Prevent youth crime by providing youth between the ages of 3 to 18 with supervised athletic, and social development activities. Encourage participation and support by the community in PAL programs to help build a solid foundation for our communities' fu

Sponsored By:   Bounce U
East Windsor, NJ
My my My my

East Windsor P.A.L. In-House Soccer Rules

Player Dress/Equipment


  1. All players must wear shin guards during games and practices.  Shin guards must be covered by socks.
  2. No jewelry (necklaces, watches, rings, bracelets, etc) may be worn during games or practices.  Pierced earrings will have to be removed prior to the game – “taping over” pierced ears will not be allowed.
  3. Team shirts must be worn on top of all other clothing.  Shirts should be tucked in and sleeves may not be rolled up or cut off.  Hoods on sweatshirts worn under team shirts must be tucked in.
  4. Blue shirt is the "Home" shirt and Red shirt is the "Away" shirt.
  5. Baseball caps may not be worn.
  6. Children with casts are not permitted to play even if the cast is wrapped.
  7. Soccer cleats (baseball cleats are not allowed)


Playing Time

The emphasis of the recreation soccer league is to allow all children to play the game, have fun, and develop their skills.  The league recommends, but does not require, that every child be given the opportunity to play every position.  Coaches must adhere to following rules regarding playing time:

  1. All players must play at least half the game (unless prevented by an injury sustained during the game) and try to make it as equal as possible.  It is expected every player on a team will have similar rest time.  For example, it is not ok to to sub out just 2 players where they each play half a game but everyone else plays the full game.
  2. Each player must play in at least 3 out of 4 quarters for games played in quarters.  In other words, if a player sits out the entire first quarter, then that player must receive playing time in each of the remaining quarters.
    1. If a player sits out for an entire quarter, that player should be on the field at the start of the next quarter, to ensure they receive adequate playing time.


Sideline Rules

Tiny Tots, Instructional and Pre Cadet/Jr Cadet

  1. Parents should be seated on the same side of the field as the team to give the support the kids need at this age.  Parents should give their kids encouragement when they are resting.
  2. Teams should be on opposite sides of the field mainly to prevent overcrowding on one side.
  3. For Tiny Tots and Instructional, 1 coach per team is allowed on the field at a time while the other coach can roam their touch line and the endline upto the goal, they should not pass the goal.
  4. The field coach must stay in the middle half of the field during play, they can not enter the field area by the goal, it is intimidating for a child to have an unfamiliar adult standing by the goal. 
    1. When the ball is not in play, the coach may enter this area to set the kids up for a corner kick or goal kick and then must exit the area before the game resumes.
  5. For Pre-Cadets, coaches are not allowed on the field and must stay on the touch lines, they are not allowed to be on the endline at all.

Cadet and above

  1. At all levels above the Pre-Cadet/Jr Cadett Division, parents and all other spectators (including the team parent) are requested to view the game from the opposite side of the field from the players and coaches.  In addition, no spectators are permitted to view games from behind the end line/goal line.
    It is the responsibility of the coaches to ensure this rule is enforced.
  2. Each team is allowed no more than 3 coaches [head coach & assistant(s)] on the sidelines.
  3. Both of the team coaches must coach on the same side of the field.  It is not permissible to have one coach on each side of the field.
  4. Coaches must restrict their movement along the field during the game, between the midfield line and their own (defensive) 18 yard line.
    1. If a coach is having a situation where a player is unclear what to do on the opponents side of the field, the coach must ask permission to cross the centerline of the field to give instruction to correct the issue.  The coach can not remain there indefinitely.  The other coach has the right to decline or ask the requesting coach to return to his side of the field if they feel it has been too long.  The intent behind this is to allow instruction to someone who is in need of the help.
  5. Coaches may not enter the field of play, without the permission of the referee.

General Rules of the Game
Tiny Tots & Instructional

  1. Out of bounds are enforced.  Throw-ins will be done and will have unlimited tries to get it right.  Players must stand back at least 5 adult steps from the person throwing in the ball.
  2. Balls exiting the field over the endline will be brought back into play through either a corner kick if it is kicked out by the team on their own side or a goal kick if kicked out by the other team.  Players must stand back at least 5 adult steps from the person kicking in the ball.
  3. There are no handballs to be called at this level unless the player bends over and picks the ball up or touches the ball.  If the ball is in the air and they hit the ball with their hand, let play continue but let the player know that should not be done.  If the child does bend down to pick up the ball, the other team gets the ball and the other players must stand back 5 adult steps.  If it happenes right in front of the goal, the ball is placed 4 steps away and all players must be 5 steps away.  As soon as the ball is kicked players can try to stop the ball.
  4. There is no offsides at this level.
  5. There are no keepers at this level.  Coaches should not teach the children to stand back by the goal.  They should move forward and backward, side to side as the ball moves to be engaged throughout the game rather than just when the ball is near the goal.  As they get older, defending players do not stand by the goal the entire game, we do not want to teach them to do so early on.
  6. No other penalties within the FIFA Rules of the Game are enforced at this age.  However it is the coaches responsibility to caution their players about pushing other players.  We want to reinforce keeping hands down.

Pre- Cadet/Jr Cadet

  1. FIFA rules of the Game as modified for Youths will be enforced with a few exceptions.
    1. Players will get a second chance for a throw in after the Referee instructs the player of why it was not done properly.  A third chance is not given unless the Referee neglects to instruct the child.  If it is not done properly, the other team gets the ball.
    2. Incidental hand balls will not be called.  It is the Referees call to assess if the ball hit the childs hand during course of play or if the player intentionally reached their hand in a way to stop the ball. 
    3. If a penalty occurs by the defensive team in the penalty box, an indirect kick will be awarded to the other team from a point on the penalty box closest to the foul.  Players must give the person taking the kick 10 yards of space.  The intent is to still penalize the offending team but not to introduce penalty kicks at this age.
    4. If a goalie crosses the line when either trying to prevent a goal or when distributing the ball, the Goal Keeper should be warned by the Referee.  If the same Goalie does it more than 3 times with three warnings, the other team receives an indirect kick on the penalty box line closest to the last foul.
  2. Other common fouls will be called including but not limited to pushing, tripping and offsides.

Cadet and older

  1. All FIFA rules as modified for Youths by US Youth Soccer will be enforced except:
  2. Slide-tackling is not permitted in any division below the Senior division.
    1. Coaches are expected to instruct players and parents, of this rule.
    2. A player guilty of slide-tackling may be yellow carded, or red carded, at the discretion of the referee.

For all divisions, the following rules will apply:

  1. No team may begin play at the start of a quarter with more players on the field than the opposing team, unless a team is playing short due to a player being red-carded (ejection).
    1. If a player is red-carded (ejected), that team must play short for the remainder of the game.
  2. If a player is injured and must be removed from play, and the injured player’s team has no substitutes, the opposing team will not be forced to remove a player from the field, until the end of the quarter.  At the beginning of the following quarter, if the injured player is still unable to return to play, then the opposing team must remove a player from the field.
  3. If one team is short players, the coaches will agree upon one of two options; (1) the team with more players will lend a player(s) to the team that is short-handed, or (2) the team with more players may only play with as many players on the field as the short-handed team has.


Duration of Games


  1. All games will be played in four quarters or two halves as follows:
Tiny Tots & Instructional 8 minutes / quarter 32 minutes
Pre-Cadet & Cadet 10 minutes / quarter 40  minutes
Juniors 25 minutes / half 50 minutes
Seniors 40 minutes / half 80  minutes

In order to accommodate the max. number of games that may be played, games are scheduled within a very tight time frame.  Coaches are asked to ensure the timely start of games.

  1. The Tiny Tots and Instructional Divisions (boys & girls) teams will have a thirty (30) minute practice session, followed by a non-competitive, 32 minute game, consisting of four – 8 minute quarters.
  2. Teams switch sides at half-time.
  3. If games are tied at the end of regulation play during a regular season game, the game will be recorded as a tie.  Overtime play will only apply to playoff games.

Ball Sizes

Tiny Tots, Instructional, Pre-Cadet #3
Cadet, Post Cadets #4
3 M Teams #5

Number of Players

Tiny Tots, Instructional 5 Any #
Pre-Cadet & Cadet 8 Any #
Post Cadet 9 Any #
3M Junior/Seniors 11 8


  1. Unlimited substitutions will be allowed.  You may only substitute after informing the referee that you wish to do so, and receiving permission to do so.  Tiny Tots and Instructional do not have Referees, substitutes can be made at any time.
  2. You may substitute during any of the following situations:
  • Any goal kick
  • On a throw-in

            Substitutions on throw-ins:

  • Pre Cadet  – either team may request to substitute on a throw-in
  • Cadet, Juniors & Seniors – only if the team taking the throw-in makes a substitution, the opposing team may substitute as well
  • For an injured player, after stoppage of play
  • After a goal
  • At the end of any quarter / half
  1. You must remove all substituted players from the field before you send a new player on the field of play. 


Goalkeeper Rules

There are no goal keepers for Tiny Tots and Instructional play.

  1. Goalkeeper must release possession of the ball within six seconds of gaining control of the ball.  Failure to do so will result in an indirect kick (not a penalty kick) being awarded to the opposing team.
  2. Goalkeeper may not play the ball with their hands, on a ball kicked back to the keeper by a teammate.
  3. Goalkeeper may play the ball with their feet, on a ball kicked back to the keeper by a teammate.
  4. GK may play a ball, with their hands, or feet, on a ball headed back to the GK by a teammate.


Inclement and Adverse Weather


  1. Coaches may not, and should not, cancel games of their own accord.
  2. Unless coaches are called, all games will be played. If games are canceled, no practices may be held at the Airport Road complex. Coaches should call the EWPAL Weather Cancellation Line (609-448-5333, opt#2) the morning of games when there is a question concerning weekend EWPAL field closures. Coaches should call the EWPAL Weather Cancellation Line after 3pm the day of a scheduled weekday practice or game, if it has rained within 24 hours prior to the scheduled practice.
  3. At game time, only the referee, or the Program Director may cancel a game due to unplayable field conditions.  Games will be played in rainy or hot weather.  Cancellation should be caused only by lightening or flooded fields.
  4. During adverse hot weather conditions teams should be sure to have at least 2 subs for 5/side games, 3 for 8/side games and 4 for 9/side games.  If this means playing less people on the field then both teams must play with the same number.  Adversely hot weather is above 90 degrees or upon agreement by both teams.
  5. Always report to your game unless previously notified.

Overtime/Shoot-outs (Playoffs only)
In the event of a tie at the end of regulation play of a playoff game, the following will take place:

  • Two, 5 minute sudden death overtime periods (first goal wins)
  • If the game is still tied after the above two sessions, kicks from the penalty spot will be used to determine the winner.


Kick from the Penalty Spot Rules

  1. Five players will be selected from each team to take a shot from the penalty spot.  Your goalkeeper may be one of the shooters.
  2. First shooter will be determined by the flip of a coin.  Visitor calls the coin in the air.
  3. All team players are eligible to shoot, but all do not have to shoot
  4. Each team will rotate shots and all players participating in the shoot out must remain at mid field.  All other team players must remain on the sideline.  One coach may be with his five players at mid field only.
  5. At the end of five shots, if the game is still tied, another five shots must be taken, and so on.  There is no sudden death in kicks from the penalty spot.  Players may be substituted for a second round.  You do not have to use the same five shooters for each round of five shots.


Disciplinary Actions


  1. Coaches or spectators ejected from the game must leave the field immediately.  The league Director will determine if further disciplinary action should be taken.
  2. Players red-carded are suspended for the rest of that game.  If the offense is for fighting or punching, the player will be banned for the next two games.  If a second offense for fighting occurs, the player will be suspended for the rest of the season.
  3. Two yellow cards in one game is the same as one red card.  The player is ejected.


Coaches Responsibilities


  1. Coaches are responsible for the conduct of all players and PARENTS.
  2. In the case of an injured player, the coach must notify the PAL office within 48 hours.
  3. Should the coach be unable to attend a game, he/she may have another person (who must be at least 18 years of age) assume responsibility for the team.
  4. Coaches are responsible for any PAL owned equipment.  It must be returned at the end of the season to the PAL office.
  5. The home coach supplies the game ball.
  6. All teams (coach or team parent from the winning team) should submit a newspaper game summary report to the PAL office drop box, or e-mail it directly to the Windsor Hights Herald, after each game.  Please utilize the name of you team’s sponsor (e.g. Haldeman Ford), rather than a team nickname.
  7. If no referee is present within 10 minutes of the stated game time, please notify the office/concession stand.  If a referee does not arrive by the scheduled start time, the coaches will agree on either a parent, or coach, to referee the game.
  8. At the referee’s request, coaches will assign a line person to run the touch line flags during the game.  This should be an adult.
  9. There is to be no arguing with the referee.  He/she is doing the best they can.  Please let them call the game.  If there are any problems, please report them to your Division Coordinator.