AYSO Adult Soccer’s encourages everyone, no matter their age, number or players on a team or skill level, to get out and play. You may have to get a little creative with how you play—whether it’s a game of 3v3, pick up soccer or futsal, but the intention is to get everyone out and having a good time on the field within your community.
Here are some great examples of the type of soccer you can play within your community:
- Pick Up Soccer: This is a very organic way to start a new program. Coordinate a time and place for everyone to show up, split the players up into teams and get them playing. It’s as easy as that! Your numbers will determine the format in which you will play. Do you have enough to play the full field? Keep in mind to have a few subs for those weary legs! If not, you may want to consider bringing in the goals to the top of the penalty box and cut the field down to a more manageable size.
- 3v3: A great way to play a fast paced, fun game of soccer. The beauty of this game is that it requires very little space and a minimum number of players to play. Keep 3v3 games short and rotate teams through. Typical field sizes are around 30 x 20 yards, but work with the space that you have—maybe play within the penalty box? No need to mark a field out, just put up small pop-up goals on either end of the box, throw out a ball and play!
- 6v6/7v7: This is an extremely popular way for adults to play soccer in a fun, recreational way. Playing 6v6/ 7v7 is a great way to play, while maximizing field space by playing across the width of a full sized field. If numbers permit, you can fit three of these width-orientated fields on one full-size field, allowing upwards of 40 people to play at any one time.Play short halves, maybe two 25 minute halves with a rest in-between. There are two variations of this game that you can play on this size of a field. If you have players who are willing to be goalkeepers, pull out the smaller U-10 size goals and shoot away. Alternatively, you can play with small pop up goals, no goalkeepers, and play more of a passing, possession type game. Either one of these variations are great fun and hugely enjoyable for players of all skill levels.
- 11v11: Play the game in its purest form, full field, 11v11. Some things to be mindful of when playing this way:
- Make sure that you have enough subs to keep the game moving and fun for all
- Rotate substitutions often
- Switch out your player positions. Not everyone dreams of growing up to be a left full back. Let’s face it, everyone wants to score once in a while!
- Indoor Soccer / Futsal: If you have access to any indoor space, a high school gymnasium, a basketball court or even a tennis court, then you can play there, too. Playing indoors is certainly a great option for those dealing with extremes in weather and temperatures.Utilize relationships that you may have through your connected youth programs and reach out to schools to see if they have available space at affordable prices.Futsal is FIFA’s only recognized form of indoor soccer. Think of it as a scaled down version of outdoor soccer, but played indoors. Futsal is played with sideline and endline boundaries and without walls. Typically, the game is played with a smaller, heavier low bounce ball to keep the ball on the ground and also to encourage fast passing and high scoring. Essentially, think soccer on a basketball court and you have futsal.
Indoor soccer or arena soccer is wildly popular in the United States and there are a number of places nationwide that offer the opportunity to play. The games are typically played on artificial turf and you have the ability to play off the perimeter walls surrounding the field. This makes for great exercise as the ball never goes out of play.
These are a few ideas that can maybe get you started. Something to consider is splitting up the players into age groups. It’s great to have an open age division to encourage players that have recently aged out of their youth AYSO program to play, but let’s be honest, not everyone’s idea of fun is chasing a 20-year-old around a soccer field. So add age-restricted divisions based on your player count. Maybe an over 35, over 40, or over 50 division makes more sense for your program.
Another variation to consider is to
introduce co-ed leagues to your programming, too.