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US Soccer Mandates



On August 24, 2015, U.S. Soccer announced new coaching initiatives that will result in significant changes to the youth soccer environment, and will have implications for Iowa Soccer members.
These new coaching initiatives can be split into two major categories:
  1. Birth Year Registration
  2. Small-Sided Game Standards
These new initiatives will be implemented as of August 1, 2016, and preparations for these changes should start immediately. 
Birth Year Registration
Currently the age group registration cut-off date has been August 1 through July 31. This was designed to form teams within the same academic grade.
The new age group registration is based on calendar year. The new cut-off dates will be January 1 through December 31 of any given year. This is consistent with the other 208 FIFA countries that register youth players by their year of birth. Players born between January 1 and December 31 in a year will now play on the same team — unless a player is “playing up” in an older age group.
Small Sided Standards 
For small-sided play there will be a number of changes including playing numbers, roster sizes, field sizes, goal sizes, game lengths and rules.
For example, the U10 age group will now include the offside(s) rule and a build-out line. A build-out line is used to encourage players to play the ball out of the back instead of the goalkeeper punting the ball.           

Member Resources


US Soccer



Table of Standards
(small-sided games, roster sizes, fields/goals, etc...)


Sample implementation plan

Birth year/age group matrix

Playing "up":  When is it appropriate to move a player?

Small-sided field diagrams/marks

  • Five page document -- covers 4v4, 7v7 and the build-out line and player numbering system, 9v9
    • Please note that in the 7v7 diagram a "build-out line" is shown, but no dimension is provided.  Following that diagram are two pages from Iowa Soccer designating where the build-out line is for us and a numbering system for your team.  For FALL 2016, Iowa Soccer is instructing members to utilize the halfway line for the build-out line.  We will evaluate after the fall season where the line will be placed going forward.

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