U8 Rules

  • U8 Games use a size 3 soccer ball. The home team supplies the ball.
  • The field is roughly 25 yars by 30 yards. The goals are approximately 4′ by 6′.
  • Regular soccer rules except no throw-ins, goal kicks, corner kicks, offsides rule, or goalkeepers.
  • When the ball exits the sideline, any opponent of the team that last touched the ball while in play, dribbles or passes the ball in from the point it exited the field.
  • When the ball exits the end-line, the ball is played in by the defending team (no corner kicks).
  • All free kicks are indirect, with opponents at least 6 yards away from the ball.
  • No goalkeepers or players standing in front of the goal.
  • The offside rule does not apply to U8 soccer.
  • Slide tackling is prohibited.
  • Good sportsmanship is always required.
  • A team ahead by four goals should take measures to even the match.
  • Substitutions can be made on the fly. A player off the field just trades places with a player on the field.
  • Each team has 4 players on the field max. If teams don’t have enough players at a game they can play 4 v 3, or 3 v 3.
  • A U8 team has 12 players. For the game, each team splits their players into two 6-player squads, call them A and B. Squad A from Team 1 plays Squad A from Team 2 in a 20 minute game (two 10-minute halves with a 5 minute halftime). At the same time Squad B from Team 1 plays Squad B from Team 2. Take a short break, then Squad A fromTeam 1 plays Squad B from Team 2 in a 20 minute game while Squad B from Team 1 plays Squad A from Team 2.

Player Equipment

  • Each team must wear distinctive jerseys. For East Bay United teams, the home team wears blue, the away team wears white.
  • Jersey numbers on the back of jerseys are not required for U8. It is ok if multiple players on a team have the same number.
  • Shinguards are mandatory and must be covered by socks.
  • Players may not wear anything that is dangerous to themselves or other players.  Dangerous items include all types of jewelery, hats, shoes with sharp cleats, or baseball shoes with toe cleats. Orthopedic casts are forbidden, even when covered.
  • Players must wear an athletic type shoe (no street shoes or bare feet). The shoes do not need to be soccer cleats. Sneakers are acceptable.

Game Monitor Role

  • There are 2 simultaneous games. Each team provides a Game Monitor, one per game.
  • Keep the game safe and moving.
  • Keep the time for the game.
  • Arrive at least 20 minutes before the scheduled start.
  • Introduce yourself to the coaches and players.
  • Obtain the game balls from the home team.
  • Check players’ equipment.

Refrain from coaching the players! We want them making their own decisions!   Although by rule in soccer, a whole ball going completely over the sideline is “out of bounds”, in small-sided games for younger kids, we want the ball “in play” as much as possible, thus apply the rule that “Close is in”. Letting the kids make as many decisions as possible includes whether the ball is in or out of play. Basic disagreements should be solved by the players with “Rock-Paper-Scissors” used to speed the process along.