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Fundamental Soccer Blog

TAILORING the RULES of the GAME

Field Markings

  • All lines are distinctive and a minimum of 2″ wide.
  • What is the purpose of the halfway line if there is no offside?

              More work and cost to set up the field.

  • A center circle: Maybe 3 yards in diameter from the center spot 

              with a line from side to side for kick-off should be enough!

Spectator viewing line:  Minimum 3 yards from touchlines.

  • As much as possible, there should be a limit on how far down the field spectators are allowed.
  • Maybe limit 10 yards from each goal line so they do not interfere with the players, coaches, and referee(facilitator).
  • Nobody is allowed behind goal lines.

Goals: 

I think 2 yards wide may be a little narrow. 

  • Maybe 3-4 yards might allow for more goals, which is what the game is about, and the cherry on top of the ice cream for the hard work.

Ball:

I have not played around with a #2 ball but kicked a #3 ball.

  • I think that because of the size, the #2 may be a little hard and not as soft if kicked into a little player.

Players: 

2 v 2 may not offer enough options for passing. 

  • 3 v 3 and 4 v 4 often have more options for passing and running and start to make it look more like team play.
  • No more than 2 or 3 extra players per team
  • Substitution after each goal sounds good as long as goals are not scored so often that players rotate in without having time to get into the game. 
  • Also, if goals are not scored, there might be a ‘Play Time Limit,’ so players have to rotate every few minutes.  Those waiting to sub may get bored if they wait too long to go in.

No referees:

But leagues may want to use these games for training grounds for game day Facilitators. 

  • Also, spectators or siblings in attendance can help with out-of-bounds.

Start of Play

A center circle, maybe 3 yards wide with a line going from side to side to simulate the halfway line, it would give the players a basic understanding of where to stand before the kickoff.

The ball is out of play

When it has totally crossed over the goal or touchline.

  • When a foul is committed, or a player INTENTIONALLY heads the ball.

Fouls and Misconduct. 

When a foul is committed, ALL free kicks should be indirect. 

  • The player should receive a short explanation of what they did. 
  • An unintentional foul should not be punished. 
  • The player committing a “serious” foul should rotate out before the kick is taken.
  • The kick for a “serious” foul should be directed at an open, unblocked goal from the spot of the foul.
  • If the ball does not reach the goal, the game continues.

No goal kicks:

The ball is kicked back into play by placing it on the ground on either side of the goal, one yard from the goal line.;

No corner kick: 

The ball is kicked (passed) to a teammate or dribbled from the end of the touchline closest to the corner.

Koach Karl’s Notes?

Your feedback is like gold! Seriously, I’ve been blown away by the flood of ideas and honest opinions pouring in from readers like you. It’s what’s driving the conversation forward.
I want to hear from you too! Your experiences, thoughts, and ideas can really make a difference here. Please keep this dialogue going, and let’s reshape the future of youth soccer together for the children’s/players’ sake.

Pat Ferre

US YOUTH SOCCER (2021 Volunteer of the Year) USSF Referee Grade 15 Emeritus USSF Referee Instructor USSF Referee Assessor USSF Referee Assignor District-7 Youth Referee Administrator (DYRA)

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