Some rules and aspects are abbreviated to simplify the game play for this age group. The following are some of the more significant changes that you will see in this NEU division.
1) The intent at this age is to allow all players to play at least half of the game. Coaches should make every effort to adhere to this rule regardless of the outcome of the game. Players should gain experience at all of the various positions as the season progresses.
2) Both teams should be at the field 20 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the game, so that they are warmed up and ready to begin the game on time. The game clock will start no later than 5 minutes after the scheduled start time; this is imperative due to the one-hour spacing between game start times. The Center referee will have the final say on the playability of fields. Games will start and end on time unless delayed due to weather or the Center referee.
3) Line-up cards should be prepared before the game. The large, bi-fold card is for the Home team, and the small, self-adhesive card is for the Visiting team. (See Game Card Instructions below.) The Home team provides a properly inflated size 4 game ball. Games are divided into halves of 20 minutes each, separated by a halftime of 5 minutes.
4) There are 7 players per team on the field at any one time: a goalie and 6 other field players. A team may play a game with as little as 5 players; however, the opposing team does not have to reduce its size to accommodate the other team. The goalie will need to wear a jersey colored differently from his/her teammates and the opposing team. (This is typically just a different colored t-shirt.)
5) Prior to the game, instruct players to sit or lie down if they are injured. When a player is down, stop the game once a dead ball situation has occurred.
6) For 1st grade only, coaches are allowed on the field for the first two games; thereafter he/she will coach the team only from the team's sideline. The Home team's sideline will always be on the North or West side of the field, as appropriate, while the Visiting team uses the corresponding South or East sideline. No one is allowed to coach from or be anywhere behind the baseline/goal line; this is necessary for reasons of safety. This is to be strictly enforced and is not subject to interpretation. Instructions to the goalie must come from the appropriate sideline and only by the coach.
7) Unlimited substitutions will be allowed on any dead ball situation, regardless of possession (including, for example, prior to an opponent's throw-in, goal kick or corner kick). Coaches must inform the Referee of their intent and tell their players who they are going in for so that substituting can be done in an expedient manner. Substitutes must remain by the coach prior to going into the game to insure an orderly and timely player change. The referee must also be informed prior to the substitution of the goalie.
8) Referees should offer instruction for improper throw-ins, etc., as they occur and give players a second chance to correct their errors (1st grade teams only), or as the Referee deems necessary, but this should not be allowed to adversely affect the flow of the game. The off-sides rule will not be called at this level. Players are not allowed to "camp" in the goal area; this includes excessive defensive "camping" within their own penalty box or goal-defenders must actively play the ball as opposed to being an impassable wall. Direct penalty kicks will not be taken on fouls within the penalty box; rather, an indirect kick will be taken wherever the infraction occurred. (All penalty kicks issued will be indirect kicks.)
9) Sideline referees call out-of-bounds on their sideline and goal line, but the Center referee will be the final judge of any call made by the Sideline referees.
10) Parents and coaches can sometimes get carried away with the excitement of the game. Coaches are responsible for controlling the actions of their players and their parents. Under no circumstances may the referees be threatened, intimidated or otherwise harassed. Any out-of-control coach, parent or player is to be ejected from the game and/or removed from the field if the Center referee believes it is in the best interest of the game.
11) NEU U8 league does not allow slide tackling. The US Youth Soccer Association rules stipulate that slide tackles should be prohibited for U10 and below. As a member of USYSA, NEU must follow this rule. Players who are on the ground are not allowed to play the ball, again for safety of all players involved. (Example, if a player trips and falls, they are not allowed to kick or kick at the ball while on the ground.)
12) No heading is allowed for this age group.
Game Card Instructions
Center referees are responsible for game cards once the coaches submit their half with the roster filled in. Here's the set up: There are two cards, a larger one with a roster on the left side (Home) which is blank on the right, and a smaller roster-only card (Visitor). The smaller card has an adhesive backing; remove the cover and affix it to the inside of the blank side of the larger card. This leaves only one card to handle, like a book. When a team makes a goal, enter a mark (check, slash, X) in the Goals column next to the name of the player who made the goal. Ideally, coaches will list their players in number order, but they seldom do. Nonetheless, it shouldn't take but a few moments to identify which player scored and find the number on the roster. At the end of the game, tally the scores and complete the information on the outside of the card. Deposit the card in the blue plastic box on the porch of the grey house on the corner directly across Lamar from the park, 6301 W. 66th Terrace.
Northeast United Soccer Club, U.S.A. 2014
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