This week, U.S. Soccer announced two significant mandates effecting the organization of youth soccer:
- Birth-Year Registration: Registration calendars are to align with the calendar year and run from January to December rather than August to July.
- Small-Sided Standards: Field sizes are to be adjusted to be age appropriate with small sided teams (4v4, 7v7 and 9v9).
U.S. Soccer is looking to simplify player registration with the birth-year initiative while conforming to the international standard.
Small-sided games with age-appropriate field sizes are already strongly encouraged by AYSO. Using a smaller field with fewer players allows for kids to increase the number of touches and control and boosts their confidence while simultaneously promoting faster decision-making skills in an age-appropriate environment. It’s good for player development!
Both initiatives are recommended by U.S. Soccer to be used as best practices by August 2016 and will be mandated by August 2017. AYSO is reviewing both items for planning, communication and roll out for our Regions across the country.
To learn more about these initiatives, click here.