Retreating Line Rule

Retreating Line Rule Mainland Football Example

We are at an important time in the development of young players and Mini Football (7v7, 9v9) are the “Golden Years’ of learning. We have introduced the Retreating Line to provide more opportunity for more players to be involved and enjoy the game.

In order to help you understand this further, please see below:

Retreating Line Key points:

  • Retreating Line marked with discs at 30% of pitch length from each goal
  • When a team’s Goalkeeper receives the ball, they have the choice to wait for the attacking players to drop back behind the retreating line.
  • When the Goalkeeper plays the ball out, only upon the first touch of the Goalkeepers team-mate can the attacking player advance over the retreating line.

Note: The coaches are encouraged to ensure a maximum of 6 seconds are undertaken for this to happen. We encourage to take the first touch as quickly as possible


In 7v7 the Retreating Line is also used as the offside line for attacking playersIn 9v9 the offside line is from the halfway line as per 11v11 football rulesFor further information and examples, please have a look at the Retreating Line – Updated document.

Click here for a video showing the correct execution.

The video shows the GK with the ball and the opposition (orange bibs) behind the Retreating Line. The GK passes to his defender. Upon the first touch, the orange defending players are able to press the ball. This results in the blues playing “through the thirds” with a combination of passing and dribbling into the opponents area.

Great stuff!