SAM Recreational 4v4 Program

SAM Soccer 4v4 Program (7U)


In the 7U age group, games are 4 v 4 scrimmages on side by side small fields. The small sided games provide players maximum opportunity to apply the skills they are taught by their coaches and to get maximum touches on the ball, a critical element of the player development model. Coaches (and parents) are asked to help foster enthusiasm, energy and fun so that the children are always excited to return the following week.

Players: 2 teams of 4 field players; no goalkeepers. In the event there are insufficient players to start both 4v4 fields, coaches should confer with one another and modify the game to 3v3 or only start one game until sufficient number of players arrives. It is perfectly fine to “loan” players from one team to another.

Officials: THERE ARE NO REFEREES but a parent volunteer leader facilitates the game. Coaches should not be a game leader. Please no whistles!!

Playing Field: 30yds x 20yds; PUGG pop-up goals at each end.

Players and Coaches: Should occupy the area in between the two fields. No spectators in this area.

Spectators: Spectators should not be in any area of the larger playing field on which the 4v4 rectangles have been painted.

Equipment: Players must wear SAM-issued uniforms. Jewelry is to be removed or secured with tape to avoid loss or injury. Shinguards are worn under socks. Watches are removed. Long hair secured w/soft ties.

Duration of Games: Four 10 minute quarters (3 mins. rest between quarters, 6 minute break at

the half). Parent volunteer or coach keeps time with running clock.

Objective: To get the ball into the opponent’s goal.

Game Description

Start: Game Leader rolls ball to middle of field. (See Restarts section)

Scoring: Goals can only be scored from the attacking half. (See Restarts section for after goals is scored.)


Restarts: 4V4 “NEW” Ball Method

This “NEW BALL” method will be in effect for all 4v4 games during the soccer season. The “NEW BALL” method benefits faster skill development and increased enjoyment. A study by Richmond Hill SA in Georgia said this method more than doubled the number of touches each player received per game.


  • More actual playing time. Indiana youth soccer found in a 7minute quarter, the ball was in play for 4 minutes using the traditional method. The “new ball” method allows the ball to be in play for 6minutes and 30 seconds.
  • Speeds up the game and produces more opportunities and excitement for fun.
  • This method can be used to get non-assertive players involved by rolling the new ball to those players.
  • Can be beneficial if the game is lopsided to try and balance the game.

Emphasis is on playing, enjoyment, sportsmanship, and development.

  • Game is less complicated and easier to understand.

No · side-line instructions from coaches or parents. Positive Cheering only.


This “new ball” method begins with the coach rolling the ball into a neutral space on the field.

Whenever the ball goes out of bounds or a goal is scored one of the 2 coaches announces “new ball” and rolls it into play. No kick-offs (even after a goal), No throw-ins, No goal kicks, No corners, and No free kicks.

Substitutions: “On the fly.” Coach is not permitted to delay game to get things organized; kids came to play.

Infringements: Deliberate tripping, handling, etc. may result in possession being awarded to opposing team (See Restarts section). There is no off-side in 4 v 4 soccer