Coaching Resources

USA Division

Thank you for volunteering your time for this soccer season! At this age group level – PreK and Kindergarten – we introduce some of the most basic fundamentals of teamwork and soccer skills. But mostly, the focus of our recreational program is on having fun playing soccer. Some basic information on the USA Division design follows. Much more detail can be found in the Coaches and Referee’s Guide for Grades 3 and up, which will also be available on our web site. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time!

Gameday • Games are on Saturday mornings starting the second weekend after Labor Day. There are two or three time slots for games; teams will play at the same time each week, but not necessarily on the same field. Schedules will be posted on your account page and posted at the fields. All games are played at the North Colonie Sports Complex on Boght Road (if needed, directions are on lathamsoccer.org).

• Game time slots are 60 minutes long. There is a practice time before the game starts, which can be roughly 20 minutes long. The actual game is played for the remainder of the 60 minute slot. Coaches from both teams should work together to determine start time and if there will be a halftime (and for how long).

• Game format is 4v4. Fields are sized appropriately for PreK/K players. Goals used will be 6’ portable pop-up (PUGG) goals.

• There are ABSOLUTELY NO penalty kicks, corner kicks, goal kicks or throw-ins allowed in the USA Division. • If the ball goes out of bounds, it is to be placed at the spot it exited the field and kicked back into play by the opposite team. Endline restarts should be placed at an appropriate distance from the goal. Restarts should be done as quickly as possible and should be a short pass; players shouldn’t be kicking it as hard as they can.

• If a hand ball occurs, put the ball on the ground where it occurred and continue playing. The team that did not cause the hand ball infraction would gain possession of the ball.

• This division has NO GOALIES. Coaches should not play a child back as a goalkeeper, all players are expected to move and participate in the field of play. We realize that some kids naturally migrate towards the goalie position, but it is the coach’s responsibility to keep them from “goal hanging”.

• Coaches referee the game. Teams have been built such that the game should have an adult representative from each team.

• After a goal, opposite team restarts game with an indirect kick starting in the center of the field. Opposing team players should give at least a 5 ft buffer until ball is in play.

 

• There are NEVER any defensive walls to block a kick.

• Coaches should encourage players to stay on their feet (no sliding). 

• Player attire is outlined in the Coaches' Guide. Players will receive a team shirt, which should be worn visible during the game.

• Ball size: Size 3. Typically, each player will receive a ball from the Club. Practice sessions

• Practices will happen during the first part of the 60 minute game slot.

• Each team can take a half of the field for their practice session.

• Practice format is up to the coach – basic ball skills, dribbling, shooting, and even passing can be taught. Simple games (red light, green light; monkey-in-the-middle; sharks and minnows; etc.) can be played. The more the players get a chance to “touch” the ball, the better.

North America Division

Thank you for volunteering your time for this soccer season! At this age group level - 1st and 2nd Graders - we continue to expand on the fundamentals of teamwork and commitment, and improve basic soccer skills. But mostly, the focus of our recreational program is on having fun playing soccer. Some basic information on the NA Division design follows. Much more detail can be found in the Coaches and Referee’s Guide for players Grades 3 and up, which will be posted on the LCSC website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time, and thank you again for your service!

Gameday • Games are on Saturday mornings, starting the Saturday after Labor Day and running for 8 weeks until the end of October. Game start times may vary from week to week. Schedules will be posted and distributed to coaches.

• Games are 65 minutes long: four 12-minute quarters, with a 2-min break between the first and second two quarters, and a 5-min halftime. There is a 10 minute warmup period, and teams are given 5 minutes to clear the field.

 

• Teams will be split into two squads on gameday; each squad will play a squad from an equally split opponent. Two 4v4 games will be played in tandem.

 

• There are absolutely NO penalty kicks, corner kicks, goal kicks or throw-ins allowed in the NA division.

 

• If the ball goes out of bounds, it is to be placed at the spot it exited the field and kicked back into play by the opposite team. Endline restarts should be placed at an appropriate distance from the goal. Restarts should be done as quickly as possible and should be a short pass; players shouldn’t be kicking it as hard as they can.

 

• For sideline restarts, coaches can opt to allow a throw-in. Player throwing in must keep both feet on the ground, put both hands on the ball, draw the ball behind the head and throw over head to one of their players to receive the throw in.

 

• If a hand ball occurs, put the ball on the ground where it occurred and continue playing. The team that did not cause the hand ball infraction would gain possession of the ball.

 

• This division has NO GOALIES. Coaches should not play a child back as a goalkeeper; all players are expected to move and participate in the field of play. We realize that some kids naturally migrate towards the goalie position, but it is the coach’s responsibility to keep them out of the goal (a goal arc might be painted on the field to help).

 

• Coaches referee the game. Teams have been built such that each small-sided game should have an adult representative from each team.

 

• After a goal, opposite team restarts the game with an indirect kick starting in the center of the field. Opposing team players should give at least a 5 ft buffer until ball is in play. 

 

• There are NEVER any defensive walls to block a kick.

 

• Players must stay on their feet. NO SLIDE TACKLING is allowed for any reason. If a player continually has a problem with this rule, they should be removed from the game and explained that this is a dangerous practice for this age level.

 

• Excessively rough play (pushing, kicking players away from the ball, taunting, badmouthing, etc.) should not be tolerated. Players should be removed from play if they need to regain control of themselves. Players with continual issues may be asked to sit out from a game or more. This level of play is meant to be fun with skill development along the way. Scores and standings are not kept; this is a purely recreational experience.

 

• Player attire is outlined in Coaches' Guide for Grades 3 and up. • Ball size: Size 3 Practice sessions

 

• Generally, teams should hold a weekly practice, at least for the first few weeks of the season. • Practice format is up to the coach.

South America, Euro & World Divisions

Player equipment

1. All players are expected to bring their own soccer ball with them to practices. Players should put their name on the ball in waterproof marker.

2. All players must wear shin guards under the socks, in order to play. Referees or Coaches should not allow any player on the field without them. We recommend that you purchase the type that has an elastic band under the foot. The type that is held in place by only the sock tends to migrate.

3. All players should wear appropriate soccer shoes (cleats). Cleats may not be metal. Referees will inspect cleats prior to games. Sneakers may be worn for practices but keep in mind that the children may open themselves for injury under slippery or rainy conditions.

4. Bring a water bottle.

Divisions

  • SA =South American = Grades 3&4 = U10

  • Euro = European = Grades 5&6 = U12

  • World = Grades 7&8 = U14

Attire

A game uniform consisting of a t-shirt is supplied for the USA Division. The parent must provide the cleats, shin guards and socks big enough to cover the shin guards.

Full uniforms are provided for the North American, South American, European, and World Divisions. In case of cooler weather, the players may wear sweatshirts or sweat pants. The T-shirt (or jersey) must be worn over the sweatshirt.

Safety rules that are strictly enforced during games include:

  • no rings, earrings or barrettes (use soft hair holders)

  • no watches

  • no chains

  • medical information medals must be taped

There are no restrictions on practice attire. Layers recommended. Be comfortable.

Games There are 8 weeks of games for all divisions except for World division, which has 7 weeks of play.

Player/Game rules

Remember that our intention is for both the player and coach to learn "on the job" during this  8 week game schedule.

  1. Each athlete must play for at least a half of each game. This will be monitored by LCSC.

  2. Each athlete should play different positions during the season. This will give our players the opportunity to experience all soccer positions. Our intention is to move an offensive player to a defensive position, when possible. For example, a striker could move to midfield, fullback or goal.

  3. If a player scores three times in a game, the coach must move him/her to a defensive position, i.e. fullback or goalie for the remainder of the game.

  4. Players are not allowed to use their hands unless they are playing goalie. Goalie may only use hands when inside the penalty box/area (see diagram).

  5. No tripping, pushing, holding, jumping at another player or anything else that is dangerous. NO INTENTIONAL SLIDING anywhere on the field. DIRECT free kick awarded to other team for any foul. After all direct free kicks, ball is in play once touched by a player.

  6. DIRECT FREE KICK: for serious fouls, i.e. intentionally handling ball, tripping, holding, pushing or kicking opponent. Opponent can score on a direct free kick. It is taken where foul occurred. Kicker may touch ball only once. All other players must be at least 10 yards from ball. Other players may make a “wall” if desired.

  7. PENALTY KICK (PK): for serious fouls committed inside the penalty area by the defensive player. Kick is a direct shot against the goalie from the 12-yard penalty spot (9-yard position on smaller fields). Opponent can score on a penalty kick. No players except the goalkeeper may be in penalty area. All other players must be at least 10 yards from ball and outside the penalty area. Goalie must remain at goal line and cannot move off of the goal line until ball is kicked.

  8. INDIRECT FREE KICK: for less serious or non-intentional fouls, off-sides violations, dangerous play, charging player without ball or goalkeeper. Opponent CANNOT score directly on an indirect free kick. A second player must touch the ball before a goal can be scored. Two players touching ball do not have to be on the same team. Taken where foul occurred. Kicker may touch ball only once.

  9. OUT OF BOUNDS OVER END LINE by attacking team = GOAL KICK: Taken by defense (usually goalie) from inside goal area. Ball cannot be touched by any other player until outside of the penalty area or kick is replayed. Offensive players must be out of penalty area. Ball is out of bounds when entirely over the line.

  10. OUT OF BOUNDS OVER END LINE by defending team = CORNER KICK: Taken by attacking team from corner of field closest to where ball went out of bounds. Opposition must remain at least 10 yards away. Ball is out of bounds when entirely over the line.

  11. OUT OF BOUNDS OVER SIDE LINE = THROW IN: Ball is out of bounds when entirely over the line. Throw taken by team opposite to that which last touched ball prior to going out of bounds. Player throwing in must keep both feet on the ground, put both hands on the ball, draw the ball behind the head and throw overhead. If first attempt is incorrect, let the player throwing in repeat the throw and give him/her appropriate coaching (all divisions). After a second consecutive bad throw, award the throw to the opposing team.

  12. SUBSTITUTIONS: Allowed for both teams during all stoppages of play due to the ball played out of bounds including a goal kick, corner kick, any throw in, and after a goal has been scored. The only exception Page 3 of 6 is to substitute an injured player. For games with referees, coaches should request permission for substitutes from the referee.

  13. OFFSIDE VIOLATION: Committed by attacking team member without the ball when there is not at least two defenders between them and the goal at the time of the pass. This prevents attacking team members from waiting next to the goal to receive a pass.

  14. SCORING: Can be done in the air or on the ground. Ball must be entirely over the line in order to score.

  15. MOST IMPORTANTLY: The referee has the final word on all calls. Respect their judgment. No arguments or foul language will be tolerated by children or parents. Anyone violating this rule can be subject to ejection from the match and potentially removed from the league. Referees should report such activity to the Age division coordinator or the Program Director immediately!!

  16. All divisions are played at the Boght Road Complex.

  17. The referee schedule will be made available on a weekly basis to the referees that are to be assigned for that week. In the event a referee cannot fulfill his/her assignment for that week, he/she is to contact the LCSC Referee Coordinator IMMEDIATELY. The Referee Coordinator will be responsible for reassigning the time slots in question. The referees ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE to find a replacement.

  18. Each referee will receive one whistle. It will be your responsibility to bring it to each game.

  19. All Referees should bring their own stopwatches to the game. If you don’t have a stopwatch, a wristwatch or a cell phone with a time-keeping feature/display is suitable.

  20. No slide tackling or any intentional sliding whatsoever in any division.

  21. Two (2) referee system for SA and Euro; Three (3) referee system for World.

  22. There will be NO stoppage time. Running time only.

  23. Games will be played rain or shine unless it is deemed to be dangerous by the division coordinators or the program director. In the case of lightning, the game shall be stopped. It will be up to the division coordinators or the program director weather or not to continue play once the threat has passed.

  24. FIELD BOXES containing ice packs, extra whistles, pinnies, and game balls will be placed on each field between the player benches. The first referee of the day should bring the field box to their assigned field. After each game, the ref should put the ball back into the box and leave it at the field for the next game. After the last game, the referee should bring the box (with the ball and all the other items) and corner flags back to the coach’s room (room next to the pavilion garage). If there are items missing, or boxes need to be restocked with supplies, referees should notify the LCSC Manager on Duty.

For World Division: In addition to the established rules for soccer (including those listed above) there will also be a few extra guidelines and rules for the Co-ed Grade 7&8 Division (World Division).

  1. You must have at least 2 (preferably more) female players on the field at all times.

  2. Coaches, as the adults on the field, are responsible for correcting excessive physical play (pushing from behind, high elbows, etc.) by their players. Do not wait for the referees. Please substitute these players and discuss the correct behavior.

Players consistently warned for excessive physical play may be removed from the league.

TEAM SIZES for each division are as follows:

  • World: 11 players (10 field players + goalie)

  • Euro: 7-8 players (6-7 field players + goalie)

  • South American: 7-8 players (6-7 field players + goalie) If the opposing team has less than the required number of players, your team must play with the same number of players.

  • Coaches should agree on fielded team size prior to start of game.

POSSIBLE FORMATIONS for 11 & 8 player-per-side games are as follows (arrow = direction of attack): 11 v 11 (World Division) 8 v 8 (Euro/South American Division) Left Wing (Striker) Right Wing (Striker) Left Midfield Center Midfield Right Midfield Left Fullback Right Fullback Goalie See last page for images of formations, and other suggestions for 11v11, 8v8, and 7v7. Basic Soccer Position Terms Goalkeeper (Goalie, Keeper) – The player positioned directly in front of the goal who tries to prevent shots from crossing the goalline; the only player allowed to use their hands and arms, though only within the 18- yard penalty area (larger box), and not when ball is passed back to them by a teammate. Defender – A player who works mainly in the defensive third of the field. They are primarily focused on stopping the opposition’s attackers from scoring. Also called “Backs”; rearmost defenders are “Fullbacks” Midfielder – A player generally positioned in the middle third of the field between the forwards and defenders. Their job is to link the defense and the offense through ball control and passing. They play both an attacking role and a defensive role. Forward – A player who is responsible for most of a team's scoring. They play in front of the rest of their team (or in the attacking third of the field) where they can take most of the shots. Striker – Generally the same as a forward, though it sometimes refers to a forward that is his/her team’s primary scoring threat. - See more at: http://www.soccer-for-parents.com/soccer-positions.html Defenders Midfielders Forwards

S.A. 4 EURO 4 World 5 3) TIME SLOTS and game lengths are as follows: Division time slot practice game length Half Time USA 1 hour ½ hour ½ hour N.A. 65 mins 10 mins 12 min quarters 5 min S.A. 75 mins 10 mins 30 min halves 5 min EURO/World ~80 mins 10 mins 33 min halves 5 min Note: No more than a 5 min half time is allowed in any division.

Basic Soccer Position Terms

  • Goalkeeper (Goalie, Keeper) – The player positioned directly in front of the goal who tries to prevent shots from crossing the goalline; the only player allowed to use their hands and arms, though only within the 18- yard penalty area (larger box), and not when ball is passed back to them by a teammate.

  • Defender – A player who works mainly in the defensive third of the field. They are primarily focused on stopping the opposition’s attackers from scoring. Also called “Backs”; rearmost defenders are “Fullbacks”

  • Midfielder – A player generally positioned in the middle third of the field between the forwards and defenders. Their job is to link the defense and the offense through ball control and passing. They play both an attacking role and a defensive role. Forward – A player who is responsible for most of a team's scoring. They play in front of the rest of their team (or in the attacking third of the field) where they can take most of the shots.

  • Striker – Generally the same as a forward, though it sometimes refers to a forward that is his/her team’s primary scoring threat. -

  • See more at: http://www.soccer-for-parents.com/soccer-positions.html

Game lengths are as follows:

  • USA: 60 mins

  • NA: 65 mins

  • SA: 75 mins

  • Euro & World: 80 mins

​​No more than a 5 min half time is allowed in any division.

General Information

Ball Sizes

  • USA size 3

  • SA size 4

  • Euro size 4

  • World size 5

Player Drop-offs: There will be NO player drop offs allowed near the crosswalk as it creates a traffic jam and is very dangerous for the kids. Please instruct your parents to park around the opposite side of the Complex’s Field 1 (Field on your right as you pull in to the complex) – USA games are played on the side of Field 1 furthest from the pavilion, so this is a good place to park anyway (see diagram).

Garbage: Please make sure that you and all of your children/players/parents pick up their garbage after each game and dispose of it properly. We have a great soccer complex; please help us to keep it clean.

Background Checks: Absolutely no adults are allowed on the sidelines or field with the players unless they have successfully completed the background check located on the Latham Soccer website. If you identify a parent(s) that you would like to assist you during the games, please have them register to help on-line – this will then require a background check.

Concession/Crosswalk: Coaches may be asked to help recruit a small number of adults to help in our concession stand and crosswalk. There is an online schedule that identifies time slots to fill. Please contact us with any questions or concerns that you might have, or if you’d like to become more involved in the Club in any way (e.g. making teams, coordinate volunteers, etc.).

Have a great season and thank you for all of your help!

Questions? Contact our Rec. Director at lcscrecsoccer@gmail.com