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8U Program: 
Each team will have a one hour practice once a week scheduled by the coach at their discretion. Practice plans can be found in the 8u coach manual - at this age it is more about keeping them on the field and engaged, having a great time. Do not be worried about running a professional practice. We suggest running drills that keep the most players involved all the time so that players do not get bored or start acting up. 

Four players take the field, with no players playing goalkeeper - they should not be near the goal. We want players to learn to score and be excited. We suggest two offense and two defense.

Each player should play at least one half. Every single player needs a uniform and shin guards. 

Once coaches are assigned, coordinators will provide them with their rosters and we encourage them to reach out to their team immediately to let everyone know practice times and introduce yourself. We suggest email and text at least for the first communication. 

The Ball: 

A size 3 ball is used for 8U games.

The Players:

  • Numbers: Four per team on field; No goalkeepers.
  • Substitutions: Between periods, at halftime and for injuries.
  • Playing Time: Minimum of two periods per game and no player should play four periods until everyone has played three.
Coaches will be on the field (usually one on either half) to referee the game. Mostly calling out of bounds, corner kick, etc. There really isn't a lot to call at this age group.

Player Equipment: 
Shoes and shin guards, covered by the socks are mandatory at all practice and game activities. Soccer shoes, tennis shoes, or similar type athletic shoes are recommended. The type and condition of cleated shoes must be inspected for safety before use. Red is the home team uniform, Blue is the away team uniform.

Duration of Game:
Four 10-minute periods. Halftime break of 5 minutes.

The Start of Play: 
The game should be started with a kick-off in the middle of the field.

The Kick-off: 
A coin toss is used to determine which team kicks off to start the game and the other team kicks off to start the second half. Opponents must be eight yards from the center mark while kick-off is in progress.

Ball In and Out of Play:
The ball is out of play in all age group games when it completely crosses the touch line (side line) or goal line (end line), either on the ground or in the air.

Method of Scoring:
A goal, in all age groups, is awarded when the ball completely crosses the goal line into the goal.

The opposing team must be at least ten feet from the ball when free kicks are taken in 8U games. The following, if done deliberately, are the fouls most likely to occur in 8U games: kicking, tripping, pushing, holding, handling the ball and dangerous play. Officials must remember that there is no need to stop play for technical violations that do not interrupt the flow of the game. It's a players game and not a game of how many infractions can be identified, so keep the fun going and let them play.

Free Kicks:
All free kicks in 8U are indirect kicks. Opponents must be at least ten feet from the ball or on the goal line between the goal posts during free kicks. Free kicks awarded to the attacking team inside the defending teams goal area are to be taken from the nearest point on the goal area line parallel to the goal line.

No offside.

Throw-ins used for U8. Opponents should be ten feet from the ball. Two hands over the head, feet never leave the ground.

Goal Kick:
A goal kick is awarded to the opposing team, in 8U and older, when the attacking team is last to touch the ball before it crosses the goal line but without scoring a goal. The goal kick may be taken from any point inside the goal area. The opposing team must be at least ten feet away from the ball when the goal kick is taken in 8U games.

Corner Kick:
A corner kick is awarded to the opposing team, in 8U and older, when the defending team is last to touch the ball before it crosses the goal line but not scoring a goal. The opposing team must be at least ten feet from the ball when the corner kick is taken in 8U games.

Hand Ball:
A hand ball infraction occurs when a player handles the ball deliberately. The 'hand' includes the entire arm up to the top of the shoulder. Instinctive, self-protective reactions are not penalized at this young age. Accidental contact (ball striking hand or arm with no intent by the player) is not an offense and should not be penalized.

No Heading:
Consistent with the US Soccer mandates on heading the ball, heading is banned for all division 11U (12U and below for programs without single age divisions) and below in both practices and matches. An indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team if a player deliberately touches the ball with his/her head during a match (taken where the player touched the ball with his/her head).

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AYSO 512

PO Box 64 
Swartz Creek, Michigan 48473

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