General Playing Rules

The WMUSA plays under the Federation International Football Association, FIFA Laws of the game. 

As a member organization of the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) we are permitted to modify certain rules to compensate for players’ age and ability.

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GENERAL RULES

BLOW-OUT RULE

GUEST PLAYERS

U5 NIPPER DIVISION

U6 AND U7 DIVISIONS

U8 AND U9 DIVISIONS

U10 AND U12 DIVISION

U14/U16/U18 COED DIVISIONS

 

GENERAL RULES:

  1. All players must wear shinguards, with socks pulled up over the top.
  2. U5-U12: NO HEADING ALLOWED
  3. Players must be on their own half of the field prior to the start of play, after each goal, and prior to starting the half or quarter.
  4. No jewelry, watches, necklaces, hair clips (except soft material type) may be worn.  The exception is medical alert tags.
  5. The goal keeper should wear a different jersey than all other players to clearly identify him/her.
  6. No player may play with a hard cast or splint, unless a doctor’s note has been provided, and the cast is completely covered in one inch of thick foam.  The decision to play is up to the discretion of the referee.
  7. The referee keeps the official time.
  8. Coaches and players should be on the same side of the field: parents and spectators must be on opposite side of the field, for U8 and above. Coaches and players are restricted to 10 yards on either side of midfield and 2 yards off of the touch line.  NO ONE IS PERMITTED BEHIND THE GOALS.
  9. The home team will be responsible for supplying the game ball.

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BLOW OUT RULE:

When any team is leading by 4 goals, coaches can take the following actions:

  • Trailing Team – can add 1 additional player to the field of play
  • Leading team – coaches must challenge their team/players with 1 (or more) of the following:
    • complete a minimum of 3 passes before shooting
    • players can only shoot with their non-dominant kicking foot
    • limit the number of touches a player may have every time they receive the ball to 2 or 3

When any team is leading by 6 goals, coaches can take the following actions:

  • Trailing Team – can add a second additional player to the field of play
  • Leading Team – coaches must challenge their team/players with 1 (or more) of the following:
    • complete a minimum of 5 passes before shooting
    • players can only shoot from outside the penalty area
    • all players must touch the ball before the team can score
    • move all offensively minded players to defensive positions

When any team is leading by or wins by 9 goals or more, the coach of that team will be assessed by the Intramural Director on how the game was managed. Consequences of game mismanagement include, but are not limited to:

  • one or more game suspension
  • suspension from coaching team in Fun Day Tournament

When/if the goal difference returns to 2, the game can return to normal – even number of players for each team, etc.

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GUEST PLAYERS FOR IN-HOUSE INTRAMURAL TEAMS:

WMUSA does not allow a current year carded travel player to participate in the intramural program under any circumstance, including a travel player playing up an age group, etc. If a team is in need of a player(s) for any given week, the coach is able to ask currently registered players within the intramural program, including any player in their division or any player in the age group directly below, to participate on their team on a need-be basis. If any team needs a guest player the coach must contact the league commissioner prior to the game and notify the other team’s coach before the start of the game. This can be done on game day as long as all requirements are met. The only reason to use a guest player(s) is if a team is without players on their current roster.  Those using a guest player(s) may not have more than the same number of players as the opposing team or two substitutes on the bench, whichever is less. (Example: if you play 11v11 you can only have 13 players at your game or if you play 8v8 you can only have 10 players at your game, etc).

NOTE:  It is not the responsibility of the referee to enforce this rule since rosters are not checked.  Any disputes should be addressed with a WMU representative.

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U5 NIPPER DIVISION, PLAY 4v4, SIZE 3 BALL

Teams will play 5v5 with no goalkeeper.  No referee is assigned. Each team will split up into 2 teams and half of the team will play on field 2A and the other on 2B against your opponent. This can be divided into 4 x 6 minute quarters, or more breaks can be taken if necessary.  Teams should meet at their respective game times, and begin with 30 minutes of practice prior to the mini scrimmages.

  1. Rule number 1 is to have fun! 
  2. NO HEADING ALLOWED
  3. For teaching purposes, the players should understand when the ball is in or out of play.  Throw-ins may be taken but are not encouraged and not corrected. 
  4. The players should understand that only a goalkeeper can use their hands; no penalties are given for any type of ball handling. 
  5. For infractions such as tripping or pushing, gently guide the children towards proper conduct and restart play by throwing the ball in randomly, or letting one of the children take a kick. 
  6. Take a water and potty break!

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U6 AND U7 DIVISIONS, PLAY 4V4, SIZE 3 BALL

No referee is assigned. No goalkeeper. Half of your team will play against half of your opponent’s team.  We encourage dividing the teams into “more aggressive” and “less aggressive” groups, (without making it too obvious) so that the less aggressive kids are not dominated by the faster kids.  These groups can be shuffled around each week.  One coach or parent should accompany each team during their game. One coach, assistant or parent from each team should volunteer to officiate.  All adults should remain off the field as much as possible.

  1. Rule number 1 is to have fun!
  2. NO HEADING ALLOWED
  3. U6 and U7 play 4v4 small sided games with 4, 10 minute quarters.
  4. General fouls such as tripping, striking, charging and intentionally handling the ball should restart with an indirect kick from the point of infraction.  There are no penalty shots, or offside violations.
  5. When the ball completely crosses over the touchline, play is restarted with a pass-in. 
  6. When the ball completely crosses the end line last touched by a defender an indirect corner kick is taken.
  7. When the ball completely crosses the end line last touched by an offensive player, a goal kick is taken.  The ball should be placed within 3 yards of the end line, in front of the goal.
  8. Substitutions should be made frequently and at any stoppage in play.

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U8 AND U9 DIVISIONS, PLAY 8V8, SIZE 3 or 4 BALL (RESPECTIVELY)

Referees will be assigned.  A coach, assistant coach or parent from each team should referee one half if no referee arrives by the scheduled start time. Games are 4, 12 minute quarters.

  1. Rule number 1 is to have fun!
  2. NO HEADING ALLOWED
  3. Players should learn how to correctly start and restart the game after a goal or prior to a quarter/half.
  4. Ball going over the sideline is to be restarted with a proper throw in. If taken incorrectly, give instruction, let them retake, and then continue playing regardless of the outcome.
  5. When the ball completely crosses the end line last touched by a defender an indirect corner kick is taken.
  6. When the ball completely crosses the end line last touched by an offensive player, a goal kick is taken by the defending team.  The ball may be placed anywhere on the top of the penalty box.  No offensive players may be in the penalty box when the kick is taken.
  7. Penal fouls (against an opposing player) such as tripping, kicking, striking, pushing, jumping at, holding or charging an opponent, as well as intentionally handling the ball in addition to dangerous play fouls, should restart with an indirect kick from the point of infraction.  There are no penalty shots or offside violations.  Any free kicks within the penalty area should be taken from the nearest point outside of the penalty area.  All restarts are indirect.
  8. Substitutions can be made only with the approval of the referee – either team can substitute any time the ball goes over an outside boundary line (touch line or end line) or prior to any kick off (start of quarter, after goal, etc.).
  9. If a team is short players, the other team must play down to their number.
  10. Coaches are not allowed on the field except to attend to an injury.

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U10 AND U12 DIVISION, PLAY 9V9, SIZE 4 BALL

Referees will be assigned.  A coach, assistant coach or parent from each team should referee one half if no referee arrives by the scheduled start time. Teams play 4, 14 minute quarters, 2 minutes between quarters and 5 minutes at halftime.

  1. Rule number 1 is to have fun!
  2. NO HEADING ALLOWED
  3. Throw ins: Ball going over the sideline is to be restarted with a proper throw in. If taken incorrectly, give instruction, let them retake once.  If still improper, the throw in is awarded to the other team.
  4. When the ball completely crosses the end line, last touched by a defender, a corner kick is taken.  Place the ball anywhere on or inside the corner arc.
  5. When the ball completely crosses the end line, last touched by an offensive player, a goal kick is taken by the defending team.  For U9, the ball may be placed anywhere on the top of the penalty box.  For U10, the goal kick must be taken from the top of the goal box.  No offensive players may be in the penalty box when the kick is taken.  The ball is in play when it leaves the penalty area.
  6. Fouls & Misconduct:  Penal fouls (against an opposing player) such as tripping, kicking, striking, pushing, jumping at, holding or charging an opponent, as well as intentionally handling the ball, are penalized as direct kicks at the point of the foul.  Penal fouls committed within the penalty area by the defensive team are penalized with a penalty kick.  Additional fouls such as dangerous play, impeding an opponent or when a goalkeeper touches the ball with their hands after it has been deliberately kicked or thrown in directly to them by a team-mate are penalized as indirect kicks at the point of the foul.   
  7. Substitutions can be made only with the approval of the referee - either team can substitute any time the ball goes over an outside boundary line (touch line or end line) or prior to any kick off (start of quarter, after goal, etc.). 
  8. Offside: A basic understanding of the offside rule is expected.  An attacking player receiving the ball from a teammate must have 2 defenders (one can be the goalkeeper) between them and the goal.  The "snapshot" is taken when the ball is passed by their teammate (not when they receive it). The receiving player must be actively involved in play or seeking to gain advantage to be called offside. The referee determines this and their word is final in all matters relating to this and all other laws of the game. The restart for offside is an indirect kick to the defending team.
  9. If a team is short players, the other team must play down to their number.
  10. Coaches are not allowed on the field except to attend to an injury.

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U14/U16/U18 COED DIVISIONS - SUBURBAN COUNTIES SOCCER LEAGUE (SIZE 5 BALL)

Please see the specific rules for SCSL for more information.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Youth Intramural