VAR MEMORANDUM: Changes in Youth Soccer for 2016

memorandumTO: VA Rush Members
FROM: Denise Edwards, Executive Director
DATE: September 1, 2015
SUBJECT:  Changes in Youth Soccer for 2016

 Many of you may have seen the August 24th announcements released by both US Soccer and US Youth Soccer concerning mandates for the small-sided game and changing the age groups from 8/1–7/31 to the calendar year passed by the US Soccer Board of Directors. US Soccer is the governing body for the sport of soccer in the United States.  The mandates apply to national youth soccer organizations which are members of US Soccer, to include US Youth Soccer, US Club Soccer and AYSO, to name the more familiar organizations.  Virginia Rush is a member of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association, which is part of US Soccer and the US Youth Soccer state association.  VA Rush did not follow with a press release on August 24th to all of our membership due to some ambiguity in the US Youth Soccer press release concerning the adoption of the calendar year mandate in 2016-2017.  The USYS Board of Directors had a board meeting on August 29-30 in San Diego and we have waited to provide you with final information received today.  

The US Youth Soccer board voted to implement the calendar year registration 2016-2017 year.  All clubs and leagues in our area are required to make the change.  The remaining US Soccer mandates will be enacted in 2017-2018.  At the US Youth Soccer AGM in late July, a straw poll vote was taken for implementing the birth year registration in 2016-17 and the result was 91% in favor.

1991 was the year the country went from calendar year to 8/1-7-31.  I was a new club president at the time and managed the change. Some situations were easy and others were not.  At that time there were fewer individual options for handling the change because there were only 30,000 players in the state, but come fall the referee blew the whistle and the games began. We had it all worked out.
In its pure form, the change to birth year registrations means the 8/1–12/31 age players on teams move up and the 1/1 – 7/31 players stay down.  This is not a decision over which we have control, it was decided by US Soccer and it is the rule for all of youth soccer in the United States.  VA Rush is going to put the needs of the players first and each individual situation will be evaluated for all within the framework.  Implementing change is a process and the club will be continually evaluating the process through this year and the next.  Players may play up, but we cannot play players down.  Players are played up now on teams because is the right choice for the player’s development and other reasons.

The recreation level teams are 2 year age groupings now and every fall the player pool changes in the age groups and players have new team mates every year..  The recreation level teams will experience the least amount of change due to the 2 year age groups.  

Advanced and competitive level teams will be affected because the teams are single year age groups.  All in Advanced have experienced changes in the teams when moving up from the recreation level to Advanced.  We will evaluate individual situations for all putting the needs of the players within the framework first.  

During this year some training sessions and event games will be organized utilizing the calendar year age groupings to provide the players and parents exposure to next year’s potential team mates.  Come Fall 2016, again the referee will blow the whistle and the games will begin with it all worked out.


Virginia Rush Coaches Clinic with VYSA Technical Director Gordon Miller

Virginia Rush Coaches Clinic with VYSA Technical Director Gordon Miller and VA Rush U14G & U15G Elite | ‪#‎ruid‬ ‪#‎virginiarush‬ ‪#‎rushsoccer‬ ‪#‎vysa‬


U.S. Soccer News Release: Small-Sided Games and Birth-Year Registration

_News_Release_2014Changes Coming to Youth Soccer in 2016

Age Group and Small-Sided Games Mandate from U.S. Soccer
Click to view official press release from U.S. Soccer

FRISCO, Texas (August 24, 2015) — Next year, the world of youth soccer will continue its evolution as all members of U.S. Soccer will begin to transition on two key factors to encourage further youth development. The first change will be the nationwide adoption of Small-Sided Games and the second will be a shift from school-year to calendar year for the age grouping of teams.

“With these initiatives, we’re more likely to have players better prepared down the road,” said Tab Ramos, U.S. Youth Technical Director and U-20 Men’s National Team head coach. “With small-sided standards, what we’re trying to do is to help players develop by putting them in an environment where they are constantly involved in the play, and our changes in birth-year registration will make age groups easier to understand, while aligning our calendar with the international calendar.”

US Youth Soccer, the largest member of U.S. Soccer, will assist members with information on these changes through the national office and our 55 member State Associations.

US Youth Soccer director of coaching education and long-time advocate of Small-Sided Games, Sam Snow acknowledged, “Since the mid 1980’s US Youth Soccer has been an advocate for Small-Sided Games. Why? The many benefits to the players and even to novice coaches are clear. With fewer players on the field making quick tactical decisions is easier. Players are in the vicinity of the ball more often which engages them in all four components of the game. The players are realistically exposed to the principles of play frequently. In short, Small-Sided Games will accelerate the development of American soccer players.” Continue reading


Clay Smith Named “Man of the Match”

clay_interviewCongratulations once again to Virginia Rush’s Clay Smith for being named the “Man of the Match”  and on being interviewed post-match for his achievement in the Generation Adidas Ajax Select match against Dordrecht.  The Generation Adidas team won the match 3-0.

From Clay:
“Being able to train with the AJAX coaches and getting to play against some of the top clubs in the Netherlands, was a chance of a lifetime. It taught me how to become a better player, physically and mentally on and off the pitch. I want to thank Rush and Generation Adidas International for this amazing opportunity. GO RUSH!”


Four VAR Players Invited to U.S. Soccer Training Center

social_natl_training_ctrCongratulations to Alexis Sisino, Sophie Wilson, Hannah Antonick and Kelsi Bromwell on their invitations to the U.S. Soccer Training Center.


  • U.S. Soccer Training Centers are free, single-day player identification opportunities for local players with the most potential to train under the direction of U.S. Soccer Youth National Team coaches.
  • Approximately 400 U.S. Soccer Training Centers are run per year around the country.
  • Elite players from any team, club or organization are eligible to attend at no cost to the player.

Don’t forget! Virginia Rush’s Dick’s Appreciation Day is this Saturday!

social_dicks_appreciation08-15Don’t forget! Virginia Rush’s Dick’s Appreciation Day is this Saturday from 10am till 4pm. Virginia Rush Staff will be on site at the Lynnhaven Mall location. Stop in and stock up on gear with 20% off! Print off your coupon here: