News & Info
Save The Date-AGM Set
The 2013 Annual General Meeting will be held on Sunday, July 14th at 2:00 PM. The meeting will convene in the Slippery Rock University Advanced Technology Science Building's auditorium. The meeting will include election of officers, 2013-14 budget approval, and proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws. All youth clubs are required to have a representative attend.
Youth Board Meeting Notes
January 14, 2013
-The Board denied a grievance against Pgh. Dynamo Soccer.
-The Board forwarded a grievance against Bethel Park Soccer to the Mediation Committee.
-The Board upheld an appeal from Joga Bonito overturning the decision of the Youth Division Hearings and Appeals Committee.
-The Board approved an amendment to the Open Tournament Rules allowing guest players in U13 and older age groups to be from outside the club. Players must meet all the same guidelines regarding play level, age, and travel status.
Youth Board Meeting Notes
November 12, 2012
-The Board approved a policy allowing each district or division to create fines up to $500.00. The policy will be presented to the Executive Board for final approval.
-The Board approved the 2013 Open Tournament Ruiles.
-The Board approved the 2013 State Cup Rules.
US Youth Soccer Workshop at NSCAA Convention
US Youth Soccer and the NSCAA have merged their annual events. The 2013 convention will take place Jan 16-20 in Indianapolis, IN. For more information and to register, go to the US Youth Soccer Workshop webpage.
The 2012-13 Rules Offer Changes
Beginning September 1, 2012 all U11 and U12 teams will play 8 v 8...previously travel teams used the 9 v 9 format while the classic teams played 11-a-side soccer. This format change also brings a new roster max of 14 players (down from 16 for travel and 18 for classic). The U10 age group will play 6 v 6 instead of 7 v 7. These are among the ten notable changes the Youth Board approved for the upcoming season. The 2012-13 Rules can be found on the Rules Page.
Registration Fees For 2012-13 Season
In-house/Recreational - 9.50 per player
Div 4-6 - 14.50 per player (club registering inhouse and travel players with us)
Div 4-6 - 25.00 per team
Clubs registering travel teams only; except for clubs joining as travel-only clubs prior to 2012
Div 4-6 - 17.50 per player
Div 4-6 - 50.00 per team
Classic U11-U12 (8 v 8) - 350.00
Div 1-Div 3...U12-U19 - 425.00 (per team if sponsoring 5 or more teams)
Div 1-Div 3...U12-U19 - 500.00 (per team if sponsoring 2-4 teams)
Div 1-Div 3...U12-U19 - 600.00 (if sponsoring only 1 team)
All player and team fee payments are due at time of registration with district or division registrar. Fees are only payable by club check. Checks must be payable PA West Soccer.
Historical in-house registration numbers will be used to confirm clubs meeting the requirements for lower travel player registration rate.
National Club Directory Now Available On US Youth Soccer web site
The new, free national club directory provides 24-hour access to clubs in your area and is a great tool to connect with those looking for soccer clubs, leagues and associations
US Youth Soccer is launching the new service on USYouthSoccer.org in an effort to assist those seeking US Youth Soccer programs in their area or maybe an area that they’ll be moving to in the future.
Leaders don’t delay, be the first to register with USYouthSoccer.org and upload your club information today.
How do I add my organization to the directory?
Looking for Tournaments? Check out the US Youth Soccer Tournament Database
Another US Youth Soccer member benefit is the US Youth Soccer National Tournament Database on USYouthSoccer.org. This database is useful for to find all approved soccer tournaments across the country. To add your tournament, please contact your state association to send notification of your event.
Heat Safety Tips For Soccer
Learn the warning signs of dehydration and heat illness…if someone becomes fatigued, dizzy, nauseous or has a headache during exercise in the heat, have them stop, rest and drink fluids. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist.
Get Acclimated…active kids need time to gradually adapt to hotter temperatures
On a schedule, drink up…thirst isn’t an accurate indicator of fluid needs. Young athletes should be encouraged to drink on a schedule or at regular intervals before they become thirsty.
Always bring a Gatorade…especially during games and practices in the heat, replacing electrolytes and providing energy is crucial to keeping kids safe.
Young players should be well hydrated…light colored urine well hydrated; dark urine indicates dehydration.
Drink early…even slight dehydration can compromise performance and increase the risk for heat-related illness.
Young players should consume 5 to 9 ounces (5 oz. for a player less than 90 lbs, 9 oz. for a player over 90 lbs.) of fluid every 20 minutes while active.
Sports drinks like Gatorade are preferred to water because research shows a young athlete will drink 90% more and stay better hydrated.
Fluids to Avoid During Practice or Games
Regardless of thirst, drink every 20 minutes for one hour after activity.
Fruit juices, carbonated beverages, caffeinated beverages, energy drinks.
Warning Signs of Dehydration
Drinks high in sugar content can slow fluid absorption and cause upset stomach. Carbonation can reduce voluntary drinking due to stomach fullness. Caffeinated beverages have a mild diuretic effect and could promote dehydration. Drinks high in carbohydrates such as energy drinks slow fluid absorption.
Thirst Nausea Dry lips and tongue
Be Prepared During Hot Weather
Headache Irritability Muscle Cramping
Lack of energy Red, flushed face Dizziness
Dark, yellow urine
Children should wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Take breaks in the shade whenever possible. Always have a phone available and be familiar with emergency numbers. Keep ice and ice towels on hand in case of heat-related emergencies.
Lightning Safety Guidelines
Lightning is the number one weather hazard for athletic events. The following guidelines should be used to prevent tragedy from striking your soccer club.
- Monitor weather conditions prior to your match. Know what the weather forecast predicts for your area.
- Suspension and resumption of games should be planned for in advance when weather could include lightning. The coaches and referees should discuss the possibility of lightning prior to kick-off and know what to do should lightning force the suspension or cancellation of the match.
- Players and spectators should be advised to use SAFE evacuation sites in the event of lightning.
- Enclosed buildings with substantial construction
- Fully enclosed metal vehicles with windows up.
- Low ground.
- Use the lightning safety motto: “If you see it, flee it; if you hear it; clear it.”
- If caught by close-in lightning without immediately available SAFE evacuation site…(if you can feel your hair standing on end and/or hear crackling noises)…immediately remove all metal objects, place your feet together, duck your head, and crouch down low.
- Once a game has been suspended for weather…wait 30 minutes following the last visible lightning striker or thunderclap before returning to the field.
- UNSAFE SHELTER AREAS: Under bleachers, picnic pavilions, grove of trees, small structures in open areas. Avoid water, Avoid metal objects, Avoid open fields.
- People have been struck by lightning do not carry an electrical charge and are safe to handle. Apply first aid immediately if you are qualified to do so. Get emergency help promptly.
Please note: these are general guidelines and it is recommended you consult your club’s procedures for lightning for specific guidelines when dealing with weather related hazards.
Secured Goals And Safe Field Surface Provide Safe Practice And Games
Players rely on their coaches for just about everything, and that includes safety practice and game fields. It’s the coaches responsibility to make sure goals are properly anchored and the playing surface is safe, no potholes or sharp objects. Here are some guidelines for both areas of responsibility.
Goal Post Safety:
- Portable goals should always be properly secured and anchored; use only on level playing fields. Remember spring winds can blow over an unsecured goal in an instant.
- Inspect goals for sharp corners and general integrity (strength).
- Instruct all players and parents of the potential dangers associated with movable goals.
- Forbid any horseplay by players or members of the general public on or around any goal (permit or portable).
- Remove nets when goals are not in use.
- Portable goals should only be moved by authorized personnel.
- Portable goals should be secured in a safe place when not in use.
- Inspect for foreign objects before every practice and game.
- Check for potholes, ruts and bumps.
- Make sure sprinkler heads are properly seated.
- Observe a three-foot restraining line from the touchline. Remind spectators of this as well.
- Notify your club and field owners of unsafe field conditions in writing.
- Do not allow participation by your players until noted hazards have been corrected.
PLEASE NOTE: These guidelines offer a sketch of proper safety practices; please consult your club’s specific guidelines to insure safe and fun practice and game fields.
How to Pick a Classic Team!
The Classic Division is the highest level of inter-district team play offered by PA West Soccer. Playing in the Classic Division involves a greater time commitment and, often time, a greater financial commitment to the sport. One of the questions asked most often is “how do I pick a Classic team for my son or daughter?”
Here are suggested questions that enquiring parents should ask prospective clubs. It is also important to remember the 3 stages of player development as noted by Bruce Arena, former US Soccer Men’s National Team Coach. Essentially Bruce states that from 6 to 10 years of age children are in the “turn on” phase, from 10 to 14 years of age in the “technical development” phase and from 14 to 18 years of age in the “competitive learning” phase. Hence, as parents of an U11 child in the “golden age of motor learning,” finding an environment that prioritizes player development and focuses on teaching excellent soccer technique is paramount. Furthermore, during the U12 to U14 ages the team coach is often the most important element in this environment.
Q: Does the team/club have a written philosophy?
A: Ideally clubs should have a mission statement that discusses issues such as player development. If they do not, ask the Director of Coaching or Coach to put down his ideas on player development in writing (i.e., a letter).
Q: Does the club/team offer skill development sessions in addition to normal team practices?
A: Unfortunately the environment for many of our U10 and U11 players is not ideal in terms of technical development. Hence, players from PA West Soccer, when compared to their counterparts from states like Ohio, Maryland and Eastern Pennsylvania, are a couple of years behind. Consequently, our players have to play “catch up” and need extra technical coaching.
Q: What is the club/team’s position on roster stability?
A: The club’s goal should be to develop excellent players over the long-term, rather than to recruit for success.
Q: What is the U12 team coach’s philosophy?
A: Bill Beswick (a sports psychologist who works with pro teams in the English EPL) views the coach as the most influential person during the development phase. So, what is the coach’s position on teaching technique, developing committed players, making soccer fun, fueling soccer “ambitions” and keeping players “hooked?” Is the coach interested in short-term success (winning now) or is there a commitment to developing players over the long-term who are able to excel? Everything the U12 coach does should be shaped by a commitment to player development. Players should be able to play multiple positions, should receive intensive technical training, should be indulged to experiment on their individual skills, should not get too much tactical training, should play in tournaments “out of state,” etc.
Q: What are the coach’s credentials?
A: The greatest priority for a U12 coach is playing experience. This is because it is much easier to teach technique through demonstrations. Ideally coaches should have collegiate or professional playing experience. However, we cannot forget that coaches are teachers. Hence, coaches should be licensed. The “A” license is the highest available award from the USSF. However, the “B,” “C” and “National D” also indicate that coaches have shown an ability to coach at a higher level (n. b., USSF licenses at the higher end have a playing requirement…NSCAA Diplomas do not). Coaching experience is another factor to bear in mind.
Q: Is the coach supportive of team players participating in PA West Soccer player development programs?
A: Does the coach support US Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development Program? Can you miss try-outs to attend PA West Soccer player development programs?
Q: How does the team/club handle player-coach issues?
A: Clubs usually do not give refunds because of their financial commitments. But what is their approach if the coach fails to prioritize player development? Will the club intervene?