Nottinghamshire referees at Senior Cup Finall

A Note From The Referees

It’s fair to say grassroots football wouldn’t survive without referees, and I’m sure most of you will agree that our Nottinghamshire referees do a great job. However, there is often a difference in opinion between the referee and those on the side line so we thought why not give the referees a chance to talk about their experience and educate us on mini soccer!

We asked two of our current mini soccer referees to describe their experience of refereeing so far…

Zaydn (aged 16): I took the mini soccer referee course as I was refereeing locally and always had an interest in it. The course lasted a total of 3 days, with an introduction evening followed by a practical day, with the final day being a call back and exam once we had gone away and refereed 6 games to gain some experience. The course itself was very enjoyable with the course leaders making it a fun and structured environment. Mini Soccer was my first step into refereeing and now I referee the 11v11 men’s game and am currently going for promotion with my passion for refereeing developing.

Phoebe (aged 17): I started my refereeing journey by completing the mini soccer referee course. I have played football all my life and I wanted to see the game through a different perspective. At the time of completing the course, I was 14 years old so I thought mini soccer was the ideal starting place to help me grow in confidence and see if I would enjoy refereeing or not.

So what are the basic laws of mini soccer?

Mini soccer rules differ to 11v11 football in a number of ways. The main differences are:

  • There are 7 players per team
  • The game is aimed at children up to 10 years old
  • Retreat line rule – when the goalkeeper is taking a goal kick, the attacking team must all retreat to the halfway line to give the defending team a chance to play from the back
  • All free kicks are direct in mini soccer

We then asked Zaydn and Phoebe what they find most people don’t realise about Mini Soccer. The top 2 findings were:

  1. There are 2 types of yards in mini soccer, one being the 2 yard rule for throw-ins, and one being the 5 yard rule for all free kicks.
  2. When the ball goes out of play for a throw in, the player has the option to roll the ball underarm back in play. This is to help the game flow as often younger players struggle to do a throw in i.e. hands behind your head and both feet on the floor.