Recreational Program

Mission

Our recreation program is a fun way to play and enjoy soccer. The program is inclusive and not based on results. Our mission is to provide a safe, enjoyable, and educational soccer experience with an emphasis on enthusiastic participation, regardless of ability.

Regions

Charlottesville Region Augusta Region
  • Program Info

    General Description

    SOCA’s Recreation Program is a fun way to play and enjoy soccer. The program is inclusive and not based on results.   Teams are formed around schools and neighborhoods so that friends can play together. Each volunteer coach, in coordination with SOCA, selects the practice time and location for their team. Games are played at a variety of times and on fields throughout the region. Games are sized age appropriately to promote active involvement and skill development. Game results and standings are not recorded.

    Program Specifics

    • Available to all interested players. All players must register to play.
    • Player development occurs through participation.
    • No selection process. Players register and are assigned to teams based upon residence location and school. Players may make special requests for team placement.
    • Teams offered at U8-U19.
    • Female players may register for girls only or boys divisions. Girls are welcome in the boys division, but there is no minimum requirement of girls on boys teams and many teams will not feature any girls players.
    • League play (9 games) with no standings or records.
    • Optional in-house tournaments for U10 and older teams. Fall “Frostbite” and spring “Sunburn” season-ending tournaments.
    • Players may register twice a year, for fall and spring seasons. Teams are formed each season.
  • Practices and Games

    PRACTICES

    Each team holds one practice session per week. Practices are one hour in duration. The day, time and location are selected by the volunteer coach of each team. SOCA makes field reservations at public facilities for the club, and coaches are able to select practices from those available.  Coaches who have access to private property suitable for practices may hold practice at those locations. An attempt is made to locate practices near the primary neighborhood for each team, for convenience of the families.

    GAMES

    SOCA uses various game fields throughout the Charlottesville or Augusta region. Games are scheduled by the club. Game field use will vary each season as determined by availability, suitability and club needs. Different field sizes and configurations are used in the various age groups, following USYS guidelines. An attempt is made to geographically distribute the various age group fields throughout the region. Games are scheduled on Saturdays, typically between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.

  • Age Groups & Format of Play

    Fall 2017/Spring 2018 Recreation Season Age Groups:

    • U8 = players born between 2010 through 2011
    • U10 = players born between 2008 through 2009
    • U12 = players born between 2006 through 2007
    • U15 = players born between 2003 through 2005
    • U19 = players born between 1999 through 2002

    Format of Play for Age group

    • U8 – 4v4 with no goalies. Teams of 10-12 players split in half on each game day. Teams play two side by side games vs. an opposing team on two adjacent fields. Coaches facilitate the matches, serving as both coach and referee.
    • U10 – 7v7. Goalies are utilized. Referees are introduced.
    • U12 – 9v9  Offside rule is introduced
    • U15 – U19 – 11v11 (subject to change depending on the number of registered players.) If enough players register we will play full sided 11v11 matches. If numbers don’t allow 11v11 play we will utilize a smaller format such as 8v8 on regular size goals.
  • Code of Conduct

    Recreational Player Behavior Guidelines:

    • Be responsible.
    • Be prepared for all practices and games.
    • Treat your coach and teammates with respect and dignity.
    • Treat your opponent, the opposing coaches, match officials and spectators with respect and dignity.
    • Do not interfere with coaching decisions. Discuss issues with coaches at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner.
    • Review and support the club’s Mission, Vision and Values
    • Abide by all team and club policies.

    Recreational Parent Behavior Guidelines:

    • Always encourage your child no matter of the result of their game and practices.
    • Always stress the importance of respect for your child’s coach.
    • Always stress being respectful to the referee of your child’s game.
    • Always be a positive role model.
    • Always leave the coaching to the coach.
    • Always avoid putting pressure on your child about their soccer skills and decisions.
  • Coaches

    The Recreation League teams are led by volunteer Coaches. These volunteer coaches are parents, area adults, local college students and high school age volunteers.

    Please consider volunteering to be a coach of a SOCA Recreation team. We are always in need of coaches for the children. Follow the on-line registration process in your personal SOCA Account to volunteer.

    The Recreational coach’s commitment is to guide the players through a single 1 hour practice per week and coordinate the match each weekend. SOCA will provide coach training and resources to help you succeed. It is fun and rewarding.

    All Adult volunteers must submit to a background check in order to coach in SOCA’s youth programs.

  • Special Requests

    Unlike in SOCA’s other select youth programs, special requests are factored in during Recreational team formation.  Special Requests may be made to play for a particular coach or with a particular player, only 1 request will be considered.

    To make a special request, you must do so as you register for the program.  Once you have selected the program in your account. On the next page of the registration process labeled “Registration Details”, click on the blue “Add Special Request” link located under your player’s name at the top of the page.  This will open a text box for your request.  After you enter your request you may then submit payment for the program.

    All requests are considered and most met. Unfortunately no special request can be guaranteed.

  • Playing Up an Age Group

    The SOCA recreational program does allow players to play up one age group, however SOCA as an organization does not recommend this option in general.  SOCA recommends young players play at the age appropriate level and match conditions to better serve their developmental needs.

    Allowing your player to play in an older age group, implies your acceptance of the inherent risk in having a child play with older players.  Each parent or guardian of the player playing up accepts full responsibility when approving this player movement.

    In order to access the older age group programs in your account, you must click the blue “edit” link located next to your player’s name in your personal SOCA account.  Then change the “no” to “yes” on the question “Allow to play up”.

    “Hot Shot” aged players may play up into U8 Recreational program only if they are U6 players (born between 1/1/2012  and 12/31/2012). 

  • Uniforms & Equipment Needs

    Recreational uniforms include a t-shirt and socks. Players can wear any shorts or sweat pants they choose that are safe for themselves and their opponents.  Your coach will distribute complete uniform sets, provided by SOCA, prior to the start of the season.
    Late registered players may need to pick-up their uniform from the SOCA office directly.

    What Equipment Each Player Will Need

    • All players must wear shin guards for all practices and games.
    • Practice clothing appropriate for the weather and safety.
    • Water for every game and practice
    • Safe footwear for playing soccer (soccer cleats are not required but recommended)
    • Appropriate size soccer ball to bring to every practice.
      U8 divisions use a size 3 soccer ball
      U10 & U12 use a size 4 soccer ball
      U15 & older use a size 5 soccer ball
  • What your Player Can and Cannot Wear

    What Your Player Cannot Wear and Participate:

    • No jewelry of any kind may be worn (this includes wristbands, watches and earrings as spelled out in the “Laws of the Game” from FIFA the soccer world governing body).  The taping of earrings is not allowed.

    What Your Player Can Wear and Participate:

    • Corrective glasses are allowed to be worn as long as the hinges are covered.
    • The covering for the corrective glasses can be of athletic tape or some other material which will prevent injury.
    • Cast on hands or arms are permitted if in the opinion of the referee it is properly padded. (Protective foam or bubble wrap recommended.)
    • Mouth guards are not required but highly recommended for players with braces.
  • Program Info
  • Practices and Games
  • Age Groups & Format of Play
  • Code of Conduct
  • Coaches
  • Special Requests
  • Playing Up an Age Group
  • Uniforms & Equipment Needs
  • What your Player Can and Cannot Wear

Program Info

General Description

SOCA’s Recreation Program is a fun way to play and enjoy soccer. The program is inclusive and not based on results.   Teams are formed around schools and neighborhoods so that friends can play together. Each volunteer coach, in coordination with SOCA, selects the practice time and location for their team. Games are played at a variety of times and on fields throughout the region. Games are sized age appropriately to promote active involvement and skill development. Game results and standings are not recorded.

Program Specifics

  • Available to all interested players. All players must register to play.
  • Player development occurs through participation.
  • No selection process. Players register and are assigned to teams based upon residence location and school. Players may make special requests for team placement.
  • Teams offered at U8-U19.
  • Female players may register for girls only or boys divisions. Girls are welcome in the boys division, but there is no minimum requirement of girls on boys teams and many teams will not feature any girls players.
  • League play (9 games) with no standings or records.
  • Optional in-house tournaments for U10 and older teams. Fall “Frostbite” and spring “Sunburn” season-ending tournaments.
  • Players may register twice a year, for fall and spring seasons. Teams are formed each season.

Practices and Games

PRACTICES

Each team holds one practice session per week. Practices are one hour in duration. The day, time and location are selected by the volunteer coach of each team. SOCA makes field reservations at public facilities for the club, and coaches are able to select practices from those available.  Coaches who have access to private property suitable for practices may hold practice at those locations. An attempt is made to locate practices near the primary neighborhood for each team, for convenience of the families.

GAMES

SOCA uses various game fields throughout the Charlottesville or Augusta region. Games are scheduled by the club. Game field use will vary each season as determined by availability, suitability and club needs. Different field sizes and configurations are used in the various age groups, following USYS guidelines. An attempt is made to geographically distribute the various age group fields throughout the region. Games are scheduled on Saturdays, typically between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.

Age Groups & Format of Play

Fall 2017/Spring 2018 Recreation Season Age Groups:

  • U8 = players born between 2010 through 2011
  • U10 = players born between 2008 through 2009
  • U12 = players born between 2006 through 2007
  • U15 = players born between 2003 through 2005
  • U19 = players born between 1999 through 2002

Format of Play for Age group

  • U8 – 4v4 with no goalies. Teams of 10-12 players split in half on each game day. Teams play two side by side games vs. an opposing team on two adjacent fields. Coaches facilitate the matches, serving as both coach and referee.
  • U10 – 7v7. Goalies are utilized. Referees are introduced.
  • U12 – 9v9  Offside rule is introduced
  • U15 – U19 – 11v11 (subject to change depending on the number of registered players.) If enough players register we will play full sided 11v11 matches. If numbers don’t allow 11v11 play we will utilize a smaller format such as 8v8 on regular size goals.

Code of Conduct

Recreational Player Behavior Guidelines:

  • Be responsible.
  • Be prepared for all practices and games.
  • Treat your coach and teammates with respect and dignity.
  • Treat your opponent, the opposing coaches, match officials and spectators with respect and dignity.
  • Do not interfere with coaching decisions. Discuss issues with coaches at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner.
  • Review and support the club’s Mission, Vision and Values
  • Abide by all team and club policies.

Recreational Parent Behavior Guidelines:

  • Always encourage your child no matter of the result of their game and practices.
  • Always stress the importance of respect for your child’s coach.
  • Always stress being respectful to the referee of your child’s game.
  • Always be a positive role model.
  • Always leave the coaching to the coach.
  • Always avoid putting pressure on your child about their soccer skills and decisions.

Coaches

The Recreation League teams are led by volunteer Coaches. These volunteer coaches are parents, area adults, local college students and high school age volunteers.

Please consider volunteering to be a coach of a SOCA Recreation team. We are always in need of coaches for the children. Follow the on-line registration process in your personal SOCA Account to volunteer.

The Recreational coach’s commitment is to guide the players through a single 1 hour practice per week and coordinate the match each weekend. SOCA will provide coach training and resources to help you succeed. It is fun and rewarding.

All Adult volunteers must submit to a background check in order to coach in SOCA’s youth programs.

Special Requests

Unlike in SOCA’s other select youth programs, special requests are factored in during Recreational team formation.  Special Requests may be made to play for a particular coach or with a particular player, only 1 request will be considered.

To make a special request, you must do so as you register for the program.  Once you have selected the program in your account. On the next page of the registration process labeled “Registration Details”, click on the blue “Add Special Request” link located under your player’s name at the top of the page.  This will open a text box for your request.  After you enter your request you may then submit payment for the program.

All requests are considered and most met. Unfortunately no special request can be guaranteed.

Playing Up an Age Group

The SOCA recreational program does allow players to play up one age group, however SOCA as an organization does not recommend this option in general.  SOCA recommends young players play at the age appropriate level and match conditions to better serve their developmental needs.

Allowing your player to play in an older age group, implies your acceptance of the inherent risk in having a child play with older players.  Each parent or guardian of the player playing up accepts full responsibility when approving this player movement.

In order to access the older age group programs in your account, you must click the blue “edit” link located next to your player’s name in your personal SOCA account.  Then change the “no” to “yes” on the question “Allow to play up”.

“Hot Shot” aged players may play up into U8 Recreational program only if they are U6 players (born between 1/1/2012  and 12/31/2012). 

Uniforms & Equipment Needs

Recreational uniforms include a t-shirt and socks. Players can wear any shorts or sweat pants they choose that are safe for themselves and their opponents.  Your coach will distribute complete uniform sets, provided by SOCA, prior to the start of the season.
Late registered players may need to pick-up their uniform from the SOCA office directly.

What Equipment Each Player Will Need

  • All players must wear shin guards for all practices and games.
  • Practice clothing appropriate for the weather and safety.
  • Water for every game and practice
  • Safe footwear for playing soccer (soccer cleats are not required but recommended)
  • Appropriate size soccer ball to bring to every practice.
    U8 divisions use a size 3 soccer ball
    U10 & U12 use a size 4 soccer ball
    U15 & older use a size 5 soccer ball

What your Player Can and Cannot Wear

What Your Player Cannot Wear and Participate:

  • No jewelry of any kind may be worn (this includes wristbands, watches and earrings as spelled out in the “Laws of the Game” from FIFA the soccer world governing body).  The taping of earrings is not allowed.

What Your Player Can Wear and Participate:

  • Corrective glasses are allowed to be worn as long as the hinges are covered.
  • The covering for the corrective glasses can be of athletic tape or some other material which will prevent injury.
  • Cast on hands or arms are permitted if in the opinion of the referee it is properly padded. (Protective foam or bubble wrap recommended.)
  • Mouth guards are not required but highly recommended for players with braces.