NASA Under 05 3v3 "New Ball" Playing Rules

NASA has adopted the "Continuous Play" or "New Ball" playing format for U5 games.  Please follow this link for more information on this format. 

Law 1 THE FIELD OF PLAY: The dimensions and marking of the field shall be as illustrated. The size of the goal will be 4' High x 6' Wide. The 8' Arc in front of each goal is the Goal Area. No player may stand within the Goal Area, however any player may move through the Goal Area. Both coaches are responsible to assure that the field is properly marked and ready for play at least 20 minutes prior to game time.

Law 2 THE BALL: Size 3 with stitched cover. Circumference between 23-24 inches and weigh between 11-12 ounces. Each team will supply several game balls.

Law 3 NUMBER OF PLAYERS: Maximum of 3 players from each team on the field at any one time. Maximum of 6 players on the roster. There are NO Goalkeepers. Players may be substituted by either team "on the fly" at any time. Referees will stop play in the event of an injury and allow substitution for the injured player. Players must Enter and Exit the field from the halfway-line. Each player rostered to a team SHALL play a minimum of 50% of the total playing time. Coaches are encouraged, but not required, to "platoon" their substitutions at the quarters as a means of convenient compliance with this rule. NOTE: Goal Tending (positioning a player in front of your own goal inside the semi-circle for the sole purpose of keeping the opposition team from scoring) is not allowed. Teams and games may be coed.

Law 4 PLAYERS' EQUIPMENT: Tennis shoes or soft-cleated soccer shoes. Shinguards are MANDATORY. Shinguards are to be worn UNDER the socks and the jersey tucked in. Players may not wear watches, necklaces, earrings, rings, or other jewelry. The players names "Will Not" be allowed on the jerseys - this is for the safety of the players.

Law 5 REFEREES: Opposing Coaches shall each Referee half of the game. Coaches from both teams may referee simultaneously - each coach taking 1/2 the field.  A coach may designate an assistant to serve in his place with the opposing Coaches approval. Their job is to keep the playing environment FUN, SAFE and focused on the child. Duties are to keep time, enforce the rules, stop and restart play, and deliver a new ball when the ball goes out of play. When you stop play for a foul or other reason, take the time to explain to the players WHY! This is their first experience with soccer, too, and the best time to educate all on the Laws of The Game. 

Law 6 ASSISTANT REFEREES: Not used in small-sided game.

Law 7 DURATION OF THE GAME: Game shall be divided into four (4) quarters of eight (8) minutes each with a five (5) minute break between quarters and a five (5) minute break at the half. Note: The time will not stop during quarters except for an injury.

Law 8 THE START OF PLAY: Conform to FIFA except that opposing players shall be three (3) yards from the center mark while kick-off is in progress. The ball on kick-off no longer has to go forward.

Law 9 BALL IN AND OUT OF PLAY: Conform to FIFA - Ball must completely cross line to be "out of play". Ball is "in play" if any part of the ball is on or above the line.  For U5 age groups, NASA allows the "loose boundaries" rule.  Please see the "New Ball Method" page referred to above.

Law 10 METHOD OF SCORING: Conform to FIFA - Ball must completely cross goal line between posts and beneath crossbar to count.

Law 11 OFF-SIDE: There is no off-side in small-sided games. NOTE: Cherry Picking (positioning a player in front of the opposing teams goal for the sole purpose of scoring) will not be allowed.

Law 12 FOULS AND MISCONDUCT: Conform to FIFA except that all fouls and misconduct shall result in an indirect free-kick with the opponents at least three (3) yards from the ball before kick is allowed. All infractions shall be explained to the players involved prior to the direct kick.

Law 13 FREE-KICKS: Conform to FIFA except that all kicks will be an indirect and the opponents must be three (3) yards away from the ball before kick is allowed.

Law 14 PENALTY-KICKS: There are no Penalty Kicks in small-sided games.

Law 15 THROW-IN: There are no throw-ins in the continuous play format.  Instead, the referee/coach delivers a new ball and play continues without interruption.

Law 16 GOAL-KICK: There are no goal-kicks in the continuous play format.  Instead, the referee/coach delivers a new ball and play continues without interruption. 

Law 17 CORNER-KICK: There are no corner kicks in the continuous play format.  Instead, the referee/coach delivers a new all and play continues without interruption. 


  • There are no kick-offs after goals are scored in the continuous play format.   After a goal is scored, the coach will direct the players towards the center of the field, deliver a new ball, and pay resumes without interruption. 
  • Although 'slide tackling' is legal, for safety concerns NASA does not allow it in this age group. 
  • Referees WILL NOT keep score during games for these age groups. Coaches and parents are to be reminded that the purpose of this program is to develop the individual player's ball control skills, not to gather an impressive team victory record. 
  • No alcoholic beverages or smoking will be allowed near the playing area.

*** Relax and Let The Kids Enjoy THEIR Game ***