Game Officials


Players & Time

  • Grade 3/4 play two 25-min. halves (5-min. halftime). 
  • Grade 5/6 play two 25-min. halves (5-min. halftime).
  • All matches are 7 vs. 7 (including Goalies, who must where a color that is different from BOTH teams).
  • Coaches may not agree to play with more players or for different lengths of time.

Fouls & Free Kicks

  • There are 2 Types of Free Kicks: (1) Direct Free Kicks & (2) Indirect Free Kicks
    • Fouls resulting in a Direct Free Kick: (infractions that end in “ing”) Tripping, Holding, Charging, Pushing, & Hand[ling the] Ball
    • Fouls resulting in an Indirect Free Kick:  Dangerous Play, Obstruction, Offside, Delay of Game, & Intentional Pass-Back to Goalie
  • No penalty kicks. Fouls occurring inside the penalty box will result in a Free Kick on the 18-yard-line.  Drop Balls occurring inside the box must be moved to the 18-yard-line.
  • An Indirect Free Kick must be touched TWICE before it will count as a goal.
  • A defensive team must stand back at least 10 yards from a person taking a Free Kick.


  • Coaches must ASK the Official to substitute. If permitted, blow your whistle and waive on the players.
  • Coaches may substitute under five circumstances: (1) on own throw-in; (2) on own corner kick; (3) on any goal kick; (4) when there is an injury; and (5) any time the other team is legally subbing players.
  • Players must wait at the Centerline for permission to substitute.  No “subbing from the bench.”


  • Definition:  When a Player is ahead of the ball and has fewer than 2 opponents between him/her and the goal. 
  • When Called:  When the Offside Player is passed the ball (or otherwise becomes involved in the play)
  • Offside does not apply on throw-ins or corner kicks.


  • Must be made with two hands over the head and both feet on the ground.  No twisting.  Ball must go completely over the head.
  • Feet may touch the line, but no feet may cross the line. 
  • Opponents must stand back 3-feet from the thrower. 
  • Foul throw in Grade 3/4 results in a warning and a re-throw.  Explain the rule and let them try again.  Foul throw in Grade 5/6 results in an immediate possession change. 

Other Rules

  • A Goal Kick must leave the penalty box before it is touched by anyone (retake the kick if violation)
    • Defensive Players can stand inside the penalty box, but cannot touch the ball until it leaves
  • A Goalie cannot pick up a back-pass from his/her own teammate (indirect Free Kick on 18-yard line)
  • Play should restart with a Drop Ball in the event of an injury, an inadvertent whistle, or where possession is uncertain.  A Drop Ball should take place where the ball was when play was stopped. 
  • A ball is not out of bounds until the entire ball crosses over the white line. 


General Tips

  • Be confident.  Officials are human and will make mistakes.  The game will go on. 
  • Always carry a copy of the WYS Game Rules.  And know the Rules (Substitution Rules in particular).
  • BLOW THAT WHISTLE.  Blow it loud.
  • USE YOUR ARMS to signal the direction of the call. 
  • RUN.  Cover the your half of the field by running all the way to the end line.  See diagram below.
  • Coordinate who is keeping time with your partner Official.
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes before you are scheduled to officiate.

Pre-Game Coaches Conference

  • While the teams are warming up, introduce yourself to both coaches.
  • Explain the length of the halves (or quarters).
  • Explain the Substitution Rules—that they must ask for permission to substitute—and have the players substitute from the Centerline.

Coin Toss

  • Conduct a coin toss about 3minutes before the start of the game.
  • Introduce yourself to the Captains.  Have the Captains introduce themselves to each other.
  • Visiting Team call Heads/Tails.
  • Winning Team chooses either (1) Kickoff (We’ll take ball), or (2) A particular side of the field (We’ll defend that side; or We’ll shoot that way).
  • The Losing Team gets the option not chosen by the Winning Team.  For example, if the Winning Team chooses Kickoff, the Losing Team should choose a side of the field.

Click the link below to download a PDF version of this page for your reference.

Scott Cunningham,
Sep 16, 2012, 10:35 AM