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Division Specifics: U7 and U8 (1st and 2nd grade)

Player Equipment

  • Size 3 ball
  • Uniform: team jersey, black shorts and team socks.  Long-sleeved shirts, fleeces or sweatpants can be added, but must be worn UNDER the uniform, not over it, or players can't tell whose on their team. 
  • 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.
  • 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 Players

Boys and girls play on separate teams. There will be either 4 or 5 players per team on the field and no goalkeepers. 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 no player should play four periods until everyone has played three.

The Officials

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.

Game Play

  • Two 20-minute halves with a break at halftime.
  • A coin toss is performed before the game. The winner decides which goal it will attack, and the other team kicks off.
  • Teams switch sides at half-time and the team that didn’t kick off to start the game kicks off the second half.
  • Stop for a brief substitution break when there's a stoppage (goal scored, ball goes out of play) roughly midway through each half. Afterward, resume the game where it was left off.

The Kick-Off

  • All players, except the player taking the kick-off, must be in their own half of the field.
  • While the kick-off is in progress, opponents must be 6 yards from the center mark, i.e. outside of the center circle.
  • The ball is placed at the center mark. The ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves (in any direction).

Fouls and Misconduct

  • The referees will assess INDIRECT free kicks for all fouls, with the opponents 6 yards away from the ball.
  • Headers are NOT allowed. If a ball is deliberately headed, the Referee stops play, explains the policy and awards an Indirect Free Kick to the other team.
  • If the defending team commits a foul in their own goal area, take the free kick should from the goal 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.

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.
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