GAME RULES FOR U9, U10, U11, U12

Coaches, players, and all spectators are expected to have fun and help each other to foster a supportive and enjoyable environment for all players on both teams. We are all part of the Academy program and must work together to help encourage a positive experience for the players.



  • Each team plays six players (7v7) including a goalkeeper (i.e. five six players and one goalkeeper).

  • The ball size is 4.

  • Field of play (pitch) will be 45 yards wide and 58 yards long, divided by a halfway line and with two goals on each end, with penalty areas in front of each goal.

  • The Build out line is halfway between both end lines and halfway line.

  • The fields will be lined, but cones may be used to mark any lines that are difficult to see.

  • The two opposing teams will sit on the same sideline, and parents and spectators will be seated on the opposite side. All non-players are asked to remain at least 5 feet from the sidelines.

  • Team size shall not exceed 14 players per team.

  • All players need shin guards with socks pulled over them. Jewelry is not allowed.

  • Each game will be 55 minutes long, consisting of two 25 minute halves, with a 5 minute halftime. There is no stoppage of the clock.

Academy Specific Rules 

  • The build out line promotes playing the ball out of the back in a less pressured setting.

  • When the goalkeeper has the ball in his or her hands during play from the opponent, the opposing team must move behind the build out line until the ball is put into play .

  • Once the opposing team is behind the build out line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw or roll the ball into play (punts and drop kicks are not allowed) .

  • After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper, the opposing team can cross the build out line and play resumes as normal .

  • The opposing team must also move behind the build out line prior to a goal kick and may only cross the build out line once the ball has left the penalty area.

  • If a goalkeeper punts or drop kicks the ball, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense.

  • If the punt or drop kick occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred.

  • The build out line will also be used to denote where offside offenses can be called .

  • Players cannot be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the build out line.

  • Players can be penalized for an offside offense between the build out line and goal line.

  • Ideally, the goalkeeper will wait to put the ball into play once all opponents are past the build out line. 

  • However, the goalkeeper can put the ball into play sooner but he or she does so accepting the positioning of the opponents and the consequences of how play resumes.

  • To support the intent of the development rule, coaches and referees should be mindful of any intentional delays being caused by opponents not retreating in a timely manner or encroaching over the build out line prior to the ball being put into play. 

  • Coaches are responsible for addressing these types of issues with their players .

  • Referees can manage the situation with misconduct if deemed appropriate.

  • Referees should be flexible when enforcing the 6 second rule and counting the time of possession should only begin when all opponents have moved behind the build out line .

  • The team listed first on the schedule is considered the “Home Team”. Home Team will wear pinnies/bibs over their green Academy jerseys to distinguish themselves and will kickoff for the first half. The team listed second on the schedule is considered the “Away Team”. Away Team will wear their green Academy jerseys and will kickoff for the second half.

  • Each player needs to play at least 60% of each game, and as such, unlimited substitutions may be made at any stoppage of the game (Goal Kick, Free Kick, Throw-in, or Corner Kick).

  • In this age group, a single referee will be used to facilitate and officiate the game.

  • Score will be kept by the referee. No cards are shown for misconduct. 

  • Overly aggressive play shall result in a foul, in which the fouled team will be granted a free kick from that spot.

  • At the end of the game, both teams will line up and shake hands and congratulate each other. 


Play Stoppage

  • On a goal kick, all players for the opposing team need to be outside of the penalty box. No one may touch the ball until it has exited the penalty box.

  • Hand balls and fouls by one team will result in a Free Kick (either direct or indirect depending on the violation) for the opposite team.

  • At this age, when the ball goes out of bounds, it shall be restarted by a throw in.

  • Offside is enforced at this age. With no linesmen, single referees will do the best they can to spot the violation. Offside calls will mainly be used to discourage “cherry picking”.



  • The goalkeeper may pick up the ball with their hands inside of the box only. However, they may not pick up any ball that has been deliberately passed back to them by their own team.

  • When a goalkeeper picks up a live ball with their hands, they may punt, throw, or place the ball down to resume play. They have six seconds to do so. A live ball placed on the ground by the goalkeeper may not be picked up again until it has been touched by an opponent.