AYSO Area 4U
U-6 Short-side Rules
Soccer, by any measure, is the most popular game in the world. One
reason is it's easy to play. It can be played just about anywhere and requires very little
equipment - perhaps markers of some sort for the two goals and the four corners of the
field, and, of course, a ball.
Soccer is non-stop action, played in two halves with far fewer
interruptions than other team sports. For sheer exercise, it is hard to beat. In fact, it
pro-vides one of the best cardiovascular workouts in all of sport.
There are normally eleven players on a soccer team. However, smaller
teams are used for younger players. The following is the AYSO Under-6 program which
includes only those aspects of the game which are age-appropriate.
GAME GUIDELINES FOR U-6
Dimensions: 30 yards long and 15 yards wide maximum
- Distinctive lines not required; field can be marked using 10 flat
procones and four rectangular cones.
- Maximum four feet high and six feet wide.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS:
- Maximum number of players on the field at any one time: three (3); no
- Maximum number of players on the roster: five (5).
- Substitutions: Between periods and at halftime.
- Playing time: MINIMUM of 50% of the total playing time for each
player, and 75%, when possible. No one should play four periods until everyone has played
- No co-ed teams. Separate girl teams should be promoted at all
levels of play.
- Footwear: Tennis shoes or soft-cleated soccer shoes.
- Shinguards: MANDATORY for practices and games.
- The referee could be either a
- adult referee
- youth referee
- Referees should emphasize
NOTE: Referees should briefly explain any infringements to the players and help players
with instructions. All referees must be registered AYSO volunteers.
- Referee decisions are final and must not be questioned by coaches.
Duration of Game:
- Four five-minute periods.
- Halftime break of five to ten minutes..
The Start of Play:
- The game should be started with a free kick in the middle of the
field. The coaches should determine which team starts the game and the opposing team
should start the second half. The referee will ensure that opponents are at least five
yards from the spot of the free kick.
Ball In and Out of Play:
- When the whole ball passes over the touch line, either on the ground
or in the air, it should be thrown in from where it crossed the line, by a player of the
- When the whole ball passes over the goal line (not into the goal), it
should be kicked into play from where it crossed the line by a player of the opposing
Method of Scoring:
- No change from regular play. Score not kept.
Fouls and Misconduct:
- Direct free kick for all fouls, with the opponents five yards away.
- Referee should explain ALL infractions.
- Parents, coaches, and players from both teams exchange handshakes
before and/or after each game.
- League standings are not recorded.
- Game scores are not recorded.
- All players receive participation awards.
- Spectators are not allowed behind either goal or within three yards
outside the touchline
- Only game participants are allowed to run the length of the field.
- Parents and coaches should encourage players, but not coach or
instruct players during games.