U5 Micro League Rules and Guidelines

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U5 Micro League Rules and Guidelines

The mission of the Ballard Youth Soccer Club is to "Provide a safe, positive atmosphere where girls and boys can learn the game of soccer". The Micro and Modified leagues are instructional, no score keeping or win-loss records are kept. The U-10 and upper leagues are more competitive, and are made up of various soccer Clubs associated with the SYSA.

Micro Soccer

U5/U6/U7 teams play "Micro" soccer. It involves short games on small fields with pop up goals (Pugg) for goals, 3 players to a side, and no goalie. This allows the youngest players to be able to run and get maximum touches on the ball, without concern for maintaining positions. U5 teams have a roster of 8 players. Micro teams play only other BYSC micro teams. Girls and boys may play on the same teams at the Micro level.

The emphasis in Micro soccer is to HAVE FUN, learn to play as a team, and learn very basic soccer skills. No score keeping or win-loss records are kept. We must recognize that Micro soccer will be most kids' first experience with team sports. Our goal is to get as many young kids as possible to stay with soccer long enough to develop skills and confidence. Whatever we can do to reinforce effort - no matter how tentative - and to create an encouraging, "everybody wins" environment is important. Coaches must contain the urge to compete.

U5 Micro Soccer League - BYSC Guidelines:

A. We will be playing 3-a-side soccer with no goalkeeper.

B. Set up for each game. Bring your pugg goals to your games. Fields are marked by cones, 15-20 yards wide by 25 yards long, with cones also marking the midfield point along the sidelines. There is field marking equipment to paint lines if there are volunteers. Please contact the Fields person under the "About Us" page to volunteer.

C. Referees are not provided by the club for Micro games. The home team is responsible to select a ref for the game. It can be a parent, older sibling or a coach. It can be from either team. The ref should be familiar with the micro rules.

D. Games are scheduled on Saturday mornings lasting 40 minutes. Recommended arrival is 15 minutes prior to start of game. Start times may be delayed 5 minutes to wait for late arriving players. Games are played in halves, lasting 20 minutes each. Half-time for all games is 25 minutes after the scheduled start, no matter when the game actually starts, and lasts 5 minutes. Games must end 10 minutes before the next scheduled games. The designated parent "referee" keeps the official time, though this can be delegated to a parent on the sidelines. Better the games end too early than too late.

E. Unlimited substitutions are allowed whenever the ball goes out of play, but with the acknowledgment of the referee. Just call out "Substitution" or "Ref, Substitutions" until you get the referee's attention and approval. All players shall play the same amount of time! Substitution patterns for equal time are difficult to accomplish. Make the effort to do your best.

F. During the game, coaches may not go on the field except out of concern for an injured player unless they are refereeing. All coaches and assistants must stay on the sidelines. Coaching during the game shall be kept to a minimum, though brief reminders are particularly necessary for kids who have never played positions before. If what you want to say can't wait and can't be condensed into a few words, you should pull the player off and explain your point on the sidelines. At this beginning level, the game will teach the kids, with a little guidance so just let them play. Negative criticism or anger toward a player is always inappropriate to kids of this age and will not be tolerated in this league. Coaches must control their team parents on this point.

G. If a game gets "out of balance", and one team is dominating play, do one or more of the following to try and even up the teams: Adjust the size of the goal (use cones), making it a foot or two bigger for the troubled team, and a bit smaller for the leading team; require the stronger team to make more passes prior to shooting, add a player etc.

U5 Game Rules:

1. All players must wear shin guards. Check to see that each players shoe laces are tied. Each player shall wear the club supplied team uniform or a very similar colored shirt.

2. The game begins with a kick-off from center field. The kicking team must start with all its players on its half of the field. The other team must start with all its players on its half of the field. All free kicks, including the kick-off, require the team without the ball to be 10 yards (5 big steps) back from the ball. Center field kick-offs are taken after a goal is scored, by the team who was scored against. Teams switch directions at half-time, and the team that did NOT kick-off at the start of the game, gets to kick-off to start the second half.

3. Throw-ins will be taken whenever the ball is played "out of touch" across the sidelines. The ball is out when the whole ball is past the whole "line", it doesn't matter where the players feet are. Throw-ins shall be taken by the team who did NOT put the ball out of touch. The player must throw the ball from behind their head, with two hands giving equal effort, and with both feet on the ground. Referees will be lenient on throw-ins during micro soccer, and an improper throw-in will result in a take over. Even if the second throw-in is improper, play will proceed unless the referee determines an unfair advantage has been attained. A goal can never be scored directly from a throw-in it must be touched by another player before entering the goal.

4. Goal kicks are taken when an attacking team kicks the ball past the end line, missing the goal. The goal kick is taken by the defending team, from a point within 3 yards from the goal. The ball is placed on the ground, like any other free kick. The kicking team's players may be anywhere on the field during a goal kick, but the other team must return to their half. The team without the ball may not touch the ball until it has traveled the five yards, while the kicking team can touch the ball at any time after the goal kick

5. No corner kicks are taken in micro soccer! A goal kick is awarded regardless of which team kicks the ball past the end line.

6. There will be no "direct" free kicks in micro soccer. All kicks will be considered "indirect". Therefore, a goal can never be scored from a free kick, including kick-offs and goal kicks. Defenders must be 5 yards back from the free kick.

7. There will be no "penalty" kicks in Micro soccer. A hand ball or other infraction occurring near the goal by the defending team will result in a free kick taken 8 yards in front of the goal. The free kick must be played by another player before a goal can be made. It is not important to call accidental hand balls in Micro soccer. Intentional hands should be called.

8. Dangerous play has not been a big problem in Micro soccer, but players knocking over other players will not be allowed. Rough players will be cautioned by the referee to play "easier". If the rough play continues, a foul shall be called, and a free kick awarded. No slide tackles will be allowed in Micro soccer. Again, the referee will caution a player for the first offense, and a foul called thereafter, awarding a free kick. Also, when a player is down on the ground, attempting to play the ball they are making a dangerous play. Play shall be stopped immediately, prior to any contact if possible, and the other team awarded a free kick. The coach should substitute for any player who repeatedly makes dangerous plays and explain to the player that they may not play that rough, that they must use more finesse to move around players, that they will become better soccer players, and their victims will be more likely to stay with soccer longer.

9. Head balls are not allowed in Micro soccer. The ball doesn't go in the air very often, and high kicks should be discouraged.

10. There will be no "offsides" in Micro soccer. However, any player who only stays around the opponent's goal (cherry picking) will be warned by the referee and required to move back into the action.

11. A goal is scored when the whole ball goes over the whole goal line into the pugg goal

12. In general, the games will not be over-officiated. We want the kids to play, to let the game of soccer be the teacher, and gradually providing exposure to the rules. We do not want to slow things down while we give the players an overnight course in the details of the game. As the season progresses, the basics should penetrate, and vast improvements achieved.

13. When the game is over, we expect a cheer for the other team and a post-game handshaking. This is a fun post-game ritual for the kids and provides a chance to get any snacks ready. Coaches must be careful to ensure the handshaking is not filled with "you lost", "we beat you" words, which can kill the joy of the game for many players. This kind of youthful thoughtlessness can be controlled simply by the coach reminding the players what to say and why, and by accompanying them through the line. Coaches should teach good sportsmanship.


Practices are usually held once a week at a time and location selected by the coach. "Real" practice fields are not available to Micro teams, so any patch of grass with parking nearby is valuable. Practices should be kept to about an hour, for these 4 year olds, in the late afternoon. Try to avoid having the kids stand in lines during practice. If each player brings a ball, then there are many drills available where they can be doing something, and not getting bored standing in lines and making trouble.

End of year parties are often scheduled by teams, and some award certificates and trophies. Out of respect for other teams who may not give trophies or certificates, please do not present the awards at the field, in front of other teams. Good luck and be sure to have FUN!

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