Microsoccer gives kids their first introduction to organized sports

Apr 10, 2022

The first warm days of spring have ushered in the return of outdoor sports and, for many of Dartmouth’s youngest residents, their first chance to participate in organized sports.

The Dartmouth Youth Soccer Association runs programs for players up to 19 years old, but President Bob Long said one of the most important is microsoccer, for kids aged 4 to 6, which held its first meet of the season on Saturday, April 9.

“In that age group it’s all about getting touches and having fun,” he said. “It’s all to prepare them for when they start playing competitively.”

Long said that he originally got into coaching when his daughter was 5 years old.

“And now she’s 24 and she’s on the board [of directors for DYSA],” he said.

Long said that many kids who start the program early follow a similar path and stay committed to the sport as they grow up.

“They normally do stick with it and move up,” he said. “That’s really how our program builds.”

Long said that the microsoccer program lasts about an hour and includes 30 to 45 minutes of practicing skills like shooting and dribbling, followed by 15 minutes of scrimmage time.

“Getting them on the field is half the battle,” said Matt Sorensen, who coaches microsoccer in addition to the Dartmouth FC and Vipers FC teams that DYSA runs for older players.

Audra Thomas, a parent at the meet, said her daughter Sadie was thrilled to be playing soccer for the first time.

“She’s so excited,” she said. “It’s nice to be out socializing with everybody.”