The shift to grade-based leagues by U.S. Youth Soccer (and in turn, Massachusetts Youth Soccer, our county program and ultimately town program) has generated many questions, so we wanted to provide a quick Q&A to address some that have surfaced.
Why did U.S. Youth Soccer make the change?
Among other reasons, the governing body for national youth soccer wanted to ensure children could play with classmates. Today, some classmates can be split based on whether they were born before or after August 1st. As an example, two 6th graders with birthdays in July and December of 2003 would be in two different age groups, U14 and U12. If the new rule were in effect today, they would both be together in Grade 5/6.
What is the primary criteria for the new grouping?
Grade level. As an example, Grades 5 & 6 will be the age group formerly known as U12.
Does my child attend the evaluation for their current grade, or the grade they will enter in the fall?
The grade level for the fall.
Where is the schedule for the Travel evaluations?
It is posted on the web site at http://www.
Why is the age range needed?
The age range is written in such a way as to benefit players. It is stated that players must have been born on or afterJanuary 1st of a given year. As an example, a child could be in 5th grade and born on January 15 of 2006. The Grade 5/6 group is for children born on or after 1/1/2004, so s/he would play in this group, not with the 3/4 group.
Do I need to register for the evaluation?
Yes, this helps us plan more effectively. The link is available on the web site:
Can I change my evaluation date?
Yes, this feature is available on the survey monkey registration site as well.
Should I attend both evaluation dates?
No, players should only attend one.
What should my player wear?
White shirt please. Cleats and shin guards are mandatory.
Who is required to attend?
For U12 we offer both Intramural and Travel programs. The Travel program in fall is limited, but we encourage any interested player to attend. All U14 players must attend, as there is no Intramural program. There is no fall U10 Travel program.
When will we hear about team selection?
Emails will be sent to all players on Wednesday, June 15.
When do I need to decide?
Players must respond by Sunday, June 19. It is vital for families to respond in a timely fashion. Our coordinators need to formally submit teams to Essex County, and knowing the exact count of players helps us decide on the number of teams we will have, and the size of the teams.