As a developmental recreational league, OVSL is committed to maintain a positive environment for players, coaches and referees to improve.

  • No score is kept at any age group
    • Referees do not keep score and shouldn’t provide score updates to coaches, players or spectators
    • It is NOT the referee’s job to enforce this policy—if players keep score themselves, that’s okay
  • Substitutions are allowed at any stoppage by either team, but only if the substitutes were present at the center line prior to the stoppage and the referee gives permission
  • Stop play for any injury concern and restart with a drop-ball
  • Red and Yellow cards typically aren’t necessary for younger players
    • If a U8 or U10 player is deserving of a YC, stop play and ask that player’s coach to temporarily sub the player off and address the infraction
    • Card U12 and U15 players as the laws dictate, but be sure to explain the caution to the player and the coach
    • DOGSO violations should be penalized with a YC instead of RC because we don’t keep score. It’s more important that the players play the game than it is to punish a denial of a goal.
      • DOGSO violations that include serious foul play, excessive force or violent conduct should still be shown a RC

Law Adjustments Overview:

Ref Crew1 Center1 Center, 2 Assistants1 Center, 2 Assistants1 Center, 2 Assistants
Periods4 x 10min2 x 25min2 x 30min2 x 35min
Breaks2 minutes5 minutes5 minutes5-10 minutes
BallSize 3Size 4Size 4Size 5
Offsidenot enforcedenforced, IDFKenforced, IDFKenforced, IDFK
Pass-back to Keepernot enforcedenforced, IDFKenforced, IDFKenforced, IDFK
Headingdisallowed, IDFKdisallowed, IDFKdisallowed, IDFKallowed
Illegal Throw-insallow “unlimited” retriesone retry allowed no retriesno retries
Build-out Lineobserved, no puntingobserved, no puntingnot observednot observed

U8 Specifics:

  • The U8 field combines the Goal Area and the Penalty Area
  • All free kicks are taken indirect (IDFK)

Build-Out Line (U8 and U10)

The build-out line consists of a line added to each half of the field between the penalty area and center line (halfway line). 

  1. During goal kicks and when the goalkeeper has control of the ball with their hands, the opposing team must move behind the build-out line until the ball is put into play.
  2. The goalkeeper can pass, throw or roll the ball into play (punts and drop kicks are not allowed).
  3. After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper, the opposing team can cross the build-out line and play resumes as normal.
  4. The build-out line will also serve as the line to assess where offside offenses occur (U10 only)
    1. Players cannot be penalized for an offside offense between halfway line and build-out line
    2. Players can be penalized for an offside offense between the build-out line and goal line
  5. During any free kicks taken by the defending team within the penalty area, the opposing team must move behind the build-out line until the ball is put into play.

Pregame Tips:

  • Arrive on field 15 minutes before game-start time
  • Check player equipment
    • No dangerous cleats (football, baseball cleats have studs on the toe, this is not allowed at any age group)
    • No jewelry (this includes watches, necklaces and earrings— earrings must be removed, not taped over)
    • Shin guards must be covered by socks
    • Jackets must be worn under jerseys and hoods must be tucked in
  • Select a ball with proper inflation
    • OVSL provides a game ball for the younger age groups. Some coaches prefer under-inflated soccer balls—this goes against the Laws of the Game. There is a pump in the storage building, if necessary.
  • If one team is short players, it is within OVSL policy for them to borrow any player registered in the same OVSL age group, but only if the opposing coach approves.
    • It is also okay to play the game with fewer players total (ex, 8v8 instead of 9v9) as long as both coaches agree.

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