- All players must wear shin guards, completely covered by soccer socks, during practice and game time in order to be allowed to participate.
- Players may wear soccer cleats or sneakers. Soccer cleats are preferred because they provide better traction, but they are not required.
- Each player should bring a size 3 ball to all games (one will be given to them by HYS at the start of the fall season).
- Each player should bring a water bottle to all games.
Fun and activity are the key considerations at this age. Development of the basic skills of kicking, passing, and dribbling should be presented in fun small-sided games and situations. The first half of the allotted time each game day should be used for practice.
Some key things to keep in mind when running a practice for kindergartners and first graders:
- All players should have a ball and any time spent sitting and listening or waiting in line should be kept to a minimum.
- The kids should be kept active as much as possible to hold their attention and keep them having fun.
- Activities should involve fun group games like sharks and minnows, small scrimmage type games designed to work on a specific skill such as dribbling or passing, or skills development drills involving pairing off with partners.
The game format will be 4 vs 4 with no goalie and no referee. Below is a list of the rules and guidelines that should be followed by all coaches and explained to players and parents.
- Games are for fun. No score is kept.
- Field Setup - Coaches must mark the playing field boundaries with orange disks and/or cones and mark the goals with large orange cones, which will be provided to the coaches at the beginning of the fall season (there are no painted lines or fixed goals on the fields). Field size is determined by the coaches based on player age and size. Suggested field size for Kindergarteners is roughly 70 feet long and 40 feet wide with 10-foot wide goals, and First Graders 100 feet long and 70 feet wide with 10-foot wide goals.
- Out of Bounds - Field boundaries as marked by the disks are loosely observed and coaches should encourage players to move play back on to the field when it goes out of bounds. Coaches should GENTLY direct the ball back in bounds to neutral territory when possible. If the ball goes too far out of bounds, the coach should stop play, order all players back on to the field, then have one player on the team that deserves possession KICK the ball back in to play.
- Coaches on the Field - Only one coach needs to be on the field during the game to facilitate restarts and keep play moving.
- Restarts after Goals are Scored - When goals are scored, play should stop, both teams should return to their side of the field, and possession should be given at the middle of the field to the team that was scored on.
- Hand Balls - There is no penalty for a player touching the ball with their hands. Coaches should simply remind the player not to touch the ball and continue play.
- Playing Time – All players should be given an equal amount of playing time each game unless they do not want to for some reason. Rotate players often, at least every few minutes, so that no one gets too tired or too bored.
- Rough Play - Rough play such as shoving and slide tackling is not allowed and players who do such things should be reminded of this by their coach and, if necessary, removed temporarily from the game.
- Inclement Weather – Games will be played in the rain unless it is extremely heavy. Only thunder and/or lightning will delay or cancel games. The games should be delayed for 20 minutes after each flash of lightning to insure player safety.