Game Rules

SYS Rules for Recreational League Referees

 Game

SYS is focusing on small-sided games with fewer players on the field and greater opportunity for the players to develop their ball-handling skills.  Team coaches can mutually agree to play with fewer players on the field in order to increase touch opportunities.  In the event teams have been combined, it is permissible to play with more players on the field.  If the coaches have questions or concerns, you should direct the coaches to a SYS Board member.

For U5-U6, the format can be either 3v3 or 4v4 with no goalie.  There are no referees assigned to these games.  One coach from each team is allowed on the field.  This age level we run the KINS program for our games.

For U7-U8, the format is 5v5 or 6v6 of which one player is the goalie. They play four (4) eight minute quarters with up to a 5-minute break between each quarter.  Opposing team coaches can agree to take less than a 5 min break. A running clock is used for all games.

For U9-U10, the format is 6v6 or 7v7 of which one player is the goalkeeper. They play two (2) twenty minute halves with up to a 5-minute break between each quarter.  Opposing team coaches can agree to take less than a 5 min break. A running clock is used for all games.

For U11-U12, the format is 8v8 or 9v9 of which one player is the goalkeeper. SYS plays two (2) twenty-five minutes halves with up to a 5-minute break between half.  Opposing team coaches can agree to take less than a 5 min break. A running clock is used for all games.

For U13-U14 the format is 9v9 up to 11v11 of which one player is the goalkeeper. SYS plays two (2) thirty-five minute halves with up to a 5-minute break between each half.  Opposing team coaches can agree to take less than a 5 min break. A running clock is used for all games.

It is imperative that games start on time.  If a team is not ready to start play at their assigned start time, the referee will start the clock on the quarter/half resulting in a shortened game so that the game will end on time.

Teams may switch sides at halftime although it is not required.

There is no official offside rule in recreation league games; however, a referee may call offside if an attacking team has a “net hanger” and there is no defender in the immediate vicinity.  The referee should check with the coaches to determine if they would like offsides called.  Both coaches must agree in order for offsides to be invoked for the game.

The typical calls the referee will make are as follows:

Out-of-bounds resulting in a throw-in.  If the throw-in is not executed properly, the referee should stop play and have the player try again.

  • Goal kick
  • Corner kick
  • Handling

At the referee’s discretion it is permissible to call a foul if a player is playing aggressively.  Also a foul should be called against a player who attempts to make a sliding tackle or play the ball while they are on the ground.  Regardless of the type of foul, a direct free kick is awarded.

If the foul occurs within the goal area, the referee should play a drop-ball instead of calling a penalty kick.

Please call or e-mail with any questions.

Jose Lopez, SYS Referee Coordinator [email protected]