LSA Recreational and Academy programs follow the U.S. Youth Soccer's recommendations for small-sided soccer games in the younger age groups (U4 through U12). The purpose of small-sided games is to allow the game to be the teacher by maximizing each player’s touches on the ball and encourages all the players to develop their skills in all positions.
Small-sided has great advantages and it increases soccer skills in short duration of time. LSA heavily emphasizes small-sided games to allow young players to have as many touches the soccer ball. The more repetitions, the more development.
Tactically, small-sided games allow the player to make more, less-complicated decisions and allows more goals, which translates into more excitement for the player.
Advantages of Playing Small-Sided Games
- More time with the coach/facilitator
- Energetic workouts due to playing both offense and defense
- More efficient use of field space
- Matches can be played simultaneously across a full-size field
- Children are physically more efficient in smaller space
- Children are actively involved for a longer duration of time
- It takes less time to score a goal or advance to goal
- Greater success rate for the players
- More repetitions lead to more development
Modified Rules for Small-Sided Games
U.S Youth Soccer provides recommendations of modifications for small-sided games:
- Laws of the Game Modified for U6 and Under
- Laws of the Game Modified for U8 and Under
- Laws of the Game Modified for U10 and Under
- Laws of the Game Modified for U12 and Under
For more information about non-modified rules, please see: Laws of the Game.