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Age Group Change | Clay County Soccer Club

Age Group Change

The U.S. Soccer Federation has recently announced significant changes to the youth competition environment to be implemented in the 2016/17 season.

These changes have been made in the interest of long term player development and can be placed into two major categories: (i) player age group changes; and (ii) small-sided game structure.

As a member of U.S. Youth Soccer, Clay County Soccer Club is required to follow the rules, regulations and policies of Florida Youth Soccer Association. In addition to this, as a developmentally focused organization; Clay County Soccer also supports all attempts to create a better environment for youth players.

The recent U.S. Soccer mandates will have an impact on almost every element of youth competition in this country. Our goal in this formal announcement is to help you understand both the changes that need to be made and how we plan on implementing them.

Player age group changes:

Effective Aug. 1, 2016, youth soccer teams at all age groups will be formed using a new age group cut-off date of January 1. This may result in some changes in team composition for all youth teams and age groups in the future.

The current age group cut-off of August 1 (players born on or after August 1 are age eligible) was designed to keep teams on a school-year basis, as such teams were created generally of players within the same academic grade. For this reason it was referred to as “school-based” registration.

The new age group cut-off of January 1 (players born on or after January 1 are eligible) is consistent with the dates used internationally in forming youth teams. This cut-off is referred to as “calendar-based” registration.

Clay County Soccer Club will be implementing the U.S. Soccer Federation’s calendar-based registration mandates for the 2016/17 season.

This means that beginning Aug. 1, 2016 all youth soccer sanctioning organizations will form competitions based on calendar-based age groups. For Example:

  • Players born from Aug 1, 1997 – Dec 31, 1998 will be labeled: Under-19/20s
  • Players born from Jan 1, 1999 – Dec 31, 1999 will be labeled: Under-18s
  • Players born from Jan 1, 2000 – Dec 31, 2000 will be labeled: Under-17s
  • Players born from Jan 1, 2001 – Dec 31, 2001 will be labeled: Under-16s
  • Players born from Jan 1, 2002 – Dec 31, 2002 will be labeled: Under-15s
  • Players born from Jan 1, 2003 – Dec 31, 2003 will be labeled: Under-14s
  • Players born from Jan 1, 2004 – Dec 31, 2004 will be labeled: Under-13s

For a complete matrix, please click here.

The tryout schedule for Premier will be posted in the near future, to register please click here. Players are encouraged to attend the tryout for their calendar-based age group.

Under this new policy, clubs may continue to organize their teams for competition with players that are one year younger than the age group cut-off. This will be for “Premier” players only. Premier players that wish to “play up” on an older age group under the new model will have to complete the request to play up form and have it approved by a club director before May 27th.

Small-Sided Game Structure:

U.S. Soccer has announced additional mandates regarding youth competition to begin on Aug. 1, 2017. These mandates involve the size of the playing field and the number of players on the field from U-6 through U-12 age groups.

These changes are designed to create a better development environment by providing players more touches on the ball, more involvement in the game, and more opportunities to make decisions. You can read more about the changes here.

Additional Information:

If you would like additional information on the new U.S. Soccer initiatives, the CCSC leadership team will be hosting a Q&A on Friday May 20th at 7:00 pm. The meeting will take place at the CCSC Clubhouse; 4387 Lakeshore Drive, Fleming Island, FL 32003.

In the meantime, please feel free to enjoy this article that pertains to the upcoming changes; Ways to relieve the stress of the U.S. Soccer Birth Year Mandates.

We appreciate your patience and support as we begin to work through these upcoming changes. We share the common vision of creating the best environment for your child. Our goal is to be mindful of each and every player as we build for the 2016/17 season.


Very best regards,

Clay County Soccer Club