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Question Number: 33321

Law 1- The Field 5/8/2019

RE: Competitive Under 11

Jeff Rockow of Flagstaff, Arizona USA asks...

In youth soccer at the 7v7 level, the Center Circle and Penalty Arc are typically 8 yards in radius. Does it make sense that the optional marks (hash marks) also be placed 8 yards from the corner - as opposed to the LOTG stipulation of 10 yards? Perhaps there is no legitimate right answer, but I'm curious as to your 2 cents worth. Thanks!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jeff
At the 7v7 level these optional mark are not really required. It is easy on paper to show field of play dimensions for small sided games yet in reality not so easy to put in place. So for me only key markings are required.
Also the games at this level should not be ultra competitive requiring significant remarking of the field of play. If the pitch is used for other regular games (likely) these small sided game markings can then subsequently interfere with the full size markings. For instance I see little point in an 8 yard center circle or an 8 yard penalty arc. If the small sided pitch is using the existing half way line then the existing center circle is fine.
Indeed my advice to clubs is to use the existing marking as best they can and only be concerned about the small sized penalty area and overall pitch size.
If one looks at say small sided games played on artificial turf the only possible marking are the ones that are already in place. In the past I have used flat discs to mark the smaller penalty area and the reduced boundaries on these surfaces and indeed on regular fields with no issues whatsoever.
I certainly would not get concerned about optional marks

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jeff,
When I refereed small-sided games, the different pitch sizes and markings were almost always specified by the competition organisers. It might be worth checking with the governing authority for whatever competition you are in, as to what they require for this particular age group (and others, as appropriate).

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Jeff,
I suppose if the field availability and size or permanent smaller style goal posts excludes others from using it you can put whatever age group markings the competition bylaws requires but generally multi field use is the norm and tons of extra lines and markings is generally confusing. I too would not be looking to make extra work on non necessities. I also used cones as well as a water soluble vanishing colored spray paint to readjust the PA and goal area boundary lines to fit with the smaller portable nets. In some cases we played across the field with small nets at either side, the larger PA area and half arc were simple ignored with a temporary or semi permanent PA boundary lines at the touchlines now goal lines and goal lines now touchlines with a circle in the mid third.

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