Westport Soccer Associations (WSA)'s Spring season is around the corner. We're excited to start and hope you and your children are as well. We kick off the rec soccer season with clinics the week of April 17 and our first rec games will begin the morning of April 22.
This Spring the rec soccer registration process will be different from previous years. This year we will close player registration at the end of day on April 16 --a week before our first game. We recognize that this is meaningful change from previous seasons when registration was open through the first weeks of the season. You are probably asking yourself why are we making this change. The WSA Board deliberated extensively on this decision.
Westport Soccer and the volunteer commissioners who manage the league are focused on forming teams that will support a positive, fun experience for our kids. And that means striking the right balance between strong and developing players and the optimal number of players per team. The process for picking teams is difficult in the best of circumstances. When families register their children the week before the season begins or after the season begins it much harder for our commissioners to achieve optimal team size and player-skill balance. Last season some age groups had 20-30 percent of the registrants entering the program the week we were forming teams and during the first two weeks of the season. By closing registration a week before the season begins we will be better able to achieve our program goals and provide a positive, fun experience for the kids.
This season registration for new players will end on Sunday, April 16. Clinics will begin the week of April 17 and the game season will begin on Saturday, April 22. If you miss the April 16 registration deadline, we will put you on a wait list and depending on team accounts, potentially open up registration again in time for the second or third game of the season.
We recognize that this policy change will cause some challenges but we believe it will ultimately provide for a better overall experience for Westport Soccer's kids.
The Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (“CJSA”) has adopted the US Soccer and US Youth Soccer (national governing bodies for soccer in the US) rules regarding heading. These rules take effect on April 1, 2016 and must be enforced by coaches, referees and club administrators.
Compliance is mandatory for all CJSA members (the WSA is a member of the CJSA).
Heading Restrictions which apply to games and practices
Players who are 10 and younger
No player who is 10 or younger may deliberately head the ball, regardless of the age group of the team they are playing on. This includes all activities where CJSA insurance applies, such as practices, scrimmages, and competitions at all levels.
No player on a U11 team or a combined team including the U11 Age Group, (e.g. U11/12), even if the player has turned 11, may head the ball deliberately.
For the WSA this means that headers are not allowed on any of our U11 teams, regardless if the player is 11 or older. Imagine trying to run a practice or referee a game where some players are able to head and some are not. Therefore no heading for our U-11 groups or any individual player who might be playing up an age group to U12.
This restriction will be enforced in competitions for teams U11 and younger (including combined age brackets including U11 and younger) by award of an indirect free kick for the opposing team. Coaches and parents are responsible for applying this restriction for players who are 10 or younger and playing up.
REC Soccer League:
Kindergarten:NO HEADING ALLOWED
1st Grade Rec: NO HEADING ALLOWED
2nd Grade Rec: NO HEADING ALLOWED
3rd Grade Rec:NO HEADING ALLOWED
4th Grade Rec: NO HEADING ALLOWED
5th/6th grade Rec Plus: NO HEADING ALLOWED
7th/8th grade rec plus: HEADING IS ALLOWED*
All High School Rec Plus: HEADING IS ALLOWED
WSA Travel Teams
U9:NO HEADING ALLOWED
U10:NO HEADING ALLOWED
U11:NO HEADING ALLOWED
U12 AND OLDER:HEADING ALLOWED IF PLAYER IS 11 OR OLDER *
* Players who are 11-13.
Players who are age 11 to 13 and on teams for age groups U12 and older, are restricted to up to 30 minutes of practice heading the ball per week. There is no restriction on the number of times these players can head the ball in a competition, unless the team is competing in a combined bracket that includes U11.