Introduction to Soccer

Our Newsletters contain further information:

Q - When does season start and end?

A - Recreational play begins about second Saturday in September and ends the last Saturday before Thanksgiving (you will get a schedule).

Q - When and where are games played?

A - Matches are on Saturdays. Matches for younger players are within Greater Renton area (Renton, Newcastle, Tukwila, Skyway). Older players' matches are in south King County and Pierce County.

Q - Tell me about practices.

A - Practices may begin in mid-August (coach decides). Typically practice is two evenings a week for about 1 hour (longer for older players). Usually several teams share a field. The objective is to provide age-appropriate activity that is fun and develops skills.

Q - What uniforms and equipment are required for players?

A - The following apply to the youngest players, extracted from the modified rules:

1. Footwear: Tennis shoes or soccer shoes with soft cleats.

2. Shin-guards: Mandatory, approved manufactured age and size specific. Socks must be worn up and over the shin-guards.

3. No jewelry of any kind, no decorative items in the hair such as beads, clips, etc.

4. No casts or splints are allowed. Other medical devices may be allowed as long as such a device does not pose a hazard to the player/other players.

5. Shorts and shirts should be of like color for each team. Home team will switch colors if needed.

Q - What can I do to help?

A - Please volunteer. Assist the coach. Coordinate snacks. Plan trophies and team party. Arrange ride pools. Also your Club has a number of positions for volunteers.

Q - And if I have more questions?

A - Ask your coach.

Letter to Parents - Sideline Behavior 

The first month of Youth regular-season play has produced a greater-than-normal number of WSYSA matches affected by parents and/or coaches failing to behave in a responsible manner.  We are seeing a disturbing trend toward more and more unacceptable behavior from people whose only reason for attending is to yell at the referee and disrupt the game.  This encompasses behavior from dissent and foul or abusive language to full-blown threats aimed at the officials.

THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AND MUST BE STOPPED!!!

This behavior is directly linked to the high turnover in our referee ranks and is destructive not only for the referee but also for the player's enjoyment of the game.  There is NOTHING that can justify this type of behavior!

Please reinforce to the referees that you assign that the referee has the POWER to warn or DISMISS any "team official" who fails to behave in a responsible manner.  And since WSYSA identifies ANYONE on a team's touchline (coach, manager, parent, sibling, etc.) as a "team official", the referee has the power to dismiss ANYONE who is causing problems from the vicinity of the field.

These warnings and dismissals are reported just like any yellow card Caution or a red card Send-off to a player; they carry the same effect as yellow or red card.  WSYSA has the authority to deal with the guilty party in the same way - the transgressors can be suspended and prohibited from attending WSYSA events for a period specified by the Disciplinary Committee.

Please review the proper misconduct reporting procedures with the referees you assign so they are prepared to deal with this type of behavior when it occurs.  Additionally, you may need to provide field monitors or mentors where problems are most likely to occurr - I encourage you to bring the local Youth Club into the loop to arrange for this added coverage.  If needed, you may have to charge them for the additional referee support.

This behavioral trend is not acceptable - and as the State Youth Referee Administrator I am not going to let this loutish behavior ruin the careers of any of our outstanding young referees.  Protect your referees as needed and do NOT allow this behavior to go unpunished.

If you have any questions about how to do this, please contact me.

Regards

Roberto Alvarez
SYRA


Transition between U-10 and U-11

The following is based on a letter sent in January 2008 to parents. The purpose is to make you aware of the many choices and opportunities available to players from U8 and above.

Youth soccer in our state starts as early as U5, and continues through U19. Recreational "Mod" soccer - provides the opportunity to discover the game, with school and community friends in a setting that encourages skills development and understanding and enjoying the game. This league is run under our soccer association - Greater Renton Junior Soccer Association, (or GRJSA), through our four "multi-purpose" soccer clubs:  Cascade Soccer Club, Highlands Soccer Club, Soccer Club of Renton East (SCORE), and Tukwila Skyway (TUSK). Fall and Spring soccer league play is provided (signup for Spring now), and it runs from age U5/6 through U10.

At U11, additional options are available.  Recreational soccer is still available for players enjoying soccer at this level, there is a lower commitment of time and money and no tryouts.  Often these teams are made up of players who have been playing Mod soccer together for years.  For players that are ready for a more challenging developmental program, "Select" soccer is available.  Select level soccer teams hold tryouts.  At U11, these teams are still playing "modified" soccer where a slightly smaller than full-size field is used and there are 9 players a side.  Often the leagues are made up from teams in a broader geographic area and so games may be further away.  The tryouts for Select soccer begin in February.  From U11 up, Cascade, Highlands, SCORE, and TUSK provide both the Recreational and "Select" level of play. In GRJSA, we don't limit the level of competition that teams can attain, so these teams still have the opportunity to compete for a position in the state's Premier leagues.

GRJSA also includesGreater Renton Football Club (GRFC), a mission club dedicated to the development of the "Premier" soccer player and teams across GRJSA. Premier level soccer is for players with a strong desire, high skill level, and the commitment necessary to compete at the highest level of play.  GRFC teams are formed by the tryout process which takes place as early as February or March and later for some of the older age groups. 

Each club offers something a little different.  Make sure you understand the choices, take advantage of any informational meetings/ pre-tryout activities (open practices) to help prepare you and your player for the experience. Also, it's best to plan on attending multiple tryouts, both to see the options available and to make sure that your child has the best opportunity to be selected for a team that is a good fit.

The Select/ Premier levels of play require a greater commitment of time and money. For the more serious soccer player, this is an important option, and allows them to continue to develop their skills and love of the game.
 
Each club has a website and will continually update it with information regarding their teams, coaches, and tryouts. In addition, tryout information for all GRJSA competitive teams will be distributed in a newsletter, and will be available on line at the Association site, www.grjsa.org. In 2008, tryouts for teams that will play U11 and U12 this coming season can be held as early as February 1, 2008. Teams that will play U13-U19 next year can have their tryouts as early as March 14, 2008.
 
Things to consider and ask questions about as a first time Select/Premier parent:
1) How much of a time and travel commitment is expected? Coaches have different philosophies on training. Practices can vary throughout the year, but expect at least two per week, and more as the team gets older or plays at a higher level. Also understand expectations around summer tournament play, and State Cup play. For many teams, soccer at the Competitive level becomes a year-round activity.
 
2) What is the financial commitment? Depending on the team, this can range from $350 to $2000 a year - and more for Premier clubs outside of GRJSA. These fees cover everything from uniforms and registration, to tournament fees, practice fields, and paid trainers. Make sure you understand what is included, and what additional out-of-pocket expenses you should consider when evaluating a team.
 
3) VERY IMPORTANT - get comfortable with the coach and staff. These people will have a significant influence on your child's life. Understand their experience and their approach. Ask parents of returning players their opinions.