To Play in this competition, children must not turn 11 until after 31 December.
The field of playLength: 60m - 70m / Width: 40m - 50m ½ full size pitch – when converting a full size pitch into Optus Small Sided Football fields Note: In the Under 11 age group, the final stage of development in the Optus Small Sided Football formats before players commence 11 v 11 football, it is recommended that clubs where facilities and scheduling allows, set-up the field from penalty box to penalty box and adjust the width of the field with use of markers to meet the maximum specified width.
MarkingsMarkers or painted line markings.
Goal sizeWidth: 4.5m - 5.0m / Height: 1.8m - 2.0m
Penalty areaRectangular – 5m depth x 12m width The penalty area can be marked through use of marked lines, flat or soft markers or cones.
The number of players9 v 9 – inc. goalkeeper: Maximum of three substitutes who may rotate during the entire game. The coach or parent is allowed to make the substitutions while the ball is in play, but must wait until the substituted player has left the field.
GoalkeeperThe goalkeeper is allowed to handle the ball anywhere in the penalty area. To restart play after a save or gathering the ball with their hands, the ball must be thrown or rolled from the hands or played from the ground with their feet, within 6 seconds.
The goalkeeper is not allowed to kick or drop kick the ball directly from their hands. Opponents must be at least 5m outside the penalty area and cannot move inside the penalty area until the ball is in play. The ball is in play once it moves out of the penalty area or when the goalkeeper places the ball on the ground*.
An indirect free kick is awarded if the goalkeeper touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate.
The developmental progression of the game becoming “live” when the goalkeeper places the ball on the ground provides the necessary learning phase for players transitioning to the 11 v 11 format of football.
NOTE: For a goal kick the ball does NOT become live until it is kicked out of the penalty area. [See section on "Ball crossing the goal line after touching the attacking team last."]
Duration of the game2 x 25 minutes (Half time break 7.5 minutes)
The ballSize 4
Instructing RefereeThe main role of the instructing referee is to control the game to ensure it is played fluently and instruct and correct the players (with minimal blowing of the whistle) on how to behave and what the rules are, e.g. what a foul is, what a free kick is and how to throw in etc.
Should these indiscretions happen a second time the referee should stop the game and apply the appropriate action and decisions. This person can be a club official, capable parent, older child or player, beginning or official referee from the federation or association.
Start of play and re-start after a goalPass forward to a team mate from the middle of the half way line. 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. The ball must touch a team mate before a goal can be scored.
Ball in and out of playThe 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 instructing referee.
Ball crossing the touch lineThrow-in: 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 again until it has touched another player. Opponents must be at least 5m away from the ball until it is in play. The ball is in play once it enters the field of play. A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw in.
Ball crossing the goal line after touching the defending team lastCorner kick. A player from the attacking team places the ball inside the corner arc nearest to the point where the ball crossed the line. Opponents must be at least 5m away from the ball until it is in play. The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves. A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick.
Ball crossing the goal line after touching the attacking team lastGoal kick from anywhere within the penalty area.
Opponents remain at least 5m outside the penalty area until the ball is in play. The ball is in play once it is kicked directly out of the penalty area.
Method of scoringA goal is scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar. When goal posts are not available and cones are used for goals, a goal is scored when the ball passes between the cones without touching them, below shoulder height of the player.
No offside: Note: In the Under 8 – 11 age groups, team coaches and managers should strongly discourage children from permanently standing in blatant offside positions. In the Under 10 & 11 age groups children should be made aware of the offside rule during training and be encouraged to adopt this philosophy during the game at all times. Instructing referees should direct players permanently standing in blatant offside positions to move into onside positions.
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).
For deliberate or serious acts of handball or fouls and misconduct in the penalty area, a penalty kick is awarded from an 8m penalty mark with only a goalkeeper in position. All other players must be outside the penalty area and be at least 5m behind the penalty mark.
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
- tackles an opponent from behind to gain possession of the ball
- making contact with the opponent before touching the ball
- holds an opponent
- spits at an opponent
- handles the ball deliberately
- plays in a dangerous manner
- impedes the progress of a player.
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 10 FFA advises that the keeping of point’s tables and playing of finals must not be done.
- Under 11 FFA recommends that the keeping of point’s tables and playing of finals should not be done. FFA recommends that the keeping of point’s tables and playing of finals should not start until children commence playing 11 v 11 football on a full size pitch in the Under 12 age group.