The season schedule is available on the website and shows which teams are playing against each other and which field they are on. Our spring season generally starts in mid-April, depending on when the town releases the fields to us. Our fall seasons generally starts in early September. Both seasons consist of 8 games over 9 weeks (no games Memorial Day or Columbus Day weekends).
Communicating with your team is critical. It is best to err on the side of over-communication. Prior to the start of the season, send an introductory email welcoming everyone to your team and introducing yourself. It is also best to send at least one email per week with game, practice and clinic info. All emails to your team must be sent from TeamSnap.
A mandatory coaches clinic for all U6, U8, and U10 head and assistant coaches will be held prior to the start of each season. Come ready to play and participate! Bring a soccer ball, water, and plenty of energy.
Equipment bags are issued to each team and contain balls, cones, pinnies, ice packs, and a first aid kit. Bags must be returned at the end of the last game of the season. Be sure to remove all trash, debris, and other non-equipment items prior to returning the bag. If you need additional ice packs or first aid supplies, please email email@example.com.
Coach and Player Shirts
All coaches and players must wear their team shirt during games. For those teams with extra shirts, please return them to one of the In-Town Directors as soon as possible.
All coaches must have a valid coaching credential (aka, a lanyard). Original identification materials (not copies) must be validated in person by our registrar. If for some reason you have not done yours or you need to have a new one done, please contact our registrar (firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information about what’s required, reference the Adult Registration Process.
Grassroots 4v4 License
We strongly recommend all head and assistant coaches obtain their Grassroots 4v4 License thru U.S. Soccer. The class can be taken online. After obtaining your certification, you may submit your receipt to our treasurer for reimbursement.
Practices and Clinics
For U6, a 30-minute practice takes place immediately before each game on Sundays. For U8, coaches will select one night per week to hold a one-hour practice.
Pepperell Soccer brings in an affiliate coach to lead weekly player clinics throughout the season. Each clinic lasts about an hour and coaches are expected to actively participate in the clinics, proactively assisting the lead coach and helping to control players.
Player Lesson Plans
Need ideas of drills to run with the kids? U6 Weekly Planning Lessons and U8 Weekly Planning Lessons from Mass Youth Soccer’s website are available for download. It is always best to arrive at pracatice with a clear plan on how you will use the limited time you have with the players. Feel free to reach out to us or fellow coaches if you need ideas or watch someone else’s practice.
All practices during the week are to be held on Leao Fields in areas that do not overlap other playing fields. Please keep your teams off of any U10, U12, or U14 fields and away from the larger goals during practices.
If the fields are closed, the Field Status on the Pepperell Soccer homepage will be updated. Games will be called no less than 1 hour prior to start time, except in emergencies. If you are on the field and it starts thundering or lightning, please call the game immediately and have the players leave the field.
Net Set-up and Clean-up
U6 coaches – please put the nets in place when you arrive on Sundays.
U8 coaches – please move the nets into place for U8 games when you arrive and then bring them back to the fence line after the game.
Be sure each player is getting adequate time out on the field during games. Oftentimes younger kids would rather play with the grass than run around – it is up to the coaching staff to find unique ways to get players out on the field and want to play. Don’t let the players dictate who plays when. It is also important to ensure a balanced match-up with the opposing team. If one player continually grabs the ball, runs down the field, and scores… have them pass the ball to another player before shooting.
Every team will have a team parent who is responsible for organizing the snack schedule, distributing raffle tickets, getting the coaches certificates signed, handing out pictures, and sending reminders to the team for you. They are a very valuable resource and the commitment is minimal. If any teams are without a team parent, please let us know and we can look and see if any parents on your team volunteered to be a team parent during the time of registration.
Our in-town referees are generally players from our U10 and U12 divisions. Referees are responsible for checking in all players and control the game clock. It is up to the ref as to when the game starts and stops. Like your players, our referees are new and learning as they go.
If a played drops out and/or decides not to play, please let the In-Town Directors know ASAP. We may have a waiting list and can slide another player into that spot.
Fall Classic (U8 only)
The Fall Classic is a three-day tournament open to teams from all over New England. It is held on Columbus Day weekend right here in Pepperell. U8 teams are highly encouraged to participate, as it is a great introduction to playing against non-Pepperell teams. U8 teams play 3 games, all on one day. More information is available at http://fallclassic.pepperellsoccer.org/.
U8 Coaches – Please reach out to your team to see who might be interested in playing in the Fall Classic and let us know as soon as possible. You can enter a team, or enter as many kids that want to participate from your team and combine teams to play. A separate practice will be held for the U8 players who are participating in the Fall Classic so they can become familiar with the format.
A fall raffle is conducted to help support Pepperell Soccer. Raffle tickets will be distributed to team parents in early September. Please ensure these are given to everyone on your team. If you need additional raffle books, please let us know. Please collect the money from the players on your team and someone from the Board will then come to your practice or game before the final game of the season to collect the money and raffle tickets from each coach. The raffle raised over $2500 last year to help pay for some league costs, so participation from all families is kindly requested.
Field Lining Schedule (U8 only)
The field lining schedule is sent to all coaches prior to the start of the season. Each U8 team is assigned 1 or 2 days to line the fields. Field lining takes approximately an hour. The supplies are located in the yellow bin at Glow Field. The combination is included in the email to each coach. Please handle the equipment with care and keep the equipment boxes neat and tidy. Last year, some equipment was damaged. Do not place striping equipment on top of the flags!
Please make sure you LOCK the boxes when you are done. The fields are typically mowed on Friday, so field lining must be completed between Friday evening and 10am Sunday morning. Lines must be completed no later than 10am on Sunday to allow ample drying time. Please remember to mark center line of goal and midfield kick off spot.