Soccer Rules

Revised – October 2022

These rules are for clarification or to note exceptions to CIF rules.
CIF rules apply to any situation not included here.

CIF rules apply to any situation not included here.


  1. The field shall be 70 yards long and 40 yards wide. 
  2. The minimum size is 60 x 40 yards. 
  3. The penalty area in front of the goal measures 45’ x 60’ wide. 
  4. A penalty kick line is drawn 12 yards directly in front of the goal. 
  5. There is a circle at the center of the field that has a 30’ radius. 
  6. Elementary divisions shall use a size 4 soccer ball. Junior High divisions shall use a size 5 ball. 
  7. Players may wear no equipment except rubber soccer cleats. Shin guards are required. 
  8. Goals shall be 18’ wide and 8’ high -or- 19’ by 7’. 
  9. Goals must be properly anchored to the ground such that they are not able to fall over, even with unexpected contact.
    1. Goals that are not anchored may not be used for any match. No exceptions! 
    2. If properly anchored goals with nets are not available, the game will be declared a forfeit. 


  1. There shall be nine players on each team for all divisions. 
  2. Players may freely substitute in and out of the game when the ball is not in play and the substituting team has possession. If the team in possession of the ball makes a substitution, the opposing team may also substitute. 
  3. Each player must have jerseys of the same color, shorts/pants of the same color, and matching socks. Jerseys must be tucked in or hemmed above the belt. All uniforms must have numbers.4. Jewelry may not be worn. It is not acceptable to place tape over jewelry. Players wearing any jewelry, covered or not, may not participate. No exceptions! 


  1. The goalkeeper, while in the penalty area, may play the ball with their hands, UNLESS it was intentionally kicked to them by a teammate. When this happens, the goalkeeper must play the ball as any other player on the field. When the goalkeeper is in possession of the ball they have 6 seconds to put the ball back into play. 
  2. When the goalkeeper is outside the penalty area, the rules for playing the ball are the same as for all players. 
  3. Players may not intentionally obstruct the goalkeeper once possession is established. 


  1. All matches will consist of two, 20-minute halves.
    1. Five minutes between halves. 
    2. Halves end only when neither team has an imminent opportunity to score. 
  2. A team in possession of the ball is allowed unlimited substitutions during the dead ball. 
  3. Halves will start with an alternating possession center. For example, if Team A begins the game with the center kickoff, Team B will begin the next period with the center kickoff. kickoff. 
  4. Each period will begin with a center kickoff. Until the ball is kicked, both teams must be on their half of the field and the defensive team at least 30′ from the ball. The player taking the kickoff kick may only kick the ball once. 
  5. After each goal, the team scored upon will receive the kickoff. 
  6. Players may go anywhere on the field provided there are at least two opponents between them and the goal (offsides).
    1. The offsides rule does not apply when a player is in control of the ball, when they are behind or even the ball or after the ball is passed to the player. 
  7. When the ball goes out of bounds over the sideline the opposing team will throw the ball in from the spot where it left the field. On a throw-in, the ball must be held with two hands and thrown from behind and over the head. Both feet must remain in contact with the ground until the ball is released. 
  8. Any time the ball goes out of bounds over the end line and is last touched by an offensive player, the opposing team will receive a goal kick. Any member of the team may kick the ball. 
  9. Any time the ball goes out of bounds over the end line and is last touched by a defensive player, the opposing team will take a corner kick. 
  10. All center kicks are considered direct kicks. Goals scored from the center kickoff are legal. 
  11. If any coach, manager, or other non-player in the bench area is ejected, the game is immediately declared a forfeit.
    1. If that individual is an adult, they must leave the premises immediately. If the ejected individual is not an adult, they should be moved away from the field, under the supervision of a responsible adult. The game will not continue, even as a practice game. No exceptions! 


  1. A direct free kick (a kick taken from the point of the foul) will be taken for holding, pushing, bumping an opponent from behind, tripping, high kicking, use of hands or arms, kicking an opponent, and other major penalties. The ball may go directly into the goal. 
  2. An indirect free kick (a kick taken from the point of the foul) will be taken for minor violations such as off-sides, goalie violations, and obstruction. The ball must touch another player before scoring. 
  3. A penalty kick will be taken for major penalties that occur in the penalty area. The ball will be kicked from the penalty kick line and all other players, except the goalie, must be outside the penalty area. 
  4. Slide tackling (with or without the ball) is not allowed. The penalty will be the same as if a slide tackle occurred without contact with the ball.


  1. At the end of the game, if the score is tied, teams will play a standard 5-minute overtime period. If the score is tied after the first overtime period, a 5-minute “golden goal” overtime period will be played.
  2. All Junior High games and elementary playoff games:
    1. At the end of the two overtime periods, if the score is still tied, teams will select five players for a shoot-out. These are penalty shots in alternate order. 
    2. The team that scores the most goals is the winner.
    3.  Should the score remain tied, a sudden-death shoot-out will follow until a winner is decided. 
    4. Regular season elementary games end in a tie after the overtime periods. The elementary divisions have shoot-outs only during playoff games.

See chart below for overtime and PK/Shootout eligibility.

LevelOvertime Periods?PK / Shootout after OT periods?
G4A, G4B, G4C G5A, G5B, G5C B4A, B4B, B4C B5A, B5B, B5CYes. See #1 below.No.
G6A, G6B, G6C B6A, B6B, B6CYes. See #1 below.During regular season: No. During playoff matches: Yes. See #2 below.
G7C, G7, G8 B7C, B7, B8Yes. See #1 below.Yes. See #2 below
G6A, G6B, G6C B6A, B6B, B6CYes. See #1 below. During regular season: No. During playoff matches: Yes. See #2 below.
G4A, G4B, G4C G5A, G5B, G5C B4A, B4B, B4C B5A, B5B, B5CYes. See #1 below.No.


  1. The coach shall not allow a player to continue play in the game if a concussion is suspected. Prior to returning to practice or competition, the athlete must be medically cleared by an appropriate healthcare professional. Referees will have no duty to police concussions or concussions symptoms.
  2. Headers are prohibited in all elementary (4th, 5th, and 6th grades) levels. Any deliberate infraction (at referee’s discretion) will result in an indirect free kick from the spot of the header, unless in the penalty area, in which case the opposing team receives the indirect free kick from the top of the penalty area nearest the header.
  3. Visit for more info about concussions and concussion symptoms.