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 for the possessing team
  • 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 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
Offsidesnot 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
* OVSL’s Build-out Line Rule forces the opposing team to wait behind the center line during goal-kicks until the ball is in play

U8 Specifics:

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

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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