The Mini League is made up of mixed sex teams from year 4 and 5. Enhancement of all skills and technical side of the game and playing as a team. Team captains will be introduced to encourage leadership.
All inquiries or concerns related to the Mini division should be directed to the Little League Coordinator.
Team size: 11 - 12 players
Fielded Players: 9 vs 9 (maximum players on field)
Pitch Size: 60/70m x 40/50m
Penalty Area: 5 x 12m
Ball Size: Size 4
Game Time: 2x 25 minute half with 5 minute Interval/Half time break
Leader: Sideline Team coach
Goalkeeper: Yes. The goalkeeper is allowed to handle the ball anywhere within the penalty area. Opponents must stand at least 5m outside the penalty box and cannot move inside the box until the ball is in play.
To ensure that small sided soccer is played in the correct spirit of the game and gives all players the best possible chance to develop, it is recommended that no points table and the playing of finals be done. Research seems to suggest that the pressures associated with competition and win at all cost mentality at grass root level can lead to shortcuts in player development.
Some practical recommendations that may be considered:
- All players should get an equal amount of playing time.
- When an individual player completely dominates the game and has already scored three goals, and their team is winning by a three goal margin, he/she can only score another goal when their team mate/s has scored a goal. This is to encourage good players to include other members and to force them to create opportunities for others.
All players must wear training shoes or soccer boots, black socks and shin pads. Only goalkeepers may wear caps. Players may be interchanged at any time. Interchanging is not to be governed by ability but rather is encouraged to provide all players equal game time
Start of play/restart:
Pass ball forward to team mate from the middle of the halfway line. Opponents must be minimum of 5m way. The ball must touch a team mate before a goal can be scored.
Ball in or out of play:
The ball is out of play when it has wholly crossed the touch line on the ground or in the air, or when play has been stopped by the referee.
Ball crossing the touch line:
A throw-in is awarded to the opponents of the last player to touch the ball before it wholly crossed the touchline. Player faces the field of play, has part of each foot on the ground, either on or behind the touch line, uses both hands and delivers the ball from behind and over their head. The thrower must not touch the ball until it has touched another payer. Opponents must be minimum of 5m way. The ball must touch a team mate before a goal can be scored.
Coaches/Referees may assist players to achieve the correct method. If the first throw is deemed a foul by the referee, a second attempt is given. Following 2 foul attempts, possession passes to the opposing team. A goal cannot be scored direct from a throw-in. Players are to be 5 metres away from the player throwing the ball to prevent crowding.
Ball crossing the goal line after touching the defending team last:
Corner kick. A player from the attacking team places the ball of the corner of the field nearest where the ball crossed the line. Opponents must be minimum of 5m way. The ball must touch a team mate before a goal can be scored.
Ball crossing the goal line after touching the attacking team last:
Goal kick from anywhere in the penalty area. Opponents must be minimum of 5m way. The ball must touch a team mate before a goal can be scored.
Method of scoring:
A goal is scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line between the goalposts and under the crossbar.
Goalkeepers are allowed to handle the ball within the penalty area, however, a goalkeeper may not pick up the ball with his/her hands from an intentional back pass or throw in from a team mate. This does not apply to an accidental back-pass or a headed back-pass. The goalkeeper must play the ball within 10 seconds of controlling it (taking into account the capabilities of the player). If a defending team continually plays the ball inside the penalty, a free kick should be awarded to the attacking team.
Blatant Offside (more than one metre) is to be called by the referee and an Indirect free kick awarded to the opposing team. Opponents must be minimum of 5m way. An indirect free kick is where the ball touches another player before it enters the goal.
Team coaches should strongly discourage children from permanently and persistently standing in blatant offside positions. Players should be made aware of the offside rule and be encouraged to adopt this philosophy. Referees should direct players that permanently and persistently standing in blatant offside positions to move to an onside position.
Fouls and misconduct are:
- Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
- Trips or attempts to trip an opponent
- Jumps at an opponent
- Charges an opponent
- Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
- Pushes an opponent
- Takes an opponent from behind to gain possession
- Making contact with an opponent before touching the ball
- Holds an opponent
- Spits at an opponent
- Handles the ball deliberately
- Plays in a dangerous manner
- Impeded the progress of a player
Indirect free kicks are awarded for all acts of handball, fouls or misconduct. Opponents must be minimum of 5m way. An indirect free kick is where the ball touches another player before it enters the goal.
For deliberate or serious acts of handball, fouls or misconduct in the penalty area by the defending team, a penalty kick is awarded from an 8m penalty mark. All other players must be outside the penalty area and be at least 5m behind the penalty mark.