Youth Soccer League Rules

There will be no heading taught or allowed in any MSCR soccer league due to a new national ruling outlawing it for youth play. This will help to prevent head injuries.

Rules of Play: 

1.     All youth receive equal playing time, across positions (defense and offense).

2.     Teams are co-ed at ages 3-4 and 5-6. Girls have the choice of co-ed or girls division at 7-8 and above ages.

3.     Uniforms:  A pinnie (pull over vest) will be worn over T-shirt.  If it’s cold out, pinnie will stretch over jackets or coats.  In cold weather, youth should be prepared with hats, jackets, sweats and mittens/gloves as needed.  Shinguards recommended.  Soccer rubber cleated shoes are the best, but running or gym shoes are acceptable. 

4.     Teams can share players if one team is short of players on a given day.  If coaches can cooperate on this issue it would be great for the kids!  Thanks! If one team is clearly stronger than another, coaches and the referee, can request that the teams shuffle and share players amongst the teams to even out play. Even though we do not keep formal scores, some of the youth do and some become discouraged when they are losing by large scores.

5.     Guest Players: Players of the same age as the team, but not formally registered, can play to fill in when a team is short on a given day, but the parent of the sub child must signs a liability waiver at the site, on the day of the sub situation, and pay the referee $10.00 per date payable to MSCR.

6.     Game length & Number of players on the field & Number of recommended players per age group/ball size

a. Game length: All time is running time/the clock does not stop.


Ages 3-4:  15 minute halves and a 5-minute half time.

Ages 5-6:  20-minute halves and a 5-minute half time. 


Ages 7/8, 9/10 & 11/12: 25 minute halves, 5-minute half time.

b. Number of players: 3V3 uses 3 youth on each team on the field at one time; 6V6 uses 6, including a goalie.

c. Team size recommendations:             3V3: 6-9 players;           6V6: 10-14 players

d. Ball sizes by age group: 3/4 and 5/6 use a #3 ball and all other age groups use a #4

7.     Substitutions are possible on any dead ball or kick-in.  Coaches call in to the referee and indicate that substitutions are ready.  Teams have to wait for a stoppage in play/ball out-of-bounds, to substitute.

8.     No offsides in 3v3 or 6v6 play.  Players can be at any point in the field at any time.

9.     Goalies: No goalie is used for 3V3. 6V6 uses a goalie.

10.   Goal Box Area:  3v3: No one is allowed in the goal box area, either defensive or offensive players. 6v6: The goal box area is larger and players can play through this area.

11.   Rainouts/Weather Line:  Will be re-scheduled.  MSCR office will call or mail out an adjusted schedule. If the re-scheduled date offered by MSCR does not meet your team’s schedule, we can talk to a referee to re-schedule any game either during the week or another weekend, based on referee availability.  Call either MSCR or speak to a referee at your site. To check the weather on game day, call 204-3020 at or after 10 am.

MSCR will also e-mail you with weather updates on game day if the weather is questionable. Check both your home and office/work e-mails in case you used one or the other when registering.

12. Goal Scoring (A, B & C below):

A.  A goal cannot be scored on a mid-field kick-off situation at the start of the game or at any point of the game on a re-start, nor from any sideline or end-line kick-ins.

B.  No goal: When a shot/ball stops directly on the goal mouth line and does not entirely cross the line, it is not a goal.

C.  For ages U8 and above only: A goal cannot be scored until the player crosses the 50 yard line/half field point into the opposition’s side of the field.

13.   Kick Offs: At the start of the game the kick off can go to either team decided by the referee and then the other team kicks off to start the second half of the game. After each goal during the game, the   game restarts by having the team that did not score kick off from the center line of the field. The opposing team stands outside the circle allowing the opposing team some space to get started. Once the ball is passed once, players can enter the circle to defend.

14.   A goal box foul (Applies only to U6 and above, not U4 age group):

Is committed when a defender or offensive player steps into the goal box area while defending ball or shooting the ball (ball must leave the foot when shooting before one steps into the box area).  Defender can stand in front of the goal area, but cannot step into the goal box.  Handballs in the goal mouth area by the defensive team are a penalty kick for the offensive team. 

If the offensive team has a handball in the offensive goal area, the defensive team kicks the ball into play from the corner of the goal mouth area.

Does not apply to 6V6.

15.   Penalty kick occurs when a defender, while defending ball/opposing player, steps into goal area.  Free kick from midfield without a defender in front of goal.  If a penalty kick is awarded, it is taken from the edge of the midfield circle in the offensive zone, without any defenders in front of the shooter.  All players stand behind the shooter or off of the field.  Only one shot is taken/the penalty kicker can only strike the ball once.  If the ball does not go into the goal it is ruled a dead ball and the opposing team kicks the ball back into play from the top of their goal box.

        For 6V6: Penalty is taken approximately at the top of the goal box area. Opposing goalie is used.

16.  Out-of-bounds balls are to be thrown in using the overhead style. Please review how to teach this by visiting an online soccer coaching site and reviewing this process before beginning instruction.

17.  Goal Kicks: Balls over the goal end lines kicked out by the offensive team are then kicked in by the defensive team from top of their goal box. 

18.  Corner Kicks: Balls kicked across the goal line, by the defensive team, are taken as a corner kick on the side of the field where the ball went out.

19.   All restarts are Indirect kicks:  All re-starts after a foul are indirect, or when starting play after a goal is scored, or after the ball goes out-of-bounds, are indirect, meaning that a goal cannot be scored by the first player to start the play. It must touch one other player first, either offensive or defensive. Please ask that the defensive players back up about 5 yards for any restart. This will allow the opposing team to get the ball into play and make for a smoother game.

20.   Fouls are committed when someone is shoved from behind, elbowed, or arms/hands are used as extensions from body to ward off a defender/offensive player.  Ball is kicked from ground at point of foul and opposing team must yield 5 yards.  All handballs are fouls and are taken as free kick into play by the opposing team at the point of the infraction. 

21.   No slide tackling/leaving your feet and sliding into another player to try and take the ball away.

22.   No heading the ball!  Per new national guidelines, heading is not legal in this league. It will diminish head injuries over time for our youth!

23.   Other rules and interpretations are agreed upon/determined by the team coaches and referee on the day of the game.

24.   Referees will do a pre-game check with all players to determine if they are wearing watches, jewelry, ear rings or other like items and if so, ask the players to remove these items before play begins to lessen the chance of injuries.  Coaches and parents are asked to help with this.

25.   Shin guards are recommended for play.  No steel cleats allowed. 

26.   Ball sizes: U-4 and U6: size 3; U-8 , U-10 and U-12, size 4. If coaches agree at the game site, a different ball size can be used for the game. A size #3 ball would be OK to be used for any age group, if preferred.

27.   Safety Suggestions:  a) Frequent water breaks on hot days.  Referee will stop the clock if this is needed/coaches can ask for this as needed; b) Watch for heat stroke: flushed cheeks, erratic breathing, overheating, unconsciousness; c) Iced water: colder drinks take longer for the body to process: use cool drinks only, but not iced or very cold; d) No juice: sugar dehydrates the body.

28.   Promote sportsmanship by asking that the youth and coaches shake hands at midfield after each game and by encouraging fair play at all times. Please do not allow trash talking between players.  Overly aggressive play can be penalized.  This is a recreational league and fair play is the standard.

29.   Coaches on the field: Coaches, or one-two parents at a time, can be on the field if needed and at the discretion of each team, to assist with youth motivation or instruction, as this is a learning process for the youth.

30.   Field sizes:   The field and goal box areas are lined.                                   


Field size is 35 yards long by 25 yards wide, with 4x6 goals and a goal mouth area of 8 ft wide x 3 feet deep. Goal box area is: 8 feet wide and 3 feet deep.


Field is 50 by 35 yards. Goal is 12 x 6 ft. Goal box area is 30 feet wide by 15 feet deep.