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Ojai AYSO Region 147

AYSO 5v5 (five-a-side) Playing Rules

AYSO 5v5 (five-a-side) Rules and Information

A five-a-side pitch:

As its name suggests, five-a-side football is a game of football played with only five players on each side on a scaled down football pitch. The five players usually consist of one defensive player, two midfield style players and one striker. The defender will predominantly stay back (e.g. no further than the half way line) to provide some defense at all times. The midfield players are the real workers as they need to both defend and attack, roaming all over the pitch in the process. Finally the attacker will predominantly stay up front (e.g. no further back than the half way line) to provide a constant outlet for attacks. Due to the smaller size of the pitch there is a lot more scope for players to perform different roles (i.e.defend in one move and attack in the other) however it is still best to think of a team in terms of the five players and their roles. With a smaller pitch and fewer players, high scoring matches are relatively frequent because of the lack of numbers for a very organized defense and the close proximity of the goal. The game is essentially passing and dribbling based, the long ball game is not generally possible given the limited space and the frequent no above head ruling.

  • Field Size
    • 35-40 width yard – 50-60 width yard
    • 6 yard diameter half line
    • 3 yard arc
    • Can pass back to goal keeper in or out of arc
**There is no heading allowed in divisions 12U and under - 14U division is allowed to head the ball.

Introduction: The following is a comprehensive list of Playing rules and regulations relating to the playing of 5v5 (five-a-side) Football

Team Structure

  1. There will be a maximum of 5 players per team on the field at any one time.

  2. Each team may field four outfield players and a goalkeeper on the pitch at any one time.

  3. Each team can use a maximum of 10 players per game, unless prior consent is given by the referee.

  4. You can have a larger squad (Up to 10 players registered) and rotate players each week.


  1. Substitutions are unlimited during the game, and can be made at any time during the  game.

  2. Outgoing substitutes must leave the field of play before the replacement enters the playing area.

  3. The oncoming players are active immediately and can receive the ball.

  4. Substitutes must stand outside the pitch perimeter and spectators must not enter the field of play under any circumstances.

  5. Teams can change their goalkeeper at any time during the course of the game.

  6.  Only one person can be in the goalkeeper half circle/area

Game Structure

  1. The match will consist of two equal halves

  2. The length of each half will be 20 minutes

  3. The first half will begin with one team taking the kickoff; the second half will begin with the other team taking a kickoff.

  4. After a goal has been scored the game can begin immediately from the goal in which the other team scored on.

  5. The U6 Division will start the game with a kickoff (center of field) after a goal has been scored.

  6. 8U, 10U, 12U restart the game from the goalkeeper area passing to an outfield player.

  7. Goalkeeper cannot play the ball beyond the halfway line WITHOUT touching a player when it is a dead ball situation (goal kick or kicking off from a goal from their area)

  8. Half-Time will be a straight change around with a five minute break

Field Restrictions

  1. There are two marked goal/penalty areas on the pitch.

  2. Only the defending goalkeeper is allowed to play the ball inside the goal area and only he/she may handle the ball in this area.

  3. An outfield player gaining or seeking to gain an advantage by entering his own goal area will have a penalty kick awarded against his team. The penalty kick will be taken from the halfway line with all players including the goalkeeper, standing by, out of the way of the kick until a goal is scored or the ball exits the field of play.

  4. An outfield player entering his opponent’s penalty area will be penalized. The game will be re-started from the goalkeeper.

General Play

  1. There are no off-sides

  2. There are NO throw-ins, just kick-ins.

  3. ANY player can become a goalkeeper if they enter the goalkeeper area, but only one player can be in the area at any time. 

  4. A goal may be scored from any point within the field of play.

  5. Goalkeepers are able to score against their opponents (but not from a dead ball goal kick).

  6. A goal is scored when the WHOLE ball crosses the goal line.

  7. Goals can be scored from the from any player on the field, and from the following dead ball situations: Corner kick, Kick-in (note there are no throw-ins), Direct free-kick


  • goal line (result in a goal, goal kick will follow)
  • Side lines (result in a kick in)
  • Back goal lines (result in a goal kick OR corner kick)

Re-Starting the game

  1. The goalkeeper must return the ball into play by throwing or passing it out of his area, but not beyond half way line WITHOUT touching a player. If it does, the keeper will re-take.

  2. The goalkeeper has a maximum of 5 seconds to return the ball into play (3 step rule, remind, warn, encourage team to help, hard countdown)

  3. If the ball goes out of play behind the end line (goal line), a corner kick or a goal kick will be awarded depending on which team had the final touch.

  4. If the ball goes out of play over the sideline a kick in will be awarded depending on which team had the final touch.

Free Kicks and Penalty Kicks

  1. All free kicks will be direct.

  2. Opposition players must be at least 3 yards from where any free-kick is taken. If opposing players do not retreat the required 3 yards the referee can issue a warning.

  3. If a free kick is awarded on or near the goal area it can be moved up to 3 yards backwards to allow defenders to be 3 yards from the ball.

  4. A penalty kick will be placed on the top of the half line, the same place a kickoff is placed The Goal keeper and all players must be out of the play of a penalty kick until a goal is scored or the ball exits the field of play. If the ball stops before reaching the goal there in ot re-take. Whether a goal or miss the ball is the re- started from the goalkeeper area.

Player Safety

  1. No unnecessary roughness on the field will be tolerated. The following will result in free-kicks and warnings. Dangerous play in general and the following, not exclusively and up to the referees discretion. Spitting, biting, pushing, shoving, pulling shirts, swiping legs, punching, screaming directly in face, high kicks, tripping, inappropriate language.

  2. The wearing of any form of jewelry (including watches or ear-rings) are not permitted during play. Up to the discretion of the referee.

  3. All players must wear shin guards and cleat/closed toe approved shoes or they will not be allowed to play. The player's socks must cover the shin guard completely. All players must wear the issued jersey at all times during the game and will not be allowed to enter the field of play if such player does not have an issued league jersey, coaches and referees will agree on


  • Forced Substitutions

  1. A yellow card will be shown to any  player who the referee feels needs to tone down their behavior either towards the referee or towards the opposition
  2. A player who receives a yellow card must leave the field of play for 4 minutes
  3. That team may bring on a another player to replace the player who has received the yellow card
  4. If a team does not have any substitutes then that team will be down a player for 4 minutes
  5. If a player receives 2 yellow cards during a match, the player is ejected from the current game and will miss the following game.  The team may not bring another player to replace the player who has received the 2 yellow cards
  • Yellow Card & Red Cards

  1. A player who receives a yellow card must leave the field of play for 4 minutes
  2. A player who receives two yellow cards in one game must leave the field of play for the entire game
  3. A player who receives a straight red card must leave the field of play immediately and for the entire game
  4. A player who is either sin binned or sent off cannot be replaced by another player
  5. If a player is given a red card whilst off the field of play (for unacceptable conduct on the sideline), the team must correspondingly reduce the number of players on the field.
  • Suspension

  1. A player who is sent off will receive an automatic suspension of 1 game
  2. A player who receives a red card for violent conduct will be reported to the board with the possibility of the offense escalating to a longer ban
  3. In the case serious foul play or foul/abusive language the suspension will be extended to 2 Games or longer should AYSO deem this necessary.
  4. Teams that continue to have poor player discipline may be removed from the competition
  5. Players playing whilst suspended will have a further three match ban added to the end of their current suspension.

AYSO No Pet Policy

No Pet Policy

AYSO has a strict NO PET POLICY

Pets or animals of any kind are not permitted at any AYSO training sessions/ practices, games or other AYSO events. It is the responsibility of the parents/guardians of the registered player to inform any and all invited guests to these events of this policy.

If a pet/animal is brought to the field, you will be asked to leave immediately. We have some extremely hot weather during our Fall soccer season, it is not safe to leave your pets in the car. The safest place for your pets is at home!

Service Dogs are permitted with their handler; however, they must be appropriately marked, on a leash at all times and must behave as such. Under no circumstance should the dog be pet by others at the event.

In the event the dog displays uncharacteristic behaviors of a trained Service Dog, you will be told to leave the field immediately. This may be, but are not limited to the following actions:

  • Pulling/dragging the handler.

  • Barking, growling, whining, or making other noises.

  • Wandering

  • Is anxious, agitated or aggressive.

  • Engages with other dogs, children, people or other distractions.

There are no exceptions to this policy, no matter how small or old the animal may be.

Please note that Emotional Support animals are not recognized by the ADA and therefore are not permitted at any AYSO event.

Ojai AYSO Region 147 reserves the right to:

  • Stop game play.

  • Cancel a player registration.

  • Ban an individual or family from all AYSO events.

for non-compliance of our No Pet Policy. In the event that any of the above actions are taken no refund of any kind will be issued.

By completing registration, you acknowledge that you, your child, and your family understand and intend to follow our No Pet Policy.

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Ojai AYSO Region 147

1129 Maricopa Highway, PMB 207
Ojai, California 93023

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 805-649-1170
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