skip navigation

About the Bruce Samlan Soccer League

It's all about the kids...

In existence for 35 years, the Bruce Samlan Soccer League (BSSL) has always focused on the kids and fostering/improving their enjoyment of the game.  A recreational league, the Bruce Samlan Soccer League is about teaching the game in a small-sided format (see below text box), allowing players to "learn by doing", make mistakes and to "enjoy the game".   BSSL offers soccer for all children ages 4-17 and everyone plays.

Recreational soccer focuses on player development in many positions and not just limited to instruction in one position (i.e., Outside Midfielder).  Many younger players will naturally gravitate toward a position that is comfortable (easy) but this might not challenge the player to develop necessary skills for follow-on (older) divisions and many players who start off in one spot (defense, midfield, forward) often find their niche later in other positions. 

As many teenage soccer players will tell you,  once you understand the game, you can play soccer in any position.  Here's to your player's journey in soccer... we are very honored to help facilitate.


Why Small-Sided Soccer?
Small-sided soccer is about what is best for young soccer players.  Small-sided soccer applies to even the highest levels of the sport as most players cannot pass to all 10 teammates on the field at any time, it is the "game within a game" removed from 21 other players on the field and applied in a smaller setting where your player(s) receive more touches and make more decisions with the ball.  Small-sided soccer allows players to learn through the game by trying new techniques, learning when a teammate is open, when to pass, when to dribble, when to finish (score).  It is the best starting position for learning the game and most easily adapted by younger players.

Young soccer players need special consideration

  • They are children playing a child’s game.
  • They must be regarded as young children, not mini adults.
  • They are essentially self-oriented and relate naturally to one or two others, not to large groups.
  • Fun and activity factors must be a central part of a child-centered program.

Educators agree early learning experiences are the most important and produce the most retention

  • Most children cannot sustain prolonged activity.
  • They function best in suitable starts and stops (rest periods).
  • Concentration span is limited, so frequent changes of pace and activity are essential.

Children love to learn

  • They learn a great deal more when the ratio of teacher (coach) to student (player) is reduced.
  • With small numbers and the simple nature of the game, the best teacher is the game itself.
  • With fewer players on the field, each player gets more touches of the ball and has greater opportunity to change location in a fast-flowing, fluid game.
  • Playing small-sided allows players to make simpler decisions and develop an earlier, better understanding of organization of play.
  • Smaller fields mean more players are directly involved in play, creating increased levels of both concentration and interest.
  • The reduced field size encourages more shots on goal by all players, therefore more goals scored.

Residual benefits

  • Parents are introduced to the game in smaller, more understandable doses.
  • Small-sided soccer is a great place to train new referees.
  • The rest of the world is playing small-sided, and we are part of the soccer world.

Small-Sided Soccer developed these players-see August '16 Development Guidelines

U.S. Youth Soccer Small-Sided Soccer studies and initiatives

Coaches have kept sports alive in 2020. Has your kid's coach helped them through this crisis?Nominate them   for a chance to win $2500!