Following Player Evaluations/Identification, players shall be assigned to a team in the appropriate age group as defined by the USYS/WSA guidelines. In certain/rare cases it may be in the best interest of the player to be playing with the next age group up and will be based on the recommendation and approval of the DOC. No player may play out of their respective age group without following the procedures in the play up policy. (See Below)
Teams will be formed starting at the U7/8 age group, and continuing up to the U19 age group if players and coaches are available. Coaches will be selected and assigned by the DOC as needed to accommodate the number of players. Coaching assignments will be completed after teams have been formed. Ideally, teams will be formed based on single gender and age group guidelines of USSF/US Youth Soccer/WSA. If single gender teams cannot be formed due to the number of players registered, teams can be formed as co-ed using age group guidelines set forth by USSF/US Youth Soccer/WSA.
The Lander Strikers Soccer Club Board, based on the recommendations of the DOC, must approve any deviation from the guidelines for teams.
PLAYER SELECTION CRITERIA
If there are more than enough players and coaches to form more than one team in an age group, the teams will be called the Strikers Green and White. Teams will be referred to as Lander Strikers followed by gender and designated birth year of the team. (i.e. Lander Strikers Boys 02/03-Green)
The Green team will consist of those players determined by the coach(s) and the DOC to be of the ability to make the Green team as competitive as possible (Gold Competition Level).
The White team will consist of those players determined by the coach(s) and DOC to be of the ability to make the White team as competitive as possible (Silver or Bronze Competition Level).
Player selection may be determined by commitment, skill, attitude, ability, coachability, attendance to practice, etc. Player selection will be fluid and happen at the start of each Fall and Spring Season. In rare circumstances, coaches, with the assistance of the DOC, can also make mid-season modifications to team rosters to accommodate individual player skill. However, coaches have the discretion to choose common training times to promote general skill improvement of the age group and develop teamwork.
Teams will participate in their appropriate level in tournaments.
PLAYING "UP" POLICY
There may be times when players request to play up an age division. LSSC Board realizes that any decision regarding a child playing up an age division should be based on what is best for the child and looked at on an individual, case by case situation. None of us coach a sport, but rather we coach a person, and thus every decision is an individual one.
Chronological Age: Actual age of the player
Developmental Age: The age at which children function emotionally, physically, and cognitively.
More factors the LSSC will consider in evaluating a player to “Play Up” or if the player should remain playing up:
A child is developmentally (physically) ahead of his or her peers and tends to rely on physicality rather than technique or thought to have success. This player should be challenged by teammates and opponents who are physical. (Caution: This child may be socially and cognitively behind other players in the next age up, and thus exposed to situations that he/she should not be exposed to yet, based on their maturity. Some kids struggle with tactical development and understanding the movement and interaction of players. Some are not physically ready to perform certain tasks.)
A child is developmentally (technically and tactically) so far ahead of their peer group that there is no challenge. This child should be given the opportunity to play against players with the same technical ability, so he/she is challenged to perform at a higher speed of thought. (Caution: If the physical differences are such that a technically gifted child stops playing the game the right way (i.e. is afraid to dribble or shoot, stops playing confidently), then the situation should be re-evaluated. Some players struggle with the physical disadvantage and can develop bad habits.)
LSSB agrees, except in a unique circumstance, all players are better served in development by following the USSF / USYSA guidelines by playing in their chronological birth year. When it comes to athletic development, the only sufficient reasons for allowing children to play up in the next age are based on player availability in an age division, technical, tactical, and developmental criterion, and not on the whims or dreams of the child’s parents.
All parties involved should give considerable thought before a recommendation or request is made for a player to play up in the next age division.
An additional waiver and release of liability form is required when playing up 3 years or more.