Recreation League Information
The Pittsburgh Dynamo Recreation League is intended to provide kids ~4-18 years old with an environment where they can learn the game of soccer, have fun playing, and develop as players. All coaches and administrators are volunteers, though many have soccer backgrounds and US Soccer coaching licenses. No official scores or standings are kept in the Rec league as the emphasis is on developing soccer skills rather than winning.
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Dynamo Philosophy | Age Groups | Formats and Rules | Equipment Every Player Needs | Health and Safety
Dynamo's philosophy emphasizes development of fundamental soccer skills, knowledge of the rules of soccer, and good sporting behavior with an eye towards creating lifelong lovers of the game of soccer. We seek to minimize outside pressures on our players. We do not pursue success in competition for its own sake, but only as a by-product of our approach.
We expect all spectators to model this behavior both in practice and in match play, specifically by:
- showing respect for all coaches and referees at all times;
- showing respect for all players regardless of perceived skill level;
- praising positive team behaviors rather than individual efforts;
- minimizing sideline involvement (i.e. NO coaching from the sidelines).
Please keep in mind that Dynamo is an entirely volunteer-run organization. Parents who have the urge to shout out instructions to players, coaches, or referees must restrain themselves or will be asked to find another league.
In accordance with U.S. Soccer, age groups are birth-year based, so even if a group is called "U6" it will likely have a combination of 4- and 5-year olds in the fall, and 5- and 6-year-olds in the spring. If your children are younger than these age groups, please check out other programs in our area for some beginning soccer instruction (for example, SoccerShots and HappyFeet).
The rec league age groups for the Spring 2022 season are:
- U5 Coed: Born in 2017
- U6 Coed: Born in 2016
- U8 Boys: Born in 2014 or 2015
- U8 Girls: Born in 2014 or 2015
- U10 Boys: Born in 2012 or 2013
- U10 Girls: Born in 2012 or 2013
- U13 Boys*: Born in 2009, 2010 or 2011
- U13 Girls*: Born in 2009, 2010, or 2011
- U14+ Boys**: Born in 2008 or before
- U14+ Girls**: Born in 2008 or before
* U13 Boys and Girls will be registered separately. Depending on numbers, these age groups may be combined.
** Due to generally lower numbers in the older age groups, we may be more limited in the options we're able to offer.
What about playing "up" or "down" a level?
We want everyone to have a positive experience with Dynamo. If your child is very advanced for his/her age, and you think it would benefit everyone to have him/her play in an older age group, register your child for the standard age group, then please contact [email protected] with your request.
Having players play down to a younger age group has more potential problems, but in some cases where children are born late in the year and/or are on the small side for their age, we may be able to allow a child to play in the next lower age group. Please contact [email protected]) with details.
Formats and Rules
Microsoccer (U5, U6, U8)
- Size 3 Soccer Ball
- 3 v 3 or 4 v 4 games, can be played side-by-side depending on numbers
- No goalies, throw-ins, offsides, penalty kicks, punting, or heading.
- Defending team should still be encouraged to back away significantly during goal kicks (no buildout lines on field)
- Pop-up goals on fields 20 x 30 or larger depending on numbers
- Parent referees for U5, Youth referees for U6 & U8
Full-Sized Soccer (U10, U13, U14+)
- Size 4 or Size 5 (U14+ only) Soccer Ball
- 7 v 7 games depending on numbers, full-sided, with goalies and referees
- Minimum field size is 40 x 60 yds (Schenley 3), with a minimum of 6 x 10 Bownet goals
- Throw-ins for sideline restarts
- FOR U10: Offside more loosely called (think cherry picking) as players are still learning the rule. Buildout lines are lined on field. No penalty kicks, no punting, no heading.
- FOR U13: No heading.
- FOR U13 and U14+: Offsides and penalty kicks will be called. Punting is allowed.
Regardless of age, each child participating in the Rec League should have some basic items for each practice and game:
- Soccer Ball (size 3 up to and including U8, size 4 for U10 and U13, and size 5 thereafter)
- Soccer socks to cover shinguards
- Appropriate footwear (soccer cleats are ideal, other soccer shoes are good)
- Water bottle
Players should wear weather-appropriate athletic clothing. Team shirts will be distributed during the first week of the season and should be worn to each game. Wearing them to practice is optional, or at the discretion of the coach.
Health and Safety
Dynamo follows guidelines set by PA West Soccer and the Allegheny County Health Department. Prior to the start of the season, we will send COVID-specific communication detailing the current policy and practices of PA West Soccer regarding health and safety measures. We will continue to communicate any significant changes during the course of the season.