Substitutions

Teams can only substitute at goal-kicks (for either team), after goals (for either team), and after a throw-in is called (the team that gets the throw-in). Referees may allow the other team to “piggy back” on substitutions after throw-ins, but that is entirely their call.

Teams cannot substitute without the specific approval of the referee. All substitutions must take place at the halfway line.

Direct and Indirect Freekick

Direct Kick

A direct kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following seven offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:

  • Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
  • Trips or attempts to trip an opponent
  • Jumps at an opponent
  • Charges an opponent
  • Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  • Pushes an opponent
  • Tackles an opponent

A direct kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following three offences:

  • Holds an opponent
  • Spits at an opponent
  • Handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his/her own penalty area)

A direct kick is taken from where the offence occurred. The ball must be stationary when the kick is taken and the kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player.

The referee indicates a direct kick by pointing his/her arm forward. The referee does not have to keep his/her arm in that position, unlike an indirect kick which will be discussed further down.

If a direct kick is kicked directly into the opponent’s goal, a goal is awarded. If, for some weird reason, a direct kick is kicked directly into your team’s own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team.

Indirect Kick

An indirect kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following offences:

  • Touches the ball again with his/her hands after he/she has released it from possession and before it has touched another player
  • Touches the ball with his/her hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him/her by a teammate
  • Touches the ball with his/her hands after he/she has received it directly from a throw-in by a teammate.

An indirect kick is also awarded to the opposing team if, in the opinion of the referee, a player:

  • Plays in a dangerous manner
  • Impedes the progress of an opponent
  • Prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his/her hands
  • Commits any other offence, not previously mentioned with the direct kick rule, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player

An indirect kick is taken from the place where the offence occurred. The ball must be stationary when the kick is taken and the kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player.

The referee indicates an indirect kick by raising his/her arm in the air. He/she maintains his/her arm in that position until the kick has been taken and the ball has touched another player or goes out of play.

A goal can be scored from an indirect kick only if the ball touches another player before it enters the goal. If an indirect kick is kicked directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal kick is awarded. If, for some weird reason, an indirect kick is kicked directly into your team’s own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team.

Offside

Offside Position

It is not an offence in itself to be in an offside position. A player is in an offside position if:

  • he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent

A player is not in an offside position if:

  • he is in his own half of the field of play or
  • he is level with the second last opponent or
  • he is level with the last two opponents

Offence

A player in an offside position is only penalized if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:

  • interfering with play or
  • interfering with an opponent or
  • gaining an advantage by being in that position

No Offence

There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:

  • a goal kick or
  • a throw-in or
  • a corner kick

Infringements/Sanctions

For any offside offence, the referee awards an indirect free kick to the opposing team to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.

Deliberate heading of the ball is not allowed in U12 games.  

If a player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense. If the deliberate header occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred. 

Pregame check of proper footwear and shin protection.  No metal studs or cleats.  All participants must wear shin guards.  Introduce yourselves to the coaches from each team and ask if they have questions about the rules.

Duration

Two 25 minute halves.  Games should start no later than 5 minutes after scheduled start time.  Allow for brief warm-up but teams should be doing this prior and be ready to go.