We provide a positive environment for all children in East Lyme and Salem, CT, looking to play and enjoy the game of soccer.

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Evaluations - Small Sided Grid Play

What's tested: Receiving ball, Passing on move, Movement off the ball, and defensive positioning


How set up:

  • Set up a 10x15yd grid outlined with cones.
  • 3v3 with players wearing numbered pinnies. 2 sets of numbered pinnies are needed.
  • Balls: U9/10/11/12 size 4, and U13/14 size 5
  • Evaluator should have a supply of balls at his feet in case ball goes out of the area

How run:

  • One team starts with the play and tries to keep possession of the ball primarily by passing the ball.
  • Ball possession will shifts naturally between team A and team B, or be directed after by a coach.
  • If the ball leaves the coned area, the team out of possession gets possession and coach will restart will pass into that team. This 
  • The drill should run for approximately 10-12  minutes.
  • The next group to go will get ready by putting on pinnies.


  • Players get a check mark if they demonstrate the following skills during the drill:
  • Receive the ball with tight control.
  • Pass the ball accurately to another player while moving.
  • Move off the ball to support player in possession and/or move to penetrative position.
  • Defend the passes looking for good positioning for an interception, closing down the player with the ball with proper technique (
  •   Each component will be scored as:
  • (0) - Did not demonstrate skill at all 
  • (1) - Rarely (0-30% of the time) 
  • (2) - Occasionally(31-70% of the time) 
  • (3) - Consistently (71+% of the time) 

Instructions to players:

  • Keep possession of the ball.
  • No hard tackling of opponents.
  • You are being scored on passing on the move, receiving the ball with tight control, movement off the ball, defensive positioning.
  • You are not being scored for dribbling or holding the ball so keep the ball moving.
  • Make sure everyone gets touches on the ball.

Instructions to adjudicators

  • Start the timer when the players are in the grid.  Say go and pass ball to player.
  • Let timer run for 4 minute and score if/when you see player perform requested skill.
  • Let players know when time is up