Playing Age: (Age 6/7 before August 1)
U7 & U8 are introduction to soccer where the game is the teacher; all kids play and all kids get trophies. No standings or scores are kept. Boys' and girls' programs are separated. Players are evaluated at these ages to help with team balancing and selections for All Stars.
Time Commitment: One 60 minute practice a week. Time and day is picked by the coach for what works for them, but generally they are M-F starting at 4:30 or 5:30. Sometimes earlier depending on the time change. One Game per week on Saturday. Games start as early as 8 am and as late as 3 pm and varies each week.
- Players = 7 vs. 7 (14 players on the field with goal keepers) with 9 or 10 members per team
- Ball Size = 3
- Game Time = Two 20 minute halves. Half time break of 5-10 minutes. Substitutions will occur at approximately halfway through the half (9-11 minutes) and at the half time break - clock never stops. Players may get a sip of water at the quarter substitutions but should not leave the field like at the half time break.
- Start/End Time = Games must start and end on time. If your game is scheduled for 9:00 am, you must be done and off the field by 9:50 am.
- No coaches or spectators on the field. If an injury occurs, let the referees handle it unless they call out the head coach.
- Coaches are to remain in the technical area (if it is not painted in, use the center circle as a guide) and all parents and spectators will stay between the top of the two penalty lines. No one is allowed to be behind the goal lines - it is a distraction to the players.
- No dogs are allowed out the fields for games or practices - AYSO has permits for the field at these times and dogs are not allowed and must be removed from the area before the game or practice can begin or resume.
- Players are allowed one re-do on throw-ins, if it is incorrect again, just inform the player what was wrong, and let play continue. It is okay to instruct the players and remind them of the proper technique, do not coach.
Free Kicks and Penalty Kicks:
- All free kicks are direct free kicks regardless of the type of foul (there are no IFK restarts).
- There are no penalty kicks for U7/U8.
- If there is a foul in the penalty or goal area against the defending team, the ball will be brought out to the nearest point of the penalty area parallel to the goal line.
No Offside, But Cherry-Picking is Not Allowed:
- Any attacker more than 5 yards closer to goal then the next to last defender (usually the keeper), and becomes actively involved in play (ball is passed up to them), the referee should blow their whistle and give the defending team a free kick.
- Every game must have a referee assigned by Thursday at 9:00 pm or the game will be cancelled.
- Home team is required to supply a certified referee for the game to be played. The referee must be in an official uniform.
- Referees can also instruct players on the rules of the game, but they are not to coach the players at any time.
- Goal kicks are to be taken from anywhere in the goal area and must travel outside the penalty area before the ball can be touched by either team. If they are touched before they completely cross the line, replay the kick until they get it right. It’s okay to ask the kids to take a BIG step back from the line, instruct them. The team taking the goal kick can have as many of their players in the penalty box as they want when taking a goal kick; they just can’t touch it until it crosses outside of the penalty box.
Keeper Ball Handling:
- The keeper can pick the ball up anywhere inside the penalty area. They cannot leave the penalty area and kick the ball. If they leave the area, a handing foul has occurred and the keeper will be warned and given the chance to re-take the kick in the goal area.
- All players must play 3 "Quarters" before anyone play's 4 "Quarters", referees do not enforce this, just report if an issue.
Emphasis: “Development over Winning” = dribbling, kicking, throw-ins, ball control and passing.
Soccer Objectives: Score and Keep Possession. Prevent Scoring and Regain Possessio
IMPORTANT: No dogs are allowed out the fields for games or practices - AYSO has permits for the field at these times and dogs are not allowed and must be removed from the area before the game or practice can begin or resume.
Download U7&8 Meet Your Coach Day Presentation