Condensed Laws of Soccer Small Sided - U-8 Division


Small‑sided games are designed to allow the maximum participation in the sport of soccer. Unless otherwise noted Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) laws apply.


LAW I ‑ The Field of Play. The field will be 35 ‑ 60 yards wide and 45 ‑ 80 yards long. Goals will be 5 to 6 feet high and 15 to 21 feet wide. If permanent goals are not in place, each coach will be issued corner flags to mark their goal on the field. Reduced penalty areas, goals areas, and center circle radius will be played as marked on the field.


LAW III ‑ Number of Players. Each team consists of 7 players (max.) to 5 players (min.) on the field, one of whom must be the goalkeeper. Each player should play 3/4 of each game and must play at least 1/2 of each game (see Regional Guidelines). Except for injuries, substitutions are to be made only at two brief quarter stoppages and at half-time.


LAW V ‑ Referees. AYSO certified referees, if available, will officiate. If not available, each team should designate a "team referee" to officiate for 1/2 of the game. Coaches may serve as the "team referee".


LAW VI ‑ Linespersons. Each team will be requested to supply a linesperson. They will assist the referee

by indicating when the ball is out of play and which team is entitled to possession on the restart. Referees may assign other duties as necessary.


LAW VII- Duration of Play. The game consists of two-twenty minute periods with a 5-10 minute half time break. Play will pause briefly (not a coaching huddle) at approximately 10 minutes into the first and second halves for substitutions. Players may have a water break when the weather is very hot.


LAW X ‑ Method of Scoring. When flags are used for goals, the crossbar will be an imaginary line connecting the tip of the two flags. (Referee must judge.)


LAW XI ‑ Offside. Offside rule will NOT be enforced unless a player habitually "camps" in the opponents goal area or in an offside position waiting for the ball.


LAW XII‑ Fouls and Misconduct. The referee should explain infractions to the offending player. Fair Play and Good Sportsmanship is emphasized for players, coaches, and spectators at all times.


The penalty for all fouls (penal and non‑penal) is a direct free kick.


LAW XIII ‑ Free Kicks. Only Direct Free Kicks will be awarded. All defenders must be at least 6 yards way from the ball or on the goal line before the kick is allowed.


LAW XIV ‑ Penalty Kicks. Penalty kicks will NOT be awarded in the match. Fouls committed in the penalty area will be taken as direct free kicks from the spot of the foul.


LAW XV ‑ Throw In. A second throw in will be allowed if the first attempt is improper. Referee will explain proper method before the second throw. If the second throw is improper, the throw in will be awarded to the other team.