Why do we register so early for the Fall season?
The River Park Soccer Club is part of a much larger organization, the California Youth Soccer Association (CYSA), that serves more than 200,000 youth players. The registration calendar is set up to meet the insurance and liability requirements of the CYSA. At the Club level we take advantage of that long timeline to assemble teams, recruit coaches, and follow up on registration information.
Why do you need my child’s photo?
The photo is used on the Player ID card. Before every game the referee will look at the ID card to verify that each player is actually registered with that team and the CYSA. If a player shows up without a valid ID, he/she cannot play that game. In most cases the team’s coach will carry all the ID cards.
How do I request specific practice days and times?
We cannot accommodate requests for specific practice days and times, nor do we allow transfers to other teams for schedule reasons. Our volunteer coaches set practice schedules just before the season, after the team formation process is complete. You can expect practices to begin after August 1. Most teams practice twice a week between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Younger teams usually practice for an hour at a time; older teams may practice longer.
Can my child “play up” in an older age group?
Yes, with Club approval, a player may play up in age. For safety and logistical reasons, the Club discourages this plan and will consider the situation on a case-by-case basis. Often, the request to play up will not be considered until just before the season, when we are sure that there is roster space available in the higher age group.
Can my child “play down” in an younger age group?
No, the CYSA does not allow a child to play below his/her age group regardless of size or experience. The CYSA allows rare exceptions due to medical or developmental conditions.
Are there co-ed teams with both boys and girls?
All our teams are co-ed in the Under-6 age group (four and five year-olds). In the older age groups the teams are separated by gender. The CYSA learned that overall participation declines when leagues are mixed-gender. Occasionally a girl will choose to play on a boys’ team and face all-male competition during the season.
When will I know about our team and coach?
Coaches receive their team rosters in mid summer and will notify players ASAP. If you haven’t been contacted by August 1, please email the Registrar.
I might like to help coach a team…?
All of our coaches are volunteers, and many of them are brand new to soccer. We can’t do this without you parents, so please contact our Coaching Coordinator and they’ll help you understand the responsibilities and rewards of being a coach in our Club.
When does the soccer season begin?
Practices may begin August 3. Ten games are played on Saturdays, beginning after Labor Day and ending before Thanksgiving (check the Calendar link for specific dates). You will receive a schedule for the first five games, there will be one weekend off, and then a schedule will be published for the last five games.
What equipment will my player need?
Your player will need soccer cleats, shin guards, and a water bottle. We strongly encourage players to bring their own ball to practices because the club provides coaches with only a few balls. If you do purchase a ball, be sure to get the correct size: U6 and U8 players use a Size 3, U10 and U12 players use a Size 4, and U14 and up players use a Size 5.
What is Competitive soccer?
Starting with the Under-9 age group, players who desire a higher level of competition, skill, and commitment might opt to leave Recreational soccer and join a traveling team participating at the Competitive level.
What is Under-6 soccer like?
U6 teams usually have 11 players under a volunteer head coach. Hopefully he/she will have several assistants like yourself. Boys and girls play together on the same team. The kids are 4-5 years old, uncoordinated, and follow the ball like a beehive. We try to create balanced teams and don't keep standings. Some parents find it important to keep track of the score during the game. During the week a U6 team will have 1-2 practices of at most 1 hour. Teams can start practicing as early as August 1, but many U6 teams don’t begin until late August. On Saturdays the teams match up against each other in 6v6 games with goals and uniforms and shouting parents. There is no travel involved beyond our local fields at Caleb Greenwood. Kids generally like practices more than the games, and some who participate fully in practice may be too intimidated to play on Saturday. Emotional maturity is all over the map with these kids, and the most successful U6 coaches are gifted with patience and enthusiasm, rather than supreme soccer skills.
What is Under-8 soccer like?
U8 soccer is quite a bit different than U6 soccer. Under-8 teams are separated into boys teams and girls teams, although occasionally a girl will chose to play on a boys team. Most U-8 teams practice for 1 hour or 1.5 hours, two days a week. Most U-8 teams are already practicing by August 15. Saturday games start as early as 9:00 and as late as 1:00 pm. Half the games will be away games against other soccer clubs. The schedule is different for every team, but you might travel to places like East Sacramento, West Sacramento, or even Dixon. These clubs--and our own--are all members of the Sacramento Youth Soccer League (SYSL). For a complete list of those clubs look on www.sysl.com. Because nobody likes a blowout score, U8 teams throughout the League are seeded according to their talent and average age. Your team’s opponents should be similarly skilled.