UPPER DUBLIN TRAVEL PROGRAM
LAST REVISION – JANUARY 2021
Upper Dublin Soccer Club (the “Club”) provides an extensive travel soccer program for youth ages 6-19 interested in a higher level of training and competition. The Club's goal is to allow players to participate in a competitive program that focuses on improving technical and tactical skill while providing a positive soccer and social experience. The following information provides an overview of the more important aspects of playing in our Travel Program. Please read this, along with all the information on our Club Website.
1. TRAVEL SOCCER COMMITMENT:
· All travel soccer teams in the Club, as with other clubs, play soccer for nine to ten months per year.
· Fall Season (August-November). All Club teams generally play in an organized soccer league (i.e. EDP or Inter-County Soccer League). Fall leagues typically have a ten (10) game season with designated, competitive based divisions within each age group. There are usually at least two practices a week and game play each weekend in the Fall Season. The games are typically on Saturdays and/or Sundays and, on a rare occasion, a weekday. Practice sessions tend to run between one hour and one hour and thirty minutes in length (depending on the age group and other factors). Also, depending on field availability and the number of travel teams in a particular year, the Club tries to schedule practice times between 5:15p.m. & 10:00p.m. with younger age groups practicing earlier. Fall practice sessions usually begin around mid-August and end just prior to Thanksgiving (inclement weather may prolong the season as well). The Club may offer some indoor practice time at no additional cost to teams to mitigate weather related cancellations. During the Fall Season, all teams compete in at least one tournament (See Tournament Section below) – the Jack Walsh Tournament, which the Club co-sponsors with Hunter Soccer Club. Most Club travel teams may play in more than one tournament in the Fall Season.
· Winter Season (December-March). During a typical winter season, most teams train at least once week at an indoor facility and may participate in an indoor league at a local facility. Playing during the Winter season provides our players with the opportunity to build more team cohesion and increase the number of touches on the ball. Our outdoor turf fields are also made available during the winter season and were used extensively during the 2021 Winter. Playing Indoor State Cup is also an option for Winter (note indoor state cups were canceled for Winter 2021).
· Spring Season (April-June). Teams train two days a week during the Spring season. Practices for the Spring tend to run from the beginning of April through the middle of June. Most of our travel teams choose to play in a Spring league while a few teams decide to train and play in tournaments in lieu of league play. Spring leagues usually have a seven (7) game season and the teams typically play games on Sundays starting in the early afternoon. Spring leagues tend to start in early April and run through early June. In addition to league play, most teams play in one or two spring tournaments. The Club’s more competitive teams may elect to play in State Cup competitions, which take place throughout the Spring.
***As a member of the Travel program, your youth soccer player is required to participate in the Fall and Spring Seasons. As such, players making a Travel team are obligated to fulfill both a participation and financial commitment for the Fall and Spring Seasons. We recognize that players are multi-sport athletes. Therefore, if players have difficulty making their scheduled practice time due to conflicts with other sports, we allow players to train with another travel team (usually within 1 year apart in age, whether male or female teams). Still, if the above-mentioned commitment is beyond what you want to invest for a multi-sport athlete, then the Club’s Recreational Soccer Program (“Rec Soccer”) offers a great opportunity for your player to pursue his/her love of soccer in a more finite time period (Aug-Nov) and with a reduced weekly time commitment (2-3 hours total depending on the age group). Currently, the winter program provided for each team is not mandatory, however, is strongly recommended. For the 2021-22 season, the Club will require our more competitive teams to participate in a Club approved Winter program.
2. TEAM LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE:
· Professional Coach Model. The Club employs a professional coach model for all our travel teams and will continue to do so for the Fall 2021-Spring 2022 season. We believe that this model enhances the soccer experience for our children, raises the level of our training and improves the continuity of player development between training and game play.
· Over the course of the last two years, we have successfully moved all teams to the professional coach model. We still may have one or two parent assistant coaches per team who must be approved by our Board of Directors. The parent assistant coach will support the professional coaches at training and during games. Occasionally, the parent assistant coach may need to run a training session or coach a game.
· Age Group Coordinator. For each age group, the Black team’s professional coach will also serve as the Age Group Coordinator for both the Black and Red teams. This allows a professional coach to oversee the development of all players within that age group.
· Manager. Each travel team should have a manager. In many ways, the manager role is one of the most important components in helping things run smoothly as these individuals are the information gatherers and disseminators. It is usually the manager who organizes various aspects of the team (paperwork for games, registering for tournaments, etc.) and communicates with the players’ families. Proper communication is a big key to success. Our Travel Director runs regular (usually monthly) meetings for both the coaches and managers to provide them with information to share with their teams, such as significant events and changes to the program.
· Fundraising Coordinator. Each team should also have an individual in charge of fundraising and social events. Fundraising events for the players, such as, for example, running our snack stands, promote team unity and help to reduce the costs involved with the Travel Program.
· Why. Tournaments are Important. A big part of playing travel soccer involves tournament play. Tournaments provide a wonderful opportunity for players to play the game of soccer beyond their normal league play. A tournament provides an enjoyable time for all involved and is a great way to build team camaraderie amongst the players and their families. This opportunity is good for social and athletic development.
· When. Tournaments tend to take place over all the major holiday weekends, including but not limited to, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, and Memorial Day.
· Number of Tournaments. The Club’s Travel soccer teams usually participate in at least one tournament a season (i.e., one in the fall and one in the spring). Most teams play in more than one tournament per season. In the fall, all teams will participate in the Jack Walsh Tournament.
4. REGISTRATION & TRYOUTS:
· Registration and Tryout Fee. Registration for the following seasons program will open in January and conclude at end of February. For the Fall 2021-Spring 2022 season, a $225.00 registration fee PLUS a $30.00 non-refundable tryout fee paid to the Club to register a youth soccer player for the Travel program. This is a once a year fee paid during the registration period. The fee is subject to change on an annual basis. This fee does not cover trainer/coach fees as mentioned below and it does not include player uniform costs. The $225.00 registration fee is payable upon acceptance of a roster spot on our travel fee and is non-refundable after acceptance.
· What Does the Registration Fee Cover? The registration fee goes toward insurance, field equipment, field rental, field maintenance, township fees, certain league registration fees (Club pays the league fee for one season per team annually), certain referee fees (Club pays the league referee fees for the fall season per team annually), website costs and other administration costs.
· Tryouts. The tryout period for the Fall 2021-Spring 2022 season will likely take place in March and run through April. These tryouts are for the purpose of making teams for the following season – the upcoming Fall season through the following Spring Season of the next year. A travel player must try out and make the team each year to be a part of our program. Each age group will typically hold 2 days of tryouts and players are required to attend at least one try out which will likely take place in March. Players may be asked to attend an additional try out session in April at the request of the professional coach. The Club’s goal is for players to find out if they made a team in early May. For our youngest age group, the U8s, tryouts will be held in Mid-May with rosters announced in late May. Each age group will carry a maximum of two teams per age group unless the Board of Directors decides otherwise. Our roster sizes are restricted by US Soccer’s guidelines. The Club may decide to roster less than the maximum for certain teams in order to permit more game playing time for players.
Try outs are run solely by our professional trainers. Current Professional Coaches for each respective age groups will select the teams. Teams are selected based on both tryout evaluations and player evaluations from the prior season. Player evaluations from the prior season will be of larger importance than the try out evaluation for returning players. All teams will require final approval from the Club’s Travel Director.
· UDSC Playing Up Policy. All Players wishing to try out up must have written approval by the Travel Director prior to tryouts.
For Players U10 and Below: Playing up in this age group is frowned upon by the Club but will be allowed in very rare circumstances based on the recommendation of the Team’s Professional Coach and approval of the Travel Director and Director of Coaching. Director of Travel has final say on any disagreements among these parties.
For Players U11 and Above: A player must at a minimum be ranked as a Black Team player of the older age group at the conclusion of the tryout period and be recommended to play up by the Head Coach of the older age group and have approval of the Travel Director and Director of Coaching. Director of Travel has final say on any disagreements among the parties.
5. TRAVEL SOCCER COSTS:
· It is estimated that the average cost for a typical Upper Dublin Soccer Club Travel player (NOT FOR PENN ALLIANCE SELECT players – see below) can range from $1,050-1,550 annually (i.e., August through June). This estimate includes the cost of the professional coaches/trainers, fields, equipment, insurance, club administration, tournaments, team administration, winter training, winter league, spring league, referee fees etc. The fees may also vary depending upon the competitive level of the team. More competitive teams tend to participate in more tournaments (sometimes with more extensive travel) including State Championship Competition Tournaments thus raising the fees required. Uniform costs are in addition to the fees listed. These annual fees are split between payment to the Club directly and payment to the individual teams.
· The Club portion of 2021-22 Season fees are expected to be $850-$900 which is payable in 3 installments, $225 at time of roster acceptance (around Mid-May), $375 on or about August 15, 2021 and an estimated $250-$300 on or about February 15, 2022. These fees are non-refundable. The UDSC travel program is requires a 10-month commitment and all travel players are responsible for paying all of these fees, regardless of whether the players fully participate throughout each season (including any lost time for injuries).
· Additional costs for tournaments, team administration, winter training, winter league, spring league, and referee fees will be paid to the individual teams.
· Club approved, team fundraising can significantly reduce these costs and provide a great way for the players to spend time together away from the soccer field and build camaraderie.
6. JACK WALSH TOURNAMENT:
· The Club’s largest fundraiser is the Jack Wash Tournament which it co-manages with Hunter Soccer Club.
· Currently, all Club travel teams are required to play in the Jack Walsh Tournament.
· In order for the Club to run this tournament effectively, it requires parent volunteers to staff various positions such has parking attendants, field supervisors & field marshals.
7. SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT POINTS:
· 9-10 Month Commitment. Travel soccer involves a nine to ten-month commitment from both a participatory and financial perspective. If you feel that this commitment is beyond what you want to invest then the Club’s Recreational Soccer Program (“Rec Soccer”) offers a great opportunity for your child to pursue his/her love of soccer in a more finite time period (Aug-Nov) and with a reduced weekly time commitment (2-3 hours total depending on the age group).
· Estimated Travel Fees. The estimated per player cost over a nine – ten-month time period in the Travel program can range from $1,050-1,550. Team Fundraising can significantly reduce the costs involved with Travel.
· Club Fees Paid in 3 installments. $225 at time of roster acceptance (around Mid-May), $375 on or about August 15, 2021 and an estimated $250-$300 on or about February 15, 2022. These fees are non-refundable.
8. PENN ALLIANCE SELECT:
Upper Dublin Soccer Club also offers an elite program called Penn Alliance Select Soccer (commonly called PAS). PAS is specifically designed to develop High-School Varsity soccer players and provide aspiring college-bound soccer players the opportunity for exposure to college recruiters via College Showcase tournaments, elite leagues, and recruitment support services. Please view following website for more information regarding PAS: https://www.pennallianceselect.org/about
Feel free to also email us at with any questions or concerns.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN UPPER DUBLIN SOCCER CLUB!