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Soccer Parents KICK, June 2004 -- Guide to Buying Soccer Uniforms!
June 05, 2004

WOW! Hot off the press. Well, ok, not quite. Anyway, here's the latest and greatest.


Table of Contents

1. Editor’s Corner Kick
2. The Laws of The Game – Law 2
3. Soccer Game: 6 v 2 Passing
4. The Secret to Buying Uniforms

1. Editor’s Corner Kick

I am thrilled to introduce in this edition of Soccer Parents KICK guest writer Jerry Macnamara, owner of

Not just a former soccer player, Jerry has been in the soccer retail industry for many years. From his early beginnings as the “iron on” guy to more recently running the operations for the largest soccer retailer in the United States, Jerry brings an insiders view of the soccer retail industry with a wealth of knowledge and experience. As parents and local volunteers, I am confident you will find his articles extremely informative and beneficial.

The first article from Jerry is on buying soccer uniforms.

A forum, anyone?? To be or not to be, that is the question. I am toying with the idea of putting a forum together for parents and volunteers. If you have ever participated in one before, you know that a forum is only as good as the participants. Parents, coaches, referees, and soccer administrators willing to share ideas and help others in a friendly forum is what I have in mind. If you think you would benefit or would participate, please let me know. Thanks.

Last but not least, I wanted to say a big thank you for the feedback last month. Every little bit helps.

Along those lines, I have put together a little more in-depth survey on Fall and Spring soccer seasons. Please take a couple of minutes to fill it out so I can continue to better target the newsletter content. Yes, I even want to hear from the Southern Hemisphere folk! Thanks!!

Go to the survey now!

2. The Laws of The Game – Law 2

Law 2 is titled “The Ball”.

The FIFA Laws of the Game pertain only to the official size 5 soccer ball. The smaller size 3 and 4 balls are not regulated by FIFA.

Here are the basics on the official size 5.

The ball is:

  • spherical (no kidding!)
  • made of leather or other suitable material
  • circumference between 27 in. (68 cm) and 28 in. (70 cm)
  • weight between 14 oz. (410 g) and 16 oz. (450 g)
  • pressure equal to 0.6 – 1.1 atmospheres (8.5 – 15.6 psi)

You will notice a pretty wide range of pressure for a soccer ball. It is the referee’s job to inspect all game balls prior to the game and to ask the home team to correct any problems – usually to adjust the pressure if needed.

If the ball bursts or becomes defective during play, the match is stopped and restarted by dropping the replacement ball at the point where the first ball became defective.

What about the size 3 and size 4 soccer balls? Good question.

Here are the specifications for the smaller balls according to the US Youth Soccer Association:

  • Size 3 - Circumference of 23-24 in., Weight of 11-12 oz.
  • Size 4 - Circumference of 25-26 in., Weight of 11-13 oz.

For a more complete discussion of soccer rules (the FIFA version) visit the Soccer Rule Page.

If you really want to learn the rules yourself you should try the two-hour audio download of youth soccer expert Karl Dewazien explaining the Laws of The Game. Check out my review and you will see why I can recommend this without qualification!

3. Soccer Game: 6 v 2 Passing

This exercise is designed for 10 – 14 year olds and as such it feels a bit more like a drill than a game. Nevertheless it isn’t too hard for the kids to turn it into a game and have a lot of fun with it.

Six Against Two in a Square

This game can be found on Page 58 of Organizing Your Youth Soccer Team.

Equipment: 1 ball, 4 cones
Area Size: 15 x 15 meters


Six players move along the touchlines (sides of the square). These six players pass to each other so that two players chasing the ball cannot break up the play. The six can move along all sides and corners of the square, but cannot change positions among themselves. The players in the middle try to get control of the ball or force one of the six to miss a pass to the outside of the square. It is enough to make a change if one of the defenders just touches the ball. The one who has been in the middle longest changes with the player who either made a missed pass or did not get to the ball in time.


In the square, practice a better passing play that creates the ability to play in tighter match-related situations. Even though the situations change with every new pass, there are strict requirements for every player: understanding and individual control in a short time span.

The following basic understandings should be practiced for a good passing play in the square.

  1. Play distance. The ball handler should in every situation have the following:
    • Two short passing alternatives. Two players get close to the ball handler, a maximum three meters on each side.
    • At least one long passing alternative. One or more players can be reached with a long pass.
  2. Passing shadow. A player in the passing shadow is totally useless to the ball handler. Every new pass forces the teammates of the ball handler to decide whether they are in the passing shadow. If they are, they should move out.
  3. Passing feint. The feint is a good method for overtaking an opposing player who is rushing in (e.g., a player who fakes a pass one way and then passes in another direction).
  4. Play depth/support.
    • The ball handler should be able to pass the ball a good distance, diagonally or straight across, to a teammate on the other side of the square.
    • The ball handler should have players on each side giving support.
  5. The quality of the pass.
    • Keep the ball on the ground.
    • Make the pass easy to receive (i.e., correct speed)
    • Due to pressure from the opposition, make volley and head passes to keep the passing game going.
  6. Change between short and long passes. To advance, dare to keep the ball and play many short passes drawing the two in the square closer. Then make a long pass.
  7. Look up. Even before a player receives a pass, he or she should have it clearly in mind where the new pass should go.
  8. Talk. The teammates should, in practice as well as the game, give information to each other concerning the play.

With inexperienced players it is recommended to start with two- or three-touch (stop the ball, control, and pass). Your goal should be one-touch.

Count the passes until someone in the middle touches the ball.

The square gives practice a game-like passing situation and is very good as a starting exercise for a practice session. After some practice the passing game is bound to improve considerably, but the ultimate result is reached after constant repetition of practices in the square.

Those are some great coaching points to keep in mind when playing other soccer games or drills as well!

Soccer game courtesy of
Organizing Your Youth Soccer Team
Online Soccer Drill and Coaching Ebook

Help for Parents – Learn Soccer the Easy Way
Are you still struggling to learn the game?

Still don’t understand the basic rules?

Are you guessing about the proper techniques for passing and shooting a soccer ball?

Don’t know how to teach the kids to play in different areas of the field?

I have a godsend for you - The Clueless Parents 3-Pack. It will cover all of these basics and much, much more. Do yourself a favor and CHECK IT OUT!

4. The Secret to Buying Uniforms

The Secret to Buying Uniforms – Order Early!

Jerry Macnamara

It’s that time of year – soccer season is creeping up on us! While the lead-up is an exciting time for players and parents, it can distress the volunteer buyers inside clubs who are charged with the responsibility of outfitting players from head-to-toe.

As a volunteer buyer, there are a number of factors that you will consider. Among the important factors in your decision process:

  • Price versus budget – what can we afford?
  • Style of the jersey and overall look of the uniform – does it match the “club look”?
  • Quality of the product – does it meet our expectations?
  • Availability of colors – does the company offer what you require?
  • What vendor am I going to select to purchase the uniforms? Who do I trust?

    The single issue that drives each buyer’s extreme stress level is on-time delivery. Every buyer who has been faced with hoards of angry parents without uniforms on Opening Day will attest, “The Bitterness of poor quality or an untimely delivery remains long after the sweetness of low price is gone!” Every buyer will agree that it is far better to have your second (or third or fourth) uniform choice on-time than your first uniform choice late. No other consideration can compare to ensuring you have your uniforms at kick-off time!

    Since everyone in the country begins playing soccer at about the same time of year (after Labor Day), the most important aspect of being successful in your uniform pursuit is ordering early. Clubs can help volunteer buyers immeasurably by registering players early (or holding tryouts early). Do it in June instead of July – May instead of June – April instead of May - you get the point. By signing up players early, teams can be formed and the volunteer buyer will be prepared to place an order that meets all of the club’s considerations in a timely manner – instead of being relegated to other less desirable or more costly options at a later date. If you wait until July 15th – the time at which every other club is ordering – your club isn’t being fair to buyer or your players. It risks the heart of taking the field in style and on budget. Make the change to early registration today!

    You can learn more tricks of the trade by visiting The Insider’s Guide to Buying Soccer Uniforms and Equipment presented by

    Jerry Macnamara, the owner of, is a fifteen year industry veteran who has traveled both the US and internationally for soccer. As a result of his experience, he has been certified as an expert in the US retail soccer industry. TotallySoccer was formed to help clubs save time, money and tons of stress in the buying process.

    Pass It On - Feel free to KICK the newsletter downfield to any friends, parents, or coaches who could use the information.

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