Junior Football in Cairns and Districts


Parents code of behaviour

Parents need to understand the philosophy of Optus Small-Sided Football and it will be through your support, assistance and positive behaviour the right environment will be created for your child to enjoy their football experience.

As a parent always remember
  • Remember that children participate in sport for their enjoyment, not yours
  • Encourage children to participate, do not force them
  • Let children play and learn by doing, limit constant instruction
  • Focus on your child’s efforts and performance rather than whether they win or lose
  • Encourage children to play according to the rules and spirit of the game
  • Encourage children and teams to keep control of ball
  • Ensure that the time players spend with you is a positive experience.
  • All young people are deserving of equal attention and opportunities
  • Never ridicule or yell at a child or team for making a mistake or losing
  • Remember that children learn best by example. Appreciate good performance and skilful plays by all participants
  • ‘Smart supporting’ – not loud and intense but calm, relaxed and at all times positive
  • Respect officials’ decisions and teach children to do likewise
  • Show appreciation for volunteer coaches, officials and administrators.
  • Without them, your child could not participate
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every young person regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion
Role of coach / parent helper

The major role of the coach / parent helper is to make the football experience of every player and their families as enjoyable as possible. This person will provide the best environment for children to learn and enjoy the game through organising fun game-based practices. Having good personal and organisational skills are most important for coaches and parent helpers working with children in this age group, to allow them to learn through playing the game with minimal instruction and a focus on player development.

Why change to Optus Small-Sided Football?

It makes the game of football a better experience for children. More touches on the ball, more opportunities to make decisions, more actual play. Players will be more active due to playing both attacking and defensive roles within a match and will understand the importance of team-mates and playing and working together.

Do other countries play small-sided football?

Small-sided football is played and endorsed throughout many countries including, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, England, Ireland, The Netherlands, Scotland, Germany, France, Korea and USA, to name a few. The idea of small-sided football is not new.

Benefits of Optus Small-Sided Football for your child

A significant amount of research has been conducted in countries where smallsided football is prevalent, which overwhelmingly highlight the following benefits:

  • more touches of the ball by all players throughout all areas of the pitch
  • more shots on goal and 1 v 1 opportunities
  • more efficient use of facilities, given there can be multiple games on one standard-size field, re-size existing smaller fields or make use of previously unused areas
  • repeated decision-making experience
  • the ball is in play far more often
  • the emphasis is on player development rather than winning or losing
  • better success rate leads to improved quality of play, self-esteem and player retention
  • the game is easier to understand
  • freedom of expression – no positions in early stages
  • less perceived pressure from coaches and parents
  • parents more likely to volunteer for Optus Small-Sided Football game leader roles
  • children enjoy the progressive and sequential game formats

The emphasis of Optus Small-Sided Football is on participation and enjoyment, and an associated removal of the current emphasis on the importance of winning.


Small-Sided Football

SSF For Parents
  Under 6 & 7 laws  
  Under 8 & 9 laws  
  Under 10 & 11 laws  
SSF Game Leader
Instructing Referee

The Small-Sided Game

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