Small Sided Games

What are Small Sided Games?

SSG are games with fewer players competing on a smaller-sized field. They are fun games that encourage players to have more contact with the ball because fewer players are playing in a smaller playing area. SSG have a definite developmental impact on younger players. The more confidence that players have in their own ability and the greater the level of enjoyment that they derive from developing and expressing this, the more likely they are to maintain a lifelong involvement in Gaelic Games.


Why Change to Small Sided Games?

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.

 What are the Benefits of Small Sided Games?

  • Promotes full participation by all
  • Caters for the development needs of all players
  • Maximum enjoyment derived from involvement
  • More touches of the ball by all players throughout all areas of the pitch
  • More shots on goal
  • More efficient use of facilities (multiple games on pitch)
  • Repeated decision making experience
  • The ball is in play more often
  • Emphasis on player development rather than winning and 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 stress on players
  • Less perceived pressure from parents and coaches
  • Parents are more likely to volunteer for SSG’s


The emphasis of SSG is on participation and enjoyment, and an associated removal of the current emphasis on the importance of winning. Children are much more likely to enjoy their football playing experience, will be keen to play more often and are less likely to drop out of the game. Clubs, coaches, team mentors and parents play the most important role in creating the right environment for SSG and need to stress and adhere to SSG playing conditions.


 The views……