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AYSO Region 109 Menlo Park / Atherton

Spring Select Program Info

Dates below are for the Spring 2020 season

Player and Coach Registration – Now Open! Deadline: Oct 26, 2019
           * Tryout registration is free. Program fees to be paid upon acceptance to a team.
           * Registration is not complete until you e-sign your player's form and check out.
           * You should receive a confirmation email from Region 109 with your order no.

Tryouts at Burgess Park – Sunday, Oct 27, 2019 (Google Map)
           * Players must be registered prior to tryouts. Walk-ups will NOT be accepted.
           * Arrive 15 min early to check in. Find our table under the AYSO Region 109 canopy.
           * Come prepared to play. Soccer cleats and shin guards required. Bring a water bottle.

         Tentative Schedule
         
 9:00-10:30  10U Boys     
 10:30-12:00  10U Girls 
 1:00-2:30  12U Girls & Boys
 
 2:30-4:00  14U Girls & Boys
 

* We do not hold tryouts for 16U and 19U teams as coaches in those age divisions are already quite familiar with the players.

* Please read below for program details, and see the FAQs. Email the Spring Select Commissioner with any questions.

*** Note regarding Eligibility: Spring Select is restricted to divisions 9U and up. However, Select teams are based on calendar-year divisions, so our older 8Us with Fall 2011 birthdays are eligible to apply and tryout. ***


ABOUT SPRING SELECT

Spring Select is a competitive AYSO soccer program where teams from Region 109 play teams from other regions. The season runs from February through May, and teams participate in both regular league games and occasional weekend-long tournaments. The program is open to all players, 9U thru 19U, who participated in AYSO during the preceding fall season, regardless of Region. While all qualified players are welcome to try out, Select is geared toward motivated and enthusiastic players, and a high level of commitment is expected. By providing a more competitive program for our players, we hope to develop player skills to a level not always possible through our Regional fall program.

Even though Spring Select is a more competitive soccer program, it is still part of AYSO and is therefore guided by the same core philosophies as our fall program. Players, coaches and their families all find it to be a very rewarding experience.

COACHES

Coaching a Spring Select team is a significant time commitment, much more than the fall season. On top of actual coaching activities, Select coaches are involved in player evaluation, team formation, league and tournament applications, etc. Much of the preparation work occurs Nov-Jan, so there is little break for a Select coach from fall to spring.

To qualify, coaches must have volunteered in AYSO during the preceding fall season. Coaches must meet all training requirements, and be certified to coach at the appropriate level. Certification at least one level higher is strongly desired (e.g. 12U certification for a 10U Select coach). It is also expected that all coaches remember their coaching PIE (positive, instructional, encouraging) and that they are representing Region 109 at all times.

TEAM FORMATION

Players are first evaluated at Select tryouts (by out-of-division AYSO and UK coaches), then at their regular fall games during the last two weeks of the season. In some cases, their fall coaches are also consulted regarding things like positional preferences, coachability, and attendance… things not so easily measured at a tryout. Once all evaluations are completed, teams will be formed based on the standard calendar-year divisions. The number of teams is not fixed, and will depend on both the number of qualified coaches that volunteer, and the number and skill level of players that apply and try out. Ideally, we would field at least one team per calendar year, so that we can maintain a certain level of continuity from one year to the next.

** We aim to announce teams by December 1 **

PRACTICES

Most teams practice twice per week, just like the in the regular fall season. Some older teams will opt for 3 practices per week, a decision that is up to the coaches. The practices are an essential part of building a strong team and players are expected to be at practices. Teams will generally start practicing by mid-February, some as early as mid-January. Again, this is a decision left to the coaches.

LEAGUE GAMES

Menlo Park Select teams compete in the Pacific Coast Spring Soccer League (PCSSL) in an 8 game season (4 home, 4 away). Teams in PCSSL are primarily from the Peninsula, from Daly City and Pacifica in the north, to West San Jose and Saratoga in the south. There’s also the occasional team from the East Bay (e.g. Pleasant Hill, Concord). All league games are on Sundays.

Within each PCSSL division (e.g. 10U Boys) teams are divided into flights based on their age and ability. This is done to keep games as competitive as possible and not have too many lopsided results. One-sided games are no fun, and do little to develop players on either team.

TOURNAMENTS

Most Select teams play between 2-4 tournaments throughout the season in addition to the league games. This is decided on a team-by-team basis. In the past several years, Menlo Park teams have participated in some of the following tournaments:

Surf ‘n Turf, San Luis Obispo – February
Paso Robles Grape Crush, Paso Robles – February
President's Cup, San Jose – February
Pleasant Hill Soccerfest, Pleasant Hill – March
El Palo Alto, Palo Alto – April
Pacifica Fog Classic, Pacifica – April
Concord Cup, Concord – May
Davis World Cup, Davis – May
Santa Barbara Splash, Santa Barbara – June
Come Up For Air, Tahoe – June

ELIGIBILITY

Players (and coaches) must meet all eligibility requirements. Players must be registered for the Spring Select program through ayso109.org. Players must have played on an AYSO team during the preceding fall season, division 10U and above, and played in at least 70% of the games. Under special circumstances (e.g. illness, injury, relocation) the fall play requirement may be waived. Please contact the Spring Select Commissioner at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Players from other regions are welcome to tryout in Region 109 if their own Region does not offer a Spring Select program (e.g. Region 25). Because the teams are more competitive, players are advised to try out in the appropriate age category. Those that “played up” in the fall may try out for the division corresponding to their age (e.g. play up in 12U during the fall, but try out for Select at the 10U level.) Players will only be considered for the age category or categories in which they try out.

COSTS

The financial commitment for players on a Spring Select team varies. There is a base registration fee of $265 which covers uniforms, fields, league play and two tournaments. Additional tournaments will require additional fees, and participation in those (if any) will be determined by each team's coaches in coordination with team parents. Tournament travel is the responsibility of each family. Region 109 is committed to making Select soccer accessible to all players; need-based financial assistance is available -- email [email protected] for more information.

UNIFORMS

For Spring Select, the Region will provide uniforms (consisting of a red jersey, white jersey, and black shorts) to all players. These are covered by the registration fee, and this uniform is yours to keep as long as your player participates in the Select program (or outgrows it). Parents are responsible for the full replacement cost should any item become lost or damaged: $44 per jersey, $26 per pair of shorts. Parents are also responsible for purchasing socks for their player -- information about those will be distributed via coaches and team managers.

FOR 9U PLAYERS

Like we do for our Fall recreational program, the 10U divisions for Spring Select consist of two calendar years (2011 & 2010 for the 2019/20 seasons). We recognize the value and opportunity for the younger 9U players, and do our best to reserve one team (10 roster spots) for 9U players. This 9U team is really a development team, and serves as a springboard for those players (and coaches) in future years. (Note: this practice of forming single-year teams often continues at older ages – e.g. 11U and 12U teams in the 12U division. It helps to maintain continuity in our Select program for players and coaches alike.)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

WHAT IF MY PLAYER CANNOT MAKE THE SCHEDULED TRYOUT DATE?

Question: "My player has a conflict with the scheduled tryout for their division (or is injured or ill). Is there a makeup date?" We will schedule a makeup tryout only in the case of a total rain-out. For players who cannot attend tryouts at their scheduled date and time, they will be evaluated by coaches at one of their final two regular season fall games. These evaluations are often done as a matter of course in making the best possible team selections, so rest assured that your player will be evaluated.

WHY THE SWITCH TO CALENDAR-YEAR?

Question: "Why are Spring Select teams strictly based on calendar-year age divisions?" The U.S. Soccer Federation mandated that all affiliated youth soccer organizations transition to calendar-year age divisions by Fall 2017. In our Region, we opted to keep academic-year teams at the younger divisions, since those games are all intra-Regional. However, since our Select teams play against teams other Regions and Areas, we have to conform to the new national standard.

PLAYING TWO SPORTS?

Question: “My player usually does another sport in the spring (e.g. baseball, lacrosse, club soccer), but really likes AYSO. Can they do both?” Yes, provided they make Spring Select the priority. Many players tryout for Select, and we don’t want to cut a player who is 100% committed for a player that will split time between two sports. If you’re unsure, apply, tryout, and see if your player makes a team. Then have an honest discussion with your Select coach and decide if it’s right for your player and your family.

NON-COMPETITIVE SPRING SOCCER?

Question: "My player loves soccer, but isn't quite at the Select level. Are there non-competitive spring soccer options?" Yes! Our neighbors in Palo Alto, AYSO Region 26, run a Spring Instructional program, very similar to our regular fall program. Registration typically runs from Nov-Mar. Visit their website for more information.

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Menlo Park-Atherton AYSO Region 109

P.O Box 403 
Menlo Park, California 94026

Email Us: [email protected]
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