U5 is our introduction to soccer program and it is entirely skill development based. A curriculum is followed to ensure fun and lots of touches on the ball. There are NO official games, however the kids get a chance to play in very small-sided formats, such as 1v1, 2v1, and 2v2 to start to encourage teamwork. Due to their age, we have found that work on individual skills is more beneficial as they all “want the ball”. As they get older, they become more aware of their teammates and are able to pass the ball. Participants will play modified games which reinforce the fundamentals of soccer. The goal of this program is to build towards 3v3 scrimmages by the end of the spring season.
Players in the program should be at least 4 years old by the beginning of the soccer year on August 31, and are typically still in pre-K.
U6 is our modified practice/game format. It is a combination between skills development and game format, played on Saturday mornings generally for 90 minutes. A curriculum is followed to ensure fun and lots of touches on the ball but also to get game exposure. The first 1/2 is working on individual skills providing all with ample time with a ball. The second 1/2 is run in official game format, generally 3v3 or 4v4 with a referee with kids regularly swapped in and out playing about 1/2 of the time.
Players in the program are generally 5 years old by the beginning of the soccer year on August 31, with all players entering Kindergarten in the fall of this soccer year.
U8 is the first time that boys and girls are separated - no longer coed. On Saturdays there are 45 minute games scheduled round robin with other in-town teams, with a referee. U8 may incorporate other towns that are willing to play at NEFC (our rented home turf). It is a small sided format to ensure lots of touches on the ball and development of skills. Players will all have a scheduled weekday clinic-type practice where the U8 boys will all attend the same boy's session, and the U8 girls will all attend the same girl's session.
We do try to blend teams with both Mendon and Upton children and with different abilities. Requests can be made to pair children together for social reasons, however, in the spirit of creating relatively equal teams, we cannot guarantee all requests. Due to the “in-town” nature of the program, we have more flexibility with deadlines, etc.
As we incorporate more towns to come to us, it is still InTown (no travel for us), but we may be playing teams from other towns. This may result in games being at different times between 8am starts to 11am completions and may include an occasional double header.
Players in the program are in grades 1 and 2 for the same school/soccer year.