U7 and U8 (1st and 2nd grade)
- Two 20-minute halves with a halftime break.
- Teams switch sides/goals at half-time and the team that didn’t kick off to start the game kicks off the second half.
- After the substitution breaks (which are about midway through each half), the game resumes where it was stopped or left off.
Boys and girls are placed on separate teams. There will be 5 players per team on the field and no goalkeepers; 8 players maximum on the roster. Substitutions are between periods, at halftime, and for injuries. Only AYSO players are allowed on the field. Playing time is a minimum of two periods per game and player should play four periods until everyone has played three.
- Size 3 ball – usually provided by the “home” team
- Team uniform – shirt, shorts and socks. Sweatshirts and sweatpants/tights may be worn UNDER the uniform, not over it.
- Soccer shoes, tennis shoes, or similar type athletic shoes are recommended. The type and condition of cleated shoes must be inspected for safety before use. Baseball shoes are not acceptable.
- Shinguards covered by socks are mandatory at both practices and games. Shinguards may NOT be worn over socks.
No jewelry may be worn for practices or games (this includes earrings), unless they are required religious or medical items. The official at the game must determine the safety of these items.
The Start of Play:
To start the first and second halves, and following each goal, play is started or restarted with a kick-off in the center of the field. A coin toss is performed before each game. The winner decided which goal to defend, the other team kicks off. Following a goal, the team scored upon kicks 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 6 yards from the ball.
Method of Scoring:
A goal is awarded when the ball completely crosses the goal line into the goal. Goals should be enthusiastically celebrated by everyone. Goals are not recorded to determine who wins.
Fouls and Misconduct:
The referees will assess direct free kicks for all fouls, with the opponents 6 yards away from the ball. Free kicks which are awarded to the attacking team inside the defending team’s goal area should be taken from the nearest point on the goal area line in front of the goal. There are no penalty kicks. The referees will work cooperatively with the coaches and eliminate the need for cautions and send-offs.
AYSO certified U8 Officials or higher are required for U8 games. The U8 Official should briefly explain any infringements to the player(s) and encourage proper play and sporting behavior. As with all games, every effort should be made to keep the game moving and free from stoppages for doubtful infractions. Let them play and enjoy.
Assistant Referees/Club Linesmen:
If available, qualified Assistant Referees who have completed Assistant Referee Certification may be used to assist the referee. This is an opportunity for new assistant referees to begin getting experience. If qualified assistant referees are not available, Club Linesmen (untrained volunteers who may be affiliated with one of the teams) may be recruited from the spectators to assist the referee with calling the ball in and out of play only. This is an opportunity for parents to get involved.