Website Manager

American Youth Soccer Organization Providing world class youth soccer programs that enrich children's lives.

AYSO Region 71 - Woodland Hills

10U Guidelines

10U Guidelines for 2023
(Birth years 2014 and 2015)

Everyone Plays-Balanced Teams-Open Registration-Positive Coaching-Good Sportsmanship-Player Development

The Field: the field size for 10U games is 60-70 yards long, 30-45 yards wide.

The Markings:  distinctive lines recommended.

·         Halfway line the width of the field, marked equidistant between the goal lines.
·         Center circle with an eight-yard radius in the center of the field.
·         Corner arcs with a one-yard radius at each corner of the field.
·         Goal area in front of each goal measuring 4 x 8 yards.
·         Penalty area in front of each goal measuring 12 x 24 yards.
·         Penalty mark ten yards from the goal line.
·         Penalty arc extending in an eight-yard radius from the penalty mark.
·         Build-out line (BOL) runs across the field equidistant between the top of the penalty area and halfway line.

The Goals:  maximum 6.5 feet high and 18.5 feet wide.

The Ball:  a size 4 ball is used for 10U games.

The Players:

·         Numbers: Seven (7) per team on field; one of which is a goalkeeper. Ten maximum on roster.
·         SubstitutionsBetween periods, at halftime and for injuries.
·         Playing Time: Minimum of two periods per game and no player should play four periods until everyone has played three.  A player may not play more than two quarters in goal.
·         Playing Short:  In the event that one team is short of the normal number of players, the opposing team is required to reduce the number of players on the field. This is mandatory unless the coaches agree otherwise.  The minimum number of players needed to avoid a forfeit is 5 players.
·         Teams: Separate girls and boys teams should be promoted at all levels of play.

Player Equipment: 
Shoes and shin guards, covered by the socks are mandatory at all practice and game activities. Soccer shoes, tennis shoes, or similar type athletic shoes are recommended. The type and condition of cleated shoes must be inspected for safety before use.

Practices:  two 1 hour practices per week.

Duration of Game: two 20 minute halves broken into 10 minute periods for substitution breaks. Halftime break of 5 minutes.

Age Appropriateness – Coaching Modifications:
Coaches should incorporate sportsmanship in their training sessions and should set this example during games including treating the referee teams with respect.

Age Appropriateness – Referee Modification:
AYSO certified Regional Referees or higher are required for 10U games.  Carding of players is discouraged.  The referee should briefly explain any infringements to the player(s) and encourage proper play and sporting behavior. Referee may ask player to leave the field for dangerous, flagrant or unsportsmanlike behavior to cool down. As with all games, every effort should be made to keep the game moving and free from stoppages for doubtful infractions. Let them play and enjoy.

Assistant Referees/Club Linesmen:
A qualified 8U Referee/10U Assistant Referee, Regional Referee or higher badge should be used to assist the referee calling the ball in and out of play only, the offside infringement and when appropriate fouls in their quadrant. This is an opportunity for newer referees to begin getting experience.  If qualified assistant referees are not available, club linesmen (untrained volunteers who may be affiliated with one of the teams/clubs) may be recruited from the spectators to assist the referee with calling the ball in and out of play only. This is an opportunity for parents to get involved.


The Start of Play: 
The game should be started with a kick-off in the middle of the field.

The Kick-off: 
A coin toss is used to determine which team gets to choose to kick off or what goal to attack to start the game.  The other team will either kick off first if the winner of the coin toss chose the goal to attack, or choses what goal to attack and then kick off to start the second half if the winner of the coin toss chose to kick-off.  Opponents must outside the center circle if drawn or be eight yards from the center mark while kick-off is in progress.

Ball In and Out of Play:
The ball is out of play in all age group games when it completely crosses the touch line (side line) or goal line (end line), either on the ground or in the air.

Method of Scoring/Scorekeeping:
A goal, in all age groups, is awarded when the ball completely crosses the goal line into the goal.  Formal scorekeeping occurs later in the season when standings will be kept to determine play-off teams.

For 10U and older games, all fouls identified in Law 12 apply. Refer to the Laws of the Game for more information. 

Misconduct should still be relatively rare in 10U games. Coaches at all levels of play have the option of calling players to the touchline to receive words of 'positive instruction' concerning player's behavior.   There is no need for the public cautioning and sending off of young players (leave the red and yellow cards at home). Officials should work cooperatively with the coach when a player may need a 'time out'.

Free Kicks:
Free kicks may be either direct (may score directly), or indirect (must be touched or played by another player before a goal can be scored) per the Laws of the Game. Opponents must be at least eight yards from the ball or on the goal line between the goal posts during free kicks.  Free kicks by the defending team within its penalty area no longer need to leave the penalty area before the ball is in play; however, the opposing team must retreat outside the penalty area until the ball is kicked (same as goal kicks).

Penalty Kicks:
Penalty kicks may be awarded in 10U and older games. A penalty kick results from a player committing one of the ten direct free kick fouls inside his/her own penalty area. The penalty kick is taken from the penalty mark with all other players outside the penalty area except the opposing team’s goalkeeper.

Throw-ins are required in 10U and follow the Laws of the Game including an opposing player must be at least 2 yards from the player taking the throw-in.  During the regular season when matches count in the standings, second chances are not given for improper throw-ins for 10U and older players.   An improper throw-in results in a throw-in for the opposing team.  However, during the pre-season matches that do not count in the standings, referees will be encouraged to allow a “do-over” to help coach a player the proper technique of a throw-in.

Goal Kick:
A goal kick is awarded to the opposing team when the attacking team is last to touch the ball before it crosses the goal line but without scoring a goal. The goal kick may be taken from any point inside the goal area. The goal kick no longer needs to leave the penalty area; however, opposing players must behind the build-out-line before the ball is kicked and clearly moves and may cross once that happens (see Build-out Line below for details).

Goalkeeper Punts:
For 10U division the goalkeeper shall not punt the ball. An indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team at the spot of the offense if a goalkeeper deliberately the ball during a match.  A punt includes any type of drop kick, etc. that allows elevation of the ball.  However, a goalkeeper may place the ball on the ground and pass or kick it as desired.  An indirect free kick awarded to the attacking team inside the opposing team's goal area must be taken on the goal area line at the point nearest to where the goalkeeper punted the ball.

Corner Kick:
A corner kick is awarded to the opposing team when the defending team is last to touch the ball before it crosses the goal line but not scoring a goal. The opposing team must be at least eight yards from the ball when the corner kick is taken in 10U games.

The offside law applies in 10U and older games.  See Build-Out Line below for further rules that apply to the offside law for 10U.

Hand Ball:
A hand ball infraction occurs when a player handles the ball deliberately. The 'hand' includes the entire arm up to the line level with armpit. Accidental contact (ball striking hand or arm with no intent by the player) is not an offense and should not be penalized.

Build-Out Line (BOL):
1.      The BOL promotes playing the ball out of the back in a less pressured setting. 
2.      The BOL shall be placed across the field equidistant between the top of the penalty area and the halfway line.
3.      The BOL shall be used as the line to determine offside. Players cannot be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the BOL.
4.      The opposing team must move back behind the BOL for a goal kick or when the goalkeeper has possession and has yet to play the ball. The punishment for infringing this rule is an indirect free kick for the goalkeeper’s team from the point there the opposing player crossed the BOL.  Referees are encouraged to remind opposing players to retreat behind the BOL.
5.      When the goalkeeper obtains possession of the ball, they may pass, throw or roll the ball to a teammate who is anywhere on the field (a change from 2017) at any time.  The goalkeeper should be coached to consider waiting for the opposing players to retreat behind the BOL, as well play the ball to a teammate that is on the goal side of the BOL to build the skills for playing the ball out of the back.  The goalkeeper has 6 seconds to release the ball once the last opposing player as retreated behind the BOL.  The opposing team may cross the BOL once the goalkeeper has clearly released/kicked the ball.
6.      For goal kicks, the goalkeeper or the player taking the kick, the ball does not have to wait for the opposing players to move behind the BOL. The play from the goalkeeper or from the goal kick may also be played to a teammate anywhere on the field as mentioned in #5 above.  After the ball is put into play per the Laws of the Game (e.g., when the ball is kicked and clearly moves for the ball no longer must exit the penalty area), the opposing team may cross the build-out line and play may resume as normal.  The player taking the kick should be coached to consider waiting for the opposing players to retreat behind the BOL, as well playing the ball to a teammate that is behind the BOL but outside the penalty area to build the skills for playing the ball out of the back.

No Heading:
Consistent with the US Soccer mandates on heading the ball, heading is banned for all division 11U (12U and below for programs without single age divisions) and below in both practices and matches. An indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team if a player deliberately touches the ball with their head during a match (taken where the player touched the ball with his/her head unless done by the defense inside the goal area where the ball is placed on top of the goal area in line nearest where the infraction occurred).

PDF Version

Download the 10U Division Guidelines

10U Guidelines 2023 .pdf

National Partners

Our sponsors

Contact Us

AYSO Region 71

6442 Platt Ave #391 
West Hills, California 91307

Copyright © 2023 Region 71  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Login