1st - 4th Grade Youth Soccer Rules

The USSF Laws of the Game is the official rulebook of the Johnson County Youth Soccer Organization. This JCYS Rules of Play is both a summary of the USSF rulebook and the JCYS exceptions to the USSF rules. These two documents will govern all games played under the jurisdiction of JCYS.

1. The Field of Play

Modified field of play with modified goals.

2. The Ball

Grade 1-4 will use a size 4 ball.

3. Players & Substitutions

  • Rostered Premier Players are not allowed on recreational teams.  A Recreational player can play as a guest player on a Premier Team.
  • All league games will be 7 vs. 7 (including goalkeeper).
  • Each team will have approximately 12 players.
  • If a team cannot field the required number of players (7), the game will still be    played with the opposing team fielding the same number of players. Minimum number of players to avoid forfeit is 5.
  • Coaches will not be allowed on the field of play unless for injury or otherwise directed by the official.
  • All coaches and players on one side of the field, parents on the opposite side of field, 3 feet behind touch line.
  • Each JCYS player MUST play at least one half of the game.
  • Substitutions shall be unlimited.  Substitutions may be made with the consent of the referee, at the following times:
    • Prior to a throw-in or kick-in in your favor (if the possession team substitutes, the other team may also substitute with approval of the official).
    • Prior to a goal kick, by either team.
    • Prior to a corner kick in your favor (if the possession team substitutes, the other team may also substitute with approval of the official).
    • After a goal, by either team.
    • After an injury, by either team, when the referee stops play.
    • Before the beginning of the half or quarter.
    • All substitutions must have the approval of the official.

Substitutions shall be prepared to enter the game after the referee gives permission.  Substitutions shall be completed in a timely fashion.   Players shall enter at the halfway line, but may exit at the closest boundary line.

  • Coaches
    • No one is permitted to Coach or Cheer or Stand along the goal line or behind the goal. This includes coaches, parents, spectators or picture taking.  
    • Teams can have multiple coaches; they all need to stay in their “team” area.  Coach (es) NOT allowed running length of field on coaches’ side, nor be allowed to coach on opposite (fan) side of field.
  • Referee must be notified of goalkeeper change.

4. Player Equipment

  • The uniform of all JCYS players will consist of a JCPRD jersey with JCPRD logo,  shorts and soccer cleats (no toe cleats allowed) or sneakers (soccer cleats are recommended).
  • The goalkeeper must wear a shirt dramatically different from that of any other player’s shirt on the field.
  • Indoor or outdoor soccer cleats are recommended. Cleats must be rubber molded. No metal cleats, screw-in type cleats, toe cleat, baseball or football cleats allowed. NO TOE CLEAT. (Please check your players for this before the game)
  • Shin guards are MANDATORY and MUST BE COVERED by a pair of socks, which cover the entire shin guard.
  • Jewelry of any type may NOT be worn during play. This includes earrings or starter posts. Tape or band-aides are not suitable protective coverings for earrings.  Medical bracelets or necklaces may be worn, but they must be taped to the body.
  • Headgear of any type must be constructed of soft pliable material. Hair ties must be soft and pliable. No Metal or plastic hairpieces.  Hats, visors, barrettes, and plastic ball ties for ponytails and pigtails will not be allowed. Goalkeeper may wear a baseball type cap with a soft bill to keep the sun out of his/her eyes.
  • Referee will check player’s equipment before each game.
  • Sunglasses may not be worn unless they are prescription.  
  • Names can be added to jerseys.  Cloth patches only can be added to jerseys.

5. Referees and Assistant Referees (Linesmen)

  • Referees shall be assigned for each game by the referee scheduler.
  • Referees are employees of JCPRD. JCPRD will provide training.
  • Referee must wear proper referee attire (referee shirt and black shorts).
  • A whistle will be used to signal all fouls and to end a period of play. It will only be used as necessary to control the game.
  • Upon the sound of the referee’s whistle, for whatever reason, play MUST stop.
  • Any goals scored after the whistle shall not count.
  • No assistant referees (linesmen) will be used during the game.  Two referees will be used whenever possible.

6. Duration of the Game

All games consist of two halves of 25 minutes duration with a five-minute halftime.  Teams MUST change sides at half time and half time only. 

7. Start of Play

  • The referee with a coin flip will determine the kickoff with team captains of both teams present.
  • The visiting captain(s) will choose “heads or tails”. Winner of the coin toss will choose whether to kick off or defend.
  • After halftime, teams will change sides of field and the other team will kick off.

8. Ball In and Out of Play

  • The ball is out of play when it has completely crossed a goal line or a touch line (side line). It is in play at all other times, unless play has been stopped by the referee’s whistle.
  • Drop Ball occurs:
    • When ball is caused to go out of bounds by two opponents simultaneously.
    • When ball becomes deflated during play.
    • A simultaneous foul by opposing players, both fouls of equal severity.
    • Following a temporary suspension of play due to injury or unusual situation where no team has clear possession of the ball.
    • At the spot where the ball becomes dead, unless this is within the penalty area, in which case the ball will be dropped five yards outside the penalty area.

9. Scoring

A goal may be scored directly from a:

  • Direct free kick
  • Penalty kick
  • Corner kick
  • Drop ball
  • Goalkeeper's throw, punt or drop kick
  • Kick off
  • Goal kick

A goal may not be scored directly from a:

  • Indirect free kick
  • Throw in

10. Offside

A player is in an offside position when he/she is nearer the opposing team’s goal line than the ball at the moment the ball is played, unless:

  • That player is in his/her team’s half of the field of play.
  • There are two opposing players even with the player or between the player and the opposing team’s goal line.
  • An opposing player last played the ball.
  • The ball is received directly from a goal kick, corner kick, throw in or drop ball.

NOTE: The fact that a player is in an offside position does NOT cause the referee to call the violation immediately. The player MUST, in the referee’s opinion, be seeking to gain advantage, influence the play or get directly involved in the play by being in the offside position.

11. Fouls and Misconduct

A DIRECT FREE KICK is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force. A direct free kick is taken from where the offence occurred. (A goal may be scored directly from a direct free kick.)

  • 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.
  • Spits at an opponent.
  • Tackles an opponent to gain possession of the ball, making contact with the opponent before touching the ball.
  • Holds an opponent.
  • Pushes an opponent.
  • Handles the ball (this does not apply to the goalkeeper in his/her own penalty area).

A penalty kick is awarded if any of the above offenses is committed by a player in his/her own penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball, provided it is in play.

NOTE: Referee may issue a caution (yellow card) or send off (red card) for any of the above mentioned infractions.

An INDIRECT FREE KICK is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his/her own penalty area, commits any of the following four offenses:

  • Takes more than six seconds while controlling the ball with his hands before releasing it from his possession.
  • Touches the ball again with his hands after it has been released from his possession and has not been touched by another player.
  • Touches the ball with his/her hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a teammate.
  • Touches the ball with his/her hands after he/she has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a teammate.

An INDIRECT FREE KICK (a goal may not be scored directly, it must touch another player before entering goal) is also awarded to the opposing team if a player, in the opinion of the referee:

  • Plays in a dangerous manner.
  • Impedes the progress of an opponent.
  • Prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his/her hands.
  • Offside.
  • If the ball is played next by the kicker following a kick off, free kick, penalty kick,   goal kick, corner kick or by the thrower following a throw-in.
  • For misconduct or unsporting behavior.

NOTE: Referee may issue a caution (yellow card) or send off (red card) for any of the above mentioned infractions.

12. About Cautions (Yellow Card) and Send Offs (Red Card):

  • Cautioned player MUST be substituted for, he/she may not re-enter the game until the next legal substitution. Two cautions (yellow cards) to the same player or coach are equal to send off (red card).
  • Ejected (Send off/Red card) player may be replaced, but may NOT re-enter the game.

NOTE: Coaches may be issued caution (yellow card) or send off (red card). If coach is issued a send off (red card) he/she must leave the field of play.

13. Free Kicks

Free kicks are either DIRECT of INDIRECT.

  • The ball must be stationary when the kick is taken.
  • The kicker may not touch the ball a second time until another player touches it.
  • Opposing players must be at least 10 yards from the ball.

NOTE: If a direct free kick or an indirect free kick is kicked directly into team’s own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team.

14. Penalty Kicks

A penalty kick shall be awarded to the opposing team for any infraction, which results in a direct free kick, if a defensive player commits the infraction and it occurs inside the defender’s penalty area.

  • A goal may be scored directly from a penalty kick.
  • The ball is placed on the penalty mark.
  • The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward.
  • Player taking penalty kick is properly identified.
  • Player taking penalty kick may not play the ball a second time until it has touched another player.
  • All players except kicker and goalkeeper must be outside the penalty area.
  • All players except kicker and goalkeeper must be ten yards from penalty mark.
  • All players except kicker and goalkeeper must be behind the penalty mark.
  • The goalkeeper remains on the goal line, facing the kicker, between the goal posts.

15. Throw In

When the whole of the ball passes over a touch (side) line, either on the ground or in the air, it shall be thrown in from the point it crossed the line, in any direction, by a player of the team opposite to that of the player who last touched the ball.

  • A goal may not be scored directly from a throw in.
  • Thrower must face the field of play.
  • Thrower has part of each foot either on the touchline or on the ground outside the touchline.
  • Thrower shall use both hands.
  • Thrower delivers ball from behind and over his head.
  • Thrower may not touch ball again until another player has touched it.

16. Goal Kick

A goal kick is awarded to the defending team, when the entire ball crosses the goal line, either on the ground or in the air, and not between the goal posts, after the attacking team last played or touched the ball.

  • A goal may be scored directly from a goal kick, but only against the opposing team.
  • The ball is kicked from anywhere inside the goal area by a player of the defending team.
  • Opponents remain outside penalty area until ball is in play.
  • Kicker may not play the ball a second time until another player has touched it.
  • The ball is in play when it is kicked directly beyond the penalty area.
  • Kick is retaken if ball does not travel beyond the penalty area.
  • Kick is retaken if any player touches the ball before leaving the penalty area.

17. Corner Kick

A corner kick is awarded to the attacking team when the entire ball crosses the goal line, either in the air or on the ground, but not between the goal posts, after the defending team last played or touched the ball.

  • A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick, but only against the opposing team.
  • Opponents must remain 10 yards from the ball until it is in play.
  • A player of the attacking team kicks the ball.
  • The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves.
  • Kicker may not play the ball a second time until another player has touched it.
  • Corner flag post may not be moved.
  • Ball is placed inside the corner arc at the nearest corner flag post.

18. Spectators

Each Coach and team will sit on one side of the field and their spectators must sit on the side opposite them.  No spectators are permitted to coach and/or watch the soccer match on the opposing side of the field.  It is the responsibility of the coach to monitor the actions of the parents attending the game.  Spectators must be 3 feet behind the touch line. They cannot be along goal line or behind goal.  

19. Injury

Any player in possession of the ball should kick out of play to signify injured player.  

NOTE: Try not to get too carried away with the game; just let the children enjoy the soccer experience.  Records or scores are kept only for training of referee’s and scheduling purposes.   So let everyone just go out and have a good time. 

A soccer tradition has players and coaches shaking hands after each game.  This is a good gesture to reinforce the sportsmanship of the game and each team’s efforts.  This is still part of the game and Coaches and Players can be carded if disrespectful of other players or coaches.  

A SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL THE COACHES FOR SUPPORTING OUR PROGRAM.

HAVE A GREAT SEASON AND MOST IMPORTANTLY – HAVE FUN!!!