Ascension Pre-K Soccer Overview
The primary objective of the Pre-K program is to provide an enjoyable, low-key introduction to soccer for our players.
We strive to give each player the opportunity to get numerous touches on the ball during each game. To this end, we play the 3v3 no goalie format - as you are aware for a 4 or 5 year old 3v3 = 1v5, so the fewer players they have to compete against, the more opportunity for touches.
We do not strictly enforce out of bounds at this level, as we want to keep the ball moving, and the kids playing. The touchlines are primarily a means for us to organize the games. We do, however, want to play the game safely; we do not want the players to be heading down the ditch on the south or east sides of the fields. Where possible, we encourage parents or siblings of a reasonable age, to surround the field and gently play the ball back into the field of play to keep the players moving.
Some players naturally gravitate to the front of their own goal to play goalie. Please encourage these players go get into the play. We do not want the pack to 5 other players steamrolling over a player. Goalie play will start at the kindergarten level.
We build the teams with the view toward kindergarten and first grade. Rather than having 8-10 teams with 5 players each, which would have to be consolidated after one season, we choose to go with 4-5 teams with 10 players each. We do not want to have 7 players on the sideline while 3 players play. This is the reason that we split the teams for the games. This allows 6 players to play at a time, with only 1-2 taking a break. We switch the teams at halftime to provide the players the opportunity to play against different opponents. It is not uncommon for a player to dominate the action. If one team is dominating another, switching provides the opportunity to play against someone else.
We do not do throw-ins or free kicks at this age, those will start next year. We do discourage players from using their hands.
The referee involvement is minimal for these games. This age provides the organization the opportunity to provide an introduction to the referees program. We are looking for referees to arrive on time, in uniform. They should manage the clock; starting and stopping the games. We want the referees gain confidence talking with coaches, with such things as coordinating the prayer to start the game. They should blow their whistle primarily if the play goes too far astray or if a player is a risk - this provides the players an opportunity to learn to stop upon hearing the whistle.
We play 4 quarters. The quarters are intended to be 9 minutes each; however in extreme heat or cold – if all coaches agree the time can be reduced. Please just coordinate with the referees.
As the teams move to kindergarten level, we play with in a more structured format. Out of bounds is enforced. Goalies play and penalties are called, with the exception of off-sides, which does not come into play until second grade.
The feedback that we have received over the years regarding the pre-K program has been overwhelmingly positive. I hope that you, your players and your players' parents have a similar positive experience this season.