MPA Soccer Committee approves Small-Sided Soccer

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 12:39 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The Maine Principals’ Association Soccer Committee has approved small-sided soccer to begin in the fall of 2023.The Committee has decided on an eight versus eight proposal.

Mike Bisson:” Soccer rules allow you to play with seven, but once you go to six the game is over, and it is a forfeit. Even though eight maybe a strange number for soccer traditionalist. What is does is give us a little buffer in case somebody gets ejected or injured.”

The committee also set parameters including maximum roster size of 15 for the eight person division and that games will be played on a regulation sized field.

Bisson:” The committee felt strongly to play on a full size field. That way if the boys are playing eight person and the girl’s team isn’t, it allows you to use that same field. The added space and additional running for less players on a full-sized field they felt the halves should be shortened to 30 or 35 minutes.”

Bisson said that a survey is being sent out to schools to gauge their interest in playing small-sided soccer. The deadline to apply will be July 1st.

Bisson:”For us and our planning for classification because this would have an impact on primarily Class C and D. It is going to have an impact if we pull schools out of there to play eight person and we need to plan accordingly.”

Other proposals include 8 player teams may play 11 player teams for a maximum four games on their schedule. There will also be one classification for 8 person soccer for the two year cycle beginning with the 2023-24 season. This could have an effect on classification for 11 person soccer.

Bisson:” I think for us the goal is to have more kids participating in activities. We know that educational based activities are a good place to start curing the ills in society. We don’t want to limit or eliminate opportunities for kids. It will negatively impact some schools in classification. Some schools that were the largest in a class but now be the smallest in a classifcation.”

Cooperative teams will still be allowed because several co-op teams also struggled to field teams this year.

Bisson:” A number of situations this year where schools were in co-ops and still have to cancel their season because they didn’t have enough. A couple of those schools, I know first hand because I talked to the Athletic Administrators before they made their decision. I tried to talk them through it and with eight person they could have made the season.”