Frequently Asked Questions About Recreational Soccer
Q - What does U8 (or U9, U10, etc.) mean?
A - US Soccer Federation (USSF) and Washington Youth Soccer (WYS) requirements state that a player's age for the fall is determined by their age as of January 1st for that year. The "U" stands for "Under" a certain age. For example, for a seven-year-old to participate as a U8 player during the fall of 2020, he/she would have to be "under" eight years of age by January 1st, 2020.
Q - My child has a summer birthday and would like to play with their classmates, not by their birth year.
A - Washington Youth Soccer is following US Soccer mandated age group requirements for team formation. We are now following the new age chart that follows the player's calendar birth year. Therefore, each age category will have a mix of players from school grades. Mercer Island FC will not be accepting special requests as we will be aligning with the new age requirements.
Q - How will my child be placed on a team?
A - Mercer Island FC follows the Eastside Youth Soccer Association (EYSA) Team Formation Policy. U8 teams and older do not accept buddy requests. U8 teams are formed randomly based on registration date and schools. This year, we will be placing teams together based on their schools. In some cases, we will need to combine schools to fill out teams. Microsoccer teams from last fall are not carried over into U8 teams.
For U8 teams, a maximum of two adults may request to coach on the same team, regardless of the schools that their children attend. Only those two players will be placed on the same team whose 2 parents have agreed to coach together. MIFC is not able to accept requests for a specific Coach or team. U9 teams and older roll over each year with the same players as long as the players have registered within the online registration date and the coach is returning. If the coach isn't returning and a replacement coach isn't found, the team will be disbanded and the players will be distributed to other appropriate teams in the same age category. A player may request to NOT RETURN from their prior year's roster, but will go into the general pool and be placed randomly on a different team.
Q - What if I registered my child after the deadline?
A - We highly recommend that families register their child during the open online registration from April 1st - June 15th each year. This guarantees that your player will return to their same team from the prior year and be placed on a team. Reminder emails, newsletter articles and website updates are all used to remind parents when registration is open. After June 15th, MIFC has to estimate how many teams we will have in each age category and report that to our sister clubs within Eastside Youth Soccer. A player not registered by June 15th may be placed on a wait list and assigned to another team based on roster space.
Q - Can I coach a team and submit my own roster?
A - No, Mercer Island FC does not accept team requests.
Q - Why do you need a copy of my child's birth certificate or passport?
A - Mercer Island FC is required by Washington Youth Soccer to verify each player's age with proof of birth. This can be verified with a passport or a birth certificate.
Q - Can my child play up?
A - Mercer Island FC does not allow players to play-up at the recreational age level. The only case in which MIFC will allow play-ups is if a player's team from last year moved up to an older age category due to the older players on the team. In this case, the players will be given the option to be grandfathered into this age category so they can stay together with their team. This only applies if the player is remaining with their same recreational team from the 2019 season.