Guidance for High Score Games
March 2019

We have noted that in certain age groups there have been some high scores recorded for games. We hope that teams take on board the Leagues view on this and that as part of the RESPECT campaign are happy to apply different ways to limit scoring in mis-matched games. As you should be aware goal difference does not count at any of the junior age groups, there is no benefit to be gained by scoring as many goals as possible in a game. Changing player positions during the game is not the only option available and usually defeats the object as players who do not usually score then go on and score.

IF YOU ARE THE WINNING TEAM

Keeping your players motivated is not very difficult if you are one of the fortunate coaches whose team wins most of its games BUT scoring goals virtually at will is:

  1. Unfair on your opponents.
  2. Not going to aid the development of your players.

What you can do:

Its almost unheard of for a team to come back and win a game after being 6 or 7 goals down so if your team is winning by that sort of margin, it is going to win the match. Instead of allowing your players to continue banging the ball into the back of the net you could:

  1. Discreetly impose a two or three-touch rule or require a minimum number of passes before shooting.
  2. Move your players around - your goalkeeper will be getting bored by now. Move your defenders into attacking positions and put your strikers into defence.
  3. Use your subs - this type of match is an ideal opportunity to give your subs as much playing time as possible. So why not take off your "star players" and give your less developed players a chance to enjoy themselves?

Teams can go back to normal play if the opposition get back into the game. Its only while there is a large difference in the score should you try different tactics, your team may keep scoring but it slows down the game and gets players thinking.

Whatever you decide to do, it is imperative that you respect the opposition and always keep the FAs Code of Conduct in mind: "Place the well-being, safety and enjoyment of each player above everything, including winning"

See the examples below of some other things you can do to reduce scoring during the game, it is recommended that for each goal a new initiative should be acted upon:

  1. Change player position
  2. Play 3 touch football
  3. Play 2 touch football
  4. Play 1 touch football
  5. Activate retreat line (9 / 11 aside)
  6. 5 passes before you shoot
  7. 7 passes before you shoot
  8. 9 passes before you shoot
  9. Every player touches the ball before you can shoot/start again if opposition touches the ball
  10. Can only score a header
  11. Can only score with weaker foot
  12. No players allowed in the opposition box
  13. Give fringe players more time on the pitch

IF YOU ARE THE LOSING TEAM

Motivating a team that is getting hammered most weeks is a tough challenge but it can be done.

Regardless of the age of your players, you can minimise the importance of the final score by setting your players individual and/or team objectives either before the game or even during the game if it becomes clear they are going to lose by several goals.

The actual objectives will depend on the age and ability of your players but as an example:

  1. Defenders can be tasked with blocking one shot on goal.
  2. Any player can be set the objective of taking a throw-in with both feet on the ground or making a good pass to a team mate.
  3. Attackers could be asked to try to make two shots on your opponent's goal.
  4. The team can be set the objective of conceding fewer goals in the second half or conceding no goals for a set period of time.

It's important to make the objectives slightly stretching but achievable. Praise your players for trying to achieve their objectives (not just for succeeding) and change objectives from one game to the next as your players skills change.

REMEMBER: IN A ONE SIDED GAME HALF OF THE GIRLS ON THE PITCH ARE NO LONGER HAVING FUN, AND THE OTHER HALF ARE NO LONGER LEARNING! THIS IS OF NO BENEFIT TO ANYONE!

Registrars will be following up on future high scoring games and asking what actions the team have taken to limit scoring.


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