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The Stanford Soccer Club


High School Players FAQ

1) What are the requirements for a team to join the SSC?

There must be a parent (or group of parents) willing to do the work necessary to organize a team. This would include at a minimum: having tryouts (or otherwise finding players), identifying a coach/trainer, preparing a budget, registering the team with CYSA, attending monthly club meetings. 75% of the girls on the new team should reside in Palo Alto. The parent organizing the team should reside in Palo Alto. The new team should not plan to take players from an existing SSC team to form the new team.

2) Are there any other requirements?

Yes. Each team must be willing to take a role in helping to run the club. In addition, the club will research the history of individuals and teams requesting membership. Younger teams usually are based on AYSO experience, while older teams usually have some prior organization. The current club teams will discuss membership applications, vote and advise the requesting team of the vote results. Teams with a sincere interest in local youth soccer and necessary resources usually are accepted wholeheartedly.

3) Once a team is accepted in the club, is it up to the team coach/manager to make all decisions?

No. SSC teams belong to the collective parents of team members. A team meeting of all parents is normally held at least once a season. The parents should discuss who/how they want to run the team. Generally the parents will appoint one person or committee to be the primary decision maker. This person/committee will be responsible for hiring a coach, developing the budget etc.

4) What are some examples of Club responsibilities that could be assigned to a team?

Field lining, registration, field scheduling, referee scheduling, new team handout etc.

5) What are the primary differences between CYSA and AYSO?

AYSO teams are formed each year by consciously dispersing the most talented players among the various teams, so that each team has a wide range of abilities. It is open to any player, regardless of skill level, and all players must be played for at least half the game. CYSA is a more selective soccer program for those girls and boys who have a more serious commitment to soccer and well-developed athletic ability. Players aren’t assigned to a team in CYSA, they generally try-out for a team and then remain with that same team, year after year, assuming their skill-level is progressing along with the rest of the team.

6) What are the primary differences between the SSC (Stanford Soccer Club) and the PASC (Palo Alto Soccer Club)?

The SSC is more decentralized. Teams are organized and managed by parents. The PASC is more centralized. Teams are organized and formed by a centralized group of committed volunteers. Both clubs strive to create an opportunity for youth to play competitive in a positive environment.

7) Are there different levels of CYSA teams?

CYSA teams play either Class 1 (sometimes called “Select”) or Class 3 (sometimes called “Comp”.) Class 1 is the highest level of play and therefore attracts the best players. Any CYSA team may play in a Class 3 league, while a team must be accepted (usually based on prior record) to a Class 1 league. It is normal for a team to begin as a Class 3 team and then switch to Class 1 in a future year. Often a decision to play Class 3 is based more on the desires of the parents to moderate the extent of the family’s commitment to soccer than the level of ability of the players. Class 1 is significantly more serious and requires a willingness to put soccer ahead of other activities, while Class 3 is a step-up from AYSO but doesn’t involve as many family sacrifices.

8) When does the season begin and end; what’s the commitment?

Most CYSA teams play in both spring and fall. The fall season is the “serious” season, and players are expected to make soccer their number one extra-curricular activity. The fall season usually begins sometime in August with practices and then weekend games are scheduled between the first week in September and mid-November. Tournaments can be a big part of CYSA play in the fall, although each team decides how many and which tournaments to attend based on parent preferences. There is no requirement that teams play in tournaments, but they are lots of fun for the players and involve at least three games (four if the team makes it to the “medal” round.) There are tournaments to choose from every weekend in August, over the Labor Day weekend, and then during the last weekend of both September and October. Some tournaments are within an hour’s drive; others are in places requiring overnights in motels. Most Class III teams will play in one or two tournaments; most Class I teams will play in five or six.

Spring soccer is viewed as a more informal season, although there are regular games and practices. Games are played every weekend beginning the first weekend in April and continuing through the first weekend in June. During spring season most teams are more flexible about conflicts since some players are also playing baseball or are otherwise involved in other activities.

9) What teams do we compete against in league play and how much traveling is required?

Class 1 teams often are in a playing league with teams from as far north as San Francisco and as far south as Santa Cruz. Class 3 teams usually play against teams located between Burlingame and Mountain View, although this can vary. The spring and fall seasons usually consist of 10 total games, with half played in Palo Alto and half at the field of the other team. Class 1 teams generally play on Saturdays with a few two-game weekends that include a Sunday game; Class 3 teams generally play on Sundays.

10) What is the typical practice schedule?

Most CYSA teams in the Stanford Soccer Club practice twice a week (for Class 3) or three times a week (for Class 1) after school at one of several locations: Greer or JLS Middle School. Many teams use one of those practice days to focus on building technical soccer skills (dribbling, passing technique, feints, kicking, etc.) by using a paid skills coach. All practices generally run 1½ to 2 hours. Many of the U11-U13 Class I teams continue practicing beyond the normal fall season in order to play in State Cup competition in mid-January.

11) Who coaches?

An important philosophy of the Stanford Soccer Club is that a parent should either coach the team or serve as a strong assistant coach or manager along with a paid coach. This parental involvement reinforces the notion that it is the parents that should control the direction of the team (not a paid coach or the club). Typically, when teams reach the age of U-12 or U-13, the parent coach is less effective and capable in the lead coaching role and a transition is made to a paid coach (with continued involvement of the parent coach or manager) who essentially continues at the pleasure of the parents.

Most teams in the Club also utilize additional skills coaches that work specifically on developing good ball skills: dribbling, turning, feints, etc. Often, one of the two weekly practices is a “skills” practice run by a trainer other than the regular coach.

12) What are the fees and what do they pay for?

Budgets are developed for each season and vary depending on uniform and equipment needs, number of tournaments and the amount of planned skills coaching. These costs, however, can vary greatly from team to team depending mostly on how much use is made of professional coaching. Spring season could be anywhere from $200 - $800; fall season from $300 - $900. Expenses for newly forming teams will be higher in the initial season due to the need to purchase balls, uniforms and other equipment from scratch.

13) If my child makes a team, can he/she later be dropped from the team?

One of the key distinctions between CYSA and AYSO is that players must be playing at some threshold level of ability and be making a more serious commitment to soccer to be appropriate for CYSA. When a player is falling behind the rest of the team, either due to slower skill development or lack of motivation or commitment, it is usually in the player’s best interest to switch back to AYSO. Arriving at a team philosophy on this subject is an evolutionary process that will occur over the first year after the formation of a new team. Most CYSA teams believe that all players should have to try-out for the team each year, but teams have different approaches to the criteria for adding or dropping players.

14) If I play spring soccer, am I committing myself to fall?

No, but most teams prefer to get try-outs done in early spring since the fall season starts at the end of the summer, a difficult time to organize a team. Also, spring season allows for teams to bond and for parents to get to know each other before the more important fall season. Obviously, any player can decide to opt out of CYSA soccer at the end of the spring season and register for AYSO instead.

High School FAQ

1 ) Club <--> High School Player Eligibility (CIF Bylaw 600)


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