On August 24, 2015, the US Soccer Federation (USSF) announced several significant changes to the youth competition environment to be implemented in the coming years. Fundamentally, these changes have been made in the interests of long term player development and can be placed into 2 major categories: (i) player age group cut-off dates; and (ii) small-sided game structures and sizes. (To read the full USSF announcement click HERE.) This article will address the impact of the change to small-sided games.
As a league sanctioned by US Youth Soccer (USYS, a national association member of USSF), PAGS is required to follow the rules, regulations and policies of USSF, including these new mandates.
The recent USSF initiatives will have an impact on almost every facet of youth competition in this country. These initiatives will require adjustments to the structure of PAGS competition. Since USYS and other national sanctioning bodies have decided to implement the changes to small-sided games for all Cup competitions beginning in the 2016-17 soccer year this will require adjustment in PAGS competition beginning with the 2016 fall season.
Beginning with the 2016 fall season PAGS will offer ONLY 7v7, with a goalkeeper, play at U9 and U10 and 9v9, with a goalkeeper, play at U11 and U12. As of this time a final determination regarding roster sizes for these age groups has not been made by the national sanctioning bodies.
More information regarding PAGS requirements for field size and playing rules will be provided as it is finalized.