High School Rules

5-A-Side soccer rules for U16:

Five players per team, one of whom is a goalkeeper

Formation: 2 defenders, 2 forwards (box formation) or “2 plus 2”

1 defender, 1 player on right side, 1 player on left side, and 1 central forward (diamond formation).

Individual tactical functional play

It is important that the coach makes his/her players understand offensive and defensive movements and responsibilities at every position. Because the field is smaller and there are fewer players, all players should be trained to be “two-way” players, participating fully in both attack and defense.

Individual player positions and responsibilities:

Goalkeeper: The only player, who can use his hands, provided he is in his own penalty area. His main responsibility is to stop shots, breakaways, and to stop the ball from going into the goal. He/she may also participate in the attack through his/her distribution or as a support field player.

Defenders: The role of a 5-A-Side defender is:

To stop the other team’s forwards from scoring

To contribute to the attack with accurate passing and shooting

To make creative, penetrating runs

Wing Players: Must be “two-way” players, effective in attacking and defending. These players must have good endurance for transition play.

Forwards: Their primary job is to score goals. Taking shots, making passes, making assists and dribbling the ball against defenders. They also try to maintain ball possession and help out with defending.

Note: For the purpose of winning, the team formation, match-ups, special assignments, score in relationship to the time of the game, and individual strengths and weaknesses, are some of the major considerations for selecting appropriate tactics and strategies by the coach during a competitive game.

Abbreviated rules for 5-A-Side:

Field of play should be:

Length: 50-60 yards

Width: 40-45 yards

Penalty area 48 x 24 feet

Penalty kick mark: 24 feet

Substitution zone: 3 feet each side of halfway line

Goals: should be placed in center of each goal line

Ball is number 5

Substitution can be made on the “fly” at designated area only

Goalkeeper substitution, only at stoppage in the game at the referee’s authorization

If in event of players being sent off, fewer than three players are left on either team, the match shall be abandoned

If during a “flying” substitution, a sub is made incorrectly (entering the field too early or at the wrong place), the referee shall allow play to continue and shall caution the infringing player as soon as the ball is out of play.

Shin guards are required!!!

Referee should be outside of the field, on the opposite side of the players’ benches. His movement is up and down the sideline. He will enter the field occasionally to place the ball or caution players.

Duration of the game: two equal periods of 25 minutes each. Half time should not exceed 10 minutes.

Start of play: toss of coin, players on their own half of field, proper distance, ball kicked forward, after a goal, at half-time, drop ball, etc. are all the same as 11-A-Side soccer.

Ball in and out of play and methods of scoring: same as 11-A-Side soccer

Fouls and misconduct:

A player who intentionally commits any of the offenses penalized by direct free kick, are the same as in 11-A-Side soccer. Including penalty area and penalty kick. Additionally, slides in an attempt to play the ball, whether touching an opponent or not (slide tackles), including the goalkeeper in the penalty area.

Other fouls penalized by indirect free kick by an opponent:

• Dangerous plays

• Charging when the ball is not at a proper distance of play

• Obstruction

• Charging goalkeeper in the penalty area

• When goalkeeper throws the ball over the half-line without touching the ground or a player on his own half.

• Player shall be cautioned and the same procedure should be followed with a restart as in 11-A-Side soccer, with an addition of incorrectly substituting on a “fly.” Player shall be sent off the field and the same procedures for restart should be followed as in 11-A-Side soccer.

• However, after 5 minutes and with referee’s permission, a substitute player can replace that player that was sent off the field. During that time, that team plays 5 minutes short-handed.

Free Kicks:

Are classified under “direct” or “indirect” the same as 11-A-Side soccer.

Procedures for taking a free kick are about the same as 11-A-Side soccer, except when the free kick is taken, all of the opposing players shall be 16 feet from the ball.

Penalty kicks:

A penalty kick shall be taken from the penalty mark (24 feet). Same rules, procedures and technicalities as 11-A-Side soccer. Goal keeper on the line, distance of players to the ball, touches of the ball by a player, extension of time at half time, and at the end of the game, etc.

Throw Ins are the same as 11-A-Side soccer.

Goal clearance (NO GOAL KICKS)

• Ball going off the field of play for a goal clearance is the same as 11-A-Side soccer for goal kicks.

• The goal clearance is taken by a goalkeeper anywhere inside of his own penalty area. The ball is put back into play from the goalkeepers hands.

• The ball shall be deemed in play as soon as it has been passed outside the penalty area.

• The goal clearance is deemed to be correct when the ball has been touched by another player outside of the penalty area, or when it has touched within the respective goal keeper’s own half of the field. The players of the opposing team shall remain outside the penalty area until the ball has been thrown beyond the penalty area.

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