Beginning participation in youth athletics with PYS is, for many Pembroke children, a right of passage. Starting with Pre-School and continuing through Grade 2, the PYS Mites Divisions is designed to introduce young children to group social activity, physical fitness and the game of soccer.
Our Little Kickers program for 4 year olds (U5) is designed to introduce pre-schoolers to the soccer ball. This pre-competition series of parent & tot classes is made up of a variety of games and activities led by a professional coach/educator over the span of several weeks. The objectives of our Little Kickers program is to help youngsters (1) develop a level of comfort with peer group activities, (2) with separating from parents for activity time, and, (3) with learning from instruction by a teacher/coach. Little Kickers is all about fun with a soccer ball. There is no league format, no teams and no formal games.
“Kindergarten” Soccer, is our U6 program for children entering Kindergarten in September. The program is organized into a league of 10-12 teams with each team rostering of 8-10 boys and girls and each coached by parent-volunteers. U6 is a co-ed program and players will be assigned to teams by random selection. Players will typically stay with their same coach and teammates throughout their Mites Division experience. The objectives of Kindergarten Soccer is to introduce new players to the game who did not participate in Little Kickers, to begin to impart a very basic understanding how the game is played and the rules, and for players to learn to have fun with a soccer ball their feet. Dribbling, ball control and on-ball confidence are the primary skills taught and reinforced during the U6 year. The U6 league is non-competitive. No score or standings are kept. Teams will meet every Saturday during the 9 week fall and spring seasons to practice for 30 minutes followed by a 30 minute 3v3 game. The U6 year ends in June with a fun round-robin of shortened matches called a Jamboree which is followed by a participation medal ceremony for all players.
U7 (Grade 1) players move to a larger field with larger goals as more elements of the game of soccer begin to be introduced. Teams play 4v4 with no goal keepers. This game design promotes the most exciting and enjoyable part of soccer, scoring goals! Players are continue to be encouraged to demonstrate individual mastery of the ball and as the season progresses into the spring more players will begin to understand the role that passing can play. Touch, ball control, on-ball confidence, as well as striking the ball (especially as it relates to shooting), and some trapping skills will be the focus at U7 training. Developmentally, teammates will still be an after thought to most players at this age but coaches will begin to orient players to positioning and movement without the ball on the field as well as the elements of teamwork in soccer. A junior referee is added to U7 league games as we teach players a better understanding of the rules. The U7 league is also non-competitive with no scores or standings. Teams will practice, on average, 50 minutes on one evening a week and play games on Saturday mornings. The U7 year culminates with a Jamboree that pits teams against their friends and rivals in a fast-paced and fun tournament with participation trophies awarded to all players.
U8 (Grade 2) is the graduation year from the Mites Division. The field size remains the same as U7 but a goal keeper is now added to play to increase the challenge. Bigger, stronger, more coordinated bodies and faster feet make the U8 game end-to-end excitement. All players will receive instruction on basic goal keeping skills and team practices will begin to add training on passing, tackling, movement, and positioning to the curriculum. Teams will practice 60-70 minutes one evening per week and play games on Saturday afternoons. At U8 players really begin to appreciate their teammates and coaches who they have been together with since U6. A sense of teamwork and the enjoyment of being part of a team really begin to form at U8. Games will be more exciting and competitive but this league still frowns upon keeping score and identifying wins and loses. The U8 year culminates in the spring with a Jamboree on the U10 fields introducing the players to the next level of soccer followed by a graduation awards ceremony.
We hope you will review your players Mites Division League page for more detailed information about the age group.