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Birth Year Registration – Summary Fall 2016

In the Fall of 2016, DSA teams will be rostered by Birth Year.  Parents and players should be aware the new age group structure is a departure from how travel players have traditionally been assigned and registered to DSA travel teams (currently teams are grouped from Aug 1st to July 31st ).  Our next registration for Fall 2016 will be updated to reflect the changes.


New (Fall 2016)

Teams will be rostered together by Birth Year.  Jan 1st  thru Dec 31st .  


A simple example: If your son or daughter was born in 2008 then they will be grouped with other players from 2008.  In the same example, this player would register for 2008 soccer and tryout for 2008 soccer. 


This Fall teams will be identified by birth year.  We will identify our teams based upon their birth year.  For example, we will call our Travel girls from the birth year 2008 Blue team:  Darien ’08 Girls Blue.   


Plans are being made to make our next registration and Try-outs as clear as possible.  Follow your birth year and all will fall into place.  



*For players born between 1/1/02-12/31/03:


Our district will be combining these two birth years into one group:  2003/2002.  This decision will essentially capture any 2002 players who are in the 8th grade (many 2002 players will be in HS).  2002 athletes who are in high school will not be allowed to play on the combined 2003/2002 team.


Please note that this combined birth year concept will continue forward for future years to come.  So, in the fall 2017, our players born between 1/1/03-12/31/04, will be combined into one group:  2004/2003




1.  Does the DSA have to follow these mandates?

All organized Clubs throughout the country are conforming to these mandates.  All of DSA’s programs, including Travel, Club Excel (our house program) and K-2 will be conforming.


2.  Does this mean Travel teams will be split up?

Many travel teams that have historically had, in general, the same roster for years, will have many of the same players and friends from prior years.  However, some players will undoubtedly be moving to other teams to conform to the new age guidelines.  As a general guide, we would expect roughly a 2/3rds of teams will remain…the remaining 1/3 will be moving to their age appropriate team.


3.  Can a player “play up” so teams stick together?

Unfortunately no.  We will be firm with age groups and expect the adjustment to take only 1 season.  Under only exceptional circumstances will a player move up under the appointment of the DSA Director of Coaching.  In year’s past we rarely had players “play up” that weren’t age appropriate. 


4. My child is in 4th grade. All of her classmates are in the next older age group. Can you make an exception, based on her grade?


Teams will be based upon birth year and not grade.  This includes K-2 and Club Excel (Club Excel will combine 2 birth years for their leagues).  We realize that the children in the same grade will be in different travel team age groups, but we are required to comply with the changes which will go into effect throughout the United States.  It is not uncommon for other sports to have players from different grades playing together.



5.  Why is my son or daughter jumping 2yrs from U11 to U13?

This is a common question.  In fact there is no “jumping”.  As already discussed players will be grouped with their same birth year.  The “U” age classification is only required to label different league groups.  Birth year will determine what age they play with and “U” grouping will identify what league they are in.

For example.  A Fall 2004 Birthday player who is playing with U11 this spring would naturally rise to U12 under the old system.   This player, under the new system, would, as a Fall birthday, play with U13.  So while it may seem like a big ‘jump’, he or she will still be grouped with all 2004s.


6.  How will this impact Tryouts for the Fall of 2016

Players will simply go to tryouts based on their Birth Year. 


7.  What about Premier teams…Must they follow same standards?

All Premier teams will be following the same guidelines for the Fall of 2016.


8.  What about my daughter who has a Fall Birthday in 2002 when most of their age group will be in HS?

Each year there will be some 8th graders who will technically fall into a U15 age group.  In the past there was no U15 league.  As noted above, our District voted to add a new U15 league and combine with U14 into one U14/U15 age group (2002/2003 Birth years for Fall 2016).  Therefore, in the Fall of 2016, Birth year 2002 players in the 8th grade will still be able to play.


9. My son is in 1st grade this Spring but has to tryout for U9 already?

Players will always be grouped by birth year.  If your first grader’s Birth year is 2008, then yes he will be in the U9 league in the Fall and would thus be eligible to tryout for travel this spring.  We would encourage him to do so. In the Fall 2016, our traditional K-2 program will become a U6-U8 program.  At that point going forward all eligible travel players will easily be identified as they will be U8 players in the spring season and ready to move on to Travel at U9 in Fall.


10.  What Birth year equates to the first year of Travel for the Fall of 2016?

Players born in year 2008.  This would be the U9 league.  (Up until this point, the K-2 program has been organized by grade.  This fall the program will be 2011, 2010 and 2009 groups).