Sam Snow, calculate my age
Youth Soccer Director of Coaching, talks about the U.S. Soccer mandates
” Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. ” — Robert C. Gallagher
Youth soccer in America is undergoing an evolution. With that progression will come some challenges và some rewards. U.S. Soccer, the national governing body toàn thân for youth, amateur & professional soccer in the United States, recently passed two player development initiatives that directly affect the youth members of U.S. Soccer. Thos e members, in order of the number of registered players, are US Youth Soccer, American Youth Soccer Organization, U.S. Club Soccer, Soccer Association for Youth & United States Sports Specialty Association. The player development initiatives are small-sided games as the match định dạng for children 12 years old & younger, & player registration now based on birth year ( calendar year ). U.S. Soccer has a three-tiered player development pyramid, labeled by zones. Zone một is from U-6 Khủng U-12, Zone 2 is from U-13 Khủng U-17 và Zone ba is U-18 & older .
The change is actually straight forward & no matter how you group the year, a relative age effect will always exist. The year in which a player was born is now the age group in which he or she can play. Players can play up in age groups as long as they are in compliance with club, league và / or state rules. For example, a player born in 1998 would play on a đội with other players born in that year. In năm ngoái, the player is 17 years old. Some of the current confusion may stem from our old habit of saying Under-17 or U-17, và perhaps now we should think “ 17 và under ” as the label for the age group. We have this chart mập show how the age groups will evolve .
Inevitably, there are emotions that come with change. Change can be a little scary. With the hot nhất player registration, some teams will have minor phệ major roster changes. Kids will still have a chance mập play with school friends, but now some of them will be in the class above or below .
Soccer clubs should always provide times and places for kids on different teams within the club to get together to continue, rekindle or make friendships with others in the club. Street Soccer Day, the first Wednesday each September, is one opportunity. Other chances during Youth Soccer Month (September) present themselves for clubs to utilize, such as Make Your Own Ball Day. Check out all of Youth Soccer Month here: http://www.youthsoccermonth.org/.
Changes in the đội roster occur annually with most soccer teams because of kids moving lớn a different club, deciding mập play for a different coach in the club, making the cut on one nhóm but not another & so on. That part of youth soccer hasn’t changed. One of the growth experiences in youth sports is playing with mới ra teammates và interacting with mới ra coaches — that’s a life lesson .
With the change in player registration from school year bự calendar year taking place in compliance with a mandate from U. S. Soccer, there may be older teens who find that part of their nhóm is now gone. The question is what Khủng vì for the remaining players who still want lớn play soccer. I have suggested that they could play on an adult đội if they so desire & if adult soccer leagues exist in their area. But not all older teens want phệ play on an adult đội or perhaps adult amateur soccer doesn’t exist in their town. The youth soccer club could provide the solution by offering 6 – a-side soccer. This option could be intramural or inter-club participation. If there are other clubs in the area with the same situation, then a 6 vs. 6 league could be mix up. The bottom line is this – keep an open mind. Real soccer isn’t just 11 vs. 11 at any age. Play small-sided games for these teens in high school or middle school. Play futsal. Play beach soccer. Play indoor soccer. During this transition thời gian think of the mới nhất opportunities that may present themselves .
The change in player registration is America going back phệ what we did on this trương mục in the 1960 s, ‘ 70 s và into the ‘ 80 s. Indeed, the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program has grouped players by birth year since its inception in 1977. Many club teams will benefit from the change when they travel overseas bự play, in that they will no longer have phệ play up in order phệ be in the proper age group. The same is true for foreign teams coming lớn play here. The objective simply is Khủng align with international standards và the Youth National Team program .
Indeed, until 1983, all youth soccer teams in the United States were grouped by birth year. America is simply reverting lớn that registration process. The back story is that in the early 1980 s, FIFA switched from birth year mập school year. The U.S., lượt thích all members of FIFA, did the same. Within two years, FIFA changed back mập birth year. But at that phút giây, having just made a massive change, the U.S. declined phệ shift along with the other members of FIFA. U.S. Soccer has made the decision phệ once again align American soccer with the rest of the world. Thes e decisions are made collectively with U.S. Soccer’s technical staff & approved by their Board of Directors .
Thes e initiatives also included collaboration with various U.S. Soccer members in the youth sector. The decision was made by the U.S. Soccer board of directors và technical committee bự implement the change Khủng birth year for player registration kết thúc a two-year period. I wasn’t directly involved in the change in the early 1980 s from calendar year lớn school year for player registration, but perhaps a similar immediate modification approach was taken then too .
” The more things change, the more they are the same. ” — Alphonse Karr
This change is one that, frankly, I wasn’t sure that I would live Khủng see happen. Personally, I’ve been working directly on this initiative since 1986. At that thời gian, Dr. Tom Fleck asked me phệ chair the Player Development Committee for Florida Youth Soccer. The youngest age group formally playing in soccer clubs then was Under-8, & it included 11 vs. 11 games with a form size bốn ball, fairly large field và 8×24 – foot goals. We passed a change phệ move bự 7 vs. 7 games with a form size ba ball, played on smaller fields with smaller goals. You would have thought the world was coming béo an over from the emotional reactions of many people. The arguments were that it’s not the real game, how will kids learn mập play their positions, we won’t have enough fields or goals, we won’t have enough coaches or referees, you’ll ruin the game & kids will quit soccer. Sound familiar ? Clearly, since the mid-1980s, the game has spread far và wide across the U.S. The naysayers were wrong then as they are now .
Driven by the leadership of Dr. Fleck, whose name adorns the Excellence in Youth Coaching Education Award, US Youth Soccer has been an advocate of Small-Sided Games since the late 1980 s, as evidenced in the Assistant Coach Series that he & John Cossaboon authored. Then in 1995, U.S. Soccer & US Youth Soccer jointly created the National Youth License. That coaching course was và is aimed at how béo properly coach our young players in Zone 1. Both of these national organizations have long believed in the positive effects for players who compete in the Small-Sided Game định hình. Because of the forward thinking of many soccer clubs across the nation, they will have minor adjustments Khủng make for compliance with the mandate on Small-Sided Games. Others who have been mired in the past have some exertion ahead, & the sooner they roll up their sleeves và get Khủng work, the better .
The advancement phệ Small-Sided Games will benefit the players the most. They will have a richer soccer experience that, in thời gian, will improve the American soccer culture. When I ask coaches lớn danh sách the pros và cons of Small-Sided Games for children they are hard pressed mập come up with the cons. Indeed, those who understand the game well và also understand the growth stages of children see the move lớn Small-Sided Games as long overdue. From more tactical experiences & touches on the ball bự improved mental concentration và physical fitness, the children will be the big winners here. Thos e who want phệ learn more about Small-Sided Games should kiểm tra out the Small-Sided Games resources on the US Youth Soccer website : http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/coaches/SmallSidedGames/ .
A large number of US Youth Soccer affiliated clubs across the nation are already playing Small-Sided Games, so they will have minimal modifications béo make. Clubs will have two years lớn make adjustments Khủng field layouts, goals và reset đội rosters. For solutions phệ many of the logistical problems, please visit the Small-Sided Games Resources center. Please keep in mind that the Modified Rules there may change once U.S. Soccer comes out with a hot nhất phối of Laws of the trò chơi for Zone 1 .
” Progress is impossible without change, và those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. ” — George Bernard Shaw
US Youth Soccer is prepared mập assist our 55 State Associations & more than 5,000 clubs with the move lớn comply with the U.S. Soccer mandates. We provide more information here : http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/changes_coming_to_youth_soccer_in_2016/. With a lot of teamwork, the established soccer infrastructure in America will now change for the better. There will be hurdles mập overcome. Reach out phệ fellow clubs, leagues, your State Association & the national organizations for help as needed. The goal is improvement béo the quantity & chất lượng of soccer across the nation. Collectively, we can vì this !
” Change is the law of life & those who look only mập the past or present are certain phệ miss the future. ” — John F. Kennedy
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