Recreation soccer represents the largest component of youth soccer in the U.S. today. It is made up of boys and girls who start playing soccer because it is fun. For a few, they may go on to play on traveling youth soccer teams, be selected for the Olympic Development Program or U.S. national pools, and eventually, grow up to be great soccer players as adults. But for most of these players, they will go on to become great scientists and engineers, teachers and bankers, and terrific moms and dads who make their communities a better place to live. Their youth soccer experiences will be an important part of their development into fine men and women.
Recreational soccer is often thought of as the non-competitive or “in-house” side of a league. However, the first label is a misnomer, because recreational soccer is often as competitive as the other levels of play—with closely matched recreational teams battling for a league championship. Just watch a U-16 or U14 rec-level game sometime.
All leagues within District II have a recreational program. It typically involves both girls and boys and can include U6 through U16 age groups. From serving at the CYSA state level to helping out in a variety of volunteer positions within your local league, there are plenty of excellent opportunities for parents, coaches (and potentiall coaches), and players to become more familiar with the game and get involved in the #1 sport in the world.
Coaching classes which offer, to the “non-soccer aware”, everything from the basics to advanced techniques, warm-ups, running a practice, utilization of the field, and playing positions are available through your league. A good starting point is the Pre-F license. Taught by experienced instructors, this three-hour course gives you the basics — from learning the playing positions to a quick review of the rules. Just give your league coaching director a call to be pointed in the right direction.
The name of the game is FUN and LEARNING! The focus of Recreational soccer is on making sure that the players continue to refine their skills and that they enjoy the game enough to never want to stop playing. While scores are kept in the games, the focus remains on fun and improvement. Teamwork is key to the success of the District II recreational program, so the players develop not only as individuals, but also as team players. These overall goals are embodied in all the programs from the state level through District II and down to the individual leagues.