These excuses are used any time a league changes away from the adult-form of the game. Parents and coaches view sports from an adult mindset, rather than from the perspective of the child participating in the sport. However, when you factor skill, speed, size, strength and cognitive development, the small-sided games create more similar task constraints for youth players than the full-sided games.

In most youth sports, the majority of the players chase after the ball. Is that an adult form of the sport? Children do this because they lack higher order cognitive skills and the strength and skill to use the whole field or court. In basketball, presses work because young players cannot make a good 30-40-foot pass. This same defense would not work against stronger, more skilled adult players because the players understand spacing and can exploit the openings by making a strong pass over a large distance much faster than a defender can recover.

As a child, I started 11v11 soccer at seven years of age. We did not learn about teamwork or positioning – we learned to kick the ball as far as possible and hope that our fastest player could get