Policies & Procedures

House League Rules

Revised January 1, 2018

1. The Field of Play

U5 – Micro
approx. 15m x 20m, goals are approx. 1.2m high x 3.6m wide

U6 – Micro
approx. 20m x 30m, goals are approx. 1.2m high x 3.6m wide

U7-U10 – Mini
approx. 30m x 40m, goals are approx. 1.8m high x 5.4m wide

U12 – Intermediate
approx. 40m x 60m, goals are approx. 2.1m high x 6.3m wide

U15/U18 – Full
approx. 50m x 70m, goals are approx. 2.4m high x 7.2m wide

Refer to Field Diagrams for additional details.

Note: For the purposes of these rules, the units “yard (yd)” and “meter (m)” are considered to be equal and are to be approximated by one adult pace or step.

2. The Ball

U5/U6       Size 3

U7-U10     Size 4

U12          Size 4

U15/U18   Size 5

3. The Duration of the Game

U5 1 x 20min straight time.

U6 2 x 15 min with 5 min half time.

U8 2 x 20 min with 5 min half time.

U10 2 x 25 min with 5 min half time.

U12 2 x 35 min with 5 min half time.

U15 2 x 45 min with 5 min half time.

U18 2 x 45min with 5 min half time.

Fair Play Code: In the event that there are player shortages or extreme heat, the coach from either team may approach the referee prior to the start of the game and request an additional 2 min. water break be given mid-way through the half.

4. The Number of Players

U5 3v3 or 4v4* with no goalkeeper.

U6 4v4 one of which is to be a goalkeeper.

U7-U10 7v7 one of which is to be a goalkeeper.

U12 9v9 one of which is to be a goalkeeper.

U15/U18 11v11 one of which is to be a goalkeeper.

* U5 ideally play 3v3, but allow 4v4 if required so that not more than half of the players are sitting out.

Fair Play Code: If a team has less than the required number of players then the coaches are encouraged to make arrangements to either share players or play with an equal number of players on the field.

5. Substitutions

U6 and younger

Unlimited substitutions may be made at any stoppage in the game. Substitutions should be made in coordination with the other team.

U8 and Older

  • Unlimited field player substitutions are permitted at the following times:
  • Throw-in – the team that has possession may sub (other team may piggy back)
  • After a goal is scored – subs allowed by either team
  • During a goal kick – subs allowed by either team
  • Start of 2nd half – subs allowed by either team
  • To replace an injured player (at the discretion of the Referee) – injured player may be subbed

Goalkeepers are only to be substituted at half time or if they suffer an injury.

Substitution Procedure

At an appropriate stoppage in play, the coach is to address the referee and request a substitution. The referee will confirm permission to make the substitution. The referee may choose to disallow a substitution at any time and for any reason.

6. The Players’ Equipment

  • Players must not use equipment or wear anything that may pose a danger to themselves,
    or another player.
  • No jewellery is allowed (except Medical Alert bracelets).
  • Headbands or elastics must be soft material and contain no metal or hard plastic.
  • Any casts or braces are to be brought to the attention of the referee before the start of the match in order that they are inspected by the referee. The referee may require additional cover or may deem the cast/brace to be a hazard and the player as ineligible to play.
  • Each player is required to wear shin guards. Guards are to be covered by socks.
  • Metal studded cleats are not allowed.
  • Each team’s uniform is to consist of jersey, socks and matching shorts.
  • Shorts are to be standard mid-thigh soccer shorts (tights or bathing suit bottoms are not allowed).
  • Each player is to wear a team jersey with a unique number. If there is a conflict with jersey colours then the home team will change (if they have 2 different colour jerseys), or wear pinnies.
  • Any exceptions to the rules are to be discussed in advance with the referee.

7. The Start and Restart of the Game

Definition of Kick-Off

A kick-off is a way of starting or restarting play:

  • At the start of a match
  • After a goal has been scored
  • At the start of the second half

The Ball in and out of play

  • Goal lines and Touch lines

The Ball is OUT of play when:

  • It has wholly crossed the field markings (lines/ cones), whether on the ground or in the air.
  • Play has been stopped by the Referee.

The Ball is is in play at other times, including when:

  • It rebounds into play from a goal-post, a cross- bar, or a corner flag post,
    and remains in the field of play.
  • It rebounds off the referee, where applicable, when they are on the field of play.

8. The Method of scoring

A goal is scored when the whole of the ball has crossed over the goal line between the goal posts and under the cross- bar.

When goal posts are not available and cones are used instead, a goal is scored when the ball passes between the cones without touching them, below 5 feet.

The Referee shall be the sole judge as to whether a goal has been scored.

If, at any time during the match, one of the teams has amassed a 5 goal lead, then they are to play with 1 player less than the opposing team until the lead has been reduced to less than 5 goals, at which point they will return to playing with equal numbers.

9. Offside

There is NO offside in the U6, U7, U8 or U10 small-sided game.

10. Fouls and misconduct

The Game Leader(Referee/Coach) must attempt to explain ALL infringements to the offending player.

Remember most acts of handball or fouls and misconduct at this level are caused by a

lack of coordination, with no intent.

Slide tackling

Slide tacking is not allowed and an offence is punished by awarding the opposing team

a direct free kick from the location of the offence.

U8 and Younger

All free kicks are indirect. Play is restarted when the ball is kicked or passed. The ball

must be stationary before it is kicked. A goal may not be scored from an indirect free

kick until another player has touched the ball. All opposing players are to be a minimum

of 6m award from the position of the ball.

Ejection from the Game

If an ejection occurs (player receives either 2 yellow cards in one match, or a direct red

card) then the referee is to complete an Incident Report and submit it to the referee

coordinator immediately following the game.

11. Free kicks

All free kicks are indirect.

12. Penalty Kicks

There are no penalty kicks in the U6 or U7  small-sided game.

13. Throw-ins & Kick-ins

U10 and older

  • A throw-in is used to restart play for U10 and older.

U8 and younger

  • A kick-in is used to restart play for U8 and younger.
  • A goal cannot be scored directly from a kick-in.

Kick-in Procedure

The ball is placed on the touchline at the location it went out of play. The ball is to be stationary and on the ground. The ball is passed in to play. The kicker cannot touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player. All opposition players are to be a minimum of 6yd away from the kicker.

U6 and younger

  • Field markings are to be corner flags and cones. Boundaries are to be explained but can be less tightly controlled than older age groups.
  • A throw-in or dribble is a method of restarting play.
  • A throw-in is awarded to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball when the whole of the ball crosses the touch line, either on the ground or in the air.
  • A goal cannot be scored directly from a thrown-in.

14. Goal Kick

A goal kick or dribble in is awarded when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line either on the ground or in the air, having last touched a player of either team, and a goal has not been scored.

The “Retreat Line”

The Ontario Soccer Association has introduced the “Retreat Line” to allow mini soccer players more time and space to make initial plays after restarts of play that begin with the goalkeeper. For all games other than full field (11v11) play, the opposing team is to be positioned beyond the retreat line (refer to Field Diagrams) on a goal kick or after the goalkeeper has made a save. The goalkeeper kicks the ball into play and the opposing team cannot advance beyond the retreat line until: the ball has been touched by another player; or the ball has advanced beyond the retreat line. The goalkeeper can choose to play the ball before the players have fully retreated. If the goalkeeper plays the ball before the players have fully retreated then the ball is considered to be immediately “in play”. The retreat line for U10 and under is at the half line, U11 and U12 is 1/3 of the field or just past the goal box halfway between center and goal box.

15. Additional Information

Parents and Spectators

Refer to the published Field Diagrams for the location of the designated player and spectator areas. Players, coaches, and spectators are required to stay back a minimum of 2m from the edge of the field.

Parents/guardians for children under 10 years old are expected to remain near the field (but in the designated spectator areas) at all times. Parents/guardians for children under 10 years old who fail to comply with this rule may be subject to de-registration.

Tournament and Festival Rules

Tournaments and Festivals will be organized for divisions at various times. Tournament specific rules will be published in advance and where there is a conflict with these rules, the tournament specific rules will be given precedence.

Fair Play Code

All house league games are to be governed by a Fair Play Code which emphasizes sportsmanship, and the safety, wellbeing, and enjoyment of the player above all other concerns.

Every house league player is entitled to receive fair playing time. Rule of thumb: coaches shall ensure that every able-bodied player is on the field for at least 50% of a game (for example 25min of a 50min game). Players also need to be given adequate rest and hydration breaks during a game to ensure their safety, therefore no player is to play more than 80% of a game (for example 40min of a 50min game). Exceptions to this rule are for the goalkeeper who may play the full game, to account for player shortages, and to account for any injuries or fitness concerns. Remember all representatives try to follow this rule, but sometimes the player does not want to play.

Coaches, parents, players, and spectators are encouraged to keep in mind that the governing principles behind recreational sport are: Fun, Fitness, and Fair Play. The actual score in an individual match is not a good indicator of success. As such, no league standings are kept and the results of any individual match should not be overemphasized. No team shall be allowed to have more than a 4 point difference.  At this point the opposing team shall play a player down until difference is surpassed.

Incident Reporting

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Tillsonburg,ON N4G 4H5

Telephone: (519) 688-3002

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