The FA to introduce 12 new youth football rules

The FA are set to introduce 12 new rules to youth football. Picture by Derek Martin

The FA is set to introduce 12 new rules to youth football, which includes no slide tackling, no shouting from spectators and teams being allowed an extra player on the pitch if they trail by four goals.

The FA's 12 Rules document, which is being piloted in Manchester, wants junior football to be calmer and safer to create the right environment for faster development.


The English governing body also feels the rules will encourage players to be more skilful and make matches more competitive.


The 12 Rules are as follows:


Silent sidelines rule


Spectators are encouraged to applaud both teams (eg: clap when a goal is scored) but must not shout or call out. [Law 1]


Slide tackle rule


On medical advice, no slide tackles are allowed. A free kick will be given in every instance. [Law 12]


Blue card rule


A blue card is shown for any cautionable offence resulting in a 2 minute Sin Bin (5 minutes at 9v9). [Law 12].


Respect marks rule


After every match, referees will marks to players, coaches and spectators from both teams. [Law 12]


Retreat line rule


When goalkeeper has possession, opposition must retreat to halfway. Keeper must pass to own player in own half. [Law 16]


Pass back rule


Because goalkeepers need to practice their footwork, they cannot pick up the ball from a pass back. [Law 12]


No instructions rule


Coaches may ask questions that prompt players to think for themselves but must not shout instructions during matches. [Law 1]


Equal playing time rule


All squad members must receive equal playing time with at least 50% per player for each game. [Law 3]


All positions rule


All squad members must be given regular experience playing in all positions, including goalkeeper. [Law 3]


Mixed teams rule


To maximise competition, clubs must field teams of similar ability - ie. not ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams. [Law 3]


Power play rule


If any team goes 4 goals ahead, the other team may field an extra player until the goal difference is reduced to 3 goals. [Law 3]


Equal numbers rule


If a team has too few players, the other must lend them willing subs or withdraw players to make hungers even. [Law 3]

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