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What is the Huntingdon Soccer Club?
The Huntingdon Soccer Club (HSC) was created in 2004 in response to our players’ growing interest in regional, competitive soccer. HSC is not recreational soccer. HSC teams travel to compete against other regional teams featuring the best players from each area. The competition is tough, and the games are exciting to watch.
What league does the club play in?
HSC belongs to Division 5, Mountain District, of the PA West Soccer Association, whose stated purpose is “to provide nonprofit, public, educational soccer development and competition.” PAWest sponsors both in-house recreational leagues as well as a competitive travel program with multiple divisions based on team skill. The Huntingdon Soccer Club’s goal is to place teams in the highest possible appropriate league classification to match the competition and to maximize the developmental experience for each player.
Who may participate?
Players ages U19 through U4. PA West classifies all players based on their age on July 31 each year; officially players are grouped in one-year increments. For example: U19 (all players who are 18 years old or younger on July 31) or U10 (all players who are 9 years old or younger on July 31). Since most clubs in the league don’t have enough players to form teams for every single age group, the most common grouping of teams is in two-year increments U10, U12, U14, plus a high-school-age team at U19. We also have a developmental program for U8 and below. HSC fields as many teams as possible.
Are teams single sex or co-ed?
Generally, teams are single sex whenever possible. However, if there are not enough players to field a full single-sex team, a co-ed team will be formed so interested players can still play.
How many players are on a team?
PA West league rules determine team size and the number of players who play on the field at one time. U10 teams may only roster 14 players because they play 7 v. 7. U11/U12 teams play 9 v. 9 and may roster 16 players. Teams U13 and older play 11 v. 11; PA West’s maximum team roster is limited to 22 players.
How many players can player per game?
U12 and younger: All rostered players can dress for every game.
U13 and older: PA West mandates that only 18 players dress for any game. With a full roster of 22, this means that four players will not be able to dress for each game. Coaches will communicate with players and parents to let them know if/when their player should not dress for a game. Coaches will also try to rotate their roster so that everyone has an opportunity to dress for a game.
How do I register?
HSC offers multiple possibilities to hear about registration, including information distributed at the end of the fall Huntingdon Community Center and high school playing seasons and at the end of each HSC spring season. We advertise our registration event on our website and Facebook page and in the newspapers, in schools, through existing teams, etc. HSC wants to accommodate as many players as possible; registering on time helps ensure that happens. In most years, only one registration day will be held, usually in January or early February. It is very important that interested players register at the advertised registration event.
In the event that a player cannot attend registration, it is his or her (family’s) responsibility to contact the club registrar in advance of the registration day to make arrangements to submit the required materials. In all cases, registration must be completed before the club meeting to declare teams.
A player is considered registered only when ALL registration materials and the payment have been submitted.
If I miss the registration, can I still register and be put on a roster?
The Huntingdon Soccer Club has to follow the strict timelines and roster limitations established by PA West, with team declarations occurring by March 1. Players who miss registration may jeopardize their opportunity to play.
A player is considered registered only when ALL registration materials and the payment have been submitted. Any player registering for a travel team whose registration is not complete by March 1 will be assessed a late fee of $25.
If a player misses registration and has not made previous arrangements with the registrar, she or he may register only if there are open spots on a declared team for which the player is eligible to play and if a uniform can be ordered in a timely manner. This may mean a player may not get a uniform in time to play one or more games.
In the event that it becomes necessary to hold a tryout, players submitting late registrations will not be eligible to participate in the tryout. Late registrants will be placed on a waiting list for team membership and offered, at a reduced cost, the opportunity to train with the team but not play in games. If a roster spot should open up during the season, a player from the waitlist will be added to the team as long as the club and the parents agree to a pro-rated increased fee and the club can purchase a uniform in a timely manner.
What do I need to bring to registration?
To register, you must provide the player’s and parents’ or guardians’ contact information, proof of the player’s age through a birth certificate or passport, health insurance policy information, contact information for your player’s doctor and dentist, T-shirt and shorts sizes, and how the family will volunteer to help support the club. A photo of the player will be taken or must be provided for the player’s official ID card issued by the league. You will also need to pay the annual registration fee (which includes the team uniform) at that time.
Is there a family, multiplayer discount?
Yes, but the board revisits the financial viability of this decision each year. Currently, families with more than one player on the travel teams (U10 and up) get a $25 discount per player. There are NO discounts for U8 and under players, no matter how many players in the family or in which age groups.
Are there scholarships?
HSC offers a few partial scholarships to players with significant financial need. Please contact the club secretary for more information.
Where does my registration fee go?
Cost for travel-team players
The Huntingdon Soccer Club strives to keep registration fees as low as possible. The charts below show the expenses that your registration fee covers. The first chart is for travel-team players; the second shows the breakdown of costs for developmental players. The difference between the costs and the registration fees is covered by the previous year's fund-raising efforts.
Costs for travel-team players total $132.46 per player
Costs for developmental players total $83.88 per player
Does my registration guarantee that I will be on a team?
No. Team membership is not first come, first served. It will depend on the total number of players registered for each age group. However, registering on time ensures that you will be included among the players eligible for a potential spot on the team. See related questions below.
What are the next steps the club will take after registration?
Teams will be formed within two weeks of the last registration event prior to the spring season. If the number of players exceeds the allowable roster size after the last registration event, HSC will follow the procedures outlined below. Once the teams are formed, the club will contact all players who registered.
What is the procedure for forming a travel team?
For the HSC traveling program (U9-U19), the club will try to accommodate as many players as possible by forming multiple teams and/or co-ed teams. Parents may request that their player participate in the developmental program rather than travel.
PA West limits the travel roster size by age group. In the event that HSC cannot accommodate all registrants by forming multiple teams and/or co-ed teams, the following procedures will be followed to meet the PA West roster-size limits.
See the answer to “Will there be tryouts?” immediately below for details of the next steps.
Will there be tryouts?
While many teams in our area do have tryouts, tryouts are unusual for HSC.
For any age group U13 and older, we may have tryouts if the total number of players registered exceeds the number for one team but cannot be rostered by forming multiple teams and/or co-ed teams. Tryouts will be held as soon as possible after the special meeting to form teams but not later than the end of February. Players not selected to the travel team(s) through this tryout process are still eligible to participate as developmental players at a reduced rate.
For any age group U9 through U12, there will not be tryouts. If there are more players registered than can be rostered by forming multiple teams and/or co-ed teams, team selection will be decided at a special meeting of the HSC board and the team coaches. Players not selected to the travel team(s) through this process are still eligible to participate as a developmental player at a reduced rate.
Is there a developmental, in-house program?
Yes, in fact, there are three different ones. The nature of the program varies depending on the player’s age. All such players pay a substantially discounted price and practice with their age-mates but may not travel to games.
For players ages U9-U14 who need or want additional soccer coaching, practice, and experience before taking on more competitive opposition, players pay a substantially discounted price, practice with their age-mates, but do not travel to games.
U7/U8 players participate in the HSC developmental program, which does not have formal teams. Emphasis is placed on micro-soccer. Players practice together during the week (two practices recommended). Players have the option of playing Intra-Hawks games and/or participating in the Junior Soccer League (JSL) program. JSL plays in club festivals that are held on Saturdays during the season throughout central PA. Festival teams ideally consist of 5 players (minimum of 3), but each individual player may play on a different team at each festival.
Soccer Shots: Players ages U4/U5/U6 practice once a week to develop skills and enjoy the fun of playing soccer. Practices are comprised of skills and games.
May players move up an age group?
Every attempt is made to maximize the developmental experience for each player, and we follow the recommendations of PA West, the USSF, and other professional soccer organizations. It is not the club’s practice to move players up; any exception to this requires approval by the HSC board and PA West. If a player is in ninth grade but by age is a U14 player, he or she may choose to try out for the U19 team. Requests by parents to move players up for reasons such as playing with a friend, ease of transportation, playing for a different coach, etc., are not considered valid.
When are practices?
Practice times vary by team but are usually held in the late afternoon or early evening once or twice a week. Players get their best workout and their greatest skill improvement by regularly attending practice. If your player has a conflict with practice times, please speak to your coach. Attendance and effort at practices will impact playing time in the games.
Is there guaranteed playing time?
HSC is committed to fielding the best team for each game. While coaches will try to give all players playing time during the season, there is no guaranteed amount of playing time.
When are the games?
U8 players will participate in two or three multi-game festivals on Saturdays. Travel-team (U10 and above) games are on Sundays. Games are scheduled from mid-morning to late afternoon, usually starting in early April and ending in mid-June. PA West sets the game schedule, and our coaches cannot change game times or location. Usually, the home teams do not set the specific game time until 9:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the game.
Where are the games?
Home games are at HSC’s Scott Grugan Memorial Field just north of Huntingdon on Route 26.
Away games: Games take place as far away as Johnstown, Dubois, Bedford, or Lock Haven. Teams often arrange carpools to accommodate players whose families are unable to attend.
Do players ever travel to tournaments outside the league season?
Sometimes. There are tournaments available throughout the year, both indoor and outdoor, relatively locally and much farther away. Participation depends on the level of interest and financial commitment. The Huntingdon Soccer Club encourages players to participate in tournaments.
What happens if a player behaves poorly?
Players and families represent the club and are expected to behave in a responsible manner. This includes notifying coaches or team parents about necessary absences as far in advance as possible, behaving respectfully on the sidelines and at all team activities, and interacting with other players in a respectful and supportive manner. Any inappropriate behavior will affect playing time and may result in suspension or removal from the team.
What volunteer opportunities are there in the club?
Volunteers are critical to our success. All parents are expected to donate time and/or goods to the team/club each season and to participate in fundraisers. Volunteer opportunities range from being an assistant coach or team parent to helping with field maintenance or working at the food booth, among many others. Volunteer at registration and/or talk to your coach or team parent. We need you and value your contributions.
If you have further questions, please contact your coach or the club president.
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