Gahanna Soccer Association

Rules for GSA U-12 Soccer

  1. Play shall be conducted as 9 vs 9 including a keeper and using a size #4 ball.
  2. 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.
  3. A match shall consist of 2/30 minutes periods with a half time period of no less than 5 minutes and no longer than 8 minutes.
  4. The execution of a slide tackle is STRONGLY discouraged. Slide tackles will be viewed critically and improperly executed slide tackles will be penalized.
  5. Score is kept by the referee and the winning coach is responsible for reporting the score to the commissioner by the end of the day or entering it directly into the website.
  6. Coaches, parents and supporters ARE NOT permitted on the pitch during play.
  7. Teams are to bench between the fields. Parents and supporters are REQUIRED to remain on the opposite side of the pitch.
  8. There is a tournament for this age group for the fall and spring seasons.


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.


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.