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USSF Changes

United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Changes :

This page was created to address questions you may have in reference to the United States Soccer Federation Proposed Changes. This page is updated frequently as additional information becomes available.

Does my SAY League have to make these changes? 
 No, those SAY Leagues wishing to stay on their current schedule (Silver Age Matrix) may do so.

Who is the USSF and why do we care?
The USSF is the governing body for soccer in the United States. SAY Soccer and many other youth soccer organizations choose to belong to the USSF for a variety of reasons including participation in tournaments, hosting tournaments, league interplay, access to grants, a structure to standardize our sport across multiple organizations and more. Many SAY Soccer leagues find the USSF membership crucial to their survival, provides legitimacy to their program and offers a level playing field to participate in non-SAY events around the country.

What are the changes I am hearing about? 
There are three major changes coming from the USSF that have an implementation date set for Fall of 2017.

  1. Calendar-year birth date (January to December)

  2. Small sided game changes
    1. Age-appropriate play guidelines
      1.  Field size
      2. Goal sizes
      3. Team sizes
      4. Build-out lines 
  3. Concussion protocols and practical implications


Joint Press Release:

Statement from Youth Council Technical Working Group to U.S. Soccer

To: Leaders and members of U.S. Soccer
From: Youth Council Technical Leaders
Subject: Inclusion in policy discussions

The Youth Council Technical Working Group unanimously agreed that there has been generally insufficient dialogue between the U.S. Soccer Federation technical staff and the technical leadership of the various youth membership organizations.

Substantial questions remain about the impact of the new calendar-year registration model, and the interpretation that a player’s eligible competition year is determined by his/her age in the year in which the competition ends. This change results in every player moving up one age group and may not align appropriately with the mandated age appropriate play guidelines.

There are broad concerns about the efficacy of those new guidelines, which should have been addressed prior to broad dissemination of the materials.

Not only does the Federation have a responsibility to discuss such broad issues with its membership, but a transparent and inclusive process will produce better outcomes for everyone.

The Youth Council Technical Working Group would like the Federation to agree to a formal, institutionalized communications process to ensure that an ongoing dialogue is established with the youth members. Federation technical and administrative leadership should schedule approximately three meetings annually with the Youth Council Technical Working Group and other meetings as needed with ad-hoc sub-committees of the Group.

Specific issues, which should be discussed include:

- Calendar-year birth date and implications;
- Age-appropriate play guidelines
       Field sizes
       Goal sizes
       Team sizes
       Build-out lines
- Concussion protocols and practical implications
- Modifications to the Laws to accommodate the above
- Broad player development philosophy
- Coaching education policies
       Licensing philosophy

It is the intention of the Youth Council Technical Working Group to cooperate closely with the Federation and support its efforts to raise the standard of development for all youth players. Through regular dialogue and a rigorous examination of these and other related issues, we believe that the best outcomes can be achieved for all interested parties.


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