Rules for 8 v 8 Soccer

Retreat Line Procedure

The Retreat line comes into play when the ball has gone out for a goal kick. All opposing players will retreat to the offside line or offside indicator (cone or marker) which should already be in place. Opposing players may not pressure the ball until:

  1. The ball is received by a teammate of the individual taking the goal-kick (on their side of the retreat line) OR,
  2. The ball travels over the retreat line OR,
  3. The ball leaves the field of play.

If a team taking the goal kick chooses to play quickly, they can. The ball will be in play as soon as it leaves the penalty area regardless of the opposing team’s position.

Enforcement of the Rule for point 1

The opposing players are only permitted to move inside the "Retreat Line" once the ball has been touched by a teammate of the individual taking the goal-kick, OR if the Referee deems that the player has the ball "under control" for a period of 3 seconds, no touch will be required. (The 3 second rule avoids a situation where a coach advises his player to not touch the ball in order to waste time.)

If the opposing team encroaches across the retreat line before the ball is touched by a teammate of the individual taking the goal-kick then the referee stops the play and issues a retake of the goal-kick. If the opposing team repeatedly encroaches across the retreat line, an indirect free kick shall be awarded from the place where the offence occurred for not respecting the restart.

Substitutions and Playing Time

  • Unlimited substitution shall be allowed.
  • Substitutions shall be allowed at stoppages, under the control of the referee.
  • Players must take equal turns in all field positions including the goalkeeper position that must be rotated at half time. It is not necessary that all players play in the goalkeeper position during a single game.

At Kick-Off

At a kick-off, all players shall be in their own half of the field of play.

  • All players opposing the team taking the kick-off shall be not less than 9 meters from the ball until it is kicked and moves forward.

Indirect and Direct Free Kick

Indirect free kick – another player must touch the ball before a goal can be score or the player taking the free kick can play the ball.

  • An indirect free kick is indicated by the Referee raising his/her hand.
  • A goal may NOT be scored directly from an indirect free-kick.

The free-kick shall be taken from the place where the infringement occurred, unless the freekick is awarded to the attacking team within its opponents’ penalty-area. In this case, the free kick shall be taken from the outside edge of the penalty area in line where the offense took place.

At the taking of a free-kick, the ball shall be stationary and all opponents shall be not less than 9 meters from the ball until it has been kicked.

  • Direct free kick - a goal can be scored directly.

The Goal Kick

  • The goal kick should be taken anywhere within the goal area.
  • Opposing players must be 9 meters away from the ball until it is in play.

Playing Short

  • You can play with a minimum of six (6) players.
  • Both teams agree to play short for the duration of the game (7 v 7, 6 v 6).
  • Both teams agree to share players.
  • The short team can pick up a player if the opposing team coach agrees.
  • Note: If the pick-up player is part of the Excelsior Academy the player is positioned in the least impactful position and limited in the role on the field. Ex- can only score one goal. Only one excelsior player per team on the field at any time.
  • Everyone have fun!