LOUDOUN SOCCER ANNOUNCES NEW GRADE-BASED PROGRAMMING FOR REC

Loudoun Soccer is excited to announce that beginning in Fall 2016, the majority of its Recreation program and teams will be organized by grade instead of the current (and confusing) age group model.

Loudoun Soccer’s age groups have followed those of US Soccer, the governing body of soccer in this country. Since 1987, those age groups were defined by an August 1-July 31 calendar, which for most children mirrored that of the school calendar (e.g., U8 is primarily 2nd graders, U9 is primarily 3rd graders, etc.).

In August 2015, US Soccer mandated a reclassification of age groups from this school-based calendar to a pure birth-year model, meaning age groups are to be defined by a January-December calendar; this adjustment is to occur with the Fall 2016 season. While US Soccer’s rationale includes simplifying age group classifications from the national level to community, grassroots programs, and to provide consistency at the international level, the end result at the local level is age groups that combine players across two grades.

Understanding the important social and developmental aspects of our grassroots Rec program, Loudoun Soccer will redefine its programming to a grade-based model to permit as many players as possible the opportunity to continue playing with their classmates. The club is able to circumvent US Soccer’s mandate, with notable exceptions*, because Rec is an in-house program and does not compete against outside clubs.

Bottom line: while the names of many of our age groups will change to reflect grades (e.g., U8 will become Rec 1/Grade 2), most players will still play with and against a similar group of peers from the previous year.

*The following programs will be organized by birth year because they compete against other clubs, or are connected to these programs: Travel (1998-2008), SFL (grades 9-12, 1998-2001), U8 Academy (2009), U7 Pre-Academy (2010), and Rec All Stars (2005-2008). Players in these programs will be placed strictly by birth year, without regard to grade level.

Below is a chart detailing the club’s Player Development Pathway with this newly-designed structure:

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

We are in the process of transitioning the club’s website to reflect these changes in anticipation of the launch Fall 2016 registration, while our Spring 2016 season concludes.  We apologize for any confusion in terminology or program names as this transition occurs.

To better understand the background of this change as well as its impact on our programs, and potential impact on your child, please review the FAQs below.

Rec Birth Year FAQs

Section 1: An Overview of Changes

WHAT ARE THE CHANGES?
WHEN DOES THIS HAPPEN?
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
WHY THE DELAY IN COMMUNICATING THESE CHANGES?
WHAT STEPS HAS/IS LOUDOUN SOCCER TAKING TO ADDRESS THESE CHANGES?

 

Section 2: The Impact on our Programs

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT MY CHILD?
WHAT SUBPROGRAMS WILL BECOME GRADE-BASED?
WHAT SUBPROGRAMS WILL COMPLY WITH THE BIRTH YEAR MANDATES?
WHY DO SOME OF THE SUBPROGRAMS HAVE TO FOLLOW THE BIRTH YEAR MANDATE AND OTHERS DON'T?
WHAT OPTIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE TO MY CHILD IN THE FALL 2016 AND SPRING 2017 SEASONS?
WHY ARE 10th GRADERS SPLIT BETWEEN U16 AND U19?
CAN MY CHILD PLAY UP ON AN OLDER TEAM?
CAN MY CHILD PLAY DOWN WITH A YOUNGER TEAM?
MY CHILD IS CURRENTLY U7 AND WAS BORN IN 2008. DOES THIS MEAN THEY CANNOT TRY OUT FOR THE U8 ACADEMY FOR THE FALL 2016-SPRING 2017 SEASON?

 

Section 3: Travel Program Questions

WHY NOT MAKE THE REC PROGRAM FOLLOW THE SAME FORMAT AS TRAVEL?
DOES THIS MEAN TRAVEL TEAMS WILL BE A MIXTURE OF GRADES ON EACH TEAM?
IF REC IS ORGANIZED BY GRADE, AND TRAVEL BY BIRTH YEAR, WON'T THIS CHANGE MAKE IT HARDER FOR MY CHILD TO JOIN A TEAM IN THE TRAVEL PROGRAM?
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ON THE TRAVEL TRYOUTS, THE TRAVEL PROGRAM, AND THE BIRTH YEAR MANDATES?

 

Section 4: What Parents Can Do To Help

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO TO HELP THEIR CHILD'S TRANSITION TO THIS NEW STRUCTURE (IF APPLICABLE)?
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ON THESE CHANGES?