Pickup Soccer Do's and Don'ts
Pickup soccer is essentially a casual game which usually doesn't have any membership fees or skill requirements. It's purely for the love of the game and anyone can join in on the fun. Most pickup soccer games can take place at any time, anywhere, while others are organised among players in advance.
Although pickup soccer is much more casual than competitive soccer games, there is still a wide range of things that are acceptable while playing the game and things that won't be tolerated. In this article, we are going to explore pickup soccer do's and don'ts, look at how you can find pickup soccer games in your area, and answer a couple of frequently asked questions surrounding pickup soccer.
Pickup Soccer Do's and Don'ts
DO: Respect a player when a call is made. There are no referees in pickup soccer, making it difficult to officiate the game. Therefore, it's your responsibility to be as realistic and fair as possible. You also shouldn't be afraid to raise your hand and call a foul when another player knocks you down or when you trip another player.
DON'T: Be that one player that continuously harps at other team members. Some players are always going to be less than extraordinary, but that doesn't give you the right to yell at your team members for a simple miskick. A game of pickup soccer is supposed to have an upbeat atmosphere which allows new people to be active and more importantly, have fun.
DO: Show up 15 minutes prior to the start of the game to prepare. A warm-up will help you prevent any muscle cramps or injuries during play. Showing up early will also greatly increase your chances of obtaining your favourite position in the game.
DON'T: Become a cherry picker. Although there is no official offside rule when it comes to pickup soccer, there's no need to stay at the goalpost to ensure you get an easy shot once your team gets possession of the ball. Rather participate in the game and make it easier for your team members to pass the ball to you.
DO: Bring your own pinnies. Even though some places might offer pinnies to assist in dividing teams, you will be better off bringing your own to avoid the lingering smell from a bag filled with used pinnies. Another alternative is using coloured shirts (red/blue) to divide teams.
DON'T: Become a ball hog. Even if you have skills like Messi and wish to show them off to your teammates, it will reduce the fun factor and potentially give the other team possession of the ball. Rather pass the ball between each other to ensure everyone gets an opportunity to play the game.
DO: Ensure you apologize to anyone you injure during a game. Even if you accidentally run into each other or perhaps trip someone while trying to get the ball. Apologizing for the incident will go a long way, so play nice.
DON'T: Attempt to play a match of pickup soccer if it's your first time. Although players will have various skill levels, it's better to first learn the rules of pickup soccer and watch a game before you embarrass yourself or even get injured.
DO: Utilize substitutions when needed. There will usually be enough players in pickup soccer games to have substitutions. Even if you think your playtime should match your skill level, this isn't the premier league, there's no need to bench a player for an entire game. Be fair when it comes to switching positions and rotating players.
DON'T: Attempt any side tackles, regardless of the situation. This is one of the main causes of severe injuries occurring in a game of pickup soccer, especially if you have no idea what you are doing.
How to Find Pickup Soccer Games
There are several innovative ways to find pickup soccer games in your area. The easiest way is to simply use an internet browser, such as Google or Firefox, and search for soccer pickup games near me. Soccer pickup games are quite popular across the globe and therefore you can also find a wide variety of mobile apps on both Android and iOS devices.
Simply download the pickup soccer app and search for the nearest games in your area. If you don't find any pickup soccer games in your area, why not start a game on your own? There are usually hundreds of strangers looking to play a game of pickup soccer but none of them thinks of organising a game themselves.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is a pickup soccer game?
Most pickup soccer games have two halves with each halve usually lasting between 20 and 30 minutes. This goes for all leagues and age groups as well.
How do free kicks and throw-ins work?
All out-of-bounds free kicks, corners, and stoppages are indirect and must be taken as a dead ball from the ground. Penalty kicks can be taken from the top centre of the keeper's box.
Are cleats allowed in pickup soccer games?
Cleats will not be allowed in most pickup soccer games to reduce injury. These include rubber, plastic, and metal cleats. However, you can use indoor shoes or turf shoes in pickup soccer games.
How does substitution work?
Substitutions are always made at centerfield and all active players are required to first exit at centerfield before a substitution is allowed on the field. Please also keep in mind that a 2-minute penalty can be issued to a team that has more than the maximum number of players on the field.