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TOPIC: First Fixtures, U8, U12 and U14

First Fixtures, U8, U12 and U14 3 years 4 months ago #20975

I've just received my assignments for the next 2 weeks, and know what my first few games will be!

Saturday Sept 6
11 AM to 3:30 PM - Four U8 rec games
5:30PM - AR for Boys U14 Competitive

Saturday Sept 13
4PM - AR for Boys U14 Competitive
5:30PM - Center for Girls U12 Competitive

Needless to say, I'm very excited to get started. I feel good about my knowledge of the Laws, but I'd love some advice from you guys on how to manage a U8 game. I'll definitely speak with my assignor about these things, but what are your guys' approaches for working with the players, coaches, dealing with misconduct, etc.?
USSF Grade 8, Oregon
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First Fixtures, U8, U12 and U14 3 years 4 months ago #20984

  • Crwys Harris
  • Crwys Harris's Avatar
U8 can be really hard depending on the skill. Sometimes they end up kicking each other when they bunch up to play the ball. Talk to the players. Try and coach them a little as well. Parents usually like that stuff. It's Rec so the coaches shouldn't mind. If they do tell them to be quiet, or that it's part of your game management and you can do whatever the hell you like to do while you are in charge.
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First Fixtures, U8, U12 and U14 3 years 4 months ago #21009

I think the important thing for U8 rec is to remember that they probably don't understand what they did wrong. Check your local rules of competition. At this level, some of them require you to briefly explain what they did wrong. (Even if they don't, it's generally a good idea.) Also make sure you know what the clubs rules on retakes at this level are. These kids will repeatedly screw up restarts (especially throw-ins) so you need to know if they're allowed to retake it once, twice, etc.

You also have to look out for issues that you'd rarely have to worry about at older levels. (Double touches on kick-offs and free kicks, for instance.)

As for misconduct, you're rarely going to see true misconduct at U8, but you can't ignore the possibility.

Tomorrow my wife and I will be doing training for our new refs. We'll be telling them that at U8 we don't want to see red cards unless it's for spitting, punching, or 2nd caution (the last one is more technicality as I've never seen U8 player get a yellow once). At U8, I would only expect to see a yellow for blatant and intentional cheating.

I've never seen or given a card of any kind at U8, but I've talked to refs who've given yellows and they plainly deserved them.

You might have to give a yellow for PI, but at that level I'd hope you'd be giving the coach very clear warnings before you you carded for PI. I have had to card kids in U10 rec for PI, but I generally just warn the coach that they're getting close. The kid tends to get benched at that point. If they don't believe me and do anything about it, then the kid gets a card and THEN the coach benches them.

I really wouldn't worry about misconduct too much though; if you find yourself tempted to card a kid at a U8 game, there's a pretty good chance you're overreacting.
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