Recreational League Rules

UpdatedSunday August 8, 2021 by Admin.

Below are the current rules for each playing division within the FC Cary Recreational Youth Soccer program.

FIFA Laws of the Game - All U07-U18 rec games will follow the FIFA rules, with the exception of no slide tackling, the substitution policy, and the game variations noted below.

NOTE: FC Cary will continue to use the Laws of the Game 2018/19 for the upcoming season with the exception of the drop-ball rule. Drop-balls will no longer be competitive. The drop-ball will go to the team last in possession of the ball prior to the stoppage. If the ball is in the penalty box when the stoppage occurs, the ball will be given to the goalkeeper.

The following modifications to the FIFA Laws of the Game will be used for the current FC Cary Recreational Youth Soccer season.

No slide tackles allowed in any age group - sliding to keep the ball in play or when striking the ball when no other players are near the player is allowed. For it to be considered a slide tackle, there must be another player near the player who slides to the ground. Also, the player going to the ground does not have to make contact with the other player for it to be called a dangerous play. Any intentional going to ground near another player shall be called a foul.

Substitutions - Teams are allowed to substitute players (with permission of the referee) on any of their throw-ins, any goal-kick, any kick-off, and any time the opposing team substitutes players.

Throw-ins - Only teams playing in the U7/U8 and the U9 divisions will be allowed to retake a foul throw-in. A foul throw in all age groups U10 and above will result in a turnover.

Goal Kick - The ball must travel outside of the penalty box on a goal kick before it is touched by either team. We do NOT observe the current law that allows for the ball to be touched before leaving the penalty box. This applies to all playing divisions.

Kick-off and goalkeeper's punt - The ball may travel in any direction to start play.

  • Goals will not be allowed off the kick-off directly into the goal. More specifically, the ball must travel outside the center circle before a goal can be scored. If a team shoots from the kickoff and it goes into the opponent's goal it will result in a goal kick. 
  • Goals will not be allowed from a goalkeeper's punt.  The ball must be touched by another member of the goalkeeper's team before a goal will be allowed.  A goal kick will be awarded if the ball is kicked from the keeper into the other team's goal.

All U9 and Under Rule Variation - For the U7/U8 and the U9 games, the defending team must back up to the centerline on any goal kick, and any time the keeper saves the ball and has the ball in his or her hands.

All U13 and Under Rule Variation - FC Cary will be following the policy set by NCYSA which calls for NO heading of the ball for U12 and below players in games to help reduce concussions. U11 and U12 players may have limited heading practice during training but no heading during games. U10 and below should have no heading in either games or training. IN GAMES: If a player heads the ball in a U12/U13 or below game, an indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team. If the header occurs in the penalty box by either team, the indirect free kick will be placed at the top corner of the penalty box closest to the infraction. Think goal kick ball placement but on the penalty box. Finally, the heading of the ball must be intentional. If the ball simply hits the player in the head, this is not a rule violation.

Practice and Game Day Seating
Only players and coaches specifically assigned to a field will be allowed on the grass area. All other spectators, including any siblings waiting for their game or practice, must follow the spectating guidelines described in the FC Cary COVID Guidelines.

Playing Format
For details of the current playing format for each division, visit the Recreational Youth Soccer page.

Code of Conduct, Referee Policy, and Blowout Rule
Please familiarize yourself with the FC Cary Code of Conduct, Referee Policy, and Blowout policy all of which may be found in the Club Rules and Policies section of our website.