by US Youth Soccer
Here is a sampling of FIFA national football associations, which have
instituted Small Sided Games for children.
AUSTRALIA
6 vs. 6, including the goalkeeper, for U8
9 vs. 9, including the goalkeeper, for U10
There is no organized soccer for the U6 age group. The U12 age group plays 11 vs.
11. This modified version of soccer for children is referred to as Rooball.
Modifications are made to the size of the goal, the field of play, the ball, length of
play and field markings.
Ms. Connie Selby
Coaching and Development Coordinator of the Australian Soccer Association.
BAHAMAS
8 vs. 8 for U7 to U11
11 vs. 11 for U13 and older
U7 play twenty-minute matches on a 30 yards wide by 50 yards long pitch. U9
play a forty-minute match divided into two halves on a 30 yards wide by 50 yards
long pitch. U11 play a sixty-minute match divided into two halves on a 50 yards
wide by 70 yards long pitch. U13 play an eighty-minute match divided into two
halves on a 50 yards wide by 100 yards long pitch.
Mr. Lionel E. Haven
General Secretary of the Bahamas Football Association.
US Youth Soccer
BELGIUM
Please find herewith the match formats played by our clubs.
– U6, U7 and U8 play (5 vs. 5)
– U9 and U10 play (8 vs. 8)
– U11 and U12 play (11 vs. 11)
Note that these types of playing formats have been adopted after a study and
analysis carried out by the University of Leuven together with the Belgian F.A.
Mr. Michel Sablon
Technical and Sports Director for the Belgium F. A.
SET UP COMPETITIONS SEASON 2003 2004
AGE
CATEGORY
PLAYERS MAX PLAYERS
ROSTER
FIELD MATCH
TIME
U8 5 vs. 5 9 25 X 35
METERS
4 X 15
MINUTES
U10 8 vs. 8 12 ½ FIELD 4 X 15
MINUTES
U12 11 vs. 11 15 FULL
FIELD
2 X 30
MINUTES
U15 11 vs. 11 15 FULL
FIELD
2 X 35
MINUTES
U17 11 vs. 11 15 FULL
FIELD
2 X 40
MINUTES
U19 11 vs. 11 15 FULL
FIELD
2 X 45
MINUTES
Mr. Vincent Stevens
Coach U17 KV Mechelen
BERMUDA
7 vs. 7 for the U7, U9 and U11 age groups. 11 vs. 11 play begins in the U13 age
group.
{A complete list of the playing rules from the Bermuda F. A. is available upon request from the US Youth Soccer
Coaching Education Department.}
BOLIVIA
BOLIVIA USES THE FOLLOWING RULES FOR SOCCER:
Age under 6 and under 7 — 8 on the field including goalies with unlimited
substitutions
Age under 8 to under 13 — 8 on the field including goalies with only 5
substitutions
Age 14 and up — 11 on field with only 3 substitutions
US Youth Soccer
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Unfortunately, be informed that in our Federation exist no clubs with such age
groups (under 9).
Ms. Lejla Burekovic
Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
International Department
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Here in Tortola on the British Virgin Islands we do as follows:
6-7 yr old: 5-a-side
8-9 yr old: 7-a-side
10-11 yr old: 8-a-side
Over 12 we try and introduce them to 11-a-side
Mr. Roger Carter
Head of Youth Football, BVIFA
CANADA
Here are the CSA’s recommendations
U6 3 vs. 3
U8 4 vs. 4
U10 7 vs. 7
U12 8 vs. 8
13 and older 11 vs. 11
Mr. Sean Fleming
National Staff Coach
sfleming@soccercan.ca
780-718-9375
780-428-5422 (Fax)
US Youth Soccer
CAYMAN ISLANDS
5 vs. 5, including the goalkeeper for U12
Ms. Kenisha Morgan
Administrator Public Relations and Marketing Manager of the Cayman Football
Association.
In response to your request see below season’s Cayman Football works.
Tournaments for U-10 players (boys and girls) eleven a side games; organized by
Primary Schools under supervision of CIFA.
Rally U-10 tournament 7 a side game; organized by Primary Schools under
supervision of CIFA.
U-14 League and Cup (boys and girls) eleven a side games; organized by CIFA.
U-17 League and Cup (boys and girls) eleven a side games; organized by CIFA.
Primary School Girls League, nine a side games; organized by Primary Schools
under supervision of CIFA.
District tournament for U-14 and U-16 levels, boys and girls, eleven a side games;
organized by CIFA.
Cayman Football Fest rallies for Primary School boys and girls, U-14 seven a side
games and U-17 eleven a side games; organized by CIFA.
Women’s Senior League and Cup, eleven a side; organized by CIFA.
Men’s Senior League and Cup, eleven a side; organized by CIFA.
National Team training regularly in Men Senior, U-20, U-17, U-14, U-12, U-10,
Women Senior and Ladies U-16 levels.
We have no work for Under 8 year old players.
We hope this information helps you to improve the football program in the USA
and CONCACAF.
Marcos Tinoco
Technical Director
Cayman Islands Football Association
CYPRUS
5 vs. 5 for U10 (8- and 9-years-old)
5 vs. 5 for U12 (10- and 11-years-old)
We do not organize games for children U6 and U8.
Ms. Marilena Prodromou
CFA
US Youth Soccer
EL SALVADOR
Un saludo del Departamento Técnico, de la Federación Salvadoreña de Fútbol.
En atención a su E-Mail en el que nos solicitan información acerca de los
distintos formatos usados por las naciones afiliadas a FIFA, sobre los partidos
con números reducidos para jóvenes menores de 12 años, al respecto enviamos lo
siguiente:
ESTRUCTURA DEL PROGRAMA (NIVELES DE FORMACION)
Está dividido en seis niveles de formación, fijados en una Progresión adecuada a
la evolución natural del niño, se caracteriza por un aumento gradual de la
dificultad y complejidad de las situaciones, cada vez más reducidas en el plano
técnico – táctico, y por unas velocidades de ejecución cada vez más rápidas.
NIVEL DENOMINACION EDAD CATEGORIA
Formativo Juegos de habilidades y
capacidades básicas
Sub-8 1º Nivel
Formativo Juegos para el
Minifútbol
Sub-10 2º Nivel
Intermedios Juegos para el Fútbol 7 Sub-12 3º Nivel
Intermedios Juegos para el Fútbol 8 Sub-14 4º Nivel
Competitivos Juegos para el Fútbol
reglamentario
Sub-16 5º Nivel
Competitivos Fútbol a la medida del
Adolescente
Sub-18 6º Nivel
La Competición en el Fútbol Base
Modalidad Sustitutos Medidas de
Campo
Duración Arbitros
Minifútbol 4 8 25X35 mts 3X10
Minutos
14 Años
Minifútbol 5 8 25X35 mts 3X10
Minutos
16 Años
Fútbol 7 5 40X55 mts 2X30 18 Años
Fútbol 8 5 Entre las áreas
campo
reglamentario
2X35 20 Años
Fútbol 11 5 Campo
reglamentario
2X40 22 Años
5 vs. 5 and 4 vs. 4 are the numbers (minifutbol 4 and minifutbol 5) for U10 and
below, 7 vs. 7 for U12 and 8 vs. 8 for U14.
US Youth Soccer
ENGLAND
The F.A. does not encourage any organized football under the age of six. Over 6-
years-old ‘Mini-Soccer’ rules apply.
4 vs. 4 or 5 vs. 5 for U8
6 vs. 6 or 7 vs. 7 for U10
Over ten-years-old they begin to play 11 a-side.
“This was introduced four years ago and we feel this has made a huge difference
to our youth development programme.”
Mr. Jonathan Arana
Senior Customer Relations Manager for The F.A.
FINLAND
5 vs. 5, 7 vs. 7 & Futsal for all age groups
7 vs. 7 for U11
9 vs. 9 for U13
FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF FINLAND
Mr. Timo Huttunen
The Head of the Youth Department
All Stars -program for Children and Young people
add: Urheilukatu 1, 00250 Helsinki, Finland
tel. +358 9 7421 5270
mob. +358 40 823 5270
Email: timo.huttunen@palloliitto.fi
{A complete list of the playing rules from the Finnish F. A. is available upon request from the US Youth Soccer
Coaching Education Department.}
GERMANY
In Germany the playing models differ in the various regional federations.
Normally they play:
4 vs. 4 for U6
7 vs. 7 for U7 to U12
Some local federations play 11 vs. 11 with the U12 age group and some even as
young as U10.
“In my opinion small-sided games are better for young players, so at my academy
we often play 4 vs. 4 in the training sessions. Small-sided games enforce a lot of
technical abilities.”
Mr. Klaus Pabst
former Technical Director for the Youth Academy of Cologne.
US Youth Soccer
GUAM
My name is Basil O’Mallan and I am the president of the youth soccer league here
on Guam. There are about 1,000 kids ages 4 to 16 registered to play soccer in the
league. Since Guam is a small island, about 200 square miles, and much of it
mountainous, finding level playing fields is my biggest challenge. As a result we
play small-sided matches on smaller playing fields for the various age groups.
We also modify goal sizes. Soccer is very popular here and the competition level
is pretty good. We are part of the Asian Football Conference. We are very
fortunate, though, as the weather is wonderful year round so we play two full
seasons and also a summer league. I will prepare a more detailed report and get
back with you soon.
Mr. Basil O’Mallan
US Youth Soccer
HUNGARY
I would like to inform you about the match formats in different age-category in
Hungary.
4 vs. 4 U 6-7 Pitch 20X30 m Goal 1X1 m (no goal-keeper) Ball size 3
6 vs. 6 U 8-9 5+1 30X40 m 3X2 m 4
8 vs. 8 U 10-11 7+1 40X60 m 5X2 m 4
Only in tournament system.
From U12 normal team, pitch and championship.
Mr. Brünyi Béla
Youth Secretary
Since we are very keen to get in the EU, and it was a part of the “package deal”,
Hungary finally had to take major steps in the past few years in improving certain
issues in the coaching and player development department. A nationwide
program was implemented of unified ideas and new playing rules.
Here is what I gathered so far:
U8 4 vs. 4 without GK
U10 5 vs. 5 with GK
U12 7 vs. 7 with GK
The U8s are using 2×1 meter (cca. 6’x3′) goals, no corner kicks but three corners
can be exchanged for one PK. That penalty has to be kicked from the half way
line without GK. There is no throw-in but pass or dribble into play. No kickoff
during the game and after a conceded goal they just put the ball back in play.
Interestingly, and that only exists at the U8 level, they can bring the ball all the
way to the half way line before the defending team is allowed to pressure. That
rule though is not nationally accepted, certain counties and clubs don’t endorse
it. Some only use it when the game goes lopsided. On the U8, U10 and U12
games they don’t have referees but field marshals (I assume designated parents)
who only supervise the activity, not officiating it. It wasn’t clear but I think it is
only on the tournaments (which run in festival format) and on the intra-club
games can be found (?). Once they travel they probably have refs.
I grew up in a Hungarian second division club’s youth academy and we were
sentenced to play full field 11 vs. 11 at U10 already. I remember lots of
frustration, boredom and aggravation in my first few years. What I’ve found on
our web site now is rejoicing and it is finally the complete opposite of what we
had to struggle through.
If you are interested in further research the web address is: www.mlsz.hu.
Mr. Csaba Feher
Interim DOC
PA West Soccer Association
(412) 856-8011 office
doc@pawest-soccer.org
US Youth Soccer
IRELEAND REPUBLIC
5 vs. 5 for U8
7 vs. 7 for U10
9 vs. 9 for U12
All formats include goalkeepers.
Mr. Richard Fahy, Technical Co-ordinator for The Football Association of
Ireland.
Table 1: Proposed game format in the different age groups (All
formats include Goalkeeper)
Game
Format
AGE
GROUP
TEAMS PITCH DURATION BALL GOALS
Outdoor 6-8 5 a-side 40 x 30m 3 x 10mins Size 2 &
3
6’ x 4’
Outdoor 9-10 7 a-side 60 x 40m 3 x 15mins Size 3 10’ x 5’
Outdoor 11-12 9 a-side 80 x 60m 3 x 20mins Size 4 16’ x 6’
Outdoor 13-14 11 a-side 100 x
70m
2 x 35mins Size 5 20’ x 7’
Outdoor 15 -16 11 a-side 110 x
70m
2 x 40mins Size 5 24’ x 8’
Outdoor 17 and over 11 a-side 120 x
80m
2 x 45mins Size 5 24’ x 8’
Futsal 6 – 9 5 a-side 25m
x15m
2 x 10mins Size 2 / 3 8’ x 4’
Futsal 10 – 13 5 a-side 25m x
15m
2 x 15mins Size 4 10.5’ x 7’
Futsal 14 – 16 5 a-side 25m
x15m
2 x 20mins Size 4 10.5’ x 7’
Futsal 16 and over 5 a-side 30m
x18m
2 x 20mins Size 4 10.5’ x 7’
Futsal International 5 a-side 38m
x18m
2 x 20mins Size 4 10.5’ x 7’
LATVIA
Our youth department informs that we apply:
for U6 (4- and 5-year olds)- 5 vs. 5, 25×40 m pitches, 2×3 m goals, balls nr 4
for U8 (6- and 7-year-olds)- 7 vs. 7, 40×60 m pitches, 2×5 m goals, balls nr 4
for U10 (8- and 9-year-olds)- 7 vs. 7, 40×60 m pitches, 2×5 m goals, balls nr 4
for U12 (10- and 11-year-olds)- 7 vs. 7, 25×40 m pitches, 2×5 m goals, balls nr
4
Mr. Gunars Akerbergs
LFF Executive Secretary
US Youth Soccer
LICHTENSTEIN
Here is the information from Liechtenstein.
U8 und jünger: 5 gegen 5
U10: 7 gegen 7
U12: 9 gegen 9
U14: 11 gegen 11
U8 & younger 5 vs. 5
U10 7 vs. 7
U12 9 vs. 9
U14 11 vs. 11
Mr. R. Ospelt
Executive Director
LUXEMBOURG
The mach formats for young football players in Luxembourg are:
U6 7 vs. 7
U8 7 vs. 7
U10 7 vs.7
U12 7 vs.7
Mr. Pierre Claude
Luxembourg FA
MALTA
Regarding information on games format for children age twelve and under,
kindly note the following. Our match formats and age categories are as follows:
Age 6 to 8 years old 5 vs. 5 15 min. + 15 min. game duration.
Age 8 to 10 year old 7 vs. 7 20 min. + 20 min. game duration.
Age 10 to 12 year old 7 vs. 7 20 min. + 20 min. game duration.
(for the above age group in some cases 9 vs. 9).
We have modified rules/instructions for these age groups. No points are given to
any winning team. Mainly games for the U/10 to U/12 are played on Saturday
and Sunday morning between December and May of the following year.
Mr. Joe Micallef
Youth FA General Secretary.
US Youth Soccer
NETHERLANDS
4 vs. 4 for U7
7 vs. 7 for U8 to U11
11 vs. 11 for U12 to U19, although 7 vs. 7 is also played in all of these age groups.
A size 5 ball is used for all age groups. The ball for U11 and younger has a
maximum weight of 320 grams (a normal size 5 ball weighs 453 grams). The
length of play in the U7 to U9 age groups is generally two halves of twenty
minutes each. The length of play for U6 is two halves of fifteen minutes each.
Mr. Jarno Hilhorst
Royal Netherlands Football Association.
NEW ZEALAND
3 vs. 3 for U7 and progress to 9 vs. 9 for U10
11 vs. 11 for U11 and older players
They begin using a size 5 ball at age nine. They promote using a smaller ball,
smaller field of play and a smaller goal for children. They allow the clubs some
latitude in determining the size of the pitch and goal. They are now in the
process of determining national standards and plan to have small-sided games
implemented over the next year. The youngest age group in which they have
registered players is U8.
Mr. Paul Smalley
Director of Football for New Zealand Soccer.
NORWAY
Our proposed match formats are:
U10, U9, U8, U7 5 vs. 5 (included goalkeepers)
U 11 and U12 7 vs. 7.
Mr. Dag Riisnas
Norwegian Football Association.
dag.riisnaes@fotball.no
www.fotball.no
ROMANIA
5 vs. 5 or 8 vs. 8 for U11
Begin 11-a-side play at age 13.
US Youth Soccer
SCOTLAND
4 vs. 4 for U8 – no goalkeepers
7 vs. 7 for U10 to U12 including goalkeepers
11 vs. 11 for U13 and older
Mr. David Little
National Secretary for the Scottish Youth Football Association.
{A complete list of the playing rules from the Scottish F. A. is available upon request from the US Youth
Soccer Coaching Education Department.}
SPAIN
Futbol 5–Soccer 5s (from age 7-10) Local Competition
(grew out of Futbol Sala– usually played on outdoor or indoor handball courts)
5 vs. 5 (4 + GK–all players rotate to play GK)
(35 x 23 meters)
#3 ball
all rules same as FIFA except offside only in the penalty area
2- 20 minute halves/10 minute rest
Futbol 7–Soccer 7s (from 11-13) Local League and Regional
Championships
60-70 meters in length x 45-55 meters (Goal Size 6 meters x 2’10)
#4 ball
all FIFA rules –offside inside penalty area only (penalty spot 13 meters from the
goal line)
7 vs. 7 (6 + GK)
2 -35s
Futbol 9–Soccer 9s (from 14-16) Regional and National
Championships
Field 70-75 meters x 55-60 (Goal size same as Futbol 7s)
9 vs. 9 (8 + GK)
#5 ball
all FIFA rules (lines inside field are same as 11 vs. 11 field)
2-40s
11v11 Regional and National Competition begins at age 17
US Youth Soccer
SWEDEN
This is the Swedish age groups:
5 vs. 5 (7-9 years old)
7 vs. 7 (10-12 years old)
11 vs. 11 (13- years old)
Med vänlig hälsning
Peter Brusvik
Utvecklingsenheten
SVENSKA FOTBOLLFÖRBUNDET
Box 1216, 171 23 Solna
Telefon + 46 8-735 09 31
Mobil +46 70 5-49 09 54
Telefax +46 8-735 95 93
peter.brusvik@svenskfotboll.se
www.svenskfotboll.se
Mr. Peter Brusvik
Development Department
The Swedish Football Association
US Youth Soccer
SWITZERLAND
Junioren kategorien schweizer fussball
USFT
Name: Urs Baumgartner
Department: Sekretariat
Premier Youth Soccer (cut off Date is January 1st)
U-19 (1985 – 1988)
U-18: 16 and 17 year olds (1986-1987)
U-16: 14 and 15 year olds (1988-1989)
U-15: 13 and 14 year olds 1989-1990)
Youth A 1984-1986
Youth B 1987-1990 Youth A + B 11 v. 11
Amateur Youth Soccer
____________________
Youth A: 17, 18 and 19 year olds
Youth B: 15 und 16 year olds Youth A + B 11 v. 11
Intermediate Youth Soccer
________________
Youth C: 13 and 14 year olds Youth C 9 v. 9
Youth D: 11 and 12 year olds Youth D 7 v. 7
Kid’s Soccer
____________
Youth E: 9 and 10 year olds Youth E 7 v. 7
Youth F: 7 and 8 year olds Youth F 5 v. 5
Mr. Urs Baumgartner
General Secretary
US Youth Soccer
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
As you know FUTSAL is becoming very popular. I personally like to use it, maybe
modifying it a little, for U/10 applications. The four seconds rule makes the game
much crisper and the 22×42 meters field is a perfect size for children. The
accumulated fouls teach discipline and work on the children’s attention span
development. So…since 5-aside exists and has its own specific set of rules, and a
World Championship (which the TCI have just entered, by the way), why not use
it? Dump the “low-bounce” ball and use a # 4; get rid of the stop watch and do
20 minute halves; change the kick-in for the throw-in … and so on to suit your
needs.
TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
Captain Alessio (Alex) Girotti
Development Officer (Grand Turk, South Caicos, Salt Cay) & National Director of
FUTSAL
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
3 vs. 3 for U6 – no goalkeepers
4 vs. 4 for U8 – no goalkeepers
6 vs. 6 for U10 including the goalkeeper
8 vs. 8 for U12 including the goalkeeper
11 vs. 11 for U13 and older players
For a complete set of the modified rules, field diagrams and addendums for the
U6, U8, U10 and U12 age groups please visit www.usyouthsoccer.org.
Mr. Tom Goodman
Director of Coaching Education
US Youth Soccer
tgoodman@usyouthsoccer.org
WALES
The small-sided game has been in force in Wales for about 8 years at under 12
level. At first, although mandatory, it was organised to recommended standards,
this has recently been reviewed and rules and regulations have been established
to ensure uniformity across Wales. The rules allow for flexibility which can take
into account the age and ability of the player, by reducing numbers, applying
conditions, playing without goalkeepers and rotating players with no limitations
on substitutions etc. As a rule the games are non competitive; i.e., they do not
form part of a league structure and therefore the result whilst important is not
crucial in a bigger scheme. This is supposed to reduce negative parental
influence.
Mr. Rob Sherman
Player Development Manager for the Football Association of Wales.
{A copy of the Welsh rules is available from the US Youth Soccer Coaching Department upon request.}
US Youth Soccer
Many thanks to Mr. Roberto Lopez, Mr. Juan Carlos DeRada, Mr. Eric
Privat and Mr. Manni Klar for their contributions and translation
efforts on behalf of US Youth Soccer.
US Youth Soccer

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