Mandated USSF Rule Changes

Mandated USSF Rule Changes

Calendar Year Birthdate Registration and Small Sided Games


The purpose of this note is to bring awareness to a significant change being made by the US Soccer Federation (USSF) that impacts our Club and all other Clubs in the United States.  The below note details the following changes being implemented for the 2016/2017 Season:


  1. Calendar Year Birthdate Registration - Previously, your child’s age group was determined based on an Aug. 1 and July 31 calendar year. The change to calendar year age groups will reflect the calendar year now as Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.
Year of Birth 2016/2017 Season – Age Groups
2011 U6
2010 U7
2009 U8
2008 U9
2007 U10
2006 U11
2005 U12
2004 U13
2003 U14
2002 U15
2001 U16
2000 U17
1999 U18


  1. Small-Sided Game Standards - The number of players on the field will be reduced at younger ages. U9 and U10 will play 7v7; U11 and U12 will play 9v9; and U13 and above will play 11v11.


A message from John Walsh, CSUFC Director of Soccer Operations

As many of you are aware, changes to the age group cutoffs are being implemented starting in May with our tryout/placement cycle for next season.  These changes have been mandated by the US Soccer Federation (USSF) for the entire country and are being implemented by the State with the upcoming registration cycle.  Coral Springs United had neither involvement with nor voice in these changes and has no alternative but to comply with the rules established for participation by those entities governing youth soccer in the United States.


Last summer, the United States Soccer Federation announced several changes impacting organized youth soccer in this country (there have been a few subsequent revisions to the changes from those initially announced).  Chief among these sweeping changes were modifications to the player age group registration and an increase in the number of players on the field during all matches involving teams 12 and Under and younger.  USSF suggested these changes were to be enforced starting in the 2017-18 year.


In response to the USSF mandate, the Florida Youth Soccer Association (FYSA) along with virtually every other US Soccer Youth organization in the country decided to implement the change to calendar year birthdate registration and the small sided game initiatives effective for the 2016-2017 year.

Meaning starting next season these changes will be in full force.



Calendar Year Birthdate Registration

Age group registrations will be determined based upon the calendar year in which the player was born (January to December).  This change will abandon the process which has been used since the mid-80s of mirroring the academic school year, and instead re-adopts the calendar used internationally and for FIFA sanctioned events.


The appropriate age level is determined based upon taking the year in which State Cup competition occurs for that season and subtracting the player’s birth year (i.e. next year State Cup will be held in 2017 so for a player born in 2004, the player is classified as a 13 and Under player for next season).  This may result in some players “jumping” two age groups for the upcoming season.  Keep in mind that while this may cause initial concern, these changes are impacting everyone in the same manner so from a competitive standpoint your child will not be at a disadvantage as the players he/she will be playing with are similarly situated.


This change by definition will result in all age groups undergoing a change in the composition of players making up the new age groups (i.e. a player born in 2002 and playing under 15 next year would historically have been a 9th grader; this upcoming year 15 and under players born in 2002 may be 9th graders or 8th graders.  Additionally, some older players in 9th grade - those born in 2001 - will be classified as 16 and under players). 


In implementing this change, there may be situations where it makes sense for a player to “play-up” an age group so that he/she will continue to play with some of the older players in their current age group.  However that decision will be made on a case by case basis.  A blanket mandate that all teams will blindly stay intact forcing all players born from January to July to “play-up” will result in players born in July having to compete against other players who could have been born in January of the preceding year (an 18 month age difference which is significant particularly at younger ages).  See below for CSU Play-up policy


Coral Springs United will conduct a few training sessions at the end on April/early May based upon age group determinations so players and families can introduce and familiarize themselves with the other CSU players in the same age groups for next season prior to tryouts.


Small sided games

The USSF has also mandated that for all matches at 9 and Under and at 10 and Under, the games will be 7v7 (as opposed to 6v6).  For all matches at 11 and Under and at 12 and Under, the games will be 9v9 (as opposed to 8v8).  These changes will also be effective starting with next season (2016-17). 


Coral Springs United Playing-up Policy

Coral Springs United has a long-standing policy which governs requests and decisions as to whether a player will be permitted to “play-up” an age group.  That Policy is reprinted below.  It is found in section 22 of the Club’s Player Manual.  It is the intention of CSU to apply and adhere to this policy in all situations involving players seeking to play with an age group older than that which their calendar year birthdate placement would dictate.


“All players will be required to tryout for their chronologically appropriate age group. “Playing up” is discouraged absent special circumstances. In all cases of a player seeking to “play up” a division in age, the player/parents must, in advance of tryouts, request in writing to addressed to the Director of Coaching and Soccer Operations, authorization to be considered to “play up”. That player will be required to first attend tryouts with the age appropriate team. If the player is identified by the Club’s coaching staff as one of the exceptional players in the age appropriate group, that player will be deemed to have made the team in his/her appropriate age group. The player will then be invited to participate in tryouts with the next older age group. The player must then demonstrate that he/she is also one of the top players in that next older age group. It must also be found that participation with the player’s age appropriate team will not provide sufficient competition to challenge the player and enhance the player’s development; and that participation with the next older team will provide the necessary competitive environment. If either participation with the age appropriate team will provide the required competition, or participation with the next older team will not provide this competitive level, the player will not be allowed to “play up”. The final determination of whether to allow players to “play up” is solely within the discretion of the Club after consideration of input and recommendations by the coaching staff, the pertinent age group coaches, and weighing the best interests of the player both physically and mentally as well as developmentally as a player; along with the best interests of the effected teams and the players on those teams. It is only in rare circumstances that authorization to “play up” will be granted by the Club.”



Any questions, concerns, or issues you may have with respect to these changes and the impact they may have on your child should be directed to John Walsh, CSU’s Director of Soccer Operations.