Play FUNiño this Summer!

The Basics

On Tuesdays in June, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays in July, from 6pm until dark, Decatur Soccer is organizing FREE FUNiño games. We will be at Jack Allen in June, and Point Mallard in July.

What is FUNiño?

FUNiño is four-goal game created by Horst Wein, the world’s foremost authority on developing youth soccer players. Everything about the game of FUNiño is designed to teach young players “game intelligence” in an optimal setting where the game is the teacher and the rules are the instructions. Professional youth academy and grassroots teams all over Spain, Germany, Italy and many other places around the world use the game of FUNiño and the broader FUNiño training methodology as their primary means of player development.

The video below is footage from a FUNiño coaching clinic Horst Wein led in Poland. It starts at 16 minutes into the video to show how the game is played.

Kids love to play FUNiño and here are a few reasons why:

  • There is a lot of goal scoring and most everyone scores
  • Extremely fast pace of play – much faster than standard soccer game
  • No set positions – everyone attacks and everyone defends – no goal keepers
  • Automatic rotation of players means everyone plays about the same amount of time

How Play Nights Work

First of all: Coaches from Decatur Soccer will be on hand to facilitate the games and teach players the simple rules of the game. Coaching, if any, will be very limited. Parents, please leave the desire to shout instructions to your player in the car. This is strictly for the kids to have fun and adults need to stay out of their way whenever possible.

  • There are two fields for 7, 8, and 9 year olds.
  • There is one field for 10 and 11 year olds.

When players arrive, they will be given a vest and placed on a team. Each field will support three teams of four players with two teams playing for 8-10 minutes and one team resting. We will try to balance teams to make the games as much fun as possible for everyone.

A Guide to Playing FUNiño

This is a simple explanation of how to play the game of FUNiño.

In FUNiño, both teams rotate players after each goal is scored. This insures that players get equal playing time and it also lets coaches focus on the game and player performance rather than managing playing time.

Lots of goals! That’s what kids love most about playing FUNiño. Each team has two goals in which to score. However, goals can only be scored within the scoring zone as seen above. The scoring zone encourages players to possess the ball and build an attack instead of just shooting from distance.

Soccer is all about players solving problems, not the coaches making decisions for the players – or at least it is supposed to be that way. FUNiño is designed to teach players the problem solving skills required for the Beautiful Game! When the ball goes out of bounds, there are NO THROW-INS! Instead, the player must choose to dribble the ball in or pass to a teammate.

FUNiño teaches players to value possession of the ball. If my team has the ball, the other team can’t score! When the ball goes out past the end-line, the result is always a restart for the defending team at the top of the scoring zone. There are NO CORNERS. However, instead of a booming, hopeful kick, the player with the ball must choose to either dribble the ball in or pass to a teammate. This teaches the players without the ball to move to open spaces or create space for the ball carrier to dribble.