SCCYSC U6 Soccer Guidelines
for Parents and Coaches
Become familiar with the “Double-Goal” Coach model: winning is a goal and so is building character and teaching life lessons. Learn how to make the most of youth sports – visit www.positivecoach.org
Involve your parents in making the season successful:
-all team parents invited to attend the Parent PCA workshop Sept. 21 at HW Scout House
-encourage parent participation in practices, it motivates the players
-ask a parent to make a team roster and snack schedule for the team
-parents provide the popsicles/snack at games
-organize team party, small trophy or medal optional.
-lay out expectations early (i.e. arrive at game 20 min. early), positive behavior
Practices: 1-2X/week for 45 minutes. The general practice organization is fun activity warmups. short skill building games, and scrimmage. Take your cue from the players – if they are bored or restless, its time to change the activity. Give lots of water breaks, especially in hot weather.
Games: Game time is for the players to play - it is their chance to make decisions and use what they’ve learned in practice and elsewhere. Adults on the sidelines should allow them this chance. Young players are distracted by instructions during the game, especially when they're involved in the play. During the game, parents should not coach at all; offer encouragement and praise instead (‘honor the game’ by cheering good play on either team). Save coaching for the practices. Sportcasting the game with players on the sideline is an effective coaching technique.
Substitutions: all players play at least half the game, ideally equal time for all. It may help to make up a sub plan before the game so you can relax and enjoy watching play during the game. (Note: U6 mainly sub at quarter breaks, not during play, unless for injury.)
Important things to discuss early in the season with your players:
- Honoring the Game (Sportsmanship): what is it? How can we show it? After we score a goal, or if we foul someone, or if another player does something we don’t like, what can we do to show good sportsmanship in these cases? What things should we say or not be saying to other players at practice or in games? How do we want to be treated by our teammates?
- Team cheer and handshake after the game: practice it beforehand. Show respect, win or lose.
- What a foul looks like – pushing, tripping, or kicking another player. Other rules questions?
- When the ball goes out of bounds, who should get it? (closest player to the ball)
- When there is a free kick, who should take it (goal, corner, or after a foul)?
The first skill of soccer is the ‘go-for-it’ skill – going for the ball in a crowd, and challenging opponents for possession. Young players love to scrimmage and it helps them gain this skill. Parents can play with them and model the kind of movement, passing, and team talk they want to see.
Modified Rules For U6
Guidelines for Parent Referees:
-safety first-stop play for injury, unsafe situations, excessive roughness
-let play go on when possible – yell “play on” if players are unsure
-help restart promptly after stoppages
-encourage and praise both teams, but avoid continuous instruction
-parents must stay along sidelines, no spectators behind end lines
Preparation: Check equipment for safety. No earrings, watches, necklaces, rings or hard hair barrettes. Socks must be worn outside of and cover shin guards. Home team provides the ball. Use coin toss or just choose a kick off team.
Start the game on time. Game duration: four 8-minute quarters with 1-minute substitution break. 5 minute halftime. Four players on the field from each team, no goalies.
Kickoff: ball should be kicked forward, into the opposing half.
Goal kick: taken by any defensive player from near the corner of the field. U6 goal kicks should not be taken from in front of the goal due to high chance of scoring on self. Say “goal kick”
Corner kick: any offensive player kicks ball from the corner arc. Say “corner kick”
If players argue over who takes the kick, here are two ideas: a. closest player gets the ball and takes the kick. b. players take turns. Good to discuss at practice!
At any free kick, opposing players must be at least 6 yards away. Step off distance if necessary.
Substitution break: At about the 8-minute mark of each half, blow whistle for a sub break with the clock running. Do not stop play during possible scoring situations! Allow coaches to reposition players; restart game with a kickoff by the other team.
Sideline out of bounds: no throw-ins; nearby adults tap the ball back into play.
A goal is scored when the ball goes completely over the goal line inside the goal (be close enough to tell!). Restart the game promptly at midfield. Address any teasing language by the scoring team.
Fouls: Intentional fouls are rare for this age group. Unintentional handballs are “play on”. (Did the arm strike the ball or the ball strike the arm?) No slide tackling, pushing, or tripping. Use whistle to stop play, explain the foul, and award a free kick where the foul occurred, but no closer than 6 yards from the goal. Go by the spirit of the rules here, and call fouls when you think it important to do so. But often, a player will fall on their own accord, which is not a foul. Say “Play on!” to let players know there is no foul, or that you choose not to stop play. Giving a player a verbal reminder about the rules may be all that’s needed. The fallen player may need a moment of attention to get back into the play.
Free kicks are all INDIRECT (ball must touch another player before a goal counts). If it goes in directly from the kick, it is a goal kick for the defending team. All opposing players must stay 6 yds away for ALL kicks – step it off if necessary. No kicks given within 6 yards of a goal for either team. It is often helpful, emotionally, for the player who was fouled to take the kick.
Whistle to stop play for injuries with the clock running. Restart with a free kick for the team last in possession, near mid-field.