Under 7s Football
The Quick Summary
Mini Soccer – The Format for Under 7s and Under 8s Football
The FA outlines laws for “mini soccer” which is the format of play for competitive football at under 7s and under 8.
The FA prohibits competitive football below this age bracket, instead recommending that children below this age are focussed more on movement and sports skills on the whole rather than competitive football play.
We’ve answered all the common questions about under 7s football specifically in this guide.
At what age can children play under 7s football?
Children playing under 7s football are aged 6 and 7.
The age group in which children play is based on their age as of 31st August during that season.
So, a child who is 6 on 31st August at the start of a season (even though they will turn 7 during that season) can play under 7s football.
A child who is 7 as of 31st August of a season will play under 8s (but is also permitted by FA laws to play under 9s as well if playing up a year).
The age groups are clearly define to protect the safety of all children and ensure appropriate development opportunities.
How many players are on an under 7s team?
5 players are on the pitch for each team.
FA mini soccer laws determine that the game is 5 vs 5.
However, the game can take place with 4 v 5 if a team is short of a player or 4 v 4 but is not permitted to begin if either team has fewer than 4 players.
How long does an under 7s game last?
The FA Laws of Mini Soccer stipulate that:
- Games are to be played in 2 equal halves
- Each half can be no more than 20 minutes
- Each game can be no more than 40 minutes in total
So there’s is some variation permissable between leagues in different parts of the country, but a 40 minute game is the maximum permitted.
What’s the maximum squad size at Under 7s?
According to the FA, a squad should be no greater than twice the size of the maximum number of players on the team (which is 5 at under 7s). So this is 10 for this age bracket.
Furthermore, it makes recommendations for equal opportunity to play when it comes to substitutions, as opposed to substitutions based on ability. So it recommends all players in a squad play at least 50% of the game, with a focus very much on player development.
Do under 7s teams have league standings and tables?
Right from u7s to u11s, the Fa prohibits the publication of tables and league standings.
Trophy events (cup games) may have results published, but league games don’t.
The intention behind this is to encourage more focus on player development and less on the scoreline.
The Law of Mini Soccer very much centre on the opportunity for players to improve rather than on league standings.
What size ball is used in u7s football?
A size 3 ball is used and the FA Laws of Mini Soccer suggest this is made of leather or another suitable material.
What size is the goal in under 7s football?
It would be a tad unfair to stick a 6 year old in a full sized goal, right? So it’s not surprising that smaller goals are used in mini soccer games played at under 7 and under 8.
The size of goal is 6 feet tall and 12 feet wide.
Are there any kit rules for U7s players?
Yes. Children must wear shin guards (which are covered by their socks). Footwear must be appropriate for the surface – so if you’re playing on astroturf, no metal studs and so forth. It’s also required that the goalkeeper wears a “distringuishing strip.”
How can I find an under 7s team for my child?
There are thousands upon thousands of grassroots clubs with under 7s teams up and down the country across hundreds of leagues.
A quick Google search will help uncover some. But the FA has a fantastic “football finder” tool at https://find.englandfootball.com/
This is such a great resource that helps you find football clubs or casual play teams for all age ranges and genders.