What They Are and What They Mean for GHSC
As many of you are aware, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) has issued player development initiatives designed to improve youth soccer. The main goal of the USSF initiatives is to provide a consistent landscape for youth soccer across the United States. The two major components of the mandates are a move to birth year registration for all age groups, and small sided games for younger players (U6-U12). USSF hopes to shift the focus of youth soccer from team success to player development. These ideas have been used in Europe with much success.
These initiatives are true mandates, and every soccer organization in the US is required to implement these changes by 2017.
Please note that GHSC fully supports the theory behind these changes. There is no doubt that they will result in improved soccer development, as well as more enjoyment for the players. Smaller sided games means players touch the ball more frequently, are more engaged in the game and have more fun.
There are challenges associated with change, and this situation is no different. However, I am very confident that the GHSC community will continue to work together to provide our children with the best soccer experience possible.
For the full text of the USSF Player Development Initiatives, please click here.