9v9 Rules

This guide provides the Laws for Under 11 and Under 12 versions of the game, with children playing a maximum of 9v9. These Laws are also appropriate for other age groups playing 9v9 football.

Please remember:

a) From season 2015/16 Under 11’s are not permitted to play in leagues where results are collected or published or winner trophies are presented, this is deemed to be detrimental to the development of the player and the game and will not be sanctioned.

b) Under 11’s can play in a maximum of three trophy events during the season, lasting a maximum of six weeks each. These are short-term experiences helping children learn about winning and losing in an appropriate environment. The winners of these events can be published and trophies can be presented.

Except where other provision, in these Laws are made, the Laws of Association Football apply. Each Law is numbered to correspond with the appropriate Law of the Game. These Laws are mandatory unless special permission is granted by The Football Association.

Law 1

Playing Area

Halfway Line

The field of play is divided into two halves by a halfway line. The centre mark is indicated at the mid-point of the halfway line.

Goal Size

The distance between the posts is either 16ft or 21ft and the distance between the lower edge of the cross bar and the ground is 7ft.

Law 2

The Ball

• The ball should be size 4 for U11 – U12

• It should be safe and made of leather or another suitable material

Law 3

Number of Players

Maximum number per team, including goalkeeper for Under 11 and Under 12 is 9

The above table indicates the maximum number of players per team at that age group. If the competition would like to have smaller numbers, e.g. 7v7 at U11 or U12, this is allowed within this framework.

A match may not START if either team consists of fewer than six players. The minimum number of players in a team required for a match to CONTINUE is also six. Should a team fall below this, normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Players must play with and against players only from their own age range, as per Football Association and Competition rules.

Each team must not have a squad greater than double the size of the team per age.

Any number of substitutes may be used at any time with the permission of the referee. A player who has been replaced may return to the playing area as a substitute for another player.

All team members should receive equal playing time where possible, with a best practice recommendation of at least 50% per player for each game.

For all other substitution rules, normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Law 4

Playing Equipment

Players must wear shin guards and goalkeepers must wear a distinguishing playing strip. Shin guards must be covered entirely by the socks.

Players must wear the appropriate clothing dependant on the weather.

Correct footwear must be worn for the surface of the pitch e.g. no metal studs on artificial grass pitches.

Law 5

Referees

The Authority of the Referee

Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws for 9v9 Football in connection with the match to which they have been appointed.

The powers and duties of the referee are as normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Law 6

Assistant Referee

Two assistant referees may be appointed whose duties, subject to the decision of the referee, are to indicate:

• When the whole of the ball leaves the field of play

• Which team is entitled to a corner kick, goal kick or throw-in

• When a player may be penalised for being in an offside position

• When a substitution is requested

• When misconduct or any other incident occurs out of the view of the referee

• When offences have been committed whenever the assistant referees have a better view than the referee (this includes, in certain circumstances, offences committed in the penalty area)

• Whether, at penalty kicks, the goalkeeper moves off the goal line before the ball is kicked and if the ball crosses the line

Law 7

Duration of the Game

In any one day, no player shall play more than 100 minutes. It is the responsibility of the parent/carer or organisation to ensure the child does not exceed this. Each league/competition will determine its own playing time within the maximum time permitted however the maximum duration will be two halves of 30 minutes.

It is permitted during development matches that the periods of play can be split into equal quarters.

The half time interval must not exceed 15 minutes.

Please refer to the Standard Code of Rules for Youth Competitions.

Law 8

Start and Restart of Play

Procedure

A kick-off is taken at the centre of the playing area to start the game and after a goal has been scored.

Opponents must be 7 yards away from the ball and in their own half of the field. The ball must be played forward.

Normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Law 9

Ball In and Out of Play

Normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Law 10

Method of Scoring

Normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Law 11

Offside

Normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Law 12

Fouls and Misconduct

Normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Law 13

Free Kicks

For all free kicks opponents must be 10 yards from the ball.

Normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Law 14

Penalty Kicks

Position of the Ball and the Players:

All players except the defending goalkeeper and kicker must be outside the penalty area and at least 7 yards from the penalty mark.

All other normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Law 15

Throw-in

Normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Law 16

Goal Kick

Normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.

Law 17

Corner Kicks

Normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.