Rules of 9 aside
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9-A-Side Football Rules: All That You Need To Know

9-A-side football is the closest version to the standard football or we might say; the last learning stage for the kids, as it is a game of mature academy boys. By the time boys reach 9-A-Side football, there should be more disciplinary awareness among them and they should know the 9-A-Side football rules.

Like the other shorter versions of football, 9-A-Side is also played in the streets as a casual game. Like other forms of football, 9-A-Side has its own specific rules and regulations which are going to be our topic of discussion today.

So, before we get to explaining its rules. Here’s a little disclaimer, we are stating the regulations stated by FIFA. But as the shorter versions of football are played across the globe casually so, the 9-A-Side rules and regulations may vary from place to place. Buckle up!

9-A-side football Rules


It’s necessary to know the rules, you must be equipped about the game you’re so passionate about, that’s why it’s a suggestion to go through all the rules very carefully. We will try to elaborate on each one of them so you can have a better understanding of them all. We’re going to talk about all the necessary 9-A-Side rules in 10 points. That being said, let’s get started with some numerical figures about 9-A-Side rules.


The field of 9-A-Side football is a rectangle like the standard football pitch and its dimensions are: 75m x 55m maximum. That’s almost ¾ of the standard 11-A-Side football pitch. A centre circle is necessary with a minimum diameter of 6 meters.

Also, the penalty area comprises 32m x 13m and the dimensions of the goal are 6ft x 18ft while the penalty spot is placed 9m away from the goal post. These are a lot of numbers to remember, don’t worry, these are just for your information. Don’t let them get to your head, it’s just you should know about them.


As obvious from the name itself, 9-A-Side, there are 9 players from each team present on the field at a time and 8 out of 9 are the outfield players which play as defence, midfield and attack respectively, and the remaining 1 player is, of course, the goalkeeper.


For each team playing the match, there are 5 substitutions allowed. It’s a standard that referee must be informed when the substitutions are being made and the player(s) who are subbed-off during a match cannot re-enter the pitch and the same goes for the players who are subbed-on, they can’t be subbed-off again and have to play the remaining match.


Minimum of 7 players on each team should be present on the field to allow the game to proceed. The game will be expunged if any team manages less than 7 players present on the field.


9-A-Side and 11-A-Side, both versions have the same size of the ball allowed; Size #5.


In 9-A-Side rules, the game duration is less than competitive football. There are 2 halves, which comprise of 30 minutes each. Under casual circumstances, there can be 20-minute half, but not less than that. There is also a ten-minute half-time break. One more important thing to add, in 9-A-Side rules, there is no added injury time in any circumstances.


The off-side rule in 9-A-Side is the same as the 11-A-Side football. There are no changes and exceptions, the same rules are applied in 9-A-Side. Since we’re talking about the off-side, let’s elaborate it a bit. Yeah, we know it’s a very frustrating rule for the offensive players. There are two aspects to understand the off-side rule, according to the FIFA gameplay rule #11.


A player is off-side if any of their body parts including head, feet, or body are in the opposition’s half and are closer to the opponent’s goal line than the ball and also the last defender of opponents. Remember that, being in the offside position isn’t an offence. The hands of the players are excluded from this limitation.


Being in an off-side position is an offence only when the player who is in an offside position is involved in the game-play. Otherwise, the ref may not raise the flag unless the player in question is involved. Clear, are we? We know it’s a bit tricky to understand it, for a brief explanation of the off-side rule, you can visit the official website and read about the rule by clicking this link.

9-A-side football Rules


When the referee indicates for the free-kick in 9-A-Side football, all the rules of FIFA game-play law 13 of Free kick will apply to the situation. The wall of the defending team will be created 10 yards away from the free-kick spot. Remember the different rules of direct and indirect free kicks will also apply to the situation.

For more information about FIFA Law 13 about free-kicks, you can visit this link.


When the ball goes out of the play and the referee indicates for the goal kick, just like the standard competitive game of 11-A-Side football, the goalkeeper is allowed to initiate the game-play with his hands, or placed-kick of the ball. FIFA Rule 16 about goal kicks will apply here.


Corner kicks are another important thing in football that might need some explanation here. Long story short, all the players must be 10yds away from the corner arc when the corner kick is being taken until the ball is in play. Wasn’t so complex, was it?


Nope, nothing’s next. That’s all the necessary rules you need to know when playing 9-A-Side football. It should be a common thing to understand that 9-A-Side rules correspond a lot with the competitive 11-A-Side football rules which we all know.

That’s why at the very beginning we said that 9-A-Side is the closest thing to the general football we watch on our TV and mobile screens. It was important to bring some light to the significance of this version of the beautiful game. Now that you are equipped with all the rules, you can play by keeping them in mind and avoid violations.


That’s a wrap, guys. We hope you understood all the rules we mentioned. We know you’ll have a lot of questions if you’ve come across these rules for the first time, that’s why we are always open and glad to answer the questions of our readers. Thank you for reading till the very end, we will see you again with our next blog. Till then, Peace.


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