US Soccer has recently announced that its board of directors approved mandates concerning small-sided game guidelines and changing from the current “school year age” matrix (IE. Aug. 1 - July 31) to a “calendar year” age matrix (IE. Jan. 1 – Dec. 31). US Soccer is the governing body for the sport of soccer in the United States. The mandates apply to national youth soccer organizations which are members of US Soccer, which include US Youth Soccer, US Club Soccer and AYSO to name a few of the more familiar organizations. The Oldsmar Youth Soccer Association (OYSA) is a US Youth Soccer Affiliate as well as a member of the Florida Youth Soccer Association, both of which fall under the umbrella of these US Soccer mandates.
The US Youth Soccer board voted to implement the “calendar year” registration to begin in the 2016-2017 season (1 August 2016). All state associations and their members are required to make the change. The remaining US Soccer mandate regarding small sided games will be enacted in 2017-2018. At the US Youth Soccer AGM in late July, a straw poll vote was taken for implementing the birth year registration in 2016-17 and the result was 91% in favor.
This change means the 8/1 – 12/31 age players on teams move up and the 1/1 – 7/31 players will stay down. The mandate does not mean players may not play up. Playing up allows the clubs and leagues to make decisions in their local environments that are necessary for success. The first administrative action will be to review all our rosters and identify the impact on our teams. As noted, we can play players up, but we can not play players down. This is not a decision over which we as a club have control, it was decided by US Soccer and it is the rule for all of youth soccer in the United States.
US Soccer mandated the initiatives to further the development of the players in the US. OYSA has always worked to assist our members. We invite you to visit our “Related Links” section to gain more insight into the rationale behind the mandates and to view the FAQ link, which provides answers to commonly asked questions.
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Questions regarding the mandates can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org