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Mercer Island FC

Team Formation Policy

EYSA and MIFC Recreational Team Formation Policy

The purpose of the EYSA recreational team formation policy is to define the process by which recreational teams are formed at all of the clubs participating in the Eastside Youth Soccer Association. Recreational soccer programs are intended to provide the opportunity for all interested children within the area served by the Member Organization to participate in and enjoy the game of soccer without regard for athletic ability or soccer skills, up to the limits of the Member Organization to accommodate them. Teams will be formed in a random manner as described below. The Association recognizes that each club will have slightly different needs and obstacles however the policy shall be adhered to in the spirit and letter in order to maintain fair competition and create a fun environment for all soccer players to participate in.

1. Registration Time Line

a. Registration for all clubs will open no sooner than April 1 st and close May 31st. This provides ample opportunity for registration as well as time for the administration and team formation process to be completed in a timely manner. Clubs then may reopen registration at any time for general player pool registration.
b. All Clubs will use a standardized registration form.
c. Payment must be received before a time stamp is applied to a registration. d. Returning players will have priority to return to their previous year's team if they register by a date determined by their particular club. Returning players who register after that date will go into general player pool and be assigned to teams based on the date and time they registered and the availability of space on those teams.

2. Registration Parameters and Requirements

a. Micro Soccer team rosters (U6 & U7) have no bearing on the formation of teams at U8 and above.
b. Recreational players cannot select the teams on which they play. Returning players U9 and older may indicate whether they wish to return to their team from the prior year.
c. A copy of Proof of Birth is required for every player (i.e. birth certificate, passport) and must be submitted within 7 days of registration if this is your first time registering for the Club, or the Club does not have one on file. Registration will be revoked if proof of age is not received.

3. Team Formation

a. The first criteria in determining priority for general registration will be based on the date and time stamp that the registration system generates and then (second) by the school the player attends. Clubs can combine players randomly from different schools to create opportunities for complete rosters, and to eliminate single players from one school on a different school’s roster.
b. All teams must be formed in accordance with the official EYSA roster size limits as published in the EYSA Player/Coach Handbook.
c. Each team will have only one Head Coach and one Assistant coach. Both the Assistant and Head coach may have their son or daughter on the team. Any additional assistants will be drawn from existing roster after team formation is completed. 
d. If no replacements from the current team are available, teams returning with no coach are merged with teams that have a coach but need players. All efforts to keep the returning players of a team with no coach together are made but not guaranteed. Teams with returning coaches are not guaranteed formation if there are not enough players to build each team in that age group. The exact number required to form a team will be up to each Club.
e. Late registrations will be placed on a space-available basis, on teams needing players before any other consideration will be given to team placement. Late registrations are anyone who has not registered and paid by the registration deadline. Registrations lost in the mail, out of town or forgetfulness does not excuse a late registration. This includes players moving into town after the registration period.
f. Players on the waiting list have priority over any other non-registered or new players.
g. Buddy Requests are allowed in a limited fashion, as follows:
i. Buddy requests are available, but NOT required for clubs to implement
ii. Any single player/parent may only make a maximum of one (1) buddy request per registration period. iii. In order for a buddy request to be considered, it must be “mutual” – i.e. requested by both buddies.
h. Coaches and parents are NOT part of the team formation process. Unless the coach is assisting to help fill his/her roster (from June 1st or beyond) which requires more players to meet the minimum bar for team viability (i.e. at minimum the number of players which a specific age group requires to field a complete side on the pitch).
i. A coach may contact the Registrar about a player new to the area/Club ONLY AFTER the Club has agreed that the team’s roster is below the number of players which the age group fields on the pitch.
ii. With the exception of the above, coaches cannot request or approve new players on their roster. This is recreational soccer where players are all treated equally and with the same consideration. No rosters from coaches are accepted.
iii. Recreational coaches may not ask a new player to play for them, request their team or let them attend practices. All players will be assigned by the Club via the team formation policy.
iv. No coach (select or recreational) may ask a player that is ‘actively’ playing for another team to play for them, A player is considered ‘actively’ playing for their team as of September 1st until the team they are registered on ends all USSF sanctioned play (i.e. Rec Cup, President’s Cup, Founders’ Cup, etc.). Players may not practice or play for a team unless the players is on the teams’ official roster. Exceptions are provided for: 1) players playing via the Player Pass process; 2) players with written Club Officer approval, if it is allowed by the league; or 3) players who are temporarily on the team roster as a guess for tournaments which allow guest players, documented by the Club’s Registrar.     
i. In order to treat players and families fairly no requests from parents will be considered during the team formation process. There are so many requests for specific teams, to be in carpools, with specific coaches, etc. that we cannot treat everyone fairly, so these types of requests are deemed counter to the EYSA team formation policy.
j. Any legitimate/extreme requests (e.g. aligning a player with a more physically-appropriate level of play, such as a play-down request for documented medical reasons) will only be considered if requesting parties use the procedures outlined in the “Exceptions” section below.
k. No requests for an exception to the team formation policy will be accepted after August 15th.
l. The Registrar will make every attempt (while still working within the rules of all EYSA policies) to avoid having teams disbanded.
m. At U14 and older, every attempt will be made to keep players on a team within their own Club. However, players may be placed on a team with another Club within EYSA, if there are not enough players to form a team within their own Club.
n. Players who either 1)leave their Recreational team for the season and play Select, and then return to Rec in a following season; or 2)do not play consecutive seasons on the same Recreational team, will be returned to the general player pool and do not have preferential placement on their previous Recreational team. An exception may be granted as a result of a documented season-ending injury or extraordinary hardship.

4. Playing Up

a. All recreational players (U6 through U18/19) are required to play on a team at their age (not school year) appropriate level. The only exceptions considered will be players that meet the “Exceptions considered” rules (see below) and players who were already on a roster (“grandfathered”) by virtue of an earlier play-up exception ruling.
b. Returning players who are not age appropriate are grandfathered at their new age range and can continue to be placed on the same team provided their coach and/or the Club Rec Program Coordinator concurs that they remain physically, mentally and emotionally mature enough for that level of competition.
c. Exceptions considered:
i. New play-ups at ANY age may be considered beginning on June 1st (i.e. after the official registration period has ended) to address the Club’s goals of maximizing player participation.
ii. New play-ups may NOT take the place of a new or returning age appropriate player. However, if a new play-up is rostered post-June 1st and then an age-appropriate player registers at a later date, the “first-come” player (even if a play-up) has priority, with the exception of Micro. Again Clubs have final discretion on rostering in these instances in order to maximize player participation.   
iii. Newly registered players may NOT be rostered as play-ups if there are age appropriate teams needing additional players to remain viable -- i.e. in the process of rostering new players Clubs shall place players with priority given to the viability of age-appropriate teams. Players may be deemed “eligible” for a play-up opportunity only if their coach and the Club Registrar or Rec Program Coordinator concurs that they are mature enough for that level of competition, taking into account such factors as physical, mental and emotional maturity. It is important that potential play-ups moving from MOD to U13 receive particular scrutiny given the significant jump in field and ball size and the size differences among players and physicality of play.
iv. New play-ups are NOT evaluated as a package deal (as part of a group of players or an entire team) and are each considered and approved on a case by case basis.
d. EYSA Oversight for Play-ups:
i. Individual EYSA clubs own the approval/disapproval authority and decision for play-ups, however, EYSA (specifically the EYSA Registrar) needs to be informed of ALL play-ups on a timely basis during the June 1st through mid-summer time period. EYSA clubs may freely grant play-ups up to a predetermined age group threshold (which will vary per age group --- see details below) for play-ups. Once that threshold has been reached EYSA Executive Committee approval will be required (on a per player basis) for the club to exceed/go beyond the threshold.
ii. Threshold level bands are defined by the birth year of the player (not the team they prospectively might play up to).
iii. No play-ups are allowed for players who are not birth year appropriate for U6 and are looking to play entry level U6 (first Micro year) soccer.


Mercer Island FC
PO Box 113 
Mercer Island, Washington 98040

Email: [email protected]

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