INTRODUCTION TO 7-A-SIDE SOCCER

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1      THE PLAYING FIELD

2      THE BALL

3      Number of players, Coaches

4      PLAYER’S EQUIPMENT

5      THE REFEREE

6      ASSISTANT REFEREES

7      DURATION OF THE GAME

8      THE START AND RESTART OF PLAY

9      BALL IN AND OUT OF PLAY

10        METHOD OF SCORING

11        OFF-SIDE

12        FOULS AND MISCONDUCT

13        DIRECT FREE KICK

14        PENALTY KICK

15        THROW-IN

16        GOAL KICK

17        CORNER KICK

18        THE ROLE OF THE OFFICIAL

19        THE ROLE OF THE COACH

20        THE ROLE OF THE PARENT

Introduction

Each year FIFA publishes its annual edition of soccer rules that are obeyed by all adept at the round ball sport.

However, FIFA’s rules and regulations are not adapted for the needs of the younger soccer community.  Therefore, the Fédération Québecoise de Soccer Football (FQSF) has responded by producing a set of rules and regulations especially suited to meet the needs of younger players thus allowing them to progress according to their size and capabilities.  A smaller field, a smaller ball, and a lesser number of players on the field allow them to fully appreciate and enjoy the game.

7 A-Side soccer allows the young player to have fun while learning the basic rules of the game. At this particular level, the referees’ role differs greatly from one of an older age group. We therefore remind the officials that their intervention must be primarily of an educational nature, thus imposing penalties in extreme cases only.

Let’s make 7 A-Side soccer what it should be. We must realize that the objective is to allow children to have as much fun as possible while kicking the ball around.  Having adapted soccer for children, we must not impose adult rules. So let them play and dismiss who wins or loses.

Special Thanks to…

We wish to express our gratitude and heartfelt thanks to: Mr. François Tessier, Mr. Léo Deschenaux, Mr. Luis Pulgar, Mr. Eric Roy, Mr. Edouard Munday, Mr. Dominic Maestracci, members of the refereeing committee, Mr. Joe Stella, Mr. Pierre K. Lespinasse, Mr. Len Fornelli and Mr. Martin Hamel, refereeing co-ordinator.  We trust that their special contribution will enable all new referees to perform their duties in an appropriate environment.

1          THE PLAYING FIELD

1.1        DIMENSIONS

The playing field is of rectangular shape with a maximum length of 60 metres and a minimum of 45 metres.

The width of the playing field cannot exceed 45 metres and must be a minimum of 25 metres.

The length of the playing field must always exceed the width.

1.2        LINES

The lines marking the field (touch lines on the side and goal lines at the ends) must be visible and not exceed 12 centimetres in width (no deep channel).  Four flags, each with a minimum height of 1.50 metres, shall be placed at the corners of the playing field. A centre line running the width of the field will divide the playing field into halves.   The centre of the playing field must be clearly identified and a circle, 6 metres in diameter, marked around it.

The lines and their width are included in the playing field surface area.

The referee cannot assume the responsibility of a game played on an unmarked playing field.

1.3        PENALTY AREA

At each end of the playing field, two lines, perpendicular to the goal line, will be marked at 5.5 metres from each goal post.    These perpendicular lines will extend 7.3 metres into the playing field and be joined by a line parallel to the goal line.

1.4        CORNER ARC

In each corner of the field a 1.0 metre radius arc shall be marked inside the playing field.

1.5        GOALS

On the center of each goal line, a goal must be placed consisting of two upright posts equidistant from the corner flags and 5.5 metres apart (inside measurements), joined by a horizontal crossbar, the lower edge part being at 1.8 meters from the ground.

For safety reasons, the goals (including portable goals) must be firmly anchored in the ground.

The thickness and width of the goal posts and crossbar shall not exceed 12 centimetres.  The goal posts and crossbar shall also be of the same width.

The goal posts and crossbar may consist of metal or any other material previously approved by FIFA, and must be white.  Goal posts and crossbars built of any other component, color or shape will not be authorized. 

Each goal shall have a properly installed net attached to its posts, crossbar and the ground behind itself with no obstruction to the goalkeeper.

1.6        PLAYERS BENCH

The players’ bench will be placed on the opposite side of the spectators and according to any safety parameters.   The referee must enforce this rule even when there are no benches for the players or the spectators.

1.7        SECURITY PERIMETERS

A security perimeter of a minimum of 3 metres along the field sidelines and of 4 metres minimum behind the goal lines must be kept free of any obstruction.

1.8        IMPORTANT NOTICE

In the following instances the referee must not proceed with playing the game:

a) the ball does not bounce normally;

b) the field surface is drenched;

c) there is a risk of injury to the players;

d) the goals are not visible from the middle of the playing field;

e) there is an electric storm

Only the referee or the field manager has the duty and the right to declare a playing field non-playable.

1.9        PLAYING FIELD PLAN

           Minimum 45 m                                                            Maximum 60m

 

 

2           THE BALL

The ball must be spherical in shape; its exterior casing made of leather or any other appropriate material.  No material that may cause harm to the players may be utilized.

A number 4 ball shall be used.

The ball cannot be changed during the game unless authorized by the referee.

In principle, the home team provides the game ball unless the referee finds it unsuitable for the game.

If the ball bursts or deflates during play, the referee shall stop the game and have it replaced.  Play shall be restarted with a drop ball at the same area or place where the defective ball was when play was stopped.  However, should this situation occur in the penalty zone area, there will be a drop ball on that part of the penalty area line that runs parallel to the goal line, at the point closest to where the ball was when the play was stopped.

If the play was stopped (kick off, goal kick, corner kick, free kick, penalty shot and/or throw-in) the game shall be restarted accordingly.

3           Number of players, Coaches

The game shall be played by two teams, each with a maximum of 7 players including one goalkeeper.  A team may dress a maximum of 13 players per game. The minimum number of players per team is 5.

During a game, the goalkeeper can be replaced by another team player providing the coach has obtained prior approval from the referee and the substitution is made when the play is stopped.

A player who has been expelled during the game cannot be replaced.

Player’s duties:

a) wears complete regulation uniform;

b) observes all rules and regulations of the game;

c) shows respect for the referees, coaches and opponents;

d) behavior shall be conducted in an orderly manner and use of appropriate language must be respected at all times.

Substitutions

Subject to prior authorization of the referee, unlimited substitutions may be made as follows:

a) after a goal

b) prior to a goal kick

c) at half time

d) when play has stopped because of an injury (only injured player)

e) at throw-ins (substitutions may be made by the team taking the throw-in and ONLY if they make substitutions, may their opponents also substitute.)

NUMBER OF COACHES

A team may have a maximum of three coaches with registered passports on the bench.

All coaches must present their registered passports in order to be on the bench.

Each team is responsible for presenting the registered passports for all approved players and coaches to the referee at least 20 minutes prior to the start of the game.

Coach’s duties:

a) must be present 30 minutes prior to the start of the game;

b) complete the game sheet with player’s names and passport numbers;

c) only approved players may be used;

d) all unavailable players must be  excluded from the game sheet;

e) remains in the technical zone during the game;

f) respects game rules and regulations at all times;

g) sets the example by acting in an orderly manner using appropriate language at all times;

h) shows respect for the referees, players and opponents;

i) accepts referee’s decisions;

j) ensures the safety of his/her players exiting the field.

k) Coaches are responsible and accountable for the PARENTS and FANS behavior.

4           PLAYER’S EQUIPMENT

Mandatory equipment for all players include a numbered team jersey, shorts, socks, shin guards and shoes.

The equipment must be free of all items that may cause injuries to himself/herself or others, including all jewelry.

Shin guards are mandatory during games and practices.   For proper protection, shin guards (rubber, plastic, polyurethane or of other material), must be entirely covered by the socks.

The referee must ensure that the uniforms are worn properly, hence, that all players are wearing approved footwear, shin guards and uniforms, jersey properly tucked in the shorts, and that all objects that may cause injuries (watches, earrings, bracelets, rings, etc..) be removed.

The goalkeepers shall wear a jersey of a distinguishable color from those of the other players and the referee.  Should both teams wear the same color jersey, the visiting team must change their jerseys.

5           THE REFEREE

Referees must wear black shorts, black socks and a black jersey with a white collar (or alternate if necessary).  A certification level badge must be clearly visible on the uniform.

A registered referee is appointed for each game.  His/her authority and empowerment according to the rules and regulations commences on entering the game field.

The referee shall check the game sheet, players’ and team personnel’s registration passports before the game starts and refuse whoever cannot produce a duly registered passport for the current season.

The referee is responsible for the conduct of the game according to the rules and regulations.

The referee will keep notes of all particular events during the game.  The referee is the sole authority for keeping time, respecting regulation playing time or as previously agreed upon.  Any lost time due to particular incidents shall be added to playing time.

The referee has the authority to interrupt or stop any game if deemed necessary for reasons including breach of rules and regulations, continuous interference by spectators or for other reasons.

The referee is authorized to administer cautions, or eject if need be, any players for misconduct.  He/she must report reasons for cautions and/or ejections on the game sheet.

The referee may also eject from the field or its surroundings, parents, fans, players or coaches for misconduct, irresponsible or aggressive behavior and/or use of abusive language.

The referee will stop the game if a player appears seriously injured, have him/her removed from the field when it is safe to do so and immediately restart the game.  For a minor injury, the referee will stop the game as soon as the ball is out of play.  The player will then be attended to outside the field.

It is strictly prohibited for any person to enter the field while the game is in progress. 

The referee must stop the play and make a sign to authorize anyone to enter the field.

An injured player with an “open wound” must be allowed to leave the field to be attended to.

The referee may reverse a decision providing the game has not restarted.

Whenever the referee has decided to apply the “advantage clause” and the presumed advantage does not happen at that moment, he/she must penalize the initial fault.

During the game, a coach is entitled to give technical instructions providing he/she remains within the technical zone parameters, if existent, and providing he/she behaves in an orderly manner at all times.  If there is no designated technical zone, players must remain seated on the bench and coaches seated or standing behind it.

Referee’s duties:

a) is present on the field 30 minutes prior the start of the game;

b) inspects the field and reports all abnormalities and/or cancels the game claiming the poor condition of the field;

c) verifies conformity of passports and uniforms;

d) if necessary, demands that players remove all items that may cause injuries to themselves or others;

e) refuses any coaches or players who cannot provide a registered passport;

f) ensures that all players on the bench are registered on the game sheet and restricts the presence of those who are not.

At the end of the game, on the game sheet:

g) registers all goals;

h) notes all cautions and ejections (with  reasons);

i) report major  injuries to player in the game sheet

j) reports fields abnormalities;

k) signs and writes his registration number;

l) reports all particular events occurring during the game;

m) notes starting and ending times;

n) gives a copy to each team and forwards the original to his superior within 48 hours.

Referee’s absenteeism

If the assigned referee fails to appear, the coaches can appoint a mutually agreed upon person to officiate the game providing that the appointee has enough knowledge of the rules and regulations, and so indicate their agreement on the game sheet, and record the name of the individual. Alternatively, the coaches themselves must each referee one half of the game, with the home team refereeing the first half of the game. The home team coach is responsible for ensuring the game sheets are mailed to the League.

6           ASSISTANT REFEREES

There are no assistant referees.

7           DURATION OF THE GAME

The duration of the game shall be as follows:

U-9                             2 equal periods of 20 minutes

U-10 and U-11           2 equal periods of 25 minutes

The referee shall add on to each period estimated lost time for replacements, injured players taken off the field, or elapsed time for other reasons.

If necessary, the duration of the game will be extended to allow for a penalty shot.

There will be a resting period of 5 minutes  at half time.

8           THE START AND RESTART OF PLAY

The choice of sides and kick off will be decided by flipping a coin.  The winning team decides which goal to shoot at for the first half and the other team proceeds with the kick off.

The referee whistles for the start of the game.  The ball is positioned on the ground in the middle of the field; the first kick is done facing the defending goal.  All players must be on their respective side of the field.  The defending team players are not allowed within 6 metres of the ball prior to kick off. The ball will be in play after it has been kicked and has moved forward.  The kick off player will only be allowed to play the ball a second time once the ball has touched another player.

The game is restarted in the same manner after each goal scored and at half time.  In the last instance the kick off will be made by a player of the defending team at kick off in the first half of the game.

In the event of a violation of this rule, the kick off will be retaken.  However, if the player taking the kick plays the ball a second time before it touches another player, the opposing team shall be granted a free kick from where the offense was committed.

A goal may be scored directly from a kick off.

9           BALL IN AND OUT OF PLAY

The ball is considered out of play when:

a) it has completely crossed a side (touch line) or a goal line, whether it be in the air or on the ground;

b) the referee has stopped the play.

The ball is in play at all times from the beginning to the end of the game including:

a) when it rebounds from a goal post, cross bar or corner flag post and remains on the field of play;

b) when it bounces off the referee while he/she is on the field of play;

c) while waiting for a delayed decision on the part of the referee in the case of an infraction to the rules and regulations where the referee is allowing the advantage or waiting for the next stoppage of play in order to deal with the infraction.

Text inside the drawing:

A ball remains in play when it bounces back onto the field after hitting a corner flag, or goal post or goal cross bar.

10       METHOD OF SCORING

Except where specified in the rules and regulations, a goal is scored when the whole of the ball completely crosses the goal line between the posts and under the cross bar without being carried in, thrown in, or intentionally handled by any opposing player except the goalkeeper in his own penalty area.

The winning team shall be deemed the one who scores the most goals.  A tied game will be declared when no one has scored (0-0) a goal or when each team has scored an even number of goals.

A goal shall be granted if:

a) a defense player throws (except during a throw-in), carries or hits the ball with the hand or the arm into his own goal;

A goal shall be denied whenever:

a) an opposing player throws, carries or hits the ball with the hand or the arm while it is entering the net;

b) the ball entering the goal is stopped by whatever means.

 

Text inside:

No goal, no goal, no goal, goal scored.

11     OFF-SIDE

No offside rules will be applied for 7-a-side soccer.

12       FOULS AND MISCONDUCT

(SPORTMANSHIP VIOLATIONS)

ALL major and minor infractions if committed outside of the penalty are sanction by a DIRECT FREE KICK.

If a MAJOR infraction is committed inside the penalty area by the defending team a penalty kick will be awarded to the attacking team.

If a MAJOR infraction is committed by the attacking team inside the penalty area, a DIRECT FREE KICK will be awarded to the defending team. The ball will be position anywhere inside the penalty area.

 If a MINOR infraction is committed by the defending team inside the penalty area, a DIRECT FREE KICK from outside de penalty area will be awarded to the attacking team. The kick should be taken from the part of penalty area line which runs parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the offense was committed, and no member of the opposing team should be closer than 6 meters from the ball.

If a MINOR infraction is committed inside the penalty team, a DIRECT FREE KICK is awarded to the defending team. The ball could be place anywhere inside the penalty area.

MAJOR OFFENCE:

a) Breach with the hands:

1) handling the ball (deliberately playing the ball with the hand or the arm) except while playing as the goal keeper;

2) pushing an opponent;

3) holding an opponent;

4) striking (or attempting to  strike) an opponent;

b) Breach with the feet:

1) kicking (or attempting to kick) an opponent;

2) tripping (or attempting to trip) an opponent;

3) tackling an opponent (making contact with the opponent before touching the ball);

c) Body breach:

1) jumping  at an opponent;

2) violently (or dangerously) charging an opponent.

3) spitting at an opponent.

MINOR OFFENCE:

a) dangerous play judged by the referee;

b) charging (shoulder to shoulder) while the ball is not in play distance;

c) obstructing a player without playing the ball;

d) obstructing a player when the ball is not within playing distance;

e) challenges the goalkeeper.

Being a goalkeeper inside his/her own penalty area:

deliberately wastes time or delays the play to benefit his team;

THE 6 SECONDS RULE APPLIES FOR THE GOALKEEPERS AT 7 ASIDE

touching the ball with his/her hands after it has been deliberately kicked back to him/her by a teammate.

A player will be given a yellow card for:

a) misconduct or breach of sportsmanship;

b) verbalizing or using gestures to signify his/her disapproval;

c) persistently breaching the rules and regulations of the game;

d) delaying the restart of the game;

e) not respecting the required distance on the taking of a corner kick or a free kick;

f) entering or re-entering the field without prior authorization from the referee;

g) deliberately leaving the field without prior authorization from the referee.

A player will be given a red card for:

a) serious foul play;

b) violent behavior;

c) spitting on an opponent or any other person;

d) a defender deliberately preventing a goal or an obvious goal by touching the ball with his/her hand (this rule does not apply to the goalkeeper in his/her penalty area);

e) committing an offense punishable by a free kick or penalty kick in order to prevent a player from scoring a goal, or denying a player an obvious goal scoring opportunity;

f) using coarse, vulgar or abusive language;

g) receiving a second warning (yellow card) during the same game.

Infractions committed outside their own penalty area will be penalized by a direct free kick from where the offense was committed.

13       DIRECT FREE KICK

If the game has been stopped for an offense committed, the game will be restarted with a direct free kick.

The free kick being a penalty, the ball is given to the opposing team.

On the taking of a free kick, the ball must be stationary and members of the opposing team shall be at least 6 metres away from the ball. However, the attacking team members are allowed to position themselves as they see fit.

A player taking a free kick may do so in any direction as long as he does not play it a second time before it has touched another player.

A ball that has been kicked and has moved is considered in play. If it goes directly into the opponents’ goal, they will be granted a goal.   However, if it goes into the attacking team’s goal, the opponents will be granted a corner kick.

When a free kick is granted to the opposing team in their own penalty area, it must be kicked back into play and completely cross out of the penalty area, otherwise the kick must be retaken.

A penalty shot will be granted whenever a player commits one of the ten major offenses within his/her own penalty area.  A direct free kick will be granted if the offense was committed outside the penalty area and will be taken at the closest point to where the offense was committed.

14       PENALTY KICK

A penalty shot will be granted when a defending team player commits one of the ten major offenses within his/her own penalty area.

The ball will be placed on the ground 7 meters away from the goal line at a point midway between the goal posts.

It is mandatory that the referee signal authorization to take the penalty kick by blowing his/her whistle.

The penalty shot is taken from the penalty mark.  When a penalty shot is taken, all other players, except for the goalkeeper, must remain outside the penalty area, furthest from the goal line, and behind the ball.

The opposing goalkeeper shall remain on his/her goal line between the posts.  If a goal is scored while the goalkeeper is not respecting this rule, the goal shall be granted.  If a goal is not scored, the penalty shot shall be retaken.

The player taking the kick must kick the ball forward.  He/she cannot play the ball a second time until it has touched another player.

The penalty shot shall be retaken if, after the referee has given the signal for the taking of the penalty kick but before the ball has been put into play:

a) a player from the attacking team commits an offense and a goal has been scored (i.e.: re-entering the penalty area too quickly).

b) a player from the defending team commits an offense when a goal has not been scored.

Whether a goal is scored or not, the penalty shot shall be retaken if a player or players from both teams commit(s) an offense.

15       THROW-IN

When the ball completely crosses the touch lines, whether it be in the air or on the ground, the ball is put back into play by a throw-in, in any direction, by a player of the opposing team than the last one who touched the ball.

The player shall stand facing the field at the point where the ball crossed the touch line.

The ball must be held over the head and thrown-in with both hands.

The player may stand with part of each foot either on the touch line or on the ground outside the touch line. Both feet, or a part of both feet, must remain on the ground at all times.

A goal cannot be scored on a direct throw-in. (Restart with a goal kick unless the ball has been thrown by a player into his/her own net in which case it is a corner kick).

The player taking the throw-in may not touch the ball again until it has touched another player.

The ball is in play immediately when it enters the field of play.

A second throw-in will be allowed if the player commits an error on the first one.  Should a second error occur, the ball will be granted to the opposing team.

16       GOAL KICK

When the ball is last played by an attacking team player and has completely crossed the goal line outside the goal posts and the cross bar in the air or on the ground, the ball must be positioned within the penalty area with no further delay.

In such a case, the ball will be considered in play only when it crosses out of the entire penalty area.

The opposing team players must remain outside the penalty area and at least 6 meters away from the ball.

The goal kick will be retaken if the ball is touched or played by another player prior to crossing the entire penalty area.

A goal can be scored from a goal kick.

17       CORNER KICK

When the ball is last played by a defending team player and has completely crossed the goal line outside the goal posts and the cross bar in the air or on the ground, the ball must be positioned inside the corner flag arc closest to where the ball went out without removing the corner flag.

The opposing team players must remain at least 6 meters away from the ball.

The player taking the corner kick shall not play the ball again until it has touched another player.

The ball is in play when it has been kicked and moves.

A goal can be scored on a corner kick.

18       THE ROLE OF THE OFFICIAL

SPORTSMANSHIP IS NOT A SET OF RULES AND REGULATIONS BUT A BEHAVIOR CODE

Possess a thorough knowledge of 7-A-side soccer rules and regulations.

Create a positive and friendly atmosphere thus making soccer a truly enjoyable experience.

Ensure the safety of players at all times.

Use good judgment and ensure that the young players respect the “essence of the game”.

Set the example.  Conduct yourself according to the principles of sportsmanship on and off the field.

Praise both teams for the way they played.  Accolades are beneficial at any time.

Be coherent, objective and courteous when you declare an infraction.

Condemn deliberate breach of sportsmanship in order to maintain respect for fair play.

Make it your duty to stay tuned with the principles of good refereeing and child development.

19       THE ROLE OF THE COACH

Coaches are responsible for parents and fans behaviors at all times.

Take a meaningful interest in the development of the child.

Treat each team member with fairness and equality.

Be receptive to parent’s and children’s comments.

Promote  “a sound winning philosophy”.

Teach 7 aside soccer rules and regulations.

Ensure that training sessions are appropriate, stimulating, and fun.

Involve parents in training sessions.

Seek player’s opinions when taking decisions.

Insist on the improvement of their soccer technical abilities.

Promote effort, team spirit and sportsmanship.

Establish your game plan allowing for equal playing time and rotation of player’s positions on the field.

Be committed.

20       THE ROLE OF THE PARENT

Make mini-soccer an enjoyable experience for their child, teammates and other children involved.

Insist that their child obey the rules.

Show support and appreciation for coaches and referees.

Promote the value of the effort.

Applaud good plays for both teams.

Set a good example at all times.

Teach their child to accept victories and defeats gracefully.

Try to acquire a knowledge and understanding of the game’s rules and regulations.

The parents must not:

Scream at their child when he/she makes a mistake.

Criticize the referee.

Criticize the coach’s work.