Recreation Rules

Rules of Play

  1. Equal playing time for all players. Equal playing time is a requirement -- and coaches are on the honor system to abide by it. No player should ever sit more than 1.5 of the 4 periods if at all possible. This is recreational soccer -- it is about participation, development and fun, not winning and losing.
  2. Players must wear shin guards, and they must be underneath their socks. No watches, jewelry or loose items may be worn during games.
  3. Players must bring their own water bottle to all games and practices.
  4. Referees are to be used at all games. They will control the time and call the game. If a referee is not available, a coach/parent from each team shall share the referee duties, with each taking their own team’s defensive half of the field. 
  5. The referees’ calls are to be respected and accepted; coaches may ask referees for clarification of rules or calls at appropriate moments during games, but under no circumstances are coaches, parents, or players to dispute calls, yell at referees or engage in behavior (verbal or otherwise) contrary to the YMCA Code of Conduct.  Referees have the authority to suspend games and remove violators from the fields. Courtesy and respect for all is expected.

Blowout Rules: It’s recreation soccer. Nobody likes to lose 6-0. If you’re up by 3, you need to implement a plan to take the pressure off. Games go from 3-0 to 5-0 very quickly, so do not wait. This can include moving better players back or subbing them out, playing with fewer forwards or requiring multiple passes before a shot. The other team can add players. It is your responsibility to stop blow outs.



  1. Size 3 ball, play 4 quarters, with a halftime break.
  2. No off sides, no cherry picking and no goal tending.
  3. Substitutions mainly at quarters, halftime, and for injuries. Can sub at game stoppage during quarter with referee permission.
  4. One coach from each team on the field, away from play, not in penalty box, and out of the way.
  5. No coaches/parents/siblings/fans/dogs behind the goals.
  6. Score is not kept. Standings are not kept.


Rules for Under 5

  1. Play is 3v3, quarters are 6  minutes long, with a short break (2 min) at the quarters and a 5 minute half.
  2. Kick-ins when the ball goes out of bounds; no throw-ins.
  3. No keepers.
  4. Fouls and other stoppages-award the other team the direct free kick, and keep stoppage time to a minimum. Keep the game moving.


Rules for Under 6

  1. Play is 4v4 and 8 minute quarters, with a short break at the quarters and a 5 minute half.
  2. No keepers. Corner kicks introduced. No goal kicks.
  3. Kick-ins, but doesn’t have to be technically correct.
  4. Fouls-other team is awarded an indirect free kick (can’t go directly into the goal-must be touched by another player)


Rules for Division 1 Under 8

  1. Play is 6v6 or  (5 plus a goalie). If a team has only 5 players, then play will be 5v5.
  2. Games are 40 minutes long, with 4 quarters of 10 minutes (Boys) and 12 (Girls) minutes each. Three (3) minute breaks at quarters; five (5) minute break at half. These times may be adjusted as needed by the Division Coordinator or the referees.
  3. Indirect Free Kick for all fouls. No penalty kicks.
  4. Throw ins-all players allowed second throw in if first one is not done properly.
  5. Goal kicks and corner kicks are in play. On goal kicks
  6. Goal kicks. On a goal kick the defending team must wait at the midfield ONLY until the goal kick has been taken. They can then move forward and challenge for the ball.
  7. Keepers-must rotate goal keepers each quarter.
  8. Goal keepers may move to the edge of the penalty box line to kick or throw the ball.




Rules for Division 2 (Under 10)

  1. Play shall be 6v6.
  2. Size 4 ball is used.
  3. Games are 48 minutes long, with 4 quarters of 12 minutes each. 3 to 5 minute break at quarters; 5-7 minute break at half.
  4. Throw ins are strictly called after the 2nd game of the season.
  5. Coaches are NOT allowed on the field. Coaches must remain on the sidelines and no one can (parents, friends, coaches) stand behind the goals or goal line.   Coaches must also stay on their chosen half of the field between the midfield line and the 18 yard line (i.e., the coaches may not cross midfield on the sidelines) .
  6. Goalies must kick or throw the ball within a 5 count from anywhere within the penalty box. There is not limit on the number of steps or a requirement that the goalie dribble the ball. Goalkeeper: NO player should play more than 2 quarters in any one game as the keeper.
  7. Off-sides will be enforced after the second game of the season.
  8. Fouls will result in an indirect, direct or a penalty kick in conformity with FIFA rules except that ALL fouls in D2 will result in an indirect kick unless the foul clearly saves a goal or is in the penalty area, in which case the referee may award a direct or a penalty kick at their discretion.
  9. No overtime or shoot outs during regular season.
  10. Substitutions are at own throw-ins, all goal kicks, and all kick offs.  Subs must stand at the midpoint sideline and wait for the referee’s signal to enter the field. Substitutions are only allowed during game stoppages as indicated above. To keep the flow of the game, please try to substitute at the quarters as much as possible. Excessive substitution is discouraged and may be restricted by the referee.


Rules for Division 3 (Under 12) -all of the above except for:

  1. Play shall be 8v8 up to 11v11 based on team sizes and as determined by the Coordinator for each Division.
  2. Size 4 ball is used.
  3. Games are an hour long, divided into four 15 minute quarters, with a 5-10 minute break at the half.
  4. Goalies have 7 seconds to get rid of the ball.


Rules for Division 4  (Under 14) -all of the above except for:

  1. Play is 11v11 (10 plus goalie)
  2. Size 5 ball is used.
  3. Games are 70 minutes long, with two 35 minute halves, with a 5-10 minute break at the half.


Rules for Division 5 (Under 18/9-12 grade)-all of the above except for:

     1. Games are 80 minutes long, with two 40 minute halves, with a 5-10  minute break at the half.

All other FIFA rules apply.