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STYSA Levels of Play

(Adopted from the STYSA Coaches Handbook 2010-2011)

STYSA offers both recreational and competitive levels of play. Recreational play is available in all age groups, Under-6 through Under-19. Players enter the competitive level of play at Under-11 and have three choices available to them – Division II (introductory level), Super II and Division I (highest level). Complete information in levels of play can be found on the STYSA website or stxsoccer.org.

Division IV - Recreational
Under-6, Under-8, Under-10

Children learn the basics of soccer through positive, fun training sessions that include short demonstrations and lots of participation. At the recreational level, the primary goal is for every player who wants to participate to have an opportunity to do so. Tryouts, invitations, recruiting or any process designed to identify players on the basis of talent or ability is prohibited. Every effort must be made to see that there is a fair and balanced distribution of playing talent among all participating teams.

In an effort to give these young players more touches on the ball and a better chance to develop their skills, small-sided games are played in the Under-10 and younger age groups. Coaches are responsible for assuring that every effort is made to afford each player at least 50 percent playing time.

Division IV - Academy/Recreational Plus
Under-8 through Under-10

The Governing Board of STYSA passed several rule changes in July 2009 that allow local clubs to now offer Recreational Academy Programs that teach individual skills to Under-8 through Under-10 players in a team-training format. Teams formed to participate through the Recreational Academy participate against other Academy teams in both league play and invitational tournaments. Coaches are responsible for assuring that every effort is made to afford each player at least 50 percent playing time.

Division III - Recreational
Under-11 through Under-19

Designed for players who enjoy the sport for the social aspect, as well as developing their skills, recreational teams in these age groups are formed through assignment. Tryouts, invitations, recruiting or any process of identifying players on the basis of talent or ability is also prohibited at this level. Effective September 2009, U11 and U12 teams will play small-sided 8v8. Post-season play is offered in the fall season. Coaches are responsible for assuring that every effort is made to afford each player at least 50 percent playing time.

Division II - Competitive
Under-11 through Under-19

This introductory level of competitive play is designed for those who enjoy the social aspect of the game and want to continue to develop their skills through better competition. Tryouts may be held and players may be selected based on their skill level. Division II teams are generally formed from players within a single club; however, clubs that field three or fewer recreational teams in an age group may combine their player pools with those of another club in order to have a larger pool from which to select. Effective September 2009, U11 and U12 teams will play small-sided 8v8. Post-season play will be offered in the fall but is dependent upon cup entry in the spring. Coaches are responsible for assuring that every effort is made to afford each player at least 50 percent playing time.

Super II - Competitive
Under-11 through Under-19

A higher level of commitment is required for those wishing to participate on Super II teams. Selection of players based on talent and ability is permitted, and generally includes a pool of players from a broader spectrum. Teams participating in each District’s Super II league are required to either pre-qualify for the following year based on their performance, or to qualify through a Qualification Tournament during the summer. Teams are scheduled to play other Super II teams from their District, which requires more extensive travel on a weekly basis. Effective September 2009, U11 and U12 teams will play small-sided 8v8. Post-season play will be offered in the fall but is dependent upon cup entry in the spring. Coaches are responsible for assuring that every effort is made to afford each player at least 50 percent playing time.

Division I - Competitive
Under-11 through Under-19

Recognized as the highest level of play within the state, players may be selected from across the state based on their ability, skill, and commitment to the sport. Tryouts and invitations based on demonstrated performance are the general rule of thumb. Teams playing at the Division I level must qualify in order to play through either of the District Division I Associations. Effective September 2009, U11 and U12 teams will play small-sided 8v8. There is no fall post-season play. Spring post-season play is dependent upon cup entry. There is no minimum-play-time requirement at this level of play.

State Classic League

Designed for the top Division I teams within South Texas Youth Soccer, the State Classic League (SCL) provides teams a venue to compete in the highest level of competitive play possible to aid in the development of competitive youth soccer players in the Under-14 through Under-17 age groups. The SCL also serves as the league from which teams from South Texas Youth Soccer qualify to participate in the Region III Premier League West (PLW). Each spring, a qualifying round will be held for the Under-13 teams to determine which teams will advance into the SCL in the fall as Under-14 teams. There is no minimum-play-time requirement in SCL.

Region III Premier League

The U. S. Youth Soccer Region III Premier League provides an opportunity for the most competitive teams in Region III to play each other on a scheduled basis. The league is comprised of boys’ and girls’ teams in the Under-14 through Under-18 age groups, with each participating state association determining the criteria for identifying the teams to be included in the Premier League. Typically, the prior year’s Premier League Champion in an age group, the State Cup Champion, or the Champion of an in-state league is a potential candidate. Each State Association is invited to identify at least two teams per age group and gender to take part in Premier League Play, with games scheduled in the fall or spring, depending on the local custom in that sub-region or state. The sole intent is to furnish the top teams in the region an opportunity to play a highly competitive schedule for as little cost as possible.