Sunday, May 8, 2016

U.S. Soccer and the age year realignment

What is the age year alignment? It is the method used to organize players into age divisions like U8, U10, etc. The method currently used by our club, and by all clubs in North Carolina and the rest of the United States, is based on a seasonal alignment with August 1st as the cutoff date.

Starting in the fall season, U.S. Soccer is shifting the age year alignment for players registered in some soccer programs. At our club, this change will affect the Academy program and the Classic
program. The Recreation League will stay on the August 1st alignment.

The August 1st alignment follows the public school year calendar,  so the Recreation League age divisions have players who are in the same grade at school. Players get to play with their classmates, and this makes sense.

So why is U.S. Soccer making this change for Academy and Classic programs? The change is happening to put the United States on equal footing with international soccer, which is based on a January - December calendar. The Academy and Classic programs are for players who are on a track to more competitive soccer, so this change will put those programs in step with the rest of North Carolina, and United States Olympic programs and national team programs.

The upcoming calendar year for soccer is the 2016-2017 year, starting in the fall. The Recreation League will continue to follow the Seasonal Age Matrix. Our Recreational League has Age divisions for U5, U6, U8, U10, and U13. If a player falls into U7, they will play in the U8 age division. If the player falls into U11 or U12, they play in the U13 age division.

2016-2017 Seasonal Age Matrix
Effective August 1, 2016 – July 31, 2017
Age
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
U5
2011
2011
2011
2011
2011
2012
2012
2012
2012
2012
2012
2012
U6
2010
2010
2010
2010
2010
2011
2011
2011
2011
2011
2011
2011
U7
2009
2009
2009
2009
2009
2010
2010
2010
2010
2010
2010
2010
U8
2008
2008
2008
2008
2008
2009
2009
2009
2009
2009
2009
2009
U9
2007
2007
2007
2007
2007
2008
2008
2008
2008
2008
2008
2008
U10
2006
2006
2006
2006
2006
2007
2007
2007
2007
2007
2007
2007
U11
2005
2005
2005
2005
2005
2006
2006
2006
2006
2006
2006
2006
U12
2004
2004
2004
2004
2004
2005
2005
2005
2005
2005
2005
2005
U13
2003
2003
2003
2003
2003
2004
2004
2004
2004
2004
2004
2004

Academy and Classic programs will follow the Birth Year Age Matrix.

2016-2017 Birth Year Age Matrix
Effective August 1, 2016
Age Division
Birth Year
U8 - 09's
2009
U9 - 08's
2008
U10 - 07's
2007
U11 - 06's
2006
U12 - 05's
2005
U13 - 04's
2004
U14 - 03's
2003
U15 - 02's
2002
U16 - 01's
2001
U17 - 00's
2000
U18 - 99's
1999
U19 - 98's
1998