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Question Number: 31860

League Specific 10/3/2017

RE: Competive Under 11

Stewart of San Ramon, CA USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31852

The recent question on the Built-Out-Line reminded me of a situation I just had in in U10 competitive game. In my game one team was clearly coached to stand at the very edge of the line and as soon as the keeper distributed the ball off to a defender on the side, they would rush the defender with two players. Often the attacking team would reach the defender at the same time the ball did, and gain control resulting in a scoring chance.

I was as diligent as I could be by not allowing the attackers to lean across the line, and even had a couple of rekicks on questionable encroachments, but it was of little help. I understand the intention of the Build-Out-Line, but clearly it was not being met in this game When the score reached 5-0, I went over to the coaches and asked if we were using the line correctly, hoping the winning coach would change his tactic. However, they both said it was being used correctly, so I felt I had done all I could and just let it go.

Any ideas on what else I could have done, if anything?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Stewart
Thanks for sharing this
This initiative was introduced to assist in the development of young players. The underlying principles of these changes are
# Too much emphasis placed on the result of the game
# The priority should be to develop skills and abilities
# There is a need to educate and empower parents and coaches
So the spirit of the game initiative is not being met by some and it is bringing adult values into these small sided games. What does that achieve? A win for one side and forwards who think that it is easy to gain possession in such situations. Fishing in a barrel as I describe it
I believe you did all that you could do which was to highlight the issue. Ultimately if the coaches are short sighted and do not go with the spirit of the initiative there will be no change. It is not unique by the way to the US as each and every country has struggled with trying to implement changes in player skill development.
I have now come to the conclusion that to progress on skill development the adult needs to be taken out of the underage game. How that can be done in the modern world is extremely difficult. Kids if left to there own game would always
1. Every game would be small sided and in a small pitch
2. There would be no referee just blatant fouls would be agreed. Penalties would only be awarded for handling on the line
3. There would be no build out lines just the normal soccer rules without offside
4. Kids would just play and learn from their mistakes. Control, dribbling and passing in confined spaces would be key
5. No leagues or tables just games.
Many of the changes that I have seen introduced try to help with these. Yet when adults get involved they do not bring a kids game mentality yet their own adult values.
Neil Postman, a professor of sociology at the University of New York, states in his well-known book The Extinction of Childhood (1992) that modern society often does not allow children to distinguish their mode of living from that of adults.
Horst Wein the famous soccer coach modified Postmanís words slightly when he said that ** Once we give the children access to the forbidden fruit of adult competition, we expel them from the garden of infancy.** He went on to say that *It does seem as though, in many parts of the world there are too many teachers and coaches of young soccer players still living in the Middle Ages. Why call it that? In the Middle Ages society knew only infants and adults. By seven or eight years of age, a child was already considered adult because he /she participated in adult activities: the child worked, ate, dressed, and behaved as an adult. For how long can we allow the ignorance of our coaches and especially of the administrators to continue to obstruct the natural development of the next generation of players?**
Says it all really

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Stewart ,
you are a good guy and your thinking shows that you get the concept of putting the kids interest first. There are many well intentioned people in this world all equally convinced they are doing the right thing for the right reasons and all just as dead wrong in their perceptions juts as our political forces now at work in this and other countries around the world.

In some ways TRUMP has become this standard of highlighting the injustices of the world even if he is not responsible for why things are the way they are he shoulders the mighty finger of blame for maintaining this burden of fault . Be it soccer or politics the interaction of individuals ALL claiming to have the best interests of whomever at heart all seem to run their own agendas as the truth no matter what others might say or believe .
To thine own self be true thus false to no others!

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