US Soccer Mandated Changes and Warrington Soccer Club

The United States Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer) has announced major changes for youth soccer which will affect Warrington Soccer Club and all other teams, leagues, and state associations throughout the United States, beginning in August, 2016. 

The two mandated standards from the U.S. Soccer Player Development Initiative are for small-sided games (Small Sided Standards) and a change in registration from a seasonal year to the calendar year (Birth Year Registration).

Small Sided Standards -- U.S. Soccer mandated several changes to the number of players and reduced the field sizes for all players 12 and younger. Currently in Eastern PA teams from 8 to 12 years old are played 8v8 while games for 13 and older are played 11v11. Beginning in the 2016/2017 season,

  • Games for 6 and under through 8 and under will be played 4 vs. 4 with no goalie or offside rule
  • Games for 9 and under and 10 and under will be played 7 vs. 7 and played on slightly smaller fields with a “build-out line”
  • Games for 11 and under and 12 and under age groups will be played 9 vs. 9
  • Games for 13 and under and older will play full sided 11 vs. 11.

Birth Year Registration --The biggest modification and impact on the club will be the change to Birth Year Registration. For the past 25 years, age groups were defined with an August 1st cutoff. For example, current Under 12 age group teams are comprised of players born between August 1, 2003 and July 31, 2004. Starting next season, the age group cutoff will switch to January 1st for all age groups.

Your age group is determined based upon when your season ends minus your birth year.   So, for next year, if you wish to play for a travel team whose season runs from August 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017 and you were born in calendar year 2005 ; Subtract the season end year 2017 from your birth year 2005 (2017-2005 = 12) and you will be in the 12 and under age group.   If you plan to play in the intramural program, a fall program which ends in November, subtract the season end year 2016 from your birth year 2005 (2016-2005 = 11) and you will be in the 11 and under age group playing in the 12 and under age group.  See chart on club website for breakdown based upon birth year for all programs.

The main purpose of this change as mandated by US Soccer is so that our country uses the same age group classifications as all other countries that play organized soccer.   These change will take place throughout the United States.

Remember, this mandate begins in August 2016. Therefore, our tryouts for next year’s travel teams that take place in the spring for the 2016/2017 playing season will use these new Birth Year classifications. The changes to the club’s registration for the intramural program will be for the 2016 fall season.