Six-year-old soccer is comic relief for the huddled masses of chilly suburban parents who congregate on the sidelines. The game consists mainly of a herd of little guys and gals collectively stampeding after the ball, with various members occasionally stopping to graze, socialize, or demonstrate karate moves. The coaches, who I’m convinced would do better on horseback, encircle the group, lassoing the wayward young ones who take off toward the wrong goal, and shouting reminders that the kids do have positions, the most important position being on the field. They also have to use their timeouts to convince a few of the kids that they can’t be quarterback, because there isn’t one in soccer.
I actually wouldn’t be surprised if Josh’s team burst into a game of freeze tag in the middle of a game. Sometimes I think certain members of the team forget they are in the middle of a game (this applies to Josh in particular).
Strategy is sophisticated at this age, consisting of stealth tactics and spying on the other team. They aren’t supposed to bring special equipment for this, but….well, there is no body cavity search. It’s very hard to distinguish strategy sessions from distractions. There is a lot of social networking that goes on while the ball is…well, anywhere.
I was particularly amused by one little huddle of kids that were supposed to be playing defense. They were deep in conversation, and I wondered what they would do if the ball came their way. As it turns out, their conversation was actually game-related. After the game Josh told me their strategy session. The basic plan: kick it in the goal
The real secret to their strategy lay in sending one of their defense players downfield with the ball to try to score. Losing one of the defenders was not a huge loss, because a) the strategy did result in a goal, and b) even if the ball had come to their end, their defense strategy consisted mainly of jumping up and down while the other team scored against them.
All-in-all, a very enjoyable experience. Would have been more so if the temperature had been above 40. But there are worse ways to spend a Saturday.