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Berkeley Heights Youth Soccer Club

Berkeley Heights Youth Soccer Club

What is the commitment required for players and their families when they join a BHYSC travel team?

First and foremost it is important to understand that a BHYSC travel soccer commitment to a roster spot is for both a Fall and a Spring season. All things being equal we like to run rosters "light" to provide more playing time for each player. It is very difficult to replace players who vacate a roster spot, once teams have been finalized.This is the main reason for the Club's "no Refunds" policy.

The Fall season usually begins the weekend or two after Labor Day, and ends the week before Thanksgiving. Optional Tournaments take place both Labor Day and Thanksgiving weekends. The Spring season usually begins in the second week of March and ends around the first week in June. No games are scheduled on Easter or Memorial weekend, although optional tournaments may be played Memorial weekend.

What is the reason for the Club's no refund policy once teams are formed?

Youth soccer in New Jersey has very specific rules concerning the acceptable roster size. In addition, our league has stringent forfeit policies that require that forfeit fees be paid in many instances if a game is unable to be played. Once we have formed teams, it is EXTREMELY disruptive to the rest of the team if players drop out, for whatever the reason. BHYSC, provides a sufficient period for a player to determine if they will accept a slot. It is very poor form to seek to decline a roster spot once rosters have been finalized and the commitment date for each team has passed. It is also poor form to leave between the fall and spring season. Teams are slotted into their flights based on expectations of the number and quality of players they will have. Late drops may result in a team being mis-flighted or worse yet, having insufficient players to field a team. We ask that all parents please consider this information when deciding to accept a roster spot on a travel team.

What is the commitment required of parents?

The Club recommends that each team have a Head Coach, two assistant coaches and a team manager. In addition, our league requires that one parent for each team go to an annual sportsmanship seminar, known as SAGE training. (SAGE stands for Set a Good Example.) No attendee can attend a second SAGE training. Each year a new parent, who has never been before, must attend SAGE training.

Also, our contracts with our training vendors, Far Post, Dutch Total Soccer (DTS), and USA, all require one parent volunteer to attend the training sessions. The parent must stand be by the field (not in their car) in case there is an injury or other incident that they must attend to while the trainer is responsible for the other children.

When and at what times are the games played?

Each season usually has 10 games, usually 5 home and 5 away. Home games are played at fields in Berkeley Heights, and away games are played at your opponents' fields. Teams usually play on Sundays, but can have Saturday games. Please note that younger teams, which typically play on grass fields, may play a larger number of Saturday games and/or have two games in a weekend in the spring season. This is because most towns do not open grass fields until April. This usually means games scheduled for March are pushed back until later in the season.

Game times are set by the home club (as part of their home field advantage). Saturday games can commence anywhere between 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM, Sunday games anytime between 10:00AM and 5:00 PM. With the lights at Sndyer Ave Turf field, there is the possibility that some games may be played at night - if both teams agree. The game times are usually made available with plenty of advance notice.

When and how often do practices take place?

This is up to the coach of each team. All teams will have at least one professionally supervised training session during a week day afternoon. Usually a coach will hold an additional practice on Saturday. More competitive teams may hold an additional coach run or professionally managed session, as well.

What are the costs?

Club fees are $520 (for 21/22 seasonal year). This includes both the fall and spring seasons. This fee includes 15 hours per season with a professional trainer from Far Post or USA. In addition, each individual team may charge more if that team does extra training or tournaments. Uniforms cost around $90 (2021), not including shoes and shinguards (baseball and football cleats are NOT allowed).Manufacturers change their uniform designs every few years and discontinue their old models. If players are added to an exisiting team and the old uniform is no longer available, it may be necessary for the team to switch uniforms.

How far should I expect to travel to away games?

This depends on the towns in your child's age bracket. Our league has almost 800 teams (male and female) from 90 clubs spread all over Central NJ. You may be lucky and only have to travel to New Providence, Summit, Westfield, Millburn, Watching Hills, or Scotch Plains. Or you may have to travel as far as West Windsor, Princeton, South Brunswick, Monroe, or Aberdeen. An average travel time (one way) over the course of a season of 20-30 minutes per game is a fair estimate. Carpooling to away games is very commonplace.

What is the BHYSC philosophy for developing players?

Please see the BHYSC Player Development Philosophy

Can my child play with earrings?

No. Referrees are instructed to not allow players to wear earrings as it is dangerous to both the player and their opponents. It is highly recommended that players DO NOT get their ears pierced during the socer season. If they do, they will have to make the unpleasant choice of either removing the studs, or not playing.

Why does the Berkeley Heights Youth Soccer Club (BHYSC) have tryouts?

Starting at third grade, the teams in the BHYSC play in travel soccer leagues that require a significant commitment from players and families: travel around Central New Jersey for games (sometimes over an hour each way), extended training with professional soccer coaches, uniform costs, etc. Tryouts help ensure that committed players are given the opportunity to play soccer at a level appropriate to their talents and physical development, so they will come to love the sport and participate in it as youths and beyond.

Why aren't all children given the chance to play on travel soccer teams?

The goal of the Tryout Committee (TOC) is to give as many children as possible the opportunity to play travel soccer. BHYSC teams, however, play in competitive leagues: Mid-New Jersey Youth Soccer Association and the Inter County Youth Soccer League, and possibly others. The children who play in these leagues need a minimum level of athletic skill to be able to participate successfully and without fear of injury.
In addition, these leagues limit the roster size of teams, and the BHYSC requires a minimum number of players per team. If too many children try out, or if too few try out to form two teams, some children will not have the opportunity to play on a team.

Does the BHYSC club have "A" and "B" teams?

The club forms an "A" team and, if there are enough players, a "B" team. The "B" team is for players who may need more experience, more work on their soccer skills, or have not yet physically developed as much as other children in their age group. The "A" team plays in a higher "flight" than the "B" team, meaning they face more difficult competition. This system allows the players on each team to face opponents with similar soccer abilities.

Can a "B" player move up to the "A" team in later years?

ABSOLUTELY! Every year, B-team players move up to A teams. And, yes, A-team players sometimes do move down to B teams. No one is guaranteed a permanent spot on an A team - including the sons and daughters of coaches.

What if my child has an unavoidable conflict with either one or both tryout days?

While we understand that there are sometimes unavoidable conflicts for children, we also believe that attendance at tryouts is a measure of commitment to travel soccer. We strongly advise any player who wants to play on a BHYSC team to attend all of his or her tryout sessions. If, however, your child cannot attend a session, contact the Tryout Committee immediately to let us know: [email protected]. We deal with missing tryouts on a case-by-case basis.

Who judges the players and determines the rosters?

The Tryout Committee (TOC) and Director of Coaching (DOC) considers player ratings from the coaches, and the professional trainers assigned to each team, as well as the player ratings from professional trainers from the tryout sessions. The Tryout sessions are supervised by professional trainers who provide player ratings based on the performance they observe at the sessions. All this information will be used by the TOC and DOC to determine a team roster.

All coaches (head and assistant) do have input during the tryout process, but the TOC (experienced BHYSC coaches who recuse themselves if their own sons or daughters are trying out) review all rosters before they are published.

Can my child Tryout for more than one age group?

Yes. However, please be aware that this adds a level of complexity to the job of the Tryout Committee when teams are constructed. Please do not choose this option lightly. Also, be aware that the Tryout Committee may ask you for an earlier commitment to a specific roster spot so team formation can progress.

I've heard about your program for 5 to 7 year old players, the Soccer Development Academy; is this travel soccer, and are there tryouts?
There are no tryouts for the Soccer Development Academy (SDA). This is a local, non travel program for 5 year olds to 7 year olds, and anyone can join. We offer this program as a way to get players ready for travel soccer.

Please contact [email protected] for more information.

What is in-town soccer, run by the Police Athletic League (PAL)? Is it separate from BHYSC travel soccer?

The BHYSC is not affiliated with in-town PAL soccer, but we work closely with them. Third grade and older players can decide for themselves if they would like to play PAL in-town soccer in addition to travel soccer.

I've heard that there are also high-school age teams; are there tryouts for these levels?

Teams at U15 are formed by invitation only; usually, the player will play on a Governor Livingston High School team in the fall if invited. Contact the club directly for more details.

I'd like to help coach; what does it involve?

All coaches must be licensed, which requires a nine-hour, two-day weekend course. Coaches are responsible for coaching games and coach-run practices. A coach does not have to attend professional training sessions, although the coach should be in regular contact with your trainer. All new coaches are assigned mentor coaches to help with running a team.

What other opportunities are there for parents to participate?

Assistant Coaches, who must also be licensed.
SAGE (Set A Good Example) Reps, who assist with keeping the atmosphere positive at games.
Team Managers, who assist with scheduling, uniforms, etc. The Team Manager does not need a coach's license.

Still have questions? Contact Jay Richter at [email protected] 


Berkeley Heights Youth Soccer Club
P.O. Box 86  Berkeley Heights New Jersey 07922

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