Kids football is changing - smaller pitches - smaller teams - smaller goals - child friendly competition
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On 28 May 2012, The FA formally ratified some of the recommendations of the Youth Development Review. These amendments to the youth game can be found below in our individual guidance booklets; Youth Leagues, U7/U8, U9/U10 and U11/U12 resources.
These resources and amendments have been developed over two years of research, consultations and listening to those involved in the youth game, most importantly those that play – the children.
These positive changes have been put in place to improve enjoyment, fun and development of young players allowing more touches, on a better proportioned pitch with an increase of involvement in the game as a whole. The changes within The FA’s Youth Development Review will make youth football better for everyone involved. We recognise that they present some challenges in the short-term but, with your help, we can make football better, more relevant and more enjoyable for our young players.
The changes will be phased in from 2013/2014 season and these resources are available to assist, help and advise you of the changes to age groups, pitch size and Laws of the game. They also aim to provide you with good practice and other recommendations to improve players participation and enjoyment as well as minor changes to develop better players.
It is important to note that the Law changes to Mini-Soccer that include a retreat line, the option of quarters for development matches and roll-ins for U7/8 are optional for season 2012/13.
This is about a modern, child-friendly approach to youth football, challenging the win-at-all-costs mentality that is stifling development and enjoyment for young people. Working together with a proactive attitude, adults can help develop a better learning environment for young people that puts their needs at the centre of the process.
If there are any additional questions on the changes to youth football please read the FAQ or email theirgame@TheFA.com