We are excited to share changes recently announced by US Soccer that will positively impact player development. The Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association and North Shore United are also adopting the changes.
The new standards are being implemented to improve the developmental environment of 6- to 12-year olds, continuing the emphasis on technical skill.
Small-sided games will become mandatory in August 2016. Wisconsin has followed the small-sided model for many years. At North Shore, our coaches have adopted small-sided games as a part of the curriculum in efforts to increase our players’ technical skill. The US Soccer mandate further supports the efforts we have been making as a club.
We will see limited changes at NSU. Under 8 will continue to play 4v4 with no goalie. Under 9 and Under 10 will be increased from 6v6 to 7v7, with a goalie. Offsides infractions will now be called at this age group. Halves will remain 25 minutes, with a 10 minute halftime. Under 11 and Under 12 will grow from 8v8 to 9v9 with a goalie, offsides, 30-minute halves and a 10-minute halftime.
The second major change is in age classifications. Effective next August, players will be grouped by their birth year on the calendar (ex: 2002, 2003 etc.). Currently the age classification calendar is Aug. 1-July 31, which aligns with the school year. US Soccer has proposed this change to become compliant with the other members of FIFA. All competitive leagues through Wisconsin Youth Soccer and the Midwest Regional League will be accepting and implementing the new calendar.
Tryouts and registration next June will utilize this new calendar. How this impacts the playing year calendar, or whether this change will apply to our recreation teams, is yet to be determined. We will continue to share details with our membership as soon as they are available.
We also anticipate additional information in the coming days in regard to State Cup seedings, Midwest Regional League and National League. We will pass the information along as it becomes available.
To read more about US Soccer’s initiatives, visit this link: http://www.ussoccer.com/coaching-education/resources/2015-player-development-initiatives