skip navigation

SYC Travel Soccer

    US Youth Soccer Age Group Realignment

    Dear SYC Travel Soccer Families:

    SYC is aware there are many questions about the new age group realignment mandate from US Youth Soccer.  We are in the process of making a projected plan for this change to maintain player and team integrity while keeping a competitive level of play.

    On January 12, our SYC NCSL Rep recommended to eliminate the “play up” restrictions in the NCSL rules, effective immediately. The SYC amendment was voted on and adopted almost unanimously. So, NCSL will align structurally next Fall with birth-year registration, but all clubs, including SYC, will have complete control over whether or not to keep teams intact or to move in a different direction. 

    WAGS has decided to postpone their meeting about this to early April.  Our SYC WAGS Rep will submit a recommendation to adopt a similar WAGS rules change to eliminate the “play up” restrictions, so clubs, including SYC, will have complete control over whether or not to keep teams intact or move in a different direction. 

    ODSL is currently reviewing various rules options, however, has not made a decision on any upcoming rules changes as of yet.  At the next ODSL meeting on January 28, the SYC ODSL Rep will suggest that ODSL adopt the same rules that NCSL has implemented.

    SYC is also attending a Fairfax County Soccer Council meeting on January 25 with other local Northern Virginia club reps with this topic on the agenda to compare approaches. So with the absence of all necessary information from the 3 travel leagues, SYC cannot come up with anything absolutely concrete to announce yet.  

    Please remain patient while your Soccer Committee confers with a soon to be announced Technical Director, Director of Coaches to come up with the best solution for all players, teams and coaches. We are evaluating the impact this initiative may have on all SYC soccer teams and/or academies. Our first priority is to ensure that the SYC families stay together. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

    Thank you,

    SYC Soccer Committee 

    BIRTH-YEAR REGISTRATION (below is the original notice received by SYC and other clubs from US Youth Soccer)

    Birth-year registration calendars will now align with the start of the calendar year and run from January to December, rather than August to July as it had previously. For example, a U-15 player (players 15 years old or younger) would have a birth year of 2000 (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31) for the 2015 registration year.  In 2016, U-15 players would be born in 2001 or earlier. Birth-year registration applies to all player age groups and not just players age 12 and younger. 

    The initiative will align registration with the international standard, while simultaneously providing clearer information on player birth dates to combat ‘relative age effect’. Relative age effect refers to the selection bias related to players that are more physically mature than their peers due to being born earlier in the year. U.S. Soccer seeks a balance of players that are born throughout the year so that all players, those born in the earlier months, and those born later have equal opportunity to grow and develop as soccer players. 

    'It makes the process easier,' Tab Ramos U.S. Youth Technical Director and U-20 Men’s National Team head coach said of the birth-year registration initiative. 'Over the years you go through coaching youth soccer and you are constantly finding parents and players confused about what age group players belong in. The current August 1 cutoff meant that two players born in the same year could be in different age groups. To make it more confusing, different school systems have different cutoff months for going into the new grades. It was just very difficult for parents to take it all in. This new calendar year system makes soccer easier. If you’re born in a certain year you belong in that certain age group. Simple. It also puts our players on the same age-playing calendar as the rest of the world so they will be used to competing in the right age group.  That makes it much easier for us to scout for the National Teams and find players ready to compete internationally.”  

    The birth-year registration initiative will not cause the dissolution of age-group based teams that already play together, but will rather give players the opportunity to ‘play up’ with older age-groups.


    Mission & Vision

    Teach soccer skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship in a positive environment while contributing to the enjoyment, general health, and social needs of the participating boys and girls in the Greater Springfield and South County areas.

    • Be the club of choice in the Northern Virginia NOVA area.
    • Develop and maintain one of the premier house and travel programs in the Northern Virginia NOVA area.
    • Demonstrate close cooperation between our house and travel programs.
    • Instill pride and loyalty in our membership.
    • Enable players and coaches to develop to their fullest potential up to their individual interest levels.

    High quality game and practice fields beyond Hooes Road Park, Greensprings, South Run Park, Lee HS, Franconia Park, and West Springfield High School.

    sycsoccer @SYCsoccer sycsoccer