Plainfield Optimist Soccer: Rec

Thursday, February 13
Rec Division

Our Rec Program has the following divisions: U4, U5, U6, U8 and U10.

For the U4-U6 kids, they play sides way on a field (known as small-sided) so that they have a playing field sized appropriately for their little legs. There are no goalies in these divisions, and the focus for these kids to work on their foot skills. Game strategy is taught when they get older. Officially score is not kept (even though we know the kids do).

U8 and U10 play on a mid-sized field (both fields are the same length, U10 fields are 20' wider) and both divisions use goalies. Both divisions have referees. The refs however at this age group are as much a coach as they are a ref. For U8, refs have the discretion of giving the players "do overs" all season long. Scores are kept for both division, however they are meaningless as there is no award given for the most wins. U10 does have a season ending, double elimination tournament. There is no seeding for this tournament, so the coach can shift players around all season long, giving players a chance to learn and develop, lose every game, and not be harmed come tourney time. The brackets are done based on a blind draw.

Mandatory Evaluations are held during the summer for U10 so that we can create evenly balanced teams. There are several dates held to accommodate conflicts that you may have with family vacations. As I look back at those U10 teams that win the season ending tournament, I see 2 commonalities. The first is those majority (but not all) of the tourney winners are from those teams that have an extra practice each week. Club rules prevent these from being mandatory, however with these 3rd & 4th grade kids, they are old enough that the extra practice and coaching usually makes a difference. The second thing is that these teams tend to be the ones who shift players around and don't get hung up and regular season wins and losses.