South Windsor Soccer Club competes in the North Central District of the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (CJSA). We are governed by the rules and regulations of the CJSA and the policies of the North Central District.
Overview of SWSC Travel Soccer
Travel Soccer primarily encompasses U9 to U14 after which players enter high school. Once the player enters high school (U15) there is no fall travel soccer program as soccer is a fall high school sport. In the spring we try and organize a combined age group high school team if there is sufficient interest.
Help players develop into skillful, effective soccer players
Provide all players in the program with realistic challenges and an appropriate level of competition and commitment
Encourage teamwork, sportsmanship, respect for others, self discipline, good work habits, and healthy, fun competition
Team Formation (small sided 8v8 versus full sided 11v11)
U9 - U11 teams play small sided games (8v8). U12 and older teams play full sided (11v11).
The team composition policies are intended to help all soccer players develop by facing realistic challenges, these results in:
Teams ranked by ability (A, B or C level)
The North Central District tries to place teams in color coded divisions against teams that are of equal competition levels.
Green Division – Division 1, teams in this division are top level A teams
Blue Division – Division 2, teams in this division can be a lower level A team or a top level B team
White Division – Division 3, teams in this division are usually B teams
Red Division – Division 4, teams in this division are usually lower level B teams or C teams
Brown Division – Division 5, teams in this division are usually C teams
Yellow Division – Division 6, teams in this division are usually C teams
Purple Division – Division 7, teams in this division are usually C teams
OrangeDivision – Division 8,teams in this division are usually C teams
Friendly Division - Non competitive; this division is not used frequently
Based on the record from the previous season teams can remain in the same division, move up to the next level of competition or move down a level of competition
8v8 roster sizes of approximately 12-14 players and 11v11 roster sizes of 15-18 players
The roster sizes are intended to maintain manageable team sizes and to provide adequate attendance for games while giving a significant number of kids the opportunity to play travel soccer.
Subject to the number of kids registered, in some age brackets, the number of kids rostered will exceed the desired maximum if there are not enough players to form additional teams. There is a maximum of 25 players allowed to be rostered on a full sided team and many tournaments limit the roster to 18 players.
Combining of Age Groups
Based on the number of registered players, some age groups may be combined in order to provide sufficient playing opportunities at an appropriate level of competition while maintaining manageable roster sizes.
Connecticut Cup Play
Beginning at U11, travel teams have the opportunity to enter in the Connecticut Cup tournament if there is sufficient interest and commitment. This is an additional game each weekend until a loss occurs. The Connecticut Cup is a state wide (inter District) weekly, single elimination tournament that usually begins 2 weeks into the season (subject to number of teams entered) and concludes near the final week of the season. Games are played on Saturdays so as not to conflict with the Sunday league games. Essentially if you win, you advance to the next week’s round, if you lose you are out of the tournament. Typically if you are home one week and advance you will be away the following week. The tournament draw is random - unseeded and not organized by district. It is an opportunity to play teams outside of our district. The SWSC will only enter teams that have determined they have sufficient commitment to play in a Saturday game, involving travel, from the start of the competition to the end. Most towns only enter their A team or possibly B team. The SWSC doesn’t restrict entry to the A or B teams, but you should be aware that most of the competition is A level teams.
Travel players are expected to make a strong commitment to soccer by attending most, if not all, practices and games
This commitment ideally includes both the fall and spring seasons, although more flexible arrangements can be made in the spring to accommodate players who play a spring sport
While the SWSC supports multi sport athletes, please understand that if your child doesn’t play in the spring some teams will be forced to disband or consolidate into large teams if there are insufficient players. In addition losing a season of playing time may affect that child's skill level relative to other players who play the spring season and may affect placement in the fall based on the evaluations of the coaches.
Travel players should consistently attend two training sessions during the week with their own team. Attendance is taken by the coaches and is a factor in future team placement. Exceptions are made for religious education classes.
Please review your other obligations before committing to travel soccer. Given that notification will be provided in early summer for the following year’s practice schedule the expectation is that you have made arrangements in order to fulfill your obligation to attend your own team’s practices.
Participating in practice is as important as participating in games – this is where skills are learned and developed.
Players are expected to arrive on time to practice – arriving late adversely affects all players by disrupting or delaying the practice.
As soccer is a fall sport, soccer should be the priority sport during the fall season. During the spring, allowances are made for spring sports
Players should participate in all league games in the fall, with leniency granted in the spring for a conflict with a spring sport game.
Length of Seasons
There are 2 seasons, fall (late August – Mid November) and spring (April – Mid June). Our expectation is that you will play both seasons. League play begins in early September and typically the first week in April for the spring.
U9 – U11 are developmental teams and all players should receive equal playing time.
U12 and older, playing time is at the discretion of the coach. Please note this does not mean that all players will receive equal playing time. By way of example this could mean playing 70% of one game and 30% of another.
Game types will also decide how much playing time a specific player earns. Friendly games should be equal playing time for all players, but league games and CT Cup games might offer less playing time for certain players.
Although circumstances may result in a player playing less time in a particular game, no player should consistently play less than 50% of the game.
Most coaches expect players to arrive at least 30 minutes before game time to get properly warmed up.
Most players should expect to play in several positions during the season. Some players adjust to a variety of positions, other players do not. Not all players are able to play every position from the start. Just as in other sports, each position on the field requires different skills. Equally, on any given team or in any give season, one’s relative strengths and weaknesses will change and therefore potentially their position.
By U11 some players will begin to identify with specific positions, loosely defined by thirds of the field: offensive third, mid field and defensive third. Some players may also opt to be identified as a full time goal keeper. No player should exclusively play as a goalkeeper unless they specifically request it.
Playing a variety of positions develops well-rounded players who understand the responsibilities associated with and the importance of all positions on the team.
The coaches will be teaching players to play controlled, skillful soccer, not “kick and run” soccer. Players are encouraged to be creative with the ball and to learn to possess the ball as opposed to just “booting” the ball.
At U11 the focus is still more on technique (ball skills – passing, receiving, shooting) than it is on tactics (positioning, strategy, set plays (corners, free kicks)). This emphasis will shift to more tactics than technique as the players move from U11 to U14.
Coaches will encourage players to compete, to play hard and fair and to focus on improvement over wins and losses.
Winning is not the primary goal of the SWSC – the goal is to develop skillful, effective soccer players who will be successful and enjoy playing for many years.
Teams should always try as hard as they can. If they tried their hardest, did their best to play the way they are being taught and displayed good sportsmanship, then they have had a successful game, regardless of the final score.
Children learn best and have the most fun when they are challenged, but without the pressure for results. The challenge is for the team to play hard, score goals and to play good soccer
Excessive focus by adults on results actually inhibits player development by developing a fear of making mistakes and can cause players to “burn out” on soccer.
Each coach has their own unique coaching style that reflects their personality. However, all coaches should be enthusiastic, encouraging and positive with the players.
Coaches should demonstrate the highest standards of sportsmanship at all times.
The practice environment should be positive and fun but appropriately disciplined
The “fun” is not derived from fooling around or socializing with friends in a disruptive manner
Like classroom teacher, the coaches expect players to be well disciplined and to behave appropriately for their age
Players who misbehave or are a distracting influence during training or games should expect to be appropriately disciplined. A player whose behavior is a consistent problem should expect to receive reduced playing time in games and as a last resort may be asked to leave the team