South County Soccer League Program Description - Age Groups

Micro Soccer is our entry level division. Players in this age group are four, five years old and six and half. There are no teams in micro soccer, instead all players are assembled in one place and then divided into stations for pre-configured instruction. The program at this age does not have a formal practice feel to it, instead it is more free-form and instructional through example, demonstration, and play. They learn the skills but not through rote drilling. Don't be surprised if as a parent you are encouraged to come and 'soft play' with the kids and get a hands on understanding of soccer. You'll find it fun and educational. 

Division 6 (six and seven year old age group - aka U8)

In this group we have a bit more structure. The players are assigned to teams, have prescribed practice nights, and play scheduled games. SCSL still however wishes to keep the free-form aspect in play. Players at this age often do not have the capacity to understand the team concept. Six and seven year olds are still in a place that centers around themselves - and that's ok!

This year is a combination of soccer fundamentals and open play. We introduce paid trainers at this level to instruct the soccer fundamentals which are reinforced by the coaching staff. It's important for the fundamentals to be introduced and reinforced at this and micro age. It is much easier to teach here then to unlearn bad habits later. When players get into games, it's a bit messy. It looks like a mass of players chasing a little ball with very little structure. Again, this is ok. It will improve over the course of a season but the players need time to figure some of the challenges out themselves. Let's give them time to grow - there won't be any world cuppers yet! The goals for this age group are to teach the positions, reinforce spreading out, and introducing the beginnings of teamwork. The basics of soccer are learned here and they include: corner kicks, throw-ins, start of play, and other things.

Players play seven players against seven players (in soccer parlance this is 7v7). For a comparison, a typical adult game is 11v11. 

Division 5 (eight and nine year old age group - aka U10)

Here is where soccer as most know it starts to evolve. The fundamentals are still here but the team concept starts to come out. The players start to realize positions, begin the passing game, and develop honest to goodness soccer skills. Trainers are continued at this level to hone the learned skills and provide more advance concepts. They might for example teach goalie techniques to those who demonstrate ability and interest. The games are a bit more competitive but there is no onus on winning here. It's about the mastery of the game always. If you haven't read the parents guide, we suggest you take a look and you'll understand.

The fields at this age are a bit bigger than the Division 6 fields but still smaller than a regulation field played by the older divisions. There is often a bit of a disparity in skills amongst players. Much of it has to do with player maturity and ability. This division often has the biggest differences in physical abilities, even within the same team. SCSL will do it's best to balance the teams and distribute a wide range of players so the games are evenly contested.

Division 4 (ten and eleven year old age group - aka U12)

This age is where team formations come into play. In previous divisions players have rotated through different coaches and teams. At this age group the teams are more prone to be left together as a team and advance as a team. Players start to find their position or place on the team offensively or defensively. Of course a good coach realizes that in order to be a good defensive player, they have to play offense and vice versa. This is the age however where preferences start to show. Again fundamentals are carried, even at this age group, but here is where even higher skills are attained. Don't be surprised if you see players practicing the 'rainbow' (a fancy soccer move) at this age group. The aggression level increases some here and players very much start to understand the advanced tactics of the fields. Of course aggression is kept in check, but the game is a bit more physical at this age group. Teams play against other teams in the county when they reach this level. 

Division 3 (twelve and thirteen year old age group - aka U14)

Again, to reiterate, this age group is part of the HCRSL and will be playing inter-county squads. This division builds more upon the Division 4 principles of teamwork, tactics, and agility. Games become pretty technical at this age, the teams have implemented plays, and athleticism allows for more elegant formations and concepts.

Division 2 and up

These divisions continue with the same principles as division 3. It is a benefit for our community to have soccer groups at these age groups because quite frankly not every child is going to play in High School but they still may enjoy the sport of soccer and wish to find a place to play.

We hope you've found this page useful and if you have any comments we'd welcome your feedback.

NJYSA Division Designators 
This guide is provided as a reference for what age groups are associated with Division designations. They are applicable for the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 seasons.

Last Updated 9/27/2014

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