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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33427

League Specific 6/9/2019

RE: Rec Under 11

Megan of Gary, Indiana United States asks...

Hi! I'm reffing my first head ref job for the u10 age group. I'm fairly inexperienced, so I have a few questions. Firstly, Do the refs still call captains over at this age level? If not, how do we decide who gets the ball first? How long are the halves?
Thanks so much

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Megan
Best wishes with the appointment. Competition rules will decide what is required. Generally it is 25 minutes a side. If I have any doubt I ask both coaches as to what they understand to be the match time. If the both say 25 minutes that is what it is.
It is likely that to decide direction of play or kick off that a toss is required. No other way to decide that?

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Megan,
congratulations I hope you find the fun in officiating &relish the interaction of being part of the community!
Various associations might have slightly different bylaws or competition rules that vary such things as field size or match duration or even the number of players which could be up to the normal 11 aside but I have seen 9 aside. There should be have a referee assignor who assigns you the matches. Hopefully you association has a system of training , mentoring & monitoring to where you can turn to for guidance and experienced help. It is not a bad plan to introduce yourself to the two teams. Something along ,
'Hi I am Megan, I am fair but not perfect, it is my hope we can work together to make the match go smoothly? Am I correct this is 3 pm game between so & so home blue team so & so away red team we are to play 2 x 25 minutes halves?

(If you did have ARS please state)
My ARs are off limits to any form of dissent or verbal attack or gestures. Please bring any concern to me, if I can address it in a timely manner I will do my very best but remember we might need to agree to disagree & move on.

Good, thank you for listening , do you have any questions?
Answer as best you can and within a reasonable time frame as you id check or equipment check the players. You might have to relay competition instruction specific to that day or competition.
For youth, veterans, disability and grassroots football:
• size of the field of play
• size, weight and material of the ball
• width between the goalposts and height of the crossbar from the ground
• duration of the two (equal) halves of the game (and two equal halves of
extra time)
• the use of return substitutes
• the use of temporary dismissals (sin bins) for some/all cautions (• The length of the temporary dismissal is the same for all offences
• The length of the temporary dismissal should be between 10–15% of the
total playing time (e.g. 10 minutes in a 90-minute match; 8 minutes in an
80-minute match, in this case 5 minute in a 50 minute match

'If the horn goes for lightening we will immediately abandon the match & head inside'
'There is no added time permitted due to scheduling difficulties so please ensure subs are done correctly!

(When dealing with multiple repeating subs in large numbers)
Have your substitutes READY at the mid line ahead of the stoppage, remember you will be permitted to substitute only at my say so, generally on your possession or if the other team does so on their possession. Please ensure ALL players are OFF or tag up prior to subs coming on to prevent too many players .

Great thank you all, have a good game play safe! I will blow my whistle for captains or your representative to do the coin flip at center in (say) 5 minutes?

Unless so instructed by your association you can choose which team calls the flip but I tended to allow the away team to make the call if using say a quarter & I was refereeing in my home town. Given the kickoff option outcome has more of a choice, previously the team that won the toss decided which goal it would attack in the first half of the match, where the other team took the kick-off to start the match. There is a cool referee coin with AWAY on one side & HOME on the other, the teams have no say. Perfectly neutral.

1. Kick-off
• the team that wins the toss of a coin decides which goal to attack in
the first half or to take the kick-off
• depending on the above, their opponents take the kick-off or decide which
goal to attack in the first half
• the team that decided which goal to attack in the first half takes the kick-off
to start the second half
• for the second half, the teams change ends and attack the opposite goals
• after a team scores a goal, the kick-off is taken by their opponents

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Megan,
Things like the length of the game for youth players are not part of the Laws of the Game and vary from competition to competition. So to find out how long the halves are, you should be able to check with the competition organisers. In fact there will almost certainly be a number of variations from the standard laws for this age group so it would really, really be useful to you to obtain a copy of the rules of competition (ROC) if at all possible.

Again, the Laws do not require you to call the captains over so unless the ROC say otherwise, it's up to you if you want to do this or not. I would say that, in the various youth recreational-level competitions that I used to officiate in, the teams usually didn't have nominated captains anyway.

As for deciding which team gets the ball first, you toss a coin. If there are no captains, you can just choose a player at random from each side to participate in the coin toss. Ref Dawson has given the full procedure in his post.

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