CGSA Game Rules

Rule 1: The Field of Play  

Official soccer fields are always rectangular and marked with boundaries called goal lines, touch lines,  halfway lines, a center mark (circle), and a corner mark. 

Touch lines: the longer boundaries (length-wise) or "sides" of the field 

Goal lines: the shorter boundaries along the goal-line or "end" of the field 

Halfway line: divides the middle of the field in half 

Center mark: a circle that intersects the halfway line in the middle of the field. Corner arc: arcs in the right angle formed from the intersecting touch lines and goal lines.  corners are marked with flag posts. 

The goal area and penalty area: lines extend from the goal posts to form a rectangular goal  area, and a larger penalty area is created around the goal box. This is where goal kicks are taken  and it is the area in which the goalkeeper can use their hands. 

The goal: Goals are made of a crossbar and goal posts. Goal posts must sit on the white lines.

Rule 2: The Ball  

For a ball to be considered official, it is required to be spherical, made of leather or other suitable  material and it is of proper size. The ball circumference cannot be more than 70 cm (28 inches) and not  less than 68 cm (27 inches).  

Rules for younger players. Soccer balls come in 3 different sizes: 3, 4, & 5. The ball size is shown on the ball. 

U6: Size 3 

U8: Size 3 

U10: Size 4  

U13: Size 5 

U16: Size 5

Rule 3: Number of Players  

Eleven players on each team, one must be a goalkeeper 

Minimum 7 players. Cannot start or continue a game if either team has 6 players or less There is no time limit for players to arrive at the field and be allowed to play All players including substitutes must be listed on the game sheet. 

Unlimited substitutions. 

Trialist is defined as a player who can play on another team at the same age group or higher for  up to 7 games total in the season. 

Substitutions may only enter at the halfway line, upon the referee’s approval, and after the  player being subbed out has left the pitch. The goalkeeper may be substituted with anyone on  the pitch or any eligible substitute on the bench during a game stoppage. 

Modified 2022 Outdoor Season Age Groups and Players on field: 

U6: 4 players on each team 

U8: 5 players on each team 

U10: 7 players on each team* 

U13: 7 players on each team* 

U16: 7 players on each team*  

* Minimum 5 players to start or continue a game, other team does not have to match player numbers,  they can play up to their allowed 7 players on field. 

Rule 4: The Players Equipment  

A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous 

All items of jewelry (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands etc.) are  forbidden and must be removed. 

Small stud nose piercings will be allowed. However players and parents are asked to NOT get a  players nose pierced during an active soccer year 

Using tape to cover Jewelry is not permitted 

Compulsory Equipment 

Stockings (socks) 

Shin guards (covered entirely by stockings, rubber/plastic, provide reasonable protection) Suitable outdoor footwear (cleats/boots cannot be metal) 

Goalkeeper must wear different color jersey than all other players and referees If player leaves field to correct equipment, they must be checked by the referee before re entering the field of play 

If cautioned during play, free kick to opposing team at spot of ball when play was stopped Hard Cast Policy 

Rigid/Hard Casts are not allowed to be worn in any game 

Soft (Neoprene) Casts are allowed 

All rulings are at the discretion of the referee as to whether or not the cast, brace or equipment is  potentially injurious to another player

Rule 5 & 6: The Referee & Assistant Referees  

The referee is in charge of the match and enforces the Rules of the Game, they may be assisted  by two assistant referees who run along the touch line; the assistant referees help to indicate fouls, off sides and assists in indicating and monitoring substitutions 

Allows play to continue when the team against which an offence has been committed will  benefit from such an advantage and penalizes the original offence if the anticipated advantage  does not materialize at that time 

Referees decision is final (the referee may not change a decision on realizing that it is incorrect if  play has restarted, e.g. Restart after goal scored, signaled end of 1st or 2nd half 

Takes disciplinary action against players guilty of technical offences, cautionable and sending-off  offences. Does not have to take action immediately but can what until the ball next goes out of  play 

Within reason provide direction and clarification to players as needed during the game 

ZERO TOLERANCE 

**Any level of Harassment or Abuse will not be tolerated at referees, officials or players, any  incident will be recorded on the game sheet and submitted for CGSA committee to review for  possible further sanctions and disciplinary actions** 

**In-game action can include verbal warning, yellow card or red card as determined  necessary by the Referee** 

Rule 7: The Duration of the Match  

2 halves specified by the age group times below (unless mutually agreed upon by both teams  and referee) 

Halftime interval must not exceed 5 minutes 

The extra time generally corresponds with the referee’s determination of how much time was  taken up due to substitutions and injuries. 

Age Groups Times: 

U6: 25 minute practice, 30 minute game: 2 X 15 minute halves, 5 minute halftime U8: 25 minute practice, 40 minute game: 2 X 20 minute halves, 5 minute halftime U10: 2 X 30 minute halves, 5 minute halftime 

U13: 2 X 35 minute halves, 5 minute halftime 

U16: 2 X 40 minute halves, 5 minute halftime 

Rule 8: Start and Restart of Play  

Kick-off: 

Start of match / After a goal is scored / Start of 2nd half of match 

Home team decides if they want the ball or choose side to start game 

- If Home team chooses ball they will kick off 1st half, Visitor team chooses side to start. - If Home team chooses side, the Visitor team will kick off 1st half. 

Teams change sides and attack the opposite goals in the 2nd half of match with the opposite  team kicking off with the ball in the 2nd half. 

After a team scores a goal, a kick-off is taken by the other team

Procedure: 

All players must be in their own half of the field except the player taking the kick-off Opponents of the team taking the kick-off must be outside the center circle (30 feet from the  ball)  

Ball must be stationary on the center mark 

The referee gives a signal 

Ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves in any direction 

Free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the kicker touches the ball again before it is  touched by another player (double touch) 

The kick-off is retaken for all other infringements at kick-off 

Rule 9: The Ball In and Out of Play  

Ball out of play 

The ball is out of play when: 

it has wholly passed over the goal line or touchline on the ground or in the air play has been stopped by the referee 

If the ball touches a match official, remains on the field of play and: 

a team starts a promising attack or 

the ball goes directly into the goal or 

the team in possession of the ball changes 

In all these cases, play is restarted with a dropped ball to the team who had possession before the ball  touched the match official 

Ball in play 

The ball is in play at all other times when it touches a match official and when it rebounds off a goalpost,  crossbar or corner flag post and remains on the field of play. 

Rule 10: Methods of Scoring  

A goal is scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and  under the crossbar, provided that no offence has been committed by the team scoring the goal. If the goalkeeper throws the ball directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal kick is awarded. The team scoring the greater number of goals is the winner. If both teams score no goals or an  equal number of goals the match is drawn.

Rule 11: Offside  

The Offside rule applies to U13 and U16 age groups. There is NO Offside rule in U10. 

Offside position - It is not an offence to be in an offside position.  

A player is in an offside position if: 

any part of the head, body or feet is in the opponents’ half (excluding the halfway line) and any part of the head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and  the second-last opponent 

The hands and arms of all players, including the goalkeepers, are not considered. A player is not in an offside position if level with the: 

second-last opponent or last two opponents 

Offside offence 

A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate and is only  penalized on becoming involved in active play by: 

interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a team-mate or interfering with an opponent by: 

preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the  opponent’s line of vision or 

challenging an opponent for the ball or 

clearly attempting to play a ball which is close when this action impacts on an opponent or making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball 

No offence - There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from: a goal kick 

a throw-in 

a corner kick 

Offences and sanctions 

If an offside offence occurs, the referee awards an indirect free kick where the offence occurred. 

The offside rule is one of the trickiest rules of soccer. The basic concept is that a player must have at  least one defender (not including the goalie) between them and the goal when the ball is played to them when they are in the opponents half.  

In the diagram below, the red player closest to the goal is offside because there is not two defenders  between them and the goal when the ball was passed to them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rule 12: Fouls and Misconduct  

A Direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following 7 offences  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 

A Direct free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following 5 offences: 

Holds an opponent 

Impedes an opponent with contact 

Bites or S

pits at an opponent 

Handles the ball deliberately (except goalkeeper within own penalty area) 

Makes contact with a held object or throws an object at the ball, opponent or match official 

An Indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the goalkeeper inside their own penalty area commits one of the following offences: (free kick taken from spot of offence

controls the ball with the hand/arm for more than six seconds before releasing it touches the ball with the hand/arm after releasing it and before it has touched another player touches the ball with the hand/arm, unless the goalkeeper has clearly kicked or attempted to  kick the ball to release it into play, after: 

it has been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a team-mate 

receiving it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate 

A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball with the hand(s) when: 

the ball is between the hands or between the hand and any surface (e.g. ground, own body) or  by touching it with any part of the hands or arms except if the ball rebounds from the  goalkeeper or the goalkeeper has made a save 

holding the ball in the outstretched open hand 

bouncing it o

n the ground or throwing it in the air 

A goalkeeper cannot be challenged by an opponent when in control of the ball with the hand(s).

Disciplinary (Cards) 

Careless:  

(Accidental, carelessness, or due to player’s incoordination) 

Means that the player has shown a lack of attention or consideration when making the challenge or that  he/she acted without precaution: no further disciplinary sanction is needed if a foul is judged to be  careless 

First and second offence will be a free kick and verbal warning for each offence 3rd offence is yellow card (persistent foul ruling)(player number and team noted by referee) 4th offence is 2nd yellow and red card. Player is sent off and team plays with 1 player down for  

the rest of the game. (player sent off is to leave the field and bench area before the game can  resume) 

Reckless: 

(Intentional, extreme carelessness, recklessness) 

Means that the player has acted with complete disregard of the danger to, or consequences for their  opponent: a player who plays in a reckless manner shall be cautioned  

First offense is yellow card)(player number and team noted by referee) 

2nd offence is 2nd yellow and red card. Player is sent off and team plays with 1 player down for  the rest of the game. (player sent off is to leave the field and bench area before the game can  resume) 

Using excessiv

e force: 

(Extreme aggression, intentional, excessive force and dangerous play) 

Means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring an  opponent: a player who uses excessive force shall be sent off 

First offense is red card. Player is sent off and team plays with 1 player down for the rest of the  game. (player sent off is to leave the field and bench area before the game can resume) 

If a red card is shown by a Referee, a report including player #, team and details of the incident  are to be recorded and provided to the league committee 

Straight red cards will be reviewed by the league disciplinary committee for potential further  suspensions or disciplinary action 

*Red cards at U10. Offending team does not play with 1 player down for the rest of the game, the red  carded player can be replaced. At the Referees discretion, if an offending U10 team and its players are  abusing this

 rule, the Referee can remove a player from the offending team if a 2nd player is red carded

Spitting 

Spitting at or on another player, team official or referee is an automatic Red Card.  Player is sent off and team plays with 1 player down for the rest of the game. (player sent off is  to leave the field and bench area before the game can resume) 

Spitting downwards (ruled as not intentionally at a player, team official or referee) is a Yellow  Card (player number and team noted by referee) 

Handling the Ball 

For the purposes of determining handball offences, the upper boundary of the arm is in line with the  bottom of the armpit 

It is an offence if a player: 

Deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, including moving the hand/arm towards the  ball  

After the ball has touched their or a team-mate’s hand/arm, even if accidental, and immediately  leads to a goal or creates a creates a goal-scoring opportunity  

It is an offence if a player touches the ball with their hand/arm when:  

The hand/arm 

has made their body unnaturally bigger  

The hand/arm is above/beyond their shoulder level (unless the player deliberately plays the ball  which then touches their hand/arm  

The above offences apply even if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm directly from the head or  body (including the foot) of another player who is close 

Except for the above offences, it is not an offence if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm:  If the hand/arm is close to the body and does not make the body unnaturally bigger Directly from the player’s own head or body (including the foot)  

Directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close  When a player falls and the hand/arm is between the body and the ground to support the body,  but not extended laterally or vertically away from the body  

In determining whether or not a player deliberately handled the ball, the referee has several  considerations:  

Movement of th

e hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)  

Distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)  

Position of the hand ('natural' position versus 'unnatural' position) does not necessarily mean  that there is an infringement 

All handball offences, will be at the Referee’s discretion based on these rules.

Rule 13: Free Kicks  

A direct free kick means that the kick can be taken as a direct shot on goal.  

See Rule 12 for when to award a direct free kick. 

Direct Free Kicks apply to U13 and U16 age groups. There is NO Direct Free Kicks in U10 

An indirect free kick means that someone else has to touch the ball before it can be taken as a shot on  goal. 

Indirect Free Kicks a

re awarded to the opposing team if in the opinion of the referee, a player: Plays in a dangerous manner 

Impedes the progress of an opponent 

is guilty of dissent, using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures or other verbal  offences 

Prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from their hands 

Procedure: 

A free kick is taken from the place the offence occurred. 

If a free kick is kicked into the players own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team Ball must be stationary 

Free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the kicker touches the ball again before it is  touched by another player (double touch) 

All opponents at least 30 ft from the ball (unless they stand on their own goal line between the  goal posts) 

Ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves 

Retake free ki

ck if: 

opponent is closer than 30 ft and no advantage 

10 of 16 

Rule 14: Penalty Kick  

A penalty kick is awarded if any of the 12 direct free kick offences in Rule 12 are committed by a  player inside their own penalty area irrespective of the position of the ball. 

Penalty kick is taken from the Penalty Mark 

Player taking penalty kick must be clearly identified 

Goalkeeper only re

quired to have one foot on the line, facing kicker, between goalposts until  ball has been kicked

All other players outside the penalty area and penalty arc, behind the penalty mark and at least  30 feet from the penalty mark 

Procedure: 

When all players are in their positions as per above, 

Referee signals for penalty kick to be taken 

The penalty kick must be kicked forward and is in play when it moves forward Player taking the penalty kick cannot touch the ball again until it has touched another player The penalty kick is completed wh

en the ball stops moving, goes out of play or the referee stops  play for any offence.

*U10 Level and lower – NO Penalty Kicks (New and early developing Goal Keepers)   

*U13 and U16 – Penalty Kicks are allowed

Rule 15: The Throw In  

A throw-in is awarded to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball when the whole of the  ball passes over the touchline, on the ground or in the air. 

A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in: 

if the ball enters the opponents’ goal – a goal kick is awarded 

if the ball enters the thrower’s goal – a corner kick is awarded 

Procedure 

At the moment 

of delivering the ball, the thrower must:

stand facing the field of play 

have part of each foot on the touchline or on the ground outside the touchline throw the ball with both hands from behind and over the head from the point where it left the  field of play 

All opponents must stand at least 2 m (6ft) from the point on the touchline where the throw-in  is to be taken. 

The thrower must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player. The ball is in play when it enters the field of play.  

o If the ball touches the ground before entering, the throw-in is retaken by the same team  from the same position.  

o If the throw-in is not taken correctly it is retaken by the opposing team. 

Age Groups Throw-in attempts: 

U6/U8: Mini Soccer at Coaches discretion 

U10: Up to 3 attempt

s at referee’s discretion

U13: Up to 2 attempts at referee’s discretion 

U16: 1 attempt 

Rule 16: The Goal Kick  

A goal kick is awarded when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, on the ground or in the air,  having last touched a player of the attacking team, and a goal is not scored. 

A goal may be scored directly from a goal kick, but only against the opposing team. If the ball directly  enters the kicker’s goal a corner kick is awarded to the opponents. 

Procedure: 

Ball can be kicked from anywhere within the goal area by a player on the defending team Ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly move (does not have to leave the penalty area) Opponents must be outside the penalty area until the ball is in play 

Retreat Line: Applies 

to U10 age groups only 

The Retreat line will be in effect at Goal Kicks.  

If the Retreat line is marked on the field that is the retreat line. 

If no Retreat line is marked on the field, the retreat line is the center line. 

When the Goalkeeper picks up the ball up from play, there is no Retreat line but all opposing team  players must be outside the penalty box. 

An Indirect Free kick is a

warded to the opposing team if the kicker touches the ball again before it is  touched by another player (double touch)

Goalkeeper  

The goalkeeper must wear a different color jersey than all other players and referees. A goalkeeper is a required position on the field for each team. 

A goalkeeper is allowed to handle the ball within their own penalty area only. 

A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball with the hand(s) when:  

the ball is between the hands or between the hand and any surface (e.g. ground, own body) or  by touching it with any part of the hands or arms except if the ball rebounds from the  goalkeeper or the goalkeeper has made a save  

holding the ball in the 

outstretched open hand

bouncing it on the ground or throwing it in the air  

A goalkeeper cannot be challenged by an opponent when in control of the ball with the hand(s). 

Technical Goalkeeper offences: 

An Indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the goalkeeper inside their own penalty area  commits one of the following four offences: (indirect free kick taken from top of the penalty arc) Controls the ball with their hands for more than 5 seconds  

Touches the ball again with their hands after it has been released from their possession and  before it touches another player 

Touches the ball with hands after it has been deliberately kicked to them by a teammate (pass  back), does not include accidental or not deliberate 

Controls ball with feet or body in penalty area for longer than 5 seconds to purposely delay  game before then touching the ball with hands  

Rule 17: The Corner Kick  

A corner kick is a

warded when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, on the ground or in the  air, having last touched a player of the defending team, and a goal is not scored.

A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick, but only against the opposing team; if the ball directly  enters the kicker’s goal a corner kick is awarded to the opponents. 

Procedure: 

The ball must be placed in the corner area 

The ball must be stationary and is kicked by a player of the attacking team The ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves; it does not need to leave the corner area The corner flag post must not be moved 

Opponents must remain at least 9.15 m (30ft) from the corner arc until the ball is in play 

An Indirect Free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the kicker touches the ball again before it is  touched by another player (double touch)

Appendix:  

Substitutions  

Field player substitu

tions are unlimited at the Referee’s discretion and direction. (U6 and U8: Mini Soccer substitutions are at the Coaches discretion) 

To replace a player with a substitute, the following must be observed: 

The referee must be informed before any substitution is made 

Receive the referee’s permission to leave the field of play, unless already off the field, and must  leave by the nearest point on the boundary line unless the referee indicates that the player may  leave directly and immediately at the halfway line or another point (e.g. for safety/security or  injury) 

Changing the goalkeeper - Any of the players may change places with the goalkeeper if: the referee is informed before the change is made 

the change is made during a stoppage in play 

All substituted players and substitutes are subject to the referee’s authority whether they play or not. Too many players: 

only stop play if there is interference with play 

have the person removed when play stops 

take appropriate disciplinary

 action, warning and play restarts with a direct free kick to the  opponents 

Defenders Wall 

Where 3 or more defending team players form a ‘wall’, only defending team players are allowed  in the “wall”. No attacking team player is allowed in the “wall”, near the “wall” or interfere with the “wall” until the ball is in play 

If, when a Direct or Indirect free kick is taken, and an attacking team player commits one of the  offences above and the advantage rule does not apply, the free kick is retaken 

Drop Balls 

Drop balls can no longer be contested.  

The last team to touch the ball when play is stopped will have possession of the dropped ball  from that point of the field. 

One caveat: any play stopped in the penalty area will be returned to the goalkeeper no matter  who possessed the ball at the stoppage. 

Sidelines 

Teams on opposite sidelines 

on field

1 half of field is designated for players/coaches and must be 10 feet from center line The other half of the field is for parents/spectators and must be 10 feet from center line Players, Coaches, Parents and spectators must 5 feet back from the sideline. (Objective is to have buffer/free space at center line and away from the sidelines)

Blood Policy 

Player leaves the field and is attended to by team officials to stop bleeding. Each team will be provided with gloves and sanitizing supplies. 

If a player leaves the field due to bleeding and the injury is treated, bleeding has stopped and  the wound is securely covered, the player must be checked by the referee before re-entering  the field of play. 

Field Markings: