NEW BALL METHOD FOR U5 AND U6 TEAMS

THE PROCESS:

  • Whenever a ball goes OUT OF PLAY or a GOAL IS SCORED, a coach announces “NEW BALL” and rolls another ball into play.
  • NO KICK OFF
  • NO KICK-INS!
  • NO GOAL KICKS!
  • NO CORNER KICKS!
  • There is no referee. The coaches are responsible for controlling the game
  • Substitutions are done “on the fly” like hockey. When a player gets tired or the coach wants to make substitution, the player runs off the field and a new player runs on. No stoppage.
  • U5/U6 games consist of four, (8) minute quarters, with a (2) minute break between quarters, and a (5) minute break at the half.

TIPS for SUCCESS:

  • Several balls are required for this method. Use a regular “kick-off” to start each half.
  • The two coaches assign themselves each to half the field and carry one or two balls in their arms.
  • If the ball goes slightly out of play, but the player dribbles the ball back in, that’s ok – let them play on!
  • The “NEW BALL” should be rolled to neutral space or toward the disadvantaged team.
  • Coaches control the pace of the game. You may need to pause for a few seconds before distributing a new ball, especially after a goal. Give the players several seconds to re-start and rest after a goal. Roll the new ball in near the center of the field toward the team that was scored against.
  • DO NOT bounce the “NEWBALL” as it is difficult for these players to judge a bouncing ball at this age.
  • Favor the team on the wrong end of a one sided game
  • Favor individual players who are not becoming involved in the game
  • Have parents retrieve lost balls and return them to the coach who just rolled the new ball in so he/she now has 2 balls once more!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Why use the New Ball Method:
  • More touches on the ball: The method double or tripled the number of touches by each player in a study conducted in 2001/2002 in youth soccer. More touches means faster skill development and increases enjoyment of the game.
  • More playing time: Youth Soccer studied the effect of the New Ball Method and found that in 7 minute quarter, the ball was in play for 4 minutes using traditional rules, and about 6 minutes and 30 seconds using the New Ball Method.
  • This method will speed up the game; produce more goals and more excitement, while at the same time de-emphasizing the importance of scoring and emphasizing play and fun.
  • This method can be used to get non-assertive players involved by rolling the new ball to those players; and can be used to even the playing field in a lopsided game. At this age, score is not kept, there is no win/loss record, and the emphasis is on playing, having fun and sportsmanship, not winning.
  • Unlike at the higher levels, at this age, goal kicks, corner kicks, and kicks-ins do not provide the tactical advantage for the kicking team, and can often be disadvantage. Consequently, re-starts substantially slow the game with no benefit to the player or spectator.
  • The New Ball Method has proven to be a great success with clubs around the country that have adopted it.
  • Since there is no referee who calls the fouls?
  • Fouls at this age are almost always innocent, and result from lack od coordination rather than malicious intent, so fouls should almost never be called—a player can be substituted and instructed on the rules of play when that player comes off the field.
  • Players are rarely hurt (other than hurt feelings) by a foul at this age, and since score is not kept and records are not important, any tactical advantage obtained by a foul is meaningless. And can be corrected with the next “NEW BALL”
  • If necessary, one coach can be assigned to each half of the game to call only the most blatant fouls.
  • Who keeps Time?
  • The coaches keep time. Or a volunteer parent can keep time.
  • Time limits must be adhered to in order prevent delays od all the games later that day.
  • Coaches should familiarize themselves with the rules of play for this age group.
  • Note that the rules of play are much simpler with the New Ball Method.

NEW BALL METHOD FOR U7 AND U8 TEAMS

THE PROCESS:

  • Whenever a ball goes OUT OF PLAY OUT OF REACH FOR THE PLAYER or a GOAL IS SCORED, a coach announces the coach can annouce “NEW BALL” and rolls another ball into play. To set the pace of the game you also can start with a kick-off after the goal was scored.
  • KICK OFF at Start of Game and/or after a goal
  • NO KICK-INS!
  • DRIBBLE-INS OR NEW BALL
  • NO THROW INS
  • There is no referee. The coaches are responsible for controlling the game
  • Substitutions are done “on the fly” like hockey. When a player gets tired or the coach wants to make substitution, the player runs off the field and a new player runs on. No stoppage.
  • U7/U8 games consist of four, (12) minute quarters, with a (2) minute break between quarters, and a (5) minute break at the half.

TIPS for SUCCESS:

  • Several balls are required for this method. Use a regular “kick-off” to start each half.
  • The two coaches assign themselves each to half the field.
  • Coaches are not on the field during the play of the game.
  • If the ball goes slightly out of play, but the player dribbles the ball back in, that’s ok – let them play on!
  • The “NEW BALL” should be rolled to neutral space or toward the disadvantaged team.
  • Coaches control the pace of the game. You may need to pause for a few seconds before distributing a new ball, especially after a goal. Give the players several seconds to re-start and rest after a goal. Roll the new ball in near the center of the field toward the team that was scored against.
  • DO NOT bounce the “NEWBALL” as it is difficult for these players to judge a bouncing ball at this age.
  • Favor the team on the wrong end of a one sided game
  • Favor individual players who are not becoming involved in the game
  • Have parents retrieve lost balls and return them to the coach who just rolled the new ball in so he/she now has 2 balls once more!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Why use the New Ball Method:
  • More touches on the ball: The method double or tripled the number of touches by each player in a study conducted in 2001/2002 in youth soccer. More touches means faster skill development and increases enjoyment of the game.
  • More playing time: Youth Soccer studied the effect of the New Ball Method and found that in 7 minute quarter, the ball was in play for 4 minutes using traditional rules, and about 6 minutes and 30 seconds using the New Ball Method.
  • This method will speed up the game; produce more goals and more excitement, while at the same time de-emphasizing the importance of scoring and emphasizing play and fun.
  • This method can be used to get non-assertive players involved by rolling the new ball to those players; and can be used to even the playing field in a lopsided game. At this age, score is not kept, there is no win/loss record, and the emphasis is on playing, having fun and sportsmanship, not winning.
  • Unlike at the higher levels, at this age, goal kicks, corner kicks, and kicks-ins do not provide the tactical advantage for the kicking team, and can often be disadvantage. Consequently, re-starts substantially slow the game with no benefit to the player or spectator.
  • The New Ball Method has proven to be a great success with clubs around the country that have adopted it.
  • Since there is no referee who calls the fouls?
  • Fouls at this age are almost always innocent, and result from lack of coordination rather than malicious intent, so fouls should almost never be called—a player can be substituted and instructed on the rules of play when that player comes off the field.
  • Players are rarely hurt (other than hurt feelings) by a foul at this age, and since score is not kept and records are not important, any tactical advantage obtained by a foul is meaningless. And can be corrected with the next “NEW BALL”
  • If necessary, one coach can be assigned to each half of the game to call only the most blatant fouls.
  • Who keeps Time?
  • The coaches keep time. Or a volunteer parent can keep time.
  • Time limits must be adhered to in order prevent delays of all the games later that day.
  • Coaches should familiarize themselves with the rules of play for this age group.

Note that the rules of play are much simpler with the New Ball Method