AYSO Region 1258   AYSO Region 1258
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Division Guidelines
U-5 Guidelines and Laws
Jamboree One with One
Organization
Jamboree One with One is the combination of two different formats that, put together, will provide the best possible introduction to soccer for our youngest players. In AYSO soccer, a jamboree means that teams are formed on a weekly basis depending on how many players attend a given session. One with One refers to the concept that each player will have a parent (or other adult) working with them on the field. A “Master Coach” will lead each session. The Master Coach will introduce a game/activity that will practice a certain skill or part of the game using explanation and demonstration. Each pair (player/parent) will then attempt the activity while the Master Coach circles between pairs providing specific help or suggestions so that the activities are performed as intended. After a suitable amount of time, the Master Coach will bring the players and parents back together as a group and recap what they have done, introducing the next game/activity. Each Jamboree One with One session will end with a 20 minute short-sided game (3 v 3). Details regarding the game are explained later. Most importantly, allow the players to play without coaching or teaching them as this experience is designed to expose them to soccer, not to begin developing them. The two goals of the program are to allow the players to enjoy the activities and to let the game be the teacher.
Master Coach
Regina Jackowiak and Kim Wilkinson are the Master Coaches for Region 1258. Our Master Coaches are currently registered AYSO volunteers, AYSO Advanced Coaches and Advanced Coach Instructors. Our Master Coaches have a complete understanding of the AYSO National Coaching Program and full understanding that:
  • Young soccer players need special consideration
  • They are children playing a child’s game
  • These young children must be regarded as young children, not mini adults
  • Fun activity factors must be a central part of a child-centered program
  • Educators agree that early learning experiences are the most important and produce lifelong learning experiences
  • Under 5 players are essentially self oriented and relate naturally to one or two others, not to large groups
  • Most children cannot sustain prolonged activity
  • They function best in suitable starts and stops (rest periods)
  • Concentration span is limited, so frequent changes of pace and activity is essential
  • The young players should learn to discover the wonderful game of soccer, not be taught the game of soccer by adults
3 v 3 Game Set-Up and Guidelines
Each player in the U-5 division will receive a uniform, since it is part of the fun to get dressed up for "the big game". Having fun will make the kids want to come back. The uniforms should be identical for all players. Each week before the game portion of the day begins, players will be divided into groups of 4 (3 on the field with 1 substitute/reserve). Based on how many players arrive, pinnies (different colored ‘vests’) will be used to differentiate the ‘teams’ for games for a particular day.
Session Schedule
Sessions should last one hour and fifteen minutes including organizing time and breaks – NO MORE.
  • 10 minutes – group warm-up and activities
  • 5 minutes – water break
  • 20 minutes – training activities and games
  • 10 minutes – team organizing and water break, assigning players to teams, assigning field locations
  • 20 minutes – 3 v 3 game (played in two halves of 10 minutes each with a short beak at the quarter to make substitutions and get a quick drink)
  • 5 minutes – half time
  • 5 minutes –to make changes between quarters
During the game, one parent from each team should be selected to act as the game supervisors for the week. These parents should be required to keep the game going. All other parents should be encouraged to cheer positively and refrain from “coaching” (giving directions) from the sideline. This is the time for the kids to play – LET THEM!
The following guidelines include the only elements of the Laws of the Game that apply to the AYSO Short Sided Game Program for U-5:
The Field: The recommended field size for the U-5 games is 30 x 15 yards marked with lines or cones (see diagram in manual).

The Goals: The goals in U-5 games should be a maximum of 4 feet high and 6 feet wide or 2 tall cones set 6 feet apart.

The Ball: A size 3 ball is used for U-5 games.

The Teams: Each U-5 team should have a maximum of 5 on the roster. Games are played with 3 players per team on the field (3v3) and no goalkeepers. Substitutions are made at quarters, halftime and for injuries. A minimum of 2 quarters is required for each player and it is recommended that no one play 4 quarters until everyone has played 3 quarters. Separate boys and girls teams are recommended at all levels.

Player Equipment: Shoes and shin guards, covered by the socks, are mandatory at all practice and game activities. Soccer shoes, tennis shoes, or similar type athletic shoes are recommended. The type and condition of cleated shoes must be inspected for safety before use.

The Start of Play: To start the first and second halves, and following each goal in all age group games, play is started or restarted with a kick-off in the center of the field. A coin toss is used to determine which team kicks off to start the game and the other team kicks off to start the second half. Following a goal, the team scored upon kicks off.

The Kick-off: The kick-off is taken from the center of the field with each team in their own half and the team not kicking off at least 5 yards from the ball. Do not insist the opponent be a minimum of precisely 5 yards from the ball as this is just a guide to give the kicker room to kick the ball without it immediately hitting an opponent. Remember, let them play and do not interfere for technicalities.

Ball In and Out of Play: The ball is out of play in all age group games when it completely crosses the touch line (side line) or goal line (end line) either on the group or in the air. In U-5 games, the game supervisors for the week will determine when the ball is out of play and should guide the restart, interfering as little as possible. It is the player’s game, let them play and work on technique later.

Method of Scoring: A goal in all age group games is awarded when the ball completely crosses the goal line into the goal. Goals should be enthusiastically celebrated by everyone. In U-5 games, goals are not recorded to determine who wins as everyone is a winner.

Fouls and Other Stoppages: Deliberate fouling should be rare in U-5 games. Kicking, tripping, handling the ball and dangerous play may occur. There should be few, if any additional reasons to stop play in U-5 games. If a player is “not playing well with others”, or if play must be stopped for any other reason (injury, substitution, confusion, or to watch a passing train, butterfly or frog), refocus the players and begin again with a free kick or as may be appropriate. Award the restart to whichever team deserves it. Stoppages must not become a lengthy ceremony.

Free Kick: Play may have to be stopped occasionally to “sort things out” in U-5 games. When this is necessary, correct the situation then restart with a free kick for a deserving team. The opposing team should be at least 5 yards from the ball in U-5 games. All free kicks in U-5 games are direct free kicks which means, if you’re lucky, a goal can be scored directly from the kick without the ball having to be touched or played by another player on the field (indirect kick).

Throw in: When the ball goes out of play in U-5 games across the touch line (side lines) or the goal lines (end lines) without a goal being scored, a throw-in is awarded at the point it crossed the line. The throw-in is awarded to the team that didn’t touch the ball last. In U-5 games, whether the throw-in is properly taken or not, let it go...teach proper technique later. Again, let them play with minimum interruption. Keep the game moving and fun.

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U-6 Guidelines and Laws
The Activity Day: The U-6 activity day consists of a 60-minute session: 35 minutes of technical development and one 25-minute game.

The Field: The recommended field size for U-6 games is 30 x 15 yards marked with lines or cones.

The Markings: Distinctive lines can be used but are not required. Field can be marked using 20 flat pro-cones to mark all four sides.

The Goals: Maximum four feet high and six feet wide OR four tall cones, two each set six feet apart.

The Ball: A size 3 ball is used for U-6 games.

The Players: There will be three per team on field; no goalkeepers. Five max on roster. Substitutions are between periods, at halftime and for injuries. The players will be separated by girls and boys teams at all levels of play. Only players should be allowed on the field, with the exception of a coach from each team who will manage the game.

Player Equipment: Shoes and shin guards, covered by the socks are mandatory at all practice and game activities. Soccer shoes, tennis shoes, or similar type athletic shoes are recommended. The type and condition of cleated shoes must be inspected for safety before use.

Duration of Game: Four five-minute periods. Half time break of 5 - 10 minutes.

The Start of Play: To start the first and second halves, and following each goal in all age group games, play is started or restarted with a kick-off in the center of the field. A coin toss is used to determine which team kicks off to start the game and the other team kicks off to start the second half. Following a goal, the team scored upon kicks off.

The Kickoff: The kickoff is taken from the center of the field with each team in their own half and the team not kicking off at least 5 yards from the ball. Do not insist the opponent be a minimum of precisely 5 yards from the ball as this is just a guide to give the kicker room to kick the ball without it immediately hitting an opponent. Remember, let them play and do not interfere for technicalities.

Ball In and Out of Play: The ball is out of play in all age group games when it completely crosses the touch line (side line) or goal line (end line) either on the ground or in the air. In U-6 games, the coaches will determine when the ball is out of play and should guide the restart, interfering as little as possible. It's the player's game, let them play and work on technique later.

Fouls & Misconduct: The coaches will assess direct free kicks for all fouls, with the opponents five yards away from the ball.

Official: There is no need for fully qualified referees to manage U-6 games. One or both of the coaches should "officiate". The games are intended to be an opportunity for the very youngest of our players to experience the fun of playing. The barest of minimum rules are needed and should be applied with a generous amount of flexibility. Let the players have the freedom to play with minimum interruption.

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U-8 Guidelines and Laws
The Field: The field size for U-8 games is 50 yards long, 25 yards wide (max).

The Markings: Distinctive lines recommended.
  • Halfway line the width of the field, marked equidistant between the goal lines.
  • Center circle with a six-yard radius in the center of the field.
  • Corner arcs with a one-yard radius at each corner of the field.
  • Goal area in front of each goal measuring 6 x 12 yards.
The Goals: Maximum six feet high and six yards wide.

The Ball: A size 3 ball is used for U-8 games.

The Players: There will be Five per team on field; no goalkeepers. Seven maximum on roster. Substitutions are between periods, at halftime and for injuries. The players will be separated by girls and boys teams at all levels of play. Playing time is a minimum of two periods per game and no player should play four periods until everyone has played three. Separate girls and boys teams should be promoted at all levels of play.

Player Equipment: Shoes and shin guards, covered by the socks are mandatory at all practice and game activities. Soccer shoes, tennis shoes, or similar type athletic shoes are recommended. The type and condition of cleated shoes must be inspected for safety before use.

Duration of Game: Four 10-minute periods. Halftime break of 5–10 minutes.

The Start of Play: The game should be started with a kick-off in the middle of the field.

The Kick-off: A coin toss is used to determine which team kicks off to start the game and the other team kicks off to start the second half. Opponents must be six yards from the center mark while kick-off is in progress.

Method of Scoring: See U-8 Coaching Manual.

Fouls & Misconduct: The coaches will assess direct free kicks for all fouls, with the opponents six yards away from the ball.
Direct free kicks for all fouls, with the opponents six yards away from the ball. Free kicks are awarded the attacking team inside the defending team's goal area should be taken from the nearest point on the goal area line in front of the goal. There are no penalty kicks. Referees will work cooperatively with the coaches and eliminate the need for cautions and send-offs. Do not show yellow or red cards

U-8 Officials: AYSO certified U-8 Officials or higher are required for U-8 games. The U-8 Official should briefly explain any infringements to the player(s) and encourage proper play and sporting behavior. As with all games, every effort should be made to keep the game moving and free from stoppages for doubtful infractions. Let them play and enjoy.

Assistant Referees/Club Linesmen: If available, qualified assistant referees who have completed Assistant Referee Certification may be used to assist the referee. This is an opportunity for new assistant referees to begin getting experience. If qualified assistant referees are not available, Club Linesmen (untrained volunteers who may be affiliated with one of the teams/clubs) may be recruited from the spectators to assist the referee with calling the ball in and out of play only. This is an opportunity for parents to get involved.

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U-10 Guidelines and Laws
The Field: The field size for U-10 games is 80 yards long, 40 yards wide (max).

The Markings: Distinctive lines recommended.
  • Halfway line the width of the field, marked equidistant between the goal lines.
  • Center circle with an eight-yard radius in the center of the field.
  • Corner arcs with a one-yard radius at each corner of the field.
  • Goal area in front of each goal measuring 6 x 15 yards.
  • Penalty area in front of each goal measuring 14 x 30 yards.
  • Penalty mark ten yards from the goal line.
  • Penalty arc extending in an eight-yard radius from the penalty mark.
The Goals: Maximum seven feet high and seven yards wide.

The Ball: A size 4 ball is used for U-10 games.

The Players: There will be seven per team on field; one of which is a goalkeeper. Ten maximum on roster. Substitutions are between periods, at halftime and for injuries. There will be a minimum of two periods per game and no player should play four periods until everyone has played three. The players will be separated by girls and boys teams at all levels of play.

Player Equipment: Shoes and shin guards, covered by the socks are mandatory at all practice and game activities. Soccer shoes, tennis shoes, or similar type athletic shoes are recommended. The type and condition of cleated shoes must be inspected for safety before use.

Duration of Game: Four 12.5-minute periods. Halftime break of 5 -10 minutes.

The Start of Play: The game should be started with a kick-off in the middle of the field. Coaches determine which team starts the game with a coin flip and the opposing team starts the second half. Opponents must be eight yards from the center mark while kick-off is in progress.

Fouls & Misconduct: Opponents must be eight yards from the ball on restart kicks. Referees will work cooperatively with the coaches and eliminate the need for cautions and send-offs.

Referee: AYSO certified Regional Referees or higher are required for U-10 and older games. The referee should briefly explain any infringements to the player(s) and encourage proper play and sporting behavior. As with all games, every effort should be made to keep the game moving and free from stoppages for doubtful infractions. Let them play and enjoy.

Assistant Referees/Club Linesmen: If available, qualified assistant referees who have completed Assistant Referee Certification may be used to assist the referee. This is an opportunity for new assistant referees to begin getting experience. If qualified assistant referees are not available, Club Linesmen (untrained volunteers who may be affiliated with one of the teams/clubs) may be recruited from the spectators to assist the referee with calling the ball in and out of play only. This is an opportunity for parents to get involved.

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U-12 Guidelines and Laws
The Field: The field size for U-12 games is 100 yds long and 50 yds wide (max).

The Markings: No change from Laws of the Game.

The Goals: No change from Laws of the Game.

The Ball: A size 4 ball is used for U-12 games.

The Players: There will be nine per team on field; one of which is a goalkeeper. 12 maximum on roster.
Substitutions are between periods, at halftime and for injuries. The players will be separated by girls and boys teams at all levels of play. Playing time is a minimum of two periods per game and no player should play four periods until everyone has played three. The teams will be separate girls and boys teams should be promoted at all levels of play.

Player Equipment: Shoes and shin guards, covered by the socks are mandatory at all practice and game activities. Soft-cleated soccer shoes or tennis shoes.

Duration of Game: Four 15-minute periods. Halftime break of 5 - 10 minutes. No other changes from play as specified in FIFA Laws of the Game Printed for the American Youth Soccer Organization.

Referee: The referee must be a certified regional referee or above.

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U-14, U-16 and U-19 and Laws
GUIDELINES
The program will continue to permit U-16/U-19 play to be conducted with greater flexibility by permitting the following:
  • More informal play
  • More games and less practices
  • Coed play
  • Providing different programs in U-16 and/or U-19 based on the ability of the participants to commit their time (e.g., a 10-hour program for those with more time and a four-hour program for those with less time).
  • Fixing game times on a regular basis to suit the working schedule and other commitments of the participants
  • More flexible player substitutions
  • Limitation of the play of any participant who is excessively violent and receives a red card during a game
  • Creation of a "traveling" team to participate in non-AYSO leagues but only where there are insufficient AYSO players to form a viable U-16 or U-19 league or a combined U-16/U-19 league within the region or area
  • Creation of a "select" team to play in USYSA, SAY or other tournaments
  • Creation of neighborhood or regional or area based teams to minimize the travel of the participants.
MONITORED SUBSTITUTION
Free substitution will be permitted in the U-16/U-19 Program, but only if it is handled in a manner which will ensure that every participant plays at least one half of every game by requiring a separate time monitor, independent of either team or coach, who checks each player in or out of the game.
OTHER AREAS OF FLEXIBILITY
  • Rural, suburban, ex-urban and city areas seem to require different types of programs because of the varying demands on the time of the participants.
  • Coed practices and/or teams or parallel social programs should be considered since they have been found to lead to greater participation.
  • Coordinate team structuring, playing schedule and practice time and season with the local high schools in the event the local school rule prohibits high school and AYSO play at the same time.
MONITORING
It is the responsibility of the Regional Commissioner or the Area Director to monitor the experimental program during the season.

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VIP Guidelines and Laws
The AYSO Very Important Players (VIP) Program provides a quality soccer experience for children and adults whose physical or mental disabilities make it difficult to successfully participate on mainstream teams. VIP teams may include:
  • Blind or visually impaired
  • Amputees or with conditions that impair mobility
  • Mentally or emotionally challenged
  • Autistic
  • Down syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
MORE INFORMATION

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Why Short-Sided Soccer?
Short-sided soccer is about what is best for young soccer players. It's for AYSO coaches, referees, administrators, spectators, and anyone else concerned with the development of 5 to 12 year old soccer players
Young soccer players need special consideration
  • They are children playing a child’s game.
  • They must be regarded as young children, not mini adults.
  • They are essentially self-oriented and relate naturally to one or two others, not to large groups.
  • Fun and activity factors must be a central part of a child-centered program.
Educators agree early learning experiences are the most important and produce the most retention
  • Most children cannot sustain prolonged activity.
  • They function best in suitable starts and stops (rest periods).
  • Concentration span is limited, so frequent changes of pace and activity are essential.
Children love to learn
  • They learn a great deal more when the ratio of teacher (coach) to student (player) is reduced.
  • With small numbers and the simple nature of the game, the best teacher is the game itself.
  • With fewer players on the field, each player gets more touches of the ball and has greater opportunity to change location in a fast-flowing, fluid game.
  • Playing short-sided allows players to make simpler decisions and develop an earlier, better understanding of organization of play.
  • Smaller fields mean more players are directly involved in play, creating increased levels of both concentration and interest.
  • The reduced field size encourages more shots on goal by all players, therefore more goals scored.
Residual benefits
  • Parents are introduced to the game in smaller, more understandable doses.
  • Short-sided soccer is a great place to train new referees.
  • The rest of the world is playing short-sided, and we are part of the soccer world.
Small-Sided Games Revealed As Best Soccer Teacher...
Parents fight hard for small classrooms. They know that fewer students mean a better learning environment. Parents also know their children can't tackle calculus unless they've taken years of "real math": addition, subtraction, fractions. Yet some of those same parents resist small-sided soccer. "It's not ‘real soccer,'" they say of 3-v-3, 5-v-5 or 7-v-7 games, with small goals. Of course it is. The best players all over the planet -- as well as many who play simply for fun -- grew up playing small-sided. They understand that full-sided (11-v-11) soccer is really just a series of small contests -- small-sided soccer on a bigger field.

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