SAS U4, U6, and U8 In House Soccer Programs Information
U4 soccer is for 3 and 4 year old kids, new to the game of soccer, and our goal is to introduce them to the ball, playing with others, and learning basic ball skills. If a player is 4 years old and participated in U4 previously, they may move up to U6 on coach and DOC recommendation.
The U4 program is also geared to introduce our Parents into the club and make them feel comfortable being a Volunteer Soccer coach, and hopefully growing themselves as coaches.
U6 (4/5 year olds) and U8 (6/7 year olds) In House Programs are geared to further develop the players skills sets, expand on their soccer individual tactical awareness and start building the Team Play concept. For the coaches the U6 and U8 offers a chance to identify with a group of players (Team), and support their skill development at Training and Team Play as a working unit on Game Day.
U4 do not have set teams, we run skills exercises, fun games, and pick small sided (2 v 2 or 3 v 3) teams each week at random, and allow for free pay to small goals each session, with no goalkeepers and minimal coaching.
U6 and U8 players are placed on World Cup (countries) Teams at the beginning of the season by the AGC and DOC, with a volunteer parent assigned to each team. Coaches are responsible to know their players, attend training and assist in instruction of exercises, and attend games and manage their team on game day.
U6 Play a 4 v 4 Game format, with small goals and no keepers, on a 25 x 15 yard field. Emphasis is on spacing, shape, interplay and understanding the group play concept, all with good individual ball control and comfort with the ball under pressure.
U8 Play a 5 v 5 format, 4 outfield players and a goalkeeper, on a 35 x 25 field. Emphasis on shape, spacing, and positional roles in the game, all with continued comfort with the ball individually and ability to find teammates. Players may rotate positions and try the goalkeeper position.
Each Group (U4, U6, and U8) is led by a Parent Volunteer Age Group Coordinator ("AGC") whose role is to work with the Director of Coaching (DOC) and organize the sessions, assign coaches to teams, and make sure each practice and game day is running according to plan. Every season we need a dedicated parent willing to help in this AGC capacity...its fun, easy, and there is a lot of help! We ALWAYS need Parent Coaches for teams as well, so it is expected that you are able to help out when you register.
Summer Camps are offered for several weeks between June and August annually.
Players ages 3-14 are accepted.
The 3-4 year olds generally attend from 9 am to 10 am each day of the Camp Week, Monday-Friday, while the 5-6 year olds attend 9 am to 10:30. Players aged 7 and up may attend the full 9 am to 12 noon each day.
The Camps are geared to reinforce individual soccer skill, introducing and expand soccer tactics (individual and group), learning to play through fun group games, and for players to experience new coaches and new training exercises apart from their usual coach and team.
At Summer Camp,snacks are provided, as well as an SAS Camp Shirt to all players.
SAS U9 and Older Travel Teams Information
Travel Soccer begins at the U9 age (8 years older) typically.
Travel teams are for players who have played 1 or more year of In House, who have a good grasp of the skills and basic tactics of soccer, and just as importantly are well adapted at working in the Group and Team setting and following a coaches direction. Travel players need to be socially mature enough to handle playing competitive games against unknown opponents.
U9 and U10 ages have the following leagues:
"Community" which means there is no roster limit, the level of play is lower as most teams are very new to travel soccer. The play format for U9 and U10 is 7 v 7, 6 field players and a goalkeeper. Community team games are played on Saturdays in the afternoon generally.
"Travel " more advanced U10 teams may also opt to compete in the D4, D5, and D6 Sunday Travel leagues, which is for higher level players who may also play Cup Soccer (see below).
U11 and older ages have the following leagues:
D5 and D6. This is for teams to compete on Sundays, against other community programs around Pittsburgh. There are several Divisions of Competition, from D6 (lowest) to D5 (highest). Within D6 and D5 can be subdivisions (A, B, C etc) depending on how many clubs enter teams in each age group. U11 and U12 Teams play 9 v 9 (8 field players and the keeper). U13 and older play 11 v 11.
At SAS, when we form travel teams, we base the level of divisional placement on the following factors, among others:
-age (Birth Year)
-years of experience of the players on roster
-level of play of the division in previous season
-success of team in previous season at previous division
-previous coaches suggestions based on experience
Our Goal is to offer all interested Travel aged players a chance to play and be part of a Team, while maintaining competitive levels of play against other community programs we face.
We strive to keep players in their Birth Year to follow US Soccer mandates, but at times we are forced to mix ages (U9/10 for example) based on the number of players registered. All effort to be fair to the players ability and experience is weighed in this process.
For highly dedicated players aged U9 and up seeking higher levels of play and professional coaching in a year-round setting, you may pursue Cup (Classic) level soccer. The commitment for Cup Programs is much more than Community and Travel, with multiple training sessions each week, games and tournaments in fall and spring, as well as generally a full Winter Program.
The cost for a Cup program can vary.
Most Cup Programs have a website where you can research their Missions, Policies, staff, and level of service to the players.
Locally there are many quality Cup programs you can consider. For more information, feel free to contact SAS Director of Coaching Chris Karwoski at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the PA West website at www.pawest-soccer.org