Operational Rules

A. Administration

The League shall administer 11-a-side divisional leagues for the following age groups; (as at the 1st January each year); under 11 years, under 12 years, under 13 years, under 14 years, under 15 years, under 16 years, under 17 years. All sections to have at least 10 teams where feasible. U11 & U10 (9-a-side) and seven-a-side under 7 years ,under 8 years, under 9 years, All sections to have at least 8 teams where feasible. Games maybe played on Saturday or Sunday subject to applications.

The top section in the eleven-a-side age group will be called Premier Section

B. Player Registration

  1. Players must be registered on forms supplied by the League, each player must sign his name and address and give full particulars as required. Players must be registered 24 hours prior to game.
  2. A player is eligible to play provided his form is either (A) received by the league registrar, and bears the official league stamp (B) is posted before the game is played. Date of postmark will be accepted as date of registration.
  3. Players may only be registered to play during the official playing season for which the registration form relates this being the 1st August in any season to 30th June following in the same season.
  4. A player can play for one team only in a season except when he/she has received a transfer from the last team/club last played for. No player can be registered except when they have received this transfer.
  5. Any team found playing an unregistered or improperly registered player will face the loss of the game in which the player was used in and a deduction of an extra 3 league points. The club will also be fined €50.

C. Team Colours

  1. Each team must register its team colours (and alternate colours) with the league.
  2. In the event of a fixture between two clubs, playing in similar colours, the home team shall change colours.
  3. All Shirts must be numbered 1-18 in 11 a side football.
  4. Goalkeepers must wear colours which distinguish them from other players and the referees.
  5. All teams must wear same colour kit, fully numbered as per referees card.

D. Transfers

  1. Clubs with two or more teams in the league are permitted to transfer a registered player or players from one team to another team in the same club provided – official league transfer forms on behalf of the player (s) are completed and delivered to the League forty eight hours before a game in which these players may participate.
  2. Players in any other leagues (other than School League or Seven-A-Side League) must complete official Metropolitan Girls League Transfer Forms and have same stamped by the said league. Transfer form and MGL registration form must be completed in respect of all players transferring from other teams, clubs or Leagues.
  3. The League expect all teams to fully complete their fixtures on a home and away basis and take a serious view with  teams withdrawing from Leagues when they see no hope of winning a trophy. This has a negative effect on the League concerned and this type of action will be monitored by the Committee and a record kept on file with regard to the following seasons League formations.
  4. If a team is withdrawn the club must give prior written notice to the League Hon.Secertary stating the reasons for this action  and the players of a team withdrawn or removed from the league become the property of the league and shall remain so until such time as a transfer is sanctioned. The transfer form must be accompanied by a new registration form for each player.  Cut off date will be 31st March and the number of players must be limited to three per club. When a team is removed or withdrawn all results stand at that point and clubs receive the three points in each case for all remaining games.
  5. The transfer deadlines are up to Sept 30th and from 1st December to 31st January each season (As per WFAI Rules)
  6. A player can only assist one team in any Cup Competition.

E. General

Match Ball

  • A size 3 football for under 7/8 if available and size 4 football for all other seven a side games.
  • A size 4 ball must be used in all league and cup competitions except for under 13 to under 18 competitions where a size 5 ball must be used.


Duration of game 7-a-side

  • For 7′s ,8′s and 9′s – 2 x 20 minute periods
  • For 10′s and 11′s – 2 x 25 minute periods with 5 min. break.
  • For 10′s (9-a-side)- 2 x 30 minute periods
  • For 11′s/12s (7/9-a-side) -2x 30 minute periods

The duration of the game 11-a-side is as follows;

  • 11/12/13′s – 30 minutes each way
  • 14′s – 35 minutes each way
  • 15/16′s – 40 minutes each way
  • 17/18′s/19′s 45 minutes each way.

F. Protests

  1. Protests must be in writing from the Club Secretary or Assistant Secretary and forwarded  to League Hon. Secretary within five working days of the date of playing the match to which the protest relates. Days shall exclude Saturday’s. Sunday’s and Public Holiday’s
  2. An exact copy of the protest must be forwarded by registered post at the same time to the Secretary of the club protested against.
  3. A bank draft or postal order for €25 to accompany each protest to League Hon. Secretary which will be refunded in the event of the protest being successful.
  4. The names and signatures of up to 4 (four) players may be obtained at half time in a game and the names and signatures of any substitutes used in the second half of a game may be obtained when the game has concluded. The referee should be consulted before any names or signatures are requested.
  5. The Registrar of the League may be consulted by a club Secretary after the match to examine the relevant player registration form/s of the last opponents. Search fee is €10.00 Registration searches may only be carried out at the League on Monday and Thursday from 7.30 pm to 9 pm or other times where possible at the discretion of the League
  6. All matters relating to protest will be considered by the League Disciplinary Committee, whose decision shall befinal unless appealed to the DW.F.A.I. under their rules  at that time.
  7. The Executive Committee may during the season adopt whatever measures they may consider necessary to insure that the players of the various clubs are within the age as prescribed by rule.
  8. In protests in all matters relating to the age of players it is the responsibility of the club for which the player is registered to provide proof that the player is within age as per prescribed rule. Such proof shall be in the form of an original birthcert, passport or an international identity card, failure to produce such proof of age will deem the player to be in-eligible as per prescribed rule and player treated as over age.

G. Over Age players

Any team found guilty of playing over – age player (or players) shall be expelled from the League and Cup competitions, with effect from the date of the game in which the offence occurred and the club fined €200.00.

H. Suspended Players/Officials

  1. Player/Official sent off is regarded as a suspended player/official and his/her club is automatically fined.
  2. A suspended player is automatically suspended from the next competitve fixture. New FIFA rule to apply.
  3. A team found guilty of playing a suspended player will be dealt with by the League Disciplinary Committee.
  4. In the matter of disciplinary hearings the league shall provide a club with a copy of the referees report and any other reports that may form the basis of a hearing at least 7 days in advance of any such hearing.

I. Conduct

  1. Managers and club official are requested to show good example to the players, by not abusing match officials or opposing team managers/officials from the sidelines. Disciplinary action shall be taken against any club found in breach of this rule.
  2. Any representative manager of the Metropolitan Girls League or club Official  found guilty of poaching will be suspended from the league. Guilty clubs may be fined and their team may be deducted points.
  3. No representative team manager can be affiliated to a team playing in the same age group within the league.
  4. No person running a team in another Schoolboys/Girls league can become a representative, coach or manager in the North Dublin Schoolboys/Girls League.


J. Management Committee

The Board of Management of the League shall have the power to decide on all matters not covered by these rules including a possible change of season for seven a side and eleven a side.

Field of Play


  • The field of play shall be rectangular 70 yards long x 60 yards wide, (64 metres x 45 metres maximum size (alternatively one half of the normal pitch playing across the field).
  • U10 (9-a-side) to be played from the edge of each 18 yard box if a full size pitch is available.
  • A centre spot.
  • A 4 meter box.
  • The Penalty box/Goalkeeper’s Area-12 yards long x 30 yards wide (11 metres x 27 metres). A Penalty spot -10 yards.
  • That  the league take firm and decisive action on referees match reports concerning the proper marking of pitches and particularly the secure anchoring of 7 a side posts.

The Goal

·         6 feet high x 16 feet is recommended as the approximate size. for SSG with secure anchoring

The Number of players

U9 (5-a-side) – Minimum 3 / Maximum 5

U8/9/10 /11 (7-a-side) Minimum  3 / Maximum 5

U13/14/15/16/17 Maximum  20 players

Law 10 : The Spirit of the Game

The laws of the Game shall be implemented by the referee. The protection of the spirit of the game is the responsibility of team manager. Consequently, the following Code of conduct can only be implemented with the full co-operation of Managers/Coaches and others who are interested in the welfare of children and the game of soccer.

Law 1 : Championship Conclusion

  • In the event of one or more teams finishing the season at the top of the SSG (U8,U9, U10, U11) league on equal points, those teams should play off under league rules  Play off 1st game extra time and penalties (Cup games,1st replay (2nd game) extra time and penalties general operations rule J (1), no penalty kicks to be taken in a 7 a side
  • In the event of two or more teams finishing on equal points in the runners-up position in any 7-A-Side League, those teams should play off under League rules, general operations rule  J(1), no penalty kicks  to be taken in7 a side.
  • All under 7 and under 8/9 registered players  shall receive Certificates.
    The League may publish League tables for any age group in 7 a side football (8′s to 11′s inclusive)

Law 2 : Pass Back Rules

To apply only to age groups U10′s & U11′s a goalkeeper can no longer pick up the ball from a pass back from his own player. Should an offence occur, an indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposition from point of contact.

Law 3 : Points System

Points System for next season will be 3(three) points for a win, 1(one) for a draw, as per F.I.F.A. Rule, in every age group.

Law 4 : 7-A-side

  1. Medals will be presented to winners and runners-up of each section in the League and Cup competitions.
  2. Extra medals must be ordered 10 days prior to presentation.
  3. All leagues trophies, League cups and knockout cups/shields must be returned to the League by the winning team not later than April 1st each year fully inscribed from the previous year. Any team found guilty of not returning a trophy by the specified date shall be fined €50.00.
  4. Should a club return a trophy in a bad state of repair, all the cost of its repair and / or of restoration to be paid for by the club. Should a cup/shield be lost by the club, its full cost of replacement to be paid for by the club.

Law 5:  9-A-side

  1. Medals wil be presented to winners and runners – up of each section in the league and cup competitions.
  2. Extra medals must be ordered 10 days prior to presentation.
  3. All leagues trophies, League cups and knockout cups/shields must be returned to the League by the winning team not later than April 1st each year fully inscribed from the previous year. Any team found guilty of not returning a trophy by the specified date shall be fined €50.00.
  4. Should a club return a trophy in a bad state of repair, all the cost of its repair and / or of restoration to be paid for by the club. Should a cup/shield be lost by the club, its full cost of replacement to be paid for by the club

Law 6 : Free Kick

The opposition shall be at least 6 yards from the ball at the taking of a free kick.

Law 7 : Penalty Kick

Penalties are taken from a mark 10 yards from the goal line.

Law 8 : Throw-ins

  • For U7′s, 8′s + 9′sThrow-ins will be taken from the point at which the ball went out of play. A throw can be played back to the Goalkeeper, who can use his hands to control the ball.
  • For U10′s + 11′s
    Throw-ins will be taken from the point at which the ball went out of play. A throw can be played back to the Goalkeeper who cannot use his hands to control the ball.

Law 9 : Goal Kicks

For age groups U7′s  ,U8′s and U9′s,  a goal kick may be taken from goalkeepers hands from anywhere inside the penalty box.

For age groups U10 and U11 the goal kick must be taken from anywhere inside the 4 metre area.

Super Sevens Code of Conduct

  1. Players and team managers must not question the referee’s decision.
  2. When a free kick is awarded, the defending team must observe the compulsory six yard rule immediately.
  3. Players must not attempt to steal ground when taking free-kicks.
  4. No coaching from the touch line during the actual play.
  5. Teammates and adults in charge should give positive encouragement to players who make mistakes.
  6. Players, team managers and match officials should shake hands before and after each game.
  7. Above all, everyone, children and adults, should do their best to produce an exciting and enjoyable game.
    It is recommended that the referee should remind all players and adults in charge of teams of the Super Sevens Code of Conduct before commencement of each match.

Adult Charter

1. Reflected Glory

All adults in attendance must show by example that they are more concerned with the well being of the children and the good of the game than with satisfying their own need for reflected glory.

2. Brain Over Brawn

Players should be encouraged to display creative skills and discouraged from trying to win through primitive, violent means.

3. Fun First

Fun and skills should be higher priorities than winning. Adults should remember that, when dealing with young people, tomorrow is more important than today. All research proves that an over-emphasis on winning at an early age reduces the numbers playing the game and will lower the ultimate standard of skill of most players.

Good Reasons for Playing Seven-A-Side Soccer

  1. Increased amount of ball contact because of reduction in the numbers and the restricted space of action, each player has a far greater amount of ball contact in sevens than in eleven-a-side version of the game. As reception is the basis of all learning, this greater frequency of ball contact must aid skill improvement.
  2. Greater Concentration
    The ball is never far away in sevens and therefore, maximum concentration is encouraged.
    Many youngsters, playing on adult fields, lose interest in the game because the ball goes out of their immediate vicinity and they quickly become bored ‘spectators’.
  3. Improved Fitness for Football
    The total involvement required by all team managers in the small-sided game provides a lively and dynamic tempo which compares favorably with the quality and intensity of movement experienced in top-class football.
    When children play eleven-a-side, many of them, particularly those confined to a functional defensive role, have a negligible involvement in the action.
  4. Better Awareness and Greater Flexibility
    The small-sided game demands that all outfield players contribute to offence and defence.
    Consequently, each player’s all round knowledge will be developed. This type of play will also encourage a variety of movement and skills. Eleven-a-side football at this level often leads to tactical regimentation and positional categorisation.
  5. Less Conflict
    By reducing the ‘bunching’ normally associated with eleven-a-side and simplifying the rules (i.e. no offside), the basic football problem-solving situations will become easier to see, less stressful and simpler to solve.
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