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Smaller playing formats for girls

One of the main differences between the mixed and girls participation pathway is the unique issues relating to playing formats for girls between the ages of nine and thirteen years of age. There are many reasons for this; however the primary reason relates to the amount of technical development required in girls football.

The neural pathway for a player in these age groups is at its most trainable, so it is important to maximise this by providing girls with many more touches during participation games. The maturation of the female player also occurs within these ages and therefore the technical development of the female player can be compromised due to the amount of physical development taking place.

The primary reasons for smaller sided games in girls football are:

  1. Accelerate technical development through more touches on the ball
     
  2. Fewer players per team ensures training and games are closely competitive by reducing the gap between players within a team (i.e. playing and training with players of a similar ability).
     
  3. Fewer players makes forming a team easier and therefore it promotes growth.
     
  4. More teams with fewer players allows for a more competitive and challenging league.
     
  5. With smaller formats, talented players participating in girls-only football can play up age groups without significantly compromising their technical development.
     
  6. To better use the limited facilities available (i.e. more pitches per full sized field).
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