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Gilbert Youth Soccer Association

Gilbert Youth Soccer Association

U11/U12 Rules


U11 / U12

Ball Size: Size four (4)
Field Size: 75 yds. X 50 yds.
Goal Size: 7' high x 21' wide

1. There shall be no more than two (2) coaches on the sidelines of a game, per team.


  1. Number of Players: The maximum number of players on the field per team at any one time is nine (9). The game is played with one goalkeeper and eight field players per team.
  1. Substitutions: With the permission of the referee, substitutions may be made:
  • By the team in possession of the ball, prior to a throw-in.  If the team in possession makes a substitution, the opposing team may also make a substitution.
  • By either team prior to a goal kick
  • By either team, after a goal is scored (prior to the kick-off)
  • By either team when the referee has stopped play after an injury
  • By the team of a player who has been cautioned by the referee
  1. 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 G.Y.S.A. referee will oversee all games. Two linesmen may assist the referee, but their presence is not guaranteed.
  2. All rule infractions should be briefly explained to the offending player.


Duration of the Game:

  1. For U11 and U12, the game shall be divided into two (2) thirty (30)-minute halves.
  2. There shall be a half-time break of five (5) minutes.


The Start of Play:

  1. Play is started by kick-off at the center of the field. 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 20 yards in diameter.
  2. Teams shall rotate kick-offs for the beginning of each half.


Ball In and Out of Play:

  1. Any ball crossing the touch-line will result in a throw-in for the opposing team.
  2. Any ball crossing the goal-line will result in a goal kick for the defending team or a corner kick for the attacking team.
  3. 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. Opponents must remain outside the penalty area when a goal-kick takes place and can only enter the penalty area after the ball is in-play.


Free Kicks:

  1. The referee will indicate whether the free kick is a direct (arm pointed at attacking goal) or indirect (arm pointed straight up) free kick.
  2. Penalty Kicks shall be awarded as a result of fouls occurring in the penalty area, that would otherwise be a direct free kick.
  3. Opponents must be ten (10) yards away from all free kicks.


Offside Rule:

The offside rule will be in effect for this age group. However, it will be called at the referee's discretion, for plays in which off-sides is blatant. It is not the intent to stop plays in which an attacking player who participates in the play is technically in an offside position, to a relatively small degree. As the offside rule is subject to the referee's discretion and the referee may not have assistant linesmen at the field, criticism directed to the referee is dissent and will not be tolerated. Please recognize this is the most controversial and disagreed upon rule in the game of soccer at all levels of play. Remember to demonstrate sportsmanship at all times.

Heading the ball:
Heading Restriction Implementation Recommendations

In the interest of player safety, and taking into consideration the most recent concussion protocols implemented by US Youth Soccer, there shall be no heading the ball during the course of play in the U-11 and U-12 age groups.

Special note: the overriding principle is that a player age 10 or younger may not head the ball no matter which age group the player plays. This requires education and support from the coach and parent to instruct the player accordingly.***US Youth Soccer suggests that any league that combines 11-U and 12-U for competition should strongly consider not allowing heading in any game in that combined group’s play.  To conform to this recommendation, in the interest of the safety of our players, intentional heading of the ball is prohibited in G.Y.S.A

Misc. Rules:

  • G.Y.S.A. 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. The coaching area will be a 10 yard box painted orange from the edge of the center circle toward the goal line.
  • 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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