Gahanna Soccer Association

Rules for GSA U-12 Soccer
  1. Play shall be conducted as 9 vs 9 including a keeper and using a size #4 ball.
  2. Substitutions may be made at the mid-line ONLY by either team and with the consent of the referee:
    1. After a goal by either team
    2. Before any goal kick
    3. Before a throw-in in your team's favor or if both teams are at the mid line
    4. At the beginning of any period of play
    5. After any injury, by either team, when the referee stops play
    6. After a caution, the cautioned player may be substituted, if so, then the other team may also sub a player
  3. A match shall consist of 2/30 minutes periods with a half time period of no less than 5 minutes and no longer than 8 minutes.
  4. The execution of a slide tackle is STRONGLY discouraged. Slide tackles will be viewed critically and improperly executed slide tackles will be penalized.
  5. Score is kept by the referee and the winning coach is responsible for reporting the score to the commissioner by the end of the day or entering it directly into the website.
  6. Coaches, parents and supporters ARE NOT permitted on the pitch during play.
  7. Teams are to bench between the fields. Parents and supporters are REQUIRED to remain on the opposite side of the pitch.
  8. There is a tournament for this age group for the fall and spring seasons.


An offside position is gained when a player, while in the opponents half of the pitch, is ahead of the ball and closer to the opponents goal than two defenders, one of which may be the keeper. The call of "OFFSIDE" will only be made if the player is in the area of active play or is involved in the play.


Advantage is called when the team that was fouled remains in control of the ball and on the attack, thus allowing any offensive opportunity gained to continue rather than penalize said team for the action of the opponent.

Dangerous Play

A call of dangerous play is made when any player is put into a situation where the act of conducting play is consider by the referee to place any player in a position to cause injury to themselves or any other players.

Ball In & Ball Out of Play

The ball is not considered out of play until it has gone completely over the marked boundary of the pitch. A player may be outside the marked pitch and play the ball as long as the ball remains within the marked boundary of the pitch.


The call of "HANDLING" occurs when, in the opinion of the referee, they view any play, including the keeper in certain instances, to have deliberately handled, carried, struck, or propelled the ball with their hand or arm. The referee may also look to see if, in their opinion, the hand went to the ball or the ball went to the hand, or if an advantage was gained, before making the call.

Mercy Rule

The Gahanna Soccer Association (GSA) encourages all players and COACHES to demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times. If a team is trailing by 4 goals or more at any time during the match, they may play with 1 additional player until the deficit has been reduced to 2 goals, at which time they must remove the extra player. If the deficit increases to 8 goals or more, the team trailing may play with a maximum of 2 players until the deficit has been reduced to 6 goals and then the trailing team must remove 1 of the extra players.

Expectations and Development Goals
  1. All players must play at least 50% of the match in all games (league or tournament play) regardless of ability.
  2. Teams should have at least 2 but no more than a total of 3 meetings per week for practice or games.
  3. Players should understand offensive and defensive positioning (Ball side/Goal side).
  4. Players should be able to receive and control a ball played to them on the ground and in the air. They should be able to receive the ball with their feet, legs, and chest and have it close to them to pass or dribble.
  5. Players should be able to execute a pass under pressure with both the inside and outside of both feet.
  6. Players should be able to shield the ball while calling for support.
  7. Players are expected to execute a throw-in and should know how to create space to receive the ball.
  8. Players should know the difference between a direct and indirect kick and basic strategies for taking either one.
  9. All players should know the basic techniques for striking the ball with power for goal kicks, corner kicks, and direct/indirect kicks.
  10. Players should be able to execute at least one fake, one move, and one turn to beat players one on one.
  11. Coaches are encouraged to complete the USYSA Grassroots course, or the United Soccer Coaches 7v7/9v9 course.
  12. Coaches are encouraged to improve their knowledge of the game by playing in the adult league.