Youth Soccer Rules Comprehensive Guide for Players and Coaches 2023

Uncertainty about the fundamental rules of youth soccer might result in misunderstandings and disrespectful comments from parents. We’ve seen it way too often. An overly angry parent yells at the referee for making a fair decision that enforces a game rule that the parent didn’t understand.

This article lists ten youth soccer rules parents might not know or fully comprehend. That is not unexpected. It could be challenging for even expert parents and instructors. Soccer referees frequently “adjust” the regulations to fit the age and skill level of the participants in the match by making minor adjustments to the game’s rules.

The top child sport in the world, soccer, has ten guidelines that parents should be aware of to understand better and appreciate it.

These are the Ten Youth Soccer Rules:


The first soccer rule that parents should be aware of is how the game is initiated at the start of each half or following a goal. The requirement that the soccer ball moves forward in the center circle at the beginning of play used to be one of the game’s rules.

According to the new regulation, as long as the ball moves, it can move in any direction. Why? According to a few explanations of this rule for young soccer that I’ve seen, the main purpose of the modification is to allow teams to avoid the customary steps of having one player kick the ball ahead in the circle and a second player kick it back to a waiting colleague.

To read more about Youth soccer coaches (click here)


  • The team can only commit offside in possession of the ball.
  • Only the attacking half of the field is where offside can occur.

It is considered offside when an attacking player is closer to the other team’s goal line than the ball and the last opponent.

You cannot be offside on a corner kick, goal kick, or throw-in. A player being in an offside position is also not illegal. To be deemed offside, the player must actively participate in the game, as decided by the referee.


Think of the out of bounds line (the touchline) as an imaginary wall that rises straight up into the sky from the painted line on the grass to help you understand when a soccer ball is entirely out of play. For the ball to be deemed outside the field of play, it must completely pass through that wall.

This differs from a basketball court, where the opposite team is given possession of the ball whenever the ball or a player’s foot touches any portion of the line or the floor past the line.

These are the proper determinations of whether the ball is in play, off the field, or out of play when standing extremely near the edge of the soccer pitch, looking down, and with the touchline directly in front of you.

Although they do not have a perfect view of the ball and touchline, the officials stationed at the sidelines undoubtedly have a very decent one. Understandably, the referees or volunteer linesmen for youth soccer matches won’t always rule the ball in or out of play on close calls.

You really can’t be sure the referee missed a really close call unless you’re standing just above the painted stripe and peering down, the way the NFL instant replay cameras do.


Soccer parents new to the game may find this to be one of the more subjective interpretation regulations confusing. Sometimes, a foul is committed, but the officials permit the game to go on because stopping it would disadvantage the team with the ball.

The parent of a child who has been fouled may find this upsetting, but play must continue in order to advance the game and help the side that was fouled.

youth soccer rules


We have never been able to comprehend this youth soccer rule. The referees have a lot of leeway for interpretation, and frequently, other plays in her line of vision prevent them from even seeing some of the handballs.

“Handball” is more likely to be shouted by parents from the sidelines than any other word or phrase. It’s more complicated than just the soccer ball striking a player’s hand or arm. When determining whether a handball infringement should be called, the referee considers the location and speed of the ball.if the player acquired an advantage, as well as the player’s perceived intention.


When returning the ball to play, a soccer player cannot touch it twice in a row. In youth soccer, you’ll frequently see this occur. Both direct and indirect kicks are susceptible to it.

Young soccer players are often the closest to being able to kick the ball again since they often barely make contact with the ball. That is a player making successive touches, which is against the rules.

Throw-ins fall under this as well. Before any player from either team touches the ball, neither team member may throw the ball in, run to the soccer ball, and kick it.


If something is kicked directly at the goal, it can be considered a goal even if nothing else touches it first. An indirect kick must make contact with another player to be considered a goal.

Referees indicate direct kicks by directing their arms toward the goal, whereas indirect kicks are indicated by directing the arms upward.

youth soccer rules


Trying to play the ball while on the ground is one of the most typical instances of a young soccer player making a risky play. Another illustration would be when a player purposefully blocks an opponent’s path when neither player has the ball within playing distance.

A bicycle or scissors kick is acceptable if it doesn’t endanger the opponent.


list of offenses that result in issuing a yellow card is wide and long enough for an entire page on that subject alone. Yellow cards are awarded as a caution. What a red or yellow card means for their child is typically of greater concern to parents.

Unable to re-enter the game after receiving a red card, the offending player is removed from it for any reason. A player is automatically given a red card in the same game if given a second yellow card. Another player cannot replace you if you are asked to leave the field as a player. Your squad must play with fewer players.


The play during a penalty kick is arguably the most intense in a young soccer game. Parents supporting different outcomes are on opposing sides. There are two penalty kick regulations that parents should be aware of.

  • Except for the kicker and the opposing goalie, every player on both teams must remain outside the penalty area and the penalty arc until the ball is kicked.
  • Until the ball is kicked, the goalkeeper must have both feet planted on the goal line.
  • Anyone can kick the ball if it bounces onto the field after the kick, EXCEPT THE ORIGINALS KICKER.

(FAQs) Related To Youth Soccer Rules

Q1. What are the five fundamental laws of soccer to teach children?

Ans. You’ll want your child to try their hardest to abide by these six essential rules.

  • No hands. You are not permitted to use your hands during play unless you are the goalie or trying to toss the ball.
  • The throw-ins.
  • Goals and corner kicks
  • Direct and indirect kicks
  • The current game
  • Fouls 

Q2. What are the Under Eight (U8) soccer rules?

A size 3 ball will be utilized, with four 12-minute quarters and a 5-minute halftime break. U9: A size four (4) ball will be utilized, with two 25-minute halves separated by a 5-minute break. A team can only have five players on the pitch, one of which must be the goalkeeper and a maximum of 10 players on the roster.

Q3. How do you teach youngsters how to play soccer step-by-step?

Ans. 6 Steps for Teaching Children to Play Soccer

  • Study and learn the fundamental soccer laws.
  • Kick the soccer ball around.
  • Have pickup games with your pals.
  • Practice some fundamental soccer drills.
  • Play soccer after school or in a league.
  • Observe soccer matches.
  • Play video games that involve soccer.

Final Thoughts About Youth Soccer Rules

Youth soccer parents should be aware of the rules to avoid hostility toward the referee, the opposing parents, or the players’ children. Everyone involved will have a better experience if the rules and how youth soccer referees apply them are better understood.

We hope that this article was useful and that you understood all the rules of youth soccer rules. 

Read More From Socceriate.

Why Do Soccer Players Wear Bras?

Most Effective And Easy U10 Soccer Drills

Do Soccer Players Get Paid During Off-Season?


  • Jack Wilson

    My name is Jack Wilson, and I'm a professional soccer trainer. My goal is to provide you with helpful soccer tactics and information on this website. We are accepting guest post and niche edits on contact me on [email protected] I will keep sharing best tactics, soccer information and soccer tips.

Leave a Comment