Based on US Youth Soccer U8 Playing Recommendations – {with amendments for Holliston}

Law 1 – The Field of Play:
Dimensions:  The field of play must be rectangular.  The length of the touchline must be greater than the length of the goal line.
Length: minimum 25 yards    maximum 35 yards
Width:   minimum 20 yards    maximum 30 yards

Field Markings: Distinctive lines not more than five (5) inches wide.  The field of play is divided into two halves by a halfway line.  The center mark is indicated at the midpoint of the halfway line.  A circle with a radius of four (4) yards is marked around it.

The Goal Area:  A goal area is defined at each end of the field as follows:  Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line three (3) yards from the inside of each goalpost.  These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of three (3) yards and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line.  The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the goal area.

The Penalty Area: None.

Flagposts: None. {Holliston: corner flags are provided and may be used}

The Corner Arc: Conform to FIFA.

Goals:  The goals must be placed on the center of each goal line.  They consist of two upright posts equidistant from the corners and joined at the top by a horizontal crossbar.  The recommended distance between the posts is eighteen (18) feet and the distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the ground is six (6) feet.  Goals may be smaller in dimension. {Holliston: 4×6 foot goals are provided}

Safety:  Goals must be anchored securely to the ground.  Portable goals may only be used if they satisfy this requirement.

Law 2 – The Ball: Size three (3).

Law 3 – The Number of Players:
A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than four players. {Holliston: the game is best played with four; accomodations may be made with five aside if the number of players cannot be accomodated with dual fields due to lack of fields, goals, coaches and/or referees}
There are NO goalkeepers.
Substitutions: At any stoppage and unlimited. {Holliston: the referee will be asked to allow substitutions; it is encouraged to sub on goal kicks or a team’s throw-in/kick-in}
Playing time: Each player SHALL play a minimum of 50% of the total playing time.
Roster Size: Six to eight players per team is recommended. At ten to twelve players, you are encouraged to run two parallel games.
Coaches should allow players from the team with sufficient numbers to ‘loan’ a player or two to the team that is short players and then PLAY.

Law 4 – The Players Equipment:
Conform to FIFA. Non-uniform clothing is allowed based on weather conditions, but uniforms must still distinguish teams.

Law 5 – The Referee:
An OFFICIAL (Game Manager or Coordinator or Parent or Coach or Grade 9 referee) may be used. All infringements shall be briefly explained to the offending player.  ‘Do-overs’ should
be a regular occurrence allowed by the adults supervising the U6 game.  {Holliston: provides intramural referees for U8; coaches may officiate in their absence}

Law 6 – The Assistant Referees: None. {Holliston: dual referees may be used to train new officials}

Law 7 – The Duration of the Match: The match shall be divided into four (4) equal, six(6) to eight (8) minute quarters. There shall be a two (2) minute break between quarters one and two and another two (2) minute break between quarters three and four. There shall be a half-time interval of five (5) minutes. {Holliston: the match is divided into two (2) 25 minute halves; the coaches may agree to reduce play to two (2) 20 minute halves to accommodate the number of players; four (4) 10 minute quarters maybe used to accommodate extra hot conditions}

Law 8 – The Start and Restart of Play: Conform to FIFA, with the exception of the opponents of the team taking the kick-off are at least four (4) yards from the ball until it is in play. {Holliston: players are not allowed to “dribble off” on a restart; the ball must be passed, and on a kick-off, must go forward}

Law 9 – The Ball In and Out of Play: Conform to FIFA.

Law 10 – The Method of Scoring: Conform to FIFA. No scores or standings should be kept.

Law 11 – Offside: None.

Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct: Conform to FIFA with the exception that all fouls shall result in a direct free kick. The referee/coach/parent must explain ALL infringements to the offending player. No cards shown for misconduct.

Law 13 – Free Kicks: Conform to FIFA with the exceptions that all free kicks are direct and opponents are at least four (4) yards from the ball until it is in play.

Law 14 – The Penalty Kick: None.

Law 15 – The Throw-In: Conform to FIFA with the exception that an improperly performed throw-in can be retaken once. {Holliston: during the first half of the fall season, coaches may agree with the referee to do Kick-Ins, essentially a free kick from the sidelines}

Law 16 – The Goal Kick: Conform to FIFA with the exception that opponents must remain outside the goal area and at least four (4) yards from the ball until it is in play.

Law 17 – The Corner Kick: Conform to FIFA with the exception that opponents remain at least four (4) yards from the ball until it is in play.

Other Recommendations:
Opposing coaches, players and parents should shake hands after each match. {Holliston: as the teams line up, the referee will be present and the players and coaches will thank the referee}
Parent/coaches, non-participating players and spectators should be there to enjoy and encourage the activity of the youngsters.
Spectator and team benches should be on opposite sides of the field.
No slide tackles to be allowed in this age group.

Mass Youth Soccer Recommendations for U8
US Youth Soccer Under 8 Recommendations
US Youth Soccer Addendum for U8