Player Age Divisions Switch to Calendar Year

Dear Matrix South Bay Families:

We want to inform you that the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) has announced new standardized initiatives designed to enhance the development of soccer players in our country by implementing: 1) Player age divisions aligned to calendar birth year rather than fiscal year; and 2) Smaller sided games for divisions U6-U12. The smaller side games initiative will result in smaller roster sizes and fewer players on the field. These two initiatives could have significant implications for players, teams, and clubs.

For additional detailed information on these initiatives and USYS announcements please visit:

The Calendar Year initiative will group players into age divisions according to their calendar birth year January 1st thru December 31st in contrast to the current school year age divisions of birth dates between August 1st to July 31st.

Cal South has formally adopted the Calendar Year initiative. All National level gaming will be conducted using Calendar Year age divisions. State associations and gaming leagues have no choice but to adopt if they wish to compete at the National level. As a result, clubs including Matrix South Bay must plan to implement Calendar Year age divisions for the upcoming 2016-17 season.

A smooth transition will require effective planning and coordination by our club, coaches and managers. We have already begun a team by team review of the impact of the new age divisions.

In regard to the second initiative, Small Sided Games appears to be on the same 2016 timeline as the Calendar Year initiative. At a recent Cal South member meeting, coaching directors voted to adopt/implement all the changes in 2016. In other words, to do it all at once instead of spacing out the initiatives over two years. (Cal South has not yet formally announced adopting small sided games for 2016, but it appears likely.)

Being AYSO families perhaps you are already familiar with smaller sided games. AYSO adopted 7v7 in U10 and 9v9 in U12 several years ago. If you have seen these games in our South Bay AYSO, you know it results in a fast-paced match, with more touches on the ball per player. Our recreational teams are already used to this style of play, maybe that is why our team so easily transition to Presidio.

There is talk that Presidio most likely will grandfather current U11-U12 teams, re number of players on the field. This would be done in order to prevent current U11-U12 teams that are playing 11v11 from moving down to 9v9 next year in 2016.

Shortly, we will be announcing training, starting in December, where we will focus on calendar year age groups to identify potential teams, and fill in our returning teams with age appropriate players. We are confident we will successfully implement the new initiatives, and continue producing high-level soccer.

Sincerely,

Anthony Millican, Coordinator

Memo Medina, Director of Coaching

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