U12 Match Rules & Guidelines
Uniform: Full FFSC uniform issued at the beginning of the season
Socks: Worn OVER shin guards
Cleats: Tied tightly in double knots to prevent unties
Water Bottle: Full of water
Goalie Shirt: Teams will issue should players not have their own
Gloves: Teams will issue should players not have their own
Players should arrive ready to play.
Size 4 Ball
The U12 game is broken down into two - 25 minute halves. Teams will only change ends at halftime.
Matches are played 9 v 9 (including goalie on each side).
Prior to the game the referee will call the team over to check their shin guards and cleats. The referee will then call for captains who will call a coin toss to determine possession preferences or side preferences.
Spectators - should be seated on opposite side of field from teams. Spectators should refrain from sitting directly behind the goal area.
NO jewelry (dangling earrings, necklaces, bracelets…); metal or plastic hair clips are allowed on the playing field.
The game starts with a kickoff in the center of the field. Team with possession does not have to kick it forward. Opposing team must stay out of the center circle until the ball is kicked. If no center circle, then opposing team must be 12 yards from ball.
Heading - Deliberate heading is not allowed in U11 games. Heading is currently allowed in U12 games without limitations but coaches are empowered to limit or ban heading at the beginning of the match if agreed upon. Should the ban be in effect, a player who deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense. If the deliberate header occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred
NO Sliding at anytime
Off-sides - It is not an offence to be in an offside position.
A player is in an offside position if:
any part of the head, body or feet is in the opponents' half (excluding the halfway line) and
any part of the head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent
The hands and arms of all players, including the goalkeepers, are not considered.
A player is not in an offside position if level with the:
second-last opponent or
last two opponents
A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched* by a team-mate is only penalized on becoming involved in active play by:
interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a team-mate or
interfering with an opponent by:
preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent's line of vision or
challenging an opponent for the ball or
clearly attempting to play a ball which is close when this action impacts on an opponent or
making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball
*The first point of contact of the 'play' or 'touch' of the ball should be used
gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has:
rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent
been deliberately saved by any opponent
A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save by any opponent) is not considered to have gained an advantage.
A 'save' is when a player stops, or attempts to stop, a ball which is going into or very close to the goal with any part of the body except the hands/arms (unless the goalkeeper within the penalty area).
In situations where:
a player moving from, or standing in, an offside position is in the way of an opponent and interferes with the movement of the opponent towards the ball this is an offside offence if it impacts on the ability of the opponent to play or challenge for the ball; if the player moves into the way of an opponent and impedes the opponent's progress (e. blocks the opponent) the offence should be penalized under Law 12
a player in an off-side position is moving towards the ball with the intention of playing the ball and is fouled before playing or attempting to play the ball, or challenging an opponent for the ball, the foul is penalized as it has occurred before the offside offence
an offence is committed against a player in an offside position who is already playing or attempting to play the ball, or challenging an opponent for the ball, the offside offence is penalized as it has occurred before the foul challenge
There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:
a goal kick
a corner kick
Offences & Sanctions
If an offside offence occurs, the referee awards an indirect free kick where the offence occurred, including if it is in the player's own half of the field of play.
A defending player who leaves the field of play without the referee's permission shall be considered to be on the goal line or touchline for the purposes of offside until the next stoppage in play or until the defending team has played the ball towards the halfway line and it is outside their penalty area. If the player left the field of play deliberately, the player must be cautioned when the ball is next out of play.
An attacking player may step or stay off the field of play not to be involved in active play. If the player re-enters from the goal line and becomes involved in play before the next stoppage in play, or the defending team has played the ball towards the halfway line and it is outside their penalty area, the player shall be considered to be positioned on the goal line for the purposes of offside. A player who deliberately leaves the field of play and re-enters without the referee's permission and is not penalized for offside and gains an advantage, must be cautioned.
If an attacking player remains stationary between the goalposts and inside the goal as the ball enters the goal, a goal must be awarded unless the player commits an offside offence or Law 12 offense in which play is restarted with an indirect or direct free kick.
Out of Bounds -
SIDE: The team that did not kick the ball out re-enters the ball with a throw-in which must be 2-handed, go straight back over the player's head while their feet remain on the ground until the ball is released. U10 Players are allowed to retake throw-ins. If need be, the referee along with the coach should explain the proper method for a throw in.
END: When the defensive team kicks the ball out of their own end, the offensive team re-enters the ball with a corner kick kicked from one of the corners (where the flag is - if present). If the offensive team kicks it out the opposition's end, the defensive team re-enters the ball with a goal kick that is placed halfway between the goal line and the penalty area line. Either a defender or a goalie may take the kick. Opposing team must have all players behind the build out line. Once the ball is put into play the opposing team can cross the building out line and resume play.
After the goalie has made a save, she/he may re-enter the ball by either throwing the ball or putting it to their feet. NO PUNTING OR DROP KICKS ARE ALLOWED. Opposing team players need to withdraw to behind the build out line (ideally the goal keeper will wait to put the ball into play until opposing players are past the build out line. However the goalie can put the ball into play sooner however accepts the consequences of how play resumes. If a goalkeeper punts or drop kicks the ball, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense. If the punt or drop kick occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred.
Free Kicks - All penalties (hand ball, push, trip, etc.) result in a free indirect kick (must touch another player before entering the goal to be counted as a goal). Even if the infraction occurs inside the PK area - the ball is placed on top of box and must be touched by another player before goal can be scored. There are no direct penalty kicks. Opposing players must stay back 8 yards when an indirect kick is awarded.
When a goal is scored the game is re-started with a kick off by the non-scoring team from the center of the field in the same process as the starting kick-off.
At half time ball possession changes teams and teams change sides of the field.
Substitutions may be made on either team's throw-in, goal kick or any re-start kick off (half time or after a goal). Referee must be told if a goalie is being changed. Play is stopped at the direction of the referee until the player(s) are exchanged.
Throw ins - U10 players are allowed a second throw in if they violate on the first one. A player can not directly throw a ball into the goal (the ball must touch another player before a goal is awarded).
Free Kicks - direct kick or indirect kick are awarded to the opposing team should an offense occur (hand ball, push, trip, etc.). A direct kick may enter the goal without another player touching the ball. An indirect kick must touch another player before entering the goal for a goal to be awarded. Opposing players must stay back 10 yards when a free kick is awarded. The kick is awarded from the spot the offense occurred unless the offense occurred in the penalty box. A penalty kick (direct kick) is then awarded.
Slide Tackling is NOT allowed.
In the case of an injury the player sits, the referee will pause the game and then the coach may enter the field. Each team may sub one player on an injury. The ball is restarted with a drop-ball where the referee drops the ball between two opposing players who then may kick the ball only after it has landed on the ground.
Safety - Referees should not be afraid to stop play at any time if they see a dangerous situation developing. Referees are to be teachers too and instruct players why a call was made. If inappropriate, aggressive behavior is exhibited; the referee should speak with the individual involved. If this does not solve the problem, the referee should speak with the coach.
COACH CONDUCT RULES & GUIDELINES
The game is to be played for the enjoyment and safety of the PLAYERS.
It is expected that coaches, parents and players respect every individual at the field.
It is expected that there be NO yelling at players, referees or coaches. Positive comments ONLY.
If a team is winning the game by 5 or more goals, it is the responsibility of the winning coach to offer strategies to be used to avoid a slaughter. Strategies may include removal of a player from field; add player to field and/or place stronger players in defensive position or in goal; instruct players to pass the ball three times before shooting on the goal; etc.
Coaches and parents must stay off the field during the game unless a child is injured, then the COACH may enter the field at the direction of the referee.
Teaching the players sportsmanship at this age will build the foundation for their future soccer experience. Players and coaches should always shake hands at the end of the game. Players and coaches should always thank the referee after the game with a handshake/high-five. Teams should celebrate wins, but be cognizant of the other team. Remember, these are 11 and 12 year old kids.
Please report to your level coordinator or club president if you witness an unruly person at a game.
In the case of inclement weather it is the home coach's decision (SAFETY FIRST). The level coordinator must notify the other team coach, ref and club president of the cancellation.
ZERO TOLERANCE LAW
All coaches, all assistant coaches, all players, and all spectators shall support the referee before, during, and after the game. Failure to do so undermines the referee's authority and could create a hostile environment for players, the referee, coaches, assistant coaches, and all spectators, including participants in other matches.
Everyone, especially coaches and assistant coaches, shall provide support to the referees at all times.
Coaches are responsible for assistant coaches', players', fans', and their own behavior.
Any coach who does not comply with a referee's request to deal with a fan shall be issued a misconduct as deemed appropriate by the referee. Please report to your level coordinator or club president if you witness an unruly person at a game.
Anyone responsible for the verbal or physical assault of a referee prior to, during, or following a game will be subject to review by the Board of Directors.
Any team that refuses to provide the name and address of the responsible person(s) for the verbal or physical assault on a referee will be subject to review by the Board of Directors.