Learn how to start a Pickup Soccer Game
The popularity of pickup soccer has exploded in recent years, allowing anyone with an interest in the game to enjoy a casual and fun experience while also keeping in shape. Pickup soccer has also played a key role in creating youth and adult soccer leagues, and thanks to an increase in attendance by both men and women, pickup soccer has managed to cross gender lines unlike any other sport in the world.
If you would like to start a pickup game in your area, you've come to the right place. In this article, we are going to provide useful tips and guidelines to help you get started, including how to attract people who are interested in pickup soccer in your area, how to find an ideal space for your pickup soccer matches, and the equipment you'll need to ensure the safety of all players involved.
Attracting Players for Pickup Soccer
One of the first things you'll need to do when starting a pickup soccer game, is to get the word out that you are organising a pickup soccer session. This will ensure that you have enough interest from people in your area before you start looking for a place to play or start buying the necessary equipment.
You will need a minimum of 8 players to attend your pickup soccer game to create a 4v4 soccer match. However, if you can attract between 10 and 16 players to create a 5v5 or an 8v8 pickup soccer game, it would be ideal. A fantastic place to start is through social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
There are also loads of pickup soccer sites that you can visit to find players that would be interested in playing a game of pickup soccer. Some pickup soccer sites even offer innovative pickup soccer apps that will connect you with players or games in your area. More importantly, they will allow you to create your pickup soccer games and provide players that are interested in joining on the app itself. Furthermore, you can do a simple search on Google for "soccer pickup games near me" that will also give you an indication to the popularity of pickup soccer in your area which will help you establish if there are potential players in your area.
Another great way to attract players to your pickup soccer game is by placing advertisements in the local paper or on bulletin boards at nearby community centres. You can even leave pamphlets at local grocery stores or in each post box around your neighbourhood.
Finding an Ideal Space
Once you have enough people who are interested in playing pickup soccer, you will need to find a central space to play. There are several ways to find the perfect location for your pickup soccer games. You can look at a map displaying your neighbourhood and simply pick a park that is large enough for your pickup soccer games.
If you are unsure with regards to the availability of the park, locate a spot with nearby backup fields to ensure you have an alternative should the park be occupied on the day you wish to play. Google maps is the best way to locate a park or field when you use satellite view to get an actual image of the park. Another great way to find an open space is by contacting schools, universities, or surrounding colleges to find out when their sporting grounds are available for pickup soccer. You might need to pay a small fee to rent the space, but the upside to this is that you'll have most of the necessary equipment at your disposal if the school or college provides pickup soccer to their students.
Buying the Necessary Equipment
Now that you have enough players, and the perfect spot for your pickup soccer games, you will need to obtain the necessary equipment. Pickup soccer is a simplistic game that requires very little equipment to fully enjoy the game. If you are going to play at your local park, you will need two goal posts, a soccer ball, and a few cones to set up a field perimeter.
The most difficult thing you'll need to get are the goal posts, but most players simply use their bags to create the nets. Once you set up the soccer playing field, you will need to buy a few pinnies in different colours or simply ask the players to wear a specific colour to establish the teams. Those that are playing goalkeeper for your teams will also need a pair of gloves for added protection. You can either buy them yourself, ask the players in your group if they have any available, or request that each player contributes a certain amount to buy new goalkeeper gloves.
Regarding shoes, you can play with any type of shoe you feel like. However, ensure that your players are aware that metal cleats are not allowed to reduce injury to other players. Those that want added traction and grip are more than welcome to play with indoor shoes or turf shoes with rubber nubs. It's also beneficial to bring shin guards for added protection and water bottles to stay hydrated during the day.