Small-sided games are extremely beneficial for young children. Anecdotal evidence and research studies show that youngsters derive greater pleasure from playing football in smaller teams and with adapted rules. As well as getting involved in the game more often, players learn more quickly and take more decisions during the course of a match. And as the ball is never far away, greater concentration is required on their part.
This all means that they gain a better understanding of the game than they would in playing on big pitches.
The fact there are less players on the pitch and on each team also means that they receive more attention and have more chances to score
goals, which is what children play the game for. Goalkeepers, who are not used in four-a-side football and smaller formats, are also more
involved, while outfield players are exposed to more attack and defence situations, increasing their enjoyment and the pace at which they learn.