Liverpool Youth Soccer League (LYSL) House Rules

The LYSL game rules include the following additions or exceptions to existing FIFA laws.

1. A game shall not be started or allowed to continue if lightning is visible. All teams and spectators are to leave the field immediately. Game may be delayed for 15 minutes after the last lightning strike. Longer than 15 minutes, the game will be called.

2. Game start times shall be strictly adhered to (the only exception is if a game was delayed because of lightning). If a team arrives late for a game, the length of the periods shall be adjusted by the referee so that the game ends on time so that the next scheduled game can begin on time.

3. In the event a team cannot field a full team, a game may be started. The opposing team should match the number of field players the short team is able to field (play equal).

4. Each player, regardless of ability, shall be afforded the opportunity to play for at least one-half the game.

5. There shall be no slide tackling (or kicking the ball while on the ground) allowed in any age group.

6. On free kicks and corner kicks, the opponents must be the radius of the center circle away from the ball when kicked.

7. Shin guards, completely covered by socks, must be worn at all times during games and practices. Players' shirts must remain tucked in at all times.

8. No items of jewelry can be worn during games or practices. This includes watches, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and any hard plastic or metal items worn in the hair. Other items include non-prescription sunglasses and casts. The only exception will be allowed is earrings that cannot be removed for medical reasons due to a recent piercing. These earrings must be completely covered by tape. Use your best judgment when confronted with a new situation.

9. Spectators must be on the opposite side of the field as the two competing teams. They must remain at least 3 yards from the sideline and 20 yards from the goal lines.

10. Each coach is allowed to coach from the sideline opposite from the spectators in the area between the penalty box and halfway line. Coaches are allowed to coach on the field of play in U8 and U11 divisions, but only with the agreement of both coaches and the acknowledgement of the division director.

11. Players and coaches should shake hands after each game.

12. No alcoholic beverages allowed at the playing field. Coaches should not smoke during games or practices. No smoking by anyone is allowed on school property.

13. The use of foul, abusive or derogatory language by players, coaches, or spectators shall not be tolerated.

14. The league will not reschedule make-up games due to cancellation. If individual coaches wish to schedule a make-up game, they may do so. Contact the Referee Coordinator to have a referee assigned to the game.


  • Players are expected to follow all soccer rules of fairness and sportsmanship.

  • Coaches are expected to keep all players within the boundaries of fairness and sportsmanship.

  • Coaches are expected to keep themselves and their parents within the boundaries of fairness and sportsmanship.


16. Under 8 only:

  • Treat the game as an advanced form of instructional soccer. Offside, direct kicks, and penalty kicks are not part of their game.

  • All rules infractions should be briefly explained to the offending player by either the coach or referee. If a throw-in is improperly executed, the referee shall explain the proper method, and allow a second chance. If the second throw is also improper, the play continues.

  • Indirect kicks only


17. Under 8 and 11 only

  • NO Direct Kicks   (All kicks will be indirect)

  • When the Goalie is in possession of the ball, the attacking team must return to the mid-line


18. Under 12/14 only

  • Direct and Indirect kicks are allowed at this level

  • Penalty kicks are allowed for infractions inside the penalty area.


  • LYSL Game Rules for House Games









Maximum Players


5 v 5




7 v 7




11 v 11 includes



Ball Size








Field Size yards

(W x L)














Game Periods


12 minute quarters



minute quarters


15 minute quarters (or 30 minute halves if  both coaches agree)




Between quarters or for an injury


-Prior to a throw-in, goal kick, or goal by either team -Injury

-Between halves or quarters


-Prior to a throw-in, goal kick, or goal by either team


-Between halves or quarters


Direct Kicks








Indirect Kicks








Penalty Kicks


















Soft cleat


Soft cleat


Soft cleat


(The number of players on each side is also dependent on how many players attend the game. This can be adjusted to allow for playing time for each player.  As long as the coaches agree, the number of players may be changed.)

LYSL Guide to Soccer Rules – Addendum 5/2016

The US Soccer Federation has issued new guidelines preventing children 10 years and under

from heading the soccer ball. Therefore, there will be no heading allowed in the U11 and U8


If as player heads the soccer ball, an indirect kick will be awarded to the opposing team at the

place of the infraction. If the offense heads the ball in the box, the opposing team will be

awarded a goal kick. If the defense heads the ball in the box, the opposing team will be awarded

an indirect kick from the nearest field-edge of the box.

In preventing the opportunity for headed balls, goalies in U11 will not be allowed to punt the

ball. Once the ball is in the goalie’s hands, the opposing team must fall back behind the midfield

line until the goalie releases the ball to another player.