Simsbury’s Youth Travel program is geared toward kids in 3rd to 8th grade who enjoy playing competitive soccer. The program is designed to provide the more talented and hard working players the best soccer experience possible. We stress teamwork, effort, commitment and respect for all involved. Emphasis is on technical and tactical aspects of the game along with providing an environment where kids will learn important life lessons and have fun.
Selection to a travel team is based on a tryout with independent evaluators. Tryouts are every spring for the upcoming fall and spring seasons. In many cases there are enough talented kids to form more than one team. The player and his or her family are expected to commit the necessary time to continue to develop the skills of the player and the team. This will usually include 2 practices a week and 2 games on the weekend. Most players register for both the fall and spring seasons, though players, if they have a number of other activities, may select to just play during the fall season. Please review our Travel Program Commitment and Playing Time Policy.
Teams will also participate in local and regional tournaments that often fall on holiday weekends. Beginning at age U11, each fall and spring season the CJSA hosts the CT CUP which is a state wide single elimination tournament played over a series of consecutive weekends. The winner of this tournament for each age bracket is awarded the state championship. For more information contact the Travel Director from the SSC Contacts page. Below are common questions and answers a bout youth travel.
How much does Travel Soccer Cost?
On average, Travel soccer will cost $300 - 450 per year. This does not include the occasional costs of traveling out of state. Some teams participate in fundraising activities which would reduce the cost of the program.
How far do you have to drive for games?
Most of the games will be in or around Hartford County. As far north as Enfield, as far East as Tolland, South as far as Middletown and as far West as Burlington. As teams gets older they will have Cup games throughout CT and some teams choose to go to tournaments in the New England states.
When do the seasons start and end?
The fall season starts the week school starts, possibly the week before. Fall seasons usually end the first week of November. The spring season usually starts around the second week of April and ends around the same time school ends.
What is the weekly time commitment?
Every team generally has two 90 minute practices a week, the practice nights are chosen by each team. Historically Tuesday and Thursday have been popular practice nights. There are two games on the weekend; one Saturday and one Sunday. The game lengths vary by age and range from 60 minutes to 90 minutes.
Can my child play other sports or participate in other activities while playing travel soccer?
Sure, our club encourages youths to participate in other sports and activities. In general, kids should get exposure to different sports and activities. However, participation in the Travel Program requires a significant commitment on the part of each player and their parents or guardians. Players are expected to attend team practices, games, and tournaments, as well as demonstrate good sportsmanship and to try their best to develop as a player. Please review the Travel Program Commitment and Playing Time Policy.
How does the “Single Season” program work?
SSC is one of only a few clubs in CT which offers both “single season” and “full year” options. The single season program allows the individual player/family to decide if playing one season would be more comfortable than playing both fall and spring. The decision of playing one season or two is not announced until after the tryout results are communicated. This is a year by year decision, so if the player’s activities change he/she can switch between options and have the opportunity to stay with the same group of teammates.
How long is the season? How often do they play?
The season lasts about two months in the fall, starting in late August, and two months in the spring, ending in mid June. Typically a team will practice twice a week and play two games on the weekend. Teams are a lso encouraged to attend tournaments that often fall on holiday weekends. Some teams will participate in winter activities, but this is not
What are the age requirements for the different teams?
Fall 2016/Spring 2017 Age Requirements and Teams:
- U9 - born in 2008
- U10 - born in 2007
- U11 - born in 2006
- U12 - born in 2005
- U13 - born in 2004
- U14 - born in 2003
- U15 - born in 2002
TRYOUTS & TEAM SELECTION
How are the teams selected?
Each year tryouts are held in the spring to determine the teams for the next fall and spring seasons. There are independent evaluators who rate the players on soccer skills and ability. The players are selected based on their tryout results.
When are the tryouts?
Tryouts are held during May or June. Dates for different age groups are published in the on SSC’s website and promoted via email and in local papers.
How many teams are there for each age group?
Typically there are enough talented players to form more than one team for each age group.
How many players per team?
For the U9, U10, and U11 teams we have 12 - 15 kids per team since they only play 8 kids on the field at a time. For all older groups, the standard is to have 17 - 18 players per team.
What if I don’t make a travel team?
SSC has recreational programs which are available for those that don’t tryout for, or make a Travel team. This assures that all that who want to play, have a place to play. All 3rd – 8th grade players may play in the Farmington Valley League. These rec teams play teams from the surrounding towns. We do suggest that you encourage your player to play and if they would like to play more competitive soccer to tryout the following year.
How do I sign up?
All players must register online before the tryouts. This is to avoid the long lines of registering the day of tryouts and to ensure that the process flows smoothly. See the Travel Tryout page for more info.
Why have tryouts?
Tryouts are the fairest way to select teams and provide an equal chance to all who are interested in getting a position on a team. We have received plenty of positive feedback on the fairness of our process especially when compared to other clubs and sports.
If you make a team one year, does that guarantee that spot for future years?
No. Kids develop at different rates and each year tryouts are a fresh look. This also allows new kids in town or kids who didn’t tryout previously to get a fair shot. Actually, most teams have many different players at U14 compared to those who were on the team at U10. For the four current U14 teams, at least 35% of the current players on each team were not on that team at U10.
For more information about the tryouts click here
How are Coaches Selected?
All of our coaches are selected based on an interview/application process. We look for volunteers who have strong soccer and coaching knowledge, create a positive environment for the kids to develop, communicate well with everyone involved, are effective leaders, are organized and have the time to commit to the team.
What training do the coaches go through?
Simsbury Soccer Club requires all head travel coaches to receive an “E” coaching license from Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (CJSA). We also provide access to clinics for the further development of coaches and provide professional coaching to supplement the volunteer coach’s skills. The E license we require involves each coach attending a course with 16 hours of classroom and field training designed specifically for youth soccer. It not only focuses on the technical and tactical aspects of soccer, but also on physical and psychological aspects of coaching youths at different ages – boys and girls.
Are there any Coach Success Stories?
Simsbury Soccer Club has been fortunate to have volunteers that have been viewed as role models in the community and over the years SSC coaches have been recognized on both the state and national level. However our best success stories come from the parents and children who have gone through the program and appreciate the effort, commitment, and environment our coaches provide.