The Division Commissioners for the U5 Jamboree program are Ian McCullen and Emi Holt . Feel free to contact Ian McCullen for any questions you might have.
U5 Groups-Please see schedule/standings page
At the 2004 AYSO General Meeting in Phoenix, AZ, AYSO Executive Membership passed an amendment to the National Rules and Regulations to lower the minimum age requirement for participation in AYSO to four (4) years of age.
The objective of this program is to provide young players and their parents with a “pressure free” introduction to the beautiful and simple game of soccer. At this age, players should be exposed to soccer by playing simple, fun activities and games that require little to no practice, and a minimal time commitment.
This program allows players to discover the game for themselves, while parents are given a soccer foundation on which to build and grow into future AYSO coaches, referees and administrators.
The AYSO Jamboree (4-year-olds) is not to be considered a coaching program. It is a program that is designated to be facilitated by a qualified AYSO Master Coach. The AYSO National Coaching Commission supports this program predicated on the basis that the guidelines provided within the Jamboree Master Coach Manual are followed and that all decisions regarding the program are made in the best interest of the players.
- Every effort should be made to institute a Jamboree division separate from U-6, as there are significant social, emotional and physiological differences between four-year-old and five-year-old players.
- AYSO’s membership year begins on August 1st each year and extends to the following July 31st. The effective date of age determination shall be the player’s age as of July 31st immediately prior to the start of the membership year. Players who have reached the age of four as of this date are eligible to participate – NO EXCEPTIONS!
- Every effort should be made to have separate girls and boys divisions.
Jamboree will provide the best possible introduction to soccer for our youngest players. In AYSO soccer, a Jamboree means that “teams” are formed on a weekly basis depending on how many players attend a given session. Teams will consist of 3 or 4 players in Region 7. Parent coaches for each team will be appointed at the beginning of each session from the pool of parents attending.
A “Master Coach” will lead each session. The Master Coach will introduce a game/activity that will practice a certain skill or part of the game using explanation and demonstration. Each team will then attempt the activity while the Master Coach circles between teams providing specific help or suggestions so that the activities are performed as intended. After a suitable amount of time, the Master Coach will bring the teams back together as a group and recap what they have done, introducing the next game/activity.
Each Jamboree session will end with a 15-20 minute short-sided game (ideally 3 v 3, but sometimes 4 v 4). Details regarding the game are explained later. Most importantly, allow the players to play without coaching or teaching them as this experience is designed to expose them to soccer, not to begin developing them. The two goals of the program are to allow the players to enjoy the activities and to let the game be the teacher.
Region 7 uses highly qualified coaches from the United Kingdom (“UK”) to run the Jamboree. The UK coaches are in agreement with the AYSO National Coaching Program and have a full understanding that:
- Young soccer players need special consideration
- They are children playing a child’s game
- These young children must be regarded as young children, not mini adults
- Fun activity factors must be a central part of a child-centered program
- Educators agree that early learning experiences are the most important and produce lifelong learning experiences
- Four-year-old players are essentially self-oriented and relate naturally to one or two others, not to large groups
- Most children cannot sustain prolonged activity
- They function best in suitable starts and stops (rest periods)
- Concentration span is limited, so frequent changes of pace and activity is essential
- The young players should learn to discover the wonderful game of soccer, not be taught the game of soccer by adults
3 v 3 Game Set-Up and Guidelines
Each player in the Jamboree division receives a uniform (shirt, shorts and socks), since it is part of the fun to get dressed up for “the big game.” Having fun will make the kids want to come back. Region 7 uses reversible jerseys making the use of pinnies unnecessary. Parents need to provide shin guards, soccer cleats or sneakers, and a #3 ball. We will provide T-Shirts for Spring Soccer.
Sessions last one hour and will include:
- Group warm-up and activities
- Team organizing, coach appointment & jersey color assignment
- Water breaks
- Training activities and games
- 3 v 3 or 4 v 4 game (played in two halves with a short break at the half to get a quick drink)
- Review and encouragement for a job well done
During the game, the parent coaches from each team act as the game supervisors. They should keep the game going. All other parents should be encouraged to cheer positively and refrain from “coaching” (giving directions) from the sideline. This is the time for the kids to play – LET THEM!
The following guidelines include the only elements of the Laws of the Game that apply to the AYSO Short Sided Game Program for Jamboree:
The recommended field size for the Jamboree games is 30 x 15 yards marked with cones.
The goals in Jamboree games should be a maximum of 4 feet high and 6 feet wide or 2 tall cones set 6 feet apart.
A size 3 ball is used for Jamboree games.
Each Jamboree team should have a maximum of 4 players. Games are played with no goalkeepers. Separate boys and girls teams are used.
Shoes and shin guards, covered by the socks, are mandatory at all practice and game activities. Soccer shoes, tennis shoes, or similar type athletic shoes are recommended. The type and condition of cleated shoes must be inspected for safety before use. No baseball cleats (they have a front cleat that will injure soccer players).
The Start of Play:
To start the first and second halves, and following each goal in all age group games, play is started or restarted with a kick-off in the center of the field. A coin toss is used to determine which team kicks off to start the game and the other team kicks off to start the second half. Following a goal, the team scored upon kicks off.
The kick-off is taken from the center of the field with each team in their own half and the team not kicking off at least 5 yards from the ball. Do not insist the opponent be a minimum of precisely 5 yards from the ball as this is just a guide to give the kicker room to kick the ball without it immediately hitting an opponent. Remember, let them play and do not interfere for technicalities.
Ball In and Out of Play:
The ball is out of play in all age group games when it completely crosses the touch line (side line) or goal line (end line) either on the ground or in the air. In Jamboree games, the game supervisors for the week will determine when the ball is out of play and should guide the restart, interfering as little as possible. It is the player’s game, let them play and work on technique later.
Method of Scoring:
A goal in all age group games is awarded when the ball completely crosses the goal line into the goal. Goals should be enthusiastically celebrated by everyone. In Jamboree games, goals are not recorded to determine who wins as everyone is a winner.
Fouls and Other Stoppages:
Deliberate fouling should be rare in Jamboree games. Kicking, tripping, handling the ball and dangerous play may occur. There should be few, if any additional reasons to stop play in Jamboree games. If a player is “not playing well with others”, or if play must be stopped for any other reason (injury, substitution, confusion, or to watch a passing train, butterfly or frog), refocus the players and begin again with a free kick or as may be appropriate. Award the restart to whichever team deserves it. Stoppages must not become a lengthy ceremony.
Play may have to be stopped occasionally to “sort things out” in Jamboree games. When this is necessary, correct the situation then restart with a free kick for a deserving team. The opposing team should be at least 5 yards from the ball in Jamboree games. All free kicks in Jamboree games are direct free kicks which means, if you’re lucky, a goal can be scored directly from the kick without the ball having to be touched or played by another player on the field (indirect kick).
In Region 7, the U5s do not take throw-ins. These are taught at the U6 level. The parent coaches will just keep the games moving by tossing a new ball into play when necessary. Again, let them play with minimum interruption. Keep the game moving and fun.