In U6 & U8 soccer, referees are referred to as Game Monitors and serve the same function. There are no licensing requirements for Game Monitors for this age group.

Game Monitor Overview

  • The role of the Game Monitor is to keep the game fun, safe, and moving.

Pregame Preparation

  • Arrive at least 20 minutes before the scheduled start.
  • Introduce yourself to the coaches and players.
  • Obtain the game ball from the home team.
  • Check players’ equipment (see section below).

The Field of Play

  • Roughly 25 yards by 30 yards. Normally with 4′ x 6′ goals.

The Ball

  • A size 3 ball is used in U8 soccer.
  • The home team supplies the ball.

Players on the Field

  • Each team may have 4 players on the field max (there are no goalkeepers). Teams can play 4 v 4, 4 v 3, or 3 v 3.
  • Substitutions
  • A substitution occurs when any player off the field trades places
  • with a player on the field, and can be made on the fly.

Rules of play

  • One game monitor to keep game moving and safe. 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.
  • When the ball exits the side line, 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 in U8 soccer.
  • Slide tackling is prohibited.
  • Good sportsmanship is always required.
  • A team ahead by four goals should take measures to even match.

Player Equipment

Each team must wear distinctive jerseys. If there is a color conflict, the home team must change. Jersey numbers on the back of jerseys are not required for U8. 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 jewelry, 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). However, the shoes do not need to be soccer cleats, tennis shoes are acceptable.