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The Basics - Running a Team

Manager’s Checklist:


  • Have you (and any other adults who will be helping with the team) got a valid club CRB check? This is absolutely essential.
  • Have all your players registered with the club and paid their membership fees? Club Records must be maintained.  The league will request evidience of Club Records throughout the season.
  • Do you have a coach associated with your team who has the FA Level 1 qualification (including the First Aid and Safeguarding Children modules)?
  • Has your Club Secratary registered your teams on the FA Whole Game System (WGS)? If you have 2 teams in one age group then you must regsitered both teams (with individual team names) on to the WGS.
  • Has your Club (Typically team Managers) registered your players on the FA Whole Game System (WGS)?
  • Have you registered with the Taunton & District Youth league?
  • Have you registered your team players with a league? 
  • Does your team have a football kit? U7 to U10 age groups do not require numbers on their shirts.  All other age groups require shirt numbers.
  • Do you have parental contact details, medical information etc. for all your players? Club records.
  • Do you have a First Aid Kit?
  • Have you been clear with parents as to how the team will be run, what they can expect from you and what you expect from them? Our  team information section gives plenty of information on this sort of thing that you may find helpful.
Playing in the League

From U7s upwards, to play matches against teams from other clubs, your team (and players) need to be registered with the league. The league will organise matches which will be published on the league website.  Make sure you familiarise yourself with the league’s basic rules. League rules can be located here.

Mini League laws of the game and format can be found here.

CRB Checks, First Aid and Safeguarding

Every team has to be compliant with the FA by having all adults involved with children being CRB checked (by the FA) and having at least one first aider present when training or playing matches.

CRB checks (essential)

Every adult who will be involved in coaching a team in any capacity MUST HAVE a valid  FA CRB check to allow them to work with children.  The FA insist on it. Contact you clubs Clubs Child Welfare Officer to sort.

It’s important to remember that CRB checks are only valid for a period of 3 years and need repeating for you to continue to be allowed to coach. There are no exceptions to this.

First Aid (essential)

Every team must have a qualified first aider at every training session or match. Go to the Somerset FA website for more information on courses.  The league send out a regular news letter that will highlight any up and coming courses that are available.

You MUST HAVE and FA certified first aid kit and have an emergency action plan (EAP) in place in case of an emergency. Do you know where the nearest A&E is, do you have any relevant emergency phone numbers in your phone, do you know where the nearest defibrillator device is if your ground has one etc?

Safeguarding Children

All adults involved with coaching children must have an in date safe guarding children qualification. Go to the Somerset FA website for more information on courses.

Kit, Footballs, Goals and First Aid Kit

Each team must have matching kit.  Shirts should not be the colour black (so teams do not clash with the referee). If there is a clash of colours then the home team changes kit.  Bibs can be worn if a team does not have a second kit.


U7 = Size 3
U8 = Size 3
U9 =  Size 3
U10 = Size 4
U11 = Size 4
U12 = Size 4
U13 = Size 4
U14 = Size 4
U15 = Size 5
U16 = Size 5

The home team must provide a suitable match quality football for the game.


Samba goals are a wonderful invention but can be complicated to get your head around. One of the most common sights on a Saturday morning is adults standing round a set of samba goals looking confused. We’ve included links to Samba’s own instruction booklets below:


First Aid Kit

Every coach should have an FA approved first aid kit available to them at every training session and match.

Playing Matches

If your team is entered into a league then you will play matches.

U7 / U8 = 5v5
U9 / U10 = 7v7
U11 / U12 = 9v9
U13 to U16 = 11v11

Some information you may find useful with regard to matches, match days and how it all works:

Before Your Match

There are a number of things you need to do before match day for home games and away games. The timings for some of these will be specified by your individual league, so ask them or read their handbook to find out the specifics. Here’s a checklist for home games:

Home Matches Pre-Game Checklist:
  • Do you have a pitch allocated?
  • Do you know what time kick off is?
  • Have you contacted your opposition and given them the time, location and other details for the fixture?  This should be completed 4 days in advance of the fixture.
  • If you have a referee allocated – have you contacted them and let he or she know the details for the fixture?
  • Are all the players you intend to play in the fixture registered with the league? If you field an ineligible player then you risk a large fine and the possibility if the game was a competitive one that the result is awarded to the opposition, along with any points.
  • Has the pitch been marked?
  • If the opposition wear the same colour as you, have you arranged to play in another colour

For away games, you just need to know the details, so if the opposition manager hasn’t contacted you in plenty of time, you can look their details up and ask them.


Mini Soccer (U7 to U10)

The League doesn’t allocate referees to mini soccer teams, instead going with the approach that it is down to you, the manager, to find someone to referee your games. Usually this will be an assistant coach or a willing parent, but you can get a “proper” referee if you want.  Any willing individual who understands the rules of football will be OK.

U11 Upwards

Once you move to 9 a side football (and then to 11 a side), a qualified referee is recommended where possible as you’re dealing with offside decisions and a larger, more complex scale of game. The league have referee secretaries whose job it is to assign referees to all fixtures. In reality, there are rarely enough referees to go around and you will have to source your own referee for some games. If you cannot resource a qualified referee then a willing parent or coach who are familiar witht he rules can be used. Typically ech club will provide a refereee and complete 1 half of the game.

Payment for Referees

You are responsible for arranging payment for your referee for home matches. Referees will add travel costs to whatever match fees they charge you. 

Running the Line

From under 11 upwards you will also need 2 people to run the line. Each team provides one person to do this, who runs the line for their team (deciding if the opposition players are offside or not and which way to award throw-ins are the two most obvious duties of someone doing this). The resources simply aren’t out there for the leagues to provide qualified assistant referees (cup finals etc. excepted), so using a willing parent or assistant coach is the best option. 

Your own linesman should run the line in line with your own defenders, so they’re deciding if the opposition forwards are offside or not.

linesmen MUST NOT “coach” whilst running the line. They must remain impartial.


Please refer to your league handbook for specific information and familiarise yourself with the policies the league has so as to avoid fines or loss of points.

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