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Skylands Soccer Club

Skylands Soccer Club

Rules of the Game

Skylands Soccer Club
Recreation Program 2021-22 Season
General Game Rules

Coaches and Referees
All Divisions


Game Length

  1. U6 will play four 8 minute quarters with a five minute break between quarters.
  2. U8 will play four 10 minute quarters with a five minute break between quarters.
  3. U10 will play two 25 minute halves with a ten minute break between halves.
  4. U12 will play two 30 minute halves with a ten minute break between halves.
  5. U15 will play two 35 minute halves with a ten minute break between halves.
  6. Due to our schedule constraints there will be no grace period for the starting of games. Encourage your players to be at the field at least 20 minutes before game time.

Team Size and Ball Size

  1. A team must field the minimum numbers of players from the team roster to play an official game.
    Division No. of Players   Goalie 
    Ball Size
    4v4 NO
    U8 5v5
    U10 7v7
    U12 9v9
     U15  11v11  YES  5
  2. In the event that a team plays with less than a full compliment of players, the opposing team may field an equal number of players. Players may be shared between teams in order to have all children play a fair amount of time. Fair and even play should prevail.
  3. As additional players arrive, they may be added to the game at proper times for substitutions. The coach of the team(s) that is(are) inserting latecomers must make sure that the referee and opposing coach know that they are adding players. The opposing coach will then add the appropriate number of players during the same stoppage of play.
  4. All players should play a minimum of one half the game, regardless of skill level or attendance record at team practices.  All players should receive equal playing time over the course of the season.   If players are recruited to play on a team due to a shortfall at the beginning of the game, those players must be removed when additional players arrive at the game. Coaches will not keep players from another team on the field or use them as substitutes when they have reached the full complement for their age group, or the same number of players as the opposing team for that game.
  5. In the event that a team cannot field the minimum number of players the coaches should then divide the players from both teams into two teams so that they can play an informal game. Do not penalize the players who have come expecting to play a game. You may recruit others, but you cannot recruit players who are not SSC registered, or who are older than the age group of the game. For example. You may recruit a U6 player for a U8 game, but not a U10 player.


  1. The referee must be notified and give approval prior to any substitution.
  2. Substitutions are permitted on throw-ins by the team gaining ball possession. If the team gaining possession makes substitutions before its throw-in, the opposing team may also make substitutions at that time.
  3. Substitutions are permitted by either team before most restarts, i.e. goal kicks, penalty kicks, and other direct free kicks and on kick-offs following goals. Substitutions are not allowed on corner kicks.
  4. A substitution is permitted when play is stopped for an injury; but that substitution is limited to replacing the injured player only. Play will be stopped when a player is injured regardless of which team has the advantage of the play, at the time of the injury. The referee will put the ball back in play after the injured player has been attended to and substitution has or has not been made.

Goal Kicks

  1. On a goal kick, the ball must clear the Penalty Area before it is played again by anyone from either team. If the ball is played before leaving the Penalty Area, a re-kick will be awarded. If repeated infractions of this rule prevent a prompt resumption of play, an indirect free kick may be awarded at the point of the illegal touch.
  2. U8 players may kick the ball from the top of the goal box. Field payers must remain behind the midfield line until after the ball is kicked. Goalie punting is not permitted.
  3. U10 players must kick the ball from the inner goal box. Players from the opposing team must stand outside the build out line until the goalkeeper puts the ball into play. Goalie punting is not permitted.
  4. Once the ball is placed by the kicking team, it may not be moved to another location.

Build Out Line (U10)

  1. This Rule is intended for “fair play” and to promote playing out of the back.
  2. There will be no punts or drop kicks made by the goalkeeper. If the keeper punts or drop kicks the ball, then the referee is to stop play and restart at the spot on the ground where the keeper punted it originally and with the opponents behind the build out line. This rule will be treated like a free kick.
  3. Goalkeepers will only be able to throw the ball, or place it on the ground and kick it. When placed on the ground, the ball cannot be moving.
  4. The first pass has to be to a teammate inside the Build Out Line.
  5. Opponents must stay behind the build out line until the 2nd person plays the ball.
  6. Like a free kick, the goalkeeper has the option of waiting for the opponents to be behind the Build Out Line, or take a quick re-start. There is no consequence to any player if the ball is lost after a quick re-start is played.
  7. Goal Kicks are subject to the Build Out Line Rules.


Goalkeeper Punts (U11 & U12): The goalkeeper may punt the ball from his/her own area into the oppositions side of the field. But, the ball cannot travel through the air and into the opposition’s penalty area. If this happens then it will be restarted as an indirect free kick, with the ball placed parallel on the mid field line closest to the point in which the ball traveled over the mid field line and into the penalty area. The punt may bounce on the ground, or off of another player, before entering the opposing penalty area and this is ok.

Corner Kicks

  1. All divisions will take corner kicks from the three-foot arcs at the regular corners.


  1. Coaches must instruct players in appropriate throw-in techniques. Both feet must be on the ground when the ball is released, with the player out of bounds. Opposing players must give the player 2 yards clear space to throw-in the ball.
  2. Allowances will be made for instructional purposes during the game as follows:
    1. U6 players:  Unlimited attempts at throws. Possession will not pass to the opposing team for incorrect throw-ins.
    2. U8 and U10 players: 2 attempts at throws. Possession will not pass to the opposing team for first incorrect throw-in.
    3. U12-U15 players Possession changes for improperly executed throw-ins. No grace period.


  1. The key to off-side is the position of the players when the ball is passed forward.
  2. A player is in an off-side position when that player receiving the pass is ahead of the ball and there are fewer than 2 defenders (one defender may be the goalie) between the ball and the goal. Off-side position includes the player's head, body, or feet, not their arms.
  3. Off-side is called when a player is in an off-side position at the moment the ball is passed forward to the player by a teammate.
  4. A player may be in an off-side position when the ball is played forward, and yet not to be called for an off-side infraction if, in the judgment of the referee, the player did not affect the course of the play. Example: Left wing is playing close to the sideline, with only the goalie between him/her and the goal. The center forward captures the ball, takes a long shot and scores directly. Goal is good; no off-sides should be called.
  5. There is never an off-side call on a throw-in regardless of the attacking player's positions; nor is off-side called on the initial kick of a corner kick, or whenever the team in possession of the ball is in its own (defensive) half of the field. Also, off-side is not called if a player receives a ball that was last played by an opponent.
    1. U6 and U8 players: Off-side will not be called.
    2. U10-U15 players: Off-sides will be called.


  1. The goalie must wear a jersey that contrasts in color from both teams. Pinneys are fine.
  2. Once the goalie gains control of the ball all opposing players must allow the goalie to clear the ball.
  3. The goalie may take as many steps as desired within the penalty area to clear the ball. If the goalie carries the ball over the line, then the opposing team will gain possession as follows with a direct kick from the point where the goalie left the box carrying the ball. A direct kick is NOT a penalty kick. Players from the defending team may form a wall between the offensive player and the goal to help stop the ball from going into the goal for a score.
  4. If the goalie places the ball on the ground, it cannot be picked up again until it has been played by another player. If the goalie does pick it up, an indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team.
  5. The goalie may not play a ball with their hands that was intentionally passed by a teammate with any part of the body except the head. The goalie may receive throw-ins and headers from teammates and play those balls with their hands. Any pass to the goalie may be played with the goalies feet without penalty. The penalty for a pass back to the goalie is an indirect free kick from the place of the touch.

Fouls in the Penalty Box

U6 and U8: Indirect free kick from the point in infraction. The ball must touch another player before a goal can be scored.

U10: When a foul in the penalty box is called on a defending player, a direct free kick will be awarded to the opposing team from outside the penalty box, not from the point of infraction. A foul by the attacking team will result in a free kick for the defending team from the point of the foul.

U12-U15: When a foul in the penalty box is called on a defending player, a penalty shot will be awarded to the fouled player. A foul by the attacking team will result in a free kick for the defending team from the point of the foul.

If the player taking the penalty kick infringes the Laws of the Game, or a teammate of the player taking the kick enters the penalty area before it strikes the goalie or goal, the following should take place: If the ball does not enter the goal, the referee stops play and restarts the match with an indirect free kick to the defending team from the spot of the foul. A kick into the net would result in a no goal, and restart with a goal kick for the defending team.

If the goalkeeper or a teammate of the goalie infringes the Laws of the Game the following should take place: if the ball enters the net the goal is awarded. If the ball does not enter the net the kick is retaken.

If players from both teams infringe the Laws of the Game the kick is retaken.

Misconduct - Cautions and Expulsions

  1. Skylands Soccer follows FIFA regulations in regard to rule violations that result in direct and indirect free kicks for U10 and above. Referees observe minor discretionary modifications designed to avoid unnecessary interruptions of play that would occur if all insignificant infractions were called. Most of these discretionary calls are in mid field.
  2. In cases of extremely dangerous or disruptive misconduct (including verbal or other abusive conduct), the referee will stop play and advise the coaches. This will include intentional fouling, slide tackling, spitting, swearing, abusive language or disrespect.
  3. A second incident of any type from that same player during the course of the game will cause that player to be removed from the field for a minimum of 5 minutes. Any further incident will result in expulsion for the balance of the game. Coaches are then expected to talk with the player and his/her parents to explain the problem and seek corrective action before the next game.
  4. If a player continues to exhibit improper behavior in other games then an officer of the club will contact the player's parents. If the behavior cannot be corrected then that player will not be permitted to play in any remaining games.
  5. If parents or coaches are guilty of improper conduct then the referee will warn the coach(es) during the course of play as they pass by the coach. It is up to the coach to maintain the proper decorum on the sidelines. If a parent(s) does not refrain from improper behavior then it is the responsibility of the coach upon request from the referee to ask the person to leave so that the game can continue under the proper atmosphere.

Team Etiquette

  1. Teams are to shake hands after each game. Coaches are to participate and encourage sportsmanship.
  2. Teams and spectators are to be on opposite sidelines whenever field space allows. Both teams should occupy one side of the field, with spectators on the other side.
  3. Coaches and referees MUST restrain spectators from standing behind the goals or end lines of the field. No coaching will be permitted from behind the goals.
  4. The teams playing the first game at each field are responsible for setting up the goals and checking the field for foreign objects.
  5. ALL teams should clean up any trash created by refreshments, spectators, etc. Do not leave garbage for teams in the last game to clean up.

Cancellation of Games

  1. Assume all games will be played unless notified by the board that the fields are closed.The Frankford Twp. Parks Commission has the final say over the status of the fields.
  2. In the event a game needs to be rescheduled it is up to the home coach to contact the referee coordinator and the opposing coach at least 1 hour prior to game time.
  3. Make-up games will be arranged if the schedule permits. Teams must contact the referee coordinator and field scheduler with possible make up dates before the games are to be played.
  4. During the course of the day games will be played even if it starts to rain unless- lightning is observed and the game is then immediately suspended. Play may not be resumed until 30 minutes after last roll of thunder or visible lightning.
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