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Boys & Girls Soccer in Hudsonville and Jenison, MI

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LAW 1: THE FIELD OF PLAY

Essential Facts About the Field of Play:

 Touch lines: Define sides of the field.

 Goal lines: Define ends of the field. 

 Halfway line: Divides field in half and belongs to both halves.

 Center mark: Location for kick-off.

 Center circle: 10-yard radius from center mark.

 Penalty area: Area in which goalkeeper may use hands and where certain fouls result in a penalty kick.

 Penalty mark: 9-inch spot 12 yards from goal line indicates location for penalty kick.

 Penalty arc: 10-yard radius from penalty mark.

 Goal area: Defines location for goal kicks.

 Corner area: 1-yard arc defines location for corner kicks.

 Corner flag: Locates corner of field. May not be moved or removed during corner kicks.

 Optional equipment: Goal nets, halfway flags (1 yard outside touch line).

 

LAW 2: THE BALL

Essential Facts Regarding the Ball:

 The referee approves the game ball.

 Ball cannot be replaced without the referee’s permission.

 The size used in AYSO matches is regulated according to age division: Size 3: 6U, 7U, 8U  Size 4: 9U, 10U, 12U  Size 5: 14U and above

 

LAW 3: THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS

Essential Facts Regarding Number of Players:

 AYSO Age Specific Recommendations:
6U, 7U, 8U - 4v4
9U, 10U - 7v7
12U - 9v9
14U and above - 11v11

 A player who has been sent off may not be replaced.

 Substitutes come under the jurisdiction of the referee.

 One player on each team must be designated as the goalkeeper.

 Field players may change places with their goalkeeper at any normal stoppage in play. The referee must be notified that the change is taking place.

 In AYSO, each team member must play a minimum of one half of the match.

 Play may be stopped at any time by the referee to attend to an injured player who may be replaced or the team may play short while the injured player recovers. Only the injured player receives credit for playing that quarter. A dropped ball is used to restart play if the ball was in play at the time of the stoppage.

LAW 4: THE PLAYERS’ EQUIPMENT

Essential Facts Regarding Players’ Equipment:

 Jersey, shorts, footwear, and shinguards covered by stockings are required. Sleeveless jerseys are permitted as are rolled or tied up sleeves provided, in the opinion of the referee, it is done in a safe manner.

 Shinguards are required in all practices and games.

 The goalkeepers must be distinguishable from all other players on the field.

 Players may not wear anything that could endanger either themselves or another player.

 Casts or splints, jewelry, watches and articles of adornment are not allowed. 

 

LAW 5: THE REFEREE

Essential Facts Regarding the Referee:

 Should interfere with the game as little as possible, penalize only deliberate breaches of the Law, and not whistle for trifling or doubtful offenses.

 Authority includes all pre-match, half-time and post-match activities.

 May refrain from penalizing if it is to the advantage of the team against which the offense was committed. 

 Is official record and timekeeper, and may add any time lost through accident or other cause.

 May stop the match and suspend or terminate play for any reason deemed necessary such as: the elements, interference by spectators, or other cause.

 Shall submit a detailed report of any misconduct.

 Allows no person other than the players and assistant referees to enter the field of play without permission.

 May stop the match to have an injured player attended.

 

LAW 6: THE ASSISTANT REFEREES

Essential Facts Regarding the Assistant Referees:

 Indicate when the ball is out of play.

 Indicate which side is entitled to a goal kick, corner kick, or throw-in.

 Indicate when a player may be penalized for being in an offside position.

 Indicate when a substitution is requested.

 Assist the referee in the control of the match in accordance with the Laws.

 May signal any misconduct, incident, or breach of the Laws which occurred out of view of the referee.

 Assistant referees’ decisions may be overruled by the referee.

 Referee decisions may not be overruled by an assistant referee.

 Referees may consult with and accept the decision of neutral assistant referees to determine whether or not a legal goal was scored. 

 

LAW 7: THE DURATION OF THE MATCH

Essential Facts Regarding the Duration of the Game:

 The match is divided into two equal periods (halves), which varies with age group.

 The teams will defend each goal for one period (half).

 Players have a right to an interval at half-time, which, in AYSO, shall be a minimum of five and maximum of ten minutes.

 Allowance shall be made, at the discretion of the referee, for time lost due to injury, substitution, time wasting or other cause.

 Time shall be extended to permit a penalty kick to be taken at or after the expiration of the normal time period.

 The referee is the sole timekeeper for the match.

 FIFA Law requires a match terminated by the referee for any reason to be replayed in its entirety. In AYSO, the referee submits a game report to the governing body (Region) who will determines whether or not the game will be replayed, if the score will stand, or if a team shall be declared in forfeit.

 

LAW 8: THE START AND RESTART OF PLAY

Essential Facts Regarding the Start of Play:

 Play is started with a kick-off from the center mark:

o At the beginning of the match.

o At the beginning of the second half.

o Following a goal.

o At the beginning of overtime periods. 

 Play is restarted with a dropped ball where the ball was when the play was stopped while the ball was in play:

o Following an injury where no foul occurred.

o For outside interference. 

o For needed repairs to the ball or field equipment.

o For any cause not mentioned in the Laws.

 The team winning the coin toss chooses which goal it will attack in the first half. The other team must kick off.

 The ball is in play from a kick-off once it has been kicked.

 Every player must remain in his own half of the field, and players of the team not taking the kick-off must remain at least ten yards from the ball until the ball is in play.

 The player taking the kick-off shall not touch the ball a second time until it is has been touched by another player. The penalty for this “double touch” is an indirect free kick.

 A goal may be scored directly from a kick-off.

 The kick-off shall be retaken for any infringement occurring before the ball is in play. 

 The dropped ball is in play once it has touched the ground.

 The dropped ball is retaken if it is touched by any player before it has touched the ground or if it goes out of play without being touched by a player.

 

LAW 9: THE BALL IN AND OUT OF PLAY

Essential Facts Regarding Ball In and Out of Play:

 The ball remains in play until the entire ball has crossed the outside edge of either the goal line or touch line either on the ground or in the air.  

 It is the position of the ball and not the player playing the ball which determines whether or not the ball is out of play.

 The ball is out of play when the referee has stopped play. 

 The ball remains in play unless signaled out of play by the referee.

 

LAW 10: THE METHOD OF SCORING

Essential Facts Regarding Method of Scoring:

 The ball must completely cross the goal line between the goalposts and under the crossbar for a goal to be scored.

 Only the referee may award or disallow a goal.

 The referee may accept the opinion of a neutral assistant referee regarding a possible goal that the referee did not see.

 The position of the ball is relevant when determining whether a goal has been scored, not the position of the goalkeeper.

 A goal should not be awarded if an outside agent (spectator, dog, etc.) has interfered with play prior to the ball entering the goal.

 A goal should not be awarded if the Laws of the Game were violated by the attacking team immediately prior to the ball entering the goal.

 The referee may reverse his decision regarding the scoring of a goal as long as play has not yet been restarted.


LAW 11: OFFSIDE

Essential Facts Regarding Offside:

 A player is in an offside position if he is nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second to last defender. Being in an offside position in itself is not an offence. A player is not in an offside position if:

o He is in his own half of the field of play or

o He is level with the second last opponent or

o He is level with the last two opponents

 The player in an offside position is only penalized if, at the moment the ball is touched or played by a teammate, the referee considers him to be actively involved in the play by:

o Interfering with play or

o Interfering with an opponent or

o Gaining an advantage from being in that position

 There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:

o A goal kick or

o A throw-in or

o A corner kick

 The punishment for being offside is an indirect free kick for the opposing team.

 The indirect free kick is taken from the location of the offside player.

 The referee may or may not declare a violation of the Offside Law depending upon his judgment of the circumstances.

 

LAW 12: FOULS AND MISCONDUCT

Essential Facts Regarding Fouls:

There are two categories of fouls; direct free kick fouls from which a goal may be scored directly and indirect free kick fouls from which a second player on either team must touch or play the ball before a goal may be scored. If a direct free kick foul is committed by a player in his or her own penalty area, the opponents are awarded a penalty kick (see Law 14).

 Essential Facts Regarding Direct Free Kick Fouls: There are ten direct free kick fouls of which the following seven must be considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or done with excessive force: 1. Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent 2. Trips or attempts to trip an opponent 3. Jumps at an opponent 4. Charges an opponent 5. Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent 6. Pushes an opponent 7. Tackles an opponent

 The other three direct free kick fouls require only that they be committed. 1. Holds an opponent 2. Spits at an opponent 3. Handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper inside his own penalty area)

 Essential Facts Regarding the Indirect Free Kick Fouls: The following are the eight indirect free kick fouls: 1. Plays in a dangerous manner 2. Impedes the progress of an opponent 3. Prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands 4. Commits any other offence, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which play is stopped to caution or dismiss a player 5. Goalkeeper controls the ball with his hands for more than six seconds before releasing it from his possession 6. Goalkeeper, having released the ball into play, touching it again with his hands before it has been touched by another player 7. Goalkeeper touching the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a teammate 8. Goalkeeper touching the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in by a teammate.

Essential Facts Regarding Cautionable Offenses: There are seven reasons a player may be cautioned and shown a yellow card. 1. Unsporting behavior 2. Dissent, by word or action, 3. Persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game 4. Delays the restart of play 5. Failure to respect the required distance during corner kicks, free kicks or throw-ins 6. Enters or re-enters the field of play without permission of the referee 7. Deliberately leaving the field of play without the permission of the referee.

Essential Facts Regarding Sending-Off Offenses: There are seven reasons a player may be sent off the field and shown a red card. 1. Serious foul play. 2. Violent conduct. 3. Spits at an opponent or any other person. 4. Denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball. 5. Denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent moving toward the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick. 6. Using offensive, insulting, or abusive language and/or gestures. 7. Receiving a second caution in the same game.

 

LAW 13: FREE KICKS

Essential Facts Regarding Free Kicks:

 Direct free kicks are awarded for direct free kick fouls and a goal may be scored directly against the opponents.

 Indirect free kicks are awarded for indirect free kick fouls and certain technical infractions. After the ball is in play, it must touch or be played by a second player from either team before a goal can be scored.

 The opposing team must remain at least ten yards from the ball until the ball is kicked into play.

 The ball is in play from a free kick once it has been kicked and has moved or, in the case of the defending team taking the kick from within their own penalty area, when the ball completely leaves the penalty area.

 The player taking the free kick may not play the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player. The penalty for violation is an indirect free kick for the opponents from the point of the infraction.

 

LAW 14: THE PENALTY KICK

Essential Facts Regarding Penalty Kick:

 A goal may be scored directly from a penalty kick.

 The kick is taken from the penalty mark at an age-appropriate distance from the goal line.

 The ball is in play once it has been kicked and moves forward.

 All players must be on the field of play, outside the penalty area, ten yards from the ball, and must stand behind the penalty mark, except for the kicker and the opposing goalkeeper.

 The defending goalkeeper remains on the goal line between the goalposts facing the kicker until the ball has been kicked.

 The kicker must wait for the referee’s signal before taking the kick.

 The player taking the penalty kick may not play the ball twice in succession without it first touching another player (penalty is an indirect free kick for the opposing team).

 For infringements of the Law by the defending team, the kick shall be retaken if a goal has not been scored.

 For infringements of the Law by the attacking team, except for the kicker playing the ball twice in succession, the kick shall be retaken if a goal was scored.

 For infringements of the Law by both teams, the kick shall be retaken regardless of the outcome.

 

LAW 15: THE THROW-IN

Essential Facts Regarding Throw-In:

 The throw-in shall be taken from the point at which the ball left the field.

 The thrower must face the field and part of both feet must remain on or behind the touchline.

 The ball must be thrown with both hands from behind and over the head.

 Opposing players must stand no less than 2 yards from point at which the throw-in is taken.

 The ball is in play as soon as it is both released and has entered the field of play.

 The thrower may not play the ball a second time in succession (penalty is an indirect free kick for the opposing team from the point of the infraction).

 If the ball is improperly thrown in, it shall be retaken by a player of the opposing team.

 A goal may not be scored directly from a throw-in.

 Exception to Offside Law is permitted for the first person to receive the ball from a throw-in. 

 

LAW 16: THE GOAL KICK

Essential Facts Regarding Goal Kick:

 The ball may be placed anywhere within the goal area.

 The ball is in play once it has been kicked beyond the penalty area.

 Opposing players must remain outside the penalty area until the ball is kicked into play beyond the penalty area.

 A goal may be scored directly from a goal kick, but only against the opposing team.

 The player taking the goal kick may not play the ball twice in succession (penalty is an indirect free kick for the opposing team).

 Exception to Offside Law is permitted for the first person to receive the ball from a goal kick. 

 

LAW 17: THE CORNER KICK

Essential Facts Regarding Corner Kick:

 The ball is placed within the corner arc at the nearest corner flag post.

 A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick.  

 The ball is in play after it has been kicked and moves.

 Opposing players must remain ten yards from the corner arc until the ball is in play.

 The corner flag must not be moved or removed during the taking of the corner kick.

 The kicker may not play the ball twice in succession (penalty is an indirect free kick for the opposing team).

 Exception to Offside Law is permitted for the first person to receive the ball from a corner kick.

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