U.S. Soccer Player Development Initiatives for 2016
In another step towards its commitment to long-term player development, U.S. Soccer is phasing in new standards related to small-sided games and birth-year registration. ASE will implement the birth year changes for the 2016-2017 season, which begins in May/June of 2016. The small-sided standards will be supported by ASE, but are dependent on the rules of the PSPL league and/or tournaments which are still to be determined.
The small-sided standards are focused at players from the U-6 to U-12 age groups. The field size is based on age groups, providing a more age appropriate environment that will allow players with a better opportunity to develop heightened soccer intelligence and on-the-ball skills.
The field dimensions and number of players on the pitch will increase in size from 4v4 to 7v7 to 9v9 as players age, up until they reach the U-13 age group and begin to play full 11v11 matches.
The Birth Year Chart below provides an example on how to calculate age group and birth year. Year minus age group equals birth year. For the purposes of calculation, it is the second year of a split-year competitive season which determines what number should be used to calculate age group. Example: 2018 – U7 = 2011
Please read the following information to learn all about these initiatives: