Category Archives: Announcement

Alameda Soccer Club Approach to USSF Age Change Mandate

Recently the US Soccer Federation (USSF) announced important mandated changes. These changes impact every US Soccer Affiliated league and every club in the USA.

What it all means to our club and the leagues we play in?

First, the number of players on the field will be reduced at younger ages; this will be great for soccer development. U9 and U10 will play 7 v 7; U11 and U12 will play 9 v 9; and U13 and above will play 11 v 11.

Second, the cutoff date for determining a player’s soccer age will change from August 1 to January 1. In other words, players born in the same calendar year will be the same soccer age.

ASC has gone through an extensive process to determine how we will approach those changes. The approaches vary depending on the age of a player and whether the player is in our Islanders competitive program (who participate in the NorCal Premier league) or our ASC recreational program (who participate in the Jack London Youth Soccer League).

The Norcal Premier Board has made league level decisions on changes to comply with the US Soccer mandate for the Spring 2016 and Fall 2016 competitions.

  • Norcal has announced that U9-13 age groups (players born between 2002 and 2007) will transition to the new formats and age cutoff dates in Spring 2016. Older age groups will transition in Fall 2016.
  • Jack London Youth Soccer League, where our U10-14 recreational teams compete and CYSA District 4, where our U16-19 recreational teams compete, have not yet decided how they will handle transitions to the new mandate.

Obviously, we are required to follow the mandates of the playing leagues where we participate.

Our plan for implementing the USSF mandate is below. We will continue to be flexible and discuss any situations where we need to make exceptions to our general guidelines; if you want to explore an exception, please speak with your child’s coach and the coach will present that request to our Islanders Competitive Committee and Director of Coaching.

Alameda Islanders Competitive Program

We understand that the transition is unsettling, but please know that we will work very hard to make sure that this works for everyone.

We would like all Islanders teams to form by calendar year. However, we will continue with our current policy whereby players who are identified as being impact players on the first team in the next age group may be moved to that more challenging environment. In particular, in our older age groups, we may aggressively move some high school bound players up to the next age group in order to accelerate their soccer development. We will also continue to allow players to try out in any age group for which they are eligible to play, but discourage that practice unless approved by our Islanders Competitive Committee and Director of Coaching.

Transition

U9-14 Teams (birth years 2003 to 2009)

We will form our Spring 2016 U9-14 teams by calendar year. This affects players born in years from 2003 to 2009. Tryouts will start on January 23rd and 24th for players born in 2003, 2004 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the third weekend of February (February 20th and 21st) for players born in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002,. We have contracted with Challenger Sports (our professional trainers) to facilitate tryouts and to accurately evaluate players to assist us in forming teams. An email (and blog post) will follow shortly with additional information with respect to pre-tryout training sessions and tryouts for the 2016 season.

U8 Developmental Teams (birth year 2009)

We will allow players with a 2009 birth year to participate in Islanders tryouts. However, a more appropriate format for younger players looking to transition to competitive soccer, may be our U8 Development teams.

The objective of the U8 Developmental League is to provide players and clubs with an introductory and age-appropriate playing environment under the supervision of our club’s professional coaching staff. The proposed league format allows players to more frequently engage in age-appropriate match situations, fostering an environment where players can touch the ball more each game while demonstrating their creativity and improving their problem solving skills more so than is possible in larger league formats.

We anticipate that we will enter a boys and girls team in the Norcal 4 v 4 (+goalkeeper) U8 Developmental league. This will require travel to a few away games for those who participate. We strongly recommend that from a soccer development perspective that younger players play 4 v 4 for as long as they are able.

U15-18 Teams (birth years 1997 to 2001)

Our current U14-18 teams (that is, the teams that we designate with the ’97-01 nomenclature) will remain together for Spring 2016. Norcal does not allow the age switch in the Spring for those teams because many of them are participating in competitions that continue from the Fall (State Cup).

Our Current U14 teams (the current ’01s)

Our current U14 teams are caught somewhat in the middle and we settled on an approach that we think makes the most sense to enhance team stability and finding the best soccer development fit. Players in this age group will play in their calendar year age group in the Spring. That is, the players born in 2002 who are on those teams will try out and teams will be formed in February as part of the Fall 2016 U15 (2002) age group. The players born in 2001 who are on those teams will be placed into teams of players born in 2001. The ’01 teams (including 02’ players) entered into NorCal State Cup will continue to play in those competitions in the Spring. Those teams will train together in the Spring until their State Cup season ends. We recognize that this is not perfect, but given the situation, we think it is what works best.

Coaching Staff

We have not yet finalized who will coach our various teams next year. However, we plan to approve Islanders coaches and announce this after our January Annual Meeting (on 1/11/2016), as is our customary practice. If you have an interest in coaching a competitive team please contact Mike Barnes.

Recreational Program (U6-U19)

Our recreational players (and parents) generally prioritize their reasons for playing in our club differently from our Islanders players. In particular, it is much more important for our recreational players to play with their friends, who are often their classmates or neighbors (typically, our recreational teams are comprised of players in the same grade-we expect that will continue). We will continue to form teams based on these factors. Players will be allowed to register for whatever age group that they are eligible. This will mean that some of the recreational players will be playing with and against players much older than them.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is no one right answer for how to approach the USSF Mandate. We tried to come up with approaches that best addressed the priorities of specific groups. We understand that there will be some players who prefer a different outcome, but please keep in mind this mandate is nation-wide and ASC is one of thousands of Clubs going through the same transition. We are confident that with the strong community we have built within the club and the continued support from our volunteer-based organization we will successfully navigate this transition. We encourage you to speak with your coach or the ASC Competitive Coordinator, Mike Barnes so that you can understand our recommendations.

Sincerely,

Eugene Demmler & Vince San Nicolas
ASC Co-Presidents

 

US Club is changing age group from school year to calendar year.

Implementation Plan for US Soccer Initiatives

NorCal Premier Soccer has announced its implementation plan for the U.S. Soccer mandates regarding birth year registration and small-sided game formats.  The NorCal Premier Board of Directors approved the plan earlier this week in accordance with the recent U.S. Soccer mandates, the recent implementation plan from US Club Soccer, and extensive feedback from member clubs.

 

  • NorCal Premier competitions will transition from scholastic year based (Aug. 1 – July 31) age groups to calendar year (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31) based age groups in 2016.  Birth year 2002 and younger age groups will transition prior to spring 2016 competitions, while birth year 2001 and older age groups will transition by Aug. 1, 2016
  • NorCal Premier competitions will begin transitioning to the U.S. Soccer small-sided mandates in our spring 2016 competitions, and be fully compliant with the small-sided mandates by fall 2016.

 

The split transition timeline for implementation of birth year registration reflects the reality of the majority of Northern California’s team formation windows, as well as NorCal Premier’s competition calendar.  This means that 2002 and younger divisions will begin playing in birth year divisions for the spring 2016 league.  Meanwhile 2001 and older divisions will remain on scholastic year age groups through the State Cup finals weekend in May.

Due to the early team formation timeline of younger teams (U13 and below) NorCal Premier has always adjusted the playing format for teams in the spring to reflect their fall playing formats.  For example, U11 teams in spring season have played 11v11, while U12 teams have played with a size 5 ball, etc.  For the same reasons the playing formats for the spring league 2016 will be adjusted so that teams are playing in their fall playing formats.

Details for both the spring and fall 2016 league formats can be found below in the age group matrices.  Please keep in mind the following key points as you prepare your club for this transition:

  • Field Sizes/ Goal Sizes: NorCal Premier has received indication from U.S. Soccer that there will be a common sense and flexible approach to field and goal sizes.  In the coming weeks U.S. Soccer will release ranges for all field sizes, and NorCal Premier will update our field ranges in accordance with the U.S. Soccer recommendations.  U.S. Soccer and NorCal will continue to allow the use of 7×21 goals in both 7v7 and 9v9 game formats
  • Referees: Due to U.S. Soccer’s decision to eliminate the two referee system, all games must either have a one or three referee systems.  NorCal will continue with our current requirement of 1 referee for small-sided games.

Finally, at each of the RAC meetings in which we discussed the coming changes, we spoke about a change to our global calendar of competitions.  While there was overwhelming support for making a change to our calendar, we felt strongly that this was not the time to make further changes.  The issue of changing our calendar will be examined in more detail by our Rules and Competitions Committee, which will make a recommendation to the board in the coming months.

 

Resources:

U.S. Soccer Press Release – http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2015/08/24/18/07/150824-coaching-player-development-initiatives-rel

US Club Soccer Press Release – http://usclubsoccer.org/2015/09/15/us-club-soccer-announces-implementation-plan-for-u-s-soccers-recent-coaching-initiatives/

 

NorCal Premier Spring 2016 Age Group Matrix

Birth Year

Age Group

# of Players

Roster Size

Game Length

Field Size1

Goal Size2

Ball Size

# of Referees

Born in 2007

U8

7v7

14

2 x 25 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2006

U9

7v7

14

2 x 25 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2005

U10

9v9

16

2 x 30 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2004

U11

9v9

16

2 x 30 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2003

U12

11v11

18

2 x 35 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Born in 2002

U13

11v11

18

2 x 35 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

2001/20023

U14

11v11

18

2 x 35 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

2000/20013

U15

11v11

18

2 x 40 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

1999/20003

U16

11v11

18

2 x 40 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

1998/19993

U17

11v11

18

2 x 45 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

1996/1997/19983

U19

11v11

18

2 x 45 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

1 – The use of cones to form fields for all small sided formats will be allowed

2 – NorCal will continue to allow the use of 7×21 goals in both 7v7 and 9v9 game formats

3 – U14 and older ages will remain on scholastic year registration in the spring of 2016

 

NorCal Premier Fall 2016 Age Group Matrix

Birth Year

Age Group

# of Players

Roster Size

Game Length

Field Size1

Goal Size2

Ball Size

# of Referees

Born in 2008

U8

4v4

123

3 x 15 min

TBA

4 x 6

3

0

Born in 2007

U9

7v7

14

2 x 25 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2006

U10

7v7

14

2 x 25 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2005

U11

9v9

16

2 x 30 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2004

U12

9v9

16

2 x 30 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2003

U13

11v11

18

2 x 35 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Born in 2002

U14

11v11

18

2 x 40 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Born in 2001

U15

11v11

18

2 x 40 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Born in 2000

U16

11v11

18

2 x 40 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Born in 98 or 99

U17/18

11v11

18

2 x 45 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Born in 96 or 97

U20

11v11

18

2 x 45 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Open

Adult

11v11

18

2 x 45 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

1 – The use of cones to form fields for all small sided formats will be allowed

2 – NorCal will continue to allow the use of 7×21 goals in both 7v7 and 9v9 game formats

3 – 4v4 game format will require a dual field format, where teams play two games at once

U14g red go undefeated in the “Santa Cruz Classic” tournament.

21787296501_7c7f1b836b_kI would like to congratulate the  U14g Red team for their outstanding weekend winning the Santa Cruz Classic in a very exciting final game.

Down 0-2 in the first half the lady Islanders fought back, and with under 2 minutes left tied the game at 2-2.  Due to tournament time constraints the game went directly to Pk’s to decide the winner.  With an unbeatable combination of accurate shooting and goalie that blocked 3 shots, they went on to win and finish undefeated.

u14g win2

Great job lady’s!

21154698094_2c9d1dc799_k

A great team effort!

Announcing the ASC Volunteer Incentive Program

Give back to your community, then get something back for you and your team.

The ASC Volunteer Program has been established to allow parents and families to be reimbursed for volunteer activities associated with ASC teams and the club. As you may have noticed the fees have been raise slightly this year to cover expenses and to improve the training for all ASC players. In order to offset some of the fee increases you are encouraged to volunteer for listed activities and at the end of the season can request a reimbursement towards the fall player fee. Many youth sports organizations have mandatory volunteer requirements as part of the team participation however ASC has decided to let the parents / guardian decide if they want to volunteer to lessen the costs of player fees. Volunteer activities help the coaches, the parents and the children during the season to make it much more fun and spreads out the time commitment.

Upon request $60 will be credited after completion and verification of approved listed volunteer activities. Request for volunteer reimbursement should be sent to volunteercoordinator@alamedasoccer.org. For full details, please see the Volunteer page.

Fall Registration Details

A reminder that Fall registration for recreational soccer is now open and the deadline to apply is in August so, before you head out for vacation, do not forget to register and reserve a spot for your son or daughter.

To register, click on this link click the “Register Now!” link for the correct age group, and follow the remaining directions. If you are unsure about the correct age group, refer to this chart.

Alameda Soccer Club is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization. It is ASC’s goal to provide a high quality soccer environment at a reasonable price. In that regard, there have been some questions about the recent registration fee increase.

ASC’s 2015 registration fee is primarily a pass-through of increased operating costs. The most significant of these increases are for field watering and maintainance, increased fees from Jack London Youth Soccer Sport League (JLYSSL) and fines from JLYSSL for not meeting the per-team game credit requirements for referees.

Our unit costs for water have increased dramatically. However, the club has been working with Alameda Parks and Recreation Department to balance protecting our prized resource, fields, while working within the mandated water reduction guidelines.

The per-player fee Alameda Soccer Club pays JLYSSL to administer match coordination, game-day field and ref assignments/payment increases each year and therefore is passed through in player registration fees.

JLYSSL’s mandates a Referee game credit requirement for all Recreational and Competitive teams. Each team must have an affiliated referee(s) and a $30 fine (to ASC) is imposed for each game credit not earned. While 2014’s fines were significant, our referee coordinator (John Richer) is working hard to mitigate this cost in future years.   On that note, John has helped 28 new Referees become licensed in 2015.

While increased operational costs account for a significant portion of the fee increase, ASC has now also added professional trainers to aid in the development of our younger Recreational players, coaches and teams. The trainers from Challenger Sports have been working with our younger teams this Spring and ASC will be expanding this to more Recreational teams this Fall.

Last, but certainly not least, our Volunteer Coordinator has developed and implemented a program to incentivize ASC families to serve as an ASC volunteer. ASC families that choose to fill a qualifying  volunteer position, will receive a $60 registration rebate upon completion of their volunteer duties. For details about the volunteer program, see our Volunteer page.