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Grades 1 & 2 Format Change 5 VS 5 (With Goalkeeping)

The Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association, Tyngsboro Youth Soccer has decided to adopt the small-sided 5V5 format (w/ goalkeeper) at the U8 level. We have also established a second field at the Bridge Meadow complex.

We are implementing this change for one reason – “The small-sided environment is a developmentally appropriate environment for young soccer players. It’s a FUN environment that focuses on the player.”This is the opinion of the US Soccer National Staff Coaches, Every US Youth Soccer State Director of Coaching, as well as the US Youth Soccer Director of Coaching!

Registration for the fall program runs from May through August 15th.  Registration for the spring program runs from October through March 15th.  Specific dates are posted on the TYSA website.  This is the age when referees are introduced.


  • Format is 5v5 play with Goalies.
  • (4) 12 minute quarters or (2) 24 minute halves.
  • There is one practice during the week and determined by the coaches.
  • Games are on Saturday mornings.
  • The U8 program introduces "small sided tactics" or "team play" and begins to introduce the "Laws of the Game".  
  • No score is kept at the games


Reasons for Small-Sided Play
  • Because we want our young soccer players to touch the soccer ball more often and become more skillfulwith it! (Individual technical development through more opportunities to possess the soccer ball)
  • Because we want our young soccer players to make more quality decisionsduring the game! (Tactical development because less players on the field equals less complicated decision making)
  • Because we want our young soccer players to be more physically efficient in the field space in which they are playing! (High intensity play with the ball versus long runs “chasing”after the ball)
  • Because we want our young soccer players to have more involved playing time in the game! (More opportunities to solve problems that only the game presents)
  • Because we want our young soccer players to have more opportunities to play on both sides of the ball! (More exposure to both attacking and defending situations)
  • Because we want our young players to have more opportunities to score goals! (The pure excitement and satisfaction one gets from scoring a goal)