Important Message from the NSYSA VP/Competition (10/24/04) concerning the Offside Rule and Small Sided Play
Attention all NSYSA U-8 and U-9 Coaches Regarding Offsides Rule:
There has been confusion among the Association clubs, coaches, and referees regarding application of the offsides rule at the U-9 age level. This has come about partially because of a difference in the written rules on this as presented in the WSYSA Administrative Handbook (Rule 302.9(e)) and in the NSYSA Small Sided Rules (Law XI). To avoid further confusion, the NSYSA rule is that the offside rule will not apply to any U-9 and below team. The intent of the rule, however, will still be followed by referees. Positioning a player in front of the opponent's goal irrespective of the location of the ball on the field is contrary to the aims of the program. The referee shall take appropriate action to prevent this kind of play (an indirect kick to the offended team and instructional statements to the violating players and coach).
Obvious "cherrypicking," by placing a player in front of the opposing team's goal while the ball is played in the other half, for instance, violates the intent of the offside rule. If the referee sees a player positioned this way, he/she should instruct the players and coach about this violating the offside rule, and award an indirect kick to the other team. Goals scored from this position do not count toward the final score.
By contrast, if a player is in an offside position in the middle third of the field and receives the ball, referees should not apply the offsides rule. If there is no assigned referee, the coaches are to act on the honor system, and in the best interests of the game and the rules.