Travel Policy and Procedures

The mission of the travel program is to establish a competitive youth soccer program and promote passion for and knowledge of the game of soccer by developing youth soccer players through appropriate level competition. We aim to develop higher level youth soccer players technically, tactically, mentally and physically while building self-esteem, confidence, sportsmanship and teamwork. We strive to develop an environment for each player that is fun, positive and educational.

Travel Program Structure

The Director of Travel is responsible for the overall management of the travel program, which includes:

  • Insuring coaches understand and live up to mission/policy of the Club,
  • Organizing and communicating schedules of all travel related activities including league registration, practice times, outside training, coaches meetings, etc…,
  • Representing the best interest of the Club at league meetings,
  • Providing a feedback mechanism for the coaches,
  • Working to improve the overall level of the travel program/teams performance.

Coaches

Election process is as described in the Club By-Laws.

Election Criteria — In addition to being given clearance to coach by EPYSA (all coaches must complete EPYSA’s online Risk Management  and be in good standing with the review and assessment), coaches will be selected based on past coaching experience, current coaching licenses, philosophy consistent with the Club’s mission statement, references and feedback the Club might already have received.

Licensing Requirements — The Club encourages all of its travel coaches to hold appropriate State and/or National level coaching licenses. All travel coaches are required to hold a minimum of an “E” license or equivalent by the beginning of their U-10 season. Exceptions to this rule must be approved by the Director of Travel. It is the desire of the Club to continue the development of the coaches through the pursuit of the “D” level licenses or equivalent. The Club will reimburse 100% the cost of such licensing courses to coaches who present a copy of their registration and license certificate upon completion of the course.

Expectations of Coaches — The principle role of the coach is to develop the technical and tactical skills of the players on their team. At each age level there are certain basic skills that should be evident at the end of a season. These should be developed in conjunction with the director of coaching.

It is expected that coaches will attend all travel coach meetings and any required board meetings.

Each coach is expected to communicate regularly and openly with the parents of the team regarding their respective expectations of each other, the players and the team.

Behavior/Sportsmanship — The coach serves at the discretion of the Soccer Club Board of Directors. He/She should act as a role model for his team and their supporters. The coach is responsible to coach within the framework of the mission and goals of the Club.

Disciplinary Action — The Club officers can at any time review any issue concerning a coach to determine whether they should remain in the position. Based on but not limited to feedback from parents, witnessed performance, league sanctions, or other conduct not in line with the mission and goals of the Club.

Dismissal Procedures — Upon being notified of a possible coaching issue, the Director of Travel will notify the coach in question and document the discussion. The coach will then be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the Director of Travel. If necessary, the Director of Travel will convene a review committee consisting of at least 3 travel coaches who will collect information on the coaching issue and make a recommendation to the Club officers. The Club officers shall decide at this time whether the coach shall continue through the remainder of the season or be removed immediately.

Team Formation

Number of Teams — Historically, the Club has been able to support one boys’ team and one girls’ team at each age level U-9 and up in the fall season. Additional teams can and will be supported as determined by the interest level shown from year to year. Any teams formed subsequent to the (A) team; (B), (C), (D) etc. will be classified as developmental teams. Alternatively, the Director of Travel has the discretion to form two or more teams composed of mixed levels of talent, subject to approval from the Club President and Director of Coaching. The method for team formation will be reviewed and determined on an annual basis in conjunction with spring tryouts.

Timing — The fall is the Club’s primary season. This document is written in that light. All tryouts will take place during a window specified by the Club and according to a schedule established by the Director of Travel in conjunction with the coaches. Tryouts for all teams should be completed and rosters submitted to the Director of Travel and Registrar by June 1st of each year. Rosters are required to update intramural player lists, fees and for insurance purposes.

Tryout Policies — It is the Club policy to conduct two or more open tryouts in the spring for each age group. Each age group will conduct a joint tryout for all players regardless of the number of teams that may be formed. There are not to be separate tryouts for (A) & (B) teams. At the U-9, U-10, and U-11 age levels the Club will provide independent evaluators to assist in rating all players that try out. All player ratings will be forwarded to the coaches at the conclusion of tryouts.

All players participating in a tryout must sign a waiver with the Club for insurance purposes.

All youth players trying out must attend at least one of the open tryouts.

If there are not enough players for an (A) team there will not be a (B) team. By the end of the second tryout there must be a cumulative minimum of 25 players each for U-9, U-10, U-11 and U-12 and a minimum of 32 players for U-13 and up in order to form more than one team. The Director of Travel and Director of Coaching must approve any exceptions to the above.

The (A) coach selects the players he/she would like to roster. Once this roster has been filled, the next highest coach selects from the remaining tryout attendees to fill his/her roster. This procedure continues until all teams’ rosters for the age group have been filled. Alternatively, if multiple teams of even talent are formed, the Director of Travel will be informed in advance of the mechanism to divide the teams fairly.

A player who decides not to play for the travel team to which he/she has been selected can choose to play in the Club’s Intramural program or request a refund of their registration fees. Any exception to this policy is at the discretion of the coach who selects the player. Players not chosen for a position on a travel team are placed in the intramural pool.

Any player who expresses an interest in playing Travel after the completion of the open tryouts must contact the coach of the (A) team. The Director of Travel must be notified by the coach in this situation and approve any late player additions to all teams.

Playing Up

  1. It is Club policy to not allow players to play above their age group. As of May 18, 2010 the Club does not allow players from U12 and down to play up. 

    Any “play up” player on a roster as of May 18, 2010 is grandfathered in to try out for that team the following year(s); however, they must meet the requirements of “B” (below).

    In the event that no “age pure” team is available for a player, that player may try out to play up until an “age pure” team is available.

    The intent of the resolution quoted above as discussed by the Board members was that this amendment will be applicable to players that would be otherwise eligible to play on U9 through U12 teams.

  2. Should a player desire to play up, exceptions will be granted only if that player is dominant in his/her age group and would be capable of being a regular starter for the older team.
  3. Players cannot play up on “developmental” teams.
  4. The Director of Travel and Director of Coaching must approve any exceptions to the policies enumerated in Clauses A, B or C above.
  5. If a player should try out for two teams, “age pure” and “play up”, the coach of the “play up” team has first selection. For the avoidance of doubt, Clause D, above, does not apply in this situation. A member’s only appeal to a decision of the coach of the “play up” team is under the normally applicable appeals process under the by-laws of the Club.

Volunteers

Each team may be asked to provide volunteers from time to time to assist with Club duties to actively support the needs of the Club.  Volunteers are required to fill out EPYSA’s online Risk Management Assessment.

Individual Fees

All players must be registered players with the Club. Refer to the current Fee Schedule.

The current fee for Travel Players is determined each year by the Board of Directors. This fee helps to defray the costs of league registration, referees, insurance, etc.

Secondary players within the Club will need to pay for all additional pass and roster fees.

Secondary players from outside the Club will be responsible to pay a fee designated by the current fee schedule.

No player will be permitted to get a player pass until ALL fees due the Club are paid.

All tournament fees will be the responsibility of each individual team.

Practice Schedules

Practice schedules for field times at all Club fields are determined by a schedule determined by the Director of Travel. The Director of Travel will take into account the specific requests of all coaches, but coaches must also recognize that there are limitations on field space & time, and that compromise is often necessary.

Travel team practices and games will be coordinated with the intramural program to avoid conflicts. In the event of a conflict, the coaches should contact the Director of Fields.

Team Management

Suggested Positions/Roles:

  • Coach
  • Assistant Coach (2)
  • Manager/Treasurer

Playing Time Policy

Club policy requires that all players on a roster be given adequate playing time.

It is the coach’s responsibility to properly set expectations regarding playing time at tryouts.

Team Finances

Donations may be made directly to a team’s general fund, but the use of the Club tax ID is not permitted.

Any fundraiser is generally acceptable but the safety and welfare of our children should be kept first in mind.

Teams are asked to inform the Board of Directors of any fundraisers to minimize conflicts with activities, dates, Club activities, etc.

It is recommended that each team open a checking account with 2 required signatures to manage and maintain the team’s finances.  The Club will not provide its tax ID number for individual team use. An accounting of the use of team funds should be shared with all parents at seasons end.

Uniforms

The Club provides uniforms for players on the active roster who are registered players with the Club for the odd fall seasons (i.e. 2015, 2017, etc…).  Uniforms for the even years will not change from the odd years and players are allowed to use the prior’s year’s uniform.  If a player chooses to replace or repurchase any portion of the uniform kit, that player shall be responsible for the cost for the even years (i.e. 2014, 2016, etc…).  The Club will pay for U9 uniforms for even and odd years.

If a coach chooses to bring in guest players for tournaments, etc. it is the team’s responsibility to order the necessary uniforms in advance and pay for same out of team funds.

Jackets/Warm-ups, Etc.

The Club does not standardize or mandate any particular style or manufacturer. Individual teams are free to purchase jackets, warm-ups, etc. as their teams (and funding) decide appropriate.  Colors should be consistent with the Club colors of red and black with white or gray used as a neutral or outlining color.

Tournament Participation

Tournament participation is encouraged by the Club and is at the discretion of the coach and his/her team. Tournaments are considered an excellent opportunity to expose teams and players to additional levels of competition and can provide additional positive publicity for the Club.

Coaches, beginning in the fall, should notify the Club of the tournaments they are participating in and the results. The purpose of this is to enable the travel program to publish information on team performance on the website. This can be shared with all travel players, coaches, parents, local high school coaches and ODP personnel.

Club Provided Equipment

Two new game balls per season in the appropriate size are provided.

Each coach will be given a set of corner flags and is responsible for setting up his/her field at the beginning of each home game. Corner flags will be repaired or replaced as needed.

Club patches are available for tournaments through the Director of Equipment.

Referee Fees

The Club provides referee fees to the individual coaches for one league in the fall season when the league schedules are published.

The Club may withhold referee fees when coaches/teams are in arrears for any funds or documentation due the Club such as, registration money, uniform costs, rosters, etc.

Referee fees for tournaments and other leagues are the responsibility of the team.

Medical Release Forms

This is a standardized form issued by the Club that identifies insurance coverage for an individual player and provides authorization for a coach or team manager to seek emergency medical treatment for a player if required and a parent or guardian is not present.  The form is typically required for participation in any tournament. This form must be signed by at least one parent.

Leagues

The majority of the Club’s travel teams participate in the Inter County Soccer League (ICSL). Any team wishing to play in a different league will be responsible for all correspondence, attend all required meetings, complete all required paperwork, etc. The coach must also communicate all necessary information back to the Club’s Director of Travel.

A team that joins additional leagues will be responsible for all financial considerations of that league including team registration, referee fees, etc.

League Seedings

Each year the league seeds the registered teams into divisions based on prior year records, tournament records, etc. The Director of Travel is the contact for all communication regarding seeding with the leagues.

Each coach will make his/her preferences known in accordance with the timetable provided by the league. Support for the requests in the form of standings, scores of games against common opponents in a requested division, tournament results, etc. should be included in the request.

Fines

Each league assesses fines on teams and coaches for various infractions. Coaches are responsible for paying the fines!

Spring Soccer and State Cups

Spring soccer leagues are encouraged but are at the discretion of coaches and their teams. Anyone playing in the spring must inform the Director of Travel in order to insure field space.

Indoor Soccer

Indoor leagues and tournaments are at the discretion of individual coaches and their teams.

Travel Tryouts

For information regarding tryout dates and age eligibility, please go here.