Parents - Recreation League Q&A

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Parents - Recreation League Frequent Questions and Answers

In this section we try to answer many of the questions parents have regarding the WCSA Recreation League.

What's the WCSA Recreational League all about?

The primary goal of the WCSA Recreational soccer program is for the players to have FUN within a learning/teaching environment. The recreational program is not about winning, it is about teaching, so that children have fun, learn to love the game of soccer, and to become as
skilled a soccer player as possible.

Our Recreational League model is based on US Youth Soccer's Guide for Small-Sided Games. "These are soccer games with fewer players competing on a smaller sized field. These are fun games that involve the players more because fewer players are sharing one ball." The single most enjoyable aspect of soccer for the players is kicking the ball.

Current member clubs within the Recreational League include Parkersburg Soccer Club, Pleasants County, Tri-C Soccer Club, Vienna Soccer Club, and Williamstown Soccer Club.

If you would like to read the complete guidelines for WCSA's Recreational League, it is available on-line through the "League Rules & Guides" item under the "Pages" menu.

What is the minimum age to play?

Players MUST be at least 4 years old by January 1 of the start of the seasonal year. The seasonal year runs from August 1st (Fall season) and ends July 31 (after Spring Season). So, for the 2017-2018 seasonal year, a player must have turned 4 by January 1, 2017. We CANNOT bend this rule.

What kind of equipment does a player need? What's not allowed?

Minimum requirements for both practices and games include shin guards (must ware socks over non-cloth covered guards), closed-toe shoes, and an official jersey (for games). Recommended equipment includes soccer cleats (rubber cleats only, no metal spikes) and a ball (U6/U8 use size 3, U10/U12 use size 4, U15 & up use size 5). Also, remember to send plenty to drink with the players for practice and games.

NO JEWELRY/accessories of any kind or any other unnecessary items beyond their clothing, shin guards, shoes, long socks (to cover shin guards), prescription glasses, and soft/elastic hair holder may be worn during practices or games.

NO earrings (including taped-over), watches, rings, body piercings, necklaces, bracelets (even the rubber ones), hard hair bands, pins, etc. Nothing that another player could catch a finger in or on, nothing that could break and/or cut/scratch/puncture the skin/eyes (hard plastic, metal), etc. Prescription glasses and soft/elastic hairbands are allowed. It's all about player safety!

How do I sign-up and pay for my child?

Click on the "Player Registration & Payment" item under the "Pages" menu above (or, click here) to review the instructions.

How is the season structured and where do we play?

Recreation Season Structure
After registration and team drafts are held, there are several weeks during the pre-season in which teams begin practicing. Practice times are set by each team's coach. Practices are not to exceed one and a half hours (1.5) in duration (shorter for younger ages), no more than three time per week during pre-season, and no more than twice per week after we start playing games.

The WCSA Recreation League playing season consists of seven or eight Saturdays across which teams play a minimum of eight (8) matches. Schedules are set by WCSA and may include double-headers and/or bye-weeks. In the case of game cancellations for any reason, team coaches will alert parents as to the make-up date/time as the published master schedule cannot be guaranteed current with changes.

Game Locations
In general, most matches across all divisions will be played at the same location for a given Saturday. The WCSA Recreational League schedule specifies the location for each Saturday. Schedules are published seasonally on this site. We currently rotate among fields located at three different member clubs: Parkersburg, Tri-C, and Williamstown.

Notes: U12 and U15 teams may be required to travel once or twice a season to a match located within one hour of their club's location to play another WVSA or USYSA team. U19 may include more frequent travel depending on games availability. Occasional mid-week matches might also be scheduled.

Directions to the various fields can be found by clicking on "Directions to Fields" on the website menu.

I have registered and paid for my child, now what?

Soon after players are "drafted" by teams, you will be contacted by your coach to set up practices. WCSA is 100% volunteer driven! The coaches will set up their own practice nights, but WCSA will set the game schedule.

If you checked any of the parent volunteer boxes on the registration form (THANK YOU!!!), you will be contacted by the appropriate club president or other club official regarding the next steps.

Where and when does my child get their jersey?

Official WCSA jerseys are ordered through the on-line player registration form (excluding U15 and U19 -- see below).

If you ordered a new jersey through the registration page, it can be picked up near the concession stand at the first game. Please arrive an additional 10 minutes before the team's warm-up time so that you can make sure it fits.

NOTE: You may only exchange an incorrectly sized jersey (new) at the jersey distribution table at the time you pick it up. No exchange of jerseys are allowed once they are carried away from the table!

Special note for U15/U19: Starting with the Fall, 2011 season, U15 teams now have choices in their jersey like the U19's have had. U15/U19 TEAM COACHES will coordinate jersey selection, ordering, collecting money, and distribution of the jerseys. Do not pay for a U15/U19 jersey through the WCSA Registration and Payment page; coaches will arrange collection of payment. They can use the standard WCSA reversible jersey or a custom jersey approved by WCSA.

Note: All U6 through U12 teams may only wear the official WCSA Recreation League jersey (red/blue reversible) during their games. No custom jerseys are allowed for these ages.

We have a game this weekend, what else do I need to know?

Coaches will inform players/parents of specific arrival times and other details. Please try to have players there early as they need time before the scheduled kick-off time to warm-up, have referee inspections, coach's pre-game, etc.

NO PETS and NO SMOKING are allowed at WCSA fields.

Spectators are to be on the opposite side of the field from the players and coaches. Please allow at least six feet between you and the touch line (sideline) to allow room for assistant referees, throw-in's, and preventing impact/injury to players that come flying out of bounds.

You will not harass our referees! As WCSA is a development league for players, we also develop newer/younger referees into experienced referees. They do their best and will not change calls to appease spectators. Any harassment/abuse of referees will not be tolerated. Note that in WCSA, Coaches can also be held responsible for the behavior of their team's fans (including ejection of the coach for bad parental acts).

During cold weather, players are free to wear extra layers of clothing, but jerseys must be worn ON TOP of any other tops during the game.

Keep things positive! Be supportive and encouraging! It's a game that is supposed to be fun!

Hey! Why did some of "our" players play for the "other" team last week?!?

(Coaches should make sure players and parents are aware of this possibility at the start of the season -- It does occasionally happen.)

Per WCSA Recreation League guidelines, if at the start of a match one team is under-manned (but has the minimum number of players for a reduced-size match in their division), the opposing team can reduce the number of players they field to equal the other team. Or...

The preferred (and better) option is for the team with more players to loan player(s) to the under-manned team so that the teams are more equal in size. This allows the match to be played as scheduled and gets the maximum number of players out on the field (having fun) instead of more subs sitting on the bench (not having fun). It is a primary reason why we use reversible jerseys!

Often times players will volunteer themselves for this and usually adapt within 30 seconds to their "temporary" team, especially if the parents remain supportive of the game. There is also zero risk to a team's league standing/statistics because there are none!

Can my child bring their friend/relative to play in a game?

No "guest players" are allowed in any WCSA Recreational League games.

ALL players must be officially registered with the WCSA Recreation League and have been assigned to a team via WCSA draft/supplemental procedures. NO EXCEPTIONS -- EVERY PLAYER MUST BE REGISTERED! So if they are local, have them sign-up!

Only those players that are on the official WCSA team rosters for the two teams scheduled to play in the match may play. Players can only be "borrowed" from the opposing team playing in the match.

How is the money from player registration fees used?

West Central Soccer Association is a non-profit organization and is governed according to its by-laws.

A summary of how player registration fees are used includes:
  • The West Virgina Soccer Association receives a fee for every registered West Central player as WCSA players are also registered with the State Association. This helps to cover the resources and other WVSA-related coaching and players benefits we use.
  • WCSA Clubs receive a financial allocation to help cover the costs of field use and maintenance.
  • Certain shared equipment purchases (goals, nets, field paint, flags, etc.)
  • Referees receive a small fee for doing games.
  • General operating fees and expenses such as advertising, banking, insurance, legal, postage, etc.
Note: All WCSA officers, club officials, and coaches are unpaid volunteers. We can always use more help, so please check-mark one or more of the volunteer boxes on the player register form!

What does U6, U8, U12, etc. actually mean?

US Soccer has changed age group definitions effective August 1, 2016...

Age groups are now defined by a players birth year relative to the seasonal year. Note: A player's age group (ie. U10) does not change on their birthday; it is in effect for the entire seasonal year.

The seasonal year runs from August 1 through July 31 (ie. Aug, 2017 - July, 2018)

A player's U# group is determined by subtracting their birth year from the ending yer of the seasonal year. So for the 2017-2018 seasonal year, a player born in 2005 would be: 2018 - 2005 = 13 = U13. (U14 if U13 is not available)

As we do not have U#'s for every possible age (only even years through U12), a player is placed in the lowest U# group that is equal to or greater than their actual age group (player may not "play-down"). For example, U8 has U7 + U8 players.

The full birth year/seasonal year age group matrix can be viewed by CLICKING HERE

Where can I find more detailed information about the recreation league?

Many more details are included in the WCSA Recreation League Guidelines. You can find this document and others by clicking on the "League Rules & Guides" item on the "Pages" website menu.

I still have questions and would like to speak with someone.

If you have further questions regarding West Central soccer, then depending on the topic. you can contact your local club president or the appropriate WCSA officer by clicking on the "Contact Information" item on the "About" menu.