Graduation Series

The Graduation Series is specifially for players moving from Under-8 to Under-10 next year to prepare for the big changes in the Under-10 program, such as offside, more players, free kicks, etc.

Basic Info

  • Please review:
    1. U10 Guidelines
    2. Differences between U-8 and U-10
  • All these U10 Rules will apply to the Graduation Program, with the following exceptions:
    • Teams referee their own games
    • Non-competitive environment.
    • Scores will NOT be kept and there are no playoffs
  • Refereeing
    • 3-person referee team: 1 referee on the field and 2 assistant referees on the sidelines
    • Home Team supplies two (2) referees for their own game, and away team supplies one (1) referee.
    • The coaches shound not referee their own games. Parents, please step up to help out.
  • Substitutions
    • Players subbed at quarter breaks and half-time
    • All players are required to play 3 quarters, unless injury, sickness, etc.
    • No player will play 4 quarters unless all other players have played 3 quarters
  • No Practices

Graduation Series Objectives

  • Exercise AYSO’s Principles!
    • Everyone Plays
    • Balanced Teams
    • Good Sportsmanship
    • Positive Coaching
  • Allow players an environment to get comfortable with a larger ball, playing on a larger field, and get used to the new rules that will be enforced in U10.
  • Give coaches/parents the opportunity to get familiar with newly enforced rules, and practice coaching/refereeing with the new U10 rules prior to the start of the U10 season
  • Have Fun!


Rainy Days

  • If you do not hear from your coach, call the AYSO Region 88 hotline at (818) 957-AYSO if unsure of cancelled games.

Differences between Under-8 and Under-10

Coaches should print out the differences and bring to game (PDF Version)

Ball Size
Size 3
Size 4
6 ft high and 6 yards wide maximum (usuallysmaller)
7 ft high and 7 yards wide
Field Size
50 yards x 30 yards maximum
80 yards x 40 yards
Goal Area
No goal area
Goal area
Number of players on the field
Game Play
40 minutes (10 minute quarters). Clock stops atquarters
50 minutes (two 25 minute halves). Clock DOESNOT stop at substitution break (quarter break)
Coaches on the field
Allowed as needed to help the players
Coaches are not allowed on the field unlessinstructed by a referee
ONLY 2 coaches in the technical area
Technical area not enforced
Technical area strictly enforced
Take extra time if needed to release the ball
Has 6 seconds to release the ball
Offside Rule
Not enforced
(See Offside Simplified)
Have the opportunity to do over
Strictly enforced
Penalty Kick
No penalty kicks
Penalty kick is awarded as stated in the rulesguide
Free Kicks
No free kicks
Direct and indirect free kicks awarded as stated in the rules guide. See below for differences
Referee your own game with one referee providedper team
3-person referee team (1 center referee and 2 assistant referees) – Referee the game following (exception:  Graduation Series teams will referee their own games)

Differences between Direct and Indirect Kicks

A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following six offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:

  • kicks or attempts to kick an opponent;
  • trips or attempts to trip an opponent;
  • jumps at an opponent;
  • charges an opponent;
  • strikes or attempts to strike an opponent;
  • pushes an opponent.

A direct free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following four offences:

  • tackles an opponent to gain possession of the ball, making contact with the opponent before touching the ball;
  • holds an opponent;
  • spits at an opponent;
  • handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area).
An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following four offences:

  • takes more than six seconds while controlling the ball with his hands before releasing it from his possession;
  • touches the ball again with his hands after it has been released from his possession and has not touched any other player;
  • touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate;
  • touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate.

An indirect free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player, in the opinion of the referee:

  • plays in a dangerous manner;
  • impedes the progress of an opponent;
  • prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands;
  • commits any other offence, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which play is stopped to caution or dismiss a player.

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