Football or Soccer


Age to start:

Many football clubs in New Zealand run introductory football programmes for children from as young as 3 years of age. Centres vary slightly the age that pitch sizes, game times and team numbers increase and when the offside rule is introduced. Contact your local centre to find out which clubs run junior programmes.

The “Small Whites” programme is New Zealand Football’s junior development programme and is run across the country.

Many centres also run football holiday programmes and mid-week summer football leagues for most age groups.


Rules of the Game:

The basic rules of football are:

  • The game is played on a rectangular pitch with a goal area and goal at each end.

  • A game is played between two teams each consisting of up to 11 players (depending on age/pitch size) with one of those players being the designated goal keeper.

  • The aim of the game is to score a goal by kicking or heading the ball into the goal that is guarded by the opposing team’s goal keeper.

  • The team that has scored the most goals at the end of the game is the winner.

Find all the rules of football



Football is suitable for boys and girls to develop basic motor skills at an early age. Teams can be mixed at primary/intermediate level. Programmes are structured to develop as skills and knowledge develop and step up over several levels.


Sign Up Dates:


Most leagues are co-ordinated by the local centre and are promoted and run through both clubs and schools.


Sporting Tips:


To successfully participate in football you require:

  • A good level of fitness

  • Proficient football skills, in particular dribbling and passing

  • Agility

  • The ability to work well within a team


Visit the Football NZ website

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