|Recreational vs. Competitive Soccer
Sunnyvale Alliance Soccer Club (SASC) offers
both recreational and competitive soccer programs, which are intended to
provide a variety of levels for youth soccer players. Competitive soccer offers
multiple levels or "divisions" intended to provide a progressive ladder for
players as they develop their skills. Recreational soccer is intended to serve
as an introductory level and consists of a single level of play.
The purpose of recreational
youth soccer in SASC is the development of the soccer playing ability of the
child. Safety, fun, excitement, and player skill development are the primary
focus of the program. Regardless of the ability of a child, everyone deserves
an equal chance to play and to learn in a safe, positive, and supportive
The SASC recreational program is an in-house league
comprised of teams that are formed by the league. These teams are all coached
by parent volunteers. All U6 thru U12 recreational program games are played on
fields within the City of Sunnyvale. Most U14 thru U16 recreational program
games are played on fields within the city, but traveling games can be arranged
from time to time.
Children with little or no soccer experience,
should play in the recreational program. This will allow them to develop their
soccer skills in preparation for advancement to competitive level play.
SASC offers both Spring and Fall leagues.
Registration for these seasons
typically closes in February (for Spring soccer) and July (for Fall soccer)
respectively, so be sure to register early.
The SASC Competitive Program has three aims:
- To provide an environment in which each player can develop to best of his or her abilities.
To that end, we use paid coaches to develop, identify, and promote players so they are consistently playing with and against others that
provide the player with challenging experiences
- We believe kids develop at different times and that their friendship in soccer can be nurtured by maintaining a community that trains,
bonds, and plays together, even though they are developing at different rates. Parents play the key role in helping age groups support
these friendships and connections.
- Competitive level soccer requires a greater commitment level from both players and parents.
Once a player is added to a team, they are expected to attend team events (including practices, special training sessions, games and tournaments) on a regular basis.
Professional trainers are typically used to develop advanced
soccer skills. These trainers can also serve as head coach for many competitive
level teams. Professional trainers (or professional coaches) are paid
for their services, which require a greater financial commitment from parents
Existing competitive level teams may have openings for new
players from time to time, so be sure to check the
Team Tryouts page for more
information. Whole new teams are also formed from time to time through "Age
Group Tryouts", which are sanctioned by the club. These typically happen in the
Oct/Nov and May/Jun time frame. Please check the
Team Tryouts page for updates.
If you have questions regarding SASC's competitive level program,
please contact the
Director or Director of Coaching.
The competitive landscape includes a number of competing leagues and organizations that have each been sanctioned by USSF to help achieve different goals. The two organizations that serve to the youngest age group are NorCal and CalNorth. NorCal is a US Soccer organization that has come out with more flexibility to help clubs prioritize the development of players over building strong teams. CalNorth has been team-centric, but is not adapting to compete with NorCal.
To understand competitive soccer and how
SASC fits within the
Soccer Association-North (CYSA-N) landscape, first you should understand
the organization of the association and how our club fits into it. SASC (our
club) is part of the Foothill Youth Soccer League (FYSL), which also includes
Mountain View-Los Altos Soccer Club (MVLA).
CYSA-North is composed of
approximately 130 affiliated soccer "leagues" geographically, and FYSL is our
geographic league. A further grouping of the CYSA-N soccer leagues called
"districts" serves as another administrative and geographic organization of the
member leagues. These districts administer local rules and most importantly,
organize the local Fall and Spring playing leagues the competitive teams
participate in. CYSA-N has 9 districts and we are located in
II which is composed of San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey and
San Benito counties. Competitive Fall soccer is composed of the several playing
levels (Premier, Gold, Silver Elite, Silver, etc).
likewise a "state"-level region (state "63" as many states are divided into
more than one "state" region) of the United States Youth Soccer Association
(USYSA) in Region IV (West) which is under the national US Soccer Federation
which likewise runs the national men's and women's teams, referee licensing,
MLS and other youth and adult club soccer in the United States.
is now a member of the newly formed
Soccer League (CCSL), which is statewide league sanctioned by CYSA. CCSL
was formed to provide more parity in game scheduling for competitive level
teams. The league is open to all Division 1 (commonly referred to as "Class 1")
and Division 3 (commonly referred to as "Class 3") soccer teams aged U9 - U19.
The intent is to place teams within a challenging yet competitive division and
this balance is vitally important to the integrity of the league. Fall, spring
and winter leagues are available to accommodate the changing needs of the
Northern California soccer community. Starting with the U10 age group, the
relegation/promotion of teams will begin, and playing league standings will be
Division (Class) 1 is considered to be among the top level of
play in California Youth Soccer Association - North, CYSA-N for players
U10-U19. Typical Division II teams typically play year round, with a
considerable amount of tournament participation and travel outside the
CYSA-District 2 Fall and Spring leagues. In many cases the teams have
professional coaches or trainers. Most teams participate in the end of Fall
District Cup, State Cup, as well as tournaments around the state and even
Premier teams are considered Division 1 teams, but are
approved for play in the highest level CYSA-North playing league, the State
Premier League starting at U15. CCSL State Level teams have the opportunity to
earn the right to represent CYSA North in the Annual California Premier League
State Championships. Twelve of the finest teams the CCSL State division has to
offer and will be headed for a showdown with the Premier League Champions from
Cal South to discover which teams are clearly "the Best of the Best."
CCSL has strict rules on promotion and demotion for Division 1 play.
Division (Class) 3 is the level between recreational play Division 4 and
Division 1 for ages U9-U19. Most Division 3 teams play in the fall, and spring
leagues. Most division 3 teams also participate in the District Cup tournament
at the conclusion of the season, and many in area tournaments as well as the
annual statewide Association Cup.
CYSA-North does not have a Division
District II. Spring League mixes Division (Class) 1 and 3 teams,
simply ordering them into league divisions by strength of team based on
previous records. Upper league divisions will be composed mostly or entirely of
Division 1 teams, some middle division will be mix of Division 1 and 3 teams,
and lower divisions will be composed entirely of Division 3 teams. SASC
recreational soccer teams (either in-house or play-through) are Division 4
level soccer within CYSA-North.