The Set-up: Two teams of eight play on a field 30 yards long x 40 yards wide. There is a midway line in the picture that is optional.
*Field size can vary depending on focus. One rule is that the field should have more width than length. This is to encourage “switching fields” or “changing the point of attack”.
** You can play with different numbers 5 v5, 6v6, etc.
*** If you want to create more success, play 6v6 plus 2 neutral players that are always in support of the team with the ball.
The Focus: Recognizing and attacking the spaces out wide. Can we quickly swing the ball from one side of the field to the other? This is a great way to encourage your players to keep possession of the ball while keeping proper spacing on the field.
The reason for having a middle line (optional) is that when we do attack/penetrate our backline should push forward to keep the space compact and be in close support. A rule that no goal counts unless all players are in the attacking half of the field will force players to concentrate and learn to “take space”. This will also lead to better team defending when a loss of possession occurs.
Note: If you move to the four goal game after a 4v4 round robin, try to pair the strongest team with the weaker group so the game is as competitive as possible. Coaches of older teams may want to pair groups by positions.
This game involves all the elements of the “real game”. I highly recommend using it one out of every 4 to 6 practices!