MWFA Modified Laws for Junior Matches

U12-U16 MWFA matches operate under modified Laws of the Game:

Duration of Match/Ball Sizes:

  • The duration of halves is 25 minutes in U12 matches, 30 minutes in U13 and U14 matches, and 35 minutes in U15 and U16 matches.
  • There is no stoppage time played in junior MWFA matches.
  • The size of the ball is size 4 in U10 to U13 matches size 5 for U14s and above.

Short Corner Kicks (Under 12s):

  • The corner kick is taken from within an imaginary 1-yard (0.9 metres) arc drawn at a point 8 yards (7.2m) from the point at which the penalty area meets the goal line in U12 matches.

25 Metre Rule (Under 12s – Under 14s):

The purpose of the 25m Rule is to facilitate younger age groups playing out from the back with reduced pressure when they are awarded a goal kick or free kick in their penalty area.

The Clearance Zone is a rectangular area bounded by the touchlines, the goal line and an imaginary line parallel to and 25m from the goal line. This line must be indicated by cones, poles or other marking to assist the referee. Referees are expected to undertake a field check which should include ensuring that the Clearance Zone has been marked out. If there are no cones/poles set up to indicate the Clearance Zone, the referee is required to ask the home team for them to set up the Clearance Zone.

The 25m Rule applies to the U12 through U14 age groups and is in operation for goal kicks and also for free kicks awarded to the defending team in the penalty area.

  • For a goal kick, the goalkeeper of the defending team must take the kick
  • For a free kick to the defending team in the penalty area, any player from the defending team may take the kick
  • The ball is in play when it is kicked, clearly moves, and before becoming stationary, is next touched by a second player from the defending team within the Clearance Zone
  • Opponents must be outside the Clearance Zone until the ball is in play.

For clarity:

  • The ball cannot be kicked directly beyond the Clearance Zone
  • Infringement of any aspect of the 25m Rule results in the kick being retaken
  • If in the opinion of the Referee, infringement of the 25m Rule is being utilised to waste time by either team, the players guilty of the perceived time wasting will be cautioned
  • Once the ball is in play, opponents are permitted to enter the Clearance Zone and challenge for possession of the ball.
  • The Clearance Zone does not apply to free kicks to the defending team outside of the penalty area.

The following diagram illustrates the 25m rule process: