Frequently Asked Questions

US Youth Soccer FAQs
How do I register my child for soccer?
Contact your state or local association. US Youth Soccer has a Club Directory where you can search for clubs in your hometown. There are 55 State Associations that make up US Youth Soccer; all 50 states with five that are divided (California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas).
What is the cost?
Fees vary according to what is provided by the local soccer association or club. Some clubs provide a t-shirt for the 6-and-Under age group and a complete uniform for older players. Since many factors affect the fee structure, ask your local club or association.
What is the soccer season?
There is no traditional season in youth soccer. Most states play a fall season (September through November) and a spring season (February through May). Many competitive programs may play with only a short break in the winter and a short break in the summer.

What does the U in 6U mean?
6U refers to the age group being 6-and-under. You can see the age guidelines here.

How many practices are there per week?
Usually teams practice two times per week.

What equipment do I need?
Shinguards are required for all practices and games. Cleated shoes are needed if play will be on wet, muddy or soft surfaces. For very young players, sneakers will do fine.

How long does practice last?
Practices for players six and younger should be no more than an 45 minutes. 8U players practice one hour. 10U players are about an hour and 15 minutes. Older players practice for about an hour and a half.

What does my child need to bring to practice?
A ball, soccer shoes, shinguards and plenty of water.

Do I need soccer shoes or will tennis shoes be okay?
For younger players, sneakers work fine on a dry field. Older players or wet and muddy conditions may require cleats.

What size ball do you use?
Under-8s and younger play with a No. 3. 10U through 12U play with a No. 4. Players 14U though adult use a No. 5.

My child has a disability. Is there a place for her?
US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer is a program for players with mental or physical challenges.

Can I wear a cast (or earings, religious medals, eyeglasses)?
The FIFA Laws of the Game prohibit anything which is dangerous to a player or other players. Referees determine if an item can be worn without being dangerous.

Why can't players wear helmets?
Helmets are not included in the Laws of the Game under Players Equipment. Although the player wearing the headgear is protected, he may play in a physically more aggressive manner than others not protected, thereby becoming a danger to others.

Are mouth guards needed?
Injuries to the teeth are so few that insurers do not require them. Many dentists however recommend them.

How many players are on a team?
U-6 play 3v3, U-8 play 4v4, U-10 play 6v6, Under-12 play 8v8 and older teams play 11v11. See more recommendations for Small-Sided Games.

How big is the field?
Field sizes vary by age group. For U-6 we recommend 30x20 yards, U-8 30x25 yards, U-10 55x40 yards, U-12 75x50 and U14-19 play 100x50 up to 120x80 yards. See rules for Small-Sided Games.

Why does our league not post standings?
At the younger ages we place a priority on participation and deemphasize results.

How do I get information about coaching license courses?
For the D and E licenses, U-6/U-8 Youth Module, U-10/U-12 Youth Module and the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Coaching Course you can contact your State Association. For the A, B and C licenses, please contact U.S. Soccer. For the National Youth License, you can register through US Youth Soccer.

What is the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP)?
US Youth Soccer ODP, established in 1977, is the original Olympic development program in the United States. Formed to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a National Team could be selected for international competition, selected players are exposed to the nation's top coaches from collegiate institutions, U.S. Soccer and the professional leagues. Programs exist in each state and with competitions such as the US Youth Soccer ODP Championships, Interregional Training/Competition, Regional Camps and International play. US Youth Soccer ODP continues to lead the way in elite player identification and development. US Youth Soccer ODP is an approved program of the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Do you know of any summer camps to which I can send my son/daughter?
Click here for Soccer America's Camps & Academies, a free e-newsletter and web directory.

Can you recommend a tournament or tour operator?
US Youth Soccer maintains a tournament directory. You can also contact your State Association. We refrain from recommending any tournaments or tour operators.
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