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Great Falls Soccer Club

News Detail

5

Sep, 2015

US Soccer Mandates & US Youth Soccer Vote

To the Great Falls Soccer Membership,
 
U.S. Soccer and US Youth Soccer recently issued new mandates regarding youth soccer across the country.  [Click here to read the official press release.]   Below is a message from Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) about when those changes will go into effect in Virginia.  GFSC Board members have already been discussing these changes and are looking into ways to make the transition as smooth as possible.
 
The two big talking points are:
 
  1. Starting in 2017-18, the size of the fields that different age groups play on and the number of kids playing on that field.  [Click here to see field size chart.]
  2. Starting in 2016-17, age groups will be determined by a calendar year age range, instead of a school year age range. [Click here to see age chart.]
 
The first point will not be too big a change for GFSC as we have already been very close to the guidelines that have been planned by US Youth Soccer.  The second point however, will have a big impact on youth soccer in our area.  As it stands now, players born on August 1st to July 31st the following year play together in one age group (for example, children born on August 1, 2009 through July 21, 2010 now comprise the U6 age group.). Under the new mandate, players will grouped with players from their own birth year (for example, players born in 2010 will now comprise the U6 age group.)  During the transition period, this will dramatically change the composition of our house and travel teams as players move up to play with their birth year.  By making these changes, US Youth Soccer is looking to bring US soccer in line with the rest of the world. While we expect some transitional pains from this change, the GFSC Board is looking to get ahead of this change to make the transition easier.
 
All the best,
 
Will Simonds, Jr.
Commissioner
Great Falls Soccer Club
 
 
 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
  
To:  VYSA Member Club Officials
From:  Denise Edwards, President
Date: September 1, 2015
Subject:  US Soccer Mandates & US Youth Soccer Vote
 
Many of you may have seen the August 24th, both US Soccer and US Youth Soccer released announcements concerning mandates for the small-sided game and changing the age groups from 8/1 – 7/31 to the calendar year passed by the US Soccer Board of Directors. US Soccer is the governing body for the sport of soccer in the United States.  The mandates apply to national youth soccer organizations which are members of US Soccer to include US Youth Soccer, US Club Soccer, AYSO, and SAY to name the more familiar organizations.  Virginia Youth Soccer Assn. is a US Soccer and US Youth Soccer state association.  VYSA did not follow with a press release on August 24th, due to some ambiguity in the US Youth Soccer press release concerning the adoption of the calendar year mandate in 2016-2017.  The USYS Board of Directors had a board meeting on August 29 -30 in San Diego and we have waited to provide you with final information received today.   
 
The US Youth Soccer board voted to implement the calendar year registration 2016-2017 year.  All state associations and their members are required to make the change.  The remaining US Soccer mandates will be enacted in 2017-2018.  At the US Youth Soccer AGM in late July, a straw poll vote was taken for implementing the birth year registration in 2016-17 and the result was 91% in favor.  The board of VYSA in August voted we would not vote any changes earlier than implemented by the national bodies.
 
Virginia Youth Soccer Assn. is one of the top four state associations in the country.  Virginia has always been a progressive state in adopting initiatives to further the development of the players and the game in the United States.  Virginia has always worked to assist our members. We will be holding district meetings around the state this seasonal year to address the many questions clubs and leagues have on the changes and provide guidance on how to handle it in your membership to include goals and fields size changes and the birth year registration.  
 
1991 was the year the country went from calendar year to 8/1-7-31.  I was a new club president at the time and managed the change. Some situations were easy and others were not.  At that time there were fewer individual options for handling the change because there were only 30,000 players in the state, but come fall the referee blew the whistle and the games began. We had it all worked out.
 
This change means the 8/1 – 12/31 age players on teams move up and the 1/1 – 7/31 players stay down.  The mandate does not mean players may not play up.  Playing up allows the clubs and leagues to make decisions in their local environments that are necessary for success.  The first administrative action should be to review all your rosters and identify the impact on your teams.  When speaking to parents, communicate this is not a decision over which you have control, it was decided by US Soccer and it is the rule for all of youth soccer in the US and then listen to the concerns of your people.  The reactions will run the gamut of negative response immediately to asking questions and listening, and some will accept it right away.  When you speak about it, always state your club is going to put the needs of the players first and each individual situation will be evaluated for all the within the framework.  Tell them implementing change is a process and the club be continually evaluating the process through this year and the next.  You can play players up, but you just cannot play players down.  Players are played up now on teams because is the right choice for the player’s development.  Do what you need to do make it work for your people, your club, or your league in the local environment.
 
During this year if your club or league has training which is not team oriented, set the age groups by birth year. If possible, hold event type games (scrimmages) with the age groups as birth years.  Expose the players and the parents to the next year’s potential team mates.  The parents are a critical piece in your success.  All of us involved in soccer with children playing develop social circles within the teams.  This factor will not be expressed by parents, but it is very relevant, just left unsaid.  The leaders of the clubs and leagues should brain storm additional ideas to expose the parents and players in your local environment. 
 
US Soccer mandated the initiatives to further the development of the players in the US.  VYSA is looking forward to holding district meetings in the state to assist, discuss, and help our members through a successful transition. The district meetings will bring forth additional ideas from those in your local area that will assist everyone.  I am personally looking forward to meeting with you and a successful implementation.

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Great Falls Soccer Club

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Great Falls, Virginia 22066

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Phone : 703-957-0006
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