This email is being sent to Presidents, Executive Directors, Directors of Coaching and other key leaders. This is meant to be a resource for you to help clarify the new Player Development Initiatives with your membership.
The information provided is meant to help clarify any confusion about Birth Year Registration and how it relates to competitions. We first want to address the "Birth Year Chart" and the "Birth Year and Season Matrix." Second, as we move forward, we want to make sure everyone understands how to organize competitions using the Birth Year Registration information. Lastly, we will be hosting a series of webinars to review this information and answer any questions. These webinars, scheduled for Nov. 11, 12 and 17, are only for Presidents, Executive Directors, Directors of Coaching and other key leaders. The webinars are not intended for other guests.
CLEARING UP CONFUSION
In order to provide clarification for comparing the "Birth Year Chart" released in our initial video and the "Birth Year and Season Matrix," here is a quick explanation.
The two U.S. Soccer charts are consistent in terms of the practical effect of the information. What should be made clear is that the "Birth Year Chart" wasn't designed to address the competitive season in relation to the birth year. As suggested at the U.S. Youth Soccer AGM, we created the "Birth Year and Season Matrix" now present in the FAQ.
The "Birth Year Chart" in the presentation shows how to calculate age group and birth year. Year minus age group equals birth year.
This same information is found on the "Birth Year and Season Matrix" chart.
- Ex: If you go to the chart, the 2017-18 season for U7 is the 2011 birth year. For the purposes of calculation, it is the second year of a split-year competitive season which determines what number should be used to calculate age group.
To help avoid this confusion moving forward, we have updated the "Birth Year Chart" found in the video and presentation to more clearly align with the "Birth Year Matrix" found in the FAQ.
For those looking to adopt the mandates in 2016-17, here is a list that shows the birth year for that season. Again, please note that when determining the age group for a season, the year the competition ends should be used.
There is another very important component to understand about this chart. To avoid players aging out of an age group during a season, the new top age group for youth competitions is U19. This change aligns with the birth year standard and makes sure that players are not eliminated from participating during the second half of a season. In short, all the existing U18 leagues should become U19 in the 2016-17 season and this change should cascade down the age groups (Ex: U17 becomes U18, U16 becomes U17, etc.).
If adopting in 2016-17, your next steps should be the following:
- Reference the chart above to determine age groups
- Based on your current highest age group of competition offered, you will need to add an additional age group above that to ensure that players of all ages have the ability to compete. This will ensure that players are playing under the correct age group (19 year olds not playing in U18 competitions) and that players will not miss a year of competition.
- Ex: Current highest league is U18. Player born in December of 1999 will be 19 years of age during the 17/18 season and should register for U19
- For those that currently have U19 competitions, that moves to U20, and the same applies for subsequent older ages
- We encourage you to attend one of the webinars being hosted by U.S. Soccer to help answer any additional questions
For those adopting in 2017-18, your next steps will be the same except they will take place a year later.
In addition to the video and FAQ, we have also created a chart that tracks the pathway of a player from the 2016-17 season to 2024-25. We advise you to distribute this info to clubs, coaches, players and parents to illustrate clear examples. Since the Player Development Initiatives are rooted in individual player development, this chart may make it easier to see the pathway a player takes based on his or her birth year.
This chart is organized to demonstrate how players will progress when registering by birth year. It displays the exact same information as the "Birth Year and Season Matrix" found above. Again, please note that when determining the age group for a season, the year the competition ends should be used.
- Ex: 2017-18 = 2018 - U7 = 2011
U.S. Soccer acknowledges that these changes are not easy and we ask the entire soccer community to please have patience as these changes are implemented. In making these administrative changes, please remember they are being implemented to support the technical aspects of the Player Development Initiatives. We strongly believe that these and future initiatives will lead to long-term success in the area of player development, and look forward to partnering with you to achieve these goals.
- ussoccer.com -