Small-Sided Games

What Is Small-Sided Soccer?

AYSO recommends that all children under the age of 12 play short-sided (less than 11 players per team) soccer.

Why Small-Sided Soccer?

Small-sided soccer is about what is best for young soccer players. It's for AYSO coaches, referees, administrators, spectators, and anyone else concerned with the development of 5 to 12 year old soccer players

Young soccer players need special consideration

Educators agree early learning experiences are the most important and produce the most retention

Children love to learn

Residual benefits

Small-Sided Games Revealed As Best Soccer Teacher...

Parents fight hard for small classrooms. They know that fewer students means a better learning environment.

Parents also know their children can't tackle calculus unless they've taken years of "real math": addition, subtraction, fractions.

Yet some of those same parents resist small-sided soccer. "It's not ‘real soccer,'" they say of 3-v-3, 5-v-5 or 7-v-7 games, with small goals.

Of course it is. The best players all over the planet -- as well as many who play simply for fun -- grew up playing small-sided. They understand that full-sided (11-v-11) soccer is really just a series of small contests -- small-sided soccer on a bigger field.