One of three annual soccer festival events took place at the Virgil Sports Park Saturday, with games for members of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Minor Soccer Club.
While Monday nights are for skills development, with a short game at the end of each session, Saturday was an opportunity for the teams to get out on the field and play.
Coach and parent Joe Pagnotta explained the current Ontario Soccer Association development model is to have all youngsters divided by age but not by team — they train together, and then are divided into groups to play a brief game.
Pagnotta runs the Timbits age group, for kids ages four to seven.
There are about 40 players in the under-six age group and another 40 in the under-seven. They use nets but no goalies at that age, and they don’t keep score, he said.
“It’s great to get kids out on the field. Some of them at this age really want to learn the game, and will go on to become good players, and some just want to get out and run. It’s a good introduction to the sport, and they’re all having fun.”