Small Sided Soccer

The Alameda Soccer Club’s Under 6 (U6), Under 7 (U7), and Under 8 (U8) age group divisions use formats generally referred to as “Small-Sided Soccer”. The U6 division plays in a “3v3” format; the U7 and U8 divisions in a “5v5” format. These formats involve fewer players on the field than in past years, resulting in more touches on the ball, better soccer learning, and more fun.

All Small-Sided formats use Game Monitors as on-the-field facilitators/referees. Game Monitors are typically the parents or soccer-experienced older siblings of the kids playing rather than the licensed referees used for older age groups. This helps achieve our goal of de-emphasizing competition and promoting fun.

Game Monitors play an important role in making Small-Sided Soccer work. The most important job of Game Monitors is to keep the game moving quickly. The vast majority of a Game Monitor’s actions are re-starting the game after the ball has gone out of play or after a goal.

This Guide presents the rules and guidelines used in both the 3v3 (Under 6) and 5v5 (Under 7 and Under 8) formats. Issues requiring clarification or amendment to these rules should be referred to the Alameda Soccer Club’s Small-Sided Soccer Coordinator.


Download PDF versions of the complete small sided manuals:

Key Differences Between U8 and U10 Soccer

Game Monitor Guide (U6-U8)

3v3 Coaches Guide (U6)

5v5 Coaches Guide (U7-U8)