Q: How can I help?
A: There are so many ways for parents and community members to contribute, even if you are NOT a soccer expert. Opportunities include on-going projects and/or one-time, single-day volunteering. Click here for more info.
Q: Where can I get regular updates from HSA?
A: Follow us on our facebook page.
Q: What age group should my child(ren) be registered for?
A: Click here for the age matrix.
Q: Can my child(ren) play HSA soccer while also playing other youth sports?
A: YES! We encourage multi-sport athletes. We do not believe kids should be forced to pick one sport over another at the youth levels. We have programs available for all kids, including those who cannot attend every practice and every game. Click here to read more about each program we offer.
Q: What is the difference between "In-House" and "Travel" or "Academy" teams?
A: Click here for an explanation of each program we offer.
Q: What is the difference between "Travel Rec" and "Travel Comp" teams?
A: Click here for an explanation of each program we offer.
Q: How many games do teams play?
A: In-house u8 and u10 teams are scheduled for 8 games per season (8 in the fall and 8 more in the spring). u9 and u10 Academy teams schedule an additional 6-8 games per season. For the older age groups in the Travel Rec and Travel Comp divisions, the CJSA controls the season dates and sets the seasons for 10 weekends in both the fall and spring. Teams schedule 8 or 9 games per season, typically. Depending on numerous factors, sometimes a tournament is also added, which may increase the total. All of the above numbers are subject to weather. When weather forces cancellations, we always try to reschedule before the CJSA deadline ends the season.
Q: When does the season start?
A: The start dates for the fall and spring seasons vary slightly depending on the age level. Click here for more details.
Q: When are the practices for "In-House" u8 and u10 teams?
A: Each "In-House" u8 and u10 team practices once per week for 1 hour on either a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night. The volunteer coach(es) select the night that they want for practices during the season, based on their availability (since they are volunteering). They also pick a one hour time slot (somewhere between 5:30 and 7:30). Parents who volunteer to coach (or co-coach) can select which night their team practices and the practice time. Volunteer coaches will contact all the team parents with practice schedule info about 2 weeks before the season begins.
Q: Where are the travel games played?
A: CJSA is broken into different regional districts. Hamden is in the South Central District (SCD). Travel games are scheduled against other teams in the SCD, which includes surrounding towns within ~30 minutes of Hamden. We try to schedule our travel teams for ~50% home games and ~50% away games.
Q: When are the travel team schedules available?
A: For all travel teams across the state, CJSA does not allow for game scheduling until 2 weeks before the start of the season. Our coaches and team managers build their game schedules at that time, and send it out to parents as soon as it is ready (about 10-12 days before the first game). Parents with kids on travel team rosters can typically expect 1 game per weekend on either a Saturday or Sunday. Occasionally, travel teams might have a weekend with 2 games because of weather postponements or scheduling obstacles. The game scheduling for travel teams is not dictated purely by HSA coaches/managers, as they must also navigate the opposing teams' scheduling parameters (field availability, coach availability, etc).
Q: Who are the coaches?
A: For our u6 Saturday clinic, Everson Soccer Academy coaches instruct the kids. Our In-House u8 and u10 teams are coached by parent volunteers. It is common for 2 parents/friends/neighbors to volunteer together to "co-coach" a team. Travel Rec u12-u15 teams are also coached by parent volunteers. For our Academy and Travel Comp teams, our dedicated staff of HSA paid, certified, licensed coaches lead all practices and games. Volunteer parents serve as "Team Managers" for the Academy and Travel Comp teams.
Q: Why do the registration fees differ amongst age groups?
A: Registration fees for every age group (except u6) cover TWO (2) seasons - both fall and spring. The fees cover uniforms, equipment, refs, insurance, CJSA registration fees, overhead, and more. Older age groups have higher costs. Refs cost more at each advancing age level. Insurance, uniforms, and CJSA registration fees increase with age as well.
Q: How do HSA registration fees compare to other surrounding towns?
A: We research the registration costs of nearby programs periodically. Our fees are consistently lower than or equal to all or almost all other programs. Important Note: Our HSA registration fees for every age group (except u6) cover two (2) seasons - both fall and spring.
Q: Does HSA offer financial aid to help with registration?
A: Yes, because we do not want any Hamden kid to be denied an opportunity to play soccer due to financial hardships. Email the HSA Treasurer for more info about the application process: [email protected]
Q: Does HSA offer payment plans?
A: Yes, email the HSA Treasurer for more info: [email protected]
Q: Why do "Academy" and "Travel Comp" programs cost more?
A: Those programs are led by certified, licensed, paid coaches. The increased registration fee is entirely for providing paid coaches. Our "In-House" and "Travel Rec" programs are led by volunteer parent coaches.
Q: Why do "Travel Comp" and "Academy" players need to pay for a uniform separate from their registration fee?
A: This helps to keep registration fees down/lower. This is the standard/typical system for most youth "Academy" and "Comp" programs. Because most kids at this age and this level of commitment are likely to continue playing soccer in future years, and because many kids in these age ranges can wear a uniform for more than one year, we separate the uniform cost from the registration fee. These players tend to return and play for the same team again the following year. This system allows each family to purchase a new uniform only when their child is in need, according to their own growth, rather than forcing everyone to pay for new uniforms every season (embedded in an inflated registration fee).
Q: How do the prices of HSA "Academy" and "Travel Comp" programs compare to the *for-profit* premier clubs in CT?
A: Our "Academy" and "Travel Comp" programs cost $400-600 per year, which covers 2 full seasons (fall and spring) of coaching, practices, and games. The for-profit premier programs in CT typically cost between $2,500 and $5,000 per year.
Q: Who is in charge of the HSA soccer fields?
A: There is not a simple, straightforward answer for this. We utilize a variety of fields around town. No single entity is in charge of all of them. Hamden Public Schools and the Board of Education control the fields at schools. The High School Athletic Director schedules the fields at Hamden High School. The Hamden Parks & Rec Department controls the fields in the town parks. But, the Hamden Public Works Department is responsible for maintaining the fields in the parks and at the schools. Volunteer parents on the HSA Board work with each of these entities. We also work with the town's Parks & Rec Commission, comprised of volunteer citizens who serve as advisors to the town's Parks & Rec department. Ultimately, all of those entities and all of our fields are public, so above them all are the town's Legislative Council and the town Administration. None of the fields we use are privately owned or controlled.
Q: How does HSA decide when to cancel practices or games due to weather?
A: The decision is subjective and based on several considerations. The first consideration is player safety. We also consider the field conditions and protecting the fields for future practices and games. So even if there is no rain at game/practice time, if the fields are wet from previous rains, we may decide to cancel. Even when we have not canceled/postponed games preemptively, the refs and coaches at the game sites can make a decision to cancel/postpone as well.
Q: What is the HSA policy regarding Heat Index safety?
A: Click here for our policy.
Q: Who should I contact if I have other questions that are not answered above?
A: Click here for HSA Board members and contact info.