Playing Up Policy – How USA decides if a player can move uo
The Playing Up Policy guides decisions about whether a player can be moved up to the next playing age group earlier than their age/grade would dictate.
This decision is ultimately made by the Board of Directors (BOD) based on 1) whether there is a need for players at the assigned and/or desired age group and 2) cases of exceptional player ability (this is extraordinarily rare, regardless of how awesome you believe your kid is 😉 ).
Move-ups may be requested by a parent or by the age group coordinator / BOD. if the BOD initiates the move-up request, parent consent is required before the move can be made. If a parent requests their child move up, the BOD decision is final, and the parents will not have the ability to decide the team/coach to which the player is assigned.
Rostering Policy and Process – How USA builds rosters and assigns players
At all age groups, the first steps in rostering are:
Identify numbers of players in each age group and gender to determine how many teams we will field at each group
Review the volunteer coaches and assign coaches to teams
Place the coaches’ children on that roster (unless otherwise requested)
Review team/coach requests and accommodate those that can be accommodated
After this point, rosters are completed differently depending on whether it is an in-town or a travel roster. Continue on for more information
In-Town leagues (U4 through U6): These in-town teams play against each other in scrimmage or game format. These age groups are all considered developmental and non-result oriented. This means, simply, we are teaching kids the absolute soccer fundamentals and how to play as part of a team while having fun. There are no scores or standings; in fact, we don’t really even care which goal they score on.
The objective for rostering at these age groups is parity. No one enjoys lopsided competition. U4 through U6 age groups are co-ed. We aim for a balance of male and female players on each roster, to the extent that is possible. U4, U5 and U6 are also single-grade age groups, so all players are typically in the same level of schooling. Depending on the child’s school system/history, it is possible to have classmates where one has a January birth date and another has a December birth date. The developmental difference between those children is likely to be significant. Because of the rapid development of children in this age range, we will try to mix older classmates with younger ones.
We do accept and make every attempt to honor coach/teammate requests at these age groups. Be aware, that we try to cap rosters to 8 players so everyone gets plenty of playing time. If we get 12 kids all requesting the same coach or team, we obviously can’t do that.
In Town (U8): U8 presents some unique challenges: It is dual year age group including layers in grades 1-2; teams move from co-ed to male and female; and players are introduced to a more “game-like” atmosphere with regular weekly officiated games. The objective in U8 is still parity between teams. These U8 teams still play one another throughout the season. Putting all stronger players or even all older players on a single roster results in very lopsided games that is not good for player development, ,
The rosters at U8 look to mix older and younger players and more and less experienced players. As many players have a couple years of soccer experience at this point, our Board and coaches can often identify a player’s ability level. We are aiming to roster teams that will provide consistent competition for every team throughout the season.