US Youth Soccer introduces Club Pass

Flexibility at core of revised National Championships Policy adopted
by the US Youth Soccer National Council at the 2011 US Youth Soccer Annual General Meeting

The United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer) announced earlier this month that the organization has introduced the 'club pass' to increase flexibility for member clubs who compete in the annual US Youth Soccer National Championship Series.

"The club pass will give coaches the ability to manage the development of younger players," said John Sutter, US Youth Soccer president. "Over the last year, the US Youth Soccer National Championships Committee has taken a hard look at the structure of the competition and with input from a variety of sources including coaches, member clubs, and US Youth Soccer's leadership, has recommended these changes to meet the needs of our members. The adoption of the club pass will allow clubs flexibility in managing teams for player development purposes, injury, high school participation, and balanced competition."

The club pass was approved at the recently completed Annual General Meeting held in conjunction with the 2011 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Phoenix, Ariz. State Association leaders overwhelmingly approved the revisions to the US Youth Soccer National Championships Policy which are effective for the 2011-12 seasonal year.

Designed to improve learning and development, the club pass will assist balanced competition with, and against, like skilled and like-motivated players.

Clubs can now use any eligible player to better manage injuries or other issues that can occur within a season as well as provide greater flexibility in dealing with the impact of high school competitions.

A club may issue a club pass to any youth player who is a registered player of the club before the team is rostered for the state level of the National Championship Series competitions. A player can be moved from one team within the club to another after that player's team is eliminated from the competition.

"For our 3 million youth players and more than 900,000 coaches and administrators, the club pass is a great example of how we are listening to feedback from our members and there are more exciting evolutions like the club pass to come," said Sutter. "This year, we have held focus groups at the NSCAA, conducted phone calls and surveys, you name it we are actively reaching out to all levels of the youth community for input."

The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series is the premier youth competition in the United States and offers over 10,000 teams the chance to test their skill, ability and determination in the Series three stages of competition from state to region, and ultimately the national championships. During the summer of 2011, over 575 college coaches registered to attend the regional and national levels of play. The Series provides collegiate and national staff coaches with meaningful games and access to teams that have earned their position in the Series levels of play regardless of given status.