Grassroots Soccer play and game formats are changing, in line with many developing trends in sport and soccer development. These changes revolve around promoting an open and inclusive environment for young children to play and grow, opposed to previous exclusive team and competitive environments.
Success in youth soccer shouldn’t be measured by objective game outcomes but by intrinsic, process development focussed goals. Research shows that children play soccer for fun, friendships, to be active and then skill development, all before any consideration of competitive outcomes.
FESTIVAL FORMAT GAMES: This structure seeks to provide multiple games within an open roster environment on a singular day, that encourages meaningful competition for the players to challenge their development against others. League organizers may adapt different specific format, but the goal is to encourage more interaction and focus upon individual players, playing within a small-sided game format that will encourage greater decision making and confidence to take risks, as there is usually no scores or standings maintained.
FESTIVAL PLAY: There are various game models for supporting player development, the Festival Play format presents a station rotation format (previously called the Preferred Training Model). Festival Play has groups of players rotating between stations and experiencing lots of activities, coaching styles and forming new friendships. The format is a positive tool engaging parents, coaches and players with a focus upon development through play. Further information on the Festival Play Format (PTM) may be found in Grassroots Resources.