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AYSO Region 86 - Laguna Beach CA

Short-Sided Soccer


Short-sided soccer is about what is best for young soccer players. It’s for AYSO coaches, referees, administrators, spectators, and anyone else concerned with the development of 5 to 12 year old soccer players. Short-sided soccer is playing with less than 11 players a side.

Because young players need special consideration. Little research or attention has been given this critical period in the development of the under-12 year old players, but most educators agree the early learning experiences are the most important and result in the result in the most retention.
Traditionally, youth soccer programs are viewed from an adult perspective, using the 11-a-side game as a reference. But we need to remember these important points about young players:

Children must be treated as children, not as mini-adults.
Children are essentially self-oriented and only relate naturally to a friend or two, not to groups of six or more.
Children cannot sustain prolonged activity and function best with frequent rest periods.
Children have a limited span of attention, so frequent activity changes are necessary.
Children focus best when learning activities are fun.

Almost 70 percent of AYSO coaches are first-time coaches-parents with little free time. Short-sided soccer is a way to ease adults into coaching as well as ease children into playing. Be creative and remember, children play games to have fun. Short-sided games help ensure children have fun and at the same time, maximize their learning opportunities.


Note: Region 86 sometimes plays 7v7 in U6 and 9v9 in U8 and U10 and does not always play short-sided in U12 or to the level recommended by AYSO National because of the lack of volunteer coaches! With more volunteers, short-sided games can become a reality in Region 86. Volunteer!

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AYSO Region 86

303 Broadway STE 104, PMB 134
Laguna Beach, California 92651

Email Us: [email protected]
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