U10 Rules - Fall


These are the Rules of Competition that Seattle Youth Soccer Association has approved for all U10 age play in the fall Citywide League. If a rule is not specified, the standard rules from the SYSA Rules of Competition apply. All rules are based on the Laws of the Game set forth by the International Football Assocation Board (IFAB), representing FIFA and all it's member assocations.

Parents of Players -- All parents of U10 players should read this letter about the experience of Citywide League play at U10 from the SYSA Executive Director.

Coaches Handbook -- All U10 team coaches read/review the latest U10 Coaches Handbook before the season commences. The hanbook also contains important information about the U10 Jamboree, printing rosters for game day, scores, standings, and more.

Some key differences between standard Laws of the Game and SYSA's U10 rules include:

-- Heading of the ball is NOT allowed - Deliberate heading
-- Offside is enforced
-- Slide tackling is NOT allowed
-- Penalty kicks are NOT awarded
-- Scores & standings are NOT kept

NOTE: Coaches should keep track of their team's level of competition in order to have a better recommendation for placement the following year at U11 into Gold, Silver, or Bronze divisions.


U10 Rules of Competition

As amended September, 2016

For a chart of small-sided game guidelines, including number of players on the field, field sizes, goal sizes, and length of games, click here.

In SYSA's fall Citywide League games, U10 teams play 6 v 6, a total of 6 players on the field: 5 plus a goal keeper.

The Rules of Play

A coin is tossed; the team that wins the toss then decides which goal it will attack in the first half or period of the match. The other team takes kick-off to start the match. The teams will alternate the kick-off prior to the start of the second half or new period. Teams will only switch ends at half time of a game.

(a) Start of Play

(1) The ball will be placed at the center of the field by the referee and the game will start with one player taking a kick into the opponent's half of the field, after a given signal by the referee. At the time of the kickoff, every player will be in his/her half of the field. Every player of the opposing team, to that of the kicker, shall be: U-11, U-10, U-9 ten (10) yards from the center mark U-8 and below six (6) yards from the center mark


(2) The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward. The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player. For any infraction of these laws for U-9 and below, the referee will explain the proper procedure and the kickoff shall be retaken. Kick-offs for U-10 and above shall be played per FIFA rules.

(3) At U-7 and below a goal shall not be scored directly from a kickoff without the ball being touched by at least one other player on either team. At U-8 and above the limitation shall be per FIFA rules.

(b) Restart of Play

(1) After a goal has been scored, the game shall be restarted in like manner by a player of the team that gave up the goal.

(2) To start the second half, the game will be restarted with the kickoff by a player of the opposite team to that of the player who started the game.

(3) Restarting play after temporary delay: In the case of a temporary suspension due to an injury or any unusual situation, if one team is clearly in possession of the ball, the game shall be restarted by an indirect free kick by the team in possession of the ball at the point where the ball was when play was suspended. Should there not be clear possession at the time play is suspended due to an injury or any unusual situation, there will be a drop ball at the spot where the ball was declared dead. The ball shall be deemed "in play" when the ball has touched the ground.

(c) Ball In and Out of Play

(1) The ball is out of play when it has wholly crossed the goal line or whole touchline, whether it is on the ground or in the air,

(2) The ball is out of play, when the referee has stopped the game.

(d) Method of Scoring

(1) A goal is scored when the whole of the ball has crossed the whole of the goal line on the ground or in the air.

(2) In the case the goal marker (cone) is knocked over or moved as a result of a direct hit by the ball as it crosses the goal line, the goal will not be allowed. In this case, the ball shall be put into play by either a goal kick or a corner kick, depending on who touched the ball last. The ball striking the inside of the goal marker and deflecting into the goal shall constitute a good goal. As in all judgment calls, the referee's decision will be final.

(e) Offside Rule

(1) The offside rule will not apply to any U-9 and below team, however, the intent of the rule will be followed. Positioning a player in front of the opponent's goal irrespective of the location of the ball on the field is contrary to the aims of the program. The referee shall take appropriate action to prevent this kind of play (an indirect kick to the offended team and instructional statements to the violating players and coach.)

(2) U-10 and above teams will play with the offside rule. The referees will call the rules and the proper penalties will be assessed.

(f) Fouls and Misconduct

(1) FREE KICKS: Free kicks shall be classified under two (2) headings: "Direct", from which a goal can be scored by a direct kick against the offending side and "Indirect", from which a goal cannot be scored unless the ball has been played or touched by a player other than the kicker before passing through the goal.

(2) NO DIRECT KICKS SHALL BE AWARDED AT U-9 AND BELOW. ONLY INDIRECT KICKS WILL BE USED.

(3) Penalty Kicks will be granted ONLY at U-11 and above. They will be taken at ten (10) yards from the goal.

(4) A DIRECT KICK shall be awarded for the following nine (9) intentionally committed offenses:

- Kicking an opponent

- Tripping an opponent

- Jumping at an opponent

- Charging an opponent in a violent or dangerous manner

- Charging an opponent from behind

- Striking an opponent

- Holding an opponent

- Pushing an opponent

- Handling the ball, with the exception of the goalie, in the designated area

(5) An INDIRECT KICK shall be awarded for the following offenses:

- Dangerous play, (high kicking)

- Charging fairly (shoulder to shoulder) when the ball is not within the playing distance of the players involved

- Impeding the progress of an opponent

- Obstructing the goalkeeper (there will be NO INTENTIONAL physical contact with the goalkeeper in the "penalty area")

- Preventing the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands

- Lying on the ball and not allowing others to play it

- Unsporting behavior

(6) SLIDE TACKLING WILL NOT BE ALLOWED AT U-10 AND BELOW! If a slide tackle occurs it shall be considered dangerous play. The referee will stop play and instruct the player of his infraction and then award the opposing team an indirect free kick at the spot of the foul.

(7) Consistent with the educational intent of the Small-Sided Program, the referee should inform the offending player of the infraction that was committed.

(8) For all free kicks, the required distance for a defending player will equal that of the age-appropriate center circle (diameter).

(g) Throw-ins

(1) When the whole of the ball passes over the whole touch line, either on the ground or in the air, it shall be put back into play by a throw-in. The throw shall be taken from the point where it crossed the line, by a player of the opposing team.

(2) The thrower must face the field of play and must keep both feet on the ground while releasing the ball. He/she shall use both hands on both sides of the ball to deliver the ball from behind and over his/her head.

(3) For U-9 and below in the event of any infraction of these laws the throw-in shall be retaken. Instruction shall be given by the referee. For U-10 and above, throw ins shall be done per FIFA rules.

(4) A goal shall not be scored directly from the throw-in.

(h) Goal Kicks

(1) When the whole of the ball passes over the whole of the goal line, excluding the portion between the goal posts and under the crossbar (either in the air or on the ground), having last been played by one of the players on the attacking team, it shall be kicked directly into play by a goal kick.

(2) A goal kick may be taken from any point inside the goal area.

(3) Any defending player, including the goalkeeper, may take the goal kick.

(4) The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player.

(5) At U-7 and below a goal shall not be scored directly from a goal kick.

(6) The ball is in play when it crosses outside the penalty area.

(i) Corner Kicks

(1) When the whole of the ball passes over the whole of the goal line excluding that portion between the goal posts and under the crossbar, (either in the air or on the ground), having last been played by one of the defending team, a player of the attacking team shall have a corner kick.

(2) The ball shall be placed within a three (3) foot arc from the corner flag or cone and shall be kicked into play from that position by an attacking player.

(3) A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick.

(4) Players from the opposing team to the kicker shall not approach within the distance of the center circle measurement of the ball until it is in play.

(5) If the player who takes the kick plays the ball a second time before it has been touched by another player, the referee shall explain to the kicker the proper procedure of a corner kick. Then the referee shall award an indirect kick to the opposite team from a spot where the infringement occurred.

(6) For any other infringement the kick shall be retaken.

(j) Miscellaneous Rules

(1) Unless otherwise modified by these rules, the standard laws of the game will govern.

(2) Good judgment, sportsmanship and fair play should govern the decisions and actions of all coaches, referees and spectators.

(3) For all U-10 and below age groups, a selection process will not be used for teams rostered for league play, there will be no published team standings, and game scores will not be recorded.