Nor Cal U8 League Rules (2009 Players Nor Cal League)



The U8 Developmental League’s primary focus is on providing players and clubs with an introductory and age-appropriate playing environment under the supervision of each respective club’s professional staff. The proposed league format allows players to more frequently engage in age-appropriate match situations, fostering an environment where players can touch the ball more each game while demonstrating their creativity and improving their problem solving skills more so than is possible in larger league formats.

League Structure

1) All teams are guaranteed a minimum of 8 fixture dates. Tournament weekends off from formal league play.

2) U8 players for the 2015 season are those born ON OR AFTER August 1, 2007

3) Teams will host half of their league games during the fall season. Travel to local clubs on other games.

4) No refs (coaches monitor games) to keep cost down. This will not be used as a way to train referees since there are minimal stoppages and rules.

5) Scheduling

      a) Game dates will be set up as fixture dates.  IE Club A vs Club B.  In the situation where one club has a large number of U8 teams, a three-way club fixture date may be set up

      b) Clubs will be responsible to set the times for a fixture date. It is imperative that all teams in the U8 academies for clubs be able to play within the established time frame for the fixture date.(for example a time set of 9 am to 11 am would allow for several games to be played and all players would get to play 2-3 games depending on the number of fields and teams participating on a given date)

5) No scores or standings are kept in the U8 league.

Game Format

1) 5v5 (4 plus a GK)

2) No cap on roster size, but it is recommended to have 7-9 players for optimal player enjoyment.  Roster size is dependent any discretion of the club involved.

3) No check-in, rosters, or player cards needed (to also keep player costs down and minimize administrative issues)

4) Field Dimensions 40x30 suggested

5) Futsal sized goals or comparable sized club-owned goals (Range of 6’ x 9’ – 7’ x 12’)

6) Ball size is Size 3

Playing Rules

Use standard U8 academy rules:

  1. Two Playing Formats suggested depending on number and level of teams playing:
  1. Four 12-minute quarters (one single game)
  2. 3 matches of 2 x 10’ halves with round-robin style play
    • Playing time for age group should not exceed 60 minutes of total play
    • Modifications should be adopted should environmental conditions warrant the change
  1. No GK punting
  1. Goalie ball – starts in hands of GK (futsal style) – no goal kicks
  2. Corner Kicks - No corners (coach gives ball to GK or plays it to area based on match needs
  3. All free kicks indirect BUT Coach(es) can decide resultant situation – quick possession or free kick but minimize time of stoppage
  4. No Throw-Ins – New ball from coach or quickly get ball back in with kick-in (coach-directed)
  5. Field Markings will consist of a center line
    1. Individual Clubs will decide whether a penalty box and center circle are necessary
  6. A coned field is OK for clubs without fields dedicated for U8
    1. Must be appropriately sized with no shared sidelines
      1. 10 yards between fields
  7. Coaches and teams on one side of field; parents/fans on opposite touchline
    1. However, coaches allowed on field to help direct play and work cooperatively with opposing coach
      1. One coach is in charge of “new ball” role for one half of the game and then the coaches switch
  8. Field Dimensions
    1. Ideal size is 40x32 
    2. Field minimum 35x27 
    3. Maximum is 40x32

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