US Youth Soccer clarifies age group structures for 2016-2017

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FRISCO, TEXAS (Via US Youth Soccer) — As previously announced in August 2015, US Youth Soccer, along with other youth soccer sanctioning bodies, will be implementing the U.S. Soccer Federation’s birth-year registration mandates on Aug. 1, 2016.

This means that beginning Aug. 1, 2016 all regional and national US Youth Soccer competitions, including all levels of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, US Youth Soccer National League, US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program, US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues and US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup, will be based on age group cut-offs of January 1 for each age group. Due to additional interpretative changes by U.S. Soccer since this announcement in how competition age groups are labeled, US Youth Soccer and other sanctioning bodies are now clarifying the age group structures for the 2016-2017 season.

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  • Beginning Aug. 1, 2017, all youth soccer sanctioning organizations will form competitions based on birth-year age groups.
  • Beginning Aug. 1, 2016, US Youth Soccer will be using the following birth-year “labels” for competition, based upon the season in which competition ends. For example:
    • Players born from August 1, 1997 – December 31, 1998 will be labeled as Under-19/20s.
    • Players born from January 1, 1999 – December 31, 1999 will be labeled as Under-18s.
    • Players born from January 1, 2000 – December 31, 2000 will be labeled as Under-17s.
    • Players born from January 1, 2001 – December 31, 2001 will be labeled as Under-16s.
    • Players born from January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2002 will be labeled as Under-15s.
    • Players born from January 1, 2003 – December 31, 2003 will be labeled as Under-14s.
    • Players born from January 1, 2004 – December 31, 2004 will be labeled as Under-13s.
    • With the exception of the US Youth Soccer Under-19/20s, the age group “label” will be determined by subtracting the year in which the players participating in the competition were born from the year in which competition ends.

The change to birth year age groups and to the “labels” for naming each age group have been made by U.S. Soccer. You may view the U.S. Soccer matrix here, please note the definition for US Youth Soccer Under-19/20s competitions above.

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US Youth Soccer, along with other members of the U.S. Soccer Federation, have been collaborating with each other to help ensure that these changes forced by the U.S. Soccer mandates are implemented as efficiently and smoothly as possible. This collaboration of youth members is ongoing, and each member is continuing to provide feedback and recommendations.

Clubs may continue to organize their teams for competition with players of any age younger than the age group cut-off.

The US Youth Soccer Board of Directors encourages US Youth Soccer State Associations to transition as they deem necessary to accommodate their soccer landscape at the local level.