Recreational Soccer

Educate Yourself On Soccer

Cal North issued player development information, for mandated play
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US Soccer's Play Developer Initiative's FAQ's               -  New Document, Oct., 2017
US Soccer's Player Developer Initiative's For 2017       -  New Document, Oct., 2017

 Parent Web Resources

Small Sided Games

US Soccer has issued new rules for soccer playing/skill learning for young soccer players. These new rules are designed to ensure that youth players get frequent play on the ball, by having fewer players on the field of play. This ensures that the players are more involved in play. This helps to focus on their soccer playing skills, and their enjoyment of being directly involved in play.

Leagues began implementing these plans as of August, 2016, and the small sided game initiative was fully implemented, in all leagues, at the start of the August, 2017, season.  This is part of the US Soccer 'Player Development Iniitatitive'.  This is a combination of playing standards/philosophy and a 'Concussion Initiative'.

This new initiative will change the size of the field of play, field design, and half time for U9/U10 age groups. Coaches will have to develop practice session scenarios to match the smaller player numbers on the fields, and field design. 

The following video gives a perspective of small sided game play:

 Hydration For Players

It's For Fun!

    Volunteers Are Always Needed And Appreciated!

Interested In Coaching?

     Jack Smith     - District VIII Recreational Coordinator


If you want to have some fun, and enjoy watching players have fun, watch the entry level age group games (U5, U6, etc.). If you are interested in coaching, this is a great place to start your soccer career. There are minimum expectations, with the greatest emphasis on the players having fun on the field. As a coach progresses through the age groups they are expected to take coaching license classes, which gives the knowledge needed to pass onto players. The lower age groups generally require at least an ‘F’ license. Check with your league for their coach license policy and classes offered.

You can find a league near you by using the new Cal North league search tool.  You may find the tool here .

District VIII Extended Playing Leagues

Within District VIII, all teams that have played in the regular fall season have the option to play in two other seasons, the 'District Tournament', and the 'Bill Meyer' season.  Both of these seasons have entry fees, and involve traveling to other cities to play against other recreational teams from all participating District VIII leagues.  No new players may sign up, only those that played in the regular fall recreational season are eligible.  No competitive players are eligible for these seasons.  These seasons allow a recreational player to have extra excitement in traveling to different venues, and playing against teams from other cities.  Coaches get to see different playing styles from many different teams from within the District VIII area.

It's important...
Prevent dehydration
- USSF Heat & Hydration Guidelines.

Modified Playing Rules

In the fall of 2017, the US Soccer Player Development Initiative (PDI) went into effect, with mandatory playing rules for all affiliated leagues/clubs/associations.  These rules covered play in the U10 and down playing groups.

Associated with the PDI was a 'Concussion Initiative', and a 'Birth Year Registration' implementation.

For the U10 playing group, a new field marking was added for play, named the 'buildout line'.  This new line brought an associated group of new rules of play for U10 games:

  •  When the goalkeeper has made a save on the ball, they may pass, roll, or throw, the ball to put ball back into play.  The ball is "live" and playable when the goalkeeper releases it from their hands (and the opponents can immediately re-enter the buildout zone). The ball leaving the hands of the goal keeper constitutes 'releasing' the ball into play.

  •  PUNTING NOT ALLOWED.  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 goalkeeper do a quick release of the ball, while the opposing team is still within the buildout line--YES.  The goalkeeper accepts the position of all opponents when they elect to do a quick release of the ball.

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

  •  The 6 second rule begins when all opponents are past the buildout line.  The goalkeeper must then release the ball within 6 seconds.

  •  The goalkeeper may not handle the ball outside of the penalty area.  If they do, the opposing team gets a direct free kick.  This would be a ‘hand ball’, as defined by IFAB rules.

  •  During a goal kick, opponents may cross the buildout line and attack the ball, once it has been kicked by the goal keeper, and it moves.  It does not have to cross the penalty area line before they can attack the ball.  The goalkeeper must wait until all opponents have moved behind the buildout line, before they can kick the ball.  However, the goalie MAY do a quick goal kick, before opponents have gotten behind the buildout line.  They are then accepting the possibility that a nearby opponent can then intercept the ball.

  •  Do opposing players have to move behind the buildout line, on the awarding of a indirect, or direct free kick in the penalty area?  No, they do not.  They may not play the ball until it leaves the penalty area.

If you are new to soccer, or even if you have experienced soccer in the past, you can help yourself and your player by being familiar with the dynamics of soccer.

The document below was created by U.S. Youth Soccer to help parents understand and navigate through soccer.  Take a moment to read through the document.

​                                             US Youth Soccer Parent Guide

With a coach license in hand, the next item that you will need to learn about are the league rules regarding age group play, CYSA Modified Rules for U10 play, and the FIFA Laws of the Game.  Check with your league for information on these items.

 Concussion Information For Young Children

 Find A League Near You

The emphasis for the recreational playing leagues is for fun and ensuring that players get ample opportunity to have field playing time. Some leagues have policies which state that a player must play at least fifty percent (50%) of each game. This policy is totally league driven and league dependent. Players learn soccer skills as they proceed through their age groups.   These players are deemed to be 'recreational players'.

Typically league registrations for play in the fall (play starting typically in August) often take place in the Feb.-April time frame, depending on the league. Some leagues have spring playing leagues and registration for these leagues could start in late December/early January. You would need to check with the league that you are interested in, as for their actual seasonal registration dates. Some leagues have co-ed play and others do not for spring season. Most of the teams for fall play are established by gender, unless it is a small league, where they may combine genders, to insure enough playing teams. Please note, you are not limited to signing up to play in just your city. If there is a league in another city, and you are willing to drive, you may sign-up to play there. This would also mean though that you would have to drive to weekly team practices in that city.

​​​3-2-1 Blast Off! CDC’s Injury Center has developed a mobile game app on concussion safety for children aged 6 to 8. Through a futuristic world of galactic racing adventures children can learn the benefits of playing it safe and smart!

The app aims to teach children:

  • The different ways the brain can get hurt during sports activities.

  • How important it is to tell a coach, parent, or other adult when an injury occurs.

  • The importance of taking time to rest and recover if they have a concussion.

Download the HEADS UP Rocket Blades app at no cost.

Concussion Safety and Rocket Blades

Parents and Coaches: Kids want to hear from parents and coaches about concussion safety.

 US Youth Soccer Player Development Initiative

Recreational Playing League

The basic CYSA Recreational Playing League is classified as a non-competitive playing league within CYSA. This league is comprised of teams that normally play within the boundaries of the league. 

Center For Disease Control (CDC) HEADS UP ROCKET BLADES

Rocket Blades Video

Watch this video to learn more about HEADS UP Rocket Blades and how you can get involved!