Westfield Soccer Association

Intercounty Program

IC Program Director:

Guy Levy, VP Intercounty

 

 

Impact of the USYS Mandate on the Intercounty Program

Intercounty soccer – 2016/2017                                                                                                                                                February 2017

Many of our current intercounty players are already aware that youth soccer will undergo some major changes in the coming months. US Soccer has outlined initiatives which also have an impact on the current age group definitions used to determine where players place.

Previously, age groups were determined based on players born between Aug. 1 and July 31. Moving forward and starting the Fall of 2016, age groups will be determined by the calendar year in which a player was born between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31.

How will these changes impact the intercounty program?

At the start of the 2016-2017 Fall soccer season teams will have to realign with the new age group definitions. Our WSA members competing in the intercounty league will still be placed on teams from U10-U19, but placement is based on their year of birth.

Our members in the intercounty program can continue to be a part of the program much like they were in the seasons prior. As an interested player you just have to go through the grid to determine what age group you qualify for, for the 2016-2017 season.

Below a grid which shows clearly where players place come the Fall of 2016.

What if my son or daughter wants to try out for travel soccer for the 2016-2017 season?

Anyone who currently plays intercounty soccer and interested in trying out will be given the opportunity to try out for a travel team for the 2016-2017. Given the fact that we will go through many changes the next few months the setup of these tryouts is different from how the tryouts were ran in the past. Rather than running 1 or 2 tryouts per age group, the WSA has decided to run an academy program for all age groups to work out if players are capable of competing at the travel level. These academies will run for 8 consecutive weeks, starting the week of March 28th. Anyone interested who wants to be considered for a travel team needs to join the academy, whether they are currently on a travel team or compete in the intercounty program.

Please note that there are some costs involved with taking part in these academy programs.

How do I know what academy I need to sign my son or daughter up for?

All age group academies will run by year of birth, to align with the mandate from US Soccer. Given your son’s or daughter’s year of birth you can work out what academy you need to sign them up for.

Please go to the travel part of the website as you’ll find more information

What if my son or daughter wants to continue to play intercounty soccer for the 2016-2017 season/year?

Anyone who wishes to play intercounty soccer beyond the Spring of 2016 can most certainly do so. When registration for the intercounty program opens up you simply sign your son or daughter up much like you have done in the seasons/years prior. Just make sure you familiarize yourself with the new age group definitions to ensure you register them for the right age group.

If anyone has any questions about any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.

WSA Intercounty Program

The WSA Intercounty program is for players who are interested in playing recreational soccer beyond the in-town rec program.  The in-town rec program ends in third grade which is typically the U9 age.  Annually, more than 300 players on more than seventeen teams represent the WSA in the Intercounty Youth Soccer League (see the ICYSL league’s website at www.icysl.org). Intercounty teams provide the opportunity to play in the fall and in the spring against teams from nearby towns.  The towns/clubs represented in the past have included Berkeley Heights, Clark, Colonia, Cranford, Garwood, Kenilworth, Mountainside, New Providence, Plainfield, Rahway, Roselle, Scotch Plains, South Mountain (Maplewood/South Orange), Springfield, Summit, Union and Westfield.

 

In addition, Westfield teams may also participate in some tournaments to be identified in the Spring and Fall seasons. Intercounty players usually practice one day per week, some with opportunities for additional practice time.  Practices are led by professional trainers. There is usually one game per week on either Saturday or Sunday.

 

As previously stated, the Intercounty program encourages players to continue playing recreational soccer beyond the in-town program.  Intercounty offers players opportunities to realize their potential through training and competition. The goal of the Intercounty program is to:

 

  • Enhance the player’s skills through a recreational team environment.
  • Foster a game-playing attitude based on sportsmanship.
  • Have fun and make the experience positive and memorable.
  • Develop a life-long love for the game.

 

All registered players are placed on teams.  No tryouts are required.

 

Fall teams: WSA Intercounty fields U10, U12, U14 and U17 teams.

 

Spring teams: As there is no in-town rec program available, Spring teams can be formed for U10 (including U9 players) and up.  Teams are also formed for U19 players (high school juniors and seniors).

 

Teams are established based on gender and are based upon the player’s age as of August 1 of the given year. For example, a player who does not turn 14 before August 1 will be U-14, or a player who is older but does not turn 17 before August 1 will be U-17. Typically, in the Fall, U-10 is for players in grade 4, U-12 is for players in grades 5 and 6; U-14 is for grades 7 and 8; U-17 is for grades 9, 10 and 11.

 

If you are interested in the Intercounty recreational program or have additional questions, please check out the ICYSL website listed above or contact a WSA Intercounty director. To register, click on the “Registration” link from the menu at the top of the page. 

Intercounty Frequently Asked Questions

For those of you not familiar with InterCounty soccer, here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q:  What is InterCounty Soccer?

A:  InterCounty Soccer is a way to play recreational soccer against teams from neighboring towns.

 

Q:  What age groups are available in the Fall?

A:   In the fall, we field teams at the U19, U17, U15, U12, and U10 levels.

 

Q:  What age groups are available in the Spring?

A:   In the spring, we field teams at the U19, U17, U15, U12, and U10 levels (including U9 eligible rec players). 

 

Q:  How do you try out for an InterCounty team?

A:  There are no tryouts!  Everyone who registers on a timely basis is placed on a team.

 

Q:  How much of a commitment does it take to play InterCounty?

A:  The same commitment it takes to play InTown Rec soccer.  Generally there is one game each weekend and one practice during the week.

 

Q: Exactly when will practices and games be held? Will they conflict with other sports and activities?

A:  This question is often asked and there is no way to provide specifics before the season starts.  Practices will be scheduled by each team for one afternoon each week after school.  Sessions generally start at 3:30 or 5:00 and run for 90 minutes. 

 

Games are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays and could be at any time of the day.  An occasional Friday night game may also be scheduled. 

 

Q:  Isn’t there a lot of travel associated with InterCounty?

A:  There is very little travel.  Half your games are played at home and the other half are played in nearby towns such as Cranford, Clark, Scotch Plains, Mountainside, New Providence, etc.

 

Q:  Is the league very competitive?

A:  As with the in-town rec program, there are varying degrees of team strength.  Divisions are divided whenever possible to allow for stronger and weaker sub-divisions.  There will be teams from some towns that are very strong but generally the games are quite competitive.

 

Q: Do we need to purchase a special InterCounty uniform?

A:  Yes (unless you already have an InterCounty uniform).  A full kit will be offered at registration, which includes 2 jerseys (1 white, 1 blue), and shorts.  You do not need to purchase a new kit this fall if you still have the old Intercounty uniform.  You can purchase the kit on-line WHEN YOU REGISTER!  Once you complete registration you cannot go back and purchase a kit. 

 

Q: Who is eligible to play in the U19 age group?

A: You must be a high school junior or senior who was 17 or 18 years old as of July 31 last summer.  If you are a high school senior AND you played varsity soccer and/or are currently a "carded" travel player, you may participate in U19 Intercounty soccer.  If you are a high school junior, then you must NOT have played varsity soccer and you CANNOT be a carded travel player. 

 

SUMMARY

If you enjoy the fun and excitement of soccer but do not have the time commitment to play Travel Soccer, then InterCounty Soccer is the answer for you.  It combines the best of both worlds---recreational and travel soccer---by allowing you to participate in a more relaxed, less intensive, less committed environment while still enjoying the excitement and challenge of playing teams from other towns!  It is basically "travel-lite" for soccer.