6U Division Guidelines

Team Structure:

  • Each team will have one team manager and at least 2 certified Co-Coaches plus at least one Assistant Coach.
  • Each team will ideally be made up of 9 players.
  • Multiple parents on each team are EXPECTED to act as “Practice Coaches/Helpers”.
  • Parents of ALL players are expected to complete the “Safe Haven” Certification.

Heading the Ball

  • Deliberate heading of the ball is banned for all players in this division in both practices and games.
  • In a match, a free kick will be awarded to the opposing team if a player deliberately touches the ball with his/her head during a game.

Field Format

  • Each team will be given an entire 6U-size field for one hour.  No other team will be assigned to that field during that time.
  • First team of the day on each field is responsible for field set-up (your team should arrive early as your field time cannot be extended).  Each field has 2 goals & nets, plus 6 flags – 4 on each of the corners, and 1 each at mid-field, about a yard away from the edge of the field (touchline).  Additionally, the Kids Zone sign needs to be placed in a visible location.
  • Last team of the day on each field is responsible for field takedown and storage (your team should understand that this is an embedded responsibility).  All field equipment must be returned to the storage room, along with the Kids Zone sign.  Any trash and/or recycling must be picked up and dealt with appropriately.

One-hour Field Time Structure

  • 20 minutes of activities/drills with full team (see below)
  • 5 minutes break/dividing kids into 2 teams (see below)
  • 30 minutes for a game (2 x 12′ halves with 5 minute halftime break–see below)

Skill Building Activities:  First 20 minutes (every week)

  • First 20 minutes = activities/drills with ALL 9 players on FULL FIELD
    • This should involve BOTH Co-Coaches and all Assistant Coaches.
    • It is recommended that your parents (as “Practice Coaches/Helpers”) assist the coaches by keeping the players active and by retrieving stray soccer balls.
    • The region (via the website) intends to suggest several activities/skills challenges each week.

Intra-team Games:  First 3 games of the season (Games 1-3):

  • Minutes 20-25 = divide the players into 2 teams of equal number of players (max 4) using pinnies/scrimmage vests.  One coach takes responsibility for one team, the other coach takes responsibility for the other team.
    • These teams must be “mixed up” every week with an attempt to create as much balance as possible.  It is suggested that the first week involves “even numbers” v. “odd numbers”.  In Games 2 & 3, the players should be shuffled around so that each player as the chance to experience all players as teammates, while still trying to achieve balance among the teams.
    • Coaches may change players around at half-time to accommodate situations that arise to keep the games fun, fair, and balanced.

Inter-team Games (Balanced teams):  Last 8 games of the season (Games 4-11):

  • Minutes 20-25 = divide the players into 2 teams of equal number of players (max 4).  One coach takes responsibility for one team, the other coach takes responsibility for the other team.  Each of these teams of 4 will be matched up to play against each of the teams of 4 assigned to the other field at the site (there are 2 fields at each site).
    • These teams must be “mixed up” every week with an attempt to create as much balance as possible.  It is suggested that the Game 4 involve “even numbers from one team” v. “even numbers from the other team”.  In Games 4-11, the players should be shuffled around so that each player as the chance to experience all players as teammates, while still trying to achieve balance among the teams.
    • Coaches may change players around at half-time to accommodate situations that arise to keep the games fun, fair, and balanced.
    • EXAMPLE:  Game 4:  “Team 1 Odd Numbers” v. “Team 2 Odd Numbers” on Field 1; “Team 1 Even Numbers” v. “Team 2 Even Numbers” on Field 2
      • Note:  time assignments will VARY in the schedule, therefore, most teams will likely play against different opponents every game.

Game:

  • Minutes 25-60 = GAME ON FULL FIELD (3v3)
    • 2 x 12′ halves with 5-minute halftime break
    • Remember it is important to end your game on time so the next teams can get onto their field in time.
    • The two teams play against each other utilizing the “rules of play” as established by the U5 Guidelines and the game structure below:

Game Structure

  • The ONLY adult permitted on the field during play is the Referee.  (Coaches/Parents must NOT be on the field).  (Hint:  Use the 20 minute practice activities to teach the game.)
  • Referee is in charge of keeping the flow of the game moving (no stoppages should exceed 5-15 seconds) while making sure the basic concepts of the game are followed (e.g. “you can’t use your hands”).  Referees must attend 5U and 6U referee training at start of season.
  • If 9 players are present, games MUST BE 4 v 4 (There should be a MAXIMUM of one player acting as a substitute (i.e., “sitting out”))
  • If LESS THAN 9 players are present, games MUST BE 3 v 3 (There should be a MAXIMUM of one player per team as a substitute (i.e., “sitting out”))
    • The meaning behind the above:  The ideal is 3v3 (the National AYSO recommendation).  This allows every kid to be more involved.  However, we also want to reduce the “sitting out” time for kids.  Therefore, the above is designed so that no more than 1 player (on each team) is sitting out at a time.
  • Game is 12-minute halves with a 5-minute halftime.
  • Game is “Open Substitution” which means players can enter and exit as frequently as necessary.
    • If there are enough players to have a substitute, ALL players shall be substitutes equally.
    • No player shall “sit out” (act as substitute) for more than 2 minutes at a time).
    • For the FINAL 2 MINUTES of the game, ALL players should be put into the game (even if this creates a 4v4 or 3v4 situation).  This is ONLY for the final 2 minutes of the game.
  • Games should involve FUN and “healthy competition” not “aggressive competition”. The “score” of a game is meaningless.