The PBG Predator’s adherence to the age classification changes is based upon literal guidelines for age denominations as detailed in the chart attached and our philosophical approach to development.
Birth Year Registration
Birth-year registration calendars will now align with the start of the calendar year
and run from January to December, rather than August to July as it had previously.
For example, a U-15 player (players 15 years old or younger) would have a birth
year of 2000 (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31) for the 2015 registration year. In 2016, U-15
players would be born in 2001 or earlier. Birth-year registration applies to all player
age groups and not just players age 12 and younger.
Year Season Ends – Birth Year = Age Group:
- 2017-18 – 2003 = U15
- 2022-23 – 2016 = U7
- 2018 – 2012 = U6
For more information on the new birth-year registration initiative, click here.
- Don’t freak out. All clubs are going through this.
- As a club, we are preparing a plan and will address it before your tryouts.
- We will host jamboree’s all spring to host PBG players and age-group teams.
- Be patient and understand clubs are working on limited information.
- There are so many issues to deal with beyond your club such as, tournaments,
state leagues, U19 divisions, recreational players, etc…
- Understand your Directors and Coaches are caught in this, but so is everybody else.
- Don’t complain. Be supportive. Be part of the solution. Don’t be part of the problem.
Birth Year Age Changes 2016-2017 U.S. Youth Soccer and U.S. Club Soccer have both recently announced changes to age classification guidelines that will take effect for the 2016-2017 season. This statement is intended to clarify The PBG Predators Soccer position as we look forward to our upcoming PBG tryouts. The below chart breaks down age group denominations for the upcoming 2016-2017 soccer year.
There will be mandatory changes governed solely by the year in which a child was born. The PBG Predators, like other clubs, have no say in this matter. Many cases will result where players are viewed as skipping an age group. For instance, a player on the older end of his or her current team with a birth date between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31 will transition to an age group that is two levels above their current team.
- Example: Marissa is an Under-12 PBG player born in October 2003. She will NOT be eligible for U-13 events in the coming soccer year under the new alignment based upon her birth year. Players born in 2003 will instead be identified as U-14 players for the 2016-2017 season.
- Marissa’s current U-12 teammate, Audrey, was born in January 2004. Audrey is eligible to play U-13 under the new alignment. She will attend the 2004 jamboree’s and try-outs to play with her age group (see Philosophy).
The PBG Predators will use an Age-Based approach over past team placement when assessing new PBG team composition when the policy changes take effect. Two factors will determined the player’s appropriate stage:
- Level within the standard – We will recommend that players are placed in the appropriate birth year team age group. This approach will provide long term success for the individual, verses the short-term past team placement.
- High School graduation year – Players from the U-15 age group and above will be identified/recruited against players from the same graduation year to mirror the practices of college coaches making decisions for their recruitment classes. Players in this ‘Advancement’ stage of the PBG will be primarily placed on rosters to compete alongside players from the same graduation year.
Application: Current PBG Predator’s Players:
PBG Predator’s Director of Coaching and coaching staff will make recommendations to all current players in advance of upcoming tryouts regarding the appropriate age groups to attend for the 2016-2017 soccer year. Additionally jamboree games will provide an opportunity to show staff performance.
These recommendations will be based upon the standard birth year of the player, detailed above for younger age groups. High school graduation years will also be considered for U-15 and above.
- Example: Frank is a current PBG Predator’s U-11 player born in March 2005. Some of his teammates will move to U-12 upon the transition. Some will jump to U-13 (those born in 2004). Frank remains eligible to play U-12 during the 2016-2017 season as this group will be primarily comprised of players born in 2005.
Application: New Players:
We recommend that players attending the PBG Predator’s tryouts (May 31-June 5) that are not currently involved with our program are registered for the tryouts correlating to the child’s birth year (in accordance with the chart attached).
Our PBG Predator’s DOC and coaching staff may recommend that all players attend the appropriate birth year age and be evaluated against other ‘same’ age group based upon their performance.
Can my child play up or play down?
Play up requests are typically granted in situations where a child needs further challenge because the competitive level within their true age group (e.g. their team is not competitive enough and/or the individual player dominates their competition); this will only be permitted in extreme cases, as both the quality and quantity of the teams we form means appropriate options are available for most if not all players within their true age groups.
A player must EXCEL in an older age group at the HIGHEST LEVEL for a play-up request to be justified. Merely being competitive is not reason enough, as certain aspects of a player’s development are likely stunted when he or she cannot consistently excel in that older age and higher level of play.
Play down requests cannot be approved due to the rules of the leagues, tournaments and events our teams participate in throughout the year.
My child wants to play with his/her friends. Can’t we just keep our team together?
For the best interest of most if not all players – the answer is “No.”
Maintaining our current rosters and ignoring the transition to Birth Year age groups – essentially having most of the roster “play up” an age group — would help preserve current relationships between players and families. However, it would result in our players and teams competing against players significantly older (as many as 18 months), which is likely harmful for both the player’s skill development and enjoyment of the sport.
We recognize the importance of friendships made and the bonds formed as teammates; we also recognize that children are more resilient than we give them credit for, and the transition to this new model will permit players to forge new friendships and bonds, while still treasuring previous relationships. Preservation of existing social relationships is not reason enough to keep teams together.
Our objective regardless of age group definition is and always will be to place players onto teams that are appropriate for their development and competitive levels; following the Birth Year model will allow us to do that, as our leagues, tournaments and competitions will also follow that model.
How will players be selected at Tryouts ? How will tryouts be organized?
Players will continue to be selected to teams based on several factors (technical ability, field vision, athleticism, positive and competitive attitude, etc.), with the goal of placing players at the team level best suited for their current abilities and the environment to further those abilities.
In terms of organization, tryouts will continue to utilize a combination of assessing our current pool of players over the course of the previous year (Fall-Winter-Spring) with the evaluation of players within the tryout environment. Just as we always emphasize, performance and development over the course of the year is just as if not more important than a player’s performance at tryouts, as the tryout only captures a small measure of time as opposed to the previous 12 months.
Who will my child’s coach be?
We aim to have the official coaching assignments announced in early April. We are attempting to post these assignments earlier than normal to provide players and families an opportunity to get to know their potential new coach ahead of the tryouts in June. Assignments will be based on multiple factors (developmental needs of players specific to that age, each coach’s strength and availability, previous year’s assignment, etc.). This remains consistent with our current assignment procedure. Our goal is and always will be to maintain as much continuity as possible in coaching staffs during this year of transition.
What can parents do to help their child’s transition?
Players will follow the lead of the adults in their life (parents, teachers, coaches, etc.) so it is important that these adults set the right example and tone. We all must recognize this change is happening, and there will not be a change at the 11th hour. We must accept this – regardless of its rationale and impact, and our opinions about both. Parents can help their child navigate this transition by doing the following:
1. Accept this new reality and stay positive – focusing on the negative aspects will only make it harder for your child.
2. Talk to your child about this change.
a. Explain to them that they may have new or different teammates, and a new or different coach;
b. Discuss the positives of this change (e.g. a new coach brings a different voice, just as having a new teacher in school might do, or they can make new friends with their new teammates);
c. Explore how they feel about this to allow them to process their emotions now, so this is more easily digestible at tryouts.
3. Keep focus on the Spring season. While this transition is around the corner, we still have practices to attend, league games to play, tournaments to compete in, and several months of individual growth and development to occur.
4. Keep perspective.
a. Your child is resilient – kids make new friends very easily, and the previous relationships made with current teammates will still exist.
b. Movement down a team level or “color” (e.g. Black to White) is not necessarily a demotion, because the age groups and team levels are being redefined.
c. There will be an adjustment period – roll with it the best you can.
d. Remember why your child participates in youth soccer – to have fun, to compete, and to develop skills and good life habits.