Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 30847

League Specific 10/2/2016

RE: Rec. Under 11

Jack of Manteca, ca USA asks...

There continues to be multiple states of confusion over the new Build-Out lines, for U9-U10 play in recreational games. This confusion is causing coaches & referees to be frustrated. I even saw that one state association showed the build-out line as being the halfway line. I have complied a list, which seem to be the key items that I have seen confusion on. Could you please review and correct, as needed.


If a goalkeeper punts the ball, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense.

If the punt occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred.

Can a goalie do a quick release of the ball, while the opposing team is still within the build out line--NO.  The goalie has to wait until the opposing team has vacated the build out area, before they can release the ball.

When can offside be called?  Offside may be called between the goal line and the build out line.  A player may not be called offside between the halfway line and the build out line.

Opposing team may move past the build out line, immediately after the goalie releases the ball.

The standard 6 second rule applies to the goalie.  They must release the ball within 6 seconds.  This does not apply if opponents are still within the Build-out line area, and the goalie is waiting to release the ball.  The 6 second rule begins when all opponents are past the build-out line.

During a goal kick, opponents may attack the ball, once it has left the penalty area.  It does not have to cross the build-out line before they can attack the ball.

When the goal keeper has made a save on the ball, they may approach the build-out line and roll, throw, or kick (ball on ground) the ball out of the build-out line area.  The ball is not 'live' and playable once the goalie places the ball on the ground to kick it.

Do opposing players have to move behind the build-out line, on the awarding of a indirect, or direct free kick?  No, they do not.  They are only required to move behind the build-out line on a goal keeper save, or a goal kick.  For any other penalty assessed, they following the standard procedures (such as being 10 yards from the kicker).

If a goalie rolls a ball to a teammate, the ball is 'alive' once the teammate passes the penalty area.  The opposing team may cross the build-out line to attack the ball.  They do not have to wait for the ball to pass the build-out line.

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Unfortunately it seems there is a multitude of differing implementations of the new rules. That's because they are 'recommendations' from USYS. As an organization related to FIFA, USYS cannot change or make up Laws, they can only suggest what local rules makers might do.

I would suggest you contact your local referee administration or your assignor to see how the rule is implemented in your area. It might even be different if you referee in two different leagues!

Read other questions answered by Referee Gary Voshol

View Referee Gary Voshol profile

Answer provided by Referee MrRef

Hi Jack,
Panel members, although well versed in FIFA LOTG are handicapped by the fact that alterations to youth soccer are not ALWAYS consistently applied the world over . The guidelines are but recommendations not actually established LOTG. Recent directives from USA sources eliminate heading the ball at certain ages and as such have altered certain aspects to prevent high arcing balls on punt outs by keepers and trying to achive separation in close quarters to lessen impacts or chances of impacts. THe conceptual idea of trying to improve success of those in distributing the ball through a ring of defenders ready to pounce on mistakes has merit
I think my colleague Ref Voshol has the best advice which is to contact your LOCAL association for clarity. Perhaps get a meeting to establish these guidelines in a way you all can be on the same page!

Read other questions answered by Referee MrRef

View Referee MrRef profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jack
Thanks for taking the tine to share this issue.
My advice is that before the games the few key rules should be understood by everyone and then applied universally by all the referees at the competition. I have organised competitions at this age group with local rules and as long as everyone knows what is expected then there is no issue. Issues arise when the local rule is no understood by everyone and not uniformly applied.
The principle behind the rule us that USSF wants player to play the ball out from defence and to do that it requires a modified competition rules. This is I believe the official position.
** Build Out Line
The build out line promotes playing the ball out of the back in a less pressured setting
When the goalkeeper has the ball, either during play (from the opponent) or from a goal kick, the opposing team must move behind the build out line until the ball is put into play
Once the opposing team is behind the build out line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw or roll the ball into play (punting is not allowed)
After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper, the opposing team can cross the build out line and play resumes as normal
If a goalkeeper punts the ball, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense
If the punt occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred
The build out line will also be used to denote where offside offenses can be called
Players cannot be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the build out line
Players can be penalized for an offside offense between the build out line and goal line**

BTW frustration only arises when there is a high level of competition. At this age group competition should not be the overriding factor. Take out the competition pressures and the issues do not arise.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 30847
Read other Q & A regarding League Specific

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.