Soccer Rules

Town of Esopus // P.E.A.A. Soccer Rules by Age Group

THE BALL -  The U6 and U8 division will use a size 3 ball; the U10 and 12U will use a size 4 ball; and the 17U a size 5 ball. Every player should come with their own ball.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS -  Some divisions do not have many substitutions this year. You should agree to either swap players as necessary, or play with fewer players if one team is shorthanded. When there are a sufficient number of players U6 will play with 3 players. U8 will play with seven players and a goalie. U10 will play with nine players, and 12U and 17U divisions will play with eleven players

EQUIPMENT - Soccer shin guards are required of all players. Soccer cleats are recommended. Sneakers are allowed. If a player wears baseball cleats, the front cleat must be removed since it is considered dangerous in soccer. The goalie will wear a shirt of contrasting color to the two teams playing. Jewelry, including watches and dangling earrings, are not permitted. Coaches and refs are instructed to inspect the players prior to play.

LENGTH OF GAME -  Running time for games is as follows. U6 will play four - 8 minute quarters. U8 will play four -10 minutes quarters. U10 will play four - 12 minute quarters.12U will play four - 12 minute quarters. The 17U will play two halves of 30 minutes each, with a 5 minute break between halves. The ref can add time to make up for any delay such as substitutions, injuries, ball out of play for an extended time, etc.

LIGHTNING or THUNDER -  Play will be stopped immediately for lightning, to be resumed at the discretion of the referee in consultation with the coaches.  Rain is not an issue, unless it's deemed an unsafe condition.

SUBSTITUTIONS - A player can enter and leave the game an unlimited number of times. Substitutions can take place on any stoppage of play (whenever the whistle is blown). The coach must request a substitution and have him or her waved on by the ref before sending in players.  Age U10, 12U and 17U you must have possession of the ball, in other words, sub only when you have the throw-in, goal Kick etc.

PLAYING TIME -  All players must play half of every game. It is recommended that each player take a turn as goalie sometime during the season.

OFFSIDES - There is no offside rule for U6 and U8. Players should not be hanging out near the goal waiting for a pass in any age group.  U10, 12U and 17U will enforce the offsides rule.

KICKING BALL DIRECTLY TO GOAL KEEPER -  If a player passes the ball (kicks the ball) to their goalie, the goalie can not pick up the ball with their hands.   U10, 12U and 17U will enforce this rule. U8 is exempt and U6 plays with no goalie so this rule is not applicable.

FREE KICKS - There are no direct free kicks in U6 and U8 play. All kicks will be indirect, and taken outside of the penalty box. (indirect free kicks must be kicked into play and touched by a member of either team before a goal can be scored). There are no penalty kicks in U6 and U8.  U10, 12U and 17U will play with full soccer rules regarding free kicks, including the awarding of penalty kicks for direct offenses in the penalty box.

COACHING - There is no coaching behind the goal lines by either coach or a parent. Referees are instructed to tell coaches and parents to move from behind the goals.

INJURIES - The referee will stop play immediately for an injury. The referee will also stop play immediately if a player is in a dangerous position, i.e. the player has fallen down near the ball, and other players are nearby. Safety is of the utmost concern, play will be stopped regardless of the position of the ball!  The correct restart after an injury is a drop ball, taken outside the penalty box.

THROW-INS - When the ball is played over the touch (side) line by a player, any player from the other team throws the ball in to resume play. U6 and U8 players will be given multiple opportunities to execute a legal throw in; U10, 12U and 17U players will not be given second chances. If the throw in is illegal, the ref will stop play and award a throw in to the other team.

GOAL KICKS - Since young players sometimes cannot kick the ball from the goal box to the penalty box, there will be no goal box (the smaller box) in U6 and U8 play. If the ball goes over the goal line by one team, the other team will put the ball on the penalty box on the line parallel to the goal line, and kick the ball into play. U10, 12U and 17U will put the ball anywhere inside the goal box and kick it into play; the ball will be in play once it travels outside the penalty (larger) box.

CAUTION, SENDING OFF - The referee has the right to caution (yellow card) or send off (red card) a player. Two cautions in a game equals a sending off. Cautions can be awarded for foul language, overly aggressive play, and dissent to the referee.  Sending off is generally reserved for fighting or being very abusive to the referee. Carding of the players wasn't necessary in years past... let's hope the same for this year. Coaches, if you notice a player being overly aggressive, consider removing him from play for a few minutes until he or she calms down.


GAME CANCELLATION -  The PEAA soccer committee will decide by noon on game day if one or all the fields are unplayable, or if the weather does not permit safe play. We phone coaches by noon if the games are to be canceled. If you do not receive an email games are on. If you do not have email access please contact one of the coaches that does or call us.

MAKE-UP GAMES -  Due to the onset of Winter, the cold weather, games that are rained out are not typically rescheduled at the end of the season. The coaches are encouraged to make up games during the week by contacting the other coach directly.

FIELD PREPARATION -  The PEAA soccer committee will coordinate field maintenance.  This includes lining the field, set up the goals (if non permanent goals are used) and pay the referees. If non-permanent goals are used, they must be secured so they cannot tip over.

REFEREES - Referees for all games will be assigned by the PEAA Soccer committee. U6 coaches will referee each U6 game.

PRACTICE FIELDS -  Robert Graves has the 4 fields we use for Esopus Fall Soccer. If you use a practice field which Esopus Soccer did not reserve, you may be forced to share the field with another group, or lose the field to someone with reservations. When practices are rained out, it becomes impractical to coordinate where everyone is practicing, so do your best to share fields. St Remy field is still used by some coaches for practice. Please be considerate of the other teams and coaches practicing along with you. Please use the field for your age group if there are other teams practicing.

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