WHAT IS TRAVEL SOCCER?
Travel Soccer is traditionally the next step after some Recreational soccer and it is an inter-town program designed for more competitive play. Families must travel short distances (usually less than 30 minutes) to neighboring towns to play against their soccer clubs. Travel soccer is not 'Premier soccer'. Whereas Premier soccer teams typically consist of the top talent from several towns, Wethersfield Travel soccer teams are made up almost entirely of kids from Wethersfield (very few teams may have one or two 'out-of-towners'). In Wethersfield, Travel soccer is grade-based (as long as a child does NOT exceed the age requirement set forth by CJSA). That means that all 5th graders will play together for several years until they get to high school (there are often several kids on each team that qualify for a lower level team based on their birth date). Travel soccer requires more of a commitment than recreational soccer as there are typically 2 practices per week and then 2 games/weekend (one on Saturday and one on Sunday). In any given week, there may be more or less practices or games. As players get older, committment levels and dedication should increase, but even at the lowest levels of travel soccer, players are expected to attend nearly every practice and game for their team. At the youngest ages Under-9 (U-9), U-10, and U-11, skills will be developed, so your child does NOT need to be the strongest player from their rec team. However, players should have some soccer skills (dribbling and 1-v-1) and they MUST have an excitement to learn more and the ability to pay attention without disruption. Again, all players should have a strong interest in playing soccer and learning more about the game. They should also have more focus as they will be expected to train harder and refine individual skills and make the transition to a more team-like game.
Competition in travel soccer exceeds rec soccer quite a bit on the average basis for teams of all ages and levels (more as the kids get older). Scores are kept and posted and scores (one way or the other) can be quite lopsided (although this is discouraged at all levels). The amount of pushing, shoving, and overall aggressiveness is far higher in the average travel game than it is in rec. Even at U9 and U10 (for boys and girls), kids will work exceptionally hard to gain or keep position of a ball. While dirty play is absolutely unacceptable, even clean play can be quite physical resulting in children running into each other quite hard or accidentally kicking or tripping each other. At every age, the level of effort in Travel simply has to be higher than in Rec; as the age level increases, the level of skill must also rise in order for kids and their teams to compete against players and teams from other towns.
In Travel soccer, each age/gender group may have multiple teams and this is strongly encouraged so that players can practice and compete at a level suitable to their own skills. When the number of players supports more than one team, tryouts will take place in the Spring by and independent panel of coaches and judges and recommendations will be made to place players on the appropriate roster based on their ability. At the lower ages, we strive for a place for every player on a travel team (but this is not guaranteed). If player numbers are utterly unfavorable, players may be encouraged to recruit additional players and coaches and form an additional team to keep roster sizes manageable (18 kids on a single roster is far too many for 8-v-8 games, but not enough for two rosters).
Costs are higher for Travel soccer as there are 3 refs for each game and they are paid. In addition to the registration fee which covers the costs of refs and some equipment for the team, players will have to purchase their uniforms which are typically about $75. Additional items are also available for purchase such as bags, warm-up gear, and sweatshirts, but these are optional. Furthermore, a Travel season is considered to be both the Fall and Spring seasons. Very few additions are made to an existing Travel team for the Spring season.
One last thing is that rosters in Travel soccer may change from year to year based on the development of individual players. If a child makes one team in an age group one year, they may make (or not make) another team the following year based on their ability and the results of the tryouts which occur each June. This is often the hardest part for players and parents to understand, but Travel soccer is competitive soccer. Players can move 'up' or 'down' from year to year based on their own skill relative to their peers. It is difficult for many families to understand why U10 players may be separated from their friends after playing together for a year or more, but this is just the way competitive sports work. It should be stressed to players that training and playing against players of more suitable ability will, ultimately, make them far better players and they will have the chance to tryout again for their former team (in the event that they moved down) and try to earn a spot there again. This is a very real (and natural disappointment) possibility for many kids each year, so please be sure that you understand these 'risks'. Kids are NEVER permanent members of a Travel team. Moving up may often be misconstrued as a reward for development as moving down may be misconstrued as a penalty. Overall, placing kids on teams of more similar ability should be viewed as a good thing to assure more parity for the kids in practice and games; sports are only fun if each team has the ability win or lose any game and each kid can contribute from time to time in helping their team get better. If your kids simply love, then they will have fun and learn a lot no matter which Travel team they are placed on.
Kids in the Travel program will become ambassadors of soccer and of Wethersfield, complete with home and away jerseys. They are expected to compete and behave in a manner that exemplifies our perception of the club and town (as well as their families). If you are in doubt about whether your child should play Travel soccer, please consider it and talk to members of the board, coaches, neighbors, and/or current players who have (or had) children play in the program.
- Spring travel seasons usually go from around the first week of April until the 3rd week of June (give or take a week to start or end).
- Fall travel seasons usually go from the end of August until about the first week of November (give or take a week to start or end).
||Grade in the
||CJSA Age Range Requirements
||WGDRSC Age Range Requirements
||Fall 2013 / Spring 2014
TRAVEL SOCCER CONTACT INFO:
- Travel Soccer: Todd Malloy
-The WGDRSC Board