The emphasis in mini-soccer and the primary goal at this age is to develop in players early physical literacy and a love for the game in a fun and supportive environment. All divisions follow Canada Soccer's long term player development pathway in which players are given the opportunity to play in a supportive environment with activities based upon their individual ages and stages of development.
Mini Soccer is specifically designed for children 2 to 8 years of age. Players will be separated into divisions based on their age as determined by year of birth. The number of teams in each division is determined by the number of registrations received with players being randomly allocated to rosters.
Each player will receive a jersey which is theirs to keep and a commemorative medal at the conclusion of the season.
Season of Play
The season runs for an 8 week period from early May until late June with play twice a week for a total of 16 sessions. In addition to the 16 sessions each season concludes with the CYSA Mini-soccer Jamboree, a Canada Soccer’s Active Start Soccer Fest which is held on a Saturday in late June.
Players are given the option to choose night of play either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday evenings starting at 6:30 PM. The number of teams in each division will be determined by the number of registrations received.
The teams in each division will play with one another in a rotating schedule at a single location with multiple fields. Players will play at one of two
Westgrove School Fields, 50 Westgrove Way, or River West Park School fields, 30 Stack St.
U3 Players are co-ed with a ratio of 6-8 players per coach with no designated teams playing for half hour sessions. The focus is entirely on developing general movement and social skills. Fun and energetic games are played without the formality of official teams, field sizes, nets or restrictions.
U4, U5 and U6 players continue to play co-ed each within their own age group on designated teams of 8-10 players for one hour sessions. The primary focus remains on developing physical literacy while beginning to introduce soccer specific concepts and skills. Fully lined fields which are a much smaller replica of a full size field, about 20x25 ft are used with pop up nets and a size three ball.
At U7/8 players are combined and separated into boys and girls teams of 8-10 players playing for one hour sessions. There continues to be a focus on developing physical literacy with more soccer specific concepts and skills being developed which incorporates an introduction to the rules of the game. Slightly larger fully lined fields are used which are a much smaller replica of a full size field about 25 x 35 ft utilizing easy set 4x6 ft box nets and a size 3 ball.
At U3 skill development focuses purely on physical literacy with the goal to develop balance, co-ordination, gross motor skills and social skills. Players will be led through a number of simple games which involve running, jumping, tumbling, throwing, catching, and kicking sometimes while carrying or moving a soccer ball. The games and challenges are simple and fun and allow all players to be included throughout the full session and to participate as much or as little as they choose.
For players in the U4-U7/8 divisions CYSA follows a station approach to training which is recommended by the Canada Soccer Association in which players move from one skill building activity to the next. This encourages development based on the individual age and stage of each child.
Each night of play will include a training session and a scrimmage period. The percentage of time spent on training vs scrimmage play is determined by age division with more scrimmage time being introduced as children grow and develop their skills and knowledge about the game.
At the U4-U8 ages the primary focus remains on progressively developing physical literacy while introducing the game and the four pillars of soccer; technique, dribbling, control, passing and shooting. Skills are developed through small sided games and activities which are played on proportionally smaller fields, with smaller teams, balls and nets. All players are given an equal amount of playing time and are encouraged to have lots of touches on the ball throughout the session.
U4-U6 teams will have training sessions which are built around four activity stations, one focusing on general movement skills, one on coordination, one on soccer technique and another on a small-sided game. Each field will be split into these four stations with two teams assigned to that field working together for the practice period. Groupings of players will move from one skill-building activity to the next at regular intervals.
The stations will be assigned by a weekly schedule, during the eight week season. These stations provide the players with the opportunity to develop basic movement skills such as running, throwing, catching, jumping, landing and kicking built around informal play and positive reinforcement.
For children in U7-U8 divisions training sessions will continue to have a training period and a game period. Each pillar of soccer; technique, dribbling, control, passing and shooting, will be covered twice during each season assigned by a weekly schedule over the eight week period.
Addressing all four of these training pillars will help develop well-rounded young players with a good foundation in physical literacy, soccer skills, concepts and an enduring love of the game.
Coaching is provided by the players family members who volunteer their time. Organization, on-going support, training, practice plans and equipment will be provided by CYSA. The practice plans provided will include an opportunity for coaches to bring their own thoughts, games and ideas into the mix.
All coaches are expected to adhere to the CYSA team officials code of conduct, complete the Respect in sport for activity leaders on-line course and attend the relevant coaching clinic for the age in which they will be participating. Clinics are offered by The Manitoba Soccer Association (MSA) within the community coaching pathway.
The first stage is the Active Start program designed for those coaching players U4 to U6. The second stage, FUNdamentals, is designed for those coaching players U6 to U8. All fees for these coaching courses will be reimbursed.
Spectators are expected to follow the CYSA Code of Conduct at all times. A parent or someone they designate must be present throughout the duration of all sessions. It is also expected that at this level of play spectators will support the coach and assist them when asked to do so. At the U3 level of play in particular a parent/guardian or designated adult must play an active supporting role for their own child/children.
Each player will receive a jersey which is theirs to keep which should be worn with shorts, shin guards and soccer socks (optional for U3) with either runners or soccer cleats. Players should each also bring a water bottle and a regulation size 3 ball to each night of play.
Created by: CYSA - Webmaster -- Last updated:Feb 23, 2019