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Auburn Soccer Association


Rules Reference Guide

There are seventeen rules or "Laws" in soccer. Most of the rules get modified for youth soccer. Here is a quick reference of the modified laws. You will need to contact an ASA league administrator for an "official list of rules and modifications" for ASA.

Law 1. Field Dimensions. Modified for youth to promote lots of touches. Fields can be 20 yards wide X 30 yards long for younger children's soccer and up to 70 yards wide X 110 yards long for 11v11 games.

Law 2. Balls size. A #3 is used for players in U6. A #4 ball for players U8 to U12.

Law 3.  Number of players. Modified from 7 players to 11.

Law 4.  Player's equipment. Shin guards with socks that completely cover th shin guards. No jewelry and no baseball cleats because the front cleats stick out.

Law 5.  Referees. The referee's main concern is the safety of the players. The ref enforces all the rules of the game.

Law 6. Assistant referee. In some 11v11 games there are two assistants helping the referee control the game.  Used primarily in tournament finals.

Law 7. Duration of the game. The official time is two 45-minute halves. With youth leagues it can range from two 15 minute halves up to 45 minute halves.

Law 8. Start of play. The kick off is taken at the center spot and is determined by a coin toss. The ball has to move forward to start the half. Each player must be in his or her half of the field and at least ten yard away from the ball. If a referee has to do a drop ball, the play resumes when the ball hits the ground.

Law 9. Ball in and out of play. The ball is out of play when it COMPLETELY goes over the goal line or touch-line. It doesn't matter whether it's in the air or on the ground.

Law 10. Method of scoring. The ball must COMPLETELY go across the line into the goal.

Law 11. Off sides. One of the most complicated laws of the game. Most leagues don't apply off sides until they start playing U8.  The basic concept is that a player must have at least one defender (not including the goalkeeper) between him and the goal WHEN the ball is played to him. Also to be offside the player must be in the opponents side and looking to gain an advantage.

Law 12. Fouls and Misconduct- At the youth level most fouls are due to pushing, holding or tripping and result in a free kick. Other ones to watch out for are handballs and charging.

Law 13. Free kicks. There are two types. A direct and indirect. With a direct kick a goal may be scored directly by the player taking the kick.  With an indirect kick a goal may not be scored until the ball has been played or touched by a second player of either team.

Law 14. Penalty Kick- If a play commits a foul in their own penalty area a Penalty kick will be awarded. The kick is taken a specified amount of yards out from the goal depending on the age group of the children.

Law 15. Throw in. During a throw in both feet have to be on the ground and either on or behind the line, two hands must be on the ball, and the throw must come from behind the players head. The penalty for a bad throw in is that the opposing team get the ball.

Law 16. Goal Kick. A goal kick is granted to the defending team when the attacking team kicks the ball over the goal line on the outside of the goal posts. The kicker may not touch the ball again until it has left the penalty area and has been touched my another player on either team. For play to be restarted the ball must leave the penalty area before being touched by a player from either team.

Law 17. Corner Kick. A corner kick is awarded when the defending team kicks the ball over their own goal line outside of the goal posts. A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick.

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