Rules of Mini Football 2008/09

THE RULES OF MINI FOOTBALL 2008/09 (Extracted from the CF & District Handbook)

The rules have been piloted and aim to be simple and as near to real football as possible.

The children will need the rules explained to them as the game proceeds (for example, hand ball, and then in/out of play). It will also be necessary to demonstrate in certain instances how to restart the game (e.g. throwing, corner kicks)


The rules of mini football are predominantly for outdoor use on any surface.

There is a game leader instead of a referee who makes all final decisions about the rules but is expected to keep out of the playing area

1. The game is for boys and girls aged 5 to 11 (as of midnight 31st August the previous year) and mixed football is allowed in all the age ranges.

2. Laws 9 and 10 apply to mini football but there is no off-side.

3. Team size should be no greater than 7 v 7. The playing area should be no greater than 60 yds x 40 yds and no smaller than 30 yds x 20 yds.

Mini Footballer
Team and playing area sizes are recommended as follows:

Under 7, 6 years Under 9, 8 years Under 11, 10 years
4 versus 440 yds x 30 yds 7 versus 750 yds x 30 yds 7 versus 760 yds x 40 yds

4. Any number of substitutes may be used at any time with the permission of the game leader. Players may re-enter the game and all substitutes must have a period of play. As far as possible there should be equal playing time for each player.

5. The ball should be no larger than Size 4. Size 3 is recommended for under 6s and 7s.

Football Boot

Players are required to wear shinguards.

6. The recommended goal size for all age groups is 12 ft x 6 ft.

7. The goal area extends 10 yards from the goal line across the full width of the playing area regardless of its size. The goal area can either be marked by cones on the touchline or with one or two marker discs across the playing area.

8. Each game should last for a maximum of 20 minutes. Half time need not be taken. Games of 10 minutes in total are recommended for the younger players.

9. The kick off is taken in the centre of the playing area to start the game and after a goal has been scored.

10. Although Law 15 applies and the throw-in should be taken in the normal way, game leaders can show flexibility.

Mini Footballer

11. Law 17 applies to corner kicks except the opposition should be at least three yards away.

12. Law 12 applies to free kicks although they are all indirect and the opposition should be at least three yards away.

13. Goalkeepers can handle the ball in the penalty area and there are no restrictions on the number of steps they may take when holding the ball, but cannot handle the ball outside the penalty area. Under 6s, 7s, 8s and 9s may kick the ball out of their hands and Under 10s and 11s are only allowed to throw the ball, they can kick the ball on the ground but may then be challenged by opponents.

Mini Football

14. Goal-kicks are taken anywhere on the edge of the penalty area - the opposition should be at least 3 yards away, must be kicked out of the goal area, by under 6s, 7s, 8s and 9s may be taken from their hands from within the goal area.

15. There are no restrictions regarding the number of players allowed in the goal area.

16. Players can pass the ball to their own goalkeeper, for the goalkeeper to handle the ball.