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SASC Recreational Soccer
Modified Playing Rules Summary

SASC follows the US Soccer Guidelines regarding player development. Details of this can be found here

Note that age-appropriate adjustments are occasionally made to accommodate the number of players and teams registered in a particular age division. Game format will not exceed maximum game size as specified by US Soccer.

Rules of Fair Play and Sportsmanship

In addition to the modifications to FIFA rules listed below, SASC has the following requirements on the recreational game.

  1. Every player must play at least half of each game he/she attends.
  2. The coach should strive to make each child a "starter" for at least 50% of the games in a season.
  3. Every player who wants to must have the opportunity to play as goal keeper at least half a game during the season.
  4. Coaches are expected to make adjustments to avoid blow-out scores. Information is provided at Coach Training and during the season.
In addition - opposing coaches, parents and players should congratulate each other after the game and a "thank you" offered to the referees.

Game Format Reference table

This table shows the US Soccer Game Format being played by each birth-year group.
Birthyear Fall 2023 &
Spring 2024
US Soccer Game Format
Fall 2024 &
Spring 2025
US Soccer Game Format
2020 - U6
2019 U6
2018 U7 (boys only)
2017 U7 (boys only) U8
2016 U8 U10
2015 U10
2014 U12
2013 U12
2012 U14
2011 U14
2010 U16+
2009 or earlier U16+


The number of referees and their origin depends on the age group involved.
Game Format Referees
U6 1x Parent referee (*)
U7 1x Parent referee, but if possible we will provide a Club referee
U8-U10 1x Club referee (Center only)
U12 3x Club referees (Center + 2 Assistant Referees)

(*) Parent referees are provided on-field training by SASC before the season starts. The following documents provide a guide to what to do.

Parent Referee Guide Overview of how to referee a U6 game
U6 Laws Laws of the game for U6

Specific Rules per Game Format

The details shown below are subject to change depending on the number of available players and coaches. Adjustments might be made in order to maximize enjoyment of the players.

Game Format #Players
Goal Keeper Ball Size Goal Size Approx. Field Size
Game Duration
U6 4 v 4 No size #3 Pugg Goals 30 x 20 4 x 10 mins (*)
U7B & U8G 5 v 5 Yes + protected
'no-go' goal area (**)
5' x 10' 40 x 30 2 x 20 mins
U8B 5 v 5 Yes 6'6" x 12' 50 x 35 2 x 20 mins
U10 7 v 7 size #4 6'6" x 18' 60 x 40 2 x 25 mins
U12 9 v 9 6'6" x 18' 80 x 50 2 x 30 mins
U14+ 11 v 11 size #5 8' x 24' 110 x 70 2 x 35 mins (U14)
2 x 40 mins (U16)
(*) U6 coaches are expected to adjust the length of the periods to make sure the game ends early enough to let the next scheduled game start on time.
(**) U7/8 introduces a 'no-go' goal area. If a player from either team, other than the GK, plays the ball in that goal area, the resulting restart is a goal-kick. Further information here.
Game Format Restarts Free Kicks Offside called?
U6 Kick-ins
(no throw-ins)

Corner-kicks (no closer than edge of goal box)
Indirect free kicks only No
(Although there is no off-side rule at these ages, coaches should discourage their own players from waiting near their opponent's goal)
U7B &
Throw-ins (One retry).
Goal Kicks taken from the top of the penalty area

Build-out line (see below)
Indirect free kicks only.
Must be 8-yds back.
Backpass to GK is OK
No retry on throw-ins.

Build-out line (see below)
(Direct, Indirect and PKs)

Must be 10-yds back
Yes (using build-out line).
Only to be called if obvious to center referee.
(Direct, Indirect and PKs)

Build-out line:

  • U7 & U8: The half-line will be treated as the build out line
  • U10: The build-out line will be painted between the center circle and penalty area.
    (The edge of the center circle will be considered the build out line if no other line is visible)
  • Furthest build-out line is new offside line (only called if obvious)
  • Opponents must retreat behind build-out line for Goal-Kicks or whenever GK has possession
  • GK is not allowed to punt or drop-kick the ball - must pass, throw, or roll the ball into play

  • (US Soccer video explaining build out line here)

Substitutions (U7+):

Can be made by either team at any stoppage with the permission of the referee - players must be ready at the half-line.

Player Safety

Slide Tackles

No slide tackling is permitted in SASC Rec soccer up to and including the U10 age group.
In U12+, only 'clean' slide tackling is allowed. Any attempt to slide tackle with cleats up, or using both feet, or from behind will result in a yellow card. Any hard or dangerous contact with an opponent is a red card.


No (deliberate) heading is allowed by players in any age group up to and including the U12 age group