until every player has sat out once.
Teams: Only players should be allowed on the field with the exception of a coach from each team who will manage the game.
Player's Equipment Footwear: Soccer shoes are recommended (or similar type athletic shoes). The type and condition of cleated shoes must be inspected for safety before use.
Shinguards: Mandatory for both practices and games, and must be covered entirely by socks.
Jerseys: Rolled or tied up sleeves are permitted, provided that the referee approves it is done in a safe manner.
Duration of Game Four 10-minute quarters
Halftime break of five minutes
Referee Regional Rule Referees will not be used to manage 8U games. One or both of the coaches should "officiate". The games are intended to be and opportunity for our young players to experience the fun of playing. The barest of minimum rules are needed and should be applied with a generous amount of flexibility. Let the players have the freedom to play with minimum interruption.
Assistant Referee/Club Linesman Regional Rule None required.

Playing the Game

Start of Play To start the first and second halves and following each goal in all age-group games, play is started or restarted with a kick-off in the middle of the field. A coin toss is used to determine which team kicks off to start the game and the other team kicks off to start the second half. Following a goal the team scored upon kicks off.
Kick-off The kick-off is taken from the center of the field with each team in their own half and the team not kicking off at least ten feet from the ball. Do not insist the opponent always be ten feet from the ball, as this is just a guide to give the kicker room to kick the ball without it immediately hitting an opponent. Remember, let them play and do not interfere for technicalities.
Ball In and Out of Play The ball is out of play in all age group games when it completely crosses the touch line (side line) or goal line (end line), either on the ground or in the air.
Method of Scoring A goal, in all age group games, is awarded when the ball completely crosses the goal line into the goal.
Fouls The opposing team must be at least ten feet from the ball when free kicks are taken in 8U games. Since there are no goalkeepers in 8U, there are no fouls to or by goalkeepers. The following, if deliberately done, are the fouls most likely to occur in 8U games: kicking, tripping, pushing, holding, handling the ball and dangerous play (the most frequent call in 8U games). Officials must remember that there is no need to stop play for technical violations that do not interrupt the flow of the game. It's a player's game and not a game of how many infractions can be identified, so keep the fun going and let them play.
Misconducts Misconduct should be rare in 9U games. There is no need for the public cautioning and sending off of young players (leave your red and yellow cards at home). Referees and coaches should work cooperatively when a 8U player may need a "time out".
Free Kicks All free kicks in 8U games are indirect free kicks. Opponents must be at least ten feet from the ball or on the goal line between the goal posts during free kicks. Free kicks awarded to the attacking team inside the defending team's goal area are to be taken from the nearest point on the goal area line parallel to the goal line.
Offside No offside.
No Heading! Consistent with the US Soccer mandates on heading the ball, heading is banned for all division players 11U (12U and below for programs without single age divisions) and below in both practices and matches. An indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team if a player age 10 or younger, deliberately touches the ball with his/her head during a match (taken from the place where the player touched the ball with his/her head).
Throw-in or Dribble-in Regional Rule Restarts from the touchline that would normally result in throw-ins can be replaced with dribble-ins at 6U through 8U. Opponents should be ten feet from ball. Avoid kick-ins as they can result in an unfair advantage for players that have strong kicks relative to their peers. Keep the game moving.
Goal Kick A goal kick is awarded to the opposing team, in 8U and older, when the attacking team is last to touch the ball before it crosses the goal line but not scoring a goal. The goal kick may be taken from any point inside the goal area or general vicinity(pending exact margins). The opposing team must be at least ten feet from the ball when the goal kick is taken in 8U games.
Corner Kick A corner kick is awarded to the opposing team, in 8U and older, when the defending team is last to touch the ball before it crosses the goal line but not scoring a goal. The opposing team must be at least ten feet from the ball when the corner kick is taken in 8U games.
Hand Ball A hand ball infraction occurs when a player handles the ball deliberately. The "hand" includes the entire arm up to the top of the shoulder. Instinctive, self-protective reactions are not penalized at this young age. Accidental contact (ball striking hand or arm with no intent by the player) is not an offense and should not be penalized.

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AYSO Region 1508 French Valley

39252 Winchester RD #107-373 
Murrieta, California 92563

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