2016 US Soccer Changes

Small-Sided Play


The core objectives behind the small-sided standards, from US Soccer, are as follows:

  • Fewer players on the field means more touches on the ball and increased touches translates to more individual skill.
  • Players who are more skilled may become more confident and comfortable when in possession of the ball.
  • The ratio of players to field size is designed to assist players with making the right kind of decisions and improving awareness.
  • This approach builds on itself as players get older and start playing with more players on bigger fields.
  • And as players get older, the building block approach also allows them to better integrate into a team model where they develop partnerships with the other players that make up the team.

Changes that LNUSC will implement for the 2016-17 cycle:

Currently, travel soccer has two match formats:

  • 8 v 8 for U12 and below
  • 11 v 11 for U13 and above

Effective the 2016-17 season, there will be three match formats:

  • 7 v 7 for U9 and U10
  • 9 v 9 for U11 and U12
  • 11 v 11 for U13 and above

Small-Sided Field Layouts:

The changes to the small-sided match formats will also include corresponding changes to field sizes.  These are shown below:

7 v 7 (U9 & U10)


9 v 9 (U11 & U12)