• Our focus is on player development; the league prefers that advantage be used sparingly for the U9 age groups and younger to get players focused on using their skills
  • The primary referee jersey is Green and all referees officiating in the SDL should have a green jersey
  • The preferred secondary referee jersey is Black
  • All referees are expected to show professionalism in their appearance and interactions with coaches, players, and parents - - this league is about development and education; addressing reasonable questions after the game is appreciated
  • Please direct all parent issues to the coach and request their assistance; they have been informed that they are to help you manage parent and spectators whose behavior is inappropriate
  • Please let the local SDL representative know of any team(s) that display outstanding sportsmanship so that we can recognize them
  • Game incident reports can found on the DYS website and must be completed for any dismissal of a coach, player, or parent by the referee who dismissed the person within two days of the incident – send the report to
  • Though the focus is on development, referees are expected to display cards as appropriate
  • Team managers are required to confirm that the others' roster and waiver paperwork are in order prior to the start of the game; if they approach you about an issue, instruct them to document the issue in an email to the league
  •  If you are going to be late, please contact Jason at 214.578.8533
  •  The website has field conditions/directions and the hotline is 888.204.1939


  1. For rules specific to player participation, go to the Player Registration link under the Parents menu on a website at The following rules are specific to how SDL games are to be played. FIFA Laws of the Game will be applied to all age groups except as identified below:
  2. Field size, markings and goal size will be modified for age appropriateness as determined by the SDL Commissioner and field provider
  3. U10 play 9 v 9, U9 play 9 v 9, U8 play 9 v 9 or 7 v 7, U7 & U6 play 7 v 7 or 6 v 6 (e.g., five field players plus the goal keeper)
  4. Teams that request to play up an age group should be age pure and will be placed at Level 2 or 3
  5. A minimum of five players are required for 9v9 or 7v7 and four for 6v6; it is allowable for the opponent to provide additional players to the other team if they are inclined to do so – the emphasis being on playing and development
  6. Ball Size is #3 for U6 & U7, if available, and #4 for all other age groups
  7. Home team will change in the event of a color conflict
  8. U10 and U9 games will consist of 28 minute halves and a five minute half time
  9. U8, U7 & U6 games will consist of 22 minute halves and a five minute half time
  10. Offside will be called in all age groups
  11. Generally, there will be no retaking of improper throw-ins, though the referee may give consideration to the age, level of development and cycle of the season
  12. U10 and U9 age groups will be officiated by a three person crew; where a third official is not available, a team will be asked to provide a club linesman who will follow the instructions of the center official
  13. U8, U7 & U6 age groups will be officiated by a single referee
  14. If a red card is issued to a player, the offending team is permitted to continue play at full strength, but the offending player is not permitted to participate further in that match and may be suspended from additional games by the SDL Commissioner after consideration of the referee’s report
  15. A club may share players across age-appropriate teams within the restrictions placed on teams playing up in age
  16. Each team must have in their possession their US Club Soccer roster, player pass cards and the SDL player waiver form for verification prior to the match by the other manager; players who are not currently registered with US Club Soccer CANNOT participate
  17. Parents are required to sit opposite the players and coaches and on adjacent fields; parents are not to be intermingled with teams from the other field
  18. Coaches are responsible for the conduct of their parents and will be asked to remove a parent from the area of the field if the referee believes there is a need to do so; before the parent’s child may participate in a following week’s match, the parent must complete at their cost the Positive Coaching Alliance’s 2nd Goal Parent Workshop and email a certificate of completion to the; further action may be taken by the SDL Commissioner after consideration of the referee’s report
  19. Players are not permitted to wear jewelry and shirts should be kept tucked-in; prior to the start of the match the referee may require that players line up along the touch line for inspection and will inform the coach of any issues; coaches should use this opportunity to clarify any rules and substitution procedure
  20. U10 and younger age groups are permitted to substitute on the fly. The preferred procedure is for the substitute to stand behind the touch line at the halfway line with a colored practice jersey in hand to be given to the exiting player before stepping on the field of play; any interference by the substitute player with play will result in an indirect free kick to the opponent where the ball was in play; substitutions during out of touch stoppage by the team in possession or at goal kicks should be limited to changing goal keepers; referees have final discretion on any changes to the above suggested procedure


Field of Play

  • Dimensions: approx. 33 yds wide x 50 yds long
  • Penalty Area : One Box measuring 7 yds
  • Penalty Mark : Top of the box at mid-point
  • Substitution on the fly Zones: 10 yds zone (5 yds on each side of halfway-line)
  • The Goals: 6 ½ ft high x 12 ft wide

The Ball - Size: #4 regulation ball for 9/10

Number of Players

  • Minimum Number of Players to Start Match: 4, one of whom shall be a goalkeeper
  • Maximum Roster: none
  • Substitution Limit: none
  • Substitution Method: "Flying substitution" (all players but the goalkeeper enter and leave as they please; Goalkeeper substitutions can only be made when the ball is out of play and with a referee's consent)

Duration of the Game

  • Duration: Two equal periods of 22 minutes.
  • Half-time: Maximum of 6 minutes
  • Scheduled games start on the hour mark
  • Clock is running

Fouls and Misconduct – No offside calls, no slide tackles, no aggressive, reckless play

Direct free kick awarded when a player intentionally commits any of the following offenses (penalty kick awarded when infringement takes place in penalty area):

  • kicking or attempting to kick an opponent
  • tripping an opponent
  • jumping at an opponent
  • charging an opponent in a violent or dangerous manner
  • charging an opponent from behind
  • holding an opponent
  • pushing an opponent
  • charging an opponent with shoulder (i.e., shoulder charge)
  • sliding at an opponent (i.e., sliding tackle)
  • handling the ball (except goalkeeper)

Indirect free kick awarded when any of the following offenses is committed (penalty kick awarded when infringement takes place in penalty area):

  • dangerous play (e.g. attempting to kick ball held by goalkeeper)
  • obstruction
  • charging the goalkeeper in the penalty area (i.e., goalkeeper charge)
  •  goalkeeper throws ball directly over the halfway-line (without it first touching his own side of the pitch or any player)
  • goalkeeper picks up or touches with his hands a back-pass
  • goalkeeper picks up or touches with his hands a kick-in from a teammate

Free Kick

  • At least 5 yards away until the ball is in play
  • Time Limit: Kick must be taken within 5 seconds
  • Restriction: Kicker cannot touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player

Penalty Kick

  • To be taken from the penalty mark.
  • All players must be 5 yards outside of the goal / penalty area.
  • The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player.


  • To be taken in place of the throw-in.
  • The ball is placed on the touch line before kicking.
  • The kicker's foot NOT kicking the ball must be outside or at least on the touchline; if the foot crosses the touchline all of the way, into the pitch, the kick-in is given to the opposing team.
  • The kicker cannot play the ball a second time until it has been played by another player; infringement of this rule entail an indirect free kick to the opposing from the point of infringement.
  • Players on opposing team must be at least 5yds away from point of kick-in.
  • Cannot score directly from a kick in.

Goal Clearance

  • A throw is to be taken in place of goal kick.
  • From inside the penalty area, the goalkeeper throws the ball into play, no punts.
  • The ball is not in play until it has passed outside of the goal area. If the goal clearance is received inside of the goal area, the goal clearance shall be taken over.

Corner Kick

  • Ball placed on the corner.
  • Must be taken within 5 seconds; failure to do so entails indirect free kick to the opposing team from the corner mark.
  • The kicker cannot play the ball a second time until it has been played by another player; infringement of this rule entail an indirect free kick to the opposing from the point of infringement.
  • Players on opposing team must be at least 5 m away from point of the corner kick.
  • You can score a goal directly from a corner kick.