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Mason Dixon Soccer League

Spring Intramural FAQ

Spring Intramural Soccer Frequently Asked Questions


When does the season start?

How long is the season?

What is included with the $40 registration fee?

How old does my child have to be to play?

I’d like my child to play with a sibling in an older age division, is that possible?

When and where are games/practices held?

Can I request a practice location for my child’s team?

Can I request a practice night for my child’s team?

I need to carpool with a friend for my child to play, can they be on the same team?

Can I request my child be placed with a coach we know?

How are the teams created?

Why are the fields smaller with fewer players on the field for the younger age groups?

I’d like to coach, what is required to volunteer?
What are the volunteer passes?

I’d like to coach, but don’t know much about the game.  Is there training available?

I’m interested in volunteering, but can’t commit to coaching.  How else can I help?



When does the season start?

Practices for the the Spring Season are usually scheduled to start the third Sunday in March.  The first two Sundays are practices. After the second Sunday practice, teams will transition to one weeknight practice and a Sunday afternoon game. There are no games Easter Sunday, and we try not to schedule games Memorial Day weekend unless a make-up day is needed due to inclement weather/field closure.


How long is the season?

The Spring season consists of 6 scheduled games and two tournaments.  It normally runs into the first week of June.


What is included with the $40 registration fee?

Every player will receive a game jersey and an appropriately sized soccer ball for them to bring to practice and to practice at home.  MDSL will play 6 games in the Spring, including tournaments.  If necessary, games cancelled due to weather will be made up on Sunday, May 27.


How old does my child have to be to play?

We offer registration for players in all grades K-12.  MDSL requires children to meet the age requirements to enroll in Kindergarten in SYC schools in the Fall of the previous year in order to register for the Spring season.  


I’d like my child to play with a sibling in an older age division, is that possible?

MDSL sets up age brackets to encourage safe and fair play for everyone involved in the program and to participate in the sport with their friends from school.  We discourage players from playing above their grade level if it is unnecessary.  At the discretion of the Spring IM Coordinator, MDSL may allow players to play up one age division on the condition that their parent or guardian agrees to be the head coach of their team.


When and where are games/practices held?

Games and practices are held at assigned fields in the Southern York County community including New Freedom, Codorus, Shrewsbury and Glen Rock.


Can I request a practice location for my child’s team?

Practice locations are assigned based on the available playing area and our ability to place the required field size for a certain age group on that field.  For this reason, we do not allow parents or coaches to select their practice location.


Can I request a practice night for my child’s team?

As part of the registration form, you can alert us to practice night conflicts.  While we make our best efforts to honor your requests, we cannot promise specific practice nights for any player or any team.


I need to carpool with a friend for my child to play, can they be on the same team?

As part of the registration form, you can alert us to any player needs.  While we make our best efforts to honor your requests, we only guarantee that siblings within the same age division are placed on the same team.  Please see the question on team building in order to understand how teams are created in MDSL.


Can I request my child be placed with a coach we know?

Everyone loves playing for a good coach.  Having someone who understands the game or understands your child makes the game experience that much more enjoyable.  However, MDSL does not honor coach requests.  A great coach will have numerous players requesting to play for him/her.  However, this might not create balanced teams, give other children the benefit of playing with that coach, or keep your child from finding another excellent influence among our volunteers.  For these reasons, we do not honor these requests.  We do, however, make every effort to honor requests that a child not be placed with a specific coach once we understand the reasons behind the request.


How are the teams created?

Our coordinators try very hard to create competitively balanced teams.  There is no benefit to the league or to the players to have teams that aren’t balanced.  Our coordinators do not know all the players individually.  We ask previous coaches for feedback, but don’t always get answers or the answers are inaccurate, so we go by demographic information in most cases.  Unfortunately, there are often several factors that we cannot account for.  For example, players new to the program, players who grew 6 inches since the last time they played, players who are older but small for their age, players who have improved talent or physical skills over previous years, etc.  


The MDSL Intramural Regulations specify how teams are created.  Once registration concludes and we know what the grade divisions will be, we then build teams.  Using the registration totals, we set a number of players per team, assuming there are enough coaching volunteers to meet that goal.  Coaches are first assigned their child(ren).  We look at available player evaluations and separate the top players onto different teams, if possible.  We then strive for competitive balance by separating players by age and then gender.  Older player get separated from one another when possible, and their siblings go with them.  We then try to honor player and coach requests for practice nights and align those.  It is a process that takes some time and is not flawless.  In short, we do our best.


Why are the fields smaller with fewer players on the field for the younger age groups?

The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) has adopted a policy of small sided, small field games for the development of youth soccer players.  

1. Because we want our young soccer players to touch the soccer ball more often and become more skillful with it! (Individual technical development)

2. Because we want our young soccer players to make more, less-complicated decisions during the game! (Tactical development)

3. Because we want our young soccer players to be more physically efficient in the field space they are playing in! (Reduced field size)

4. Because we want our young soccer players to have more individual teaching time with the coach! Fewer players on the field and fewer players on the team will guarantee this! (Need to feel worthy and need to feel important)

5. Because we want our young soccer players to have more, involved playing time in the game! (More opportunity to solve problems that only the game presents)

6. Because we want our young soccer players to have more opportunity to play on both sides of the ball! (More exposure to attacking and defending situations)

7. Because we want our young soccer players to have more opportunities to score goals! (Pure excitement)

8. Because we want to include children of all temperaments, assertive to shy, to have more opportunities to interact with others and the game! (Socialization)


I’d like to coach, what is required to volunteer?

The answer to this is simple -  Your time and a volunteer pass.


All coaches are required to meet the PA state guidelines for volunteers supervising children.  You can find details about those requirements here. Once MDSL has verified you have completed the requirements, you’ll be given a coaching pass to keep with you.  The pass is good for one year.  If you currently have a green colored pass, you are all set to coach in the Spring.  If you do not have a green colored pass, you'll need to submit background check information and/or complete the annual concussion awareness training.  To find out what information MDSL requires from you, please email compliance@masondixonsoccer.com.


What are the volunteer passes?
Beginning last Fall, the State of Pennsylvania made background checks mandatory for all volunteers who would be regularly interacting with children in a supervisory capacity.  These background checks are valid for five years and are not soccer specific. Additionally, the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association made concussion awareness training mandatory for all coaching volunteers.  MDSL is required to verify that all our volunteers meet these requirements.  All volunteers are required by MDSL to provide proof that they have passed required background checks and have taken the required CDC training for concussion awareness.  All records are recorded and kept on file.  All head coaches, assistant coaches, Board members and referees have received cards from the league to be kept with them whenever they are volunteering with the league.  All coaches must have a valid pass before they are assigned to a team.  No one without a valid pass can assist coaches with the kids. 

I’d like to coach, but don’t know much about the game.  Is there training available?

We are 100% committed to getting our coaches trained to best pass on their knowledge to our players.  MDSL offers coaching clinics to all our coaching volunteers.  Over the last few summers, we’ve offered 4-5 opportunities for training with several our travel coaches, members of the Susquehannock High School soccer coaching staff, and professional soccer coaches in the area.  Sessions have included creating successful effective and age-appropriate practice plans, warm-up techniques, fun practice games, teaching soccer tactics, and more.  Even better?  We'll give you a partial refund of your child's registration fee to attend training!


In addition to training our coaches, we also want our players to all be instructed the same way to ensure success regardless of their coaches prior experience.  Starting in Fall 2016, MDSL has partnered with Xara to use their educational program.  Coaches are provided with weekly coaching sessions including step by step instruction on how to make soccer enjoyable for all the kids in the program while ensuring that all players get the same coaching sessions.  


Our Travel soccer coaches have also offered to mentor coaches and help them design successful practice plans.


I’m interested in volunteering, but can’t commit to coaching.  How else can I help?

MDSL is a 100% volunteer organization.  Without volunteers, the organization stops functioning.  We need help in all areas all the time. Coaches, assistant coaches, help with field maintenance, helping with fundraisers, moving goals, lining fields, keeping parents informed, Field Marshals for tournaments, Board of Directors positions and numerous other jobs.  Coaching doesn't take up nearly as much time as you think.  In many cases, you're already at your child's practice and game so the time is already committed.  Beyond that it's about 30 minutes per week to plan your sessions.