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Pre-School 3, 4, 5 yr olds

Rules For DYAA 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 DYAA Code Of Conduct.

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



These rules apply to the PS/PK League:  



1)    Teams in the U4/U5 league can have 2 or 3 practice sessions before the season opens.  After the season begins, however, teams in this league do not have any additional practices.  They play twice each week as scheduled. 


2)    The time indicated on your schedule is the time when your session begins on the mini fields.  You will practice for 25 - 30 minutes…then divide up and play a game against your opponent for the remaining 30+ minutes of your session.  


3)    When dividing your team in half (for your game), you should try to divide them according to playing ability.  One group should be those who demonstrate greater ability, experience and/or active playing style. The other group should be those who demonstrate lesser ability, experience and/or active playing style.  This is often achieved by placing the 3 year olds on one team and the 4 year olds on the other team…BUT…there are always exceptions so be mindful that the two groups should be based on ability, experience and/or active playing style not always by grade level.


4)    Ideally, each team should only be playing 3 v 3 or 4 v 4.  However, depending on how many players show up for your practice and game on a given day, it’s possible you could end up playing 5 v 5.  That being said, some/many of the 3 year olds will be floating on and off the fields at different times and for different reason…and we certainly know that that also happens with 4 year olds.  In other words, even if you start a game at 5 v 5, that doesn’t mean it will be that way throughout an entire quarter (or game)…so the main objective is to make sure there are a reasonably small number of kids on the field at the same such that the players maximize their opportunity to kick/touch the ball.


5)    Depending on the number of players on your roster or the number of players who show up, it might not be necessary or appropriate to divide your team into two groups of  3 or 4 per side.  In other words, you will at least want a 3 v 3 so don’t divide up your team if it would mean one group would be at 2 v 2.


6)    Objectives:  have fun…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.


7)    Games will be on the “super mini” fields as scheduled.  Use a size 3 ball.  The game consists of four 6 minute quarters with a 2 minute break between quarters and a 5 minute half-time break.


8)    All players should be on the field getting playing opportunity…no substitutions unless the two opposing teams are way out of balance.


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


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


11) If needed, coaches can also invite a few parents on the field to help organize/direct/coach the kids.  


12) The parent of a very timid player can be invited onto the field to support/direct/teach his/her child. Early into the season, this might be especially necessary for some of the 3 year olds.


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


14) 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.


15) When one team kicks the ball out of bounds on a sideline or end line, the other 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.


16) 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.


17) 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.)  


18) 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. 


19) Only flagrant fouls or uncontrolled charging of an opponent should be addressed.  Players should be approached individually…the foul should be explained while another ball is thrown in by the coach and the play continues.


20) No free kicks, penalty kicks, goal kicks or corner kicks…no off-sides.  When the ball crosses a goal line, the ball is considered out of bounds and is, therefore, thrown in from the sideline closest to where the ball crossed the goal line.


21) Heading the ball is NOT permitted


22) No goal keeper…no player(s) hanging back like a goalie…no “cherry-pickers” on offense…no appearance of having players staying back on defense…players should follow the ball not play way back or way up waiting for the ball to come to them…the coach may NOT load up a team to either run up a score or unfairly prevent the opponent from scoring.  


23) 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 because of an assigned position 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. 



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DELAWARE, Ohio 43015

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