Hello there! Hope your season is going well and that your children are enjoying themselves! What I wouldn’t give to be able to be that age and participate in youth sports again!
On this NFTP edition, I wanted to take a moment to bring everyone up to speed on changes that are coming to the youth soccer world and address the time frame that you will see PYSL adopting these changes. Some of you have heard a little about this, and we have received a few questions. We thought we’d get out in front and do our best to educate everyone. Feel free to contact us if what you see here sparks further questions.
Recently, US Soccer has decided in an effort to align with international standards and the Youth National Team program to change the framework for age groupings used to establish teams in the youth soccer programs across the country. These changes will begin with the 2016 soccer season! The primary change you will notice is the manner in which a child’s age is determined. Presently, August 1st is the triggering birth date – anyone born prior to August 1st is presently considered “older” than a child born on August 1st or later. The change, which will in fact be easier to remember moving forward, will be to simply use the child’s birth year to establish their age grouping. From now on, the basic age grouping will place all children together with other children born in the same calendar year. While on the surface that seems like a small change, it will effectively shift just over 40% of the players playing soccer from where they may be playing today. To view the actual changes on US Soccer’s website, go to USSF Rule Changes
A basic example of this is as follows: Presently, a player whose birthday is prior to August 1st, 2008, would be a seven year old playing in U8. A player whose birthdate was August 1st or later, 2008, would be a seven year old playing in U7 (technically classified as a 6 year old). Confusing? Frequently!!!! In the future you would simply need to use the birth year to calculate age groups. Any player born in 2008 would be playing in U8.
At this point, PYSL is already working on and looking ahead to 2016. We should be in good shape – numbers from which to form our teams should work out well even under the new structure. PYSL will continue to optimize our program and team structure in order to give the players the best chance to progress and succeed. Our Vaqueros tryouts for 2016, as should all Cal South Club tryouts, will be based on the new birth year age groupings. As we get more information we will continue to pass it along. Here are a couple of possible questions (and answers) you may have:
Q: Will my child be able to play up an age group?
A: Our goal is to provide a positive team experience where players can develop and have success. By having teams at different levels we have a great opportunity to find the best fit for each individual player. If a player is best suited to play up an age group the directors and coaches will make that recommendation.
Q: My child is playing U9 now. Does that mean he/she may be playing U9 again?
A: They may be, yes. If your child’s birth year falls in line with the new birth year standard they may be playing the same age group again.
Q: My child has been playing with his/her friends and I don’t want to change them.
A: While we acknowledge the importance of the social aspect of sports our primary goal is to place players where they can develop and have success. Team success comes from players working together and developing as a team. Coaches will be working on team bonding for all teams so if your child is placed on a new team they will have a great opportunity to make some new friends.