Stafford Soccer's POLICY ON PRACTICE AREAS AND GAME FIELDS
For Coaches and Parents
Stafford Soccer and the county’s Parks and Recreation department have actively pursued ideas to find ways that we can better structure our program to produce less wear and tear on the fields. As parents, coaches, and volunteers we must remember that all the fields in the county are maintained by the county. The elementary and middle school fields are also maintained by the county staff. We have to help keep these fields in good shape so the kids can continue to play on them. This is why Stafford Soccer, in partnership with the county, has changed the way we schedule our practices.
The underlying principle is as follows:
The change has been implemented so that we do not lose our fields or have unsafe playing areas.
The solution to this issue is to have practice areas for teams to train on. These practice areas will be marked out in 20×30 yard rectangles. Our focus is to get the coaches and the players to concentrate on fundamental development while at the same time saving some of the fields for use in the games.
In the past, teams were allotted one half of a field and the teams predominantly ’played’ around the goal areas. This has worn the goal areas out to a point where no grass grows. We now have practice areas while also having GAME SPECIFIC FIELDS.
Having game specific fields should eliminate all the ’wear and tear’ that practicing every night puts on the field. We all want to have quality fields to play games on.
We, as an organization, require everyone's help in this matter. Stafford Soccer will put a schedule together. This schedule goes to the county. The county will know what team should be on the field or what game is taking place. Teams can no longer go and play on any field. County staff will be walking the fields and making sure nobody plays on the game specific fields. If the county or a Stafford Soccer representative sees a coach/team practicing on a game field, they will receive one written warning. If they are uncooperative again their team will drop a game from the schedule.
Remember we are doing this in the best interest of the kids to produce better and safer fields for them. We do not want to take games away from players but we have to ensure the fields are safe.
As Technical Director, I believe it is important that players continue to develop. The older age groups also need to focus on the tactical aspects of the game. U14 teams will have one technical session on the practice fields and one tactical session on half a large field. High School age groups will have one training session per week, due to the extra games built in to their schedule. Additional training sessions for HS may be granted based on field availability. There will be only 2 large fields in the county that are designed to hold older team technical sessions.
In summary, our agreement with the county offers:
Game specific fields
Practice specific areas
A designated area for all teams to practice
No teams will lose practice time because a game is taking place at the same field
It is required that:
Coaches follow the Stafford Soccer practice schedule
Coaches educate parents and let them know why this is necessary
U6 through U12 teams will train exclusively in practice areas
U14 will have one weekly training session on a practice area (technical) and one session on half a field (tactical)
High School will have one training session per week
We hope to accomplish the following:
Improve the condition of the fields
Have game specific fields which will host games only
Have practice areas where teams can train
Focus on the fundamentals of soccer