In Spring 2012, The FA formally ratified some of the recommendations of the Youth Development Review. These amendments to the youth game can be found below in our individual guidance booklets; Youth Leagues, U7&U8, U9&U10 and U11&U12 resources.
These resources have been developed over two years of research, consultations and listening to those involved in the youth game, most importantly those that play it every week – the children themselves!
These positive changes have been put in place to improve enjoyment, fun and development of young players allowing more touches, on a more proportioned pitch leading to an increase of involvement in the game as a whole. The changes within The FA’s Youth Development Review will make youth football better for everyone involved, from the children, their parents and volunteers. The FA and County FA's recognise that these present some challenges in the short-term but, with your support and understanding, we can all make football better, more relevant and more enjoyable for our young players.
The changes will be phased in from 2013/2014 season and these resources are available to assist, help and advise everyone of the changes to age groups, pitch size and Laws of the Game. They also aim to provide people with good practice and other recommendations to improve player’s participation and enjoyment as well as minor changes to develop better players.
It is important to note that the Law changes to Mini-Soccer that include a retreat line, the option of quarters for development matches and roll-ins for U7&8 are optional for season 2012/13.
The Review is about a modern, child-friendly approach to youth football, challenging the win-at-all-costs mentality that is stifling development and enjoyment for young people. Working together with a proactive attitude, adults can help develop a better learning environment for young people that puts their needs at the centre of the process.
There are currently 8 Youth Leagues affiliated to the Northamptonshire County FA who provide Mini Soccer to Youth Football participation. Please click here for more details.