EBU Recreational Soccer Rules – U6 through U8

U6 – Plays 4V4 U7 – Plays 4v4 U8 – Plays 4v4
4 quarters; each 10 minutes long 4 quarters; each 10 minutes long 4 quarters; each 12 minutes long
5 min. halftime; 2 min. quarter break 5 min. halftime; 2 min. quarter break 5 min. halftime; 2 min. quarter break

Basic Rules

  • U6-U8 age groups use size 3 ball
  • No Offside Rule
  • No Goalkeeper
  • U6 uses kick-ins. U7 and U8 use throw-ins
  • Goal Kicks – Defending team will move behind the mid-field line
  • No Heading the Ball
  • Indirect Free Kick – Ball must touch a minimum of two players before being scored

Start of Play: Flip a coin to determine which team kicks-off. On the kick-off, the ball may only be touched once by player A and then the ball is “live”. This means, players from both teams can play and touch the ball as many times as they want. Teams swap doing kick-offs every quarter and change ends at half-time. A goal cannot be scored directly from the kick-off, goal kick, or penalty spot.

Substitutions: Substitutions can be made during any stoppage of play – in between quarters, when the ball goes out of bounds on the sidelines, when the ball goes out of bounds on the end lines for a goal kick, or after a goal (There are no subs for a free kick). Coaches should have players up and off the bench, at the halfway-line, ready to enter the game. Substitutions should not be so frequent as to slow down the flow of the game. A player can be substituted for an injury at any time.

Goal Kicks: Defending team will be moved behind the mid-field line. This enables the team taking the goal kick to make an uncontested pass to a teammate. A goal cannot be scored directly from a goal kick.

Kick-Ins and Throw-Ins: U6—Kick-ins start the play, after the ball goes out of bounds on the sideline. The team that touched the ball last is on defense, the team that didn’t touch the ball last starts the play with a kick-in. U7/U8—Throw-ins start the play after the ball goes out of bounds on the sideline. For a player taking the throw-in, the ball must go behind the head and swung forward with both hands. Both feet must stay on the ground through the entire throw-in motion. The defensive team must move back approximately 4 yards to allow the ball to get into play. U7/U8 players are allowed a second attempt after an illegal throw. After the second attempt, the opposing team would be awarded a throw-in.

Corner Kicks: Defensive team player is the last person to touch the ball before it goes out of play on the end lines. Attacking team would start play with a corner kick or a kick-in from the corner. If the ball goes out of bounds between the goal and the flag on the left, a corner will be taken from the left corner. If the ball goes out of bounds between the goal and flag on the right, a corner kick will be taken from the right corner.

Free Kicks: All free kicks are indirect. Indirect free kicks must touch two players before a goal is scored for the goal to count.
Fouls: A ref should call a foul if a player trips, tackles from behind, pushes, punches, grabs jerseys or if a player intentionally heads a ball or touches a ball with their hands. An indirect free kick, from where the foul occurred on the field of play, will be awarded to the opposing team.

Head Balls: Players 10 and younger will be barred from heading the ball intentionally during any game or training session. An indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team where an intentional head ball has occurred.

Lopsided Game Rule: Once a team is winning by 5 or more goals, the losing team may add a player and play with a man advantage. Once the score is within 4 goals, the team with a man advantage must play even until the score reaches +5.

Goalkeepers: Please emphasize that there are no goalkeepers at U6/U7/U8!

EBU Youth Soccer Recommendations

  1. Spectators should be there to enjoy and encourage the activity of the youngsters.
  2. Spectator and team benches should be on opposite sides of the field.
  3. No coaches should be on the field unless there is an injured player.