Ardsley North Hills Athletic Association (ANHAA): Soccer Changes for Fall 2016
US Youth Soccer is introducing several changes starting next season. The main aspects of these changes are age divisions, small-sided games, and field and goal sizes. As a club that works with other local intramural clubs (in the U10 program) as well as prepares its players for advancement to travel teams starting at U11, ANHAA plans to adhere to these new guidelines as much as possible. Most, if not all, other local clubs are also migrating to these guidelines in some way. We may not be able to adapt to every new change immediately but will plan to phase in as we can.
The focus of this letter is not to explain the rationale behind the guidelines but rather the impact on our club. For further information on the reason and details of the changes, see the EPYSA web site: http://www.epysa.org/membership/USSoccerDevelopment/
Previously age groups were determined Aug to July. For example, this past season, a U10 team could have anyone UNDER 10 on Aug 1 2015. This is being shifted to calendar year, so next season U10 will be UNDER 10 on Jan 1, 2016. Because ANHAA (and most local intramural clubs) group two age groups together, next season age groups will be based on the following:
2007 and 2008
2009 and 2010
2011 and after
Note it may appear that some children will jump two levels, but that is not the case. There is just a shift in the definition of the age brackets by six months.
This will mean that some kids in the same grade will be playing at different levels. This is similar to the softball age groupings. Because we generally attempt to mix rosters year to year we don’t envision a major impact from this change (as opposed to older travel teams who have played together for several years).
However, with this change, some of our U10 players who played only one year of U10 will be moving on to U11. As we do every year, we will reach out to our U10 players in late winter to make them aware of AC United evaluation times and help answer any questions they may have in the transition.
Small Sided Games
The new guidelines continue to promote the concept of small-sided games which enable more touches and involvement with the players on the field. The following table summarizes ANHAA's current approach and the new guidelines.
ANHAA 2015 Season
US Youth Soccer Guidelines
4v4 (no keeper)
6v6 (no keeper)
4v4 (no keeper)
ANH will follow the guidelines as close to possible but will also make decisions based on number of children registered and number of available coaches. We will also evaluate the U8 changes closer to the season to determine if we want to introduce a more gradual transition (such as going to 6v6 or 5v5 next season) as well as the use of a keeper at this age level (which we traditionally have done and will likely continue).
Additionally, the new guidelines recommend playing quarters for U6 and thirds for U8 to allow more breaks and discussion of the game during the match. There are also recommended changes in field and goal sizes which ANHAA will evaluate and determine how to best phase in based on field space and existing equipment.
If you have any questions on these changes, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.