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Youth Soccer Rules

These rules are a guide to procedures and responsibilities for playing and officiating for the Cañon City Area Recreation and Park District Youth Soccer Program. Safety, fair play, and sportsmanship are the primary concerns. This program is intended as a recreational activity and its purpose is the enjoyment of the sport with fellow participants.

It is recommended that you read these rules and address any concerns you may have before the season begins. 

Program Goals: The goals of the youth soccer program are to help develop the physical, mental, and social skills of all the participants, provide a safe envronment for the children to participate in athletics, promote sportsmanship, and to allow children to have fun. 

Warning Statement: To participants, parents, and coaches: Although participating in supervised athletics can be one of the least hazardous activities in which a person will engage; by nature, athletics include a chance of injury. Players must obey all of the safety rules, and report all physical problems to their coaches.

Safety: For protection and safety of all participants, wearing jewelery is not allowed. If the article cannot be removed, then it must be taped.

Insurance/Injuries: We DO NOT carry insurance for players, coaches, or officials. Participants are responsible for all charges resulting from medical injuries. We do provide some first aid equipment for minor injuries. 
In the event of an injury on the field, the site supervisor will assist by calling for medical help upon request of the coach or parents. 

Cancelled or Rescheduled Games: We will contact all of the coaches in the case of game cancellation and/or rescheduled games. Cancellations and/or rescheduled games will be posted on our website. 

Game Site: All games will be played at Pathfinder Regional Park 

Equipment/Field: Uniform shirts will be provided by the Recreation District. The players are responsible for shorts, shoes (no metal cleats), and shin guards. Socks must be worn over the shin guards. 

*Coaches must wear the shirt that is provided by the Recreation District

The Ball: 

  • 5 to 7 year olds will use size 3 soccer ball
  • 8 to 10 year olds and 11 to 14 year olds will use size 4 ball

Field Dimensions:

  • 5 to 7 year olds: length - 40 yards, width - 30 yards
  • 8 to 10 year olds: length - 70 yards, width - 40 yards
  • 11 to 14 year olds: length - 110 yards, width - 60 yards 

Regulation Game:

  • Game time will begin with a coin toss. The winner of the coin toss will choose the goal that they wish to defend. The other team will kick-off.
  • Game time is forfeit time. Teams must be ready to play at the scheduled game time.
  • Length of Game:
    • 5 to 7 year olds: (4) 10 minute quarters (1 minute break between quarters and 5 minute break at halftime)
    • 8 to 10 year olds: (4) 12 minute quarters (1 minute break between quarters and 5 minute break at halftime)
    • 11 to 14 year olds: (2) 30 minute halves (5 minute break at halftime)
  • During the regular season if at the end of a regulation time the game is tied, then the game will end in a tie. If the game is tied at regulation play during a tournament game then a 5 man shootout will occur.
  • Shootout procedures:
    • Each team designates 10 players
    • The kicking order is at the discretion of the kicking team
    • Winner of the coin toss has the option of kicking 1st or 2nd
    • The first five players for each team will take their attempts (alternating) at the same goal.  After each team's five players have made their attempts, the team with the most goals is declared the winner. IF it is still tied at this point, the next five players in their order will take their attempts, (alternating).  When a team has more goals in the same number of attempts the game is over.  If the game is still tied after all ten have made their attempts, the we will start at the top of the order until one team has more goals in the same number of attempts.
    • Players not chosen to participate in the shootout must stand on the sideline
    • The players involved in the shootout, but it is not their turn to make an attempt, must stand in the center circle.

Rules of the Games: (World Cup and United Leagues)


It is not an offence in itself to be in an offside position.  A player is an offside position if: 

  • The player is closer to the opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second  to last opponent.

A player is not in an offside position if:

  • He is in his own half of the soccer field
  • He is level with the second to last opponent
  • He is level with the last two opponents


  • A player shall be declared and penalized only if at the moment the ball is touched or is played by a teammate, the player is in the opinion of the referee involved in active play by:
    • Interfering with play or the opponent
    • Gaining an advantage by being in that position.

No Offence:

  • There is no offside penalty during a goal kick, throw-in, or corner kick

Fouls and Misconduct:

Fouls and misconduct are penalized as follows:

  • Red Card: Any player who receives a red card must sit out the remainder of the game in which they received the red card and the next scheduled game.
    • If a player receives another red card during the same season, then that player will sit out the remainder of the season.
  • Direct Free Kick: A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following ten offenses in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force;
    • Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
    • Trips or attempts to trip an opponent
    • Jumps at an opponent
    • Charges an opponent
    • Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
    • Pushes an opponent
    • Tackles an opponent to gain possession of the ball, making contact with the opponent before touching the ball
    • Holds an opponent
    • Spits at an opponent
    • Picks up the ball or touches the ball with their hands.
      •  A direct free kick is taken where the offence occurred.  All opponents must be 10 yards away from the ball.
  • Penalty Kick: A penalty kick is awarded if one of the ten offences listed above is commited inside their own penalty area.
  • Indirect Free Kick: an indirect free kick is awarded to the pposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following offences:
    • Takes more than six seconds while controlling the ball with his hands, before releasing it from his possession.
    • Touches the ball again with his hands after it has been released from his possession and has not been touched by another player.
    • Touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a teammate.
  • An indirect free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if any player commits any of the following offences;
    • Plays in a dangerous manner
    • Impedes the progress of an opponent
    • Prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands
    • Commits any other offence, not previously mentioned, for which lay is stopped to caution or dismiss a player.
      •  An indirect free kick is taken where the offence occurred.  All opponents must be 10 yards away from the ball.
  • Goal Kick: May be taken from any point inside the goal area.  Opponents must be 10 yards away.
  • Corner Kick:
    • Opponents must be 10 yards away from the ball
    • A goal can be directly scored form a corner kick
    • The payer who kicks the corner kick cannot touch the ball a second time until after another player has touched the ball.


Each player must play in half of the game.  If a player is a non-starter, then the next scheduled game he/she must be in the starting line-up.  For the safety of all players, rotate substitutions frequently throughout the game if possible.  Head coaches who do not carry out the substitution rule in full will be subject to disciplinary action.  EXCEPTION: If a player continously misses practice or never comes to practice, then the coaches can decide to play or not to play the individual equally.  Make sure that you give the parents and players prior warning.