UNITED STATES SOCCER FEDERATION (USSF) AND MICHIGAN STATE YOUTH SOCCER ASSOCIATION (MSYSA)
YOUTH SOCCER CHANGES – EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 2016^
Birth Year – Registration will be based on birth year, ending the old format of a July 31 cut off. So, for example, all players born in 2009 will play U8.
Elimination of purposeful heading for players 10 years old and younger in games and practices.
Infringement will result in a indirect free kick from the spot in the infraction.
Limiting the number of headers to 15-20 per week for players 11 and 12.
Divisional format changes
U4 and U5 – No competitive games. Lakeshore youth soccer (LYSL) will increase the number of practices and have scrimmages, Jamboree's#, on Saturdays
U6, U7, U8 – No competitive games, no goalies, 4v4. LYSL will increase the number of practices and decrease the number of games. These divisions will transition into a Jamboree format over the course of three years+.
U10 – offsides, no goalie punting.
U12 – No changes
U14 – No changes
Field size changes – LYSL will re-build fields by the August 1, 2017 deadline or sooner
U4 and U5 – 40x60, 6x4 goal (U5 was 60x90)
U6, U7, U8 – 60x90, 6x4 goal (U7/8 was 90x140 w/12x6 goal)
U10 – 90x140, with build out lines* at 42', 18x6'-6 goal (was 120x180)
U12 – 140x225, 18'x6'6 goal (was 160x240 w/21x7 goal)
U14 – No changes
* Once the opposing team is behind the build out line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw or roll the ball to a teammate. Punting the ball is not allowed as this would defeat the purpose of the build out line and reduces the opportunity to play out of the back in an un-pressured setting. After the ball is put into play, the opposing team can then cross the build out line and play can resume as normal.
^ Clubs are allowed until August 1, 2017 to rebuild/reconfigure fields.
# Jamboree's will consist of 2-3 short scrimmages, per team, on 4 Saturdays.
+ The current U5's will continue the Jamboree format next year (2017), and then the next U5's (2018), followed the next next (2019). By 2019 the U6 thru U8 will follow the same format of play as U4 and U5.
FROM US SOCCER'S, “NEW PLAYER DEVELOPMENT INTIATIVES”:
Despite the increased popularity of soccer and the success of our national teams, the youth soccer landscape at the entry level needs to be improved.
Our soccer culture at the youth level focuses on winning and results rather than focusing on developing the skills of individual players.
The concept of a team outweighs the importance of players having fun and developing to the best of their abilities.
As a country, we need coaches and parents to spend less time caring about wins and loses, and more time devoted to teaching individual skills.
Part of this initiative is to educate and empower coaches and parents to change the way we look at the sport.
One example of this is U.S. Soccer’s new online F License, which is designed for coaches working with players ages 6-8.
These initiatives are part of a long-term plan that will take time to reap the benefits from.
For example, U10 players don’t play in the World Cup, so there is no reason to treat them and the environment they play in the same as our senior teams.
We need to remember that kids at these ages are nowhere near the finished product, and their development process is a long way from being completed.
To succeed, this means that players need to be in the best environment possible, both on the field and at home.
Players should be encouraged to have fun and express themselves.
Working with coaches and being encouraged by parents who support these initiatives is crucial to the overall success of the project.
Winning is not the sole objective and should not be placed ahead of developing the player.
As mentioned before, this is a long term approach with no shortcuts, and results require years of commitment.
The starting point for our new player development initiative is to create small sided standards and institute a birth year registration process.
The rationale for the changes is simple.
We want to develop players with more: individual skill, intelligence, creativity and confidence.
Players should be having fun, and feel free to make their own decisions.
These standards were created based on the needs of the players and they also provide for a consistent approach across the country.