BHYSC Pre-Travel U8 Festival Program
The goal of the BHYSC Pre-Travel Festival program (U8 age group) is to allow players who are participating in the SDA program with the opportunity to play small-sided games on the weekends. This allows players to develop and apply their skills on a team in a fun and safe environment while playing against teams from other towns.
Festivals consist of same-day tournaments with 2-3 games of 25 minutes each, with 5-6 festivals during both the fall and spring seasons. The festivals are held at one location so many clubs can participate. There are no referees and score is not kept. Volunteer coaches from the club assist with the game for safety purposes, player and position rotation, and instruction. The festivals use a 5v5 format, with four field players and a goalie. We find this format to be the best for player development at this age and helps to prepare players for the 7v7 format used at the U9 age group.
In order to participate in the BHYSC Pre-Travel Festival program, players must register and participate in the SDA program and choose the festival option. There will be options to register before the fall season and again before the spring season. The SDA program will provide professional training to the players involved in the festival team. Festival players will be trained as a group or with more experienced SDA players depending on participation. The club recommends that festival players choose the two-day option for SDA, typically Tuesdays and Fridays. Depending on interest, the club aims to provide both boys and girls teams and have the players train and play with their own gender. Players will be provided with a uniform shirt but must purchase their own navy blue shorts and socks.
Although the professional trainers will provide training through SDA, volunteer coaches are needed to coach and organize the festivals. Volunteer coaches may also hold additional practices as needed. Coaches must be certified; must complete a background check; and must attend additional concussion and child safety training as directed by the New Jersey Youth Soccer Association (NJYS) and the BHYSC. More information will be provided to coaches who volunteer.