We write with a notification of some very important changes that are occurring for our Club.
The organizational body that governs soccer in the United States - the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) - is implementing an age group realignment for Fall 2016. The Watertown Soccer Club will be part of the realignment. This is the clear direction that soccer is moving in our country, and we are moving forward with the changes implemented.
What that means is that these players will be placed in CALENDAR YEAR age brackets (January to December) instead of SCHOOL YEAR age brackets (August to July.) For some players they may not be able to play with their current age bracket because they will be “too old” under this new structure. In addition, it is also possible that these “older” players would need to jump more than a single age bracket.
To help families with their many questions, here are some of the questions that we have been hearing repeatedly.
1. Why did USSF make the change? The reasoning is here.
2. Does WSC need to follow this mandate? Yes. WSC plays under the Madison Area Youth Soccer Association (MAYSA), which plays under the Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association (WYSA), which plays under USSF. USSF makes the ultimate decisions in regard to the direction of organized soccer in the United States.
3. How do I know what age bracket my son or daughter will be placed in next year? See here for an easy-to-understand chart. You might use Birth Years (2008, 2007, etc.) instead of current age (U9, U10, etc.) when identifying the group in which your child is designated to play.
4. Can my child, play in a younger bracket than his/her designation on the USSF chart? No. This will not be possible in MAYSA starting in the fall 2016 season. Previously, MAYSA had some limited flexibility to allow players to play “down”, but this is no longer a possibility.
5. My child’s team is incredibly important to him, but these changes will rip this team in half! Can we keep his team together and play them in an older bracket? Individual players are allowed to play in an older age group, provided that the assessments of head coaches and Trainers support that this movement would be in the best interest of a player’s soccer development. In accord with our philosophy as a club, this determination will ultimately be based on what is best for the soccer development of the individual player.
6. How will this influence spring Evaluations for the fall 2016 season and subsequent seasons? As noted previously, WSC will rely heavily on assessment and input from both our current head coaches, and our professional trainers. These individuals will be charged with identifying players who should be playing “up”, and assessing every player for placement across all of our U10 to U15 teams.
7. What about kids who would otherwise play U14 next year but now are too old to play U14 and too young to play High School? To solve this problem, MAYSA’s girls and boys U14 leagues will be combined U14/U15 girls and boys leagues, starting fall 2016.
8. Doesn’t this mean there will be current U12 girls and boys who will be playing with U15 players next season? Yes, this is true for the oldest players in the current U12 brackets.
Please remember that this is a monumental shift in how players have been identified for teams, and this is certainly going to have some associated growing pains. It is fair to say that the most painful growth is going to likely occur in this upcoming 2016 - 2017 soccer season. That said, we will continue to focus on the growth and development of all of our WSC players, and will make every effort to keep families informed as we continue this journey. Communication with our members is of the utmost importance to WSC.
Your child’s coaches will need your support as we move into such significant transition, and we kindly ask for your patience, collaboration, and understanding as we continue through this significant change.
If you have any questions about this upcoming transition, please send a message to us or attend one of our upcoming open forums:
Monday, April 11th at 5:30 at the Watertown Senior Center
Tuesday April 19th at 6:00 at the Watertown Senior Center
The WSC Board of Directors
The Watertown Soccer Club (WSC) was established in 1995 by community volunteers to provide boys and girls in the Watertown area an opportunity to participate in soccer beyond the recreational level offered by the Park & Recreation Department. Membership in the WSC has steadily increased over the years and now includes players starting in the 4th grade (U10 division) through high school (U18 division). The WSC is part of the Madison Area Youth Soccer Association (MAYSA); WSC teams compete in recreational and competitive levels of soccer against teams from all around the Madison area. The WSC is a member of US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sports organization in the United States, whose mission is “to foster the physical, mental, and emotional growth and development of America’s youth through the sport of soccer.” The WSC strives to develop players’ individual skills, promote teamwork and good sportsmanship, and make it fun!