On three Sundays this spring –– April 23, May 21 and June 4 –– the Long Island Junior Soccer League will host small-sided intramural games, for players who are too young for travel soccer, at the Peter Collins Soccer Park in Plainview, N.Y.
The Under-7 teams, both boys and girls, will play 4 v 4 with no goalkeeper. The U-8 games, with both boys and girls squads, will be 5 v 5 with a keeper. Up to 16 micro fields will be used, 35 yards x 25 yards, with pop-up goals and not a referee in sight.
“Our goal is to give the intramural players from the participating clubs a different game experience than simply playing within their own clubs,” LIJSL technical director Ronan Wiseman saod. “At Under-8, we want to look at a 5 v 5 game with a goalkeeper to see if it can fit into the developmental pathway laid out by U.S. Soccer.“
The Peter Collins Soccer Park has hosted the LIJSL since the league’s TOPSoccer Program for children with special needs started playing there in the 1980s. The TOPSoccer children still play there as do the LIJSL’s other teams. The 22-acre park is named after Peter Collins, the U.S. Soccer National Hall of Famer who served as LIJSL president from 1977 to 2004.
“We want the intramural players to have a good experience and leave wanting to come back and play in this format again,” Wiseman said.