Parental message:

In order for us to continue having games and to be as safe as possible, we remind you of the BIG THREE:

  1. NOTIFY us if you or your child is sick or has been exposed. Please do this immediately, even before you have a test result! The full directions are HERE.
  2. You and your player must wear masks going to and from the field. Players should have their mask on WHENEVER they are not actively playing in the game. They should also be physically distanced (6-10 feet apart) when not actively playing. Exception: they can temporarily remove their masks when they are BOTH actively distanced and drinking water.
  3. Spectators must be away from the field and be masked -- like 20-30' away. If there are stands, you can be in the stands but shouldn't be in the first row when that is proximate to the field. Exception: for K-2, coaches can ask parents to help but parents must be masked.

Please help us keep games safe. Notify us if anyone has been exposed or is ill, and wear a mask whenever you are not actively on the field playing.


Please be kind. The more patience and understanding we can extend to one another during these stressful times, the better for all involved. If we all do our bit and take necessary precautions, we can keep the season going successfully.


Coach message:

Thank you for your continued hard work this season in providing a safe and fun experience for our players. 

Remember the BIG THREE:

  1. Parents need to NOTIFY us if they or their child is sick or has been exposed. They should do this immediately, even if they don't have a test result. The full directions are HERE.
  2. Coaches and players must wear masks going to and from the field. Coaches should wear masks the whole time at games. Players should have their mask on WHENEVER they are not actively playing in the game. They should also be physically distanced (6-10 feet apart) when not actively playing. Exception: they can temporarily remove their masks when they are BOTH actively distanced and drinking water.
  3. Spectators must be away from the field and be masked -- like 20-30' away. If there are stands, they can be in the stands but shouldn't be in the first row when that is proximate to the field. (Exception: for K-2, coaches can ask parents to help but parents must be masked.)

Before game day:

  • Please contact the opposing coach to coordinate. Coach contact information can be found on the public practice page, or on the division page (by clicking on a team's name in blue).
  • Some teams/coaches are not participating in games, some teams are requesting masks for all players, some teams have players who can’t run with masks and, depending on the number of players who attend, you may need to opt-in or out of certain rules, and/or make plans to share players with clean pinnies.
  •  Middle school coaches -- remind your players which color uniform to wear. Blue = Home; White = Away.

On game day:

  • Check the Inclement Weather Line: 703 228 4715 to see if fields are open
  • Players must be masked and socially distant when not playing in the game. No team benches.  We recommend using disc cones to mark out spaces 6 feet apart for kids to sit when waiting to enter the game.
  • Please coordinate with the opposing coach on separated locations for your players, and different (distant) parts of the field for each teams’ supporters (with exceptions allowed for K-2).
  • If you are not attending games, please be sure to relay all the rules to the parent who has been designated to manage your players at the game. A link to all the game RULES is hereA link to all the pandemic-specific rules is here.
  • Lastly, please remind your team parents to wear masks at games and model good behavior.

Please start on time and end on time. If there is no referee:

  • Please start your own pre-game check-in 5 minutes before game time.
  • No earrings allowed, no jewelry
  • Players must have shin-guards to play
  • Cleats are not required, but no boots or hard street shoes (sneakers are fine)
  • Coordinate with the opposing coach on who will referee (maybe one half of the game or each cover one half of the field as in Kindergarten and 1st Grade).
  • If it is your turn to referee, please make sure a coach or parent is monitoring your substitutes for social distancing and mask use.

Please help us keep games safe. Notify us if anyone has been exposed or is ill, and wear a mask whenever you are not actively on the field playing. We do not ask you to play "mask-cop" with the other team's families, but please DO work with your own families and players to make sure everyone follows the rules.


DO cooperate with the referees. Right or wrong, theirs are the only calls that matter. Zero tolerance for referee abuse or intimidation or back-talk means ZERO TOLERANCE. I dismiss coaches every year over this. Sorry.


Thank you for working with each other and opposing coaches to make the best of the situation for the kids. It is not always easy to remember these precautions, but it is essential, and we appreciate your working collaboratively with other coaches and being great role models for your players.



Fall 2020 - FAQs

Why is Travel able to play games but Rec cannot?

Travel began practicing six weeks ahead of Rec. Like Rec, they went through the progression recommended by US Soccer at the pace recommended by US Soccer. Once Rec players have acquired good habits and know how to physically distance on and off the field, we will also progress to passing, then 2v1 challenges, scrimmages, etc. But we have to learn good habits first! And the public health situation has to be such that it makes sense. Players are moving through this progression at an age-appropriate rate, with older players advancing more rapidly than younger players. Please be patient and cooperate with your coach as we move ahead.


This information is also consistent with the original message sent to parents June 23 when we opened registration, and with the progression outlined to coaches in the Return to Play Guidelines and Progression.


What is the progression and how will Rec teams move through it?

There has been one Arlington Soccer progression, for both Rec and Travel. Travel went first and moved more slowly, with more practices at each step. Rec is moving faster, for the most part, now that we know these protocols work. The exception is the K-2 group, which contains much younger players.

We view six steps, moving from lowest risk to higher risk.

1. Players are physically apart and do not share balls.

2. Players are physically apart but can share balls and move from box to box while remaining distanced.

3. Players are physically apart but can share balls and move from box to box while remaining distanced, but can also challenge each other for the ball from a distance, playing 2v1, 3v2, keep-away, rondo, etc.

4. Scrimmages become possible within the same team, but players remain physically distanced otherwise during practice.

5. Games are possible but players remain physically distanced otherwise during practice.

6. Tournaments and games are possible but players remain physically distanced otherwise during practice.

Each age group will move through the progression at different speeds, appropriate to their age and development. As Rec operates wholly within Arlington Soccer and does not require outside approval of game modifications, we may choose to impose restrictions on players during games, or to limit games in other ways. This remains consistent with our earliest communication to coaches and parents on June 23. The best-case progression scenario is as follows:




































































players physically isolated, no ball sharing


Players physically isolated, can share ball, can move from box to box


players physically isolated but can move freely, challenge 2v1, rondos, keepaway etc


Scrimmage within team possible but physically distanced otherwise throughout practice


Games possible but physically distanced otherwise throughout practice & games


Etc. including tournaments

Does my team’s coach have to abide by the progression?

No. Coaches can choose to move more slowly than the stated progression as they feel appropriate for their players’ understanding, development and safety. They cannot move more quickly than the stated progression and must abide by the Arlington Soccer Return to Play protocols.


Why are players not allowed to use their hands and required to use their own ball?

Arlington county and the CDC recommend regular hand-washing and use of hand sanitizer, especially after coming into contact with shared materials or surfaces. We were unable to provide either of these resources at all fields and so decided to eliminate the primary potential vector: the shared ball. Only goalies can touch the ball with their hands since no one else has the ball near their face.

ALSO! We recommend that players write their name or doodle on the ball, so they know which one is theirs!


Questions about Uniforms:

I have a middle-school player and need to order a uniform. The information can be found HERE on the Uniform Information page.


My player is in grades K-5 and I didn’t order a uniform at registration. If you need to request a uniform for a K-5 player, please contact Arlington Soccer Info to discuss your situation.


My player is K-5 and changed clubs and now needs a new uniform. If you need to request a uniform for a K-5 player, please contact Arlington Soccer Info to discuss your situation.


I missed registration for the fall – what can I do?

Spring 2021 registration is likely to open in December 2020, or January 2021. Please sign up early. After the end of the Return to Team period, we assign places on teams (and move players between teams) based nearly exclusively on registration date. The earlier you register, the more likely you are to be able to be placed on a team.

Until registration re-opens, your player can access the Rec Players Resource Page. It includes good games you can do on your own, and skills you can work through. The basic skills videos at the top can be done one after the other as a work-out, or (as your player progresses) can be used as a warm-up prior to moving to other, more challenging drills on the page!

Arlington Soccer - Rec Program Return to Play - Fall 2020

The Arlington Soccer Rec Program is excited to safely return to play this fall!  Please review the important Parent and Coach protocols below.  Also, please review the general club protocols also on this page.

If you have any questions, please email

Arlington Soccer - Rec Program - PARENT Information:  Overview of the Return to Play protocol for Parents.

Arlington Soccer - Rec Program - COACH Information:  Overview of the Return to Play protocol for Coaches.


Return to Play - Coach Education Video:  Tips and tricks on how to run a fun and safe session!

Return to Play - Guidelines and Progression :  Practice field set up recommendations!

Fall 2020 - Covid-19 Program Changes

Due to the uncertainty caused by the ongoing public health crisis, Arlington Soccer has made a number of changes to the Fall 2020 Rec program.  We look forward to providing soccer opportunities for our community and safely return to play as public health restrictions are lifted.

  • Registration Fees: For the fall 2020 season, Arlington Soccer is not increasing Rec registration fees. Furthermore, there will be no 'late' fees assessed.
  • Refund Policy:  The refund policy has been amended this season to account for possible suspensions, delays or cancellations. Due to the current pandemic, for the Fall 2020 season Arlington Soccer will offer prorated credits (or refunds) if the Rec season is fully or partially canceled due to pandemic-related problems. Please visit the Rec Policies page for full details.
  • Practices and Games:  Fall 2020 activities may be limited by safety protocols. As excited as we are to return, we must do so in a way that prioritizes the safety and health of all our players, their families, our staff and community.  Fall soccer may not look like soccer as we have known it.   Sessions may be shortened.  Scrimmages or games may not be possible or may be limited.  At this time, we do not know what the restrictions will be for the fall, but Arlington Soccer will provide opportunities for players as restrictions are lifted.
  • Uniforms:  Families with players in grades K-5 do not need to purchase a new uniform unless they choose to do so.  Families with players in grades 6-8 must purchase the new middle school uniform.  Full details and photo can be found here.


Recreational Soccer Information

With more than 6,500 players participating each Fall and Spring in league play, the recreational soccer program is the cornerstone of the Arlington Soccer Association. Players register and are placed on teams within one of our neighborhood soccer clubs, based on elementary school enrollment or geographical location. The recreational program provides quality soccer experiences for players, both boys and girls, from kindergarten through high school age. Anyone of any ability and level of income is welcome to participate. Parents, and other volunteers, coach the teams to provide a fun and educational environment through scheduled practices and games. Equal playing time is guaranteed and all players are welcome!

What are the dates of the season?
The fall season typically runs from September through mid-November
The spring season typically runs from mid-April through mid-June

What ages can play rec soccer?
We organize the Rec league by grade level. Rec soccer is open to all kindergarten through the high school ages permitted by VYSA (in 2020, the oldest birth year is 2002). If your child is between the ages of three through pre-school, they may be eligible to play in Arlington Soccer's Mini Soccer program

How are teams formed?
Arlington Soccer attempts to place players on teams based on elementary school enrollment, when possible. If a player cannot be placed on a team from their school, then they are generally placed on a team in the same general geographic location in Arlington.

How often do teams practice?
Teams generally practice once a week, with some older teams deciding to practice twice a week. However, the vast majority of teams only practice once per week for an hour after regular school hours.

Where/when will my child's team practice?
We try to assign practice space to teams based on the geographical makeup of their team. However, exact practice locations and times are decided by the team coach and their club manager and this can vary across teams.

When are games?
Games are normally played on Saturdays during the season, with the occasional Sunday afternoon game when needed. 

What are the game formats?
Kindergarten: 4v4, no goalkeepers
1st/2nd Grade: 4v4, no goalkeepers
3rd/4th Grade: 7v7
5th/6th Grade: 9v9
7th/8th/High School: 11v11

What are the fees?

Registration for Rec in Fall 2020 is $94. 

Does my child qualify for Financial Aid?

We offer a reduced fees for players who qualify for Financial Aid. Players who receive Free/reduced Lunch, SNAP/TANF or Medicaid benefits, Families who qualify for the Arlington County Parks and Recreation Fee Reduction are eligible for Financial Aid. Families must provide valid(not expired) supporting documentation. Click here to view the list of valid documents.

If your child is on Free or Reduced Lunch, please submit that proof to qualify.  The fee for financial aid recipients is $40.

Further questions?
For additional information, contact

Arlington Soccer Decision to Modify Participation of Travel Players in Rec Soccer

What are the changes to the rules for Travel players to participate in the Rec Soccer Program?

The new rules limit Travel players to 4th grade and below in Rec. Starting in 5th grade, Travel players will no longer be able to participate on a Travel team and a Rec team.

What were the previous rules that applied to Travel players participating in the Rec Soccer Program?

Through the Spring 2019 season, the Rec Program has allowed Travel players to participate at all levels of Rec, from first grade up. The number of Travel players per team is limited at each level, from one player per team at first grade, through five players per team at High School.

How many players will be impacted?

Of the 7,600 players in Rec and Travel, 239 players play both Rec and Travel at 5th grade and above (101 girls and 138 boys). These players will be directly impacted. Other players may be indirectly impacted due to the loss of team members and potentially coaches.

Why are rule changes being adopted?

The rule change proposes to address three main issues:

  • Travel players participating on a Rec team can change team dynamics, and/or result in unevenly matched games, impacting the experience and development of the Rec players.
  • Travel players have a rigorous practice and game schedule. Combining Rec and Travel games can impede peak performance at competitive Travel games.
  • The change would bring our rules into conformity with other local Rec programs. This would allow complete Rec teams to participate in more local tournaments and encourage other clubs to join the ART Rec tournament, once our Select player policies are aligned.

Why is 5th grade and up the age range to limit travel player participation in the Rec Soccer Program?

The change is a compromise between the staff recommendation that Travel players only participate in Travel activities, and the players' desire to continue playing with their school-mates. At 5th grade, Rec teams move from playing 7v7 to 9v9. We can introduce the change while minimizing the impact on the viability of existing neighborhood Rec teams.

Does this apply to only those playing Arlington Travel Soccer?

No. The rule applies to all players participating in a travel program in any local club.

When will the changes be implemented?

The changes will take place in the Fall 2019 season.

Will any Travel players be “grandfathered” and allowed to continue past the 5th grade?

No. No current players will be allowed to participate in both programs after the 5th grade. Grandfathering in all players would have resulted in an eight-year transition period, which would not address the issues that led to the change (see above) in a timely manner. Grandfathering in some age groups but not others was considered but rejected as an inconsistent application of the rule.

What was the process that resulted in this rule change?

For the past decade, the Rec Program Committee[1] has discussed the challenges and benefits of having Travel players in Rec soccer. Throughout this time, the Committee discussed and implemented changes to address some of these challenges, adjusting the number of Travel players allowed on Rec teams, providing coach training, sportsmanship campaigns, etc. Challenges persisted. Throughout the fall of 2018, the Committee conducted a far-ranging discussion over several months. At the October 2018 Rec Committee meeting, the current rule change was adopted as a recommendation to Arlington Soccer staff.

The recommendation was sent to the Arlington Soccer Senior Staff (the Executive Director and heads of Finance, Operations, Travel, Rec, and AUX programs). After intensive discussion of the recommendation's potential impact on each program and the organization as a whole, Senior Staff unanimously supported the recommendation.

The Travel Committee was next consulted. First, the head of the Travel Committee met with the Rec Committee to better understand the history and potential impacts of the recommendation. Supportive, he then took that information to the Travel Committee, which also agreed with the recommendation.

The Joint Program Committee, which includes staff and volunteers from all programs, was also consulted and also supported the decision.

The Arlington Soccer Board discussed the recommendation for two months before voting to approve it. After the vote, the Board solicited feedback from the Arlington Soccer community to ensure it had considered all perspectives on the change. Feedback received included perspectives that were against the change as well as supportive of the change. The Board returned the issue to the Rec Committee, for further review and consideration of the feedback. The Rec Committee reviewed the feedback and determined that the perspectives were considered and incorporated in the original decision The Rec Committee recommended that the Board make no change to its decision. The Board agreed.

[1] The Rec Program Committee is one of the two Program Committees created under the Arlington Soccer By-Laws. It includes volunteer representatives of the twelve neighborhood clubs, plus the High School club. Each club has one or more volunteer Club Managers. Club Managers form Rec teams, place players, recruit and support volunteer coaches, and meet monthly to guide the Arlington Rec Soccer Program. Managers are usually long-term coaches, parents and other members of the community, volunteering to support soccer throughout Arlington. The other Program Committee is the Travel Committee.