How to Play Good Soccer Without Running Up Score
6 Ideas for How to Not Run Up the Score in Soccer Games
Running Up the Soccer Score Can Be Bad for Your Team Because It Makes Them Overconfident & They Start to Play Slow and Sloppy
Not Running Up the Score is Good Sportsmanship AND It Is Also Better for Your Team
The Challenge is Finding a Way that Still Makes Your Players Play Fast and Try Hard and Doesn't Change the Style of Play or Soccer Formation You Are Trying to Teach

Following are some ideas I like from the Premium Forum about how to avoid running up the soccer score against a weak team:

Letter # 7:

Our soccer league has a mandatory "play short" when the differential gets to 5 goals. At the U8/U10 level we play 5+ Keeper on the field at a time and you can end up with situations where you have only 1 player on the field. (I've only seen it twice).


Letter # 8:

When your team is way ahead, play three touch, so every player can only touch the ball three times (and the ball must either be passed, shot or surrendered). If the team can successfully keep possession with this restriction try using the left foot only or passing backwards once in a while to make things more difficult. It is really can be a great training tool.


Letter # 9:

One of the best ideas I've heard is to play without a Goalie -- you can let your Goalie play in the field as a Forward and play without a Goalie. This is a great training tool and is similar to the "Small Sided Scrimmage Without A Goalie" Practice Game because it forces all the field players to play tough defense and block shots. I've talked to coaches who tried this and it worked well.


Letter # 10:

Here's another - tell them that everyone but defenders are to play left foot ONLY. If they are left footed, they are right foot only. That definitely helps even up the game, and gives your team work on something they probably don't spend enough time on.


Letter # 11:

We had a game like this last week. We play different variations of a keep away game in practice, sometimes for over an hour. One variation is to see how many consecutive passes we can make without losing possession. If that gets too easy, we restrict the players to 2 touches total. If they've touched it twice and the ball still isn't distributed, they have to kick the ball to the other team.

These games are rare and it's a no win situation. The other team can take this as showing them up, but I'm also not willing to put up more than 5 goals in a very lopsided affair. We've been on the receiving end of a 20+ goal blowout and some of my kids came off bawling.


Letter # 12:

There is one other idea I've used and that is if you have a player that hasn't scored that season, tell your players to get that player the ball so they can score, and that only that weak player can shoot. Particularly at the young ages in rec leagues, you need to be careful about any method of not slaughtering the opponents so the weaker team doesn't feel that you are taking it easy on them.