Everything You Need to Know About Under 10s Football in England

There are specific rules, set out by the Football Association, that must be followed when playing football at under 10s level. "Mini Soccer" is played by all children up to the age of 10. All you need to know about the sport for children at this age is set out below - from how many players on a team to the size of the pitch, goals and even the size of the ball that is used.


Under 10s Football

The Key Points

Who can play Under 10s football?

Children aged 9 and 10 are eligible to play under 10s football. Generally speaking, those in year 5 at school will be playing the under 10s format of Mini Soccer

How many players play in U10s games?

According to the laws of Mini Soccer, an under 10s game is played with 7v7. A squad size may be up to 14 players, but only a maximum of 7 at one time on the pitch.

How long do under 10s game last?

A game of under 10s football generally lasts 50 minutes - this is usually 25 minutes per half, but some leagues may divide the game into quarters and may even shorten the game to 40 minutes. Games must last between 40 and 50 minutes.

Mini Soccer – Football Games For Under 10s

All children under the age of 10 play a version of football, which the FA refers to as “Mini Soccer”.  It has its own specific laws to enable children to get the most out of football during their development. Mini Soccer is generally played by children in school years 2,3,4 & 5, which play the formats for  under 7s, under 8s, under 9s and under 10s respectively

Under 10s play a 7v7 version of the game – on a pitch that can generally be between 50×30 feet and 60 x 40 feet.   The pitches children play on at under 10s (as well as under 9s) are considerably bigger than those used at under 7s and under 8s – the maximum allowable pitch size for under 10s is double that of under 8s!

With the exception of team size, ball size and pitch size, the same mini soccer laws apply to all under 7s, under 8s, under 9s and under 10s age groups.  Generally speaking, the biggest difference is that the older the players are, the more physicality is involved in the game.  

At what age can children play under 10s football?

Under 10s football is played by children who are in Year 5 in England – that is children aged 9 & 10.

As long as a child is 9 years old on the 31st of August preceding the season they are going to play in, they are permitted to play at under 10s regardless of the fact that they are likely to turn 10 during the course of the season.

Under 10s are allowed to play up one age group to under 11s during the same season if they so wish.  This would generally see them playing larger games of 9v9.

Children can only play up by one level until they reach 15 years of age, at which point it is permissible for them to play in open-aged games.

How many players are on an under 10s team?

An under 10s team generally has 7 players. A squad is able to consist of up to 14  children.

In competitive fixtures, teams must be made up of a minimum of 5 players, but matches will generally be 7v7.  On occassions, it can be beneficial for kids to play in smaller format games outside of competetive matches – such as 4v4 or 3v3.

Some organisations have adopted the FAs optional “Power Play” rule in mini soccer whereby if one teams goes more than 4 goals up, the losing side is permitted to add another player until the deficit is reduced to less than 4.  This is simply down to the fact that children at under 10s learn better if a match is competitive and since the focus of mini soccer is development – this is one way to balance teams out if required.

How long does an under 10s game last?

Under 10s games will last between 40 and 50 minutes.  Usually games are divide into two halves as in regular football, but it is possible to divide games into quarters if circumstances require it.

The under 10s league organiser will let you know how long the games will last, however they must be within the upper and lower limits as set out above.

In addition to the game time, there is also maximum playing time per day for all under 10s.  In regular fixtures, children must not play more than 60 minutes in one day.  If playing in a trophy event, this limit is extended to a maximum of 90 minutes across all matches in one day.

What’s the maximum squad size at Under 10s?

Teams are permitted to have squads of up to 14.  However, since it is recommended that all players have equal game time – some clubs prefer to keep a smaller squad so that all players get a chance to play in every game.

Since under 10s is a development stage of football, players should not be substituted on and off due to how they are playing or general ability – all players should be given equal game time.

Do under 10s teams have league standings and tables?

If your child is playing under 10s, you will probably be taking them to their local league where they’ll play fixtures once a week.  You might also be aware of the fact that they’re in a league.  Teams are placed in leagues – this is generally done so teams of similar abilities play against each other.

However, it is not permitted to publish any league standings or results for any development fixtures at under 10s or lower.  This is strictly against the FA’s rules.  This is all down to the fact that

What size ball is used in U10s football?

Under 10s use a size 3 ball. Under 10s used to use a size 4 ball, but this was changed in 2020 to bring it into line with the other age groups in mini soccer.  The Size 4 ball is now not used until under 11s.

What size is the goal in under 10s football?

The goal sizes in mini soccer are the same as for all mini soccer age groups – under 7s, under 8s, under 9s and under 10s.  That is 12 feet by 6 feet.  

Are there any kit rules for U10s footballers?

As with all forms of football, there are rules about what kit and accessories must be worn.  The most important of these rules are:
  • All players, including goalkeepers, must wear shinpads.  No player will be permitted to play without them.
  • Goalkeepers’ kits must be clearly and obviously different to that of the outfield players.
  • Players must wear appropriate footwear for the surface.  For example no metal studs will be allowed on artificial surfaces.

How do I find an under 10s team for my son or daughter?

Finding an under 10s team for your child should be simple enough.  There are hundreds of teams and a quick Google search should help you find one.

You can also use the FA’s football finder tool using the link below – this will show you any clubs nearby that fit your search criteria. 




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