FAQs – Recreational Soccer


1.    When are practice times and how many days per week?

We have two practice times. For the Spring seasons, practice times are: early (5:00-6:30) and late (6:30-dark). For the Fall seasons, practice times are: early (5-6:15) and late (6:15-dark). There are no practices for the U4-U5 age group. Practices for the U6-U10 age groups are one day a week. Practices for U11 and up are up to two days a week. The coach determines the day. There must be two adults at a practice at all times. Parents leaving their children, especially in the younger age groups, must have a responsible parent in addition to the coach to supervise their child.

2.     How are practice sites and times assigned and why can’t we request a specific site?

The coaches request the days of the week and times that work best with their schedules, the location they prefer and their closest elementary school. The Commissioner then takes this information and matches up the coaches’ request to the fields that are available. The oldest age groups are assigned practice times first, all the way down to the youngest age group. The coach can request specific sites; but depending on the season, soccer may or may not have those sites to choose from. Also, an older age group may already have taken that site.

3.    When will I hear from my coach?

There are coaches’ meetings scheduled a few weeks before the start of the season. Coaches receive their rosters at that time. Players will be contacted within one week of that meeting.

4.  When will games start and how can I find out my child’s schedule?

Spring 2021 opening day is April 10. Team schedules will be available on our website 1-2 weeks before the first game. All games are played on Saturdays unless there is a need to make up games due to field closures.

5.  Can my child play in an age group older than her own or in a grade other than her own?

Players are assigned to leagues based on their date of birth. Starting with the fall 2019 season, U4-U6 age groups will play by birth year.  The U7-U14B age groups will follow the "old" age group parameters of 8/1-7/31 (see age group chart for the specific age group's parameters).  The U14G and U16-U19 age groups play in the Suburban Friendship League (SFL) and also play by birth year.  U7-U14B players whose birth date falls between August 1 and December 31 AND are in the next higher grade as the higher age group have the option to play up ONE age group.  If a parent wants their child to play up with their grade, they will need to request that on their registration form under "special requests" and provide proof of grade level (e.g. report card). If the request is not on the registration form, the child will be initially placed with their default age group. 

6.  Can my child play in an age group younger than her own?

The only waivers that are given to play down are for children with physical or mental challenges. A written request should be submitted at the time of registration. When registering online, then the written request should include the Player ID number and can be sent via email to registrar@syasoccer.org.  Requests will be given to the Soccer Commissioner for review.  Players whose age group plays in the Suburban Friendship League are not eligible to play down an age group according to SFL rules.  

7.  What do I need to buy to participate in recreational soccer?

To participate in recreational soccer in the U4-U5 age group, t-shirts are provided as part of the registration fee.  The U4-U5 player needs shin guards (mandatory), an age-appropriate soccer ball (size 3 for U4-U5), a water bottle and cleats (optional). For the U6-U19 age groups, uniforms are not provided as part of the registration fee. Parents will need to purchase the SYA recreational soccer kit (consisting of two jerseys, a pair of shorts, and a pair of socks) online at Soccer.com. Click here to go Soccer.com website.  Uniforms will be used for multiple seasons. Other items needed are shin guards (mandatory), an age-appropriate soccer ball (size 3 for U4-U8, size 4 for U9-U12, size 5 for U14-U19), a water bottle, and cleats (optional).

8.  Does my child need experience to play?

No experience is necessary in our recreational program.

9.  Can I wear eyeglasses, a cast, or jewelry while playing and practicing soccer?

 Glasses for corrective vision may be worn provided they are properly secured. Casts shall be allowed provided that these are wrapped in a plastic bubble protector or other similar type of covering that offers protection, and under the condition that the player shall not use the cast in any manner that would endanger the safety of the players on the field. The Referee permits medical bracelets or jewelry of a clearly religious nature provided they are not deemed dangerous or pose any danger to the players on the field. If approved, these items shall be taped down. Clear tape provides the most visibility for medical bracelets. All other jewelry is not allowed.


10.  Where are games played?

Each age group is assigned a game location for the entire season. These locations are at various schools and parks in the Centreville/Clifton area. In most cases, our games are held at schools where dogs are not permitted. If games are at regional or county parks, dogs are permitted on the grounds but must be leashed and be at least 15 feet from the playing fields.

11.  What happens if my child misses a practice or game?

While we encourage all players to participate in each practice and game, we realize that is not always possible. There are no consequences to the player if practices or games are missed. Please notify the coach beforehand if your child will be missing a practice or game.

12.  Are the coaches professional coaches?

Our recreational coaches are usually parent volunteers. Each coach must complete a free coaches’ licensing program prior to coaching. This training provides them with the tools they need to develop and coach the players on the team.

13.  Who referees the games?

Trained and certified referees referee all of our U9 and up age groups. Parent volunteers facilitate the games for the U6-U8 age groups.

14.  Are scholarships available?

Scholarships are available. Certain requirements must be met to qualify. Complete the Scholarship Request form and mail to SYA, P.O. Box 471, Centreville, VA 20122 or fax to (703) 815-2180.

15. Can I get a refund?

Requests for refunds must be made in writing and received prior to the scheduled recreational coaches’ meeting or first scheduled recreational game, whichever comes first. SYA Soccer will refund the registration fee minus a $35 processing fee. After scheduled recreational coaches meeting or first scheduled recreational game, whichever comes first, no refunds will be granted.

Complete the Refund Request Form and mail to the address listed on the form, or fax to (703) 815-2180. SYA Soccer will refund the registration fee minus a $35 processing fee. Refunds are issued either by check or credit card refund depending on how registration fee was paid and will be processed after the first game.  Additionally, no late fees will be refunded.

16.  Can I change teams if I am unable to get to my assigned practice?

If your child has a particularly busy schedule, it’s a good idea to consider coaching your child’s team to ensure the practice time meets your family’s needs. On the registration form, there is an area called “Schedule restrictions” where you can list any restrictions on your child’s schedule. The age group coordinators will do their best not to assign your child to a team that practices on a day you are not available. If you have a problem with your practice time, contact your age group coordinator to see if it is possible to move to a different team.

17.  How are teams formed?

To the greatest extent possible, teams are formed geographically around the residence of volunteer coaches, taking into account players’ neighborhoods and school boundaries, but there should be no expectation that players will be with the same coach or team in consecutive seasons.


18.  Why didn’t my child get the team I requested?

SYA will consider special requests, but cannot guarantee that they will be honored. Reasonable carpool requests will be taken into consideration, but requests to carpool with more than three players may not be able to be honored. SYA will attempt to honor requests to avoid a particular practice day.


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Office Location:
5950 Centreville Crest Lane
Centreville, VA 20121
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 471
Centreville, VA 20122
Phone: (703) 815-3362
Fax: (703) 815-2180
E-mail: admin@syayouthsports.org