Email the Spring Select Commissioner with any questionsSurf ‘n Turf, San Luis Obispo – February
ABOUT SPRING SELECT
Spring Select is a competitive AYSO soccer program where teams from Region 109 play teams from other regions. The season runs from February through May, and teams participate in both regular league games and occasional weekend-long tournaments. The program is open to all players, U9 thru U19, who participated in AYSO during the preceding fall season, regardless of region. While all qualified players are welcome to try out, Select is geared toward motivated and enthusiastic players, and a high level of commitment is expected. By providing a more competitive program for our players, we hope to develop player skills to a level not always possible through our regional fall program.
Even though Spring Select is a more competitive soccer program, it is still part of AYSO and is therefore guided by the same core philosophies as our fall program. Players, coaches and their families all find it to be a very rewarding experience.
Coaching a Spring Select team is a significant time commitment, much more than the fall season. On top of actual coaching activities, Select coaches are involved in player evaluation, team formation, league and tournament applications, etc. Much of the preparation work occurs Nov-Jan, so there is little break for a Select coach from fall to spring. More details about the Select coaching experience can be found here.
To qualify, coaches must have volunteered in AYSO during the preceding fall season. Coaches must meet all training requirements, and be certified to coach at the appropriate level. Certification at least one level higher is desired (e.g. U12 certification for a U10 Select coach). It is also expected that all coaches remember their coaching PIE (positive, instructional, encouraging) and that they are representing Region 109 at all times.
Players are first evaluated at Select tryouts (by out-of-division AYSO and UK coaches), then at their regular fall games. In some cases, fall coaches are also consulted regarding things like positional preferences, coachability, and attendance… things not so easily measured at a tryout.
Once evaluations are completed, teams are formed. The number of teams is limited by either the number of players trying out or the number of coaches who volunteer (usually the latter). Ideally, we would field 3 teams at the U9/U10 level, 2-3 at U12, 2 at U14, and 1 at U16/U19.
** We aim to announce teams by December 1 **
Most teams practice twice per week, just like the in the regular fall season. Some older teams will opt for 3 practices per week, a decision that is up to the coaches. The practices are an essential part of building a strong team and players are expected to be at practices. Most teams start practice by the beginning of February, including a couple of weekend scrimmages.
Menlo Park Select teams compete in the
Pacific Coast Spring Soccer League (PCSSL) in an 8 game season (4 home, 4 away).
Teams in PCSSL are primarily from the Peninsula, from Daly City and Pacifica in
the north, to West San Jose and Saratoga in the south. There’s also the
occasional team from the East Bay (e.g. Pleasant Hill, Concord). All league
games are on Sundays.
Within each PCSSL division (e.g. U10 Boys) teams are divided into flights based on their age and ability. This is done to keep games as competitive as possible and not have too many lopsided results. One-sided games are no fun, and do little to develop players on either team.
Most Select teams play between 2-4 tournaments throughout the season in addition to the league games. This is decided on a team-by-team basis. In the past several years, Menlo Park teams have participated in some of the following tournaments:
Paso Robles Grape Crush, Paso Robles – February
President's Cup, San Jose – February
Pleasant Hill Soccerfest, Pleasant Hill – March
El Palo Alto, Palo Alto – April
Pacifica Fog Classic, Pacifica – April
Concord Cup, Concord – May
Davis World Cup, Davis – May
Santa Barbara Splash, Santa Barbara – June
Come Up For Air, Tahoe – June
Players (and coaches) must meet all
eligibility requirements. Players must have played on an AYSO team during
the preceding fall season, division U9 and above, and played in at least 70% of the
games. Under special circumstances (e.g. illness, injury, relocation) the fall play requirement may be waived. Please contact the Spring Select Commissioner at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Players from other regions are welcome to tryout in Region 109 if their own region does not offer a Spring Select program (e.g. Region 25). Because the teams are more competitive, players are advised to try out in the appropriate age category. Those that “played up” in the fall may try out for the division corresponding to their age (e.g. play up in U12 during the fall, but try out for Select at the U10 level.) Players will only be considered for the age category or categories in which they try out.
The financial commitment for players on a Spring Select team varies. There is a base registration fee of $240 which covers uniforms, fields, league play and two tournaments. Players are only responsible for purchasing their own socks. Additional tournaments are also separate, and will be determined by each team's coaches in coordination with team parents. Tournament travel is the responsibility of each family. Region 109 is committed to making Select soccer accessible to all players; need-based financial assistance is available.
FOR U9 PLAYERS
During the Spring Select season, U9 teams compete at the U10 level (same team, field, and ball sizes). While these age divisions are combined, we do recognize the value and opportunity for U9 players, and do our best to reserve one team (10 roster spots) for U9 players. This U9 team is really a development team, and serves as a springboard for those players (and coaches) in future years. (Note: this practice of forming single-year teams often continues at older ages – e.g. U11 and U12 teams in the U12 division. It helps to maintain continuity in our Select program for players and coaches alike.)
PLAYING TWO SPORTS?
Question: “My player usually does another sport in the spring (e.g. baseball, lacrosse, club soccer), but really likes AYSO. Can they do both?” Yes, provided they make Spring Select the priority. Many players tryout for Select, and we don’t want to cut a player who is 100% committed for a player that will split time between two sports. If you’re unsure, apply, tryout, and see if your player makes a team. Then have an honest discussion with your Select coach and decide if it’s right for your player and your family.
NON-COMPETITIVE SPRING SOCCER?
Question: "My player loves soccer, but isn't quite at the Select level. Are there non-competitive spring soccer options?" Yes! Our neighbors in Palo Alto, AYSO Region 26, run a Spring Instructional program, very similar to our regular fall program. Registration typically runs from Nov-Mar. Visit their website for more information.