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Additional questions may be sent to but please only contact us after you have read the FAQ in full. Thank you.

1. For which age group should my child register?

Fall 2018/Spring 2019 will be the third year for which US Youth Soccer uses "birth year registration". The following age groups apply:
           

If the player was born

Age Group Eligibility

Game Size

January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011

8U - Technical Development Program (TDP)**

varies but mostly 4v4

January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

9U

7v7

January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

10U

7v7

January 1, 2008 - December 31, 2008

11U

9v9

January 1, 2007 - December 31, 2007

12U

9v9

January 1, 2006 - December 31, 2006

13U

11v11

January 1, 2005 - December 31, 2005

14U

11v11

January 1, 2004 - December 31, 2004

15U

11v11

 

 **The Technical Development Program is substantially different from our Travel program. For more details on the TDP please click here.

2. Do we have to use "birth year registration"?

Yes, it is mandated by US Youth Soccer. We recognize that it creates some difficulties due to the fact that players in each grade are now split among two different age groups. It becomes especially difficult in 8th grade since the players who are in their last year in the program are not all in the same age group. However, Chatham United has no choice but to follow the above age cutoffs. 

3. Why do we now say 9U rather than U9?

The new language was introduced by US Youth Soccer to better reflect the composition of the age groups.  The 9U age group should be interpreted as "9 and under".  

4. Can my child “play up” to the next higher age group?

Since "birth year registration" splits up players who are in the same grade we will allow players to try out for the next higher age group (e.g. a player with a 2007 birthday can try out for 13U).  However, the club suggests that families think carefully before doing this since a player that “plays up” will potentially be playing against children that are more than a year older. In general our recommendation is that most players should play for the age group listed in the table above (with the exception of players entering 8th grade who we discuss in detail below). 

5. If my child wants to “play up”, how should they register and try out?

A player that wants to play up should register and attend the tryout for the higher age group. 

6. Can my child try out for two age groups (the regular age group and the “playing up” age group)?

No, this would create too much additional load on the tryout process.  Each player must make a decision regarding the age group they want to play for and they should try out for that age group only.  (As mentioned above, the club recommends that most players should try out for their regular age group.)

7. If my child tries out for the higher age group and does not make a team, would they be considered for the regular age group?

This is a possibility but we cannot guarantee it. If a player is worried about the tryout process at the higher age group, we suggest that they try out for the regular age group instead.

8. How are you going to form 15U teams since only a small number of 8th graders have 2004 birthdays?

This is an issue that is faced by all clubs.  We will address it by asking some players with 2005 birthdays to play on a U15 team. 

9. How will 14U/15U tryouts and registration be structured?

We will have combined tryouts and registration for the 14U and 15U age groups.

10. Can a player entering 9th grade register for the 15U age group?

No. The High School soccer program operates on a different schedule and so we cannot accept registrations from rising 9th graders at this time.

11. If my child tries out for their regular age group, might they be asked to “play up” to the higher age group?

Other than for the 15U issue described above, we hope to avoid this since for most players we believe it is better if they play with their regular age group.  However, due to the complications created by birth year registration, the club reserves the right to ask a player to play up even if they tried out for their regular age group.   

12. My child has a late December birthday. Can they “play down” so as to be with most of the other players in their grade?

For Travel soccer this is not possible.  New Jersey Youth Soccer strictly prohibits Travel players from playing down to a lower age group. There are no exceptions to this rule.

13. How big are the rosters for each age group?

The 8U TDP has a single roster and players rotate among teams from week to week.  We expect the 7v7 age groups (9U-10U) to have rosters of size 12-13, the 9v9 age groups (11U-12U) to have rosters of size 13-15 and the 11v11 age groups (13U-15U) to have rosters of size 16-18.

14. How many teams do you expect to form for each age group/gender?

This depends on final registration numbers and on negotiations with the town (since we have to make sure there is enough field space for practices/games).  However, for 9U-12U we expect to form 3 teams per gender in each age group. For 13U-15U the roster sizes are larger and we typically form 1-2 teams per gender in each age group.  

15. When will Travel team rosters be announced?

We expect to announce 10U-15U rosters by June 1, 2018 and 9U rosters in early May.   

16. How much does the Travel program cost?

The registration fee collected by the Club is $320.  Additional team fees of between $550-850 (amount varies based on factors such as how many practices, number of tournaments, number of players, etc.) will be collected by the team treasurer over the course of the year. Since our Club is a non-profit we can charge significantly less than for-profit soccer clubs (for-profit soccer clubs generally charge amounts between $2,000-3,000 for the season).

17. Why are you able to charge less than outside clubs?

Playing for an in-town non-profit club is cheaper than playing for an outside club for the following reasons.

  • We have no need to generate a profit.
  • Club and team organization is carried out by many volunteers who collectively donate 1000s of hours to the club. At for-profit clubs much of the organization is carried out by paid staff.
  • We can use the many fields in Chatham for a nominal fee per player.

Please note that the price differential does not reflect a difference in training.  We hire professional trainers with the same licenses as the outside clubs.

18. What is the registration refund policy? 

  • A full refund will be issued if a child registers then chooses not to attend tryouts, and informs Chatham United in writing 7 days before the first day of tryouts.   If notification is less than 7 days, a refund minus the $30 tryout fee will be given.
  • A full refund of the registration fee (less the $30 tryout fee) will be issued in the event that a child attends tryouts but is either (A) not offered membership or (B) chooses to withdraw from consideration for membership before the refund deadline. 
  • No refunds will be issued for any portions of fees after the refund deadline other than for medical reasons or relocation prior to the start of the fall season (as documented in writing to the Membership Committee) or in the case that the child is not offered membership.
  • The refund deadline for 9U is April 28, 2017 and the refund deadline for 10U-15U is May 19, 2017. 
  • Fees are non-refundable in any portion, once the fall season commences, as defined by the first practice (usually held in the final week of August or the week preceding Labor Day).
  • Refunds will not be considered as a result of changes in the team placement of your child from the prior year or changes in trainers/training organizations from the prior year.  

Refund requests may be sent to    We would like to stress that the refund deadlines are for player-initiated withdrawal from the program. Any player that tries out but is not placed on a team will receive a refund of the registration fee (minus the $30 tryout fee), even though team announcements are after the refund deadline. 

19. Why are you still asking for donations for new goals since you asked last year as well?

In the 2016/17 season we raised over $3000 from donations which we used to purchase four new goals for Southern Boulevard School and Milton Avenue School.  Thank you to all families that contributed! We are continuing to ask for donations because the goals at Washington Avenue School are in poor condition and also need replacing. In addition, we would eventually like to replace the goals at Lum, Memorial and Upper Esternay since they are all 7'x21' whereas US Youth Soocer currently recommends 6.5'x18' for small-sided play (and small goalkeepers).

20. What forms do I need to submit with my registration and where do I send them?

Please see the detailed registration instructions for this information.

21. How is the 9U Travel program structured?

Since 9U is the first year of Travel soccer, Chatham United believes that it is important to have a consistent program across the age group. A detailed description of what 9U players and parents can expect can be found here.

22. What is the role of the tryouts?

For players new to CU, the tryout provides an opportunity for skill assessment versus other players in their age group, and will form the sole basis for assessing their skill and potential. The tryout results are compared against the evaluations of the other players, including those already playing with CU, to determine if he/she qualifies for a CU team.
 
Tryout evaluators are independent professionals, who are licensed to train soccer.  Typically, the trainers hold licenses from US Soccer, or recognized English and Dutch training organizations. CU will make best efforts to ensure that these evaluators are not already affiliated with the club, so as to prevent potential bias in the process.  Children will be identified only by number during the tryout process.
 
If necessary, the membership committee reserves the right to call back players they would like to have reevaluated.  This may or may not involve having the player attend practice with a current Chatham United team. 

23. How does the team formation process work?

For current Chatham United Travel players entering 10U-15U, a formula based on Current Trainer Evaluation (50%), Tryout Score (40%) and Current Parent Manager Feedback (10%) will be used to rank players and develop the teams.  (The Tryout Score is also used to calibrate across different trainers and PMs.) For current 8U TDP players entering 9U or 10U, a formula based on Current Trainer Evaluation (60%) and Tryout Score (40%) will be used.  For new players the Tryout Score will count for 100%.

24. Can I watch the tryouts?
 
For the consideration of all the players attending the tryouts, all parents must remain away from the fields while the tryout sessions are being conducted. Parental observation/involvement in any way during the tryout process may result in confusion for all children who are trying out and potential disruption for the tryout evaluators.

25. Are walk-ins accepted at the day of the tryouts?

No walk-ins or paperwork will be accepted on tryout day. No exceptions.

26. What should my child wear/bring to the tryout?

Please do not wear Chatham United or any other team uniform for the tryout.  Cleats and shinguards are required.  Bring a waterbottle.  Do not bring a soccer ball, they will be provided.

27. If a player is not placed on a team after tryouts, do we refund the registration fee?

In line with the refund policy outlined above, if a player is not placed on a team after tryouts we refund the registration fee minus a $30 tryout fee. 

28. What are the expectations and commitment required of a Chatham United player?

Chatham United is committed to player and team development. In order for each child to realize his/her full potential as a player and member of a team, commitment is required from both players and parents.

Player development and improved team play cannot occur if players and parents are not committed to participate in the activities of the team. If players miss practices, then team concepts cannot be reviewed and practiced to the benefit of the team.

29. What position will my child play?

At the younger ages, children should play some reasonable mix of offensive and defensive positions. In order for players to develop, CU does not want players below the 12U level constantly playing the same position. Exceptions may be made for players who decide to focus on goalkeeping. However, CU feels that at 12U and below, designated goalies would also benefit from playing and understanding some of the offensive and defensive positions.

30. When are the games/tournaments/practices?

Games are generally held on Sunday afternoons for ten weeks in the fall and ten weeks in the spring. In the fall, teams will typically practice twice each week; in the spring, practices are typically held once a week. 

Each team is expected to participate in at least two tournaments in the Fall season, including a Labor Day or tune-up tournament.  Labor Day or tune-up tournaments are the primary game experience used to get each team ready for Fall league play.  Teams may play in additional tournaments and state cup competitions to be agreed upon in the parent team meetings.

31. How many minutes will my child play in a game?

Players at the 10U level and below have the expectation of playing at least 50% of each game. This does not mean that each player will receive equal playing time. Playing time above the minimum is at the discretion of the team’s professional trainer, provided that the basic CU guidelines are met. Players at the 11U through 15U level have the reasonable expectation to play at least 40% of each game. Playing time at the 11U level and above will also be determined by participation in practices, player attitude and commitment.

32. Are parents required to volunteer their time if their child plays on a Chatham United team?

This is a volunteer organization run largely by parents. You will be expected to volunteer your time to the team and the Club and it is imperative that you do so when asked.   

33. Are there any open volunteer positions available in Chatham United?

Each team is required to have a parent manager, an assistant parent manager, a treasurer and a team webmaster. Club volunteer positions can be found here.

34. What is your policy regarding "secondary carding" into Chatham United from another club?

When a player is placed on a youth soccer team, a card is created identifying that player as a member of the team.  “Secondary carding from outside the club” would occur if a player has a primary card for a team outside Chatham United but also has a secondary card that allows them to play games with a Chatham United team when there is no conflict with their primary team. Chatham United believes that it is inappropriate in general for a “secondary carding” player to take a roster spot away from a player that wishes to play for Chatham United only.  The club has therefore adopted the following policy regarding secondary carding:

  • In line with NJYS regulations, secondary carding is not allowed at 10U and below.
  • At the 11U-15U age levels, secondary carding from outside the club will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances and with prior approval of the Chatham United Board. In general this will only be allowed if an additional player is required to fill out the roster of a team (and hence no other Chatham United player is being displaced).  We anticipate that this will only happen in rare circumstances.  

Please note that the above policy does not affect secondary carding within Chatham United (i.e. between two CU teams).  We shall continue to do that at 11U and above as one way to address turnout issues caused by multi-sport conflicts in the Spring.