Playing Area

Halfway Line The field of play is divided into two halves by a halfway line. The centre mark is indicated at the mid-point of the halfway line. This is also used as the retreat line when restarting play with a goal kick.

Goal Size The distance between the posts is 12ft and the distance between the lower edge of the cross bar and the ground is 6ft.

The Ball

The ball should be size 3 for U7 and U8

It should be safe and made of leather or another suitable material

Number of Players

Maximum number per team, including goalkeeper Under 7 and Under 8 5v5
The above table indicates the maximum number of players per team at that age group. If the competition would like to have smaller numbers, e.g. 4v4 at U7 or U8, this is allowed within this framework.

A match may not START if either team consists of fewer than four players. The minimum number of players in a team required for a match to CONTINUE is also four. Matches can begin with 5v4 but the importance and ethos of Mini-Soccer should be upheld wherever possible and the development of the children should come before the score line.
Players must play with and against players only from their own age range, as per Football Association and Competition rules.
Each team must not have a squad greater than double the size of the team per age.

Any number of substitutes, without being named, may be used at any time with the permission of the referee. A player who has been replaced may return to the playing area as a substitute for another player.

All team members should receive equal playing time where possible, with a best practice recommendation of at least 50% per player for each game.

Playing Equipment

Players must wear shin guards and goalkeepers must wear a distinguishing playing strip. Shin guards must be covered entirely by the socks. Players must wear the appropriate clothing dependant on the weather.
Correct footwear must be worn for the surface of the pitch e.g. no metal studs on artificial grass pitches.


The Authority of the Referee Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws for Mini-Soccer in connection with the match to which they have been appointed.

Furthermore, referees should also recognise their role is to facilitate learning of the players, for example, allow young children to take a second attempt at a throw-in if the first is not within the Laws.

Assistant Referee

Assistant referees are not required.

Duration of the Game

In any one day, no player shall play more than 40 minutes. It is the responsibility of the parent/carer or organisation to ensure the child does not exceed this. Each league/competition will determine its own playing time within the maximum time permitted however the maximum duration will be two halves of 20 minutes.
It is permitted during development matches that the periods of play can be split into equal quarters.

The half time interval must not exceed 5 minutes.

Please refer to the Standard Code of Rules for Youth Competitions

Start and Restart of Play Procedure

A kick-off is taken at the centre of the playing area to start the game and after a goal has been scored. Opponents must be 5 yards away from the ball and in their own half of the field. The ball must be played forward. In Mini-Soccer a goal cannot be scored directly from a start or restart of play.

Special Circumstances A dropped ball to restart the match, after play has been temporarily stopped inside the penalty area, takes place on the penalty area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located when the play stopped. No goal can be scored direct from a dropped ball.

Ball In and Out of Play

Normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Method of Scoring

Normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.


There is no offside.

Normal rules apply

As per Laws of Association Football.

Fouls and Misconduct However, in Mini-Soccer all free kicks are direct.

A free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the goalkeeper:

  • Takes more than 6 seconds to release the ball from his/her hands
  • Touches the ball again with his/her hands after it has been released from his/her possession and has not touched any other player
  • Touches the ball with his/her hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him/her by a team mate
  • Touches the ball with his/her hands after he/she has received it directly from a throw in taken by a team mate

For all these offences, the free kick should be taken from the penalty area line, parallel with the goal line, at the nearest point to the offence.

Free Kicks

For all free kicks opponents must be 5 yards from the ball.>

Penalty Kicks

Normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Position of the Ball and the Players All players except the defending goalkeeper and kicker must be outside the penalty area and at least 5 yards from the penalty mark. The ball must be kicked forward.


Normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

In addition, U7 and U8 children are permitted to roll the ball underarm with one or both hands into the field of play.

The role of the referee is to also allow young players to learn the game. This may involve letting players take throw-ins again, if incorrect technique is used. The referee should ensure the same player attempts a second time, with guidance and help from the match official.

Goal Kick Procedure

A player of the defending team kicks the ball from any point within the penalty area.

Opponents must retreat to their own half until the ball is in play. The defending team does not have to wait for the opposition to retreat and has the option to restart the game before should they choose to. The ball is in play when it is kicked directly out the penalty area.

Corner Kicks

The opposing players must remain at least 5yards from the ball until it is in play. The kicker may not touch the ball again until it has touched another player. If he/she does, a free kick is awarded against them. The ball is in play immediately when it enters the field of play.

    • Any matches in the knock-out stages which are tied are to be settled by 15minutes extra time if still tied best of 5 penalty competition followed by sudden death if necessary.
    • Games are 40 minutes total , 20minutes each way, 10 minute half time.
    • The Match Official will be the referee, the referee will be selected by the home team to officiate the game a team can also select a parent to referee if required, the home team manager will be responsible for match reporting within 7 days of the game being played.
    • Match report forms can be downloaded from the WMJCL website, managers should be conversant with The WMJCL rules and match reporting system so games are planned, played and completed fairly.
    • All managers with a registered team in the competition will get personnel login details to the Locked pages of website for downloads and referee info this is STRICLY CONFIDENTIAL and anybody found sharing this information elsewhere (social Media) will be removed from the competition and blocked from using the web site as well as being reported to the FA for breaching the CODE OF CONDUCT.

end faq

Read 3290 times Last modified on Saturday, 18 March 2017 23:24

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