No coaches, no coaching, no substitutes

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How it works

Each team has four players. If a player can't play for any reason, then that team can either find a friend to play instead, or play with just three players (3v4).

All adults will adhere to the Code of Conduct for the event. There will be no coaches or coaching from parents or spectators.

There will be no team-kits. If Team Organisers want to arrange for their team to wear the same colour, they can. Or there will be bibs available if the children want them.

Our Mini-Leagues last for just three or four weeks, so you can enjoy being part of a team without having to commit to the usual 8-month-long football season. All our Mini-League games are held at the same local venue so you don't need to spend hours in a weekend traffic jam searching for a distant away game venue. (Children's football shouldn't be about traffic jams or getting frozen on icey fields).

There are two types of Mini-League: The Summer Mini-League and the Indoor Mini-League. Read below for a description of each.

Indoor Mini-Leagues

The Indoor Mini League is a competitive, indoor tournament for 4-aside teams. We have referees, keep scores and update league tables after each set of games.

However, there are no coaches or coaching. Parents and spectators watch games from a viewing area, and the children play uninterrupted by adult instruction or tuition.

Summer Mini-Leagues

The Summer Mini League is a non-competitive, outdoor event for children of all ages and abilities. We do not keep scores and we do not have league tables.

The children will referee their own games, under the supervision of MoF Coaches. There will be a variety of small-sided game formats used. Some may need goalkeepers, other won't. We will use a variety of different goalposts also - some small pop-up goals, and other larger Samba goals.

In the event of very bad weather, we will postpone games for a week. But be prepared to play in any weather.


4v4: Evaluation Page

The first-ever Ministry of Football 4v4 Summer Mini-League took place in July 2011. 22 teams took part, and a total of over 100 children played and enjoyed mini-football in the sunshine.

The first-ever Indoor Mini-League took place in November 2011, with 12 teams competing across two divisions. Congratulations to Rock United and Lesterpool FC on winning their divisions. 16 teams took part in the Indoor Mini-Leagues in 2012, with 8 teams in each division.

There were three Mini-Leagues in 2013 and a further two in 2014. In 2015, one of our MoF coaches, Pete Samways, started the 4v4 event at Fortismere on Saturday afternoons to provide small-sided games for teams of four on a weekly basis. You can read about this here:



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4v4 Summer Mini-Leagues

June/July 2015 Mini-League

Aims and objectives:

  • For children to enjoy playing outdoor football in the summer with their friends;
  • For children to learn through experimentation and collaboration with others; challenge from other similar-ability children; and lots of involvement in small-sided games;
  • For coaches to observe and evaluate children's skill levels and assess group learning needs, in order to plan for future sessions, programmes and interventions


Sunday 28 June and Sunday 5 July


Astro-turf at Fortismere School, N10 1NE (the astro is behind the sports hall)


5pm Sunday groups: 4pm-6pm

6pm Sunday groups: 5pm-7pm

7pm Sunday groups: 6pm-8pm

So, all children will need to arrive an hour earlier than their notmal sessions on these days.

4pm groups will have their sessions as normal, but outdoors on the astro turf.


Children will be grouped into teams, and these teams will comprise children from both the Red and Yellow groups. Teams will play a round-robin of games on the first Sunday (28 June), and then group games and finals on the second Sunday (5 July).

Children will need to confirm in advance if they can attend both Sundays.

If children want to form their own teams for the event, then this may be possible. If children want to form teams of children who are not at MoF Sunday sessions, then this may be possible as long as at least one MoF child is in the team. Non-MoF children will need to pay £15 for the event. Parents will need to get in touch with Mark before end of May 2015 to arrange this. After this, it will not be possible to add more teams or amend teams.

Teams of children and an exact timetable of fixtures will be posted here at the beginning of June.

We will require parent volunteers to help out with refereeing games. Rules will be straightforward. Your help is much appreciated. (Contrary to the graphic below, we will use referees to manage the games and help the children with rules; We will not have coaches or team organisers at this event).

Values, behaviour and ethos:

The Mini-League will be competitive and winning teams will be celebrated in a brief ceremony following the final games on the second Sunday. Parents and spectators are welcomed to come along and support and enjoy the football, however are reminded that it is the children's event. A firm and strict set of rules and conducts exist and these are expected to be adhered to (see below).

The Mini-League will be run according to MoF values of learning, enjoyment, inclusion and creativity. All children will play in all games, there will be no substitutes, and all children will have the same number of games and equal playing time.  


Summer Mini-Leagues

The first Summer Mini-League ran for three weeks in July 2011. It was a friendly, non-competitive event. For a full review of this event, including parent feedback click here. Get in touch with Mark if you have any questions  - 07772 716 87607772 716 876.

A typical set-up for a MoF Summer Mini-League can be seen below.


Downloads and links:

Team Organiser job description

Code of Conduct for adults and spectators

For Parents page

Parent and Child feedback from previous Mini-Leagues:

"We liked the short, quick-paced, fun games and that the small teams allowed a lot of time on the ball."

"Kids of all abilities were able to join in and have fun!"

"Good way to meet and play with/against boys and girls that you didn't already know, so encourages the kids to work as a team even more!"

"It gave the young ones a chance to play in a game without too much pressure, and the main thing is they all enjoyed it."

"Noah really enjoyed playing the matches and gained in confidence by the final week."

"Sense of community it created. Getting the kids active."

"I loved the opportunity for William to play some competitive football without spending every weekend trawling round in the wet! He got to play every minute of every match - no subs!"

"Clear information, good communication around organisation of event."

"Brilliant concept. Creates a unique and additional environment for learning."