Gahanna Soccer Association

Rules for GSA U-8 Soccer

  1. Play shall be conducted as 7 vs 7 including a keeper and using a size #3 ball.
  2. There is NO PUNTING allowed. Once the goalie has control of the ball in their hands, the ball must be rolled out.
  3. Substitutions may be made at the mid-line ONLY by either team during ANY stoppage due to the ball going out of play.
  4. A match shall consist of four 12-minute quarters, with 2 minutes between quarters and a half time period of no less than 5 minutes and no longer than 8 minutes.
  5. The execution of a slide tackle in Rec minor is NOT permitted and shall result in an indirect free kick for the non-offending team.
  6. Penalty kicks may now be awarded, but sparingly and only in the most severe circumstances.
  7. Any & all free kicks are to be indirect. Opponents may be no closer than 10 yards.
  8. Offside DOES now exist, but with some latitude as to the position relative to the defender.
  9. Throw-ins ARE now a part of play however poorly executed throw-ins SHALL NOT be ruled as a turnover and shall be retaken.
  10. The pass back to the keeper rule IS in effect in a fully deliberate application ONLY.
  11. Handballs MUST BE FULLY DELIBERATE to be called.
  12. All other laws of the game shall be followed.
  13. Scores shall not be kept by the referee or the coaches.
  14. Teams are to bench between the fields. Parents and supporters are REQUIRED to remain on the opposite side of the pitch.
  15. Coaches, parents and supporter ARE NOT permitted on the pitch during play.

Build Out Line

The Build out line is the dashed line between the penalty box and the half line.  During play the opposing team is to retreat behind the build out line  when the goalie has control of the ball ( rule #2) and on goal kicks ( see Goal Kicks below)

The opposing team must stay behind the build out line until TWO TOUCHES have taken place.

Example.... ball is released= 1st touch, teammate  plays the ball= 2nd touch....opposing team can now attack.

Goal Kick

The ball NO LONGER  needs to clear the penalty box before it is played by the kicking team.

The opposing team must stay behind the build out line until TWO TOUCHES have taken place.

Example.... kicker takes the kick= 1st touch, teammate  plays the ball= 2nd touch....opposing team can now attack.




An offside position is gained when a player is ahead of the ball and closer to the opponents goal, while the opponents end of the pitch, than the opponents keeper and one other defender. However, this only results in a call of "offside" if the player is in the area of or involved in active play.


Advantage is called when the team which appeared to have been fouled remains in possession of the ball and on the attack, thus allowing any offensive opportunity gained to continue rather than penalize said team for the action of the opponent.

Dangerous Play

A call of dangerous play is made when any player is put into a situation where the act of conducting play is consider by the referee to place any player in a position to cause injury to themselves or any other players.

Ball in & Ball out of Play

A player may be outside the marked pitch and play the ball so long as the ball remains within the marked boundaries of the pitch. The ball is not consider out of play until completely over the marked boundary of the pitch, whether on the ground or in the air.


The call of handling occurs when, in the opinion of the referee, they view any play, including the keeper in certain instances, deliberately handle, carry, strike, or propel the ball with their hand or arm. In most instances the referee may also look to see if, in their opinion, the hand went to the ball or the ball went to the hand, or if an advantage was gained, before making any call.

Expectations and Developmental Goals

  1. All players should play at least 50% of the match in all games, regardless of ability.
  2. Teams should have at least 2 but no more than 3 meetings per week for practice or games.
  3. Players should understand offensive and defensive positioning (Ball side/Goal side).
  4. Players should be able to receive and control the ball played to them on the ground. They should be able to receive the ball with their feet and have it close to them to pass or dribble.
  5. Players should be able to make deliberate passes, they should be encouraged to try to pass with both feet.
  6. Players should be able to make a throw-in correctly and most of the time.
  7. Players should be able to execute turns and cuts.
  8. Emphasis should be on development of individual basic skills not on team tactics.
  9. Coaches are encouraged to complete the USYSA Grassroots course, or the United Soccer Coaches 7v7/9v9 course.
  10. Coaches are encouraged to improve their knowledge of the game by playing in the adult league.

Rules Regarding Heading the Ball

Pursuant to US Soccer Federation guidelines and the Ohio South Youth Soccer Association bylaws, GSA enforces the following rules regarding heading:

  • No intentional headers will be allowed in U-10 and lower age divisions' games
  • No coach in a U-10 or lower age division shall be permitted to instruct players on how to perform a header
  • U-12 teams are allowed no more than 30 minutes per week to instruct on how to head the ball