U6 Micro Soccer

U6 Micro Soccer is a coed program for boys and girls ages six and under, with smaller fields, shorter games, and only six players (three per side) on the field at a time. The program is strictly developmental, with an emphasis on learning and fun rather than on winning or scores. During the season, teams meet once a week for one hour. The first half hour is reserved for team practice, and the second half hour is devoted to game play, with game monitors taking the place of referees to supervise play and help children learn.

U6 General Info

What is Micro Soccer?

The East Bay United (EBU) Micro Soccer program is for youth players ages six and under. The program is strictly developmental with an emphasis on learning and fun, rather than winning or scores. In Micro Soccer there are only six players on the field, three on each team. Smaller teams and fewer players on the field allow each player to be more engaged in the game, and provides a better learning environment for all participants. The primary goal of Micro Soccer is to teach the game of soccer, and to promote the joy of the sport to children under the age of 6, as well as to their parents and guardians.

Basic Rules of Micro Soccer

Age Requirement

EBU Micro Soccer teams are for boys and girls who are entering kindergarten in the fall and will turn 5 years old no later than September 1st. Children in preschool, pre-K, or who turn 5 years old after September 1st, are NOT eligible for Micro Soccer.

The Team

Each team roster contains 9 – 10 players. A maximum number of players is set at 10. This ensures more playing time and further development for each participant.

Game Format

-EBU Micro Soccer ooccurs once a week for one hour. The first half hour is reserved for team practice and the second half hour is allotted to game play. Game play consists of two, ten minute games, with a five minute half time break in between. The last five minutes serve as a final wrap-up session and as snack time.

-For the game portion of Micro Soccer, each EBU U6 Micro Soccer team divides its players into squads and plays games simultaneously on adjoining fields.

-On each field there are six players, three from each team. This game format is more simply referred to as 3 v 3.

-If there are more than three players from each team in each squad, substitutions must be made. Substitutions may occur at any time, and should be frequent to allow players equal playing time.

-The coach and assistant coach supervise each game. The coach monitors one game and the assistant coach oversees the other game on the adjoining field.

-There are no formal referees in Micro Soccer. Instead, a Game Monitor oversees each game. TheGame Monitor is a volunteer, usually a parent, who serves as a supervisor, and also is responsible for restarting the ball if it goes out of play. Every game must have a Game Monitor; therefore, the team must produce two volunteer Game Monitors each week.

-Teams should be fairly even in Micro Soccer. Although standings and the score are never formally tallied during the season, the players are aware if they are winning or losing games by a substantial amount. Therefore, in order to keep Micro Soccer an enjoyable experience for all participants, teams should be pretty equally matched. Mismatches do occur however, and when they do, actions should be taken to balance the mismatch. Coaches may make substitutions or even change around the team before the next game in an attempt to create a more even match.

Parent Participation

Parent Participation is an integral part of Micro Soccer. Each parent or guardian is expected to help with his or her child’s team. Parents can contribute to the team through coaching, volunteering as Game Monitor, or helping with administrative duties. Nevertheless, the primary responsibility of the parent is to be a parent. Parent responsibilities include:

  • Having your child dressed and ready for practice.
  • Getting your child to practice on time.
  • Making sure your child attends the majority of practices and games.
  • Telling the coach if your child is unable to attend practice or game.
  • Supervising your child at all times. No child should be left unsupervised, even to go to the restroom.
  • Practicing good sportsmanship. Good sportsmanship includes cheering for all players (even members of the other team), and being respectful to the Game Monitor, others coaches and other players.
  • Cheering instead of criticizing. To keep the atmosphere fun and engaging, parents should only shout positive encouragement, instead of criticism, from the sideline.
  • Letting the coach do the coaching. Parents should not be coaching from the sidelines unless they have already signed up to be a coach.
  • Giving the team and the referee space on the sideline. Please stay about three feet back from the sideline to allow players room and to give space to Game Monitor to indicate if the ball has rolled out of play.

Basic Field Rules

These basic field rules must be followed during Micro Soccer:

  • No dogs allowed. Bringing a dog to practice or games may result in the revocation of our field permits.
  • Pick up litter.
  • Please leave the field just how you found it.
  • Alcohol and smoking are NOT permitted on the field.

Required Equipment

Each player needs a uniform jersey (top), shorts, socks. You may purchase a uniform through your team Uniform Coordinator.
All players must wear shin guards at all games and practices.
Cleats are not required. Players may wear cleats, turf shoes, or sneakers. No baseball cleats or metal/sharp cleats are allowed.
Other recommended equipment: a size three soccer ball and a water bottle.
Besides the uniform, most of this equipment can be purchased at any sporting goods store. Soccer specific stores should carry everything, for example the Soccer Post in Alameda or Jade Soccer in Oakland. 

Game Locations

Coaches will be notified of field locations a few weeks prior to the beginning of season. Directions to all fields can be found on the East Bay United, Rockridge Youth Soccer Club, Jack London Youth Soccer League website.

Other Questions or Concerns?

Coaches or the EBU U6 Micro Soccer coordinator can field most questions or concerns.

Most seasons are problem-free; however, if a problem occurs during the season, it is best to address it directly. If the problem is minor, it is likely that it could be tackled easily through a simple conversation. If the problem cannot be fixed through conversation, the next step would be to contact the U6 coordinator at U6comm@eastbayunitedsoccer.org

U6 Parents Guide

The U6 Parents-Guardians Guide (PDF) a guide for parents who want more information about the U6 Microsoccer program.

U6 Game Monitor Guide

In place of the licensed referees used for older age groups, Under 6 Micro Soccer relies on “game monitors” to officiate and facilitate all games. Game monitors are typically parents or soccer-experienced siblings of players on the field. This helps to achieve our goal of de-emphasizing competition and promoting fun. The U6 Game Monitor Guide (PDF) is a seven-page document outlining Micro Soccer rules and detailing the role of the game monitor.

If after reading the guide you still have questions about the EBU Soccer Club’s U6 program, write to U6comm@eastbayunitedsoccer.org.

U6 Coaching Guide

The U6 Coaches Guide (PDF) available here in downloadable PDF format) is a 32-page overview of East Bay United’s U6 program produced specifically for new coaches, with information about team organization, volunteerism, game day protocol, U6 rules and other important topics.

In creating this Micro Soccer program, we’ve acted on the example of the overwhelming majority of experienced soccer coaches and educators who have for years been saying that small-sided soccer is the best format for younger players. When playing with only two or three teammates, younger players have many more touches on the ball and participate in the game more fully. This increases their enjoyment and learning of soccer. Micro Soccer play also reduces a complex game to its basic features, such as the triangle, which are more readily understood by kids.

If after reading the guide you still have questions about starting a U6 team or becoming a coach, please write to U6comm@eastbayunitedsoccer.org