Frequently Asked Questions

What age groups play?
What time of the year is soccer played?
My child has other activities and can't participate fully - Is that ok?
When are practices held?
How long are the practices?
Can my child play with his/her friends?
Why is my child not playing with his/her schoolmates?
Can I request a specific coach for my child?
What is included with the registration?

General Questions

Does my child require cleats to play?
What are SCSL's official colors?
Does a player have to wear protective glasses when playing soccer?
What does the player registration fee's pay for?
What is a division anyway?
How are the division ages established?
Is SCSL affiliated with any professional soccer organizations?
How are teams established?
Are the teams co-ed?
How do you keep a team from losing every game?
Can my child play up with older players?
I want my child to play a specific position, can I request that?
I don't want my child to play a specific position, can I request that?
When are games?
What field(s) will our team play on?
Will we have to travel far to play? How long are typical games?
How long does a season run?
Do I have to take SAGE Training?
I paid my volunteer fee, what job do I have to do to get it back?
Can I forgo my volunteer duty and consider it a donation?
What training do the coaches have?
Can I sponsor an SCSL Team?
Does SCSL ever give away soccer balls?
I didn't find what I was looking for, who should I ask?

Q. What age groups play?
A. Recreation player age groups range from age 4 to age 17.  Players aged 4 to 6 play in the Micro League where the emphasis is on learning the basics. There are no official games at this age.  

Teams are co-ed and are grouped based on age from 7 to 17.  See the attached grid for the level based on birthdate.
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Q. What time of the year is soccer played?
A. SCSL hosts recreation and travel soccer for the spring and fall seasons. We also try to do indoor sessions during the winter seasons.
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Q. My child has other activities and can't participate fully - Is that ok?
A. It is very common with the multitude of choices for youth these days that conflicts come up. The answer to this question is typically a judgement call. The best thing to do is use common sense. We understand that parents are often trying to juggle an insurmountable amount of conflicts and being everywhere at once is impossible. Missing a practice once in a while, or missing a handful of games is not the end of the world. A rule of thumb is if the child knows enough to be in the loop about what's going on, then they're participation level is probably good enough. This is, after all, rec. soccer. If this is a concern we recommend that you have a dialog with the coach.

Travel soccer does require more of a commitment and 80% attendance at practice is required.
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Q. When are practices held?
A. Practice sessions are at the discretion of the coach but are usually held once during the weekday in the evening. A professional trainer has Saturday morning training for rec players (older than Micro)

Once teams are formed, the coach will inform the team of the night and time of the practice. If you're worried about conflict because of this see the question and answer directly above this one! The weeknight practices are set at an appropriate times so parents can get home from work; but we keep in mind that children have homework and should not be kept out late because of school commitments.
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Q. How long are the practices?
A. Practices typically range from one to one and a half hours long.
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Q. Can my child play with his/her friends?
A. There are no guarantees of placement on a team. So many factors are considered when building teams and it is often too complicated to accommodate special requests. The exception we will make is to help families with multiple players. Our perspective is that by the end of the season they'll have even more friends!
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Q. Why is my child not playing with his/her schoolmates?
A. Soccer age groups are not the same as school age groups. The cutoff date is not the same. This is not our choice, it's dictated to us and something that we can not change. There is a reason for the standardization and we can't just go our own way. We play other clubs that adhere to the age groups and should we deviate, we would be out of synch. It has even more impact as players get older and play in tournaments. Tournament age groups are monitored closely and it would be very disruptive if we didn't follow the standard for the state and the nation. We know many players want to play with their friends and schoolmates. We always say that it's good for players to intersperse with others. Many players have forged new lifelong friendships playing soccer.
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Q. Can I request a specific coach?
A. The same answer applies here as the question above. There are just too many factors to consider and honoring this type of request becomes troublesome at best. If one accommodation is granted, every accommodation has to be considered. Assigning teams is a very complicated exercise. Getting even teams, full teams, mixing co-ed if needed, and other considerations make accommodating special coach requests near impossible. Please help us and understand when we deny this type of request.
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Q. What is included with the registration?
A. This answer is geared toward our recreation players. If you're playing travel with SCSL, please inquire with your coach. Registration includes a 10 week program for fall or a 10 week program for spring depending upon which season you're playing in. SCSL will supply the player with a uniform shirt. Parents are responsible for supplying shorts, socks, etc. SCSL will provide all training equipment needed for each team. Registration also includes a training program where SCSL hires paid trainers to conduct training sessions. SCSL will also supply each player in the lower divisions with a trophy at season's end.
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Q. Does my child require cleats to play?
A. There is no requirement to wear cleats but it is recommended. There are times when the grass gets wet, and the fields are slippery from recent rains and cleats keep players from slipping and falling. The one exception to this might be micro soccer players. The youngest players grow out of cleats so fast and the session could well be done with sneakers.
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Q. What are SCSL's official colors?
A. The official colors of SCSL are Royal Blue and Black. The older divisions have a Royal Blue Jersey with black shorts and socks. The preference is still for black shorts and socks.
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Q. Does a player have to wear protective glasses when playing soccer?
A. The answer is YES. The state of New Jersey instituted a law that requires participants in youth sports to wear sports glasses. You can work with your optomitrist to purchase prescription rec-specs glasses that are designed for sports or obtain contact lenses. Players who do not have the appropriate 'sports glasses' will not be able to participate in games.
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Q. What does the player registration fee's pay for?
A. The registration covers many things. Equipment, New Jersey Youth Soccer Association Dues (they cover us for insurance), goals, uniforms, referee fees, tournament fees, training, and numerous other things are purchased with the registration fees. SCSL attempts to keep registration fees low and registration fees are based on what the organization needs to cover it's expenses.
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Q. What is a division anyway?
A. SCSL divides players into divisions. Divisions are confusing to many people because there really is no clue to what age group is represented by a Division number. To make it even more confusing, Division numbers go in a backward order. Division 6 is the youngest players, and Division 1 is the oldest players. The Division concept is established on a national level and the age cutoffs are dictated by the New Jersey Youth Soccer Association - of which we are a member. See our Division Designator page for more information.
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Q. How are the division ages established?
A. The United States Soccer Council establishes the age designations for soccer. South County is part of the national soccer designator by it's membership with the New Jersey Youth Soccer Association.
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Q. Is SCSL affiliated with any professional soccer organizations?
A. Yes, SCSL is a member of the New Jersey Youth Soccer Association. In addition to NJYSA, SCSL's travel teams are registered with the Mid-Jersey Youth Soccer Association. SCSL is a member of the Hunterdon County Recreational Soccer League. HCRSL is composed of neighboring Hunterdon County soccer organizations and teams.  Division 4 and older travel to the local municipal locations for away games. These teams include Kingwood, Union, Alexandria, Holland, Flemington and Delaware.
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Q. How are teams established?
A. Establishing teams is often predicated on what age the players are. Players are first divided by age. The newest players are often just divided by age. If the age group is six and seven for example, the players are mixed so each team gets a mix of players across the age spectrum. As players get older, they are rated by coaches on different aspects of their ability. These ratings help to even out the teams as the players get older. When players get to the older age groups, the teams are often set and play as a unit.
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Q. Are the teams co-ed?
A. Teams within SCSL start out playing inter-squad games. What that means is all the players in certain age groups are divided up within SCSL and play each other. The squads are co-ed. When they reach a certain age (Division 4)  they begin to play inter-county teams (SCSL is a part of the Hunterdon County Recreational Soccer League). Currently HCRSL only supports co-ed teams.

SCSL Travel teams tend to be gender specific but girls are allowed to play on the boys teams if there are not enough girls to form a travel team.  Boys cannot play on girl travel teams
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Q. How do you keep a team from losing every game?
A. This is a misnomer as it is impossible to guarantee that any team is not going to lose every game. Every year SCSL takes great strides to build even teams. There are so many variables that contribute to a teams ability to win and even with the best intentions, we don't always get it right. SCSL has taken actions in the past to make course corrections as we understand that no team wants to experience losses in every game. This is difficult at best, especially when a season is well underway. SCSL will do our best to handle these situations.
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Q. Can my child play up with older players?
A. The answer is, it depends. SCSL's standard position on this is we'd rather not. Still, there are valid situations where this is a viable request. All players who play up must seek approval from the board. No coach, trainer, or individual will have the authority to sanction a player to play up. See the policy section of this web site for more information on this question.
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Q. I want my child to play a specific position, can I request that?
A. Any request can be discussed with a coach but this is only a request.   It should be clear that no parent has a right to demand a child play a specific position. The coach is empowered to make the decisions about where a child plays. A good coach will rotate players and give opportunities for players to grow in all areas. Keep in mind that a good defense player won't be good at defense if they don't play offense once in a while. If the player is adept at offense and is put on defense, it will  be a great experience for them to learn defensive skills. Even if the team is scored upon, it's ok. The concept here is that it's not about winning but the experience gained. Players need to experience all aspects of the game and to demand assignment to a specific position is not in the best interest of developing the player.
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Q. I don't want my child to play a specific position, can I request that?
A. Many times this is a reasonable request. Parents often ask that a child not be put in the goalie position. We would encourage you to have a discussion with the coach if you have concerns of safety or if other mitigating factors are in place that would suggest a player not play a specific position. Of course it would not be reasonable to say that my child should not play defense. Legitimate requests will always be considered. One thing to note in these situations is that should the catalyst for the concern be inability, this can be addressed by attacking the concern head on. Individual training can be accommodated at a practice for goalie training for example. In all cases, communicate with the coach about any concerns.
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Q. When are games?
A. Game schedules vary from year to year. Micro soccer players have combination practice, skills, scrimmage session. No one keeps score and there are no formal teams.

Games for divisions other then micro are mostly played on Sundays. There are occasions where games are rescheduled or adjusted to play at night during the week. SCSL has lighted fields and can play on nights where it is dark. A full game schedule will be posted once teams are established.
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Q. What field(s) will our team play on?
A. Most of the time players will play on the East Amwell Municipal Building field. The Division 5 players play two years on the Hewitt Fields at Hewitt park in East Amwell.  Division 5 players are going to be rotated into the HCRSL league and will play away games.

Division 4 and older players will play at both the municipal building fields, and the school fields (see the field location links to become familiar with the home field information). Division 4 players are part of the Hunterdon County Recreation Soccer League and do play other Hunterdon County teams. These teams include Kingwood, Union, Alexandria, Holland, Flemington and Delaware. The field locations for these teams can be found in the directions link to 'other locations'.
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Q. Will we have to travel far to play?
A. The older players, and the travel players do have to travel to other soccer club locations in the fall. In the Spring, every division travels.. On the recreation side of things, the farthest location is Holland Township. The good news is it's only once or twice a season usually. Most of the other fields are less then 30 minutes away.

The travel side of SCSL is a different. The distances are longer. The game schedules vary from year to year and it would be best to plan on some trips to distant fields in New Jersey (New Providence, Aberdeen are some examples).
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Q. How long is a typical game?
A. Game times vary according to age. They generally will run from 30 minutes to a little over an hour.
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Q. How long does a season run?
A. The season is typically 10 weeks long. Fall soccer starts just after the school year and runs to the week before Thanksgiving. The spring season starts in early April and ends mid-June.
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Q. Do I have to take SAGE Training?
A. Yes, at least one parent from a family must attend. It would be better if all parents and guardians could attend. The program is insightful and very beneficial to our organization and we would hope that every family would embrace it's ideals and practice them fully. S.A.G.E. is offered as part of the fall season.
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Q. I paid my volunteer fee, what job do I have to do to get it back?
A. SCSL has established a pre-determined list of tasks/jobs that qualify. There will be different ways to indicate participation. When field setup is completed for example, there will be a sign-up sheet. everyone who signs the sheet will have the fee returned automatically. Please review the policies section of the web site for detailed information. 

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Q. Can I forgo my volunteer duty and consider it a donation?
A. While the short answer is yes, we would caution this approach. There are many many tasks involved in running an organization of this size and breadth. Even with a core nucleus of helpers, it is near impossible to get everything done without outside help.
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Q. What training do the coaches have?
A. SCSL provides different types of training to coaches. The coaches will be offered individual time with a trainer to learn how to coach a youth soccer team. SCSL also provides opportunity to obtain NJYSA "F" license certification. This certification is specific to coaching youth soccer.
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Q. Can I sponsor an SCSL Team?
A. All sponsorship inquiries can be sent to questions@southcountysoccer.org. Please be specific about the details.
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Q. Does SCSL ever give away soccer balls?
A. Yes. Often at the end of the season, we replace some of our old stock with new equipment. Many of the balls we replace are not worth much but on occasion we have some worn but viable stock to provide. If you would like to be considered please inform your coach. We would love it if the players put the soccer balls to good use in their back yard!
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Q. I didn't find what I was looking for, who should I ask?
A. Send your question to questions@southcountysoccer.org.
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