Harrison Youth Soccer Club, Inc. is a non-profit corporation designed to foster the growth and promotion of youth soccer in Harrison, New York through participation in the Westchester Youth Soccer League and other competitive recreational programs. HYSC's objectives are to teach and train soccer players and coaches, develop leadership qualities and promote good sportsmanship among players, coaches, parents and spectators. We provide children and young adults with the opportunity to participate in a soccer experience where they can develop positive self-esteem and build character by learning the virtues of hard work, respect, honesty, self-control, teamwork and sportsmanship.
As we prepare to enter the Spring 2016 soccer season, we want to formally address certain big changes coming to youth soccer in the U.S.
The Westchester Youth Soccer League administers all our league programs under the sanctioning body of US Club Soccer, a member of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).
Recently, the USSF announced two Player Development Initiatives that will impact all age groups as well as our game structures. These USSF initiatives require compliance by all national and local youth organization members, including the WYSL and our member clubs.
The two major initiatives to be implemented over the next two years are as follows:
Calendar Year Teams (Effective Fall Season 2016)
Currently, players born between August 1st of a given year and July 31st of the next are included in the same WYSL age bracket. This will not change for the Spring 2016 season, which begins in April. Starting with the Fall 2016 season, however, players born between January 1st and December 31st of a given year will be included in the same WYSL age bracket.
We understand and acknowledge the new calendar year age brackets will impact the make-up of our teams and the transition for players, parents, and clubs. This will be disruptive for many teams, but these directives are being imposed on all youth soccer associations and leagues within the U.S.
Game Format Changes for U12 and Younger Age Groups (Effective Fall Season 2017)
The second initiative will not begin until the Fall of 2017. This initiative, also to be adopted nationally, requires fields to be reduced in size and players on the field to be reduced in number for the younger age groups. We anticipate that there will be some revisions to these new standards prior to Fall 2017, so at this time we are not asking our clubs to take any action.
The calendar year age brackets and game changes will bring us closer in line with international and national soccer standards as well as with local Premier programs that have been adopting these changes over the last five years or so.
The WYSL has been working with our sanctioning association and member clubs to inform and prepare all of us for the full ramifications these changes will bring to our soccer community.