Junior Football in Cairns and Districts

Laws of Small-Sided Football Under 6 & 7

  • The field of play
    30 metres x 20 metres
  • Goal size
    Width: 1.5m - 2.0m
    Height: 0.9m - 1.0m
  • Goal Type
    It is preferable that pop up style or portable goals are used where possible however, the use of poles and markers as the goals particularly in the Under 6 to 9 age groups is also suitable.
  • Markings
    Markers or painted line markings.
  • Penalty area
    No penalty area
  • The ball
    Size 3
  • The number of players
    It is recommended that teams be made up of the numbers of players listed below with all children encouraged to receive equal playing time.
    Under 6 & 7 years of age – 4 v 4 (no goalkeeper)
    Maximum of two substitutes nominated. Unlimited number of substitutions (interchange) can be used during the entire game. The coach or parent is allowed to make the substitutions (interchange) while the ball is in play, but must wait until the substituted player has left the field.
  • Goalkeeper
    No Goalkeeper. Game leaders, coaches and managers should continually discourage children from permanently standing in front of the goal. All players should be encouraged to move with the ball.
  • Duration of the game
    2 x 15 minutes (Half time break 5 minutes) This may be flexible depending on implementation format.
  • Game Leader
    The main role of the game leader is to keep the game moving fluently, limit stoppages and assist players with all match re-starts. Most importantly, they must make every effort to create an environment that ensures that all players have fun and have maximum involvement. The game leader can be a club official, parent, older child / player or beginning referee and should always be enthusiastic and approachable. Most Importantly - Remember the children are learning the game – be flexible and patient.
  • Start of play or restart after goal
    Game is started with a kick forward to a team-mate from the middle of the halfway line. A goal can not be scored with a direct kick from the kick-off.All players must be in their own half of the field of play. Opponents must be at least 5m away from the ball until it is in play It must touch a team-mate or opposition player to be counted as a goal.
  • Ball in and out of play
    The ball is out of play when it has wholly crossed the goal line or the touch line on the ground or in the air, or when play has been stopped by the game leader.
  • Ball crossing the touch line
    There is no throw in. A player from the opposing team to the player that touched the ball last before crossing the touch line will place the ball on the touch line and pass or dribble the ball into play. Opponents must be at least 5m away from the ball until it is in play. The ball must touch a team mate before a goal can be scored.
  • Ball crossing the goal line
    There is no corner kick. Regardless of which team touched the ball last, a player from the team whose goal line the ball has crossed will place the ball anywhere along the goal line and pass or dribble the ball into play. Opponents must retreat to the half way line and can move once the ball is in play. The ball must touch a team mate before a goal can be scored.
  • Offside
    No offside.
  • Fouls and misconduct
    Indirect free kicks are awarded for all acts of handball or fouls and misconduct. Opponents must be at least 5m away from the ball when the indirect free kick is taken. (An indirect free kick is where a goal can be scored only if the ball subsequently touches another player before it enters the goal).
    Most acts of handball or fouls and misconduct at this level are caused by a lack of coordination, with no intent. In this case try and give the advantage to the attacking team and continue play. If you decide a deliberate or serious act of handball, foul or misconduct has occurred, explain to the child they have done the wrong thing and that they should not do this again.
  • Point’s tables and finals
    To ensure that Optus Small Sided Football is played in the correct spirit and give all players the best possible chance to develop, FFA advises that Member Federations, zones, associations and clubs adopt and promote the following advice and recommendation:
    • Under 6 & 7:
      FFA advises that the keeping of point’s tables and playing of finals must not be done.
  • Referee
    A game leader is used as the referee. This person’s main role is to keep the game moving fluently, limit stoppages and assist players with all match restarts. This person can be a club official, parent, older child / player or beginning referee. Refer Game Leader above


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The Small-Sided Game


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