Youth Soccer Gear: Basic Needs
One of the great things about youth soccer is that it isn’t an expensive sport. Players need a ball, shoes, shin guards, socks, a jersey and water. In the scheme of youth sports, that’s not so bad.
Soccer cleats are leather (or synesthetic) sneakers with short rubber cleats on the bottom, (metal cleats are not allowed). In U6 or U8, cleats are suggested, but not required. Any type of athletic shoe for little ones is fine, as long as it fits and provides good support. Cleats probably have 2 or 3 seasons in them; shoes which have been handed down too many times may become unstable and no longer capable of providing the support a young player needs. The older kids will prefer the gripping power of a good cleat. Remember, kids grow out of shoes fast, so check often to see if it is time to replace the shoes. Also, for long laces, tie them around the shoe at the ball of the foot never tie laces around the ankles.
Soccer is definitely a contact sport. Kids will get bumped, kicked, tripped and more. Reduce injury where you can by wearing shin guards at every practice and game. Socks are worn OVER the shin guards. No plastic should be visible when the player is properly equipped. For shin guards with built-in ankle protection (usually preferred by younger players), attach the guard to the leg and then pull the socks over them. For insert guards without ankle protection, players put on their socks and cleats on before positioning their shin guard.
Drink fluids, preferably WATER; before, during and after practices and games. Even in the cold weather water is needed to avoid dehydration, or worse yet, heat illness. Every player should have his or her own water bottle WITH THEIR NAME on it.
Every child needs to have an appropriate size ball. Chester Soccer Club does have some balls at the fields and will provide coaches with a couple of balls for games and drills, but it is the player’s responsibility to see that they have a ball with them at EACH practice. Below are the size guides. PLEASE WRITE YOUR NAME AND PHONE NUMBER ON THE BALL. They will all look the same when the sun goes down.
- U6 & U8* – ball size 3
- U8*, U10, U12 – ball size 4
- U15 & U18 – ball size 5
*(U8 can go either way, use which ever is more comfortable for your child)
In Chester we save costs and landfill space by using one, reversible jersey, year after year. Home or Away you will always show up with the right shirt when you are from Chester! The jersey is a required purchase at every age level, but not every year.
All jerseys are available from the recreation department. Order at the time of registration or pay by check at the Back to School BBQ or Town Fair. (U18 has a different single layer shirt, with numbers, still available through Recreation).
Optional Uniform Items.