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Small-Sided Games Initiative for 2010

As part of our effort to provide the best soccer experience for our children, the Brighton Soccer League has implemented small-sided games for all children 12 years old and younger as recommended by US Youth Soccer.
What are Small-Sided Games?
Small-sided games are games played on smaller fields and with fewer players than the adult game of 11 versus 11. Games of 3 versus 3, 4 versus 3 and 4 versus 4 are examples of small-sided game numbers. As you can see, playing numbers can be even or uneven and the game can be played.
Why is the Brighton Soccer League changing to Small-Sided Games?
·         We want our young soccer players to touch the soccer ball more often and become more skillful with it! (Individual technical development)
·         We want our young soccer players to make more quality decisions during the game! (Tactical development)
·         We want our young soccer players to be more physically efficient in the field space in which they are playing! (Reduced field size)
·         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)
·         We want our young soccer players to have more opportunities to play on both sides of the ball! (More exposure to attacking and defending situations)
·         Because we want our young soccer players to have more opportunities to score goals and make saves! (Pure excitement)
·         We want our young soccer players to have more individual teaching time with the coach! Fewer players on the field will guarantee this! (Need to feel worthy…need to feel important)
·         We want to distance our young soccer players from the external undo pressures of the adult game. (Eliminate extrinsic value)
·         We want our young soccer players to enjoy the game for its own sake. (Foster intrinsic value)
The “Small-Sided” environment is a developmentally appropriate environment for our young soccer players. It’s a FUN environment that focuses on the playerThese are the reasons why US Youth Soccer endorses small-sided games for U6, U8, U10 and U12 players across the board…across America.
How are Small-Sided Games different?
This chart shows the formats for the divisions for 2011:

What is the Academy?
The Academy (U10, U8, and U6 age groups) is different than traditional youth sports programs. There is no team structure and there are no traditional coaches. Instead, the Academy sessions are run by facilitators. All players in the Academy are given the same color uniform. At the beginning of an Academy session each player will be assigned to a mini-field with one or two facilitators. The league will provide each facilitator with comprehensive training and standardized practice plans for every session. Therefore, it doesn’t matter which facilitator a player is assigned to - every facilitator will be following the same lesson plan and putting the players through the same fun activities. During the Academy session, the first half-hour is dedicated to fun games and age-appropriate activities. The second half hour will be spent in small-sided games of 3 versus 3, 4 versus 4 or 5 versus 5, depending on age and field size.
How will this change impact the U12 (12 and Under) age group?
The only changes that will impact this age group is the number of players on the field and the field size.  The U12 division will play 8 versus 8 on ½ field at Buckland Park. The "franchise" system will continue at this level where players will be assigned a specific team with a designated coach and team jersey.  There will be a regular game schedule, as in prior years, as well as playoffs. Given the small sided format, however, the team rosters will have fewer players in order to ensure that each player will still have the opportunity to play at least half of the game.  For this reason, it is important that any returning player in the division indicate on their registration the name of another player that they would like to play with.  We may have to break up some of the existing franchise teams from last year in order to "create" new teams.  However, with more teams at this level we anticipate this to increase the level of competition and fun! 
Are you changing the older U17 (17 and Under) and U14 (14 and Under) age groups?
These divisions are playing 9v9 instead of 11v11 soccer in previous years, due to enrollment.  Players will be assigned to a team based on preferences indicated at the time of registration.