- EVERY game is a friendly game. There are no scores recorded, no points. This is NOT a league. It is a programme which aims to have teams playing age appropriate football in a player-centric environment to develop the player, the coach and the spectator;
- 5-a-side games are 18 minutes in length. All restarts from the sideline will be from a kick in. Goalkeepers are NOT permitted to kick the ball from their hands. First touch rule applies (within reason). There are no offsides;
- 7-a-side games are 3 periods of 15 minutes. All restarts from the sideline will be from a throw in. Goalkeepers are NOT permitted to kick the ball from their hands. First touch rule applies (within reason). There are no offsides;
- 9-a-side games are 2 halves of 25 minutes. All restarts from the sideline will be from a throw in. Goalkeepers are permitted to kick the ball from their hands no more than three times per half. The pass back rule does not apply. Opposing players must retreat to the neutral or defensive third while the goalkeeper has the ball, players can then apply pressure when the defender takes a touch. There are no offsides; and
- Each match has a 1 hour slot to take place. Regardless of the time the match starts, both teams must be finished and off the pitch at the beginning of the next hour. Timings on the ‘Mugga’ pitch at Bangor Aurora 3G are different and teams should clear immediately after their game, making way for the next set of teams.
- Only 2 coaches per team are permitted on the sidelines. Each coach MUST hold an Irish FA approved pass! (This can be obtained through completing the ‘Coach Registration Form’);
- Coaches are responsible for their spectators and if required, should remind parents and spectators that they should not be coaching from the sidelines; and
- Coaches are responsible for making sure their spectators watch the game from the designated areas at each venue.
Age groups / bands
- Players should only be playing in a 2 year age band;
- A player can play a year up [i.e. a 2008 player could play for the 2007s] but but a player cannot play a year down; and
- A player should only play ONE game per week! Where we find a player playing for 2 teams or in 2 age groups per week, we will ask for that player to be removed from the pitch. Two games of 45 minutes equates to the 90 minutes many adults find demanding.
- If you have a concern that a team is playing an over-age player, report it to the co-ordinator during the game and they will deal with it.
Please click the link below to find additional rules that apply to the North Down & Ards Small Sided Games Programme in additional to the national SSG Centre rules listed above.