Did you know it takes 2 adults approximately 1 hour to set-up two mini soccer pitches with goals and there are three possible pitch sizes? Here are some pre-match ideas adopted by some clubs in the South Bucks Mini Soccer Conference (SBMSC) over ten years ago, with FA recommendations added in 2013 shown underlined. They allow players and spectators to enjoy their football in a safe and consistent environment.
- Pitch boundary safety: To avoid players sliding into push chairs and spectators close to the pitch boundary, the FA recommends that for grass pitches a three metre area can be marked off. Some clubs use appropriate stakes & rope, but cones, lines and signs could also be used to provide an obvious and visible boundary between the pitch and spectator positions. If rope is used it should have some give. Team managers and substitutes can be allowed in this safety area.
- The SBMSC fixture format is such that two mini soccer games are played simultaneously, often on adjacent halves of a full size pitch. It is best to have six metres separation between the two mini-soccer pitches. This way, throw-in activity in one game does not distract the other game and there is adequate run off and spectator room. Signs or rope can be used to encourage spectators to keep out of the buffer space and avoid being hit in the back of the head by a ball from the other pitch.
- Goals should be firmly fixed to the ground using metal U clips to prevent them toppling over on to players.
- As players do slide and fall during games, it improves safety if the pitch is cleared of stones and litter prior to kick off.
Pitch dimensions depend on the team size. Please see the rules for the Age group concerned for further details and metric equivalent dimension, but the imperial sizes are : –
- U7 and U8 is 40 by 30 yards for five a side matches (46x36yds including run off area). Goals are 6X12 foot.
- U9, U10 is 60 by 40 yards for seven a side matches (66x46yds including run off area). Goals are 6X12 foot.
- U11 and U12 nine a side 80 by 50 yards (86x56yds including run off area). Goals are 7X16 foot.
If line marking pitches for different age groups on the same piece of ground, the FA recommends this colour scheme :
- Red – Mini Soccer U7 & U8 (5v5)
- Yellow – Mini Soccer U9 & U10 (7v7)
- Blue – U11 & U12 (9v9)
- White – Eleven a side (U13+)40