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San Marcos Youth Soccer
P.O. Box 627 
San Marcos, CA 92079
Tel: 760-621-0454
Fax: 760-621-0462

US Youth Soccer Answers "Why Small-Sided Games"

Why Small-Sided Games? usyouthsoccer
US Youth Soccer has thought long and hard about the answer to the question, "Why Small-Sided Games?"

What does "Small-Sided Games" mean? These are soccer games with fewer players competing on a smaller sized field. These are fun games that involve the players more because fewer players are sharing one ball.

All ages can play "Small Sided Games", but it has a definite developmental impact on our younger soccer players. US Youth Soccer recommendations for "number of players" at the various age groups are as follows:

  • U6 | 3 against 3 no goal keepers
  • U8 | 4 against 4 no goal keepers
  • U10 | 6 against 6 with goal keepers
  • U12 | 8 against 8 with goal keepers
  • U13+ | 11 against 11 with goal keepers

Here are some of the reasons why we believe, as soccer coaches, administrators and

parents must guarantee that our young soccer players play small-sided games:

  1. Because we want our young soccer players to touch the soccer ball more often and become more skillful with it! (Individual technical development)
  2. Because we want our young soccer players to make more, less-complicated decisions during the game! (Tactical development)
  3. Because we want our young soccer players to be more physically efficient in the field space they are playing in! (Reduced field size)
  4. Because we want our young soccer players to have more individual teaching time with the coach! Fewer players on the field and fewer players on the team will guarantee this! (Need to feel worthy and need to feel important)
  5. Because we want our young soccer players to have more, involved playing time in the game! (More opportunity to solve problems that only the game presents)
  6. Because we want our young soccer players to have more opportunity to play on both sides of the ball! (More exposure to attacking and defending situations)
  7. Because we want our young soccer players to have more opportunities to score goals! (Pure excitement)
  8. Because we want to include children of all temperaments, assertive to shy, to have more opportunities to interact with others and the game! (Socialization)

These are the reasons why we adults must foster "Small-Sided Games" in our youth soccer programs. The "Small-Sided" environment is a developmentally appropriate environment for our young soccer players. It’s a FUN environment that focuses on the young soccer player.

It just makes sense doesn’t it?


Questions About Your Registration?

Here are some commonly asked questions from parents that are new to organized sports and soccer.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">

ball WHEN WILL MY CHILD GET A CALL?  Your child will actually get an email from the League when rosters are released to the coaches.  The email will have your child’s team information.  This will happen the last week of July.

ball WHEN DO THE COACHES GET THEIR TEAMS?  Coaches will receive their teams at the same time rosters are released (the last week of July).  They will receive a coaches' packet at the pre-season coaches' meeting and will start making phone calls and sending emails with practice information.

ball WHEN DO PRACTICES BEGIN?  Practices will begin the first week of August for our Fall program and coaches will contact their players with practice information.  There are no practices for our Winter and Spring Arena season.

ball HOW OFTEN ARE PRACTICES? Teams typically practice 1, 2, or 3 times per week – depending on the age group.  Younger divisions might practice twice per week until games begin, at which time they might go to once per week.  But it is up to the coach and the flexibility of the players.

ball WHERE ARE PRACTICES?  Practices are held at League approved parks and schools as allocated by the City of San Marcos.  Your child’s coach will decide at which field your practices will be.

ball WHAT EQUIPMENT DOES MY CHILD NEED?  Shin guards are required to play soccer.  Socks must cover the entire shin guard.  Soccer shoes (cleats) are not required but are recommended – especially at the older divisions.  Football and baseball cleats are NOT allowed in soccer – so double check before you make a purchase.  Shin guards are required at all practices and games.


      • 2017 Fall Season: August 19th through November 4th (10-game season)

ball HOW OFTEN ARE GAMES?  Games are played on Saturdays.  Depending on number of teams and field space, some older division teams in the Fall Season may play a weeknight game.

ball WHERE ARE GAMES PLAYED?  Arena Games are played at Sunset and Bradley Parks.  The Fall Season games are played at Walnut Grove Park (north and south field).  Some older division teams will also play at Palomar College.

ball CAN MY KIDS BE ON THE SAME TEAM AS THEIR FRIENDS?  We attempt to honor one friend request for each player in the Arena Seasons, but there are no guarantees.  We also try to honor at least one friend request in the U05, U06, U07, and U08 divisions in the fall.  In order to enable us to create fair and balanced teams, we do not take friend requests for u10 and older divisions.

ball DOES MY CHILD NEED TO BE EVALUATED?  U10 - u14 fall players that are new to the league will be evaluated before the start of the season.  Returning players should have an evaluation rating from their coach from the previous season.  U05 - U08 players do not need to be evaluated.  There are no evaluations for the arena season - only fall.  Evaluations are used to create balanced teams in each division.





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