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New Ball Method


No throw ins? Goal Kicks? Corner Kicks? Yes! These restarts are certainly important to the game but they have almost no impact on a young soccer players developmental progression.  They also cause quite a delay and take up a significant amount of play time for the kids.

As a matter of fact, an experiment was done with exactly how much the game is influenced by these stoppages.  In 2001/02 Richmond Hill SA (GA) counted the number of touches per player using the traditional rules and the "new ball method".  They found that players' ball touches increased two and threefold using the "new ball method".  They found out that the ball was in play only 45% of the time under traditional rules compared to almost 100% of the time under the 'new ball method".  The basic principle behind the "new ball method" is that when the ball goes out of bounds a new ball gets put into play.

Implementation
At this age, players need to get as many touches on the ball as they can. The "new ball method" solves this by having coaches roll a new ball onto the field when the ball goes out of bounds.  The coach should yell "BALL" or "BALL IN" and play a ball on the ground (NOT in the air) onto the playing field.  There are multiple ways that the ball an be rolled into play:

- First player to come to the ball

- One team is beating another team pretty bad.  Roll the ball into the attacking half of the team getting beat (not where they can just kick it right into the goal).

- Get a player who is not as involved in the game by rolling the ball right to them.


Benefits for the player

- The ball is almost always in play so no more standing around waiting for players to get lined up for restarts

- Players get more touches on the ball.  The most important action a player can receive while playing.

- The focus is on the technical side of soccer and not tactical.

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