ISFA wishes to remind all schools that, under The FA Youth Development Review, all football played at U12 level from the start of Season 2014-15 should be played with a maximum of 9 players on each side.

Under no circumstances should 11v11 matches be played at U12 level.

ISFA is fully in support of the Youth Development Review and strongly believes that 9v9 football is the best format for the development of U12 players.

ISFA is concerned at the effect the above arrangements may have in smaller schools, particularly prep schools who take children to age 13 who currently combine Years 7 and 8 to form U13 11v11 team(s).  ISFA has no wish to affect adversely the amount of football played in independent schools.

In addition, ISFA believes there is merit in U12 players being “stretched” by “playing up” with older players rather than dominating at their own age level.

Consequently, for all matches played under the jurisdiction of the Independent Schools FA from Season 2014-15 onwards, it will be permissible for a school’s best U12 players to “play up” at U13 ‘A’ Team level in 11v11 matches.

However, it will NOT be permissible for U12 players to play 11v11 football at U13 ‘B’ Team level – ie  combining Years 7 and 8 to create an U13 team will be possible at ‘A’ Team (1st XI) level only.  Schools wishing to use U12/Year 7 pupils in U13 ‘B’ teams and below must play 9v9.


The Rules regarding player eligibility for the Investec ISFA U13 Cup will remain unaltered and U12 players will be permitted to play

ISFA has consulted The Football Association in reaching the above decisions.

For assistance and advice on pitch markings, goal sizes, etc. for both 7v7 and 9v9 football,  please refer to The FA Schools Guide.

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