U8 Guidelines

U8 Game Day Plan – LYSC Intramural Soccer                    Updated 8/20/2016

-shin guards are mandatory
-molded rubber cleats are recommended, but sneakers are fine.
-each player should have a size #3 ball
-each player should have a water bottle

Fields and Layout:
Recommended Roster Size – 10-14 players
Practice and game fields – Gerhart fields (off Rothsville Road).
Practices – twice per week – no more than 60-75 minutes.
Normal game times – Boys Sundays 1-2PM, Girls Saturday 9-10AM
(4V4 Format) – 4 players from each team on the field at one time.
Field dimensions – 120 ft X 80 ft, with small goals (apprx 6’ X 3’).
Coaches should inspect the field and frame/net for safety prior to play.
Each team splits into 2 evenly balanced teams and play on the 2 different fields.
Coach and Assistant Coach take half of their team to designated fields.
No keepers. No players should be “parked” in front of the goal when game play is elsewhere.
When a team is moving to score, players should be at midfield and beyond, (again, nobody guards the goal.)
General positioning is fine, but there are no set positions at this level.

Coaches Job:
Keep play safe, substitute players, and encourage good play on both teams.
Coaches – LET THEM PLAY!
Coaches may be on side lines or on the play field.
Coaches should NOT call plays, help with tactics, or give extensive direction during game play.
Brief instructions on what to do, where to start balls, etc… is fine.
There are no fouls called, but players that are pushing or playing dangerously should be “reigned in” quickly.
Arms should be in a normal running position. No “straight-arms” and no pushing.
Coaches SHOULD stop play at any time if they see a dangerous situation!
(Such as a player down in the middle of play.)

Game Format/Rules:
1 Hour games, broken into (4) 10 minute quarters. Short water breaks between quarters, and a 5 minute break at half time.
At half time, designated teams switch fields to face a different team.
No penalty kicks
No intentional heading, (practices or games.)
No offside, but players should be encouraged to engage in the game, not wait near a goal.
Substitutes can be made at any time, preferably at stoppage of play. No limits on substitutions.
All players should play at least 50% of the time during a game.

Start of Play:
When a player initially kicks a ball into play from anywhere, that player may not touch the ball until it is touched by another player from either side.
At beginning of play, half time, and after a score, the ball is started at midfield.
When a ball is started from midfield, the defending team players must start outside of the circle (or at least 10′ away). This give the starting team room to begin begin.
Players on the team with possession must be on their half of the field.
Balls started into play at midfield must be touched by another player before the “starter” can touch the ball a second time.
(Back-passes are now allowed. The ball does not need to go forward.)

Balls sent out of play: (Reminder, a ball must completely pass beyond the line to be out of play or a goal.)
Balls that go out play, are brought in with a kick by the other team. (No throw-ins.)
A ball sent out on the touch lines (sides) is brought back into play by the opposing team at the same point.
A ball sent out on the end line by the defending team is brought into play at the corner by the other team. (corner kick.)
Players from the team without possession should be at least 3 yards from the ball when a ball is kicked in from the side or the corner.
A ball sent out on the end line by the offense is brought into play by the other team. (goal kick.)
Goal Kick: The ball should be placed 3 yards forward of the goal and kicked “into play” (preferably to a teammate).  On a goal kick, the opposing players must be beyond midfield. (This is to prevent an unrealistic scoring opportunity since many U8 players cannot clear a ball up field from a goal kick.)

No “set-plays”. The most important thing we can do is encourage lots of “free play”.
This builds soccer skills. Teaching tactics at U8 does not help their long term soccer abilities.

We do not (and should not) keep score.
When a goal is scored, celebrate! … Then quickly start the ball at center field and play on.

Game imbalances:
If one team is scoring excessively, that coach should take measures to balance the game.
An easy method is to add a player to the struggling side, or pull a player from the side scoring more goals.
“Conditions” can also be put on play by the coach.
Instructing players to “pass three times before trying to score”, only shoot with left foot, only touch the ball twice, or simply, “don’t score!” … Whatever works. Keep it simple.
We want both teams to enjoy game day.

Parent Role:
Cheering from the sidelines in encouraged! All cheering should be positive!
No negative comment, no instructions, no coaching, no criticism. Even to their own children!
If parents have a problem with coaches, players or teams, they should be discussed with the coach after the game and privately!
Coaches, please be aware of any improper parent behavior and take corrective measures.

Sportsmanship should be encouraged at all times. All players shaking hands after the game is standard.
Have fun!

Improper Behavior:
Any improper behavior by players, coaches, parents, etc… should be dealt with quickly. Anything that has not been resolved, or that has caused hardship should be brought to the attention of the age group coordinator as soon as possible.





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