Youth Development Review

Why Do We Make Our Kids Play Like Adults?

Kids football is changing - smaller pitches - smaller teams - smaller goals - child friendly competition.

On 28th May 2012, The FA formally ratified some of the recommendations of the Youth Development Review. These amendments to the youth game can be found below in our individual guidance booklets for Youth Leagues, Under 7/8s, Under 9/10s and Under 11/12s.

These resources and amendments have been developed through two years of research, consultations and listening to those involved in the youth game, most importantly those who play - the children.

These positive changes have been put in place to improve the enjoyment, fun and development of young players, allowing more touches on a better proportioned pitch with an increased involvement in the game as a whole. The changes within The FA’s Youth Development Review will make youth football better for everyone involved.

We recognise they present some challenges in the short term but, with your help, we can make football better, more relevant and more enjoyable for our young players.

The changes will be phased in from 2013/14 season and these resources are available to assist, help and advise you of the changes to age groups, pitch size and laws of the game. They also aim to provide you with good practice and other recommendations to improve players’ participation and enjoyment, as well as minor changes to develop better players.

This is about a modern, child-friendly approach to youth football, challenging the ‘win at all costs’ mentality which is stifling development and enjoyment for young people. Working together with a proactive attitude, adults can help develop a better learning environment for young people which puts their needs at the centre of the process.

If you have any additional questions on the changes to youth football, please read the guidance documents below or E-Mail

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