The East Bay United U8 Recreational Soccer program is a league. The games use a 4v4 format, meaning each team has 4 players on the field at a time, with no goalies. There are two seasons, one in the fall and one in the spring. There are separate divisions for girls and boys. There are no tryouts, evaluations, or previous experience required for participation.
During the fall season, teams have one practice per week on a weekday and one game per week on a Saturday.
During the spring season, teams have one game per week on a Saturday. Teams don’t have practices in the spring but U8 Recreational players and coaches can attend our Recreational Soccer Academy sessions.
(If you have any questions that aren’t answered below, contact the U8 commissioner at U8comm@eastbayunitedsoccer.org)
What is the schedule for the U8 Recreational Program?
The fall season usually starts the Saturday after Labor Day and runs through the second Saturday in November.
The spring season usually starts the first Saturday of April and runs through the first Saturday of June.
Detailed schedules with game times and locations are typically available 2 weeks before the start of the season. To see the schedule, teams can use the “Teams and Schedules” link to the right.
When and where are the games and practices held?
The games are on Saturdays with start times usually ranging from 9:00am to 4:30 pm.
In the fall season, all games are played at Bushrod Park in Oakland. Fall practices are on weekdays. Once teams are formed, the coaches request a practice day. Various fields are used for U8 practices.
In the spring season, all games are played at Raimondi Park in Oakland.
What does the U8 Recreational Program Cost?
The registration fee for 2016 is $215. See the Program Fees Page for current and upcoming registration fees per player. The registration fee includes the fall season, the following spring season, and the Recreational Academy sessions in the spring. If a player didn’t play in the fall season but wants to play in the spring season, they can register for just the spring. The registration for just the spring season is $120.
In addition to the registration fee, players purchase a uniform consisting of a jersey, shorts, and socks. They uniform is owned by the player and can be used for multiple U8 seasons.
Is financial aid available?
Financial aid is available. Requests should be sent to our registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I register?
Use the Register tab on our web site. Registration for the fall season typically opens in late spring. Spring season registration for players who didn’t play in the fall typically opens in February.
What are the birth-date ranges for the U8 Recreational Program?
The U8 Recreational Program is for children who are 6 or 7 years old on July 31 of the fall season, or for first-graders who are 5 on July 31.
The fall 2016/spring 2017 league is for players with birth dates between 8/1/2008 and 7/31/2010.
Note for first graders born after 7/31/2010: Our U6 Micro Soccer program is restricted to kindergartners. Any first graders with birth dates after 7/31/2010 should register as U6 players, but in the comment section of the registration they should ask to be moved to U8. After registering, send an email to our registrar at email@example.com asking to be moved to U8.
What are the Recreational Academy sessions?
These are group training sessions directed by EBU Bay Oaks coaching staff. They provide excellent training for both the players and coaches. There is no additional fee for the Recreational Soccer Academy sessions. The sessions are usually held Friday afternoons at Alameda Point during the spring season. The Recreational Academy sessions take the place of team practices in the spring.
At the Recreational Academy sessions, a Bay Oaks coach leads the players in a warmup. At the same time, another Bay Oaks coach shows a practice session to the U8 Recreational team coaches. The Recreational coaches then run that practice session with their U8 players, with direction from the Bay Oaks coaches.
What additional programs are available for this age group?
Players can participate in the U8 Recreational program while also taking part in the Junior Academy program.
Why do you use a 4 v 4 format for the U8 games?
4 v 4 is a more fun way to play soccer at this age and it improves players’ skills and decision making. Players love this format!
In a 4 v 4 game, each player touches the ball more. The more touches a player has on the ball when young, the quicker they fall in love with the ball, develop skill on the ball, and obtain the skills necessary to have an impact on the game as they get older. Small-sided games also give the players more responsibility, and therefore more opportunity to build confidence and self-esteem by meeting the challenges the game provides.
The goals of U8 Soccer are to teach the fundamentals of the game and to have fun. Scores are not kept during games, and team standings are not kept.
The games are played on fields that are approximately 30 yards by 25 yards. The goals are approximately 4′ by 6′.
What are the parent volunteer jobs for U8 recreational teams?
Our recreational programs depend on parent volunteers. Here are the volunteer roles for a U8 team.
- Head and Assistant Coaches: Every team should have at least two adults per practice. Parents should be encouraged to attend and assist in practices.
- Team Manager: Create an e-mail list and facilitates all administrative functions of the team Ideally the coaches only focus on practices and playing games. Anything else is delegated to the team manager.
- Volunteer Coordinator: Enlists other parents to fill the team’s volunteer positions. Interacts with Club Volunteer Coordinator.
- Game Monitors: Not a referee. Keep the game moving and safe.
- Uniform Coordinator: Prior to the season, coordinate the uniform order for the entire team. The Club Uniform person requires one order and one check per team. This should be done sooner than later, sizes occasionally run out.
- PCA (Positive Coaching Alliance) Coordinator: Ensures one member of each family of the team attends a PCA workshop. Reinforces the concepts of PCA at each game. If someone associated with the team is not following the PCA guidelines, it is the responsibility of this person to talk with the individual.
- Snack Coordinator: Prepares and administers a snack schedule.
- Picture Coordinator: This person is the contact person for interfacing with the club level picture coordinator. You will be assigned a specific time on a Sunday morning and your job is to ensure that your team is punctual and prepared with necessary forms and checks.
- Sustainability Coordinator: Encourage team families to reduce waste (use reusable water bottles instead of single-use disposable bottles, pick snack options with less packaging/wrappers, etc.). Bring a garbage bag and have team remove any garbage the team produces (ex. from snacks). The garbage cans at the fields can’t hold garbage from a full days worth of games, so we need teams to dispose of their own trash elsewhere.
- Club Volunteers: individuals who volunteer for field maintenance days and other club events.
How do I get a uniform? What other equipment is required?
Every player is responsible for acquiring a uniform (jersey, shorts and socks). You may purchase a set through your team’s uniform coordinator. The team Uniform Coordinator uses the Recreational Uniform Order Form to submit a uniform order for the team.
- Players must wear shin guards at all games and practices.
- Cleats are not required. Players may wear turf shoes, sneakers, or cleats (no baseball cleats or metal/sharp cleats allowed).
- Two excellent stores are the Soccer Post in Alameda and Jade Soccer in Oakland.
How many players are on a U8 team? How are teams formed?
There are 12 players on each U8 team. Our club registrar assigns players to teams. When you register you can request to be put on a specific team. We can not guarantee that you will get on that team, but our registrar tries to accommodate as many requests as possible.
We don’t allow more than 12 players on a U8 team. If there were more players on a team, each player would not get enough playing time in the games.
How do I find out what team my child is on?
After the registrar forms teams, rosters are sent to the coaches. The coaches then contact the players’ families.
How do the games work?
Each team has 12 players on the roster. At the game, each team splits into two 6-player squads and they play two simultaneous games. In each of these games, the team will have 4 players on the field and 2 substitutes. For example, if Team 1 is playing Team 2, each team splits into two squads, call them Squad A and Squad B. Squad A from Team 1 plays a game against Squad A from Team 2. At the same time Squad B from Team 1 plays a game against Squad B from Team 2. When those games complete, there’s a short break. Then Squad A from Team 1 plays against Squad B from Team 2, while Squad B from Team 1 plays against Squad A from Team 2.
Where can I check for rainout notices?
In the event of rain, check the Field Status tab on the homepage of this site.