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Law 03: The Number of Players

Each team shall divide its roster into two "mini-teams".

For 8U: a match shall be played by opposing mini-teams, each consisting of 5 players, with no designated goalkeeper. A match may not start if one mini-team consists of less than 3 players.

Every player who is present by the mid-point of the first half should play at least half the match.  To facilitate this, at roughly the midpoint of each half, the Referee suspends play to permit substitutions.  The Referee chooses a convenient stoppage if at all possible.  If a player leaves the field because of an injury, the player may be substituted for, but in that case, the player may not return until the next substitution break.  The "quarter" in which a player is injured and leaves the field counts towards that player's half-game, and not to that of the substitute.