State of the Game
Sky Sports News' six-part series on grassroots football
Last Updated: 12/08/08 11:49am
Earlier this year, Sky Sports News took a close look at all aspects of grassroots football in this country.
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DAN ROAN'S BLOG
Read it here
State Of The Game focussed on different areas of the national game, such as youth football, women's football, the future of the 11-a-side game and behaviour, from players, officials and supporters - and steps being taken to improve it.
If you missed the series, or want to take another look at our investigations, you can catch up with the videos, blogs and reports below...
Week Six: Youth Development
Does more need to be done to improve the development of young players in this country?
Dan Roan took a look at the way youngsters are coached in the UK and compared it to methods used in places such as Holland and Spain where there is less emphsis on height and strength and more on touch and technique.
We also examined the different ways in which coaches are trained and recruited and spoke to a number of high-profile figures about what is being done.
Week Five: Women's Football
Girls football is the fastest growing sport for females in the UK, but when compared to the men's game there are gross inequalities.
The sport is taken far more seriously elsewhere across the world, but here it is largely overlooked.
We look at the lack of teams and options for female footballers and ask whether there should be a professional league for women.
Week Four: Participation
Across the country, the number of people playing 11-a-side football is falling.
Why is this the case? Is the problem across the board and at all age groups and both sexes? Why are more people turning to five-a-side football? What is being done about it?
These are some of the questions we'll be asking as State of the Game series investigates the issue of participation in grassroots football.
Week Three: Ref Rage
Grassroots referees are quitting the game in increasing numbers because of the verbal and physical abuse they receive.
Around 7,000 referees have given up the game this year because of abuse and already this season there has been a spate of assaults on referees by amateur footballers.
We look at what can be done to improve the situation at amateur level - and whether or not the professional game should set a better example.Join the skysports.com debate here
Week Two: Touchline Trouble
Parents regularly go to watch their youngsters play football, but sometimes they cross the line - quite literally - and enter the field of play or shout abuse at players and officials.
The problem is so bad that games are being abandoned across the country and we considered the impact it is having on young players and amateur referees.
We spoke to a number of key figures to look at what is being done to improve behaviour on the touchlines.
Week One: Grassroots Facilities
Derelict grounds and a lack of football pitches are nationwide problems and we looked at the difference between the attitudes to sporting facilities between here and abroad.
We spoke to those involved in this country and compared them to facilities in Holland.
We spoke to Sir Trevor Brooking, the Football Association's head of development, who urged the Government to follow the lead of our European neighbours.