Soccer netball

Age group: All ages

Set up: This is a small sided team game (3v3 4v4 or 5v5) that uses netball-style play to develop soccer (football) skills.

Set up a goal at each end of a small square, circle or triangle. The shape of the playing area doesn’t matter, in fact an unusual shape makes the players think a bit more. The size of the area depends on the age and number of players. Just make sure they have plenty of room to play. For ten year olds, I would suggest 40 by 30 yards.

How to play: The aim of the game is to pass the ball among your team WITH HANDS, keeping possession and working up the field in order to score a point. Each team scores by placing the ball (or throwing the ball down) in their opponents’ goal or on the end line.

Alternatively, teams score by making a successful pass to a team mate who is stationed on their target end line.

Players pass the ball by throwing it. Once a player receives the ball they cannot run, they are frozen (or can take a limited number of steps depending on their age and ability) and then must pass to a team mate.

The opposing team can only intercept between passes – they cannot grab the ball out of players’ hands. If the ball goes out of the playing area, award a throw in to the opposing team.

When a goal is scored, the team that scored must try and keep possession and can’t score into the goal. If they do, the goal is disallowed and a goal kick is awarded.

If the other team equalise and make it 1-1, either team can then score to make it 2-1. To win the game, the team in the lead has to keep possession until the final whistle.

Coaching points

You may need to mark a ‘no entry’ zone a few yards from the end line or enforce a 1 or 2 defender rule. If you don’t, defending players tend to just crowd around the goal area.