U9-U12 Retreat Line

Retreat Line information – Revised November 2014.

Options for Goalkeepers - 5v5/7v7/9v9

How the retreat line is implemented.

When the goalkeeper has the ball at a goal kick or after making a save the opposing team members would "retreat" to the predetermined area of the field. The predetermined areas are as follows: 

  • 5v5 - Half way line. It is recommended the goalkeeper does not drop kick the ball
  • 7v7 – 1/3rds line.
  • 9v9 - 1/3rds line. 

With the opposition retreating to the correct part of the field the goalkeeper can now successfully throw or pass the ball to a team mate. Once the player receiving the ball from the goalkeeper receives the ball, the ball is in play and the opposition players can pressure and attempt to win the ball. 

If the goalkeeper chooses not to wait for the opposing players to "retreat" and throws or passes the ball down the field, the ball is instantly in play and does not require a player from the goalkeeper’s team to touch the ball first.

The ball is in play once it leaves the penalty area (7v7/9v9) All opponents must be behind the retreat line and cannot cross the retreat line until the ball: 

  • Is touched by a player of the team taking the goal kick OR,
  • Leaves the field of play OR,
  • Goes over the retreat line. (If the goalkeeper chooses to play the ball across the retreat line prior to the opposition crossing the retreat line) 

For more information on the retreat line complete with diagrams please take a look at The Ontario Soccer Association publication, Field Organization Guide. It’s available to view/ download at;

http://www.ontariosoccer.net/Portals/438/NewRetreat%20Line%20Presentation%20UPDATED%20with%20u8%20 footage%20for%20website%20October%208th%202014.pdf

Or listen to a retreat line podcast at;



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