Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Ballard Youth Soccer Club?
Welcome to the Ballard Youth Soccer Club! We are an all-volunteer organization which provides youth soccer activities in northwest Seattle. Ballard Youth Soccer Club (BYSC) is one of many clubs which make up the Seattle Youth Soccer Association (SYSA.) Last year we fielded approximately 180 teams involving over 1900 players! Our mission is to "Provide a safe, positive atmosphere where girls and boys can learn the game of soccer."

Who can play?

Children who are at least 4 years old and no more than 18 on July 31st are eligible to play. Most BYSC players live in the northwest part of Seattle, but may come from surrounding areas. A player may join only one team for a soccer season.

How is registration done?

All new and returning players must register online (BYSC web site: http://www.ballardsoccer.org) during the open registration period. The registration fee is paid by Credit Card online. For new players, a copy of birth certificate must be received via email or at the BYSC P.O. Box to complete the registration process (we encourage you to black out personal information other than name and birthdate). A player will not be considered registered until all needed items are received. The deadline for on-time registration is June 5th for ages 7-18, and June 12th for ages 4-6. Registration is on a space available basis after this on-time period. A waitlist option will be offered when categories are filled, but your credit card will not be charged unless we find a spot for your player.

Registration Fees?

$145 for ages 7-18, $95 for ages 4-6 (ages as of July 31st). There is a $25 late registration fee assessed after the on-time registration period.

What does the registration fee cover?

The registration fee covers direct expenses: uniform shirts for all players, field rental, referee costs, SYSA dues, coaches' training, administrative costs, liability insurance, and equipment like balls, goals and nets. Five dollars of your registration fee is used for development of new soccer fields.

Can my child be assigned to a team with his or her friends?

Maybe. First, the friends have to be the same age; remember that teams are formed by the player's age on July 31st not grade level. Second, there has to be room on the team. We limit team sizes in order to give all players a chance to play. Returning players have priority on the team (as long as they register during the on-time registration period). Lastly, recreational soccer is designed for all kids to play. Registrars randomly assign players to teams with the concept that most teams will be about equal in the end. If your child would like to be assigned to a particular team or to play with a friend, please indicate that on the registration form, and we will try to do so.

What if my child knows nobody on their team?

Then there is a very high chance that your child and you will be making some new friends in this wonderful soccer community.

Will my child be on the same team every year?
In general players are reassigned to the same teams each Fall. Exceptions would be:
1) if the player requests a change;
2) if the Micro player was on a mixed team and is moving on to a same-sex team at the Mod level,
3) if the player registered after the on-time registration period, or
4) if the coach leaves without replacement and the team is divided among other teams
5) if too few kids return to a team necessitating the team be disbanded and divided among other teams

Please note placement on SYSA Spring Teams does not influence placement on Fall Teams.

Can my child be asked to leave a team and the club?
Yes. Your child is not guaranteed participation in our club. To play on a Ballard team is a privilege. If your child's behavior is disrespectful or disruptive to the team atmosphere, he or she might be asked to leave the team and the club. Disruptive or disrespectful behavior might include but is not limited to: belligerence towards others; swearing; unwillingness to do the drills or exercises the coach is asking; heckling or teasing of teammates (or opponents); disrespectful behavior towards a coach, teammate, opponent or referee. Our coaches coach because they love teaching kids the game of soccer, they need not put up with a child who is inhibiting their ability to create a fun and positive atmosphere for the rest of the group. We can't let one kid ruin it for everyone. Appropriate warnings will be given by the coach to the parents of disruptive children.

How are the age limits figured?
Players' ages are figured as of July 31st. A child who turns 12 on July 31st is considered a 12-year-old for that fall season (U13), while one who turns 12 on August 1 is considered an 11-year-old because she is still 11 on July 31st (U12). Players are allowed to play on teams of older players ("playing up") but not on teams of younger players. A U-9 (Under-9) team means that all the players were under 9 years old on July 31st of that year. AGE CHART LINK

What about "Playing Up?"
We do allow that from time to time providing there is space available and you are not displacing a child of the appropriate age level. We think that players are often better served playing in their age bracket but realize there are times where this is not the case. Registration must be done at the appropriate age level based on the birthdate, then the Club will evaluate any request to "Play Up". Use the special request field on the Registration form to indicate this.

How are scholarships awarded?
The Ballard Soccer Club is committed to providing opportunities for children to play recreational soccer. Scholarships are available through the Ballard Soccer Development Fund. Those players in need of scholarships should fill out this form prior to registration stating their case. Applications will be reviewed as needed on a case by case basis. Those wishing to contribute to the fund may also do so by contacting the Registrar or making a donation during the registration process.

My Child has played up before but I can't register them to that age now.
Please register your child in the correct age bracket based on their birthdate and in the Additional comments/Special Requests field, enter Team, Coach and Why. This is where you would indicate a "Play Up" request as well.

How to use the Special Request/Additional Comments field during registration
If looking for a specific team please enter Team or Coach then type in your other comments.
If looking for specific players enter Team or Coach if known, then Players, then other comments.

What about try-outs?

BYSC does not have try-outs for recreational team assignments. Everyone who registers can play, assuming we have enough volunteer coaches and field space. Seattle United offers select teams at U11 and above, with open try-outs in the spring.

What are "Micro" and "Mod"? (For detailed information see Programs
)

U5, U6 and U7 teams (4, 5 & 6 yr. olds), play "Micro" soccer. It involves short games on small fields with no goalie, cones for goals, and 3 players to a side. This allows these young players plenty of opportunity to run and get a maximum number of touches on the ball, without worrying a lot about playing positions. U5 teams are planned to have up to 8 players on the roster; U6 and U7 teams have rosters of up to 12 players, and two games are played simultaneously by each team. Micro teams play only other BYSC micro teams. Girls and boys will play on the same teams at the Micro level with a goal of an even split of boys and girls on a team. The emphasis is on beginning skills of ball handling and passing.

U8, U9, U10, and U11 teams play Modified or "Mod" soccer, which involves half- or three-quarter-size fields, and introduces goalkeepers. U-8 teams play 4-a-side (3 field players and a goalie). U-9 teams play 5-a-side (4 field players and a goalie). U10 teams play 6-a-side. Referees are introduced, although they are not much older than the players. Scores are not kept for U8-U10. Girls and boys play on separate teams in separate leagues. Mod teams play other BYSC teams as well as teams from other nearby soccer clubs. The emphasis is on continued skill development, and the introduction of team play tactics. See below for more information about U11.

What is "U11" Soccer (For more information see Programs
)

U11 teams play 9-a-side, 3/4 sized fields around the city and against teams from many different clubs. Girls and boys play on separate teams. Experienced referees are used, scores are kept. All aspects of the league play are organized and managed by the SYSA. Teams are still organized by the BYSC and represent the club in the citywide league competitions. There is a citywide tournament at the end of the season that all teams can enter. The emphasis at this level is continued skill development and team play tactics with the introduction of strategy and position play.

What is "Full-Field" Soccer? (For more information see Programs
)

U12 and above play full field soccer, 11-a-side, including goalkeeper. These teams are organized by BYSC, but scheduled and coordinated through the SYSA. There is a citywide tournament at the end of the season that all teams can enter. The emphasis at this level is continued skill development and team play tactics with greater use of strategy and position play.

What is "Select Soccer", and does Ballard have it? (See Programs
)

At U11, Seattle United is the SYSA club for all select and premier soccer for age levels U11 to U19.

When is the soccer season?

Fall Soccer

Recreational teams:
generally start to practice in mid-August, based on the coach's preference and the availability of practice fields. Games start the weekend after Labor Day (schedules are usually not available until around Labor Day). Mod and Micro teams play through October. The Season for the U11 and older teams continues until almost Thanksgiving, with many teams finishing their season by playing in the (Seattle) City Tournament in December.

Select teams:
generally form in May, enter tournaments in the late spring and summer, and play in either a District 1 (comprising King County in the south to Bellingham in the north) or a state-wide league, which begins the weekend after Labor Day and ends the third weekend in December. Most of these teams participate in one of the three State Cups -- play begins the first weekend in January and finals are in mid-March.

SYSA Spring Soccer

For teams U7 and above. Registration opens usually in February at http://www.sysa.org. The season runs April to the 2nd week of June. It is 8 games long. The games are played on Sundays and on half fields with 8 players-a-side. Spring soccer is a fun sandlot style recreational soccer. No stats. Coach refereed. Placement on SYSA Spring Soccer teams does not influence placement for Fall recreational teams.

How can I help the team?

Volunteer parents make soccer available to our children. VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED! Teams need coaches, especially the younger teams. You do not have to know anything about soccer to coach a Micro team, and there are lots of Club resources available to help you get started, including coaching clinics (BYSC will reimburse the registration fee). Click here for more info.

Each team also needs a manager and/or parent coordinator to do things like make phone calls, sign up parents to bring after-game treats, help at game time, and arrange the team's end-of-the-year event. Each family should plan to commit 2 hours of help during the season. Encourage your child to practice soccer whenever possible off the practice field. Passing and dribbling alone, in small groups, and with a parent or older sibling helps one's ball control skills and builds confidence needed during games.

How can I help Ballard Youth Soccer Club?

There are 15 to 20 volunteer roles that operate the whole soccer club - president, treasurer, registrars, SYSA reps, Micro and Mod coordinators, equipment coordinators, etc. There are still positions to be filled this year, and there will be positions to be filled at the end of this year. Many of these positions do not require knowledge of soccer or even much knowledge of Ballard Youth Soccer Club. They just need bits of time and organizational skills. Please click for a list of roles and their duties and time commitments. We need your help. To volunteer contact, any BYSC Board member or send an email to info@ballardsoccer.org. WE NEED YOU!

Equipment

All players must wear shin guards (with socks completely covering) to protect their legs. Since we play on grass fields, it really helps to have a pair of soccer shoes with the appropriate kind of cleats. These items can be found at reasonable prices at Big 5, Fred Meyer and other local stores. We also have a discount for equipment at Eurosport. It also helps for each player to have a size-appropriate soccer ball (sizes 3 & 4 for Micro and Mod) for use at practice and at home.

At the Mod/Micro level, a tee shirt is supplied as part of the registration. At higher levels, players are provided with a jersey from Ballard Youth Soccer Club to keep using year after year. Full-field teams require uniform shorts and socks as well.

Jewelry
I just got my ears/nose/eyebrow/tongue pierced. Will that impact my ability to play soccer? Yes FIFA Laws of the Game number 4 prohibits players from wearing jewelry. That includes earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, certain hairpieces, and anything else the referee deems is dangerous to the player or another player. Using tape to secure the item is not adequate - the item must be removed.

Referee
Please see the Referee Roundtable. Both the How to become a Referee and Commonly Asked Questions sections have valuable information.

The Shoe Bank
If your player needs soccer shoes or shin guards or you have some pairs that are outgrown (and no younger brothers or sisters waiting to use them), the Shoe Bank is for you! You are welcome to make donations or to take a pair that fit now - no charge, no paperwork. It's a good way to recycle those shoes from last year or to avoid paying for shoes that you know will only be worn for a couple of months.

The Shoe Bank is located at the home of Andrew Westmark 2353 NW 85th St. There is a grey storage cabinet in the driveway by the garage. Please come by at any time, whether or not anyone is home. Equipment try-ons are recommended.

DOGS not Allowed, Sorry.

City rules prohibit dogs at or on the fields at any time when soccer games or practices are held. Please leave the happy puppies at home.