The Roots Soccer League uses “build-out lines” for all 7v7 games (U9 & U10), below is a complete guide:
This system has been used across the world as a development aid to young players who often have trouble re-starting play from goal-kicks and is used to promote goalkeepers to play a short pass instead of long punt. It is USSF’s belief that alongside the small-sided changes (4v4, 7v7, 9v9, 11v11) that this will be a recipe to develop more technically competent players across the Nation. Here’s why:
1. Players learn and develop by touching the ball in a controlled fashion.
2. Players learn to make decisions by having the ball and being allowed to decide what to do with it (without fear as the driver).
3. The more passes a team plays, the more each player touches the ball and, therefore, the more they learn about the game.
4. Any team or coach who states they are most invested in player development is therefore honor bound to play a possession-based game. Yes. playing style and formation do have a direct impact on player development!
5. Possession soccer starts with the goalkeeper playing a pass.
6. This pass causes the chain reaction in which passing and possession breaks out and player development occurs.
A build out line on each half of the field should be equidistant between the top of the penalty area and the midfield line (refer to field diagram). It may be designated as a painted (solid or dashed line) on the field, or by use of a cone or other marker near the touchline but off the field of play.
Coaches may be asked to use cones to designate these build out lines for their matches in the event their field of play is lacking a painted line
Build out lines affect several changes within the Laws of the Game, most notably Offside, the Goal Kick, and the Goalkeeper’s possession with their hands within the run of play.
An offside offense can only occur between the build out line and the goal line in the team’s attacking half of the field. The build out line serves the same purpose as the midfield line in reference to offside decisions, players may not be offside between the midfield line and the build out line.
When a team is awarded a goal kick, the defending team must retreat past the build out line in a timely fashion. Once the ball is put into play, the defending team may pressure the ball. The attacking team may choose to restart play before the defending team retreats to the build out line; when this occurs, the defending team may pressure the ball as normal.
The same "retreating" process also occurs when the goalkeeper has possession of the ball in their hands. The goalkeeper may distribute the ball by roll, throw, or put the ball on the ground and pass it. The goalkeeper is prohibited from punting or drop-kicking the ball. Violations result in an indirect free kick awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the infraction; if this occurs in the goal area, the restart should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred.
The goalkeeper may choose to distribute the ball before the defending team retreats to the build out line; when this occurs, the defending team may pressure immediately.
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