What is travel Soccer?
The following Q & A outlines SCOR's philosophy on its travel team program:
Competitive play representing our club.
Organized by age group from U-10 (i.e. under 10 years old) through U-19. Ages are as of January 1st of each year (previously, this was August 1st).
Teams compete in the Southwest District (greater Fairfield County) of the Connecticut Junior - Soccer Association (CJSA).
Divisions are organized separately for girls and boys.
There are two seasons, Fall which begins play in September and Spring which begins play in April.
What commitment is involved?
- Practice twice a week during the season.
- League games are usually on Sunday afternoons.
- Away games against other clubs from towns throughout Fairfield County.
- Season is generally 8-10 weeks.
- Teams will provided with a budget to support a tournament, typically these are often held on holiday weekends. Tournament selection will be facilitated by SCOR in collaboration with the team manager, head coach and parents. All Tournament requests need to be approved by the Boys and Girls Travel VP.
- Based on the coach recommendation, teams may enter the Connecticut Cup, a highly competitive single elimination tournament. The games are generally held on Saturday and can be anywhere in Connecticut.
- Off-season practices are held in summer - beginning in July, and winter - beginning in January. These are usually one night a week and participation is not mandatory although many players choose to do so.
- Being a member of a team invokes a commitment on the part of all players to regularly attend practices and games.
Annual SCOR Sponsored Tournament
SCOR hosts an annual Tournament in the fall, which is run by the U-11 parents. All parents of U-11 should be prepared to participate in the organization and running of the tournament. Every parent of players in the other age groups has a task during the tournament such as helping to run a concession stand or field marshaling.
How are players selected for travel teams?
Players are evalutated and placed on teams according to the following process:
- Professional Head Coach evaluates players throughout season
- Independant Professional Observers evaluate candidates mid season
- Players are evaluated during spring tryout sessions (see tryout process below)
- The coach utilizes the four pillars of soccer to assess player abilities: Technique, Tactics, Psychological & Physical
- The coach then compares all players' abilities and documents level of players by ranking them. Note: The professional coach determines his/her rankings, these are confidential and will not be made available to either player or parents.
- Coach submits final ranking document to Coaching Director
- SCOR's Coaching Director and Travel VPs compare rankings of all registered players. Final team placements are subject to change and dependent on player withdrawals.
Team selections for the Fall are expected to carry through to the Spring season with exceptions made due to registration changes or skill adjustments as determined by the team coach. Players who choose to leave travel soccer for a season will forfeit their spot on their team and will be able to tryout again the following season. Letters of acceptance or regrets will be emailed to players/parents by the SCOR Registrar. Players who do not make a travel team will be offered a House Team position. If they choose to accept, parents will be mailed the appropriate refund.
Tryouts are held for each age group prior to the fall season. Fall tryouts are usually held in June prior to school letting out. Dates for tryouts will be posted on the SCOR website and will be included in a SCOR newsletter sent to all members. Tryouts will be mandatory for participation in the travel program.
Click here for more information on the SCOR Travel tryouts.
How do I know if my child is ready for travel?
Does your child get a lot of enjoyment out of practicing and playing?
Does your child possess a strong aptitude for the game? Ask your child's House/Recreational coaches.
Is your child a team player?
Can your child handle disappointments as well as success?
Will your child remain attentive to his or her coach and concentrate during an hour and a half practice?
If the answers to the above questions are yes, then you should consider providing the opportunity to play Travel soccer to your child.
How are teams organized?
Teams will be comprised of the most highly skilled and competitive players indicating a desire to participate in the travel program. It is in the best interest of SCOR to accommodate as many players as possible in the travel programs, giving priority to filling the most competitive teams initially and subsequent teams as registration and team formation and guidelines permit.
U-11 & above - players will be evaluated by the team coach and the teams selected based on the evaluations presented to the
. Players will be evaluated on a specific set of predetermined drills appropriate for their age group. All players, existing and new, are expected to earn their positions on the team.
How is playing time for each child determined?
At U10, playing time is shared equally amongst all players (throughout the course of a season). At the U-11 level and beyond, the game understandably becomes more competitive. While we still stress the preceding principles, playing time will be more at the discretion of the coach and is based upon the player "earning" time through exhibiting their work ethic and skill in practice and games.
All players must wear proper equipment including soccer cleats (no football or baseball which have a toe cleat) and properly sized shin guards. No jewelry is permitted; earrings are not allowed to be taped and must be removed for practice and play. The only exceptions are medical bracelets and necklaces which are required for player safety. In these cases, the bracelet or necklace must be secured (taped) to prevent injuries.
All participants in the Travel program will be required to purchase a uniform kit (2 game jerseys, practice jersey, shorts, 2 socks), approximately $75. The uniform is used throughout Travel and will only have to be repurchased when the player grows out of it or in the event that SCOR changes the uniform style. Uniforms are purchased exclusively at Soccer & Rugby Imports and can be ordered during Player Pass Days.
I am new to Ridgefield, how do I get my child involved?
Registration for the Fall season is typically the prior May. The Fall season runs from September through November. Registration for the Spring season is in late January and the season runs from April through June. If you move to town in the off-season, please contact the
Travel VP for options. If you would like to get your child involved in an off-season activity feel free to contact the appropriate team manager below. If you move to town during the season, contact the team manager to determine if there is an opportunity to play that season or you can contact the program VPs as listed in the Directory.
Our Travel (Classic) Program is separated by gender and according to the age groups. If there are a large number of tryouts in a particular division, and the overall skill level warrants, it is possible that SCOR will field multiple travel teams in the same age division. A travel team normally plays approximately 50% of its games at one of Ridgefield's town fields and the other 50% away at a competing soccer club's field.
Travel Team Assistant Coaches
Travel Team Assistant Coaches are critical as support roles to the professional head coach so that a positive and developmentally appropriate soccer experience for players is assured at practice sessions and games.
High school students with playing experience, role model characteristics and familiarity with the demands of supporting a head coach as defined by SCOR's Coaching Director will be available to provide assistance to teams in need.
Parent Assistant Coach candidates with a minimum of a CJSA Youth Module or equivalent certification are preferred over non-licensed candidates and will play a factor in SCOR Coaching Director's decision when assigning positions.
All Travel team assistant coach candidates are required to attend pre-season coaching clinics offered through SCOR. It is at the Coaching Director's discretion as to whether a high school player or a parent is considered to fill the role of an assistant Travel team coach.
Travel Teams have maximum of 2 coaches at games, format can vary as follows:
Pro Coach with Highschool Player
Pro Coach with qualified Parent Coach
Highschool Player with qualified Parent Coach
Travel Team Roster Size
Below are the typical roster sizes for each age group. Age group: U10 plays 7v7; U11,U12 play 9v9; and U13 - U15 play 11v11.
U10 Min 8 / Max 12
U11 Min 10 / Max 14
U12 Min 10 / Max 14
U13 Min 15 / Max 19
U14 Min 15 / Max 19
U15 Min 15 / Max 24
Final roster sizes are at the discretion of the Travel VPs.
Play Up Policy
We have an obligation to provide an environment where all our players can strive to become the best they possibly can. A player that has indeed proven to be a superior player physically, technically and emotionally in his or her appropriate age group should have the opportunity to develop with an older and more challenging age group. The
United States Soccer Federation encourages the exceptional player to play up, and SCORS follows their recommendation because it is important not only for the development of that exceptional player but that of his or her peers.
The following evaluation process must be met should a players request to play up be considered.
1. Players parent(s) submit a written request to Coaching Director prior to Spring season end. Parent(s) need to agree that the Coaching Directors decision based on the evaluation process below is final.
2. Written Submission Deadline: For consideration to play up for the Fall and Spring seasons you must request by May 20th. In the case of new registrants to the Program an exception will be made on the deadline. Coaching Director and Coaching Director ONLY may approach the parents of a player that has been identified as an exceptional player and recommend to that players parents or guardians to consider playing up. Coaches do not approach parents or players.
3. Coaching Director confirms players maturity (technical, physical & emotional) with current professional coach. Player needs to be assessed as an exceptional player who needs to be challenged at a higher level in order to continue his/her development.
4. Player is invited to one or more practice sessions with the older A team prior to start of season in question. Confirmation from current coach and the coach of the older team stating that the player is able to compete for a starting position within the older A-Team roster is required.
5. Playing up status will be considered on an annual basis, depending on performance and continuous maturity status of player. The play up criteria is established and confirmed by the Coaching Director.
6. Exceptions to Process:
Grade appropriate Travel level players are allowed to play up on either the A or B team.
If player(s) is needed to help keep the older B team in tact, non-exceptional and previously cut younger players can be assigned to team.
If players are needed to keep his/her current A-team in tact then the player in question will be asked to stay back.
If older age group has enough age appropriate A team quality players to fill or complete an A team roster.
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