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1st-2nd GRADE

Rules For DSA Recreational Soccer Teams




These rules apply to all age-levels:

1)     Parents and fans can cheer positively…no negatives…no ‘coaching’ from parents on the sidelines

2)     Coaches can cheer positively…coaches may correct, but not by yelling and screaming negatives at a player.

3)     Neither parents, fans, players or coaches are permitted to ridicule or intimidate the refs…the refs control the game…the coaches facilitate the play…the players play the game…the fans enjoy the game…and EVERYONE supports the players, the teams, coaches and the refs.

4)     Parents and fans must observe the game on the sidelines opposite from the players and coaches.

5)     Parents, fans, players and coaches are not permitted to observe the game from an end-line.

6)     Players, coaches, parents, fans and refs must comply with the DSA Code Of Conduct.

7)     Coaches must give equal playing time to every player on their roster.




These rules apply to the 1st/2nd League:

1)     Teams in the 1st/2nd league should have 2 or 3 practice sessions before the season opens.  Once the season begins, teams can also schedule a practice once every other week.  Also, teams in the 1st/2nd league might have an all-league group training session(s) during the season as scheduled by the league’s director.


2)     Teams in the 1st/2nd league play two games each week (as scheduled) on the ‘Mini Fields’ and occasionally on the “Small Junior Fields” (for experience) at Mingo Park.


3)     Objectives:  have fun…demonstrate and teach good sportsmanship above all else…become familiar with the ball…develop a desire to play with the ball…motivate the kids to play and learn more about soccer, teamwork and good sportsmanship…develop basic technique with throw-ins, stopping the ball with feet, thigh, chest…develop dribbling skills, changing directions, begin using both feet to dribble…teach passing…develop a sense of 2 lines of play.


4)     The time indicated on your schedule is the time when your session begins on the fields.  You will practice for 20 minutes…then play a game against your opponent.  You do NOT divide your team in half as is the case on the PS/PK and K leagues. 


5)     The game consists of four 10 minute quarters with a 3 minute break between quarters and a 5 minute half-time break.


6)     Goalkeepers ARE used in the 1st/2nd grade league.  Also, the “Buildout Line” is used in the 1st/2nd grade league.


7)     Games will consist of 6 - 7 field players and the goalkeeper, for a total of 7 v 7 or 8 v 8.  However, when playing on a Small Junior Field (vs. a Mini Field), it is suggested that coaches play at least one more field player than they might otherwise play when on a Mini Field (i.e. 9 v 9 when on the Small Junior Fields and 7 v 7 or 8 v 8 on a Mini Field).  The opposing coaches decide how many to play aside, but both teams must have the same number of players.  Although not required, it is suggested that each team have at least one sub and ideally two.  Of course, that depends on how many players show up for the game! 

8)     Teams in the 1st/2nd league use a size 3 ball.


9)     The goalie can only put the ball back in play by kicking the ball from the ground, throwing the ball to a teammate, or rolling the ball to a teammate…no dropkicks or punts.





10)  The “build out line” is a white line placed midway between the top of the penalty area and the midfield line. It comes into play in these scenarios:


a.     When the goalkeeper has possession of the ball with his hands inside the penalty area, the offending/attacking team must move behind the “build out line” until the ball is released by the goalie AND the goalie’s team advances the ball across the buildout line.  The offending/attacking team must stay behind the buildout line until the ball crosses the buildout line…then either team can play the ball.


b.     When the offending/attacking team kicks the ball over the defending team’s end line, a “goal kick” is awarded.  On a goal kick, the offending/attacking team must move behind the “build out line” until the ball is put back in play by the defending team AND the defending team has advanced the ball across the buildout line when it is then back in play for both teams. 


11)  If the defending team plays the ball over its own end line, the offending/attacking team puts the ball back in play with a “corner kick.”  A corner kick is a free kick given to the offending/attacking team from the corner of the field closest to where the ball crossed the endline when it went out.  Players from both the offending/attacking and defending team are not restricted as where they stand (be placed) during the corner kick, so long as they are not ‘interfering’ with the goalkeeper by preventing the goalie to see or get to the ball or play the ball.


12)  There is no ‘Offsides’ rule in the 1st/2nd league.  However, no “cherry-pickers” on offense in the 1st/2nd league.


13)  The coach should designate two lines of players – front line and back line.  Players must play in both lines during each game, thus beginning to learn how to play more in positions, rather than all over the field as is customary in the younger leagues.  Coaches may not load up a team to either run up a score or unfairly prevent the opponent from scoring.  The mission is to keep the game moving, creating a free-flow style of play.  Players should not be restricted from going to the ball UNLESS that player has been deliberately placed in a position because he/she had been dominating play and/or scoring too many goals at-will.


14)  Although the rule is, indeed, to have two lines, this does not mean that the defense is supposed to stay back by the goal while the forwards advance and try to score.  Both lines can and should advance down the field to try to score…and move back as their opponent re-gains control of the ball.  That’s where the “players should not be restricted from going to the ball” comes in. It’s hard thing to teach a young child… but we want 1st and 2nd graders to avoid ending up in a mass of players all kicking at the ball together as with the younger leagues. That’s why we introduce the two lines…and teach players to pass side to side, front to back, back to front…the 2 lines helps the player begin to see that soccer is a game of space…and passing…and teamwork.


15)  Tennis shoes or soft-cleated soccer shoes are recommended.  Shin guards are highly recommended.


16)  Coaches are on the field during the games…instructing, supporting and serving as the refs.


17)  Coaches are NOT permitted to kick the ball, interfere with play, or even be close to the ball once the game begins (the coach’s size/stature can be an intimidating/inhibiting factor to the children).


18)  To begin play, opponents must be 5 yards away during the kickoff.  The ball must be played forward and can’t be touched by the initial kicker until first touched by another player.  Re-start if necessary.


19)  When one team kicks the ball out of bounds on a sideline, the other team’s coach should select a player to throw the ball in using a soccer throw-in…do not look for perfection…let the kids have fun throwing it in over their heads.


20)  To score, the ball must completely cross the line in the goal…do NOT keep score or emphasize the score…do NOT run up the score against your opponent.


21)  Even though we do not keep score, if you know your team is leading by 3 - 4 goals, you must subtly modify your team’s method of play, enabling the other team to score a few goals and feel a part of the game (vs. becoming frustrated and seemingly tired). 


For example, your team must play back and let your opponent get closer to the goal before your team can touch the ball…and/or each player on your team must pass the ball to another player when the ball is passed to them (vs. receiving the ball and immediately scoring.)  When a team is required to pass back and forth, eventually an opponent will get the ball, thus minimizing your team scoring...often, a team scores many goals because of 1 or 2 high-impact players.


22)  If you have a player who is repeatedly scoring, after he/she’s scored a couple of goals, then modify his/her game a bit.  Some possibilities are to have him/her play back or tell him/her he/she must pass to the other players and can’t score again until all of the other players have scored. 



23)  Only intentional/flagrant fouls or uncontrolled charging of an opponent should be ‘called’ by the coach (ref).  Players should be approached calmly and individually…the foul should be explained, and the opposing team then gets a free kick from the point of the infraction.  No intentional pushing, kicking or slide tackling another player is permitted. No penalty kicks…if the intentional/flagrant foul occurs inside the penalty box, place the ball on the penalty box line and the opposing team gets a free kick.

24)  At the younger ages, players develop their balance, speed, skill and agility at different time and in different ways.  As such, many of the supposed ‘fouls’ are unintentional.  As such, coaches (refs) should let the kids ‘play on’.  If play has stopped, coaches (refs) should throw the ball back in play.


25)  Heading the ball is NOT permitted



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