Micro-soccer started to gain popularity about ten years ago and has been used in Europe for many years. There are no goalies and no “positions” with the main emphasis on teaching proper kicking techniques, general concepts of soccer and general rules of the game. The playing field is smaller and uses pug goals.
Small sided games offer a much better experience for children. It allows for more touches on the ball, more opportunities to make decisions, more actual play. Each player learns offense and defense and to transition between the two roles. The children are placed on teams of ten players, both boys and girls. They will have a coach and an assistant coach.
While the team practices together, the games are played by splitting the players into two 5-player teams. The games are played simultaneously right next to each other with coaches from both teams on the field with the kids at all times to enable them to provide instruction. There are no referees, the coaches act as such.
The teams play 3 vs 3 with the other players substituting in.
Games consist of four, 8 minute quarters with a 5 minute break in between (10 minutes for half time). This allows plenty of opportunity for coaching and instruction. There is a lot of play time and the kids learn simple soccer skills like throw-ins, kicking techniques, shooting a goal, running the right direction, etc.
Almost every child will make at least one goal during the season…very ego boosting! This division practices once a week usually for one hour and all games are played at Bob McEvoy Youth Fields each Saturday during the fall season and on Sundays during the spring season. This division requires a size 3 ball.
Children in this division cannot be six years of age before August 1st and must be at least four years of age. The majority of the children in this age bracket will be kindergartners and pre-schoolers.
Micro Soccer Rules
Micro Soccer Field
Division 6 is a small sided 4 v 4 game. Each roster/team is divided into two separate groups for game days (generally six players per group). The two groups will play on two separate small fields simultaneously. There are no goalies in this division but there will likely be lots of scoring and lots of touches on the ball by all the players. Referees are not used but coaches and/or assistant coaches will manage the game from the sidelines. A restriction line is used on goal kicks. No heading or slide tackling is allowed. No penalty kicks are taken at this division. The specific rules for this division can be viewed here:
Rules of the Game 2009
Rules of the Game 2010
Division 5 is a small sided 7 v 7 game (6 field players and a goalie) on a small field. No headers or slide tackling is allowed in this division. A center referee will be utilized and obvious off-sides will be enforced. Please keep in mind, the refs used at this division are generally newer and younger refs. There is a zero-tolerance policy in regards to arguing, harassing, or yelling at the refs. This age division continues to focus on player development, not wins and losses. The specific rules for this division can be viewed here:
Rules of the Game
Division 4 is a small sided 9 v 9 game (8 field players and a goalie) played on a ¾ size field. This division provides a good transition for players to prepare them for a full-sided game on a large field while still giving them ample opportunity to get lots of touches on the ball and continue their individual development. This division competes in the “Interleague” circuit against similar teams from other leagues. Some travel to nearby fields is required for away games. Home games are played either at Crown Point, Barnard or possibly Mission Bay High School. No heading is allowed at this division. The specific rules for this division can be viewed here:
9 v 9 Rules
Division 3 and older teams are full-sided games played on full-sized fields. FIFA rules are applied except as specifically modified for youth soccer (e.g. unlimited substitutions and/or length of halves). Teams are not always available at this age group and is dependent on the number of players who sign up during registration. The league registrar will keep a list of players interested in playing at this division and will notify players when a team is capable of being formed. Please encourage your friends and classmates to sign up early to ensure we can form a team at this division.
How We Form Our Teams
Cal South, our governing body, precludes the use of try outs or team assessments as a means of balancing teams. Moreover, with over 800 players for our fall season, individual evaluations would be very difficult and time consuming. Thus, team selection is based on a variety of factors. After registration, a selection committee meets to make the teams in the U6 and U8 divisions. U10 and older divisions are selected by the coaches using a traditional draft format.
The selection committee uses numerous criteria to place players on teams with the ultimate goal of having as much parity and balance as possible. The selection committee looks at player/coach requests (no guarantee such requests will be granted), rankings of players where that information is available, number of seasons of experience, grade level, school, and neighborhood. No particular criterion is more important than the other with the exception of the rankings as those are usually the strongest indicia of skill level that we can use to guide us in our selections. We try to ensure that each team has the same allocation of #1 ranked players, similar numbers of older or experienced players, similar number of new players, etc. We also try to put players with at least one other kid from their school or neighborhood to help facilitate carpooling.
At the end of each season, we ask the coaches to rank all players using a simple 1-2-3 ranking system. A #1 ranked player is considered All-Star caliber level (e.g. a player nominated for All Stars even if not selected should be given a #1 ranking). A #2 ranking is usually the most common designation as it reflects a player that meets most of the skill levels expected of that particular division. A #3 ranking is for players who have not yet obtained the average skill level for their division. These are ONLY used as a tool to help us select balanced teams in the following season.
Despite our best efforts, there are several reasons why our system will never be 100% successful in achieving a balanced division:
And so although PYSL strives to create balanced teams, there are usually one or two teams that appear “stacked” to the other teams in the division. PYSL believes that even if a team does not have the player parity of other teams, the players can still have an enjoyable and successful season learning soccer with the right coaching and parent attitude that places the emphasis on development and not wins or losses.