U4-U6 is "small sided", played 3-v-3 with no goalies. U4-U6 teams have a roster of 6 players and, with a 3-v-3 format, each player plays 50% of each 8-minute quarter. Coaches are parent volunteers. U4 and U5 are no-practice ages, except they are encouraged to meet briefly before each game to warm up and to hold a mini-practice. In U6 coaches may arrange one weekly practice at whatever neighborhood fields are convenient. Games are all held at the Town and Country Complex on Saturdays, and occasionally Sundays.
For more information on U4- U5 Coed click here.
For more information on U6 click here.
U7/U8 is "small sided", played 4-v-4 with no goalies. Here is a link that explains the small sided concept. U6/U8 teams have a roster of 8 players and, with a 4-v-4 format, each player plays 50% of each 10-minute quarter. Coaches are parent volunteers who will schedule practices during the week at whatever neighborhood fields are convenient. Games are all held at the Town and Country Complex on Saturdays, and occasionally Sundays. Town and Country provides Referees for games.
Rule Changes from U6 to U7. (There is no goal keeper until U9)
There is a no-goalie/goal-squatter rule for U6, U7 and U8. This means that you should not be placing a defensive player directly in front of the goal for the whole game.
This is a T&C rule, not a FIFA-soccer rule. The refs try to enforce it, field monitors and commissioners will be roaming and talking to coaches who appear to be telling players to stay in front of the goal all the time.
The "no goalie" rule at this age is about making sure that all of the players are engaged with the game. A player that is always standing back by the goal is not in the game. You need to coach your defensive players to move up when the ball is forward. They will have more fun and will be more effective for your team as well. You're really playing 3-v-4 if one of your players is not moving up when the ball goes up field.
This does not mean you can't play formations or have defensive positions. It's OK to play a 2-2 formation, a 1-2-1 diamond, or a 3-1 formation. Just don't have someone standing by the goal waiting for the game to come to them. No player should retreat to the goal when the game has moved up-field.
We know that it takes re-enforcement to train the younger players to move forward and not hang back when they play defense. We realize that all players may not move up and down the field effectively. However it is not OK for a coach to have a player stand in the goal by design.
As the commissioners are out, if we see a player standing in the goal, and the coach is calling out to him to move up, that is fine. However, if we hear a coach telling his players to stay back and stand in the goal, that is when we're going to have to come talk to you about it.
U9/U10 is played 7-v-7 with goalies. U9/U10 teams have a roster of 10-12 players and, with a 7 v 7 format, each player plays at least 50% of each 25-minute half. Coaches are parent volunteers who will schedule practices during the week at whatever neighborhood fields are convenient. Games are all held at the Town and Country Complex on Saturdays and/or Sundays. Town and Country provides Referees for games. A copy of the rules can be found on the "Documents" page.
Rule Changes from U8 to U9
In U9 and U10 it is the T&C policy for recreational play that once the goalie has a hand on the ball, the other players cannot kick it. This is not a FIFA-type rule, but a safety rule that T&C enforces.
Again, coaches please make sure you instruct your players that they cannot try to kick the ball out of the goalies' hands. They can follow up their shots and run to the goalie hoping that the ball is dropped or rolls free, but they cannot touch the ball as long as the goalie has a hand on it.
Guest Player Policy U4-U10
Any U4-U10 Rec team that would otherwise have no subs may bring in guest players from within the T&C system on a game-by-game basis
Obviously the guest players have to be eligible for that division as well. You can not bring in older players or have boys playing on the girls teams. No Academy or Select players can play as a guest on a Recreational team either.
The idea is to help teams who are short players field a team, not to allow a team to fill out its roster with "ringers".
So, with the commissioner's involvement, we do allow teams to bring in already-registered guest players to make sure games don't have to be forfeit and to allow for a sub or two.
To further clarify, that does not mean that any team with one open slot on it's roster can automatically bring in a guest player. This is for teams who are critically short players and would otherwise have to forfeit or play with no subs at all.