US Youth Soccer – New Age Group Structure (Fall 2016-2017 Season): *Please note, beginning on August 1, 2016, US Youth Soccer (USYSA) has instituted a birth -year registration mandate. For more information, go to: US Club Soccer update on US youth soccers birth year registration mandate. If you are not sure what age group to register for, this Player Age Chart will show you what age group your player is eligible for.
Beginning August 1, 2016 all regional and national US Youth Soccer competitions, including all levels of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series , US Youth Soccer National League, US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program , US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues, and US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup , will be based on age group cut-offs of January 1 for each age group. Due to additional interpretative changes by U.S. Soccer since this announcement in how competition age groups are labeled, US Youth Soccer and other sanctioning bodies are now clarifying the age group structures for the 2016-2017 season.
Beginning Aug. 1, 2016, US Youth Soccer will be using the following birth-year “labels” for competition, based upon the season in which competition ends. For example:
- Players born from August 1, 1997 – December 31, 1998 will be labeled as Under-19/20s.
- Players born from January 1, 1999 – December 31, 1999 will be labeled as Under-18s.
- Players born from January 1, 2000 – December 31, 2000 will be labeled as Under-17s.
- Players born from January 1, 2001 – December 31, 2001 will be labeled as Under-16s.
- Players born from January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2002 will be labeled as Under-15s.
- Players born from January 1, 2003 – December 31, 2003 will be labeled as Under-14s.
- Players born from January 1, 2004 – December 31, 2004 will be labeled as Under-13s.
- With the exception of the US Youth Soccer Under-19/20s, the age group “label” will be determined by subtracting the year in which the players participating in the competition were born from the year in which competition ends.
Beginning August 1, 2016, all youth soccer sanctioning organizations will form competitions based on birth-year age groups.
In consideration of the new age designation mandated by US Youth Soccer, the Addison United Board has approved a revised policy regarding players “Playing Up”. For those who may not be familiar with the term “Playing Up”, it simply is a player who plays in an age group higher than their designated age. For example, a U14 player playing on a U16 team. The Board Members based this revised policy on our mission as a non-profit soccer club to provide a competitive, positive soccer experience for all Addison United players, by focusing on long-term player development, enhancing their skills, and encouraging a passion for the game that translates into success both on and off the field. We feel this updated policy is very clear and straightforward for everyone to understand and will be followed without exception.
“Playing Up” Policy –
Addison United strongly encourages players to play only within their age group and discourages playing in the next higher age group. Higher-caliber players playing within their age group have the opportunity to provide leadership to their peers while benefiting from the constraints imposed on the game for players their age. For example, the maximum number of players allowed on the field during games differs across age groups, and the length of the games varies, too. Both are in recognition of the players’ maturation process, as well as the psychological effects of playing with and against players who are the same age.
Exceptions to this policy are at the sole discretion of the Coaching Directors. A player may be asked to attend the tryout/practice for the higher age group, if and only if there are roster shortages at that higher age level.
Players may not be offered a spot on a team in the next higher age group due to a variety of factors. As such, no explanation will be given if a player is not offered a spot on the team in the next higher age group and attended the tryout/practice for the higher age group. The player’s participation in the correct age group will not be affected.