NWCCSAY U4 and U5 CANDY LEAGUE PROGRAM

Introduction:

In many communities across the country, successful instructional soccer leagues have been formed for children under 5 years old. These leagues focus on instruction in basic soccer skills, learning to take direction in a group or team environment; and above all--having FUN.

In NWCCSAY, our league for under 5 year olds is called Candy U4 (spring season only) and U5 League. Leagues that have U5 divisions report greater skill levels and shorter adjustment periods for the children especially by playing 3-on-a-side. Three players comprise the basic offensive and defensive unit in the game of Soccer. Young players can develop an understanding of soccer principles by playing the game with this format.

Games are scrimmage games where competition and instruction are equally important. Focus of coaching will be: dribbling, throw-in, instep drive, kick-off, corner kick, goal kick and playing various games to have FUN and learn. To remove the pressure of scoring goals, winning/losing games and team standings, GAME SCORES WILL NOT BE KEPT.

Equipment: 

Players will need: size #3 ball, shin guards, and water bottle.

Team Size: 

Generally up to 6 players per team. There will be a maximum of three players on the field at a time.

Field Size:

30 yards long by 20 yards wide.

Playing Time:

Four 8 minute quarters. Everyone plays a minimum of half the game. The idea  is to play all players equally!

Scoring:

No goalkeepers are allowed. Offensive and defensive players are not to be posted in the goal area, or a penalty of an indirect kick will be awarded. Games should be played/facilitated to allow both teams to be involved in scoring opportunities, as well as allowing all players the opportunity to score a goal. Teams should work together to keep the scores relatively even throughout the game.

Restarts:

1. Balls over the touchline are restarted with an indirect kick-in. Within reason, both teams should be in place and ready when the ball is kicked.

2. Corner kicks will be taken from the corners.

3. Goal kicks will be taken from the 6-yard line and played as kicked. The ball must clear the box before it can be played by another player.

4. Kickoffs will be taken from the center of the centerline. The ball must move forward.  The kickoff will be retaken one time and then allow play to continue.

5. Teams will change ends at the half.

6. Substitutions may be made as noted in the SAY Rules: kick-off, goal kicks, your team's throw-in, the other team's throw-in (if the other team substitutes players), and obvious injuries.

Playing rules:

For the most part, normal soccer rules apply. The following are exceptions:

1. Offside will not be in effect.

2. Cautions and ejections for players will not be in effect. They will remain in effect for coaches and spectators. You must act in a positive and appropriate manner at all times so the caution and/or ejection's will not be necessary. A 4 or 5 year old does not understand why "Mommy" or "Daddy" needs to be removed from the game, and frankly, neither do we.

3. Direct kicks and Penalty kicks will not be in effect. In situations where it would normally be used, the player will verbally warned of the infraction as a point of education. Play should then be restarted with an indirect free kick at the nearest point of the infraction.

Organizational Rules:

1. One practice session per week will be available, at the discretion of the coach.

2. Team standings will not be kept. Teams are encouraged to provide forms of participation awards at their discretion.

3. There will be no district, franchise, state, or national tournaments for Candy League.

4. The Candy League can use the SAY referee system. Volunteer coaches and parents can facilitate the games. The facilitator will be responsible for safety, start of play, restarts, ball in and out of play, throw-in, corner kick, and goal kick. Facilitators will run the game…encouraging the kids to play and helping with restarts. Encourage restart of play as quickly as possible. It is suggested the home team facilitates the first half of the game and the visitor team facilitates the second half of the game when a referee is not used. When a referee is used, coaches are responsible for ball placement on goal kicks, corner kicks and kick-ins.

5. Coaches should not enter the field during the games unless they are facilitating. Only one coach/facilitator per team is allowed on the field during play. The fields are smaller and the extra interference of a large body may hinder more than help the children. Coaches may choose an assistant before the assignment of teams.

6. A division of U5 teams will be formed and a division of U6 teams will be formed.  They will not be scheduled to play across the age divisions.

Summary:

It is very important at this age level to keep the players active at all times. Move your players to different field positions during games. Make their first experience with soccer fun and remember to praise and encourage their efforts always no matter the level of skill. Involve parents as much as possible.