US YOUTH SOCCER
Revised Aug 10, 2016
US Youth Soccer Official Under 12 Playing Recommendations
US Youth Soccer recommended modifications to the FIFA Laws of the Game.
FIFA Laws of the Game can be found at www.ussoccer.com/referees.
Please note the U12 addendum and appendix.
Law 1 – The Field of Play
Dimensions: The field of play must be rectangular. The length of the touchline must be
greater than the length of the goal line.
Length: minimum 70 yards maximum 80 yards
Width: minimum 45 yards maximum 55 yards
Field Markings: Distinctive lines not more than (5) inches wide. The field of play is
divided into two halves by a halfway line. The center mark is indicated at the midpoint
of the halfway line. A circle with a radius of eight (8) yards is marked around it.
The Goal area: Conform to FIFA.
The Penalty Area: A penalty area is defined at each end of the field as follows: Two lines
are drawn at right angles to the goal line, fourteen (14) yards from the inside of each
goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of fourteen (14) yards
and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The area bounded by these
lines and the goal line is the penalty area. Within each penalty area a penalty mark is
made ten (10) yards from the midpoint between the goalposts and equidistant to them.
An arc of a circle with a radius of eight (8) yards from each penalty mark is drawn
outside the penalty area.
Flagposts: Conform to FIFA.
The Corner Arc: Conform to FIFA.
Goals: Conform to FIFA with exception that the maximum distance between the posts is
eighteen (18.5) feet and the maximum distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the
ground is six (6.5) feet.
Law 2 – The Ball: Size four (4).
Law 3 – The Number of Players: A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not
more than nine players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. A match may not start if either
team consists of fewer than 6 players.
Substitutions: At any stoppage and unlimited.
Law 4 – The Players Equipment: Conform to FIFA. Non-uniform clothing is allowed
based on weather conditions, but uniforms must still distinguish teams.
Law 5 – The Referee: Registered referee.
Law 6 – The Assistant Referee: Use U.S.S.F. registered referees or club
Law 7 – The Duration of the Match: Conform to FIFA with the exception of the match
being divided into two (2) halves of thirty (30) minutes each. There shall be a half-time
interval of five (5) minutes.
Law 8 – The Start and Restart of Play: Conform to FIFA with the exception that
opponents of the team taking the kick-off are at least eight (8) yards from the ball until it
is in play.
Law 9 – The Ball In and Out of Play: Conform to FIFA.
Law 10 – The Method of Scoring: Conform to FIFA.
Law 11 – Offside: Conform to FIFA.
Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct: Conform to FIFA with the exception that an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team at the center spot on the halfway line if a goalkeeper punts or drop-kicks the ball in the air from his/her penalty area into the opponents penalty area.
Law 13 – Free Kicks: Conform to FIFA with the exception that opponents are at least eight (8) yards from the ball.
Law 14 – The Penalty Kick: Conform to FIFA with the exceptions that the penalty mark is at ten yards and that players other than the kicker and defending goalkeeper are at least eight (8) yards from the penalty mark.
Law 15 – The Throw-In: Conform to FIFA.
Law 16 – The Goal Kick: Conform to FIFA.
Law 17 – The Corner Kick: Conform to FIFA with the exception that opponents remain at least eight (8) yards away from the ball until it is in play.