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West Seattle Soccer Club (WSSC)

News Detail


Feb, 2021

Academic Year Registration

For most of its history, youth soccer across the country registered players to teams by academic year, meaning kids usually played on teams with their classmates.  About five years ago, US Youth Soccer directed that all youth soccer change its registration system to birth year, meaning kids played with others born in a given calendar year regardless of school grade.  The stated purpose was to align our competitive teams with the rest of the world.  This change caused disruption of teams and has proved to be quite unpopular at the recreational level. 

Player numbers entering youth soccer have significantly declined and one of the most-cited reasons is that kids want to play with their friends, with other kids they know from school.  Academic Year registration promotes players playing with their classmates (although if your player started school late, they may still be too old for their grade division). The pandemic’s cancellation of a whole year of soccer, two complete seasons, creates an opportunity to make a correction when many teams are starting from scratch.

WSSC has decided that we should correct the decision to switch to birth year, and we will now register U6-U12 teams by academic year.  Because our U6 through U12 teams play wholly within the our "house" league, we are not bound by US Youth Soccer registration policies, nor does it create any conflicts by returning to academic year registration.  WE WILL KEEP TEAMS TOGETHER – if your established team has players in two different academic years, don’t worry – we will be able to keep you together.  

For teams U13 and above, at this time most U13+ leagues are still organized by birth year.  We are hopeful that other clubs will make the same change to return to Academic Year registration and we are actively working to help that happen. For now, U13+ players may register with WSSC by Academic Year, but teams placed into leagues run by birth year will control the division in which that player plays.

We have lived through this type of change before.  We know it is confusing and disruptive.  We will do all we can to minimize these impacts as we believe this is in the best interests of our players, current and future.

Thank you

WSSC Board