Arlington Soccer Association (ARL) would like to clarify some facts surrounding the age-limit rule of US Youth Soccer (USYS) and the Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA). As a member club of VYSA and USYS, ARL is obligated to abide by the age-limit regulation that prohibits adults (classified as U-20 age group and above) from participating in youth soccer programs.
As part of its comprehensive Player Development Initiatives, the United States Soccer Federation (US Soccer) required member organizations to change the way in which youth players in the United States register for soccer teams no later than August 1, 2017. Birth year became the only determinant for youth team registration. This brought the United States in line with the rest of the world by using a normal calendar year of each player’s birth year to determine their age group.
VYSA and USYS are governed by US Soccer. As a member of these governing bodies, ARL must comply with the rules and regulations of US Soccer, VYSA, and USYS.
USYS and VYSA have an age limit for youth soccer. The age limit is based on birth-year registration as determined by US Soccer. The eligibility rules prohibit anyone defined as a U-20 from participating in youth soccer. A person registering for the 2019-20 season, who was born in 2000, is deemed to be in the U-20 age group and therefore, is not eligible to play youth soccer in the United States. Here is a link to the Soccer Age Group Chart as promulgated by US Soccer, USYS and VYSA.
How Does This Apply to Arlington Soccer Association?
ARL is a youth soccer organization. As a member club of VYSA, USYS and US Soccer, ARL is required to comply with the governing-body requirements, including the age-limit rule.
Even though ARL’s rec seasons are distinct fall and spring seasons, ARL is bound to the registration year as promulgated by VYSA. VYSA defines both the registration and seasonal year as September 1 through August 31 and does not allow for partial-year registration. Therefore, as an example, a person who turns twenty years of age in 2020, for purposes of age-group classification, is considered a U-20 under VYSA, USYS and US Soccer rules and is not eligible to play youth soccer.
While we may have granted some limited exceptions to the age limit in the past for the rec program, ARL learned in August that such exceptions are not permissible, and we began to uniformly apply the age limit as required by USYS and VYSA. ARL has not granted any exceptions this season for players who fall outside the age limit.
ARL’s mission is to have kids play soccer (more than 9,000 of them) and we strive to develop players, coaches and staff, with an enduring commitment to teamwork and community. We welcome any and all youth to experience the programs that we offer for nearly every age and interest level, spanning from pre-k to U-19.