US Soccer Mandates
U.S. Soccer, the national governing body for youth, amateur and professional soccer in the United States, recently passed two player development initiatives that directly affect the youth members of U.S. Soccer.
What are those changes?
Small Sided Standards
The small sided standards are focusing on players in the U6 to U12 age groups to create field sizes that are more age appropriate. Both smaller numbers and smaller fields and goals will help foster an environment that allows for players to get more touches on the ball, develop soccer intelligence, and technical skills. Eugene Timbers FC has already implemented this change in the last two years and we have seen the success already with several of our age groups. The club has invested in smaller goals and we have created appropriate size fields for our U10 (7v7), U11 and U12 (9v9) teams. We also have implemented those changes in Little Timbers.
Birth Year Registration
Birth-year registration will now align with the start of the calendar year and run from January 1 to December 31, rather than August to July as it had previously. For example, in the Fall of 2016, a player born in 2005 will play on a U12 team. Next fall, this U12 team will have players in different grades. Birth-year registration applies to all player age groups and not just players age 12 and younger.
Eugene Timbers FC will organize the May 2016 U10 academy team tryouts as well as the U11-14 team tryouts for 2016-17 season with the Birth Year Registration. For the 2016-17 season that means if your player is born in 2003, he or she will play on a U14 boys or girls team next year. If your player is born in 2004, he or she will play on a U13 team. There will still be opportunities to play up based on the Director of Coaching recommendations.
See more on this topic in this video from US Soccer.
Here is another good video from US Youth Soccer explaining some of the history of the Birth Year Registration with Sam Snow. The relevant part starts at 3:00.
OYSA had a nice Webinar this fall to explain some of the details as well.
How will ETFC organize tryouts for the 2016-17 Season?
- In May of 2016 the Youth Premier Tryouts will be organized in age groups that will be based on the new birth year (calendar year from January 1 to December 31) registration. U11 boys and girls will be born in 2006. U12 boys and girls will be born in 2005. U13 boys and girls will be born in 2004. U14 boys and girls will be born in 2003.
- All players born in 2002 AND in 7th grade will tryout in May 2016 for a U15 team for a season from May to November 2016. These are all players born in 2002 from Dortmund and Force teams as well as any new ETFC players born in 2002 AND in 7th grade.
- The current U14 boys and girls teams Valencia and Cypress will remain together for the summer season from May to the end of July. All of them will then go to high school in the fall and play soccer there. In November 2016, the players on these teams born in 2002 will tryout for a U15 team. The players born in 2001 will participate in supplemental November tryouts if needed (see Nr. 6)
- In August 2016 our High school Premier tryouts will be for teams U17-U19. Since those teams have been together the longest ETFC will allow all current players on those teams to tryout with their current team mates. U17 2000 Sol and Rovers teams. U18 1999 Athletica and Celtic teams. U19 Storm and Juventus teams. Tryouts will remain competitive and younger players have to play up. For example, players born in 2000 who are playing currently on 99 Athletica can tryout for 00 Sol if they wish or play up on 99 Athletica as long as they make one of the teams.
- For the Cypress and Valencia players we recommend that they tryout for their respective birth year but we will take into consideration playing up options.
- In November 2016 we will have a U15 boys and girls tryout for all players born in 2002 regardless of grade. This team will then play a winter season 2016-17 from late November to July 2017.
- In November 2016 we will have a U16 boys and girls tryout for all players born in 2001 regardless of grade. This team will then play a winter season 2016-17 from late November to July 2017.
- In November 2016 we will have a U17-19 supplemental tryout.
Eugene Timbers FC coaching staff will do everything to make this transition to the birth year as smooth as possible. Change is always difficult but comes with challenges and new opportunities. ETFC directors and coaching staff will do everything we can to help your player in this transition:
- ETFC coaching staff works with the US Soccer curriculum which helps transitioning players from 7v7 formations to 9v9 and then to 11v11. All our coaches work with the same concepts and we all work together to ensure that players who will now have some new teammates and maybe a new coach will continue with the same concepts.
- ETFC will organize some training days before Tryouts in May to train players in their new age groups. These training sessions will help coaches and players to envision the newly formed teams.
- ETFC coaching staff will spend more time after tryouts to find ways to foster cohesion to newly formed teams over the summer months. We encourage parents to help in this process. A team barbecue or a team hike goes a long way to get to know your new team mates.
- ETFC will also implement a mandatory pool training for Black and Red teams at least once a month in the Youth Premier age groups.
This change is a big opportunity for all of us to grow as players and coaches. Players will have to work with new team mates from different grades and potentially with new coaches. Coaches will have to work with a new rosters and new opponents. All of the other clubs in Oregon and other states will also have to change to this new mandate. I am very confident that this change will be smooth and embraced by our members.