For the 2015-2016 seasonal year, Washington Youth Soccer will not make any changes to its operations with regards to age group definitions or Under-12 playing format.
Over the past year, Washington Youth Soccer has been involved in discussions with our parent organizations – the U.S. Soccer Federation and US Youth Soccer – regarding potential mandated changes to the youth soccer structure. Ongoing discussions include mandates to small-sided-games at certain age groups (e.g. 9v9 at U12), as well as a change from the current age classification of school year, meant to keep classmates playing together (Aug 1-July 31), to birth year (Jan 1-Dec 31).
At this time, USSF has not come to a conclusion on either issue. Washington Youth Soccer continues to support the best practices put forth by both the U.S. Soccer Federation and US Youth Soccer. Given that USSF has not come to a decision on either issue, Washington Youth Soccer will not act until advised.
Without direction, Washington Youth Soccer views any action prior to the direction from USSF as potentially harmful and disruptive to youth soccer programming. Washington Youth Soccer will continue to engage in discussions with USSF and US Youth Soccer in order to best prepare for any potential shifts in operations, and will be fully involved in the best implementation of potential mandates.