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Shrewsbury Youth Soccer

Rules of the Game

SYS Rules:

U5-U8 Rules

U10-U12 Rules

U14-U19 Rules



Field - The official 11 v.. 11 field is 100 to 130 yards long by 50 to 100 yards wide with a 18 by 44 yard penalty area, 6 by 20 yard goal area and a center circle with a 10 yard radius. Teams playing with fewer players play on smaller fields.

Kickoffs - Player kicks ball forward over center line; second player must touch ball before first player may retouch.  Player may then pass back to midfield for support or start attack. A player can score directly from a kick off.

Inbounds - A ball is inbounds until it completely crosses either the touchline or the goal line. If any part of the ball is over any part of the line means the ball is in play.

Throw-in - Ball crosses touchline (sideline); it is awarded to other team. Both feet must be touching ground, on or behind touchline. Both hands start behind the head, and proceed over the head in one continuous motion. A team cannot score directly from a throw in unless it is touched by another player (including keeper) before going in. The thrower cannot touch the ball again until it is touched by another player (on either team).

Goal Kick - Ball crosses goal line, last touched by offense; ball is kicked by defending team from anywhere within goal area. Ball must exit penalty area before being touched by another player. Opponents must stand outside of penalty area. A player can score directly from a goal kick.

Corner Kick - Ball crosses goal line, last touched by defense; ball is kicked by the offensive team from inside corner marking. Defenders must stand at least 10 yards from the kicker. A goal can be scored directly from a corner kick.

Indirect Free Kick - Offsides, dangerous play, impeding an opponent, unsporting behavior, prevents goalkeeper from releasing the ball, goalkeeper holds ball (after controlling it) for over 6 seconds, goalkeeper picks up ball after handling it, goalkeeper handles ball after being deliberately kicked or thrown to him by teammate, fair charging (shoulder to shoulder) but outside of playing distance from the ball. On the kick to restart, the ball must touch another player before scoring a goal. The kick is taken at point of the violation (except if committed in goal area), and the defense must be at least 10 yards away.

Direct Free Kick - Commits any of the following offenses to an opponent in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or involving excessive force: kicks (or attempts to), trips (or attempts to), jumps at, charges, strikes (or attempt to), or pushes. Or commits any of the following offenses: holds, spits at, handles ball deliberately, or makes contact with the player before contacting the ball when tackling an opponent. The opposing team is awarded a direct free kick. A goal can be scored directly from this kick. It is taken at point of violation with the defense at least 10 yards away. The defense may set up a wall if the kick is within striking range of the goal.

Penalty Kick - A penalty kick is awarded when a direct free kick infraction (a foul) is committed in the penalty area. The goalie is positioned on the goal line; the ball on the penalty spot. The goalkeeper may not move forward (but can move along the goal line) until the ball is kicked and all other players, except the goalkeeper and kicker are outside of the penalty area and penalty arc.

Drop Ball - Restarts game, usually for injury. It is between one player from each team. The referee drops the ball. The ball is in play when it hits the ground.

Offsides - It is not an offense in itself to be in an offside position. A player is in an offside position if she is nearer to her opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-to-last opponent (which may include the goalkeeper). A player is not in an offside position if she is in her own half of the field of play or is level with the second last opponent. A player in an offside position is only penalized if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of her teammates, she is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by: interfering with play, interfering with an opponent or gaining an advantage by being in that position. There is no offside offense if a player receives the ball directly from a goal kick, throw-in or corner kick. An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team from the place where the infringement occurred.

Yellow Card - A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following offenses:

  • guilty of unsporting behavior
  • shows dissent by word or action
  • persistently infringes the Laws of the Game
  • delays the restart of play
  • fails to respect the required distance for free kicks and corner kicks
  • enters or re-enters field of play without referee’s permission
  • deliberately leaves field of play without referee’s permission

Red Card - A player is sent off and shown the red card if he commits any of the following offenses:

  • guilty of serious foul play
  • guilty of violent conduct
  • spits at an opponent or any other person
  • denies an opponent a goal or obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball
  • denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by committing a foul
  • uses offensive, insulting or abusive language
  • receives a second caution in the same match.
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