Age groups in youth soccer are referred to by a "U" meaning "under" and then a number for the age. A team that is classified as "U10" would have kids 10 and younger only. Players will often be younger than 10 so bear in mind that that is only the reference to the category they will be playing in - some kids in U10 would be 9 or even late in their 8th year depending on where they fall with their birthdays. Currently, youth players in the United States sign up for same-age group clubs and teams based on the traditional calendar of a school year, from August to July. To accurately find where your player falls on this chart please refer to the Birth Year Age Matrix found here. US YOUTH SOCCER AGE MATRIX WE ARE CURRENTLY IN THE 2018/2019 SEASON which runs from Aug. 1 to July 31 of the following year. Using birth year registration ensures that players are training and playing in the proper age group, each with their own developmental needs.
Currently, youth players in the United States sign up for same-age group clubs and teams based on the traditional calendar of a school year, from August to July. To accurately find where your player falls on this chart please refer to the Birth Year Age Matrix found here. link text WE ARE CURRENTLY IN THE 2018/2019 SEASON which runs from Aug. 1 to July 31 of the following year. 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 2018-19 season and this change should cascade down the age groups (Ex: U17 becomes U18, U16 becomes U17, etc.). US YOUTH SOCCER AGE MATRIX
For age groups U10 and under players are placed on teams SOLEY based on where the player's birthdate falls. Often age groups will have more than one team which will result in one team being "older" kids and one having younger kids. We make every effort to register teams for tournaments in brackets with this in mind, thought this isn't always guaranteed and up to the individual tournament directors. For age divisions U12 each age group will start practice together as a whole. After a set number of practices kids will be split up into as many teams as there are numbers for allow similar ability players to be grouped together as this is how we attempt to register them for tournaments that allow for different levels of bracketing. Input on these placements are based on coaches input as well as other evaluators. We feel this is the fairest way to assess all the kids in a low stress environment similar to how they will be playing. We encourage everyone involved to work hard at each practice and not to think that if they don't get on the highest them that it is in any way a negative thing.
For ages U10 and under we place kids on teams SOLEY based on where their birth-date falls. Ages U12 and above are based on a series of practice assessments in real game situations and skills. We know that recreational leagues do allow this but know that if your player can go into this experience with an open mind they will make great friends and grow a lot. We also do not accept requests for your child to "play up" in an age group. There are situations where we need one or two more kids to fill out a roster and have more wiggle room in a younger age group. At this time we will ask for coaches input as well as making sure that the players parent or guardian is comfortable with them playing in an older group before we make any moves.
The short answer is no. While we appreciate your enthusiasm for your child's abilities we are striving to provide a fair and even playing field and this in a way opens a can of worms so to speak. If there is a need for an additional player on an older age group that decision will be made by coaches, the board and potentially an unbiased evaluator at a regular practice. There is always room to grow in many areas of soccer and often times a chance for some kids to become leaders on their teams and develop different skills.
This can often happen with kids who have just inches over the division line and it can seem like a really large jump in age. We try and tell parents not to focus on the number after the "U" and know that we make every effort to group them with the kids closet to their age. Also know that all the other clubs are set up the same way so they will very likely be playing against kids the very same age. Again entering with an open mind to learn and grow and we are hopeful your player will come away with a positive experience.