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CHARLESTON, S.C. (Aug. 25, 2015) - In another step towards improving long-term player development in the United States, the U.S. Soccer Federation is phasing in new mandatory standards related to small-sided games and birth-year registration, according to a statement released Monday night.
These coaching initiatives, which will be mandated to apply to all U.S. Soccer members by August 2017, include age groups based on birth-year registration (from January 1 to December 31) consistent with international standards. Simultaneously, U.S. Soccer will also mandate new small-sided and field size standards for U-6 through U-12 age groups.
Click here for the official U.S. Soccer Federation announcement and presentation.
The mandate for birth-year registration represents a shift away from the current practice of teams being organized based on player birth dates from August to July. The change means that teams will in future be organized based on birth years. In most cases, player passcards will continue to be issued on an Aug. 1-July 31 competition season.
US Club Soccer is coordinating implementation with US Youth Soccer and other youth soccer organizations to ensure the smoothest and most efficient transition. US Club Soccer will update members on the timetable for implementation within the next few weeks.