DOES MY AGE DIVISION USE A GOALIE?
Goalies are only used in 7v7, 9v9, and 11v11 age divisions. 4v4 and younger divisions do not goalies. This is done for a number of reasons.
- At these younger ages, small-sided games are most beneficial for learning basic motor skills, basic rules, and the fundamental concepts of the game. Having a goalkeeper causes one player to be isolated from the rest of the team and stand still for most of the game, and at these younger ages, they will most likely find something else to keep their attention.
- Many very young children have difficulty visually tracking a moving object, especially if it is airborne. They are reactionary in their movements, and will often duck or throw their hands up in front of their face if the ball comes towards them.
- Most players that age dislike, if not fear, being goalkeeper, so you will often have the same couple of players volunteer to be goalie each game. At these ages, players should not be pigeonholed into any position on the field, especially goalkeeper. The emphasis at this age should be on developing field skills and the fundamentals of dribbling, passing, shooting, and defending.
CAN PLAYERS HEAD THE BALL?
Heading the ball is only allowing in our 11v11 age divisions. An intentional header in 9v9, 7v7, or 4v4 will result in the opposing team being awarded an indirect free kick at the spot of the foul. If the header occurs in the goal box ara, the ball will be placed outside the box.
This rule was put in place by US Soccer to try to curb the increasing number of concussions in the sport. Per US Soccer rules, heading is banned for kids 10 and under, including learning how to head at training. For children between 11 and 13, they are limited to 30 minutes of heading a week at training, but can head during games.
As our 9v9 age division does contain 10-year-olds, we have banned it for all age divisions except 11v11.
WHAT IS THE BUILD-OUT LINE?
In the 7v7 age division, the build-out line is a line across the width of the field mid-way between the top of the penalty box and the half-way line. In the 4v4 divisions, the half-way line is used as the build-out line. The build-out line is used to encourage teams to work the ball from their defensive end by passing the ball, instead of just kicking it down the field. Some key points to understand with the build-out line:
- When the goalkeeper has the ball in his or her hands during play, or the ball is set for a goal kick, the opposing team must move behind the build-out line until the ball is put into play.
- Once the opposing team is beind the build-out line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw or roll the ball into play. Punts and drop kicks are not allowed.
- After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper, the opposing team can cross the build-out line and play resumes as normal.
- For 4v4 games, these rules apply only for goal kicks (as there is no goalkeeper).
WHAT IS THE OFFSIDE RULE?
A player is offside if he or she is nearer to their opponent's goal line than both the ball and the second to last opponent. In 11v11 and 9v9, a player can only be offside if they are in their opponent's half of the field. In 7v7, a player can only be offside if they are between their opponent's goal and their opponent's build-out line. Finally, a player is only called for being offside if he or she is involved in active play, like receiving a pass.
HOW LONG ARE THE GAMES?
Game periods and times vary per age division. Ther are as follows:
3v3 - Four 6 minute periods
4v4 - Four 10 minute periods
7v7 - Two 25 minute periods
9v9 - Two 30 minute periods
11v11 - Two 35 minute periods
Certified officials are used in 4v4 II (1 official), 7v7 (1 official), 9v9 (3 officials), and 11v11 (3 officials). If Assistant Refs are not available for a game, parents from each team may act as ARs. If no refs are available, then coaches must ref the game, with each coach taking a half.
Parents are allowed on the field to help during 3v3 games. For 4v4 I, coaches will keep time, stop play when needed, and are allowed on the field to help. Parents and coaches are NOT allowed on the field for 4v4 II or older games.
*Gameplay can be changed at the discretion of the SFC Board of Directors.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE IS BAD WEATHER?
There are only 2 times that games or practices may be canceled due to weather. Lightning or closure of the park by the township. If the township thinks the fields could be damaged due to rain, they will notify us and we will update the website to show that the fields are closed.
We will not play or practice in lightning. Homecoming park is equipped with a lightning strike detector. In the event the alarm goes off, all players, coaches, officials, and spectators must seek shelter in their vehicles or under the shelter house until the "all clear" alarm sounds. This will be 30 minutes after the last detected lightning strike. In the event of a prolonged lightning delay (or anticipated delay), the games may be postponed or canceled at the discretion of the board.