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PCSC Families,   We have heard questions from many...

8/01 – 8/05 ~ Monday to Friday 2016 Portsmouth City Soccer...

PCSC Families,


We have heard questions from many parents about the new birth year mandates from US Youth Soccer, and how they will affect team formation for our club.  US Youth Soccer and NHSL have mandated a switch to a birth year based age grouping system starting for fall 2016 league play.  We, the board of PCSC have recently announced the decision to move forward with a birth year + academy format for our club in accordance with this mandate. PCSC is comprised of approximately 370 children and 23 teams across the various age groups (the second biggest town travel club in the state after Exeter). 


As a board, we have spent many hours both individually and as a group carefully reviewing various possibilities for the transition to birth year teams.  Our continuing goal as a club is to try and find a balance that would allow our strongest players to have a very competitive experience while allowing our developing players to continue to be involved in soccer and also be challenged to improve to their best potential.  We also try and avoid cutting children from participating in PCSC whenever possible.  No one on the PCSC board is happy about the new birth year rules.  Many of us involved on the board are coaches of teams within PCSC and have multiple kids playing across the various age groups.  We are all passionate about soccer.  I think all of us on the board would have preferred to keep our kids and teams together by grade level.  Unfortunately, because of the registration numbers this year and also a change to 9 v 9 and 7 v 7 teams in the younger age groups this year, straight grade based teams would have led to an unprecedented number of cuts within PCSC.  Many of the kids cut would have been kids who have played many seasons with the club.  This was unacceptable.  Also, approximately 70% of players would be essentially “playing up” an age group level if we attempted to keep grade based teams. Several options to try and utilize some some kind of birth year/grade based hybrid model were also explored.  There were several concerns with these models some of which included:


  1. Lack of fairness with some players automatically being placed on a stronger team because of their birth year while the others had to tryout for a certain number of left over slots.  This in turn leads to an over reliance on a tryout system which can fail to identify some of the stronger players within the club. (our academy style helps mitigate this)

  2. Teams “left behind” by these models were likely to be quite weak and would have trouble competing within the league. (our academy style helps mitigate this)

  3. Loss of consistency within the club across age groups.

  4. We feel there us a significant possibility that there may not be a separate U14 age group this year and that it may combine with U15 (if U14 is separate, we suspect there may not be many teams in it).  For instance, keeping next years 7th graders together may have effectively led to all 7th graders and birth year 2004 6th graders competing with 2002 birth year kids U15.


Overall, we feel that the current birth year + academy plan best meets the goals of the club and will provide the best experience possible for the most kids possible across the club while maintaining consistency.  Looking at the current pool of players registered across the age groups, we anticipate that most of our academies will be able to field teams that will be competitive with the strongest town travel teams in the state. We also anticipate that we will have limited or no cuts for the children within these age groups and that our developing players will be appropriately challenged and feel part of the competitive atmosphere.  In addition, our understanding is that other surrounding clubs such as Exeter are also transitioning to these straight birth year based teams.


Again, we realize that some of our kids will initially be disappointed by their teams not being the same from last year to this one.  We as coaches and parents are all dealing with this initial disappointment as well.  While the teams/academies may be different this year, we still anticipate a great mix of kids and a very positive experience for the kids within the club.


Looking forward to another great season on the field. 


PCSC Board

by posted 05/18/2016

8/01 – 8/05 ~ Monday to Friday

2016 Portsmouth City Soccer Club Summer Day Camp

Location: Portsmouth High School Turf Fields-Portsmouth, NH  |  Ages: PCSC Players U8-U14, Ages 6-14

Cost: $ 125.00   |   View Details   |   Register Now ››


by claire ingwersen posted 01/19/2016
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