VoGAFL Mini Football Rules

Below are the Mini  Football Rules  for the VoGAFL for the 2018/19 Season.


The Football Association of Wales (FAW) recognises that children do not perform the same as adults in an 11-a-side game. Therefore a modified version is required to meet the developmental needs of young players while maintaining all the features and essence of the full game. Mini Football is recognised by the FAW as the only form of football in Wales for children Under 11 years of age.


Mini Football is a modified version of the 11-a-side game. It gives children the chance to play real football, for a real team, whilst experiencing an enjoyable and fun introduction to football through small sided games.


All available research shows that children have more fun and learn more playing a game within smaller teams. Mini Football is therefore ideal for girls and boys under 11 years of age in terms of maximizing their enjoyment and technical/skill development.



* Take an active part in the game and have fun without any pressure from parents, coaches or managers.

* Learn to play within a team.

* Understand and observe the rules of football.

* Develop the skills and techniques to play football.

* Be able to take part whatever their ability.

* Have plenty of contact with the ball.


Mini football is for girls and boys aged 5 to 11 of all abilities who are interested in football (all children of primary school age). The FAW believes that children should learn how to compete to win fairly, skillfully and within the rules of the game. At this age striving to win is more important than the outcome, winning is not everything, making the effort is.

Mini Football:

* Recognises that children do not perform and compete as adults and therefore its rules are adapted to meet the needs of children.

* Has all the features of real football for children.

* Recognises the value of competitiveness for children and provides an appropriate environment.

* Sets a standard and a framework of behaviour on and off the pitch.

* Is for boys and girls regardless of their ability.


* There is more contact with the ball in Mini Football leading to a better technique. In 11v11 the ratio of ball to outfield players is 1:20, because there are fewer players in Mini Football each player has more regular contact with the ball. More contact with the ball helps players practice technique and develop technique into a skill through 1v1 competition.

* Decision making is easier and occurs more often because of the small numbers involved. As a result, the players will gain a greater understanding of the game. The basic football situations are easier to see and simpler to solve.

* Because the ball is never far away from the player, the chance of developing concentration is greatly increased. Playing 11-a-side football, many children lose interest in the game because the ball goes out of their immediate vicinity and they quickly become bored spectators.

* Fewer players, more space and simpler decisions will encourage more movement of players whatever the situation.

* More contact leads to more participation and usually, more enjoyment, success is easier to achieve.


Small sided games have been played for hundreds of years in the street, the playground, or on the beach and many professional teams use them as the basis for their coaching. They invariably lead to basic football situations, such as, 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3 so typical of the 11-a-side game. Mini-football, through its dynamic tempo, produces more vigorous exercise than 11-a-side football and so helps to improve children's core components of fitness - speed, agility, balance and coordination.


The general aim of Mini Football is to provide a safe, supervised environment for children to enjoy their introduction to the game.

1. Playing Surface

* Mini football pitches must be specifically laid out on any suitable open spaces or conventional grass or Astroturf football pitches which can be converted for Mini-Football.

* There must be no debris or dangerous hazards either on the field of play or in the immediate surrounding area.

* Markings must be laid out with the use of conventional lines, marker discs or small cones.

2. Playing Equipment

* Children must wear footwear suitable to the surface being played on.

* All children must wear suitable shin guards.

* All Jewellery must be removed. 

3. 'Behind the Line, Behind the Team' Campaign

This is mandatory at all Mini Football age groups. As a consequence at all Mini Football games clubs must:

* Create a 'Buffer zone' that runs parallel to pitch, ideally 2 metres from both touchlines, a smaller buffer zone can be used where space doesn't allow 2 metres.

* Buffer zone should be marked by cones or additional marked line.

* Only players, designated coaches and 1st Aider allowed within zone.

* All spectators must watch from behind the buffer zone lines.

* When using Jenner Park 3G parents to remain in stands at all times , St Cyres 3G, Stanwell Astro and Colcot Sports Centre Astro all parents to remain outstand of the fences.

* NO spectators are allowed to stand on the goal line or behind the goal.


* The rules are simple and as near to real football as possible. A game leader, who is urged to be as flexible as possible with the players must supervise the game from the touchline.

* Rules are explained as the game proceeds (for example hand ball). It may also be necessary to demonstrate in certain instances how to restart the game (e.g. throw in, corner kicks).

5. Players Eligible

* The game is for boys and girls aged 5 to 11 (as of midnight 31st August the previous year).

* Mixed football (girls and boys playing together) is allowed in all age groups.

6. Age Groups

* Must be a minimum of a one academic year and a maximum of two academic years.

* A mini player must participate in the age group relevant to their academic year as defined by these regulations and the structure of the league they play in.

* For the purposes of age groupings, an academic year begin on the 1st September and ends on the 31st August of the following year. Academic year one is the year in which a player reaches his / her 6th birthday.

* Players below Year 2 school will be allowed to play in mini football in the VoGAFL once they have turned age 6, but only play in the Under 7's

• For Under 6's which is a turn up and play Sunday mornings (depending on numbers) the players must be Under 6's no older, and must have reached their 5th birthday

7. Team Size, Pitch Size and Ball Size

* Must be implemented as below in the table:

 Age Group

 Number of


Size of Pitch 
 Ball Size
 Under 6
 4 v 4

no keepers 

30x20 yds
 Under 7
4 v 4

no keepers 

30x20 yds
 Under 8
 5 v 5

keepers introduced 

 30x20 yds
 Under 9
 6 v 6
 40x30 yds
 Under 10
 7 v 7
 60x40 yds
 Under 11
 8 v 8
 60x40 yds

8. Goal Size

* Under 6's and 7's pop up goals only, 8 and 9 a smaller goal is utilized.

9. The Goal Area

* Must be marked by conventional lines or cones on the touchline and a small number of marker discs on the playing area.

* The goal area extends a set distance from the goal line and is also a specified width. See table below: In the Vale we use the cross section of the pitch where there are no lines.

 Age Group

 Distance from Goal-line to

Edge of Area (length) 

 Width of Penalty Area
 Under 6
NO goal area
No goal area
 Under 7
NO goal area
NO goal area
 Under 8
 5 yards
 10 yards
 Under 9
 8 yards
 15 yards
 Under 10
 10 yards
 20 yards
 Under 11
 10 yards
 20 yards

10. Match Duration

* A Mini Player must only play a maximum of 60 minutes sanctioned match time in one 24 hour period.

* For under 6's,7's and under 8 players this must be broken down into a maximum of either 15 minute individual periods of play or games. We are using 4 x 12minute matches .

11. Substitutes

* Any number of substitutes may be used at any time (Rolling substitutes).

* Players may re-enter the game and all substitutes must have a period of play.

* As far as possible there should be equal playing time for each player.

12. Kick Off

* Is taken in the centre of the playing area to start the game and after a goal has been scored.

* The opposition must be 3 yards away from where the ball is placed.

13. Ball In and Out of Play and the Method of Scoring

* Laws 9 (Ball in and out of play) and 10 (The method of scoring) apply to Mini Football.

14. Off-Side

* There is no off-side (Law 11) in Mini Football.

15. Throw In

• Although Law 15 (The Throw In) applies and the throw in should be taken in the normal way, game leaders can show flexibility and allow retakes. At under 6's, 7's, 8's and 9's we play from the ball at feet instead of a throwing.

16. Corner Kicks

* Law 17 (The Corner Kick) applies to corner kicks except the opposition must be at least three yards away.

17. Free Kicks

* Law 12 (Fouls and Misconduct) applies to free kicks although they are all indirect and the opposition must be at least three yards away.

18. Goalkeepers

* Can handle the ball in their goal area and there are no restrictions on the number of steps they may take holding the ball.

* The Goalkeeper can leave the goal area but cannot handle the ball outside the goal area.

* When handling the ball in the goal area:

* Under 8's and 9's can either throw, roll out of their hands.

* Under 10's and 11's can throw the ball out of their hands or kick the ball on the ground but can then be challenged by opponents.

* New rule for VOG mini football 2013/14 is no keepers can kick out of hand at any age group

19. Goal-Kicks

* Under 6, 7 & 8 - are taken anywhere on the goal line from the ground.

* Under 9, 10 and 11 - are taken from the edge of the goal area.

* Under 8, 9, 10 and 11 - the ball must be kicked out of the goal area before another player touches it.

* In age groups under 7, 8, 9's the opposition players must retreat to the halfway line.

* Please apply the retreat line to older age groups if you feel a team is struggling to play out and allow opposition the opportunity to play

20. Players in the Goal Area

* There are no restrictions regarding the number of players allowed in the goal area during open play.

* At under 6's and 7's please ensure no one is just stood in the goals.

21. Pass Back to Goalkeeper

* Players can pass the ball to their own goalkeeper, for the goalkeeper to handle the ball. But not direct from a goal kick at 8/9/10/11's


Kick off times

Under 6’s 10am Venues are likely to be Barry Astro and Jenner Park

Under 7’s 9am cleared 10.10am Barry Astro & Jenner Park

Under 8’s 10.30am ko cleared by 11.45am Barry Astro & Jenner Park

Under 9’s 9am cleared by 10am New 3G pitches Colcot, St Cyres, Llantwit Comp

Under 10’s 10am cleared by 11am

Under 11’s 11am cleared by 12

Venues will be determined by the fixture coordinators for 9/10/11’s. We try to protect the grass pitches as much as possible.


Age Group Number of Players (Maximum number of players per team) Size of Pitch (length x width) Size of Ball

Under 6 - 4v4 - No Goalkeepers, 30x20 yards, size 3 football

Under 7 - 4v4 - No Goalkeepers, 30x20 yards, size 3 football

Under 8 - 5v5 - Goalkeeper introduced, 30x20 yards, size 3 football

Under 9 - 6v6, 40x30 yards, size 3 football

Under 10 - 7v7, 60x40 yards, size 4 football

Under 11 - 8v8, 60x40 yards, size 4 football

8. Goal Size

* Under 6's and 7's pop up goals only, 8 and 9 a smaller goal is utilized.

9. The Goal Area

* Must be marked by conventional lines or cones on the touchline and a small number of marker discs on the playing area.

* The goal area extends a set distance from the goal line and is also a specified width. See table below: In the Vale we use the cross section of the pitch where there are no lines.

Age Group Distance from Goal Line to Edge of Area (Length) Width of Penalty Area

Under 6 NO Goal Area NO Goal Area

Under 7 NO Goal Area NO Goal Area

Under 8 5 yards 10 yards

Under 9 8 yards 15 yards

Under 10 10 yards 20 yards

Under 11 10 yards 20 yards