Gahanna Soccer Association

Rules for GSA U-10 Soccer

  1. Play shall be conducted as 7 vs. 7 including a keeper and using a size #4 ball.
  2. Punting the ball by the keeper is NOT ALLOWED.
  3. Once the goalie has gained control of the ball with their hands, the ball is to be rolled out, or it may be placed on the ground and kicked. 
  4. Substitutions may be made at the mid-line ONLY. The ball must have gone out of play and the players must have checked in with the referee before the substitutions will be allowed.
    1. Both teams may substitute an unlimited number of players on a goal kick, after a goal has been scored, at the start of the second half, or when a player from either team has been injured.
    2. The team in possession of the ball may substitute an unlimited number of players on a throw-in or on a corner kick.
    3. The team not in possession of the ball may substitute an unlimited number of players on a throw-in or on a corner kick if the team in possession of the ball is also substituting.
  5. A match shall consist of two (2) 25 minute periods with a half time of no less than 5 minutes and no longer than 8 minutes.
  6. The execution of a slide tackle in Rec Major is STRONGLY discouraged. Slide tackles will be viewed critically and improperly executed slide tackles will be penalized.
  7. Score is to be kept by the referee.
  8. Coaches, parents and supporter ARE NOT permitted on the pitch during play without the approval of the referee.
  9. Teams are to bench between the fields. Parents and supporters are REQUIRED to remain on the opposite side of the pitch.
  10. There is a season-ending tournament for this age group for the Fall and Spring seasons.
  11. Throw-ins are now a part of play and any poorly executed throw-ins will be ruled as a turnover to the other team.
  12. Any deliberate pass-back to the keeper will be ruled as an indirect free kick for the attacking team.


Build Out Line

The Build out line is the dashed line between the penalty box and the half line.  During play the opposing team is to retreat behind the build out line  when the goalie has control of the ball ( rule #2) and on goal kicks ( see Goal Kicks below)

The opposing team must stay behind the build out line until TWO TOUCHES have taken place.

Example.... ball is released= 1st touch, teammate  plays the ball= 2nd touch....opposing team can now attack.

Goal Kick

The ball NO LONGER  needs to clear the penalty box before it is played by the kicking team.

The opposing team must stay behind the build out line until TWO TOUCHES have taken place.

Example.... kicker takes the kick= 1st touch, teammate  plays the ball= 2nd touch....opposing team can now attack.



An offside position is gained when a player, while in the opponents half of the pitch, is ahead of the ball and closer to the opponents goal than two defenders, one of which may be the keeper. The call of "OFFSIDE" will only be made if the player is in the area of active play or is involved in the play. OFFSIDE begins after the build out line, not the midfield line.


Advantage is called when the team that was fouled remains in control of the ball and on the attack, thus allowing any offensive opportunity gained to continue rather than penalize said team for the action of the opponent.

Dangerous Play

A call of dangerous play is made when any player is put into a situation where the act of conducting play is consider by the referee to place any player in a position to cause injury to themselves or any other players.

Ball In & Ball Out of Play

The ball is not considered out of play until it has gone completely over the marked boundary of the pitch. A player may be outside the marked pitch and play the ball as long as the ball remains within the marked boundary of the pitch.


The call of "HANDLING" occurs when, in the opinion of the referee, they view any play, including the keeper in certain instances, to have deliberately handled, carried, struck, or propelled the ball with their hand or arm. The referee may also look to see if, in their opinion, the hand went to the ball or the ball went to the hand, or if an advantage was gained, before making the call.

Mercy Rule

The Gahanna Soccer Association (GSA) encourages all players and COACHES to demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times. If a team is trailing by 4 goals or more at any time during the match, they may play with 1 additional player until the deficit has been reduced to 2 goals, at which time they must remove the extra player. If the deficit increases to 8 goals or more, the team trailing may play with a maximum of 2 players until the deficit has been reduced to 6 goals and then the trailing team must remove 1 of the extra players.

Expectations and Developmental Goals

  1. All players should play at least 50% of the match in all games (league or tournament play) regardless of ability.
  2. Teams should have at least 2 but no more than 3 meetings per week for practice or games.
  3. Players should understand offensive and defensive positioning (Ball side/Goal side).
  4. Coaches will encourage players to be able to receive and control the ball played to them on the ground and in the air. They should be able to receive the ball with their feet, leg, and chest and have it close to them to pass or dribble.
  5. Players should be able to make deliberate passes. They should be encouraged to try to pass with both feet.
  6. Players should be able to make a throw-in correctly.
  7. Players should be able to execute turns and cuts.
  8. Emphasis should be on development of individual basic skills, not on team tactics.
  9. Coaches are encouraged to complete the USYSA Grassroots course, or the United Soccer Coaches 7v7/9v9 course.
  10. Coaches are encouraged to improve their knowledge of the game by either playing in the adult league or by becoming a referee.

Rules Regarding Heading the Ball

Pursuant to US Soccer Federation guidelines and the Ohio South Youth Soccer Association bylaws, GSA enforces the following rules regarding heading:

  • No intentional headers will be allowed in U-10 and lower age divisions' games
  • No coach in a U-10 or lower age division shall be permitted to instruct players on how to perform a header
  • U-12 teams are allowed no more than 30 minutes per week to instruct on how to head the ball
  • Regardless of being in a U-12 division, the very youngest players (those born in 2008 for the 2018-2019 soccer year) are not allowed to be instructed how to head the ball nor be permitted to perform them in a game