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This page is a resource for answers to many of the most common questions that are raised by members of the Madison Soccer Club.
Please contact the MSC at info@madisonsoccerclub.org if you have any questions that you do not find an answer to here.
1. What are the new age group rules that I've been hearing about, and how will they impact my child?
A new directive from the US Soccer Association regarding the division of players by the year in which they were born, has been adopted by US Youth Soccer and the Morris County Youth Soccer Association. Beginning in the fall of 2016, teams will be formed consisting of players who share the same birth year.
The chart below lists the year in which the player was born, the level at which they will compete in Fall of 2016 and Spring 0f 2017, the number of players per side on the pitch, and the maximum roster size that MSC will carry.
2009 : U8 — MSC Junior Development Program
2008 : U9 — Travel Teams, 7v7; max. roster size 14 players
2007 : U10 — Travel Teams, 7v7; max. roster size 14 players
2006 : U11 — Travel Teams, 9v9; max. roster size 16 players
2005 : U12 — Travel Teams, 9v9; max. roster size 16 players
2004 : U13 —Travel Teams, 11v11; max. roster size 18 players
2003 : U14 — Travel Teams, 11v11; max. roster size 18 players
2002 : U15 — Travel Teams, 11v11; max. roster size 18 players

2. Many of my child's current teammates will be playing at a different age group from my child this season. Is it possible for players to "play up" in order to keep teams together?
Players have always had the opportunity to play up to higher age groups where appropriate, and this will continue to be the case. However MSC does not encourage this for most players for the following reasons.
  • In years past, some players who were at the younger end of the age spectrum for their grades may have found it appealing to play up in order to play with the kids in their grade. This will no longer be the case as teams divided by birth year will naturally be made up of kids from multiple grades. Therefore most players will find that a team made up of kids born in the same year will include many friends from their school grade.
  • Playing up in order to remain with current teammates might mean that a player is playing not just with those older members of their current teams, but also with players currently playing at the next age group up. What this means is that in some cases, players will be competing against kids who are almost TWO full years older than they are.
  • We believe that the adjustment period experienced by players as a result of this reorganization will be much smoother and less traumatic than many parents have feared.
  • Players at all levels will continue to have the same numbers of teams available to them. The cutoff date is arbitrary and there will still be a pool of players equal to the numbers that made up teams at each level prior to the change.
3. What about players born in 2002?
The U15 age group, (this year players born in 2002) is slightly different than other age groups in that approximately half of the potential pool of players born in that year will be in high school in the fall. As most of the kids in HS will opt to play for their freshman or JV teams, this will reduce the number of players available to form U15 teams at the club level. MSC has been working with other local clubs and the Madison High School athletic department to find the best possible solution to this problem. Luckily, MSC is one of the larger clubs in Morris County and we are confident that we will be fielding U15 teams for both boys and girls in the fall. 
4. How does the tryout process work if my child decides to try to play up?
Any player interested in trying out for an older age group must attend that tryout IN ADDITION TO the tryout for their own birth year. If your player does not attend the tryout for their own birth year, he/she will not be considered for placement on that team. If they are not selected for the team at the older age group, they will left without a team to play for.
Please register for both tryouts. (You will only be charged the tryout fee once.)
5. What if my child cannot attend the tryouts due to illness/injury or schedule conflicts?
MSC has scheduled two tryout dates for each age group in an effort to make attendance possible for everybody. The tryout schedule can be found HERE.
If your child can not attend the tryout but is interested in playing travel soccer in the fall, please contact the MSC board and we will make other arrangements. As always, our goal is to act in the best interest of all players and ensure that each child is placed on the team most appropriate for their ability level.
6. Is it possible to play down a level in order to remain on a team with current teammates or friends?
New Jersey Youth Soccer does not allow travel players to play down to a lower age group. There are no exceptions to this rule for any reason.
7. How many teams will there be at each age group/gender?
This is difficult to predict as registration numbers are always changing. However, MSC typically fields 2 teams at each age group for the boys, and 1-2 teams per age group for the girls. Last year 25 MSC teams competed in the Morris County Youth Soccer Association (MCYSA), making us one of the largest clubs in that organization.
All soccer clubs across NJ will be feeling the pinch of the age change at the U15 level for the reasons described above. However we are confident that we will be able to field competitive teams for both boys and girls at U15. We will be open to welcoming players from surrounding clubs, as necessary in order to fill out our rosters, as they may not have the same opportunity to field teams of their own.
8. How does the tryout process work?
MSC will utilize independent, fully-licensed professional trainers to evaluate all kids trying out for a travel team. We make every effort to secure the services of trainers not already affiliated with any teams within the club in order to prevent any unconscious bias. To that end, players are identified on evaluation forms only by their tryout number.
Your child MUST be wearing shin guards and soccer cleats. Please arrive 20 minutes prior to your scheduled start time in order to check in and receive your tryout t-shirt. Please bring a water bottle and soccer ball if possible. Water and Gatorade will also be available for sale at the hut at Rosedale.
9. Are parents able to watch tryouts?
Tryouts are held mostly at Rosedale field, and parents are welcome to watch from a distance from the hill near the street. However, in order to be fair to all kids and to allow the evaluators space and time to do their assessments, we ask that parents refrain from any cheering and forbid the yelling of instructions to their children during the tryouts.
It is preferred that you drop your child and leave the field as parking is limited and there will be another age group coming during the time your child is on the field.
10. How does the team formation process work?
The mission of the MSC is to act in the best interest of all kids in the community. The MSC Board and age-group managers, will use feedback gathered from the tryouts and from current coaches and trainers (independent of one another) in order to try to get the most accurate representation of each player's ability. We use this information to attempt to find the best possible fit for every player.
In certain situations, we may invite a player who has attended a tryout to participate at an additional evaluation or attend a practice session with a current MSC travel team. This may be especially necessary if the player is new to the MSC and we have no other data points besides the tryout evaluation to use as a basis for our decision.
11. When will Travel team rosters be announced?
Typically at the conclusion of the Spring travel season, just after the end of the school year.
12. How much does the Travel program cost?
Registration fees for participation in the MSC travel soccer program vary from team to team based on a number of factors including the size of the roster, the age group at which they play, the number of professionally-run practices that they choose to have, etc.
The base cost of registration in the travel program is $250, for all players, which goes toward league fees, field maintenance costs, equipment, insurance and other administrative costs.
Depending on the practice schedule of a particular team, or any tournaments that the team enters, an additional $200-300 in team fees might apply.
Additionally, players are required to purchase the Madison Soccer Club uniform, which costs approximately $80 for full uniform including home and away jerseys.
These costs are significantly less than what is charged by most for-profit private clubs, which typically range from $2,000-3,500 for the season.
13. Why are you able to charge less than private clubs? Is the quality of the soccer training not as good?
We believe that the quality of the soccer instruction that players receive within the MSC is absolutely equal to that of a private club. The MSC utilizes the exact same level of professional trainers with identical qualifications as those of private, for-profit soccer clubs.
The difference is that we operate as a resource of the community, without the need to generate a profit. Our mission is to provide an environment for soccer development for ALL children in Madison, whatever their desired level of commitment. MSC Board members and volunteers donate 1000's of hours of time for administrative and organizational activities which are carried out by paid staff at private clubs.
As a community resource, we have access to the fields and facilities that are already being paid for with tax dollars. We invest club funds back into the community for field and facility improvements in order to provide our members with the highest quality soccer experience possible.
14. If my child is offered a spot on a travel team, what registration documentation will I need to provide?
League carding can be an arduous and lengthy process. This is where our outstanding group of volunteer parent coaches and team managers comes in. A team manager will contact you with instructions on how to fill out the required forms and provide copies of the necessary documents.
Forms and registration instructions are available HERE.
15. What is the level of commitment expected of players in the MSC travel program?
The MSC travel program teams often compete in the same leagues and tournaments as many of the private clubs. This level of competition requires a high level of commitment in order to achieve the club goals of individual and team development. Travel teams typically practice 2-3 times per week, and play games which mostly fall on Sunday afternoons. Away games can be as far as an hour away in some cases.  Players are expected to make every effort to attend every practice and game, and should expect to put forth a high level of effort.
The MSC enters teams in the MCYSA in both the Fall and Spring seasons. In order to ensure continuity of teams and guarantee that all players who wish to play both seasons will have a team to play for, we ask that players commit to both Fall and Spring seasons. The Spring season is generally less demanding in terms of time commitment as we understand that kids are often involved in other sports and activities.
16. If my child is not offered a roster spot on a travel team, can he/she participate in the recreation program instead?
Absolutely. We encourage all kids who are not involved in the travel program to participate in our robust recreation program. This is a great option for kids who are not willing or able to make the commitment necessary for the travel program, or for kids who are hoping to improve their skills and try out for the travel program in the future. The recreation program is available to all kids in Madison and Harding, tryouts are not necessary.
More information about the Madison Rec program can be found HERE.