CISL U5/U6 and U7/U8 Rules

By and large, we conform to the US Youth Soccer Rules that simplify the game of soccer for our younger players.  This document highlights several points, and points out a few special “CISL EXCEPTION” Rules.

Game length and number of players

  • U5/U6: 3 players on a side, no goalkeepers, 16 minute halves
  • U7/U8: 4 players on a side, no goalkeepers, 20 minute halves

Playing time:  All players are expected to receive at least 50% playing time.

Before the game: The referee will check for proper equipment: shirts, shorts, shoes, socks, and shin guards. No jewelry. Home team wears the primary team color (blue for ASC) if the uniforms are not distinct from one another. The referee chooses a game ball. The referee will have a coin toss and the winner chooses which goal to attack. The other team kicks off. Teams alternate kicking off for the remaining quarters.

Seating Locations:  Parents from both teams should be on one side of the field. Players and coaches from both teams should be on the other side. No one should stand or sit behind the goals.

Substitutes: Conforming to ISA, substitutions may be made at any stoppage of play, at the discretion of the referee.

The usual fouls (kicking, tripping, jumping, charging, striking, tackling, pushing, holding, handballs, impeding) should be called. Conforming to ISA, all free kicks at U6 and U8 are DIRECT, i.e., a score may be made on the kick, regardless of how many times the ball has been touched.
The referee should take a moment to explain all violation calls to the offending player.

Kick-off The kick-off at the beginning of the half and after a goal is DIRECT.

Throw-ins (CISL EXCEPTION). We play with a normal throw-in, as opposed to the kick-in suggested in the US Youth Soccer Rules. The referee should explain a foul throw and allow the thrower a second chance. After a second foul throw, a throw in should be awarded to the other team.

The “No Goalie” rule (CISL EXCEPTION): No player may loiter in the quarter of the field closest to his/her defensive goal when the ball is in his/her team’s offensive half. The referee should warn the player, and may award an indirect free kick to the other team if the player does not cooperate.  A line may be painted on the field at each “quarter” for guidance.

Goal Kicks (CISL EXCEPTION). When a goal kick is awarded, the defending team’s players must retreat into their own defensive half and may not move past the half-line until the goal kick is taken. The kicking team maytake the goal kick before the defending team has retreated completely into their defensive half.

Sportsmanship. At the end of the game, it is tradition to thank the referee and for the players to congratulate and thank one another.  Parents are strongly encouraged not to criticize the referee.  Coaches may discuss the referee’s performance and rules after the game, or briefly and with respect at halftime.