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As the Lynnfield Youth Soccer Club (LYSC) prepares for the Fall 2016 season, we want to make the membership aware of changes being implemented beginning for the Fall 2016 season.

Background:

For travel teams (U10 – U19), LYSC is a member of the Essex County Youth Soccer Association (ECYSA) which is a member of the Mass Youth Soccer Association (MYSA) and competes in the Mass Tournament of Championship (MTOC) series.  US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sports organization in the country, that also encompasses club and national based soccer leagues and teams, announced that age group cut-offs will be based on the calendar year,January 1 to align to other world soccer bodies and standards set out by FIFA, and to assist US Youth Soccer in developing and recognizing talent to grow the National Team system. 

Although important to assist in the development of our elite players that are nationally bound, MYSA viewed the calendar year registration change as very impactful to town based recreational programs and leagues (i.e. ECYSA) where the intent is to provide a program and league where players played with peer classmates.  MYSA has developed a hybrid approach that will be implemented, starting in the Fall 2016, that ECYSA and LYSC will adhere to.

Fall 2016 Changes:

For the Fall 2016 season, Age Groups will be replaced by Grade Groups.  No longer will MYSA be using the August1st cut-off date to determine which age group a player will play in. Instead, MYSA will adopt the following Grade Groups:

G4 - comprised of grades 3 / 4  (formerly U10)

G6 - comprised of grades 5 / 6  (formerly U12)

G8 - comprised of grades 7 / 8  (formerly U14)

G10 - comprised of grades 9 /10 (formerly U16, spring only)

G12 - comprised of grades 11 / 12 (formerly U18, spring only)

PG - comprised of grades 12 + 1 (formerly U19, spring only)

For 95% of the LYSC membership, there is no impact, as the age group that your player is in currently, aligns to the appropriate Grade Group.  For the remaining five percent, these changes provide a positive change, allowing these players not to age out of their given Grade Group, and play with their peer classmates.  There will be associated birthdate requirements that we will have to adhere to, to ensure kids aren’t too old in their given grade group.  We are confident that these changes set forth by MYSA will allow LYSC and ECYSA to continue to provide a recreational soccer program that allows players to play with their peer classmates.

Please note these changes are different than what is being done for club soccer programs, and is specific to Town Recreational Leagues, specifically LYSC and all the towns associated to ECYSA.

In addition to the Grade Based Groupings, ECYSA has adopted changes proposed by US Youth Soccer that will add an additional player on the field for Grade 3 / 4 and Grade 5 / 6 Groupings, resulting in 7 v 7 and 9 v 9 respectively.

LYSC will be briefed again this month by ECYSA on the Fall 2016 changes, and if any further changes are made or if LYSC has misrepresented the changes, we will update the membership accordingly.  With Fall 2016 registration opening this week, and Evaluation Nights taking place later this month, we felt that it was important to update the membership so you can be readily prepared.  Please note that we will be updating the Evaluation night dates to be reflective of Grade Groups rather than Birthdates, and registration will be based on Grades, and not birthdates. 

We will update the membership on the in-town (U4, U6, and U8) program in the near future.

For reference, below is a link for Mass Youth Soccer’s statement on US Soccer Birth Year Mandate: 

http://www.mayouthsoccer.org/massachusetts_youth_soccers_statement_on_us_soccer_birth_year_mandate/

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Brian Hauser, President, or Dan Daley, Travel Director.

Thank you!