Changes made to age group qualifications for 2010 USYS National Championship Series

At a special US Youth Soccer Board meeting on, July 13, 2009, the Board adopted the age group amendment unanimously proposed to the Board by the National Championships Committee. This amendment is effective beginning with the 2009-10 National Championships competitions. Below is the age group amendment that was adopted, the rationale about the situation that illustrates the need for the amendment, and an explanation of the amendment itself.

AMENDMENT TO THE US YOUTH SOCCER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS POLICY PROPOSED BY THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS COMMITTEE, ADOPTED JULY 13, 2009

I. AMENDMENT

Section 2 of Rule 221 of the US Youth Soccer National Championships Policy is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

"(c) A team may have on its team roster only players of the following age groups for the seasonal year in which the team is participating in the National Championships:

"(1) For teams competing in the Under 14 and Under 15 age groups, each player on the team must be (A) of the age of the age group competition in which the team is participating in that seasonal year, or (B) of the age in either of the next 2 younger age groups of that age group competition in which the team is participating in that seasonal year.
"(2) For the teams competing in the Under 16, Under 17, Under 18, and Under 19 age groups, each player on the team must be (A) of the age of the age group competition in which the team is participating in that seasonal year, or (B) of the age of any younger age group, through the Under 14 age group, of that age group competition in which the team is participating in that seasonal year."

II. RATIONALE

There was a situation during the 2008-09 seasonal year in which a 5-year-old youngster and a 7-year-old youngster were rostered to a U-19 Cup team playing State Association Cup. This was done because of the 50-percent rule of the National Championships Policy, so that the team (which had eight players registered with one State Association) would then have nine players (including the 5-year-old and the 7-year-old) registered with another State Association, and would therefore have to enter Cup in that other, second State Association.

Paragraph (1) of this proposed amendment would limit the team roster of the U-14 and U-15 teams to three age groups — the age group the team is competing in and the next two younger age groups. For example, a girls’ team participating in the U-15 age group Cup competition of a State Association could only have on its roster U-15, U-14, and U-13 players for the Cup competition.

Paragraph (2) of this amendment also provides that, for the U-16, U-17, U-18, and U-19 age group teams, they may roster any player in the National Championships age groups at the team’s age group and younger. The National Championships Committee believes that this will provide for the HS age players that may play in three- or four-year age groups and for our programs in areas with less density that have to combine ages in the older age groups in order to form teams.