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U12 changes in 2018

Football West News

Football West will adopt a new approach to U12 football from 2018 after consultation with the football community and under the technical direction of Football Federation Australia.

In the interests of emphasising fun and enhancing player development, all U12 divisions will be played under a nine-player format. This will provide a better learning environment to allow young players to realise their potential.

This change was also recommended in the NPLWA Review Report, which was developed by independent consultants between March and July, 2017.

All rules for U12 football will be the same as U11 from 2018.

Click here for new U12 format and rules

Click here for existing ALDI MiniRoos formats and rules (U6 to U11)

Many Football Associations around the world have adopted a similar nine-versus-nine format at U12 age to allow players more touches of the ball, therefore improving technical development, and making the game more enjoyable.

The more fun a player has and the more engaged they feel, the more likely they will return to the game in following seasons.

This decision has been made in consultation with Football Federation Australia and as part of the ALDI MiniRoos review project, which involved the distribution of a survey to all ALDI MiniRoos clubs and Kick Off sites and all registered ALDI MiniRoos players.

Key benefits of nine-versus-nine at U12 age groups:

  • More touches of the ball.

  • More football decisions to enhance learning.

  • Development of decision-making speed and reaction time.

  • Reduced team sizes increases coach attention on individual players.

  • More flexibility in position rotation – players start to specialise in 11 v 11.

  • Greater goalkeeper involvement.

  • Increased scoring opportunities.

  • Provides physical and mental preparation for 11 v 11.

  • Absence of league table allows players, coaches and parents to focus on development.

  • Divisions determined by location reduces travel time for players.

The FFA’s ALDI MiniRoos review project has also led to other changes to rules in 2018, including:

  • increasing penalty box size to 10m x 20m for U10, U11 and U12.

  • increasing match time to 20-minute halves for U6 and U7.

  • Attacking team retreating 10m from the goalkeeper on restarts.

Junior formats and rules will be continually reviewed to improve player development and enjoyment.

Should you have any queries regarding the new rules or format change for U12 please use the contacts below:

  • For logistics advice and assistance contact Football West Member Services on (08) 6181 0703 or info@footballwest.com.au

  • For further information on the developmental aspects of the change contact Football West Development on (08) 6181 0700 or development@footballwest.com.au.

FIFA resources

Players and parents click here to find out more about the benefits of small-sided football.

Coach-educators click here to find out more about the benefits of small-sided football.

Click here for more on the benefits of playing ALDI MiniRoos.