Many ask us what size soccer goal is considered a standard and what regulations should be followed when buying soccer goals. There are several standard sizes and requirements for soccer goals in America, depending on the age of the players. This comprehensive guide covers all aspects of soccer goals, from youth to professional soccer.
US Soccer and AYSO are the two largest governing bodies of youth soccer. Both have the same recommendations regarding goal sizes for youth soccer U6-U12.
US Youth Soccer is an affiliate of US Soccer and a member of FIFA, which serves as the international governing body of soccer. American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO) is a non-profit association and the oldest national youth soccer program in the United States. IFAB Laws govern AYSO. US Youth Soccer recommends goal sizes based on the US Soccer Small-Sided Games Chart. This chart shows the maximum size that can use for U6 through U12. The US Soccer has set an ultimate goal size for clubs and teams. U13 uses standard 8′ hx24′ w goals and older.
The Maximum Goals for Youth Soccer are:
U6, U7, and U8 – The maximum recommended size for soccer goals is 4′ x 6.
U9, U10 – Maximum soccer goal size recommended is 6’6″ x 18’6”
U11, U12 – Maximum soccer goal size recommended is 7′ x21.’
U13 and Up – Standard soccer goal size 8′ x24.’
US Youth Soccer offers some concessions. The recommended goal sizes can be modified slightly to maximize the use of the field so long as they do not impact the quality of the game.
High School Soccer
The National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) created the rules for high school soccer. The standard goal size is 8′ x 24, and the rules for goal materials and size are:
They shall consist of two upright posts measuring between 4 and 5 inches in diameter projected, placed at an equal distance from corner flags and eight yards apart (inside measurement). A 4-inch, but no more than 5-inch, horizontal crossbar shall join the tops of the posts. The lower edge of this bar shall be 8 feet above the ground. All soccer goals must be white. The goalposts and crossbars may not bear any markings other than the manufacturer’s logo/identification. You can use metal pipes measuring 3-4 inches in diameter. Portable goals must be adequately secured, anchored, or counterweighted to the ground if they are being used.
A shared field with high school football is another common occurrence:
The portable goals must be placed at least 2 feet in front of existing goalposts to be used on a football field.
The governing body of college soccer rules is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA Soccer Rules and Interpretations Book Rule 1.9 (Goals) contains the following:
The goalposts must be secured, anchored, or counterweighted. The goalposts shall be placed on the same end lines as the corner flags. They shall be at least 8 yards from each other (inside measurement). They will be joined by a horizontal crossbar made of similar material. The lower edge shall be 8 feet above the ground.
The goalposts’ width and crossbar must not be smaller than 4 inches or larger than 5 inches and should be the same width as their goal line. The goalpost’s back edge must be in line with the outermost edge. White paint must be used on the posts and crossbar, which can be rectangular, square, circular, or elliptical. The crossbar and goalposts may not bear any other markings than the appropriate manufacturer’s logo/identification.
Professional Soccer (FIFA).
The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) is an international governing body of association football. It includes futsal, soccer, and football. FIFA supports the best form of soccer, and professional leagues will try to emulate the FIFA rules for adult players.
Here’s how FIFA.com defines soccer goals:
A goal is composed of two vertical posts equal to the corner flagposts. They are joined at the top with a horizontal crossbar. All goalposts and crossbars must be approved. They can be rectangular, square, circular, or elliptical and should not harm the public. The distance between the posts and the ground is 7.32m (8 yards), while the distance from the bottom to the lower edge is 2.44m (8 feet). The crossbar and goalposts must be the same color and have the same width (no more than 12 cm) and depth. Safety – All goals, including portable ones, must be securely secured to the ground.
Futsal official goals are smaller, and the crossbar and goal posts must be different colors than the pitch.
Here’s how FIFA defines futsal goals (p.8).
“A goal must be located at the center of each goal line. A plan comprises two upright posts equal distance from each other at the corners. They are joined at the top with a horizontal crossbar. The crossbar and goalposts must be made from wood, metal, or another approved material. They can be rectangular, square, circular, or elliptical and should not pose a danger to players. The distance between the posts (inside measurement) is 3m. The distance from the ground to the crossbar’s lower edge is 2m. The crossbar and goalposts have the same width (8cm) and depth (8cm). The nets must not be made from hemp, jute, nylon, or any other approved material. They are attached to the backs of the goalposts with proper support. They must be supported properly and not interfere with the goalkeeper. The pitch must have a different colored goalpost and crossbar. A stabilizing system must be installed on the goals to prevent them from tipping over. This requirement must be met before portable goals can be used.
The Major Arena Soccer League is the highest professional arena soccer worldwide. These are the goal dimensions and materials addressed in the MASL rulebook.
The perimeter wall shall contain two (2) upright posts that are equal in distance from corner flags. They shall be fourteen feet (14′) apart (inside measurement). These posts shall be joined by a horizontal crossbar, whose lower edge shall be eight feet (8′) below the carpet’s surface. The goalposts and crossbars must not be less than four inches (4″) in width or more than five inches (5 inches) in depth. The width of the goalposts, crossbar, and goal line must be equal. The nets should be attached to the posts, crossbars, and the ground behind the goals. They must be adequately supported and placed, so the goalkeeper has plenty of room. The goal net should be at least five feet (5′) in depth. Red shall be used for the crossbar and goalpost.