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Frequently Asked Questions

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AGE GROUPS?  Competitive Soccer age groups (in accordance with US Youth Soccer guidelines) are organized per the player's birth year, NOT the school year age matrix.  This differs from our recreational soccer league which allows age groups to be divided along the school year age matrix affording players to play with fellow classmates.

When does the season start and end?
Teams will typically being practicing in August in preparation for league games.  Games for the first season of league play begin mid-September and conclude at the end of November.  The second season starts right away, in early December, and wraps up in March.  There is a two week break during the holidays where no games are scheduled.  Not all weekends will have a game, but players and parents should check with the coach about the possibility of game play during school breaks or over holiday weekends.  There may be additional tournaments held after the end of League play, but teams generally are finished for the season by late April.

Do the United teams participate in tournaments?

Each United team will participate in tournaments. Older teams may attend an out-of-state tournament with approval from the GYSA Coaching Committee.  Tournament games are typically played on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays.  As with league away games, GYSA and team coaches have no control over the schedule of tournament games.  While tournaments are a great team-building experience for players, they are also a lot of work and too many events can be detrimental to a player's development and lead to burnout.  Tournament registrations will be decided by each team's coaching staff. 

How often are practices?
Competitive teams practice 2-3 times per week.  Practice days and times are determined by the coach.  

What is the cost for a player on a United team?
The registration fees for a United player are low; much lower than you will find at other clubs. Registration fees for United players are just $300 for the entire season ($250 for high school aged players). This fee includes 2 practice shirts and a team ball for each player. 
Each player must also purchase a full uniform kit from our approved supplier, which is estimated to cost $300 ($280 for youth sizes) and will be used for the next two seasons (2020-21 through the 2021-22 season).
Each team's head coach will decide on tournament dates and how to collect money for those tournaments. Most local tournaments will cost $35-45 per player, which may be offset through team fundraising.
ASL and APL team players will have an additional $50 fee due on August 1st to cover the added registration cost. 
There are no additional fees for things like referees, insurance or maintenance. This is all included in the cost of your registration fee.

Are there any other additional requirements or expectations? 
Yes, GYSA is a volunteer organization.  Therefore we ask that player's parents contribute to the league by volunteering. 
Each player (minus coach/manager children) must have a minimum of one parent or guardian volunteer a minimum 2 hours per annual season to GYSA.  This requirement may be fulfilled by taking part in one of the following positions:
Field Marshall and/or Coaches Meeting Assistance
Volunteers must have a GYSA Board Member sign off their attendance in the GYSA UNITED volunteer roster binder.  

Are United games held at the GYSA fields?
Yes and no.  United teams participate in the ASA Open League and the Arizona Sate League.   The ASA Open League has two seasons, each with six to eight games depending on age and division. (High School aged teams have one extended season so as to not overlap with High School ball.) Three games are designated as home games, which will be played at GYSA.  The other three games are away games, and can be anywhere in Maricopa County.  ASA, Arizona Soccer Association, schedules the games.  These games are almost always on Saturdays.  Although GYSA has a limited amount of input into the scheduling of games on our fields, we have absolutely no control over the date, time or location of away games.  Arizona State League games are scheduled on neutral fields and travel can be up to an hour away for a game.  

Are there Sunday games?
League games are almost always on Saturday and may be anywhere in Maricopa County. However, tournaments do have Sunday games, and often more than one. Player availability, regardless of the reason, may be a factor in the selection process for United teams. This is to ensure teams have enough players for each game, factoring in player injuries and the need for adequate rest. 

What does my player need to bring to games and practices?
Players should always arrive to practices and games in appropriate clothing. 
For practice, each player shall be dressed in his/her UNITED practice shirt and black shorts, cleats, shin guards (any color socks) and bring plenty of water.
For games, the players shall arrive in the color jersey and socks as directed by the coach with the alternate jersey and socks ready in his/her backpack in case a change is required. 
We also recommend players bring sunscreen and/or bug spray when needed.  
Unless directed by the coach, players must also bring their team ball to each practice.  Some coaches recommend not taking their team ball to games to prevent loss.  Coaches often use game balls for warm ups before the game.

Where do spectators sit?
Like most youth soccer fields, there are no bleachers or seating for spectators at the GYSA complex.  Parents and visitors are welcome to bring chairs, blankets and snacks to our fields.  Spectators will sit on the opposite side of the field as their team.

Any tips for parents?

The most important thing for parents to know is that your player is used to taking direction from his/her coach.  Providing directions from the sidelines, however well-intentioned, is counter productive.  Cheering and encouragement are always a boost for the players, but it becomes distracting for players to hear spectators yelling "pass it", "shoot", "mark up" etc.  We also ask that you remember that all our players and referees are young and continually refining their skills.  Criticism and dissent directed on the field will not be tolerated and may result in removal from the complex.

Do you have a recreational program?
Yes, we do.  GYSA offers recreational soccer beginning at age 3 (U4 division) all the way through high school.  We are very proud of our recreational program.  Established in 1984, we have grown and evolved into the model recreation league for the past 2 decades.  Please see the "Recreation" tab for more information.
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