Somers Soccer Association (SSA), with the guidance of the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (CJSA), runs a program which consists of Instructional, Recreational and Travel soccer for youths who live in the town of Somers. We are committed to the growth and development of youth soccer at all levels of age and competition. We also strive to make it fun, and instill in young players a lifelong passion of the sport. Most of the questions we get as a Board are about the "Travel" program and we will try to clarify with some talking points and some FAQs below.
- SSA Travel Soccer starts at 8 years old (U9 players) and goes up to 8th grade (U14 or U15 players). Once a child is in high school, they have the option to play for Somers High School junior varsity and varsity teams.
- U9 and U10 plays 7 vs 7 (11-12 players per team)
- U11 and U12 plays 9 vs 9 ( 14-16 players per team)
- U13 and above plays 11 vs 11 (16 or more players per team)
The numbers above reflect 'ideal' numbers. Our goal is for everyone to play at their age level and skill level each season. However, sometimes this requires us to either ask players to move up a level or in some cases the recommendation may be for the player to develop on the Mid Rec level (grades 3-5). SSA would use "evaluations" to accomplish this goal.
*Players not selected for a Travel team will be placed on a Mid Rec team and a prorated refund will be issued. Parents would have the option to withdraw completely and receive a full refund if they choose to do so.
More information in the FAQs about evaluations.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are evaluations and why does SSA have them?
- Forming teams each season is based upon how many players sign up in each age group. We need to make sure there are enough players (and not too many players) on each team so they can be competitive, have fun, and get as many "touches" on the ball as possible during the season.
Are there "cuts" during or after evaluations?
- SSA has been doing evaluation for about 5 years. We have never made any cuts after evaluations. We figure out solutions so everyone plays. This can mean combining players from two age groups to form one team or having multiple teams at an age group. This may also mean that players are moved to the Mid Rec level to develop and gain the skills necessary to compete on the Travel team.
Are parents, or past coaches of players being evaluated, involved in evaluations?
- No. SSA has chosen to use independent evaluators. We utilize adults, who are well versed in the sport of soccer, who are not affiliated or related to any player in the program. Evaluations are conducted and results are given to the Travel Coordinator after each session.
Why are evaluations held so far in advance of the season?
- For the fall, evaluations are usually held during or around the last week of school. There are a few reasons for that. Rosters for teams and coaches need to be submitted to CJSA in early August. It is unfair to do evaluations during the summer when many families are away on vacation. SSA believes the best way to get everyone evaluated fairly is in the middle of June when most other sports have ended and summer vacations have not started.
Why are there only 3 sessions for evaluations?
- We require each child to attend at least 2 of the 3 evaluations. We need quite a few volunteers and evaluators to run evaluations. Sometimes for 2 or 3 hours a night as there is usually more than one age group needing to be evaluated.
If there are 2 teams being formed in 1 age group, how are the players divided?
- CJSA requires that if there are more than 1 team from a specific town in the same age group that we place players on teams that fit their skill set. Parents and players will refer to these teams as Upper/Lower or A/B teams. We will assign teams a color (example is U10 Boys Red or U10 Boys White) and not refer to them as upper or lower or A and B. With that being said, making equal teams in the same age group defeats the purpose of playing with players of your child's skill set.
What if my child can not attend the evaluations?
- SSA understands that families have a lot of things going on. Unfortunately, if your child is unable to make the required evaluations, he or she will not be placed on the team with the more advanced skill players.
When are we notified which team my child is on and who chooses the coaches?
- After all evaluations are completed, the Travel Coordinator will form the teams for SSA along with assigning coaches. Coaches are volunteer positions. If there is more than 1 volunteer to coach, the Travel Coordinator, with the assistance of the SSA Board, will have the final "say" on who will coach that team. This process is typically completed within 2 weeks of the evaluations and you will be notified by email.
We hope this answers most of the questions you may have before the season starts. If you have any further questions, please email the SSA Board at [email protected]