Recreation Rules


2024/2025 CSA One Page Rules and Policy Guide For Recreation Soccer

  • No pets allowed at practices and/or games except approved and trained Service Dogs.

  • CSA Recreation Uniforms are mandatory for games. Home teams wear yellow and away teams wear gray/black. Players should always bring both jerseys to every game. Shin guards are required.

    • Jerseys may be ordered on our store page. Please note that jerseys occasionally take up to 3-4 weeks to arrive.

  • Spectators must be on the opposite side of the field across from their team with teams separated by midfield.

  • Spectators must stay at least 6 feet off touchline.

  • No coaching is allowed from the spectator side, including parents, family, friends, etc.

  • Two coaches per team maximum on team sideline during games. No parent/guardian, family, or friends on team side.

  • Coaches must stay at least 3 feet from touchline.

  • During games, the coaching technical area is from the top of the goal box to midfield unless advised otherwise by the referee. Coaches may not cross midfield.

  • No coaches and/or spectators from corner to penalty box line or behind the goal.

  • Coaches and/or spectators are not allowed on field. Coaches may only enter field with referee permission or request.

  • Coaches are responsible for all spectator behavior. Referees will not restart a game until a coach has addressed issues.

  • The referee controls the game and has the final say. They can and will send-off coaches and spectators not adhering to rules and/or appropriate conduct.

  • Substitutions are allowed on any stoppage with referee permission.

  • If there is no referee present, please begin the game using a coach or parent volunteer to referee.

U5/U6 (NO GK) (2019/2018) (4) 8 minute quarters 2-3 minutes each quarter 3 4 2 NO
U7/U8 (2017/2016) (4) 12 minute quarters 2-3 minutes each quarter 3 5 4 NO
U9/U10 (2015/2014) (2) 25 minute halves 5 - 10 minutes 4 7 5 YES
U11/U12 (2013/2012) (2) 30 minute halves 10 minutes 4 9 6 YES
U13/U14 (2011/2010) (2) 35 minute halves 10 minutes 5 11 7 YES
U15+/HS (2009-2005) (2) 40 minute halves 10 minutes 5 11 7 YES
  • U5/U6 - do not play with a goalkeeper. No players are allowed in the goal arc and they may not "camp out" near the goal arc. All player on the field must be actively participating in ball play.

  • U5-U8 will receive a second chance to throw in if the referee allows.

  • U5-U8 does not have offsides.

  • U7-U10 age groups will play with build out lines.

    The build out line is equidistant between the top of the goal box/penalty area and the halfway line. If no line is painted on the field, the ref must mark the field with cones or pennies along the side line on each half of the field. When the goalkeeper has the ball in their hands during play from the opponent, the opposing team must move behind the build out line until the ball is put into play.

    Once the opposing team is behind the build out line, the six second count can begin and the goalkeeper can pass, throw, or roll the ball into play (punts and drop kicks are not allowed). After the ball is released from the goalkeeper’s possession and put into play, the opposing team may cross the build out line and play resumes as normal. During a goal kick the opposing team must also move behind the build out line until the ball is put into play. If a goalkeeper punts or drop kicks the ball, an indirect free kick should be awarded and should be taken on the goal area/penalty area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred.

    In the U10 age group, the build out line will also be used to denote where offside offenses can be called. Players cannot be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the build out line. Players can be penalized for an offside offense between the build out line and goal line.

    Videos that explain buildout lines can be found here and here.

  • No heading in U12 and below.

  • No slide tackling in any age group, including U19.

  • Defensive Player touching = PK

  • Attacking Player Touching = GK

  • All players play time during a game must equal at least half the game length (some exceptions apply).

  • Only age groups U9 and older will report scores by the following Monday night after a game. U5-U8 DO NOT report scores to CSA.

    Coaches report game scores in the LeagueApps Play app.  Usually the winning team reports but either may report for a tie game. Please review "Lop-Sided Rule" in the policy manual regarding game score.

  • First point of contact for coaches with questions or concerns is the Recreation Commissioner or Vice Commissioner.

  • A note about CSA Junior Referee Pilot Program

    We are piloting a junior referee program by teaching teenage players the fundamentals of refereeing our youngest matches. We will be assigning these junior referees to our U6 and U8 games.  They will be learning throughout the season. We hope they will grow to enjoy the referee experience and continue to be a full U.S. Soccer-certified referee to help combat the referee shortage.
    As always, we will have zero tolerance for any behavior that can be deemed abusive.  These children want to help create a better soccer experience for other children.  Ultimately, it doesn't matter whose throw-in it is, or whether gray or yellow wins.  What matters is that the kids had a great time running around a field and learning to enjoy the sport of soccer.
    Here are some points to remember, regardless if you have a junior referee, certified referee, or a parent volunteering so you have an official:     
    • Other counties and programs have resorted to having a coach or parent referee all U8 and under games. 
    • Complaining about a call causes a distraction for the players and the game. It teaches our children to focus on and blame factors out of our control. Referees, field conditions, weather…they are all out of our control. Our decisions, actions, and reactions are within our control. 
    • Mistakes occur at all levels.  Officiating errors in all sports and at all levels – even in international and professional games. Each game is made of thousands of individual decisions and actions by the players, coaches, and officials.
    • Referees are human. The individuals officiating our matches are someone’s brother, sister, mother, father, child, neighbor, etc. Treat all referees with respect and dignity. Referees are in charge; respect their decisions.
    • Cheer your team on – help them refocus when adversity occurs.  You can also cheer for good plays from the other team as well.  They are after all just kids! 
    • Tell the referee “thank you” after the match. They are serving the community and the game in general; allowing youth the opportunity to play soccer games.