This is a rules summary, with some comments by me. The official rules are located here:
My emphasis: Safety. Consistency among referees. Fun.
The Site Coordinator represents the Competition Authority. Defer to them; seek them out for support. Call me if you have an issue.
The U8s are important to me. This is the age where children and their families decide whether soccer brings them enough joy to continue. Referees help with their dream fulfillment: Bring smiles and fun to these games.
U8s play 4 v 4. Maximum number of players on the field is four (4). A team must have three (3) players to start a game. There is no play-down mercy rule.
Do not check player passes or rosters. The Site Coordinator will do that if needed.
We follow VYSA guidance on heading. At age groups U11 and younger: Whenever the ball strikes a player in the head, play is stopped. The proper restart depends upon whether the player deliberately played the ball with his or her head. If deliberate, the proper restart is an indirect free kick to the opposing team. If this occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred. If the play by the head is deemed inadvertent, then the proper
restart is a dropped ball.
Ten (10) minute quarters, with a five (5) minute break at quarters and a five (5) minute break at the half.
Play will restart in the 2nd and 4th quarters with a kickoff by the team with last possession. The 3rd quarter will start with a kickoff by the team that did not kickoff at the beginning of the 1st quarter. Opponents should be 10 feet away from the ball on all restarts.
Games tied at the end of four quarters will be recorded as a tie with no tiebreakers.
No goalkeepers allowed. If a player is hanging out in front of the goal, tell them to move.
Players will use a throw-in, not a kick-in, to restart play after the ball has gone out of bounds.
Illegal throw-ins will result in a loss of possession, not a do-over.
All fouls and misconduct calls will conform to the LOTG, except there are no penalty kicks. Restart with an indirect free kick at the point of infraction instead.
Goal kicks and corner kicks should be taken in the general vicinity of the respective goals or corner.
Unlimited substitutions are allowed and may occur at any stoppage.
An injured player must leave the field, when safe, if the referee stops play for the injury. The injured player may be substituted back into the game at the next substitution opportunity. Both teams may substitute one player when an injured player leaves the field.
Referees will not add time to games for injury stoppages.
There are no offsides.
Referees will be issued official game score cards for each match by the Site Manager. The Referee will complete the score card, noting yellow/red cards issued on the reverse, sign the bottom of the card and turn it in to the Site Manager immediately after the match.
Coaches may substitute a player when the referee shows a yellow card. Teams will play down a player after a player is shown the red card.
Players receiving a red card (or two yellow cards in the same game) will not play for the remainder of that game and will not play in the next game.
Coaches receiving a red card (or two yellow cards in the same game) must leave the field of play for the rest of the game and will not attend the next game. All ejected coaches must stay
out of sight and sound of the field of play.
All red and yellow cards will be recorded by the referee, and will be included in the official tournament report to the VYSA. Serious violations may result in further disciplinary action, including suspension from the tournament and reporting of the incident to the sponsoring club and/or VYSA for appropriate action. Put the details in your Game Officials report, or an email to me.
The tournament will use a size three (3) ball and Bownet goals for all U8 games.
Players must wear shin guards covered by a uniform sock.
Individual player numbers are required on all team jerseys. Duplicate numbers are allowed, as some All-Star teams will use spring season jerseys.
All coaches and players must remain at least one (1) foot off the touchline at all times during the game. All spectators must remain at least three (3) feet off the touchline at all times during the game. No one is allowed behind the goal line.
The home team has first choice of which side of the field its spectators, coaches, and players occupy. Opposing teams and spectators will not occupy the same side of the field, unless field layout prohibits use of both sidelines. MAKE SURE THIS IS CORRECT BEFORE YOU START THE GAME. Location of benches or bleachers do not justify changing this rule.
The home team must change jerseys if the Referee judges that the jersey colors conflict. Regular season jerseys, or matching t-shirts, may be substituted for the tournament jerseys.
Visiting teams should help resolve any uniform conflicts.
A team will be allowed one ten (10) minute grace period after scheduled kickoff time to gather the minimum number of players before the game is awarded to their opponent as a
forfeit. The full grace period may be used to collect as many rostered players as possible before the game starts.
Games tied at the end of four quarters will be recorded as a tie with no tie-breakers.
Teams are encouraged to exchange club patches after each game.
Coaches are responsible for the behavior of players and spectators on their side of the field. Players, coaches and spectators shall conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner.
Displays of temper or dissent are cause for ejection. In case of spectator misconduct, referees may show a card to the head coach, stop play, or terminate a game. YOU MAY STOP PLAY BUT DO NOT ABANDON A GAME WITHOUT TRYING TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE WITH THE HELP OF THE SITE COORDINATOR.
Pets are not allowed on ANY game site. NOT YOUR JOB - TELL PEOPLE TO REPORT IT TO THE SITE COORDINATOR IF IT IS AN ISSUE.
Game scores will be posted, but standings will not be maintained. No trophies will be awarded and Champions will not be determined.
Each team will play on a single field (no dual-sided games).
Tournament officials, in consultation with the Referee, will determine if unsafe field conditions prohibit play.
Teams should remain at the tournament site past the scheduled end of the game when a game is interrupted by weather. Game times and durations may be adjusted to complete the
A game shall be considered complete and final after at least half of regulation time has been played if inclement weather prevents continuation of the game.
Tournament Officials may abbreviate games during extremely hot weather, and may substitute penalty kicks for Championship overtime periods.
All decisions of the Referee are final and binding. No protests or appeals are allowed.