Youth Development Review

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The youth development review is a cultural change for English youth football and a real step forward.

Key Principles:

It is progressive and phased while based on educational principles. Such key principles will be supported by a coach education process that encapsulates the learning of players, and coaching philosophy through the Future Game.

Whilst it is about making the game better at grassroots level, it must be noted that as a nation we all want to see our national teams compete well on the international stage in the years to come, and youth football needs to move forwards as times change.

Key Outcomes:

The key outcomes of the Youth Development Review are to develop a better process for young people in football.

Children have a different mindset for competition than adults, and often do not think more than a week ahead, let alone a nine month season. They are highly driven by intrinsic motivators; having fun and playing with their friends and staying healthy.

Consultation & Research:

The Youth Development Review has been released after a two year research process that has involved Academics, National FA Staff, County FA’s, Clubs, Coaches, and most importantly, a significant amount of young players.

Cumberland FA have been an important part of this process; as Nick Levett, the National Development Manager (Youth Male & Mini Soccer), invited leagues and clubs to attend a Consultation Workshop in the Spring of 2011.

Formats of the Game:

AGE

FORMAT (max)

Ball Size

Pitch Size
(yards)

Max Goal Size (feet)

Under 7

5v5

3

30x20 to 40x30

12x6

Under 8

5v5

3

30x20 to 40x30

12x6

Under 9

7v7

3

50x30 to 60x40

12x6

Under 10

7v7

4

50x30 to 60x40

12x6

Under 11

9v9

(Primary School 7v7)

4

(4)

70x40 to 80x50

(50x30 to 60x40)

16x7 to 21x7

(12x6)

Under 12

9v9

4

70x40 to 80x50

16x7 to 21x7

Under 13

9v9  or 11v11

4

90x50 to 100x60

21x7 to 24x8

Under 14

9v9  or 11v11

4

90x50 to 100x60

21x7 to 24x8

Under 15

9v9  or 11v11

5

90x50 to 110x70

24x8

Under 16

9v9  or 11v11

5

90x50 to 110x70

24x8

Under 17

11v11

5

90x50 to 110x70

24x8

Under 18

11v11

5

90x50 to 110x70

24x8

 

The key changes are Under 7s and Under 8’s to become 5v5 by the 2014/15 season; with Under 11’s and Under 12’s to become 9v9 by the same season. 9v9 is also an optional format from Under 13 to Under 16 football.

The pitch sizes are now much more child-friendly, with goals that do not discourage young goalkeepers from putting on the gloves. We know that in the short-term there are going to be challenges with implementing new pitch and goalpost sizes in some areas; therefore we are committed to working with Clubs and Schools to ensure that this is achievable, and will provide support and guidance every step along the way, signposting you towards funding which supports the implementation of the formats.

Flexible Competition:

The Youth Development Review adopts a more educational model of learning, finding a balance of a competition focus and what the CHILDREN value about their football experience.

The new process will allow football administrators to be creative with competition formats in order to meet the needs of the children. Cumberland FA will work in partnership with the three Charter Standard Youth Leagues within the County in order to optimise the experience of the children playing football at different ages and stages.

Flexible competition may take the following format:

 Youth Development Review Current Model

 This is the model that encourages focus on learning and enjoyment rather than one on constant pressure every week. It provides flexibility for football organisers to provide appropriate competition in short-term blocks for children, then providing trophy-events in a creative way. This can allow more teams to win something by pitting teams together in innovative ways.

If there are any additional questions on the changes to youth football please email theirgame@thefa.com

On the 28th May 2012, The FA formally ratified some of the recommendations of the Youth Development Review. These amendments to the youth game can be found below in our individual guidance booklets; Youth Leagues, U7/U8, U9/U10 and U11/U12 resources.