USSF Age group Changes / Mandate
TO take effect: August 2016
Many of you already know about the mandated changes to age groups that is slated to take effect in August 2016. The Ajax Board and Directors want to give you the information that we know so far to help us all prepare for how this will effect teams and players next seasonal year.
USSF has mandated this change nationwide. This means that every player, every team, every league must make the change. No club or team is exempt from this change.
AJAX is part of USYS (US Youth Soccer), Region III (there are 4 Regions nationwide), STYSA (South Texas Youth Soccer Assoc), AAYSA (Alamo Area Youth Soccer Assoc) and WDDOA (Western District Division One Assoc) – in that order from top to bottom.Each of the higher member groups have chosen to make the mandate effective as of August 2016.This means that AJAX must take these changes into effect when we hold tryouts in May.
USSF (Leadership for all soccer in the US)
USYS (top membership asso)
Region III (13 state asso together; 4 national regions)
STYSA (South Texas = state asso)
WDDOA / AAYSA (Leagues & local membership asso)
NBYSA / AJAX (club)
The local leagues have come to some determinations as to how we will move forward for the Fall levels of play. WDDOA administers D1 and SII leagues (which most of our teams participate). WDDOA, with input from the Directors of Coaching from clubs in the Austin/SA area, has made it possible for teams to keep their rosters intact by allowing teams to play in an age group so that no players are too old to remain on a team. This means, in cases where this is the decision, that a team will SKIP an age group next year and play in the next higher age group (i.e. U12 team would play U14, not U13, next year).
ALL D1 and SII teams must qualify to play at these levels of play. These leagues, along with the State Classic League (above D1) and Premier (above SCL) are strictly promotion relegation for all ages above U13 starting in the Fall of 2016. This means that the only 2 age groups that require no qualification any longer are the U11 and U12 ages. We call these open age groups, which allow club to enter teams without having to qualify. U13 to U19 require qualification – the leagues have done away with qualification tourneys. So, whatever level of play your team qualifies for this Spring, is where they will play in the Fall.
Some decisions will be made because we have teams that have qualified for the highest levels of play. AJAX will not want to lose those spots, so we will look to maintain the levels of play as much as possible.
As for how we will move forward, AJAX doesn’t believe in "one-size-fits-all" decisions. Each team has a special set of circumstances which need to be taken into consideration at tryouts. As the Directors, Darren, Mike and Jen feel that is is necessary to do what is best for each team & each player which allows those involved to remain at the level of play they have earned; but also taking keeping in mind that some players may need to be moved – just as we do at each and every year at tryouts. From that stand point, the coaches will be making the best decisions for everyone in exactly the same manner we have always done.
There are always situations that will be unique and special. Those will be dealt with individually and with care.
We cannot address each team or individual player concerns in this email/statement or in a large forum. Teams that have specific questions, should plan to meet with their coach and Jen Carr sometime in the next few weeks. We ask that everyone attend your team’s meeting if you have questions you would like answered.
We know that this change can bring concerns for our players and we want to help everyone understand and hopefully, assuage any anxiousness you have about the solutions. We look forward to talking with you all very soon.
The AJAX Board and Directors