In recent months, US Soccer announced some exciting changes that will be mandated in the next year. These relate to; how teams can roster players, how these rosters will be made up, field sizes, goal dimensions, and playing formats for all age groups at all levels of youth soccer (recreation and club).
Beginning in “2016-2017 season“, as mandated by US Soccer, US Youth Soccer Association, IYSA and Region II, all age groups will fall in line with the recommended best practices from US Soccer and will follow the natural progression of number of players from 4v4 all the way through 11v11.
Currently, all youth age groups in the US follow a one year time frame between August 1st of one year and July 31st of the following year, to determine what age group players fall under. Beginning with the fall 2016 season in Illinois, all teams will have to change to follow these mandatory guidelines from US Soccer, US Youth Soccer, IYSA and Region II to what is referred to as “birth year” age groups. Meaning, teams will be made up of players now all coming from the same birth year: January through December.
In the next 12-18 months, there will no doubt be some anxiety as we all go through this process. Please trust that as players and teams are potentially reorganized during tryouts, our primary focus remains on placing each child in the best environment possible to learn, be challenged and continue having fun in our sport!
We are in the process of trying to secure a date, time and location to hold a parents meeting at the start of the winter season to discuss what we currently know. This will allow us to better educate our membership on the potential changes that may occur. Once we have been provided more information from our league and state associations, as well as confirmed a meeting date, we shall let you know.
Jamie Martin & Liam Lacy
FC Lake County