U8 & U9 small sided rules



Under 8 & 9:


  • Non-trophy football, no match cards, no results, no league tables.
  • 2 x 5-a-side games, with one substitute on each team.
  • Roll-on Roll-off subs.
  • A 7-a-side pitch to be used, 5 v 5 on each half of the pitch.
  • If smaller number of players travel to games, reduce numbers accordingly, loaning players to a team if necessary so games are played.
  • Maximum of 14 is recommended in a team, i.e. 2 x 5 players with each team having 2 substitutes.
  • All players to be given 30 minutes play at a minimum.
  • 16×6 ft goals to be turned on their back to reduce size.
  • PERIODS OF TIME: 4 quarters x 12 mins or 4 x 10 mins with 2 min breaks.
  • Dimensions: 40×25 metres, max 45×25 metres.
  • Change personnel on teams particularly to make games more evenly balanced.
  • No REF required, but use SUPERVISOR for each game officiating from side of pitch, i.e. a club official or adult agreed by both sides.
  • Rope pitches off at 2 metres distance from pitch side, using cones to mark out line behind which spectators must remain.
  • Coaches and substitutes to remain on same side of the pitch.
  • Size 5 Ball, 290 grams in weight for U8s.
  • Size 5 Ball, 320 grams in weight for U9s.
  • RETREAT LINE – Divide pitch into thirds, mark with flat YELLOW ‘cones’/disk.
    • Keeper passes ball or rolls it or throws it to team-mate after the ball has gone over end-line or a goal was scored. (Encourage playing out from the back.)
    • Retreat Line only applies when ball goes over the goal-line or end-line or when goalie has the ball in his hands.
    • Keeper may not kick ball out from his hands.
    • Opposing players must remain outside Retreat Line until defender has control of the ball that he has received from keeper.
  • THROW-IN : Nearest player to ball recommences play by dribbling the ball into play or kicking from ground.
  • Not possible to score from throw-in.
  • CORNER KICKS apply as normal.
  • NO PENALTY KICKS, as indirect free is awarded instead.
  • FREE KICKS are all indirect, with opponents 5 metres away.