On August 24, 2015 US Soccer announced a nationwide initiative to enhance the development of youth soccer players. Our governing body, the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association (EPYSA) has adopted these recommendations for the Fall 2016 – Spring 2017 season. The changes will not impact the upcoming Spring 2016 league play.
There are two overarching changes as follows:
- Player Age Groups will be determined by calendar birth year. Previously, age groups were based on July 31 cut off. For the 2016/2017 season beginning next fall, you can use a formula of 2017- Player’s Birth Year. For example, if a player was born in 2004, the formula is 2017-2004 = U13.
- New Standards for small-sided games that will change the format for all age groups U12 and under. U8 and under, will play 4v4 with no goalkeepers; U9 and U10 will play 7v7; U11 and U12 will play 9v9. U13 and above will remain 11v11.
Instead of delving into all justifications, strategies and details, U.S. Soccer has a video, power point presentation, and an FAQ sheet available here. I encourage all coaches and interested parents to review with an open-mind.
Our Club is developing specific plans to implement these changes. Clearly one impact is that teams are more likely to be split across school grades.
The Camp Hill Soccer Club, and all of our neighboring clubs understand that change is not simple and we will be doing our best to communicate with our players and parents. Our CPYSL soccer league is primarily a volunteer organization, and the individuals are dedicated to soccer. The clubs and league will work together so that the sport of soccer continues to be a fun, social and competitive experience.
For the travel teams, we will sit down with all of the current coaches in January to explain the changes, look at our team make up, and to communicate with team parents regarding scenarios. In all scenarios, we are confident teams will be fielded for all age groups.
For the Intramural program U8 and younger, the board has adopted a few changes. In summary, because of smaller teams, we are going to split the U8 program into U8 and U7. We are going to play U6 (Smurf) and U7 as coed, and play U8 by gender. All teams at this level will play the recommended 4v4 format with no goal keeper.
We have a great program for soccer in Camp Hill. We have great fields that are convenient to our neighborhood, access to a superb turf field and stadium, dozens of enthusiastic volunteer parents, and access to a strong network of soccer professionals and trainers via our partnerships with the City Islanders, Soccer Shots, and the Camp Hill School District
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as the Camp Hill Soccer Club implements the US Soccer Player Development Initiatives. We welcome your comments and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.