American Soccer-Speedball



This very fun practice game is a combination of soccer and speedball strategy and tactics, together with the skills of American football and basketball.  A soccer ball is used, but it is to be passed and caught by hand among players throwing it to one another.  No traditional soccer kicking or dribbling is involved.


Teams score one point by successfully passing the ball from a player in the main field of play to a team-mate who must catch the ball cleanly in the opponent’s end zone.  Games may either be timed or a point total established to determine the winner.

Field Set-Up

The size of the field should be proportionate to the age group.  In general, the overall field should be approximately 80 yards long and 40 yards wide.  An End Zone 10 yards deep should be established at each end, leaving the Main Field approximately 60 yards long:

The four corners of both End Zones should be marked with cones and all other lines marked with practice discs.

American Soccer-Speedball Field Layout

American Soccer-Speedball Field Layout

Number of Players

The field is sized for approximately 7 players on both of two teams, for players age 13 years or older.  One team should wear scrimmage vests.

Method of Scoring

One point is awarded to a team which successfully has one player in the Main Field of play pass the ball to a team-mate who catches the ball cleanly within the opponent’s End Zone.  The receiving player must already be in the End Zone, either standing or running.  No points are awarded to players who run in to the End Zone with the ball to try to score.

Start and Resumption of Play

Teams determine which End Zones to attack and defend.  To start play, the coach simply gives the ball to one team to bring out of their own End Zone.  After a score, the defending team resumes play the same way.  All players of the defending team must be out of the opponent’s End Zone when play starts or is resumed.  Teams bringing the ball out may pass to players within their own End Zone.

Rules of Play

  • All players may go anywhere in the entire field of play (Main Field and both End Zones).
  • There is to be no contact.  (Deference is to be made on loose balls.)
  • Players advance the ball by throwing and catching, basketball- or football-style, in any direction.
  • No player may take more than three steps in possession of the ball.
  • There is to be no dribbling of any type, i.e., soccer, basketball-style, or “air” dribbling.
  • The ball may not be kicked.
  • A team may not score by running the ball into the End Zone.
  • Out-of-bounds results in a throw-in for the other team (does not have to be soccer-style).

Violation of the Rules of Play

Any violation of the Rules of Play by one team results in a free throw for the other team from the spot of the violation.

Soccer Coaching Tips:


  • Man-to-Man defense
  • Marking
  • Switching
  • Tracking
  • Goal-side defending
  • Cutting off passes
  • Transition from offense to defense
  • Situational awareness
  • Communications
  • Seeing the whole field (especially opportunities for long passes)
  • Movement (feints, speed), making runs to get open
  • Checking back to ball
  • Lateral runs
  • Back passes
  • Anticipation

© Copyright, John C. Harves