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Small-Sided Games, Field and Goal Sizes

USSF     USYS_Primary_Vert_TM_PMS_WBG     kysanew


US Soccer Player Development Initiatives The Kentucky Youth Soccer Association board has voted to implement the age group and small-sided games change beginning with the Fall 2016 - Spring 2017 seasonal year.

US Soccer Small Sided Games

Small-Sided games recommendations have been part of the youth soccer landscape for over 15 years and internationally accepted as the best practice for player development.  The previous recommendations are being replaced with the US Soccer mandate. 

The core objectives behind the small-sided standards, from US Soccer, are as follows:

  • Fewer players on the field means more touches on the ball and increased touches translates to more individual skill. 
  • Players who are more skilled may become more confident and comfortable when in possession of the ball. 
  • The ratio of players to field size is designed to assist players with making the right kind of decisions and improving awareness. 
  • This approach builds on itself as players get older and start playing with more players on bigger fields. 
  • And as players get older, the building block approach also allows them to better integrate into a team model where they develop partnerships with the other players that make up the team. 

Two key changes are: 

  • Teams are now formed based on calendar year. 
  • Small Sided games will be played as follows:
    • 8U will play 4v4
    • 9U/10U will play 7v7 (including goalkeepers)
    • 11U/12U will play 9v9
    • 11v11 will begin at 13U. 

Small Sided Games Breakdown

Field Markings and Layouts