Recreational Soccer Playing Rules

Recreational Soccer Playing Rules


The field of play shall be rectangular. Recommended dimensions: Preferred sizes for each division are as follows: A/AA/AAA Divisions - 65x105 yds, B Division 60x100 yds, C Division 50x80 yds, D1 Division 25x35 yds, D2 Division 30x50 yds, E Division 20x30 yds. Other dimensions such as the goal area and the penalty area may be adjusted proportionately for small sided teams. 


Only LMVSC approved balls, size 3 for D and E size 4 for B & C Divisions, with size 5 for all other Divisions are to be used in games, unless coaches of both teams agree otherwise. Balls do not have to be stamped “FIFA approved.”


Games shall commence at the scheduled starting time if at least seven players ( A division) of each team and each team’s coach and referee are present. A 15‑minute grace period is provided to allow at least seven players and the team coach to arrive. If a team fails to appear in the allotted time and fails to notify the other team of the delay, the game is forfeited. The minimum number of players to start: B and C Division = 7, D Division = 5, E Division = 3.

If you are low in players on game day:

Borrowing Rec Players for a game:  You may only ask players from the previous game, on that day, on that field, same gender, same age group.


Substitution of players:

  1. After a goal is scored by either team--substitution to be made prior to the ball being placed back into play by the place kick.
  2. After a goal kick is awarded to either team--substitution to be made prior to the ball being placed back into play by the goal kick.
  3. After a throw-in – pass-in or roll in is awarded to your team--substitution to be made by either team prior to the ball being placed back into play by the throw-in – pass-in or roll-in ONLY IF the team awarded the throw-in – pass-in or roll-in chooses to make a substitution. If the team taking the throw-in – pass-in or roll-in does not substitute, the opposing team IS NOT allowed to substitute.
  4. When a player is injured and the referee has stopped play to permit the coach to take care of the injured player, the team for which the injured player plays may substitute for the injured player before play resumes. If the injured player is substituted out of the game, the opposing team may also make a substitution, one for one.
  5. At the half-time interval.

Note: Substitution is not permitted upon award of a penalty kick, corner kick, direct free kick, or indirect free kick.

 Making a Substitution: Prior to a substitution, except for substitutions made after an injury, between quarters, or at the half time, the coach must:

  1. advise the referee that the coach wants t make a substitution
  2. receive the referee’s permission to make a substitution
  3. remove the field player who is to exit and then send on the player who is to enter; players entering the field must do so at the point where the halfway line meets the touch line on the substituting team’s side of the field. Players exiting the field may do so at any point on the field.

Player or players ejected by the referee may not participate any further in the match and the team must play with one fewer play for the remainder of the period. The ejected player may be replaced at the beginning of the next period, by a player who has not been ejected from the game. A player ejected by the referee is to be reported to the LMVSC Commissioner by the coaches.

After a temporary suspension of play by the referee while the ball was in play, the referee shall restart the game by a drop‑ball where the ball was last in play. If play was stopped while the ball was in the Goal area, the game shall be restarted with a drop‑ball at the nearest point on the goal area line that parallels the goal line.


Uniforms shall be checked prior to the commencement of each half to ensure that each player’s appearance presents the image desired by LMVSC. Shirts are to be tucked into the shorts and socks shall be pulled up.  Teams must wear LMVSC issues uniforms.

Game Duration

The duration of the game shall be as described below: 

E Division teams shall play four 8-minute quarters;

D1 Division 1st grade teams shall play four 8‑minute quarters;

D2 Division 2nd grade teams shall play four 12‑minute quarters;

C Division teams shall play four 15‑minute quarters;

B Division teams shall play two 30 minute halves; and

A Division teams shall play two 35 minute halves.

The interval between quarters shall be three minutes and the half time interval shall be 5 minutes.

No overtime shall be played except by specific permission of the LMVSC Commissioner.


The home team provides the game ball and determines which side of the field they will occupy during the game. If both teams agree to occupy the same side, the coach and their teams must remain on their side of the halfway line.


Kick-off at the beginning of quarters/halves will alternate between teams.  C and D Division teams that play quarters will retain the kick-off for two consecutive kick-offs to start periods of play.  The team that kicks-off in the first quarter will kick-off in the second quarter.  The team that kicks-off in the third quarter will kick-off in the fourth quarter.   Teams will swap ends of the field after each half.

Goal Lines

No one is permitted behind the goal lines during game play. The referee will warn the appropriate coach upon the first infraction and suspend play if the individual is not removed. If the individual persists and will not move to the touchline (sideline), the game will be terminated.


D2 Division

Slide‑tackling is a minor foul for D, C and B Divisions. It is permitted in the upper Divisions (7th grade and up). The referee shall treat slide tackling in the lower divisions as Dangerous Play and award an indirect free kick for a routine violation of this rule. 

A player shall not charge the goalkeeper in the goal area unless he/she is dribbling the ball with his feet or is obstructing. After the goalkeeper is in full possession of the ball (trapped by either one or both hands), the goalkeeper must not be interfered with or impeded while holding, bouncing, or kicking the ball. The referee shall caution, or eject as appropriate, any player who intentionally interferes with the goalkeeper. 

“D2” Division play is conducted in accordance with the Laws of Soccer and the LMVSC General Playing Rules with the following additional provisions:

    Law 11 – Offside:  Offside is not called in the D2 Division. Players at this age are in the early stages of learning the game and, in general, would not fully comprehend the concept of Offside.  Their emphasis should be on getting a foot on the ball.  However, if a player is staying in front of his/her opponent’s goal without participating in other play on the ball, they may be considered to be “camping out.” This will be called as Offside by the referee after he has afforded the player’s coach the opportunity to pass instructions to the player to not stay in that position.

    Law 14 – Penalty Kick:  There are no penalty kicks awarded in the D2 division.  If there is an infringement of Law 12 by the defending team inside its own penalty area, the opposing team shall be awarded an Indirect Free Kick (IFK) from the point of the infraction provided that it is not inside the goal area.  In which case, the ball will be placed on the 6 yard line for the kick by the attacking team.

    Law 15 – Throw-in:  For "D" Division 2nd graders during Throw‑Ins, if the first Throw‑in is illegal, the player shall be allowed a second attempt.  If the second attempt is illegal, the Throw‑In shall be handled in accordance with FIFA law.

    For "D" Division 2nd graders, at every stoppage of play and prior to the resumption of play, the referee is encouraged to instruct all players on how to correctly resume play.

    In the interest of safety, play is to be stopped at the appearance of a player injury so that the player may be examined.

    Please report any problems or aberrant behavior directly to your Player Director.

    This is an instructional Division!  Please keep your emotions in "check".   Thank you.    

    Field size is 30 yds/50 yds.  Ball size is size 3.

Build Out Line - (For C3 & C4 Divisions ONLY)

Purpose of the Build Out Lines 

-The purpose of the Build Out lines is to facilitate player development by allowing the goalkeeper to play out the ball with less pressure and giving him/her the time to think about how to do this.  Infractions of this USSF Youth Play change are not fouls and should not be treated as such.


-If the goalkeeper receives the ball into his/her hands whether from a save or during play when the ball is played by the opposing team into the keeper’s penalty area, the opposing team MUST retreat beyond the Build Out Line.  The Keeper may wait for this to happen.  The coach of the opposing team and the referee should be reminding the opposing players to retreat.

-The Keeper must then roll/throw/pass (with the feet) the ball.  The ball has been in play during this time, but because it is in the Keeper’s hands, it cannot be played by opposing players.  The ball is still a “live” ball.  Once the Keeper rolls/throws/passes the ball, the opposing team can cross the Build Out Line to get the ball.

-The Keeper is not allowed to punt or drop kick the ball.  The Keeper can put the ball on the ground and kick (pass) it out.  If the Keeper punts or drop kicks the ball, the referee is to stop play and award an indirect free kick (IFK) to the opposing team.  THIS IS NOT a Penalty Kick.  If the Keeper does this inside the Goal Area, the IFK is taken from the Goal Area line that parallels the Goal Line. 

-There is no restriction on the roll/throw/pass of the ball with regard to how far it goes.  If the Keeper is strong enough, they can throw, roll, or pass the ball beyond the Build Out Line.  There is nothing wrong with this. If the ball is placed on the ground and is passed out, there is no requirement that the ball stay on the ground, it can be kicked into the air provided it is not punted or drop kicked.

-With regard to Goal Kicks, the Build Out Line applies.  The Opposing team can cross the Build Out Line when the ball is kicked by the Keeper AND crosses the Penalty Area line.  They must wait until the ball crosses the Penalty Area line.

For more information on playing rules, check out our Coaches Meeting Powerpoint for B, C and D2 Divisions: CLICK HERE