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Rush Pikes Peak Announces U11 Change to 8v8!

PassionIt has long been talked about in the state of Colorado and finally, beginning in the Fall of 2014, Colorado Youth Soccer (CYS) will be providing Clubs the option to play 8v8…and the Rush Clubs are ecstatic about the opportunity! The Rush has long been a supporter of smaller sided games for our younger players and now we have an opportunity to develop our U11 players in the proper format and on the proper sized fields. 

From a soccer perspective, playing 8v8 at the U11 age group is a no-brainer. “The benefits of 8v8 vs 11v11 have been studied across the world. For terms of player development, this the the best move we can make,” states Director of Soccer Operations Brian Lux.   

The following information is from FIFA.com (FIFA is the international governing body which oversees youth, professional and international soccer).

Small-sided games are extremely beneficial for young children. Anecdotal evidence and research studies show that youngsters derive greater pleasure from playing football in smaller teams and with adapted rules. As well as getting involved in the game more often, players learn more quickly and take more decisions during the course of a match. And as the ball is never far away, greater concentration is required on their part.

 •Players touch the ball twice as much in seven-sided games than they do in 11-a-side.12G State Cup Champions with TrophyBelow are just some of the statistics that underline the benefits that small-sided games offer in comparison to 11-a-side football:

•Players are involved in twice as many one-on-one situations in seven-sided games.

•On average, goals are scored every four minutes in seven-sided games.

•Goalkeepers make two to four times as many saves in seven-a-side football than they do in 11-a-side.

•The ball is out of play for 14 per cent of the playing time in seven-sided games and 34 per cent in 11-a-side football.

Although these stats directly correlate to 7v7 games, the point remains the same. Small sided games provide the players more opportunities to touch the ball, score goals, defend, pass, make saves, etc. In short, smaller sided games provide the players more opportunity to get involved in the game and ultimately more opportunity to enjoy the sport. DOC Academy – Youth, Mike Piserchio says, “Watching the U11s over the past 8 years I have been coaching in Colorado is painful at times. The fields are much too big and the players get far too few touches on the ball. I am excited to be able to work with these players in this smaller format. I’m also excited to see how the 8v8 format will speed the technical development and tactical understanding of our young players. The benefits will be evident in the years to come.”

16 Girls Champions TogetherRush has long prided itself on being a Club that puts player development first. We are a Club that is run by coaches and that is why it was an easy soccer decision to make the change to 8v8 when the option to do so was presented. There is no doubt that this brings many logistical challenges to our Club. “It’s not going to be easy,” says Technical Director, Erik Bushey. “But we do not act in that manner, ‘what is easier for us?’ No doubt that staying 11v11 is easier for the coaches, parents, administrators and the Club but it is not what is best for our players. We will work through the challenges and our players and Club will be better for it.”

Rush Pikes Peak will be hosting a Pre-Tryout Meeting on Monday, May 19, at 7:00pm in the Liberty HS Auditorium. A large portion of this meeting will be focused on the change to 8v8 and how it will affect our Club.  We are excited about this opportunity but we realize it is ‘new’ and it is a change from what has been the norm.  The meeting will be open to parents of any age player to hear our philosophies.  We are confident you will leave the meeting excited about our U11s playing 8v8 beginning in the Fall of 2014.

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