COMP SOccer - Age Purity

Age Pure Teams

The Gold Country Soccer Board (Board) requires all players to participate at their age- appropriate, youngest team for which they qualify by birth. The purpose of this policy is to promote age-appropriate development (physical, mental and social) of all league players and to maximize each teams competitive advantages. The Board believes that players will develop better at their age appropriate level than at an age level above. It is rare that a player’s development would be hindered by playing at the appropriate age level or significantly advanced by playing up. Conversely, allowing players to play up dilutes the talent and player pool at each age group. While it may help a given team to bolster its roster with an under-age player, this is often at a cost to the younger teams. It also can be detrimental to the overall morale of participants at all levels within the league.

For Gold Country United teams, the Board recognizes that, although extremely rare, some exceptional players may exist that are physically and psychologically ready to be considered for the next age level within the club’s competitive team structure. In all cases, the desire to play up should first be driven by the knowledge, skills and abilities of the individual player, followed by final approval from the Board. Board decisions must be based upon the best interests of the player and the League. It should not be based upon ego, prestige or the best interests of any one team. It is Board policy that GCU players may be allowed to play up on an individual basis following Board approval. The Board will rely on its adopted Playing Up Procedures Policy to evaluate and make a determination on players requesting to play up.

When the Board is faced with making a playing up decision, written justification (playing up application) may be prepared with sound rationale based on the player’s skills and abilities to support the request. Under no circumstance should coaches exploit the situation by soliciting players from younger age groups due to a lack of age appropriate players or a desire to solicit skilled players to develop a winning team. Under no circumstances should parents push their child up an age group to avoid appropriate age group coaches, logistical convenience or personal bias. The Playing Up Procedures are separate from the necessity to combine teams due to a shortage of players between age groups. The Board will have final approval over any need to combine teams based on its Team Combining Policy.