1. Maximum of up to 8 x players per squad, for each age group.
  • For Under 7, 8, 15, 16 and Women’s teams, this is a 5-a-side tournament.
  • For Under 9 to 14, this is a 6-a-side tournament.
  • Roll on/roll off substitutes allowed, when the ball is out of play.
  • Ideally, all players must have been registered with their team entry for season 2020/21 and play in the correct age group. We appreciate you may need to fill any last-minute dropouts but would ask you to try and keep to this rule if possible.  All teams must register their team entries at the registration area 30 minutes before first match KO.  Each team entered must have a completed entry form.

2. All matches are 12 minutes long, no half time.  Under 7s & 8s is non-competitive, with no semi-finals or finals. 

3. The group phase of the competition is played on a league basis with teams divided in Group A and Group B, 8 x Teams in each group.  

4. Where two or more teams are equal on points, the team with the best goal difference go through.

5. Where goal difference is equal the team that scored the most goals will go through.

6. If these measures fail to separate the teams the result of the match between the teams will decide. If this was a draw a penalty competition will be played (see Penalty Shootout Rules).

7. After the Group stage a knockout competition will be played between the top two teams from each Group.  Except Under 13’s and 14’s, where the top 4 in each group will play semi-finals, and the winners then through to 2 x Finals (Group A – Cup, Group B – Plate). 1 v 4 and 2 v 3.

8. In the event of a draw in the knockout competition, extra-time of 5 minutes straight through shall be played.  A “Golden Goal” at any time during this period of play will finish the match and that team will be declared the winner of the game.  After ET, if the scores remain level, then a penalty competition will apply (see Penalty Shootout Rules).

9. The semi-final winners will contest the final. The winner of that match will be the “Age Group Tournament Winners”.

10. Issuing of Cautions and ‘Timed Suspensions’: In Small Sided Football yellow cards and associated cautions are   not employed. Referees should instead issue a blue card for a cautionable offence. The issuing of a blue card indicates that the recipient will serve an immediate ‘timed suspension’ (‘sin bin’). The options for disciplining off enders are therefore as follows:

  • Player shown a blue card and temporarily suspended from play
  • Player issued with a discretionary second blue card and temporarily excluded from play
  • Player issued with a red card and permanently excluded from play

11. A blue card offence should always be accompanied by a temporary suspension from play. The period of timed suspension in Small Sided Football shall be two minutes. The release of players from a temporary suspension should be at the direction of the Referee.

12. Recording of Blue Cards: In Small Sided Football cautionable offences that result in a blue card and a timed suspension from the match shall not be recorded and reported by the match official or Small Sided Football provider. Blue card offences should not be reported back to the County FA, and no disciplinary fine shall be incurred by the player.

13. Disciplinary Procedures for Red Card Offences: Serious’ Red Card Offences not classified in Table 1 below will be the responsibility of the local County FA. Once the County FA has reviewed the case the Small Sided Football provider along with the player will be informed of the outcome and any disciplinary action. For these offences match officials are required to complete the Disciplinary Report in appendix A and submit a copy to the Small Sided Football provider and the relevant County FA.

14. ‘Less Serious’ Red Card Offences (as outlined below): Offences classified within Table 1 should be dealt with by the Small Sided Football provider under the delegated-authority of the County FA covered in Section 1 above. The match official should complete a ‘Disciplinary Report’ (appendix A) and ensure that it is sent to the Small Sided Football provider. The Small Sided Football provider should employ the following disciplinary tariff of suspensions in such cases as outlined below. The provider shall not fine the player. Match Suspension Table (to be administered by Small Sided Provider):

  • Receiving a second ‘blue card’ in the same match = 1 Match suspension
  • Denying a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity = 1 Match suspension
  • Use of offensive, insulting or abusive gestures = 2 Match    suspension 
  • Attempting to kick or strike another Player Violent Conduct Serious Foul Play = 3 Match suspension

15. If a team is found to have played an ineligible player, the match and points will be awarded to its opponents. Any team found to have played an over age player in breach of the rules of the competition will be expelled and their record expunged.

16. Steyning Town CFC Junior Tournament Committee will be the governing body in the application of these rules.

17. Referees: Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws for Mini-Soccer in the match to which they have been appointed. Furthermore, referees should also recognise their role is to facilitate learning of the players, for example, allow young children to take a second attempt at a throw-in if the first is not within the Laws.  Under 7 & 8 players will be allowed a second chance on throw ins at referees’ discretion. The referee’s decision is final.  No assistant referees required, no offside.

18. Goal kicks: For Under 7-10, all opponents must retreat to their own half until the ball is in play. The defending team does not have to wait for the opposition to retreat and has the option to restart the game before, should they choose to. The ball is in play when it is kicked directly out the penalty area.  For Under 11-Women’s, all opponents can be anywhere outside of the penalty area.  Goal kicks for Under 7 & 8 will take place anywhere on the edge of penalty area.  Goal kicks for the other age groups will be from the back/goal line, either side of the goal where the ball left the field.  We would like to encourage playing out from the back for all age groups. All Goalkeepers cannot kick from the hand or drop kick.  A Roll or Throw by the GK is permitted. However, for U7/8 GKs, this is at the discretion of the individual managers & referees…if the GK needs to then they can kick from their hand.  

At other times, kick from hand will result in an indirect free kick on edge of area close to infringement.

Goalkeepers cannot pick up a deliberate back pass.  In the event of this, an indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposition.

19. Penalty Shootout:  The manager will pick 3 players with each team taking 3 penalties with the best of 3 rule. Players must be on the pitch when ET ends.  If it is still a draw after the three penalties have been taken, then players 4,5 6 etc (must be different) will take on a sudden death basis.  This will continue until a team is declared the winner of that game.  No player shall take more than one penalty kick until each team member has taken one penalty kick. If further kicks are required, the same principle applies, and the sequence will remain the same.

20. Shirt/Kit Colours: In the event of two teams having the same or similar colours, the team named second on the fixture shall be deemed the AWAY side and change their colours or wear bibs.  All players must wear shin guards covered entirely by the socks.  Goalkeepers must wear a distinguishing playing strip or bib.

21. Start of Play: The first named team (the home team) will start the game with a kick-off from the centre spot. 

22. Provision of Match Ball: The home team in the fixture list will provide the match ball.  Size 3 Ball for Under 7/8/9/10.  Size 4 Ball for Under 11/12/13/14, Size 5 for Under 15/16 and Womens.

23. Those of us who are spectators, parents or carers can make a big difference to the experiences our children have when playing football. This is the Code of Conduct the FA sets out for clubs, and it is the standard we expect for our tournament.  Parents or Carers or Spectators expectations and attitudes have a significant bearing on a child’s attitude towards other players, officials, managers and spectators. Clubs need to ensure that parents/carers/spectators are always positive and encouraging towards all the children (not just their own) and should encourage everyone to do the same.