Small Sided Games

Over the past few weeks I have had a number of conversations with parents, coaches and players about the right field size for different age groups. Some parents have asked why DUSC keep the team sizes small when the players want to play on the "big field" with the "big goals".

DUSC follows and shares the same philosophy as the US Soccer Federation regarding team and field size for younger players. This being that we believe that younger players should play on both reduced sized fields and reduced sized teams — e.g. 4–9yr max 5 v 5, 10 to 11yr max 7 v 7, 12yr max 8 v 8

As coaches, parents and administrators we need to guarantee our players play on smaller fields and have smaller teams. We need to resist the urge to place our youngsters on a full size field. 

The smaller the field and fewer the number of players allows:

  1. Players more time to make decisions. Also, these decisions will be less complicated.
  2. Players will have more touches of the ball and will give the coach more individual teaching time with each player. 
  3. More involvement in the game and enhance their overall experience. It reduces the risk of players becoming "lost" on the field.
  4. More opportunity for them to play both in offense and defense
  5. Players will have an increased opportunity to score more goals 

DUSC believes that players should not move to a full 11 v 11 game until at least 13 years of age, if not later. The longer we can keep our players on smaller teams/ fields the better the overall player experience and player development.

As always, it is nice to hear from anyone who would like to discuss and share their opinions, thoughts, observations on how we can improve the DUSC Recreation League for our players.