US Soccer has implemented several changes to the national structure of their program in 2016 (of which LYSA became a part). The changes are intended to foster stronger development at the earlier ages with a focus on touches on the ball and subsequently developing ball control skills for players to bring forward as game play advances.
One of the first changes that may effect your player is a change in the date cutoff used to determine division placement. While the birthday cutoff date has been July 31st, the new mandate changes the cutoff date to January 1st. This new 'Birth Year Matrix' will place players in the respective divisions as outlined in the "Birth Year Chart".
Another change that was mandated is to the format of game play within each division. The changes affected our U8, U10 and U12 divisions. Players in all divisions up to and including U12 experienced changes to field and goal sizes. The division that most noticed the game play format change was our U8 division, as they shifted from a 6v6 format to a 4v4 format with no goalkeeper. The new standards for each age division are outlined in the "Standards Chart".
LYSA's goal is to ensure all of our players benefit from an optimal soccer experience while still ensuring a fun experience. As part of LYSA's commitment to developing a strong training program for our players, we are pleased to be working with professional trainer Mark Ruest, who will continue to offer highly effective training to our U8 division players during their weekly practices. Mark will also offer training to our U4 and U6 players. You can get more information on Mark and his experience here: Mark Ruest
Upon registration, players will automatically be placed in the appropriate division based on the new birth year matrix which has been implemented within the registration system. Please be aware that we need to place players in their assigned division and players wishing to play up will need to be wait-listed until all actual age appropriate players are placed within their divisions. Should there be remaining space available within a division, only then will individual requests be considered. Wait-listed players requesting to play up will need to complete an evaluation and receive approval before they will be placed in a higher division, and only if there is a space available.
LYSA continues to to ensure a smooth transition throughout the process of adopting and implementing the newly mandated changes. We are looking forward to providing our players with an engaging, fun soccer experience with the opportunity for growth and development within the sport. Should you have additional questions regarding the changes, please feel free to reach out to any of us. Also, A full overview of the US Soccer Player Development Initiatives can be found at: Player Development Initiatives