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Evanston AYSO Region #735 rules will overrule AYSO Guidelines.

The Field:

The recommended field size for U-5/U-6 games is 30 x 15 yards marked with lines or cones. See diagram link:  U5U6 Field Layout

The Goals:

The goals in U-5/U-6 games should be a maximum of 4 feet high and 6 feet wide, or just use tall cones set 6 feet apart.

If goal structures are used, they must be properly positioned (centered on the goal line) and anchored securely to the ground.

The Ball:

A size 3 ball is used for U-5/U-6 games.

The Teams:

Each U-5/U-6 team should have a maximum of 11 on the roster.

Games are played with 3 players per team on the field (3v3) and no goalkeepers.  If both coaches agree, one player can be added to each side.

Substitutions are made at quarters, halftime and for injuries.

A minimum of 2 quarters is required for each player and it is recommended that no one play 4 quarters until everyone has played 3 quarters.

Separate boys and girls teams are recommended at all levels

The Ball:

A size 3 ball is used for U-5/U-6 games.

Player Equipment:

Shoes and shinguards covered by the socks are mandatory at all practices and game activities.

Soccer shoes, tennis shoes or similar type athletic shoes are recommended.

The type and condition of cleated shoes must be inspected for safety before use.

Uniform:  As issued by the region – NO Names or alterations


Certified referees are optional in U-5/U-6 games.

Just as players at this age are discovering the game of soccer, this is a good opportunity for older siblings, family and friends to discover the enjoyment and rewards of volunteering, while also learning about the game.

The coaches will manage the games as referee for U-5/U-6.

If certified referees/officials are used, the referees/officials must be currently trained and certified as U-8 Officials or higher.

U-5/U-6 games are intended to be an opportunity for very young players to experience the fun of playing with minimum interruption and maximum flexibility. Every effort should be made to keep the game moving and free from unnecessary stoppages.

Officials/referees in U-5/U-6 games should encourage proper play and sporting behavior and thus provide an opportunity for players, coaches, officials and spectators to have a positive AYSO experience.

Let them play and enjoy.

Duration of Game:

U-5/U-6 games are twenty minutes and are played in four 5-minute quarters with substitutions allowed at the end of each quarter.  Substitution breaks are 1 minute in length.

The half-time break is 5-10 minutes.

The Start of Play:

To start the first and second halves and following each goal, play is started or restarted with a kick-off in the middle of the field.

A coin toss is used to determine which team kicks off to start the game and the other team kicks off to start the second half.

Following a goal, the team scored upon kicks off.

The Kick-off:

The kick-off is taken from the center of the field with each team in their own half and the team not kicking off at least five yards from the ball.

Do not insist the opponent always be five yards from the ball, as this is just a guide to give the kicker room to kick the ball without it immediately hitting an opponent.

Remember, let them play and do not interfere for technicalities.

Ball In and Out of Play:

The ball is out of play when it completely crosses the touch line (side line) or goal line (end line), either on the ground or in the air.

The team that didn’t touch it last gets either a throw-in (from the touch line) or, in U-5/U-6 games, a kick-in (from the goal line).

The official in U-5/U-6 games will determine when one of these restarts is necessary and should then interfere as little as possible in the restart. It’s their game; let them play. The coach can work on technique later.

Method of Scoring:

A goal is awarded when the ball completely crosses the goal line into the goal.

Goals should be enthusiastically celebrated by everyone, but in U-6 games, they are not recorded to determine who wins. Everyone wins in U-6 games.

Fouls and Other Stoppages:

Deliberate fouling should be rare in U-6 games.

Kicking, tripping, handling the ball and dangerous play may occur.

There should be few, if any, additional reasons to stop play in U-5/U-6 games. If a player is “not playing well with others” or if play must be stopped for any other reason (injury, substitution, confusion, or to watch a passing train, butterfly or frog), refocus the players and begin again with a free kick or throw-in as appropriate. Award the restart to whichever team deserves it.

Exercise common sense, stand back and let them play.

Free Kicks:

Play may have to be stopped occasionally to “sort things out” in U-6 games.

A player may pick the ball up and start running with it or want to keep it away from the other players, or perhaps there is a pile of kids on the ground kicking at both the ball and each other. Stop play and correct the situation then restart with a free kick for a deserving player. All free kicks in U-5/U-6 games are indirect free kicks in Evanston AYSO.  A goal cannot be scored from this free kick.  There are no direct kicks at U5/U6 in Evanston AYSO.


When the ball goes out of play across one of the touch lines (side lines), a throw-in is awarded from where it crossed the line to the team that didn’t touch it last.

The coach should let the player take the throw-in and whether the throw-in is properly taken or not, let it go! Proper technique can be taught later. Again, let them play with minimum interruption.


When the ball goes out of play across one of the goal lines (end lines) and a goal is not scored, a kick-in, in U-5/U-6 games, is awarded from where it crossed the line to the team that didn’t touch it last.

As with the throw-in, the coach should let the player take the kick-in with as little ceremony or interference as possible. Keep the game moving and fun.

Additional Evanston AYSO/Region/Area/Section Laws:

  • I.  HEADING THE BALL1.   Consistent with the U.S. Soccer mandates on heading the ball, heading is banned for all division players U-11 (U-12 and below for programs without single age divisions) and below in both practices and games.

    Heading for players in U-14 is limited to a maximum of thirty (30) minutes per week with no more than 15-20 headers, per player. There is no restriction on heading in matches.

    2.   An indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team if a player deliberately touches the ball with his/her head during a game.

    a. The indirect free kick is to be taken from the place where the player touched the ball with his/her head.

    b. An indirect free kick awarded to the attacking team inside the opposing team’s goal area, must be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the player touched the ball with his/her head.

    3.   Neither cautions nor send offs shall be issued for persistent infringement or denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity related to the heading infraction.


No individual should be allowed to run the length of the field except participants of the game and referee.

Parents and coaches should encourage players

Spectators are not allowed behind either goal or within three (3) yards outside the touchline

U5/U6:  All free kicks are indirect kicks including kickoffs

U5/U6:  No walls.  Player needs to be at least 6 yards away from the ball

It is the responsibility of coaches, referees AND parents to be knowledgeable of Evanston AYSO Rules of the Game.

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Evanston AYSO

848 Dodge Ave PMB 392 
Evanston, Illinois 60202

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