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Gilbert Youth Soccer Association

Gilbert Youth Soccer Association

U8 Rules

U8 Division 


Ball Size: Size three (3)
Field Size: 30 yards x 45 yards
Goal Size: 5' high x 10' wide

1. There shall be no more than two (2) coaches on the sidelines of a game, per team.  One of the two coaches may assist the goalkeeper, from behind the goal throughout the game, to help the players understand the role of goalkeeper.


  1. The maximum number of players on the field per team at any one time is six (6). The game is played with five field players and one goalkeeper (introductory)
  2. Substitutions are unlimited and are allowed at quarter end and half time, for injuries and during any dead-ball situation including kick-ins, goal kicks, kick-offs, and corner kicks.
  3. Playing Time: Each player shall play a minimum of 50% of the total playing time, regardless of skill level, as long as the child arrives prepared to play in the proper uniform, is not under disciplinary suspension and is not physically handicapped due to illness or injury.

The Referee:

  1. A GYSA referee or league designee will oversee all games.
  2. All rule infractions shall be briefly explained to the players.

Duration of the Game:

  1. The game shall be divided into four (4) twelve (12) minute quarters.
  2. There shall be a two (2) minute break between quarters one and two, and between quarters three and four.
  3. There shall be a half-time break of five (5) minutes.

The Start of Game

  1. Play is started by kick-off at the center of the field at the beginning of each quarter, and after each goal is scored. Players of the defending team shall stand on their side of the field, no closer to the ball than the perimeter of the center circle.  This circle shall be 10 yards in diameter.
  2. Teams shall rotate kick-offs each quarter.

Ball In and Out of Play:

Note: The rules for kick-ins, goal kicks and corner kicks are designed to quickly get the ball back into play.  Coaches are strongly encouraged to NOT treat restart situations as “set plays"; they should avoid significantly delaying the restart of play by fine-tuning the positioning of players before allowing the ball to be played in.  The intent is to maximize the time that the ball is “in play” on the field for maximum player development.

  1. Kick-Ins: Any ball crossing the touch-line will result in a kick-in for the opposing team. Players shall place the ball on the line, where the ball exited the field, and pass the ball in.  Players of the team defending the kick-in shall not be positioned any closer than five (5) yards from the ball. Players shall not take throw-ins.
  2. Goal Kicks: Any ball crossing the goal line that was last touched by the attacking team will result in a goal kick to be taken by the defending team. A goal-kick is not required to leave the penalty area before a teammate touches the ball, meaning once the ball is touched/passed (in-play) for the kick, it is immediately considered in play. Prior to the goal kick being taken, the defending team must move back to the midfield line until the ball is in play, and can only enter the attacking half after the ball is in-play.
  3. Corner Kicks: Any ball crossing the goal line that was last touched by the defending team will result in a corner kick to be taken by the attacking team.  Players of the team defending the corner kick shall not be positioned any closer than five (5) yards from the ball.

Goal Area:

The goal area is an established area for the goalkeeper to use their hands.

Free Kicks:

  1. All free kicks will be Indirect Free Kicks.
  2. No free kicks shall be taken by the attacking team within the defending team's goal box.
  3. Opponents must be five (5) yards away from all free kicks.
  4. Penalty kicks shall not be taken.


The offside rule is not applicable to this age group.

Heading the Ball:
Heading the ball is not permitted in this age group.

Misc. Rules:

  • GYSA encourages healthy and positive sports competition and puts a priority on the developmental process and the quality of play instead of the game outcome. It is not our desire to instill the "killer instinct" in the player, but rather to foster physical fitness, knowledge of the sport, agility, quick thinking and aggressive offensive and defensive play. Dangerous play and/or abusive language to coaches, players, or referees will not be tolerated.
  • Parents/coaches and spectators should be there to enjoy the game, foster a positive sporting environment and to encourage the activity of all the youngsters participating in the game.  Please leave the “coaching” to the coaches.
  • All coaches are required to stay within their designated coaching area.  This is the area along the touchline that their team is designated - from midfield to corner.  Respect the opposing coaches and team benches.
  • Teams are permitted to have one coach/assistant stand behind the goal in U8, off the field of play, to give direction to their goalkeeper as a teaching opportunity.  This coach should provide limited instruction to the goalkeeper only - not to other field players.  This instruction is best provided outside “the run of play”; coach input is best received when the goalkeeper is not actively engaged in a play.
  • Parents, spectators and coaches should not keep score – leave that to the players.  Seek always to build character through soccer by focusing on the long-term developmental process over the short-term result of a game.


Gilbert Youth Soccer Association (GYSA)
Field Location: 4260 S. Greenfield Rd.Gilbert AZ 85297 
Gilbert, Arizona 85297

Email: [email protected]

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